Male pattern baldness has seen a gradual rise over the years. While the early onset of puberty, genetics, and diet play a role, the effects of DHT or dihydrotestosterone on hair follicles are the leading cause.
DHT is a hormone much like testosterone and can be one of the main causes of baldness in men. The human body uses an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase to convert around 5% of testosterone to DHT.
So, how do DHT levels affect hair growth? DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink over time, leading to thin hair that falls out quickly. When the follicles are too small, the new hair stops growing.
So, what exactly are DHT blockers? And more importantly, do DHT blocker foods help? Let’s find out.
What is DHT?
Simply put, Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is an androgen. This sex hormone leads to the development of characteristics typical in men. These include body hair, a deep voice, and the characteristic muscle mass. It also plays a role in developing the prostate gland and the penis during fetal development.
DHT can lead to miniaturization of hair follicles, leading to male pattern baldness. However, treatments that effectively block DHT may help reduce and prevent hair loss.
How Does DHT Contribute to Hair Loss?
Structures under the skin known as follicles are tiny capsules containing hair strands. The growth cycle of hair can last around two to six years. When the process ends, the resting phase of the hair starts, and in a few months, the hair falls out. The cycle begins again when the follicle produces new hair.
When levels of androgens that include DHT rise, hair follicles shrink, thereby shortening the cycle. The hair that grows out of the follicle is brittle and thinner and falls out faster. DHT can also slow down the process of the reappearance of new hair. Let’s find out more about DHT blockers and your diet.
What is a DHT Blocker?
DHT prevents hair follicles from absorbing vital nutrients, causing shrinkage and eventual hair fall. Natural remedies can play a role in blocking DHT. This is because the body converts around 5% of the testosterone in the body into DHT by using the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Some natural foods block this enzyme, thus preventing hair loss.
Some of the best DHT blocker foods:
- Green tea
- Pumpkin seeds
- Saw Palmetto
Products such as minoxidil & finasteride have proven effective remedies for male pattern baldness.
Hair Growth Super kit/ Minoxidil Derma Roller is a popular option. The derma roller in the kit helps stimulate hair growth, facilitating the absorption of minoxidil into the scalp.
Another product you may want to consider is a Hair Growth Serum that contains Procapil, Kopexil, Redensyl, Amla, and Hibiscus. This very potent hair growth serum encourages hair re-growth and stimulates hair follicles, thus reducing hair fall.
How does diet affect male pattern baldness? As per scientific research, excessive nutritional supplements that contain growth hormones and whey protein should be avoided.
Best DHT Blocker Foods for Hair Growth
Diet can effectively block DHT, as certain foods prevent it from sticking to the hair follicles. So, what should you incorporate into your diet?
Here’s a list of Natural DHT Blockers Foods you may want to consider:
1. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a highly nutritious food containing fatty acids such as oleic, lauric, and myristic acids. Lauric acid has shown promising results in lab tests and is an effective DHT blocker.
Turmeric contains curcumin, one of the best Natural DHT blocker foods. This ingredient is known to reduce testosterone production in prostate cancer patients. This has led to further research on the effectiveness of turmeric as a remedy for hair loss, and it is a beneficial remedy.
3. Nasya Kriya
This is the process of inhaling medicated oils such as black sesame seed oil to prevent hair loss due to DHT. When the oil enters the nasal passages, the chemical composition of the receptors in the scalp changes; this may succeed in blocking DHT molecules and reducing hair fall.
Almonds are rich in nutrients and should be on your DHT blocker food List as they contain lysine, an effective DHT inhibitor. This vegan source of protein encourages hair growth as it is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These good fats are essential for healthy hair growth with tensile strength.
5. Carrot oil
A rich source of lycopene, carrots inhibit DHT, naturally, by curbing the effects of 5-alpha, the active content of testosterone that makes DHT. Evidence also states that carrot oil helps hair grow thicker and faster, making it the Top DHT Blocker food. Combining roasted carrots with a protein dish improves the chances of hair re-growth.
6. Soya protein
Soy isoflavones and soybeans can considerably curb DHT production in the scalp. That is why it is the best food for DHT blockers. Isoflavones derived from soya beans are excellent hair growth agents. These organic compounds act like phytoestrogens and reduce DHT accumulation in the hair follicle by pushing out DHT. When there is less DHT in the hair follicles, the nutrients can be absorbed more quickly into the scalp, promoting hair growth.
7. Boiled eggs
A must on any DHT blocker foods list, boiled eggs are beneficial for your hair. The protein avidin present in egg whites binds with biotin, a natural DHT inhibitor. Cysteine, found in eggs, is a vital amino acid good for hair growth. Cooked eggs are better at blocking DHT than raw eggs.
Peanuts contain biotin and L-Lysine, components that are excellent for hair. Both these components are natural DHT inhibitors, apart from being heart-healthy. Peanuts are also rich in molybdenum and folate and are a natural way to reduce DHT, as they help the scalp follicles use minerals such as copper and iron to improve hair growth. Peanuts are the perfect food for healthy hair. However, it’s best to eat the unsalted version.
