According to the American Academy of Dermatology, two out of three men in the United States experience some degree of hair loss, about 25 percent by the age of 30. If you're one of them, you can blame the loss of your locks on two things--a decline in testosterone levels and the conversion of available testosterone to DHT. Fortunately, hair loss with DHT can be treated with a home remedy rather than resorting to chemicals.
Untangle the Hair Loss Mystery
Meet your No. 1 one enemy. You might be tempted to blame your hair loss on dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, and leave it at that. After all, that's the substance that instructs hair follicles to take a break from sprouting--for good. However, you should know that the real culprit is 5-alpha-reductase (5 ar) type II, the enzyme released by hair follicles when testosterone levels begin to fall off. Without this enzyme, the conversion of testosterone to DHT would not take place, and your hair would stay put.
Make sure that there are no other reasons for your hair loss beyond age-related decline of male hormones. An overactive thyroid, a buildup of toxic metals and even some medications can precipitate hair loss. If you suspect that an underlying medical condition might be a possibility in your case, consult with your health care provider for a go-ahead before using any home remedy for hair loss with DHT.
Take the Natural Approach to Hair Loss
Concentrate on a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are high in bioflavonoids and antioxidants. Another good reason to adhere to a plant-based diet is to increase your intake of amino acids, such as L-lysine and L-arginine, and gamma linolenic acid (GLA).
While all of these nutrients are key to healthy skin and hair, GLA, an omega-6 essential fatty acid, appears to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase type II. In fact, researchers at the University of Chicago discovered that GLA exhibits this activity in vivo and in vitro, meaning inside the body as well as when introduced into a test tube. One excellent source of GLA is borage seed oil.
Supplement with saw palmetto extract. The berries of saw palmetto contain beta sitosterol, which acts as an anti-androgen by binding to 5-alpha-reductase and deterring the conversion of testosterone to DHT. The March 12, 2006 "Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine" presented the findings of the first placebo-controlled, double-blind study to support the use of saw palmetto and beta sitosterol to effectively treat hair loss with DHT. The study, which involved men between the ages of 23 and 64, reported that 60 percent of the treatment group showed improvement at the end of the study period.
Note: Check with your doctor before taking saw palmetto if you are currently taking warfarin or other blood thinners, due to an increased risk of bleeding.