I’ve been there. I know how terrified and desperate you are to save your hair. I’ve shared your stress and your tears.
I can tell you there was a time when I popped every pill, herb, tea, or tonic I could find into my mouth as long as there was the slightest hint it could save my hair.
Thankfully, I’m no longer at that point in my life, but chances are you’re there now or may be one day soon. You are curious about the commercial and natural DHT blockers you’ve heard about.
You want to know how they work, you want to know if they are safe, and- most importantly- you want to know if they can help you save your hair.
I’ll be honest. I don’t have all of the answers and I haven’t personally tried all of the 10,000 products available on the market. However, I have studied DHT extensively and I do know which types of treatments work and which don’t.
So, I hope you’ll let me offer some knowledge and advice to help you decide about choosing and using DHT blockers.
Commercial And Herbal Pills
Pills are the most common form of all anti-DHT products. I was not exaggerating; there are literally thousands of products out there. Some are made from herbal ingredients. Others are made from artificial chemicals or a combination of both.
While each is a unique blend, they are all designed to produce the same affect, stop DHT from killing the hair follicle.
This is achieved one or more of three ways:
- to bind with the androgen receptors in the hair follicle first leaving no room for DHT to settle there.
- to block the 5AR enzymes which metabolize testosterone into DHT.
- to reduce the production of testosterone and eliminate the free testosterone stored and converted to DHT on the scalp.
These are three logical goals and, in theory, these products should work. However, nothing is ever as simple as a “miracle” pill.
To help you understand the problems behind these pills, it is important to look at how effectively they achieve these three goals.
#1 Binding To Androgen Receptors
This is the easiest one to argue against. You can do the research yourself, but I can tell you there has never been any clinical study which proves androgen blockers actually work in the scalp. Many product labels cite favorable statistics, but these are not viable numbers.
These “tests” were performed in commercial labs with hand-selected test subjects. They paid to get the results they wanted. An independent, non-profit study has never been able to prove the effectiveness of these pills.
There have been extensive studies, but they have never shown any better results than the placebo. These products are a waste of your money and your time.
#2 Blocking 5AR Enzymes
Rather than give you a general lesson in blocking 5AR, I want to teach you about the main element in these pills. Most commercial and herbal DHT blockers contain saw palmetto or an ingredient with a similar chemical makeup.
As I explained in The Hair Loss Black Book, saw palmetto is very risky, but many people will tell you it is the best DHT blocker because it does directly block 5AR.
The problem is it doesn’t specifically target 5AR. It targets all enzymes with a similar structure. This includes dozens of other enzymes, some of which are responsible for a many other important but unrelated functions.
Some of these enzymes promote liver health, some help you maintain fertility, and some help your body metabolize sugar.
These are just a few of the important body functions which need enzymes similar to 5AR. Since 5AR blockers cannot target 5AR specifically, there is a high probability you will also block all similar enzymes.
You may stop your hair loss, but you may also gain a blood sugar problem or some similar issue.
5AR blockers are probably the most tempting of all the “miracle pills.” If you decide to give them a try, I still strongly encourage you include them in an overall whole-body approach to correcting the original reason you are over producing DHT.
I also strongly encourage you pay close attention to your body and get regular checkups to make sure you do not suffer from any side affects.
#3 Reduce Testosterone Production
This is actually the most viable option when it comes to blocking DHT.
Testosterone can be easily manipulated, as any body builder will tell you. However, that is where the situation can become dangerous.
In general, I do not promote DHT blocking pills because there is nothing on the other side of the equation. Your body is a system of checks and balances.
For every hormone or enzyme we produce, there is another hormone our body is supposed to produce to counteract it and maintain physical harmony.
Your body is supposed to produce testosterone, but it is also supposed to produce anti-androgen enzymes to keep your quantity of testosterone in check so it never forms DHT.
However, you are also supposed to produce enough of a hormone to counteract those anti-androgen enzymes to ensure you do not become testosterone deficient.
Your body is malfunctioning and you have a hormone imbalance. You are not producing enough anti-androgens to keep your DHT in check and you are overproducing the hormones which stimulate testosterone production.
