Why DHT is Important to Fighting Hair Loss

Hair Loss And DHT

Most people assume that hair loss in men is caused by excessively high testosterone levels. However, this is scientifically incorrect. Research has conclusively shown that balding and non-balding men do not, on average, have substantially different testosterone levels. Bald men being more “virile’ than the full haired (Norwood 1 level) man is a myth!

Instead, male pattern hair loss (aka androgenetic alopecia — AGA) is caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of testosterone. Men who suffer from AGA have hair follicles that are susceptible to the ravaging effects of DHT. The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase converts free testosterone into DHT, which then causes scalp hair loss in those who are genetically susceptible.

5-alpha-reductase levels are highest in the scalp and prostate gland. So it is not surprising that medications, such as finasteride and dutasteride can treat both enlarged prostates and male pattern baldness. These are two conditions that would not seem to be related upon first glance.

Localized vs. Systemic DHT Reduction

For a long time, people have asked me about DHT-blocking or DHT-reducing shampoos, creams or lotions. Such topical products are theoretically less likely to cause too much systemic absorption, especially if delivery vehicles are designed correctly. In contrast, oral drugs such as finasteride and dutasteride, reduce DHT levels systematically. This whole body depletion of an important hormone can cause significant side effects in some people.

Unfortunately, there are currently hardly any topical products on the market that can reduce scalp DHT levels substantially. For many years, people have been hoping for a reputable company to release topical finasteride, but this has not happened as of 2019. The manufacturers of original brand name finasteride (Propecia) and dutasteride (Avodart) are not planning to develop any topical versions of their bestsellers.

Even if some company ends up developing a topical version of such drugs, there are no guarantees on the extent of systemic absorption. One would have to go through studies and clinical trials in detail before making any conclusions when it comes to such concerns.

Enter La Mesa Medical Hair Restoration

Several years ago, I was made aware of a couple of unique hair loss shampoo products made by a newer company named “La Mesa Medical Hair Restoration”. The main mechanism of action of the shampoos it formulated entailed reducing scalp DHT levels. Or at least somehow reducing the hormone’s adverse impact upon hair growth.

Upon further examination of their product line, I became quite impressed with the ingredients in their formulas, specifically, its “Professional Strength Hair Restore Shampoo” product.

Shortly thereafter, I added that shampoo to our site’s top 10 best hair loss shampoos . It is not just our site that believes that this shampoo is among the most effective for men struggling with hair loss.  Over the past two years, we have observed numerous other prominent sites likewise declare it among the “best of the best”.

Key Ingredients In The Professional Strength Shampoo

While this DHT-tackling shampoo has a large list of important and beneficial ingredients, a few truly stand out:

  • Ketoconazole — This ingredient has ample scientific evidence backing to prove its benefits towards hair growth. Besides reducing androgens on the scalp, Ketoconazole significantly improves dandruff symptoms such as flaking and scalp itching. Here is a link to one study showing Ketoconazole to be as effective as Minoxidil in growing hair: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9669136
  • Saw Palmetto — Most people who have ever conducted substantial research on finasteride prior to starting the drug first tend to look into natural alternatives. Saw palmetto is the most popular natural product that reduces DHT. It is obtained as an extract from the berries of the palm tree bearing the same name. There are many research studies that show saw palmetto extract to significantly reduce DHT levels.
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil — This popular oil has been shown to modestly block the hair-destroying effects of 5-alpha reductase. In effect, this antiandrogenic effect leads to healthier hair growth and reduced shedding. Moreover, pumpkin seed oil contains beta-sitosterol, a very popular natural ingredient to counter hair loss. A lot of experimenters use saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol combination treatment for hair loss, via supplement intake.
  • Others — A host of other ingredients in this shampoo aid hair growth via less well known mechanisms. This includes via stimulation (caffeine); antioxidants (green tea and extract and black seed oil); improved circulation (pygeum africanum bark extract and cayenne fruit extract); and protein synthesis (biotin).