When it comes to hair loss, we can all agree that the two mainstream treatments for male pattern baldness, Finasteride (Propecia) and Minoxidil (Rogaine) work because they effectively prevent the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Well it turns out that there are other options available that use the exact same mechanism and the good news is that they’re all readily available without a prescription.
In this article, we’ll breakdown exactly what some of these treatments are and how you can put them to use in your fight against your receding hairline, starting today.
Healthy Foods That Reduce and Block DHT Naturally
Let’s look at five foods that reduce and block DHT naturally:
- Eggs: An absolute nutritional powerhouse, they’re hard to beat for their nutritional content and the versatility they provide. In addition to protein, they are rich in vitamin B, which correlates to a reduction in DHT production.
- Tomatoes: Whether you eat them in salads, or include them in sauces, tomatoes deliver an abundance of lycopene. Lycopene is one of nature’s best DHT blockers and may hold promise in inhibiting the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme.
- Mixed nuts: Grabbing a handful of mixed nuts such as cashews or almonds will supply your system with the natural DHT blocker l-lysine. Nuts also contain zinc, yet another way to naturally block DHT.
- Spinach: Adding this nutrient-rich leafy green to your diet will add more zinc from a whole food source. This is a great way to help the body inhibit its conversion of your testosterone to DHT.
- Salmon: Consuming this oily fish will supply those B vitamins we need to control hair growth. Vitamin B also helps with our blood circulation. An oxygen-rich blood supply is a good way to help your body repair damaged hair follicles.
These aren’t the only foods that function as natural DHT blockers. There are even more foods that will block DHT and help prevent your hair falling out.
The next time you’re writing your shopping list, make sure it contains some of these power-packed foods.
Foods That Exacerbate DHT Production
Here’s the thing, it’s not enough to add healthy foods to your diet, you must avoid certain foods that sabotage your ability to regrow hair. Some of these foods are well known culprits for their tendency to promote unwanted DHT production.
In fact, these foods are considered so bad that you might as well think of them as the complete opposite of DHT blockers.
Most of the foods on this list are going to seem obvious, but that’s the point. They’re everywhere and can be hard to avoid.
Let’s list some of these foods and then we’ll talk about what you can do to avoid them:
- Sugar: Fuels DHT conversion. Limit this as much as possible and do not add extra sugar to food you regularly consume, such as coffee or oatmeal.
- Diet sodas: Many contain aspartame which is linked to hair loss. Choose to drink water or unsweetened green tea (more on this superfood later).
- Trans fatty acids & processed foods: These tend to be laden with starches which convert into sugars during digestion. Processed food is bad for your hair and your health.
- Fast food: These greasy food items can clog up your pores, in addition to containing chemicals and substances that contribute to DHT conversion.
- Alcohol: Not only will this exacerbate DHT production on its own, it also lowers your inhibitions and leads to other poor food choices.
As you can see, the foods on the list above are so widespread, it can take real effort to avoid them.
You will need to put some effort into planning ahead. That way you won’t find yourself hungry and unprepared. Being unprepared is what leads to you finding yourself in line at the drive-thru, making excuses, which tends to lead to the opposite of regrowing your hair.
Hot Brews—Drink to Your Hair Growth
You’re probably already doing this one, but let’s go over a few pointers to make sure you’re giving yourself all the benefits of these natural remedies for hair loss.
That morning cup of coffee does more than just make the day go a little smoother.
It can actually lower DHT production and it falls under the list of DHT blockers.
But, we need to be careful with coffee because it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
Coffee contains a fair amount of caffeine and excess caffeine can have the opposite effect and boost our production of DHT.
To keep your hair follicles functioning optimally, aim for one or two cups per day.
Also, be aware of the effect of excess coffee drinking on your hormones.
You don’t want to end up dehydrated from too much caffeine and have a hormonal imbalance, causing you to pick at an itchy scalp and add to your hair loss worries.
Move Over Coffee, Green Tea Might Be the Better Choice
Green tea can provide you with that morning jolt to wake you up, but even more important is its ability to deliver some powerful antioxidants to your system.
Stay away from processed green tea drinks that contain added sugar.
You’ll want to choose whole leaf teas for blocking DHT.
Just remember, green tea contains caffeine so you’ll want to moderate and be mindful of the amount you consume.
“Kick DHT in the Butt” Smoothie
Are you a fan of smoothies?
If you’re not, you will be, because this is a simple way to not only drink to your health but to help you in your hair loss treatment as well.
Luckily, we’ve got just the thing for you.
A smoothie recipe that’s packed with the ingredients you need to keep your hair follicles in top shape, all while blocking DHT.
This is an excellent treatment that does not rely on a topical DHT blocker or other prescription medications, such as finasteride.
So drink away.
Let’s get down to it. Here’s the list of ingredients you’ll need:
- Berries (1 handful): Loaded with antioxidants to prevent the damage free radicals do to your hair follicles. These pack a powerful punch and do wonders for hair growth.
