Understanding the factors that drive male pattern baldness is a good first step; knowing how to promote healthy hair growthcomes next. We often think it happens to grandparents, but male pattern baldness happens to young men too. Also called androgenic alopecia, this type of hair thinning can actually happen in both men and women. In men, the hair loss pattern typical of balding starts at the temples creating a receding hair line and thinning on the crown of the head. Women typically experience hair loss in the center of their hair part. Both men and women who experience pattern baldness often have testosterone imbalances (yes women have testosterone too). When we think of testosterone we often think of building muscle and supporting energy. Testosterone levels also affect this type of hair thinning, and here’s how. Testosterone gets converted into another more potent form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It’s the DHT that contributes to baldness, as it can shorten the lifespan of the hair follicle. A hair follicle exposed to lots of DHT, gets its lifespan shortened causing the hair to fall out sooner. Some people with pattern baldness also have a genetic sensitivity to DHT, so they are even more prone to the effects of this hormone. How does your body make DHT and what can you do to influence it? Your body uses an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase to convert testosterone into the potent DHT. This enzyme directs the hormone traffic like a switch on a railway track, moving testosterone over to the DHT track where it can build up and become excessively high contributing to male pattern baldness.
Healthy Hormone BalanceInterestingly, there are a number of natural products that can inhibit this enzyme; helping to keep more testosterone on its track, and reduce excessive DHT. This won’t change a genetic sensitivity to the DHT, but it can reduce its build-up which can benefit male pattern baldness.
- Serenoa repens (saw palmetto) – very well known for helping balance male hormones
- Pumpkin seed oil – also a rich source of antioxidants
- Zinc – use a well absorbed from such as Zinc glycinate