There are many reasons people suffer from hair loss; genetics is the most common. The market is inundated with medicines, scalp treatments, herbal supplements, and shampoos that claim to stop hair loss and regrow hair. It is important to take a close look at each and every product available to determine what works and what does not.
What Is DHT?
DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone. This is the primary cause for men and women losing their hair. When DHT fixates on receptor sites on the scalp, hair will start falling out. DHT does not allow the hair to grow normally and inhibits the hair follicles. This process is primarily hereditary: as to those whose hair loss results from illness or medication, DHT is not the culprit. Since DHT is the most common reason for hair loss, there are plenty of DHT-blocking scalp treatments on the market. Some are FDA-approved, while others are not. It is important to do your own research when determining the effectiveness of DHT scalp products.
Rogaine (the generic name is minoxidil), is a shampoo that men use when hair begins to thin out. It is believed to stimulate hair growth by increasing blood circulation to the scalp, improving follicle function. Minoxidil was approved by the FDA in 1988 to treat male pattern baldness. This is a product that must be used indefinitely to prevent hair loss and regrow hair. Once treatment stops, hair will go back to its pre-treatment growth pattern.
Saw palmetto is an herb used primarily on the scalp to prevent hair loss. This North American herb is believed to have been used by Native Americans to treat hair loss hundreds of years ago. Saw palmetto can be used externally in two ways: as a temporary agent left on scalp for half an hour, or left on overnight. Be sure hair is clean and massage the oil thoroughly into the scalp. This gentle herb should be left on hair for at least thirty minutes up to several hours. For best results, leave on as long as possible.
How Effective Are DHT Scalp Treatments?
Many scalp treatments advertise the ability to block DHT. This is the ultimate goal, since DHT hinders blood flow to the follicles, not allowing proper nutrients for hair growth. Most treatments have a combination of herbal and botanical extracts that increase circulation. Zinc is another common ingredient thought to prevent DHT buildup. Results from scalp treatments may take anywhere from two to six weeks to produce visible results. Also, any topical products used to treat hair loss must be used consistently so hair does not revert to its original state.