What Is DHT’s Role in Hair Loss?

hair-lossAndrogenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss. Research has yet to reveal the cause of androgenetic alopecia, but it’s likely that a combination of genetics and a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) leads to its development. It’s important to understand what DHT is and how it affects hair growth in order to appreciate how and why hair loss occurs.

What Is DHT?
Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone made from testosterone. It’s essential for metabolic activities, such as bone formation and blood cell production, and plays a role in the development and maintenance of male characteristics, such as the growth of body and facial hair. Both men and women produce DHT. In men, roughly five percent of testosterone is converted to DHT.

How Does DHT Cause Hair Loss?
There are two main types of DHT. Serum DHT circulates in your blood. Tissue DHT binds to receptors on your skin, scalp and other areas of your body. Androgenetic alopecia is thought to occur when tissue DHT binds to hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT. DHT sensitivity is inherited, which means it’s passed on through families.

When DHT binds to hair follicles, it inhibits hair growth in a process called follicular miniaturization. Follicular miniaturization causes hair follicles to shrink, or miniaturize. This, in turn, causes hair to become thinner, finer and shorter. Thinner hairs provide less scalp coverage, which gives the appearance of reduced hair volume and excessive hair loss. Over time, DHT may cause hair to stop growing and eventually fall out.

Follicular miniaturization can occur in both women and men, but it’s more common and more pronounced in men. This may be because men produce more DHT than women. Research indicates that an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen can lead to increased DHT conversion, and thus trigger hair thinning and hair loss.

Understanding DHT and the effect it can have on your hair can help you appreciate how and why hair loss occurs. By learning about DHT and taking steps to stop or slow follicular miniaturization, you can prevent or reduce hair loss.

If you’re experiencing hair loss finding out the cause is a big step in gaining control of your hair loss. The next step is to do something about it. At Custom Hair Tampa Bay our hair loss specialists will help you customize a hair replacement solution that matches your lifestyle. To schedule a free consultation call us at (813) 932-5327 or to contact us via email click here.

Photo Credit: Kris Kesiak Via Flickr Creative Commons