You can add a pill to the mix, but there is nothing in your body which is prepared to metabolize and counteract the pill. You can easily make a toxic situation worse.
Shampoos And Topical Products
Another popular product is hair loss shampoo. Commercial herbal and artificial DHT blocker shampoo products are a very lucrative business.
These shampoos are believed to saturate the scalp with DHT blocking chemicals or herbs. They are supposed to soak into the hair follicle, cleaning out the DHT present and washing it away.
The problem here is simple, they don’t work. If they did, stores wouldn’t be able to keep them on the shelf and they’d cost 2 to 3 times their already expensive price. Of course, millions of dollars of marketing is saying otherwise, so let me explain.
DHT is in your hair follicles, contained within the oil sebum which clogs the pore. It can be washed away with any healthy shampoo or scalp serum containing ingredients which break up DHT containing sebum and gently remove it.
It doesn’t take an expensive shampoo to do this; it takes the right one with the right ingredients which can normally be made at home.
DHT blocking chemicals may even counteract the DHT directly on the surface of the scalp and hair follicle.
However, the chemicals themselves can be too harsh on your already sickened follicle and may cause more swelling, worsening the situation. More importantly, DHT is also sitting in the skin around and under your follicle.
If you do nothing to address the DHT coming from inside your body, you are fighting an uphill battle which you will lose. You can spend a lot of money on topical products. However, it is better to invest in a more whole-body answer.
5 Rules When Considering A DHT Blocker Product
As I said before, I’ve been where you are now. No matter what you have read earlier or will discover about hair loss, many of you will still fall victim to the rumor mill.
When you bump into an old friend of a friend and they tell you about another new “miracle” pill that is the secret to success, you won’t be able to resist trying it.
I wish I could save you from this experimentation. It can cause you far more trouble than it solves and will likely set you back significantly.
Since I can’t stop you, let me at least offer you advice to help you make a wise decision about trying new products:
#1 How New Is It?
No one wants to be a guinea pig, but that is exactly what you will be if you are trying something which is so new that we don’t really know how it works or what its side affects are.
Too many times we find out, years down the road, that a product we thought was harmless actually caused potentially fatal issues. Only you can decide to take that risk, but I strongly urge you to wait for the facts to come in before you try something new.
#2 Is It FDA (Or Similarly) Approved?
Government food organizations require extensive study before granting approval. While I’m not convinced regulated testing will prove whether or not a product will block DHT effectively, I do believe it will tell us if the product is dangerous.
DHT is a hormone and when you are chemically altering your hormones you run the risk of altering the wrong hormones. This can lead to liver failure, cancer, heart disease, and many more health concerns.
When choosing a regulated product you can feel slightly (although probably only slightly) safer than when selecting a non-regulated product.
#3 How Processed Is It?
This is one of the biggest deterrents in buying a commercial product. You may have noticed in The Hair Loss Black Book how much I promote using fresh, whole ingredients.
This is because you quickly lose all nutritional value as soon as you heat, freeze, store, bleach, or otherwise process an herb, mineral, or extract.
When a product is cooked for sterilization, concentrated for cost efficiency, and then colored/flavored to make it look appeasing you are basically ensuring you will get no benefit from it.
#4 Is It Overloaded With Ingredients?
You can get too much of a good thing and you can get way too much of a bad thing. This happens very frequently when it comes to most OTC herbal supplements.
Every thinkable ingredient which is even remotely related to hair loss is crammed into a small pill or liquid dropper. Commercially combined herbal products can contain dozens or possibly hundreds of ingredients.
Unfortunately, many of these products counteract one another or they perform similar tasks and overload your body. Avoid the overload, if you want to try something new do it one ingredient at a time.
#5 Do Not Assume “Natural” Means Healthy
The marketing people are not fools. They have paid attention and realized we, as a society, are shifting away from artificial products and embracing natural alternatives.
Unfortunately, natural products are rarely thoroughly studied for their effectiveness or safety.
I already showed you how some natural ingredients can have very dangerous side affects. Just because something claims to be “natural” does not mean it will help you or be good for you.
Make sure you read the back of the label and do your research to make sure all the “natural” ingredients are also healthy.
