Hair loss can affect both men and women. There can be many causes behind hair loss, but one of the main causes is the androgen hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is derived from testosterone.
Hair is made from a protein called keratin, which is produced in the hair follicles. As follicles produce new hair cells, old cells are pushed out through the surface of the skin. The hair you see is actually a string of dead keratin cells.
What causes hair loss?
There can be several factors behind hair loss such as:
- Drugs (such as chemotherapy)
- Hormonal imbalance
- Scalp infections
- Too much stress
- Medical conditions like thyroid disease
- Iron deficiency
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, is the enemy of hair follicles on your head. In fact, DHT is one of the most common factors that attribute to hair loss and androgenic alopecia (called male or female pattern baldness).
DHT is produced from testosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Approximately 5% of free testosterone is normally converted into DHT. DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink, have a shorter lifespan and furthermore, decreases the production of hair.
9 treatments for hair loss
Hair loss products typically focus on the following herbs and nutrients that stop the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
The initial results of the undergoing research have shown that saw palmetto extract have several antiandrogenic effects. It has been shown to be very effective at reducing the activity of 5-alfa reductase and prevents the conversion of testosterone into DHT.
Experts suggest that a daily dose of 160 mg of saw palmetto extract can provide significant hair regrow in three to six months. Also, make sure do not take saw palmetto with other medications and is not recommended for children.
Nettle root has a potent antiandrogenic property and enhances hair growth. The root (and the leaves) contains a chemical known as beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol blocks the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT that prevents hair loss in men and women.
Pumpkin seed has a potent antiandrogenic property and enhances hair growth. The seeds contain natural chemicals that suppress the activity of DHT and its 5-alpha reductase activity. Performed clinical studies showed that patients who used pumpkin seed oil in their diet showed around 40% hair regrow over a period of 24 weeks.
Pumpkin seeds contain a compound known as beta-sitosterol, which blocks the enzyme 5-alpha reductase and prevents testosterone turning into DTH. Plus, pumpkin seeds are a rich source of delta-7 sterine, which protects the cells from the damaging effects of DHT.
Recently experiments showed that persons that take healthy dose green tea extract in their regular diet showed signs of hair regrow. In other studies have been confirmed that hair growth appeared as a result of the polyphenols fond in green tea.
Green tea is one of the best natural remedies that block the activity of DHT. White tea is also a greater source of polyphenols. Polyphenols found in green and white tea also block the activity of prostaglandin D2 (and F2 alpha-prostaglandin), which contribute to hair loss.
Fallopia Multiflora (Fo-Ti)
Fallopia multiflora or fo-ti is a herb native to China. It is an ancient remedy that has been used to treat baldness and hair loss. Healthy doses of fo-ti have a reversing effect on gray hair and make hair follicles thicker.
Fish oil has numerous health benefits. Its high content of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the excess build up of DHT. Poor diet and low intake of essential fatty acids like omega-3 is considered to be one of the reasons of excess build up of DHT.
Omega-3 also balances the hormones in the body, thus regulates the activity of 5-alpha reductase enzymes. Fish oil also improves the metabolism and boost the immunity, which strengthens hair follicles and makes them more resistant to infections.
Tomatoes, watermelon, carrots, and mangoes
These contain lycopene which inhibits DHT naturally by inhibiting 5 alpha reductase, from converting testosterone into its most active form, DHT.
Consider adding more nuts like almonds, peanuts, and walnuts to your diet to help prevent hair loss. Not only do they contain omega 3 fatty acids that can help condition your hair, but they also are a great source of zinc, which can help prevent hair from shedding.
Dark green vegetables
Spinach, broccoli and other dark green vegetables are also great sources for vitamin A and C. Like many other foods on this list, these vegetables help produce the natural hair conditioner known as sebum.