Though testosterone (T) is the main sexual and reproductive hormone in a man’s body, women’s systems also contain a small concentration of T. The chemical performs many key functions and, in men, is responsible for sexual and physical maturity. Exceedingly elevated or diminished quantities have been linked to hair loss.
Researchers suggest that testosterone alone may not be the main problem, and this issue warrants further discussion.
What forms of testosterone affect hair?
Scientists have discovered that excessive testosterone levels may precipitate hair loss resulting from several other hormones the chemical plays a part in producing such as:
This differentiation of the crucial reproductive hormone does not bind to any systemic proteins. Rather, the substance connects with structures known as testosterone receptors and is used by various bodily cells to execute key functions.
DHT is composed of an important enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase and another hormone called DHEA. DHEA is found inside bodily regions, such as the skin, prostate, and hair.
As DHEA circulates through the bloodstream, the substance binds to systemic components called hair follicles resulting in said structures shrinking in size. These smaller follicles cause hair to thin and eventually fall out.
Additionally, testosterone and DHT contribute to what medical professionals label secondary sexual characteristics in men, including testicular formation and growth of bodily hair, semen production, and vocal deepening.
Low or high testosterone causes hair loss?
It is generally believed that high testosterone causes hair loss, but the link between T and alopecia is not that straightforward.
Specifically, follicles are small openings called pores located under the skin containing pieces of hair called strands. Hair strands develop over a two-five year period after which they reach what scientists called a resting phase and fall out.
Excessive quantities of systemic hormones often lead to increased bodily production of DHT. This substance binds to bodily proteins. As a result, hair follicles grow smaller and the afflicted subject stands at an increased risk of losing their hair. Additionally, such events could delay the production and eventual growth of new strands.
Low T levels are also connected to hair loss. It is important to note that men with diminished testosterone concentrations often have average or elevated DHT levels. In fact, studies have concluded that men experiencing male pattern baldness are found to have less testosterone and more DHT.
Moreover, in some cases, people with even concentrations of testosterone and DHT witness hair loss. In such cases, the scientific community typically attributes occurrence to an underlying genetic flaw rendering their follicles more susceptible to DHT influence.
Difference between male and female pattern baldness
Male pattern baldness typically follows a specific pattern of stages. The condition begins with hair loss in the temple region of one’s head and gradually progresses to complete baldness.
Though not discussed as often as its male counterpart, female pattern baldness does indeed exist. Like the male presentation, the female malady also operates in phases. Usually, hair thinning starts at the hair’s party-line and works its way to other portions of the head and scalp. That said, the problem does not always equate to complete baldness.
Individuals experiencing female pattern baldness typically have some type of underlying reproductive system issue, a hormonal disorder, or have passed menopause.
How to treat testosterone-related baldness
Fortunately, there’re options to slow down hair loss or even transplant hair to address this aesthetically unpleasant problem. Such preparations are separated into two categories, blockers and inhibitors.
Blockers prevent DHT from binding to 5-alpha reductase. Inhibiting substances reduce systemic DHT production. Commonly used medications:
- Finasteride. This blocker substance is an oral medication commonly prescribed to treat baldness in men. Research studies have shown that the drug carries with it an almost 90 percent success rate in fostering hair regrowth.
- Minoxidil. Also labeled a blocking agent, Minoxidil was initially used to remediate high blood pressure. That said, recipients eventually noticed significant hair growth as a side effect. The drug works by expanding blood vessels to foster increased circulation. When applied to skin, the medication is known to increase blood flow to hair follicles, which could lead to hair regrowth.
- Biotin. Vitamin B derivative transforms the nutrients contained in foods into the energy needed to carry out practically every critical function. This process is said to not only prevent hair loss but stimulate regrowth. B vitamins play a critical role in hair and scalp health and maintenance by increase blood flow to hair follicles.
- Pumpkin seed oil. This unconventional DHT-blocking substance has been found to prevent hair thinning and loss.