Alopecia Androgenetic Alopecia Dihydrotestosterone: DHT Hormone

Dihydrotestosterone: DHT Hormone

Currently the hormone DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) has been related in a relevant way to baldness.

Baldness is very common in society and affects men more than women. 50% of men in their 40s develop baldness, one in two, and on the other hand, women do not get rid, 30% of them in their 40s suffer some degree of baldness.

For some reason, people often get the idea that baldness occurs from a type of hormone, in the case of men, from testosterone, which is false. The problem of baldness in 95% of men is genetic, it is not hormonal. 

Testosterone and men

In men, testosterone is a hormone with an important role in the development of male reproductive tissues, such as the prostate and testicles. It also participates in the formation of secondary sexual characteristics, such as the increase in muscle and bone mass and the growth of body hair. This is why testosterone becomes essential for the health and well-being of the male body.

What is the Dihydrotestosterone hormone?

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or androstanolone, is an androgen, an active biological metabolite of the hormone testosterone, synthesized mainly in the prostate, testicles, hair follicles and adrenal glands by the enzyme 5α-reductase. This enzyme reduces the double bond of the hormone testosterone. When testosterone reaches the hair, having the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase type 2, it is converted into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), influencing the hair growth process, causing the follicles to die or damage due to inhibition of nutrient absorption. For this reason, the man who has a greater amount of this enzyme within the hair, suffers greater loss and develops alopecia.

Why does the hormone DHT cause alopecia in men?

La androgenic alopecia it is the most frequent cause of hair loss, both in men and women. It is inherited in a polygenic pattern and is produced by the action of androgens. Genetically, a progressive miniaturization of the scalp follicles occurs as a consequence of the action of 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone. Testosterone passes to dihydrotestosterone, by the action of 5-alpha-reductase, so its accumulation inhibits the metabolism of the follicles, stimulating from the terminal hair to the villous, which only occurs on the scalp, such as in the fronto-parietal area or in the vertex.

The process can start anytime after puberty. In the male it begins with a retardation of fronto-parietal growth (giving rise to the so-called entrances). Subsequently, it affects the biparental area and the vertex (waxing on the crown or tonsure), always respecting the lateral zone and the posterior zone of the scalp.

Why does the hormone DHT cause alopecia in women?

Bald women are deficient in an enzyme called aromatase; a baldness protective enzyme. When testosterone reaches the hair, it is converted into estrogens (female hormones). The conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone is regulated by an enzyme, 5-alpha reductase on the scalp. Over time, the action of DHT causes the follicle to degrade and shorten its growth phase. Hair progressively thins until it becomes so fine that it cannot withstand daily styling.

The woman has two possible ages of hair loss, from 20 years or up to 50 years. Hair loss for a period greater than three months, with thinning hair, is an early symptom that it may be developing baldness in women

¿How to stop the hormone Dihydrotestosterone?

To control the appearance of the hormone DHT in the hair, you should not remove testosterone as such, what you have to do is block the enzyme that is derived from it. The blocking of the enzyme is achieved by means of appropriate medications, adapted to the characteristics of the patient, avoiding the passage of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in order to stop baldness in its progression and recover between 20 and 30% of hair. Medications are applied orally, injected, or applied directly. There are several products that help this, although the active substance approved by FDA and COFEPRIS is Finasteride or Dutasteride.

Most hair prevention and treatment products are on the market, but research is needed to select the most effective options for each patient.

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Dr. Enrique Orozco
Dr. Enrique Orozco
General Director, Specialist in Trichology and Hair Transplantation Certified by ABHRS. Only ABHRS Certified with residence in Mexico.


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Dr. Enrique Orozco
General Director, Specialist in Trichology and Hair Transplantation Certified by ABHRS. Only ABHRS Certified with residence in Mexico.




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