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How DHT and Hair Loss are Connected

DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is the main cause of androgenic alopecia, or as it’s more commonly known: Male- and Female-Pattern Baldness. Men tend to notice androgenic alopecia in a receding hairline and thinning of the hair on the back of the head. Women notice it along the part line. For men, this pattern baldness can, and often does, result in total hair loss. For women, this outcome rarely occurs.

DHT occurs when testosterone, present in both men and women—in small amounts—combines with a 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. After this, DHT will bind with the androgyne receptors of the hair follicle, blocking the follicle from the bloodstream, and by extension, nutrients, shrinking the follicle and causing many of the hairs there to fall out.

It’s important to note that the presence of significant amounts of testosterone in the body, or at least more than usual, is not the reason for increased hair loss, as was previously thought. Scientists have instead discovered that your body could be producing DHT at an extremely high rate, and it’s still the sensitivity of the androgyne receptors that will determine how much DHT will be allowed to close off the follicle.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved medication called finasteride, sold under the brand name Propecia, which works to prevent the enzyme from ever binding with testosterone. There is also a non-FDA approved drug called spironolactone, which works from the other end, blocking DHT from binding to the receptors. Both of these drugs have potential side effects, and you should seek medical assistance before you begin to take either.

If you’ve experienced pattern baldness for years, with no end in sight, it’s possible that you should look into treatments that are not supplement- or vitamin-based. Scalp Micropigmentation is one such treatment, where specialists apply pigment in vast quantities across the scalp to mimic the appearance of natural follicles. It works for both men and women, short hair and long. Hairline Ink is a studio with locations in Chicago and New York. Call them at (585) 250-0835 to discuss setting up an appointment today!

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