A common cause of male pattern baldness is DHT, or dihydrotestosterone. DHT is a metabolite of the male hormone testosterone. One of its effects is that it reduces blood flow to hair follicles on the head and therefore starves them of the nutrition they need to grow hair; this can lead to hair loss.
There are DHT blockers on the market that can help restore hair growth, but it should be noted that most of these are largely unproven. There are several that are topical DHT blockers, like Rogaine or Propecia, that can block DHT formation in hair follicles, thus helping restore blood flow to the follicles, nourishing them, and encouraging hair regrowth.
Using topical DHT blockers to restore hair growth
These topical DHT blockers can and do restore hair growth, but the caveat is that they must be applied regularly and consistently to maintain hair growth. It should be noted that at present, this is the only treatment approved by the medical establishment for male pattern baldness.
It should also be stressed that not all DHT blockers work for everyone. Additionally, if the balding is not recent and hair follicles have been dormant and starved of blood flow for a long time, hair may not regrow. It may simply be too late at this point to regrow hair.
Are there herbal supplements that can help block DHT and thus restore her growth?
There are people who swear by herbs like saw palmetto to lower DHT in the system and therefore lower its effects on the hair follicles, too. Incidentally, saw palmetto is also used in the treatment of benign prostatic disease, or BPD, which is a benign enlargement of the prostate.
Another natural supplement you can try is something called beta sitosterol. Beta sitosterol, interestingly, is a plant compound that has chemical structures similar to that of cholesterol, yet it has been used in Europe for years for prostate problems. Because DHT literally blocks off hair follicles and chokes in the blood supply to them, beta sitosterol may be helpful in removing the DHT from hair follicle sites and letting blood flow once again. This, in turn, can restore hair growth.
Vitamins or minerals that can support hair growth
Although no specific vitamins or minerals are touted to be beneficial at specifically blocking DHT, it’s been said that the mineral zinc can help restore hair growth in certain cases of male pattern baldness. In addition, the B vitamins are also found to be important to hair growth in general, especially vitamin B5, panthenol. Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids (such as those found in fish or fish oils), and vitamin A are also important for good hair growth. Simply taking a good-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement to fill in nutritional gaps may help ease hair loss that may not be specific to just DHT. It may also help keep your hair and scalp healthy so that you hang on to what you have.
The bottom line on hair growth?
The bottom line at least at present is that the only approved DHT blockers that can help restore hair growth for male pattern baldness (and incidentally, for women too) are those that can be applied topically and contain minoxidil.
Of course, there are also surgical fixes to hair growth; these include transplanting active hair follicles from the back of the head to the crown of the head for most men. Other methods of hair growth that focus on restoring blood full to hair follicles are also being worked on, such as laser technology, although these other methods are as yet unproven.