Using DHT shampoo (also known as a DHT blocking shampoo) is a popular hair loss solution. There are hundreds of different DHT shampoos and products on the shelves, and they all claim to be able to reverse hair loss or improve growth while making your hair healthy. The question is, do these DHT blocking shampoos work?
What is DHT?
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone responsible for many types of hair loss, including some cases of male- or female-pattern baldness. DHT is created by an enzyme in the body that changes testosterone into a byproduct.
Hair loss can occur when DHT receptors bind to androgen receptors associated with the follicle. This binding causes miniaturization, which is when the follicles shrink until they stop producing hair. People can be more genetically susceptible to DHT miniaturization and may consequently experience male- and female-pattern baldness.
In women, DHT can cause hair loss when testosterone is converted to DHT, which attaches to thehairfollicles to stimulate miniaturization.
Does DHT Shampoo Actually Work?
As with many hair growth and hair loss products, the answer depends. Some things work for some people and not for others. That being said, DHT blocking shampoos could be effective for you. DHT is considered by many to be the root cause of genetic hair loss, so blocking DHT may result in reducedhair loss and a higher likelihood of future growth.
For a DHT shampoo to be effective, the hair loss has to be caused by DHT. This may be due to genetic hair loss, such as male- or female-pattern baldness. Other genetic predispositions to increased DHT levels or production can cause hair loss or thinning —and a DHT blocking shampoos may help. Some others might have a DHT sensitivity. This results in hair loss as well, and those with a DHT sensitivity can benefit from blocking the hormone. In some cases, shampoos formulated with DHT blockers have helped hair loss from alopecia and a few other conditions.
An important thing to remember about DHT-related hair loss is that blocking DHT won’t reverse hair loss that has already occurred. Once the follicles have miniaturized, they won’t be able to grow more hair, as the skin that used to produce hair is replaced by skin which no longer can. But blocking DHT is effective in slowing or stopping future hair loss or thinning. When DHT can’t attach to the hair follicles, then the follicles will continue to produce hair. DHT shampoos will be most effective when used as early into the hair loss process as possible.
If your hair loss is caused by high levels of DHT, then a DHT blocker could be effective to prevent future loss. By blocking the DHT from attaching to the follicles, your hair may be able to continue to grow. But not all DHT shampoos are created equal. To have a DHT shampoo actually work, it needs to be a shampoo with effective ingredients.
IngredientsTo Look For In ADHT Shampoo
There seems to be no end to the amount of DHT shampoos available, and not all of them are effective. A typical DHT shampoo will include a wide variety of ingredients that may or may not actually block DHT. That being said, there are some ingredients that may help make a DHT shampoo effective.
- Ketoconazole. Though ketoconazole is normally used as an anti-fungal medication, it has been shown to disrupt the DHT pathways and prevent DHT from attaching to hair follicles.
- Biotin. This B vitamin doesn’t block DHT, but biotin is an important ingredient in hair growth. DHT blocking shampoos that include biotinmay help promote overall hair growth in areas already affected by loss and thinning.
- Pumpkin seed oil. This natural oilblocks enzymes from producing DHT from testosterone, which can lower DHT levels and reduce hair loss. Onestudyfound that pumpkin seed oil has been known to increase the overall hair count on the scalp.
- Rosemary oil. This zingy oil can increase hair growth by improving the scalp’s circulation, which can also treat an itchy scalp.
DHT ShampooIngredientsTo Avoid
Certain ingredients are not recommended in a DHT blocking shampoo. Try to avoid the three ingredients below:
- Parabens. Make sure the shampoo is marked as paraben-free or doesn’t have it on the ingredient label. Parabens contain synthetic estrogens that can actually cause morehairloss. So read ingredientslabels completely to make sure this preservative isn’t in your hair products.
- Sulfates. Shampoos with sulfates can dehydrate thescalpand remove thenaturaloilsthat help keephairhealthy. Sulfates are also known skin irritants. Make sure there are no sulfates in your shampoo to keep yourscalphealthy.
- Syntheticchemicals. While not all chemicals are going to harm yourscalpandhair, some synthetic chemicals can makehairlossworse. Try to find shampoos with naturalingredients.
How To Choose ADHT Shampoo
Thehairproductaisle at your local pharmacy or beauty store might have dozens ofDHT shampooproductsto choose from. So which one is the best? It’s hard to determine a clear winner, but here are some tips to help you choose an effective shampoo.
- Always read theingredientslabel. Check to see if the shampoo contains ketoconazole, biotin, pumpkin seedoil, or rosemaryoilas an active ingredient. If the label doesn’t list whichingredientsare active, make sure the crucialingredientsare high on the list because that indicates a higher concentration.
- Read the claims on the bottle. Most shampoos will make some type of claim about how much it will help yourhair. But if the claims are along the lines of “restoring yourhaircompletely in only a few weeks” or “preventing allhairloss,” it probably isn’t true. To verify these ambitious claims, check for studies and see what the research says.
- Don’t chooseproductsbased on the cost. Some people assume that expensive shampoos must be more effective. Why else would it cost so much? Sadly, this isn’t necessarily true. While some extremely effective shampoos are more expensive, not all expensive shampoos are effective. So don’t just buy the most expensive shampoo.
- Try it. The only way to truly know if a shampoo will work for you is to try it out. MostDHT shampoosare affordable already, but many brands offer a money-back guarantee if you’re not seeing results within 90 days (though some specialists recommend use for six months to see results). So consider trying the shampoo for three months to six months to see if a product will work for your uniquehairandscalp.
A rule of thumb for choosing aDHT blocking shampoois if it doesn’t have aDHT blockerin it, it probably won’t be effective. But if yourhairlossis caused by genetics and the shampoo has the rightingredients, then it could provide effective support forhairloss.
The nice thing aboutDHT blocking shampoosis that they can be used just like regular shampoo and still be effective. Below, some additional tips on how to successfully use aDHT shampoo:
- Shampoo generally has a short amount of contact with thescalp, which can reduce its effectiveness. Try leaving the shampoo in for a few minutes before rinsing.
- Consider using the shampoo twice a day, unless the label indicates you shouldn’t. But if the label doesn’t, consider using it twice to allow more contact between the shampoo and thescalp.
- Don’t use it more than twice a day. Using the shampoo twice a day can be beneficial, but using it more than that can actually be counterproductive. Sometimes less is more.
When used correctly,DHT blocking shampooscan help reduce levels of DHT attaching tohairfollicles. This can prevent futurehairlossand promote more potential forgrowth.
Doubling Up On DHT Blockers
While the rightDHT shampooscan be effective on their own, there are ways to increase the effectiveness. The main way is to take aDHT blockersupplement in addition to using aDHT shampoo. The dietary supplement can block and lower DHT to promotehairgrowth. Though the supplements are calledDHT blockers, they don’t actually block DHT. Theingredientsblock the enzyme that produces DHT; blocking that enzyme, in turn, reduces DHT levels. Together,DHT blockersand shampoos can often result in even better results andhealthyhairfollicles.
Just as withDHT shampoo,DHT blockersupplementsmay be effective for those who are suffering from genetichairloss.