The conversion of testosterone to DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is one of the main causes of hair loss. Although oestrogen counters this conversion, the onset of menopause decreases this protection in women. Fortunately, the process can be slowed or reversed with natural DHT blockers.
As hormone levels begin to decline in women, available circulating testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone, which signals hair follicles to enter a permanent state of rest. Since this conversion cannot take place without the release of enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR) Type II from hair follicles, blocking this enzyme is the primary goal.
British researchers at the University of Portsmouth confirm that L-lysine plays a significant role in deterring female hair loss. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology reports that gamma-linolenic acid also appears to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase.
Green tea extract contains epicatechin-3-gallate and epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which have demonstrated the ability to prevent 5-AR release. These agents also inhibit the 5-alpha-reductase type I, the enzyme needed to synthesise DHT from testosterone.
Saw palmetto extract contains sterols that inhibit follicle uptake of dihydrotestosterone.
This plant sterol has been shown to be effective in blocking 5-AR release, particularly when combined with saw palmetto extracts.