I’ve discussed supplements in great detail within The Hair Loss Black Book.
However, in case you haven’t read that part of the book yet or you’ve forgotten, there are some exceptions to the rules. There are some herbal anti-DHT ingredients which do offer some benefits and should be included in your anti-DHT strategy.
In the book, you learned about tribulus and spearmint. Spearmint, the juice extracted from spearmint leaves, is a popular flavor for foods. However, it has also been used for centuries because it is a powerful anti-androgen.
Specifically, it binds to the free testosterone within your system. This is the testosterone not used and stored within the scalp, where it will convert to DHT and make your hair die.
Spearmint can be administered in several different ways. Spearmint tea is the most common form, although it is only effective if you are using fresh, unprocessed spearmint.
Spearmint extract pills are also available. Spearmint can also be used as a topical DHT blocker either applied directly to the scalp or mixed in with a healthy shampoo.
Tribulus is extracted from a weedy plant with many names found in tropical regions. It has been used in Indian and Ancient Chinese medicine for centuries as an antidote for testosterone and androgen related issues.
Some people believe tribulus can directly decrease the levels of DHT in your system. However, others believe it can greatly increase both your DHT and free testosterone.
The truth is both sides may be right.
The more science studies the plant, the more confusing the results may be. It seems to actually help decrease DHT in some people and increase it in others.
In other words, some people are predisposed to benefit from tribulus and others are not. The only way to know which you are is to experiment.
Some of the supplements you did not read about in the book, but I discussed them in my previous articles, such as pumpkin seed oil and citrus.
In addition to those, there are other herbs out there which many people believe can be a DHT blocker or DHT inhibitor. I feel it is important to go over them to help you judge for yourself.
#1 Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is typically considered a woman’s herb. It is rich in linoleic acid, which has been known to alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, when testosterone is highest, and many oncologists believe it helps facilitate the reduction of breast cancer tumors.
Evening primrose oil may help women achieve a better balance between estrogen and testosterone, but it needs to be studied further to be sure. Also, it is highly unlikely that it will benefit a man.
#2 Borage Oil
The borage flower is in the same family as evening primrose oil and it contains very similar acids. Therefore, it should work as well for you as evening primrose oil.
It is interesting to note that borage oil is considered an anti-inflammatory. It is used as an herbal medicine against respiratory inflammations and colds.
Topically, it may be a valuable additive to scalp treatments to help soothe a sick hair follicle.
#3 Fenugreek And Fennel
I have been very surprised to read people pushing fenugreek, and its cousin fennel, as a promising DHT blocker. I read forum after forum filled with people swearing it will help their hair fall out.
However, a June 2011 study at the Australian Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine proved that men who took fenugreek had a 25% increase in libido after only a few weeks.
DHT is the ONLY hormone responsible for men’s libido, so clearly you do NOT want to take Fenugreek or fennel unless you want to speed up your hair loss.
Unfortunately, restoring your hair is about restoring a healthy balance within your body. Using commercial or herbal DHT blockers are bad for you because they don’t promote a balance within your body.
The same is true of these herbal supplements if they are not used wisely. Taking too much, taking it incorrectly, combining the wrong ingredients, or over experimenting with herbs can be just as harmful.
I encourage you to carefully read the supplementation section of The Hair Loss Black Book to learn how to safely use and experiment with supplements.
A Balanced Option
I am not a fan of shortcuts. If you have read my book, you already knew this about me. If not, you know it by now.
Shortcuts are dangerous. There is no “other side of the equation” and no balance. I am about achieving balance. Balance takes your body from surviving to thriving and your scalp from dying to living.
Achieving balance is how saved my own hair and how I made myself feel better and stronger than I had ever felt before. I want you to achieve balance. I want you to feel as good as I do. I want you to be happy about yourself when you look in the mirror.
I don’t believe a pill or expensive shampoo is your answer. The right supplements will help, but you can block DHT naturally with a total body solution like the Hair Loss Black Book program.
Once you achieve an internal balance you will look and feel better. In does take work and commitment, but the results will be so remarkable the rumor mill won’t be able to stop talking about your secret to success.