While research still does not know why some people are more predisposed to baldness than others, science has identified the hormone DHT as the main culprit of androgenic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia affects both men and women. In men it is called male pattern hair baldness and in women it is called female pattern hair loss.
A male sex hormone, DHT performs a variety of roles in both men and women. However, high levels of DHT can cause hair follicles in the scalp to shrink, which extends the hair’s resting phase while shortening the growth phase. This results in thinning hair and eventually hair loss in both men and women.
Blocking DHT may help to stop or even reverse this process. Many shampoos contain DHT blocking ingredients that can help. Here are five ingredients to look for in a DHT blocker shampoo.
What Ingredients Should a DHT Blocker Shampoo Have?
Ketoconazole has inherent anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, but it may also act as an effective DHT blocker. One study evaluated the effects of a 2% ketoconazole shampoo to an unmedicated shampoo used with or without 2% minoxidil therapy. Results of the study found that the ketoconazole formulation had similar effects as minoxidil on hair density, size, and proportion of anagen hair follicles. Ketoconazole also reduced sebum levels in the scalp. This suggests that ketoconazole may be effective in reducing androgenic alopecia.
While caffeine is better associated with tea and coffee, some evidence supports the idea that it may be effective in reducing hair loss and encouraging hair growth. In one study, 40 men suffering from androgenic alopecia were treated with a 5% caffeine lotion that was massaged into the scalp once a day for four months. Results showed an increase in hair tensile strength and a decrease in hair loss.
Tea Tree Oil and Lavender
Both tea tree oil and lavender both present potential DHT inhibiting properties. In one study, researchers evaluated the effects of minoxidil on its own, a multimodal solution (containing minoxidil, tea tree oil, and diclofenac), and a placebo solution. The multimodal formulation showed significantly superior improvements than the other two solutions based on average hair count, hair weight, and hair thickness.
In a mouse study, mice were separated into four groups that received different topical applications of saline, jojoba oil, 3% peppermint oil, or 3% minoxidil for four weeks. By the end of the study, peppermint oil showed the most statistically significant effects on hair growth with improvements in dermal thickness, hair follicle depth, and hair follicle count, without any signs of toxicity or effects on body weight gain or food efficiency. This suggests that peppermint oil may support a rapid hair growth phase.
Along with these five ingredients, we have detailed several other DHT-inhibiting ingredients on our DHT blockers blog.
When choosing a DHT blocker shampoo, check the label to avoid parabens and sulfates. Sulfates are a detergent that provide a foaming action but may be irritating and drying in the scalp. Sulfates are used as preserving agents, but they have also been shown to potentially interfere with hormones.
Androgenic alopecia is widespread, but with the right DHT-blocking ingredients, you may be able to stop hair loss and support healthy hair growth.
About the AuthorDrFormulas is a physician-founded nutritional supplement brand, creating products that are both effective and safe. DrFormulas has formulated hundreds of products to address the growing needs of health and personal care. It was launched in 2011 and now has a presence across the world at DrFormulas.com. DrFormulas is privately held and headquartered in Huntington Beach, California.