DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a naturally occurring male sex hormone (that exists in both male and female bodies) created when the the enzyme 5-alpha reductase synthesizes DHT in the adrenal glands, prostate, testes and hair follicles.
There are different types of 5-alpha reductase, and as a result different forms of DHT. The type I 5-alpha reductase is located primarily in the skin’s sebocytes but also in epidermal and follicular keratinocytes, dermal papilla cells and sweat glands as well as in fibroblasts. The type II is located mainly in the seminal vesicles, prostate and in the inner root sheath of the hair follicle.
Whilst this may all sound a bit hard to digest, it’s important because type II is closely associated with male pattern hair loss, and is also responsible for two thirds of the overall DHT in the body. There is a possibility that type I also plays a role in hair loss, but as yet this link has not been proven.
What This Means For Hair Loss
So, in terms of treatment, we need to focus on blocking the type II 5-alpha reductase. This is where Propecia, an oral medication that has been licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA (the UK and US medical regulatory bodies) comes in handy.
Propecia blocks mainly the DHT that is formed with 5-alpha reductase II. Thanks to long term studies that prove side effects are extremely unlikely (and in our own experience of treating thousands of patients over ten years with Propecia, side effects stop very quickly when you cease to take the medication) it has been proven to be safe for use as a hair loss medication.
A second medication, Avodart, blocks both types of DHT, leading to some people speculating about whether it could be used as a hair loss treatment. However neither the MHRA or the FDA are yet to license it for this purpose, and because it is a stronger medication than Propecia, there is an increased risk of side effects (and there are reports that sterility has been suggested as a complication in rare patients), and because blocking both types of DHT has not been proven to treat male hair loss more effectively than concentrating on DHT II, there is no reason to risk taking Avodart.
It’s also important to remember that increasing dosage of finasteride above the recommended 1mg has not been proven to be more effective as a way to treat hair loss but again, the higher the dosage the more likely side effects are to occur. Studies have shown that 1mg is the optimum finasteride dose for treating male pattern hair loss.
It’s Not All About DHT
So, once DHT has been blocked using Propecia, what else can be done to halt hair loss and regrow thinning hair? There is one other medication that has been clinically proven to help with this, which is the topical formulation minoxidil. Produced by Belgravia in a variety of strengths up to or unique 12.5% minoxidil cream, minoxidil is dose dependent, and as such a hair loss specialist is required to establish your ideal daily dose.
Propecia and minoxidil are highly complementary when used together. As part of our bespoke hair loss treatment programmes Belgravia also provide a variety of treatment boosters such as the FDA cleared LaserComb and nutritional supplement Hair Vitalics, which ensure all-round hair health. We also engage in close clinical monitoring to ensure that Propecia is working for our patients as it should.
The Belgravia Centre—————————————————————————————————–
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. We offer clinically proven treatments for hair loss, as part of comprehensive treatment programmes offered by our hair loss specialists. Our in-house pharmacies produce high-strength medications for hair loss that contain medically proven ingredients and are available at no other clinic worldwide. Treatment programmes are available by visiting the centres or for home-use, anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of hair regrowth that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.