What Is DHT? How Does It Cause Hair Loss?

DHT, the abbreviated of Dihydrotestosterone, it's a chemical derivative, created from testosterone. DHT blocks the growth of hair in men and is the cause of most baldness. And even though this is a male hormone, women also have a small amount that runs through their blood, some higher than others. When a female inherits hair follicles that are supersensitive to DHT, they start to lose hair just like men do.

The most important structure of a hair follicle is the dermal papilla, which is responsible for hair growth. DHT inhibits and reduces the proper growth of hair in the follicles in a process called 'Miniaturisation'. Miniaturisation affects genetically-susceptible hair follicles resulting in lighter, finer hairs. DHT attaches itself to receptor cells of the part of these follicles called dermal papilla (the root), preventing the necessary nourishment for the hair getting through for proper growth. The membranes in the scalp to thicken, become inelastic and restrict blood flow. The growing anagen stage of the hair is shortened and the resting telogen stage is extended. Eventually these hairs stop growing. This is how DHT is responsible for about 95% of hair loss.

What Is DHT? How Does It Cause Hair Fall?

In addition to all this, DHT tends to create a wax like substance around the hair roots and it is this accumulation of DHT in the hair follicles and roots that gives rise to male and female pattern hair loss.

However, some people aren't affected by DHT in the scalp but in those who have a genetic tendency to hair loss, the hair follicles are particularly sensitive to the effects of DHT. Not only does a person's hair fall out, they also inherited hair follicles that, when regenerated through the three growth cycles, grow strands of hair that come back thinner and with less pigmentation. This phenomenon also clears up the mystery behind why some people have thinning hair that seems to change color as the person ages.

Hormones are cyclical. Testosterone levels in some men drop by 10 percent each decade after thirty. Women's hormone levels decline as menopause approaches and drop sharply during menopause and beyond and give an edge to DHT. The cyclic nature of both our hair and hormones is one reason hair fall can increase in the short term even when you are experiencing a long-term slowdown of hair loss (and a long-term increase in hair growth) while on a treatment that controls hair fall.