If you are looking for hair loss treatment, you’ve probably come across DHT blockers. But what is a DHT blocker and how do they work to prevent hair loss and baldness? That’s precisely what’s covered in this article, including an overview of the popular options and safety concerns. DHT or dihydrotestosterone is a naturally occurring molecule that occurs in both men and women. It is formed when the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone. The body converts about 5% of testosterone to DHT and both low and high levels of the molecule have various side effects.
What is a DHT Blocker?
As the name suggests, DHT blockers block the formation of DHT by preventing 5-alpha-reductase from converting existing testosterone. DHT blockers come in various forms and prevalent in hair loss pills and medications. They come as supplements, but you can find foods, herbs, essential oils, diets, and shampoos that help to regulate the levels of DHT. This article focuses on DHT blocker medication and pills formulated to prevent hair loss.
Popular DHT Blockers
You’ll encounter many options when you type “what is a DHT blocker” on your browser. The most common offers are pills like Propecia. However, there are many shampoos, topical oils, and oral medications that block DHT. Here are the popular DHT blockers in the market:
- Pills: Includes medications like Propecia (Finasteride).
- Creams: Includes Saw Palmetto DHT Mega Hair Growth Cream.
- Foods: Includes green tea, coconut oil, pumpkin seeds, onions, turmeric, and soybean.
- Herbs: Includes Nasya kriya, Ginko Biloba, bhiringraj, stinging nettle, peppermint, horsetail, chamomile, burdock, and more.
- Essential Oils: Includes rosemary oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, pumpkin seed oil, peppermint oil, and more.
- Diets: Includes watermelon, mango, tomato, carrot, bananas, sesame seeds, black pepper, and more.
- Others: Moderate exercise and ayurvedic massage may reduce the level of DHT.
How DHT Blockers Work
Answering the question of what is a DHT blocker also requires explaining how they work. Since DHT is formed when 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone, some blockers work by preventing this conversion. However, most hair loss pills prevent existing DHT from binding to 5-alpha-reductase receptors, including 5-AR receptors in your hair follicles. DHT is known to shrink hair follicles and cause various other side effects. However, for this to happen, it must attach to 5-AR receptors, and blockers are designed to prevent this from happening.
Are DHT Blockers Safe?
There are many DHT blockers include diets and foods that are generally safe. However, most DHT blocker foods aren’t effective, and there is limited proof they work on humans. Most studies are preclinical, done in test tubes or using animals. On the other hand, DHT blocker pills and hair medications have many adverse effects and aren’t recommendable, despite their effectiveness. Some of the common side effects of using hair loss pills and DHT blockers include:
- Stomach upset
- Nausea and vomiting
- Enlarged prostate
- Decreased libido
DHT blockers have also been reported to cause liver damage, pancreatitis, bleeding in the brain, and death on rare occasions.
The simplest answer to what is a DHT blocker is a treatment designed to prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Some also inhibit existing molecules from binding to 5-alpha-reductase receptors in the hair follicles. They are used in hair loss treatment but carry adverse effects. Most ingredients used in DHT blockers have limited studies, so it is vital to consult a doctor before using such medications.