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DHT Blocking Shampoos: Can They Help With Male Pattern Hair Loss?

Can DHT blocking shampoos really help with hair loss? Learn more about the science behind DHT blocking shampoos.

Read on

It is no longer a secret that the main contributor to male pattern hair loss is DHT. DHT is a hormone that is formed enzymatically from Testosterone, which can bind to hair follicles. Eventually, in those that are particularly genetically susceptible to DHT’s effects, DHT can shrink these hair follicles and may cause them to produce thinner and shorter strands, potentially stopping growth altogether with time.

Anyone who learns about these negative hair effects from DHT may want to make sure that anything that comes into contact with their scalp contains ingredients that combat DHT. This sounds great in theory, but are DHT blocking shampoos really the way to go?

Below we will cover the basics of DHT shampoos to help you make an informed decision when you are choosing which hair care products to purchase. We will help answer what a DHT blocking shampoo may be doing, who may be the best candidate for DHT blocking shampoos, which ingredients may give you the best results, how to use DHT blocking shampoos, and our overall take on the products.

What is a DHT blocking shampoo supposed to do?

A DHT blocking shampoo is meant to do just what it says -- block (or at least reduce) DHT in the scalp. 

If DHT is kept lower in the scalp, there is less circulating to attach to DHT-sensitive hair follicles. This is supposed to help reduce shrinkage of hair follicles, and less hormonally-related hair loss, theoretically.

The main goal of DHT blocking products and medications is to help reduce DHT hair follicle damage to help preserve your current hair.

What kinds of hair loss may respond to a DHT blocking shampoo?

Since DHT-blocking is strictly related to hair loss that occurs from DHT, as in hormonally-driven hair loss and your genetic susceptibility to DHT -- it is genetic and hormonal hair loss which stands to benefit the most from this approach.

The most common kind of hair loss is male pattern hair loss, which is considered genetic and hormonally driven by DHT.

But, if you are experiencing other types of hair loss, like stress-mediated telogen effluvium, autoimmune-related alopecia areata, or tension alopecia from tight hairstyles, focusing on DHT is unlikely to give you the results you are looking for, since that is not the main component of these types of hair loss.

The best candidates for DHT blocking shampoos are males experiencing male pattern hair loss. Also, DHT blockers are not indicated for use in women or children.

What ingredients should you look for in a DHT blocking shampoo?

Hair products can be tricky, and just because they are advertising DHT blocking, they may not have good potential DHT blocking ingredients in the formula.

Certain natural ingredients found in these shampoos do have some evidence behind a DHT blocking or reducing effect.

Take a look at the back of any DHT blocking shampoo and look for the following ingredients:

  • Ketoconazole
  • Saw palmetto
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Rosemary oil

Although more studies need to be done on some of these to confirm the DHT blocking potential and extent as compared to prescription DHT blockers like Finasteride, there may be some DHT blocking benefits here.

Other ingredients in some hair loss shampoos may include vitamins, minerals, and ingredients to boost the overall health and appearance of the hair. While these are not bad, they are likely not functioning as DHT blockers in the shampoo.

How should you use a DHT blocking shampoo?

Use a DHT blocking shampoo just like you would other shampoos -- focusing the application on the scalp and massaging gently. Also, be sure to read the direction on your specific product, as they can vary.

You will want to focus the product on the scalp since this is where any DHT blocking is happening.

Depending on how you normally wash your hair, you may usually only leave the shampoo on the scalp for a handful of seconds before rinsing. But, if you want to try and maximize any potential hair benefits from the shampoo, you may want to try leaving the shampoo on the scalp for a few minutes before rinsing.

After shampooing, you will want to follow with a conditioner, and then rinse, dry, and style as usual.

DHT blocking shampoos: bottom line

DHT blocking shampoos may have a slight effect on how DHT is affecting your hair follicles, although it is unlikely that a product that only stays in contact with your scalp for a few minutes will have as strong of an effect as a prescription DHT blocker like Finasteride. 

We need more solid studies on the effectiveness and comparison of DHT blocking shampoos before we can definitely confirm how well they may work for hair preservation.

DHT blocking efforts are much more likely to help people who know that their hair loss is likely DHT related, like men with male pattern hair loss. If your hair loss is related to stress, nutritional deficiencies, too much tension on the hair, or autoimmune conditions, you may be targeting the wrong thing.

If you want to try out a DHT blocking shampoo, it may fit in as a good addition to a hair care routine in conjunction with other efforts.

Read through the product label and try to identify ingredients that may function as DHT blockers, like ketoconazole.

When using DHT blocking shampoos, focus the application on the scalp, and try to leave it on the scalp for at least a few minutes before rinsing off.

Anything that is effectively blocking or reducing DHT to help you preserve your hair is normally considered a long-term treatment, because usually when the product or medication is stopped, any hair which was maintained is likely to return to its pretreatment state

Strut Health prescription hair loss medications online

Here at Strut Health, we try to make getting prescription hair loss medications easier. We offer topical and oral hair loss medications for men containing a range of DHT blocking and growth-promoting active ingredients like Finasteride, Dutasteride, Minoxidil, Tretinoin, and Biotin.

You can have a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors to see if a prescription option is a good addition to your hair loss regimen.

If you are a good fit for treatment, your medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping. If you have any questions or concerns during your treatment, our staff and doctors are available for free unlimited follow-ups.

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