According to data collected by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, hair loss affects 35 million men in the United States alone. Ninety-five percent of these men are suffering from a condition known as male pattern baldness, or DHT hair loss. The organization also estimates that around 21 million women are currently experiencing some degree of hair loss. While much fewer women suffer from male pattern baldness, this is a condition that can affect anyone.

Why DHT Hair Loss Strikes

Most scientists and experts are in agreement that DHT hair loss occurs due to a genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestoterone, or DHT. Dihydrotestoterone is a testosterone metabolite produced when testosterone comes into contact with an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase. In many men, a significant portion of their testosterone is converted into DHT. Women with high testosterone levels sometimes also experience this.

The problem with DHT is that it treats the hair follicles as foreign bodies. When this hormone is produced in the scalp, it latches onto the hair follicles and prevents them from absorbing vital nutrients. As the follicles starve, they begin shrinking and producing finer, shorter hair. DHT also alters the follicles’ growth cycles. The hormone lengthens the follicles’ resting phase and shortens their growth phase, which gives the hair less time to grow.

DHT hair loss occurs in a very specific pattern. Men typically begin balding from their temples and front hairline. As the hairline recedes, the hair will also begin to thin at the crown. Eventually, most men lose most or all of their hair from the crown and hairline, causing the remaining hair to form a horseshoe shape around the head. In some men, this takes decades. Others will experience this degree of hair loss within a few years.

What Sufferers Can Do to Stop DHT Hair Loss in Its Tracks

For many men, hair loss is a source of anxiety, discomfort and embarrassment. Fortunately, there are ways to drastically slow male pattern baldness and even revitalize lost hair. Some men decide to undergo hair restoration surgery, while others opt for medicated and natural treatments.

To treat DHT hair loss without surgery, sufferers must address the source of their problem. For people who suffer from male pattern baldness, the problem is the formation and action of DHT. To stop hair loss, sufferers must inhibit the production of 5-alpha reductase, stop 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone or block DHT from attaching to the follicles.

Topical ointments and sprays that provide nutrients and increase blood flow to the scalp are also beneficial. Increasing circulation to the follicles stimulates growth, and providing additional nutrients improves the health of the scalp. Still, without protection against DHT, additional nutrients will not do much good. For the ultimate defense against DHT hair loss, sufferers must choose a product that acts as a DHT inhibitor, stimulates circulation and provides the nourishment the follicles need to begin producing healthier hair.

Author's Bio: 

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