DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a metabolite of testosterone that's vital for male bodily functions, but is best known as the culprit behind male pattern baldness. DHT prevents nutrition from reaching hair follicles, which stops hair from growing. It also shrinks the follicles, making them unusable for further hair growth. There are several natural remedies that claim to reduce DHT production that are perfect for those who want to shun chemicals and avoid harsh side effects. However, keep in mind that none of these remedies have been scientifically proven to work beyond a shadow of a doubt,
Saw palmetto may be the best known natural remedy for blocking DHT. The supplement, which is actually the fruit of the saw palmetto tree, is rich in fatty acids and can be taken in capsule form as a dried berry, liquid supplement or tea.
A study done in Oregon attempted to prove that saw palmetto inhibits DHT production. Researchers gave mice 300 mg of saw palmetto extract every day for three or six months. At the end of the study, the amount of DHT in the prostate tissue of the mice was reduced.
In the wild, touching a nettle will result in a painful stinging sensation, but the South American plant may also inhibit DHT and encourage healthy hair growth. Research has documented its anti-inflammatory properties, and nettles have been used in folk medicine for decades.
There haven't been any conclusive studies on nettles and hair loss, but nettle is often combined with saw palmetto in supplements and hair loss treatments, and research shows that it may help to prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT.
If nothing else, pumpkin seeds are extremely high in zinc, which is vital for great hair. But their oil is also used as a natural DHT inhibitor.
A 1992 study had patients take pumpkin seed sterols three to four days before prostate surgery. Just like the mice, their prostate tissue contained significantly less DHT than the control group. Studies like these are encouraging for those looking for a natural solution to their DHT-caused hair loss.