These seeds contain a good amount of alpha-linolenic acid, effectively blocking the enzymes that generate DHT in the human body. Hair loss is prevented when flaxseeds stop shrinkage of hair follicles due to DHT.
Stress is also a factor that contributes to hair loss. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds help the body cope with stress, thus preventing baldness.
These young soybeans are a great appetiser. Packed with fibre and protein, edamame beans contain plant-based isoflavones that may lower levels of DHT by curtailing the alpha-reductase action.
Studies show that consumption of soy protein may lower the levels of DHT. However, moderation is the key.
11. Pumpkin Seeds
These are rich in zinc, magnesium, iron, and antioxidants. Research shows that pumpkin seed oil supplements, when taken regularly, may improve hair growth significantly.
According to studies, pumpkin seed oil may inhibit DHT production by curbing the alpha-5 reductase enzyme. However, more research is needed before confirming these claims.
This delicious fruit has abundant amounts of lycopene that helps cut down on the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Mangoes also contain a good amount of vitamin C and may heal the damage caused to the scalp. Being a good source of vitamin E, they improve the skin too.
13. Green Tea
Green tea has gained ground as a popular beverage in recent years and is the ideal DHT blocker food. The tea’s natural compounds are preserved as the tea leaves are steamed during production.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the primary chemical found in green tea, has been known to aid weight loss and improve heart health. EGCG also protects hair follicles damaged by DHT. However, studies on the subject are inconclusive.
How to Reduce DHT Naturally?
Lifestyle changes can make a lot of difference where hair loss is concerned. You can reduce your DHT levels by using the following methods.
Stimulation of the Scalp
When applied to the scalp, hair growth ingredients, such as emu oil and pumpkin seed oil, act as stimulating agents. These oils improve hair and stimulate the circulation of blood, encouraging hair growth.
Diet plays a vital role as a natural DHT blocking agent and improves overall health. Phytosterol, found in vegetables, is rich in zinc and is suitable for combating male pattern baldness as it reduces bald areas on the scalp by blocking DHT.
Apart from the foods mentioned above, foods like mushrooms, kale, and spinach, are beneficial. Lycopene is an excellent DHT blocking agent, and foods rich in lycopene are watermelon, mangoes, and carrots.
Foods containing biotins, such as berries, oily fish, legumes, liver, and bananas, are your best bet. These have umpteen health benefits and encourage healthy and robust hair growth.
DHT Blocker Shampoos
These DHT blocker shampoos are an excellent addition to your hair care routine, as they control DHT production. By and large, these shampoos reduce alpha-5 reductase production. Managing the production of this enzyme is vital as it is responsible for converting testosterone to DHT.
[ Read: 10 Best Hair Shampoos for Men ]
These inhibitors prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Dutasteride, finasteride, and topical minoxidil are medications doctors have approved to treat male pattern baldness.
How Does Ayurveda Help to Reduce DHT?
Ayurveda believes that the body needs an effective metabolism in the liver to deactivate DHT and help its excretion through urine. Pitta dosha can affect the body’s metabolism, leading to the increase in DHT in hair follicles.
There are a plethora of ayurvedic herbs that help control DHT levels. Some of these are:
- Kumari or aloe vera
- Black sesame seeds
Does Exercise Help Reduce Levels of DHT?
A change in lifestyle, including exercise, helps reduce levels of DHT considerably. Regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and a stress-free environment reduce levels of DHT naturally.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that excessive weight training can be counterproductive as it increases testosterone levels, increasing DHT levels.
Male pattern baldness can be stressful where most men are concerned. However, changing lifestyle habits, managing hair fall with DHT blockers, and acceptance can go a long way to tackle the issue. Try the Hair Growth Kit | Serum + Derma Roller to stimulate and improve hair growth in no time!
Want products that effectively block DHT production and help reduce hair fall/baldness?
The ForMen Hair Growth Super Kit | Minoxidil + Derma Roller is perfect if you’re looking to start your anti-hair fall journey right away. The product contains minoxidil, which controls hair fall and encourages regrowth of hair.
1) How much lycopene do you need to block DHT?
For DHT-related issues, a minimum of two portions of food products that contain generous amounts of lycopene should be consumed daily. Over time, lycopene production will go down, inducing new hair growth.
2) What is the best natural DHT blocker?
Foods high in lycopene, lysine, and zinc are excellent choices, as they help control DHT effectively. You can consume beetroot, spinach, mangoes, tomatoes, kale, and mushrooms.
3) Will blocking DHT cause harm?
No, it’s perfectly safe. By blocking DHT, you can tackle issues, such as hair loss, male pattern baldness, and promote regrowth of hair. There are no records of side effects after using DHT blockers.
4) Does zinc reduce levels of DHT?
Zinc is a very effective DHT blocker. By acting as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, zinc can effectively block DHT formation, leading to hair loss. It also regulates hormone levels to fight hair loss. Spinach, white mushrooms, kale, and pumpkin seeds are excellent sources of zinc.