We may not be able to change our genes, but we do have a significant degree of control over our health and how our bodies function. While genetics play an oversized role in whether or not we experience hair loss, it isn’t the only game in town. Many other factors impact the health of our hair and our susceptibility to shedding. This includes the hormones and enzymes involved in hair growth and regeneration. When these aspects of our body chemistry are imbalanced, they can cause hair loss. Fortunately, changes in diet may be able to reduce the production of hair-damaging hormones and slow or prevent further hair loss.
DHT, Testosterone, and Hair Loss
Both hypothyroidism (too few thyroid hormones) and hyperthyroidism (too many) can contribute to hair loss through their impact on the production of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). A synthesized version of testosterone, DHT is a key hormone in sexual development and physical appearance. If the body converts too much testosterone into DHT, it disrupts the natural growth cycle of hair. In turn, this causes the hair follicles to shrink, ultimately resulting in thinning hair and shedding.
As such, decreasing DHT production from testosterone can reduce the damage to hair follicles that leads to hair loss. One way to do so is by blocking an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase which fuels the testosterone-into-DHT process.
Several foods may be able to decrease DHT production by blocking 5-alpha reductase and putting the brakes on the damage DHT does to hair. These include:
- Green tea. A plant compound called EGCG, abundant in green tea, may support hair growth by blocking DHT from damaging hair follicles.
- Coconut oil. Some studies have shown that the lauric acid contained in coconut oil can block DHT production.
- Onions. Quercetin is an antioxidant found in onions that has been shown to inhibit DHT production from testosterone by blocking the enzyme alpha-5 reductase.
- Turmeric. In preclinical studies, this widely used herb may reduce DHT from testosterone by blocking alpha-5 reductase.
- Edamame. These beans contain isoflavones and other compounds that may lower DHT levels and help fight hair loss.
Other foods that can help with hair health and growth include:
- Salmon and other fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Spinach and other leafy greens
- Sunflower seeds
Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today
Of course, dietary improvements alone may not stop hair loss or restore your hair to the fullness it once had. At the Miami Hair Institute, our skilled physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases that can’t be reversed at home. We can help patients suffering from hair loss through advanced hair restoration surgery techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments.
To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.