- Banana (1 banana): Touted for their ability to lower DHT, this fruit also adds some natural sweetness. This stops you from adding sugar and sabotaging your success.
- Onion juice (1–3 tablespoons, as desired): Supports your hair follicles and helps them produce stronger individual hairs that are thicker and more resistant to breakage.
- Spinach (1 bunch): A high source of zinc, one of the best minerals for hair health, and blocking DHT over-conversion, this one natural food goes hand in hand with other DHT blockers.
- Almond milk (8–16 ounces): This might be a better choice than plain water, as it will provide consistency for the beverage and aid in taste.
Adding this smoothie to your morning routine, or anytime you want to give your hair loss treatment an extra edge, is a great way to set yourself up for success.
If the thought of adding onion juice for hair loss to your morning drink is too unpleasant, many find extracting the juice and applying it topically to be an effective alternative.
Squeeze the juice from a few onions and apply directly to your scalp. Rinse and shampoo as normal.
Herbal Remedies That Combat DHT
You may be wondering about the role herbs can play in hair loss.
Let’s take a deeper dive into three DHT herbal supplements and how they can contribute to your treatment regimen.
The link between saw palmetto and hair loss prevention is well established.
This herb is typically consumed in the form of 320 mg tablets. It works to lower DHT production by inhibiting the reductase enzyme, 5 alpha-reductase type II. It won’t work as fast as finasteride or minoxidil, but it’s an affordable and working option.
Extracted from the bark of the African cherry tree, pygeum, or more precisely pygeum africanum, is a supplement many turn to when looking to reduce the conversion of DHT in the body.
This plant grows in India, China, Thailand, and Brazil. The oil derived from its extracts is applied topically to the scalp. Commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine from India, it soothes the follicle and can also increase the hair’s thickness and luster.
There are many more herbs used for natural remedies that help with male pattern baldness, but these are the popular three for herbal therapy hair loss prevention .
Vitamin & Mineral DHT Hair Loss Remedies
Of course, nobody eats perfectly everyday. That’s why it is a good idea to add a daily supplement to your regimen. No matter which type of daily multivitamin you choose, you’ll want to ensure that they contain the following:
- Zinc: Deficiencies of this mineral cause hair loss, as the body will not have enough to inhibit the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme. This mineral supports your body’s hair regrowth and repairs damaged hair follicles.
- Biotin: You may see this listed on some labels as vitamin B7. Deficiencies in this nutrient often lead to hair loss. Additional biotin can also speed up the hair growing cycle.
- Vitamin B: A good mix of B vitamins work together to improve blood flow and proper hormone regulation. Make sure you choose a supplement with a broad spectrum of B vitamins.
- Iron: Most supplements aimed at men are not going to contain iron. For this reason, you may need to choose this as a separate, stand-alone supplement. Be careful. Males are seldom anemic and excess iron can build up in your body. You’ll want to monitor your levels to ensure you are getting the benefit without risking any dangerous side effects.
Most of all, you need to choose vitamins and minerals for hair from a reputable source that contains what it actually says on the label. The best way to do that is to check reviews on products and their companies.
A high quality shampoo is mandatory in preventing damage to your existing hair and can prevent a receding hairline from becoming worse prematurely.
A shampoo made from premium ingredients may not be enough.
There are some shampoos on the market that can deliver a topical DHT blocker right to your scalp during your hair washing routine.
When choosing a shampoo that blocks DHT, you’ll want one that is well reviewed and does not irritate your scalp.
One such shampoo is Hair Restoration Laboratories DHT Blocking Hair Loss Shampoo.
If you’re in a grueling battle against male pattern baldness or some other form of hair loss, it would make sense to combine as many treatment protocols as possible to form an effective regimen.
So, let’s not forget to include at least one or two essential oils that help in this process by combatting hair loss by way of a topical application.
Let’s look at two popular ones:
- Tea tree oil: Great for its antiseptic qualities, this essential oil not only unclogs your roots but it helps to nourish them as well. A little goes a long way and it should always be used with a carrier oil (i.e., coconut, jojoba, almond). It can also help prevent infections of the scalp, such as folliculitis.
- Rosemary oil: Often used to prevent dryness, flaking, and dandruff. It is also believed to improve circulation to the scalp and stimulate the follicles to grow hair. This too should be used with a carrier oil.
These two essential oils are readily available and easy to apply. You may even find a shampoo that contains them.
Just be sure you are leaving them on long enough to benefit your scalp.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article and hopefully you were able to gather some insights on hair loss treatments that you haven’t already heard of before and use this information to take back control of your hair heath.
When you’re losing your hair, it can be easy to get discouraged and rely on the sole advice of your doctor.
Despite being well-intentioned, this advice can lead to the thought that choosing a medication such as finasteride or minoxidil is your only option.
Hopefully, you realize that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to the problem.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and search for a solution that works for you by combining different options into your own personal treatment plan.