Did you know that there are over 40 million women in the United States and over 60 million men in the United States suffering from hair loss issues? Finding the cause easily cures some of these issues. For example, if you are losing your hair because of stress, removing the source of your stress will stop the hair loss. Or if your hair loss is caused by a poor diet, improving your diet will stop the loss of hair.
But in most cases, hair loss in men and women is not that easy and will require a more dedicated effort to stop the loss of hair and re-grow that you have lost. Most men and women lose their hair from what is called male pattern baldness (MPB) and female pattern baldness (FPB).
MPB and FPB are both caused by the same hormone, DHT (dihydrotestosterone). So the key to stopping hair loss is stopping DHT or it’s production. But how do you do that?
In order to understand how to stop DHT, we need to understand how it is produced. In both men and women it is produced by the male hormone testosterone combining with the enzyme, 5 alpha reductase. So there are three things you can attack to stop hair loss:
the enzyme 5 alpha reductase.
The first thing we need to clear up for you women reading this, is where do women get testosterone from? Well women do produce some small quantities of testosterone, but not at the same level as males. Also their testosterone is kept in check by the female hormone estrogen. When the estrogen level is reduced, such as when a woman has thyroid problems or goes through menopause, this allows DHT to be produced.
Now that we know how it is produced is there anything out there that can control it? The answer is yes! The Federal Drug Administration has approved two drugs to combat DHT.
Minoxidil is approved for both men and women to control their hair loss. It is believed to work by improving the blood flow to the hair follicles, thereby preventing DHT from blocking nutrients to the hair follicle.
Propecia is approved for men. Women should not use this since it has been found to cause birth defects in babies. Initially it was used to help men with an enlarged prostrate, which is also caused by DHT. Since it controlled DHT for an enlarged prostrate, it also controls DHT that causes hair loss.