Articles Tagged with: dihydrotestosterone

Understanding the Side Effects of DHT Blockers

DHT BlockersFew medications come without the potential for unwanted side effects. Sometimes those side effects are relatively rare or minor. Other times, those side effects, should they occur, may be so significant that they may outweigh the benefits the medication is supposed to provide. When it comes to hair loss medication, DHT blockers can pose just such a dilemma. While DHT blockers can help reduce hair loss, they can also reduce sexual function in rare instances, which makes the decision to use them a deeply personal and complicated one.

What is DHT?

Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a derivative of testosterone that has been scientifically linked to hair loss. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes new hair to stop growing. As such, individuals with elevated DHT levels may be more prone to hair loss.

Reducing DHT levels is what makes Propecia, one of the most popular pharmaceutical hair loss treatments, so effective. Some studies have shown that Propecia can reduce DHT levels by as much as 70%.

What is the Problem With Reducing DHT Levels?

The problem is that DHT does much more than contribute to hair loss. It also plays a crucial role in male sexual development and mood regulation. When DHT levels are reduced, either intentionally or unintentionally, it can impact these functions in unwanted ways and cause:

  • Impotence
  • Lower sex drive
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Gynecomastia (male breast development)
  • Depression

Additionally, since DHT blockers like Propecia affect the body’s hormone system, they should not be handled by pregnant women or women who may become pregnant as it may increase the risk of birth defects in male babies.

How Common are the Side Effects of DHT Blockers?

The good news is that that these side effects only appear in a small minority of men (about one out of every hundred) who use DHT blockers such as Propecia. If any issues do develop with sexual functioning, they are almost always temporary and will return to normal after discontinuing the drug.

As with any medication, you should discuss with your hair loss physician whether DHT blockers or other pharmaceutical treatments offer a viable and effective option for addressing your hair loss issues.  

Call the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami Today to Schedule Your Personalized Hair Loss Consultation

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we evaluate each hair loss patient with a comprehensive and proven methodology, obtaining a detailed medical history, performing an in-depth scalp examination using state-of-the art diagnostic tools and, if indicated, blood tests to detect any underlying imbalances or deficiencies that may be contributing to the hair loss problem. With this information, we can determine the cause of hair loss and the most effective treatment option, whether it be medication, hair transplant surgery, or other alternatives.

To schedule your personalized hair loss evaluation, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Hair Loss Myths

Top 3 Hair Loss Myths

Hair Loss MythsThese days, it can sometimes seem like telling fact from fiction and true from false is harder than ever. You could go on the internet and search for the answer to “What is 2 + 2?” and it’s likely you’ll find at least one source telling you the answer is “5.” When it comes to hair loss, there are a lot of myths out there, many of which go back centuries.

If you are concerned about losing your hair or are considering doing something to restore your hair to a fuller, more youthful state, make sure you know the truth behind these three hair loss myths:

  1. It’s Your Mom’s Fault

Perhaps the biggest myth about hair loss is that it is inherited from your mom’s side of the family. People grow up believing that if their mom’s male relatives are bald or have thinning hair that they are destined to follow in their footsteps. This is simply not the case.

The strength and vitality of your hair are based on your genetics, it’s true. But the genes which factor into hair loss come from many places, including your father’s side of the family. This “polygenic” basis for hair loss means that you should look at all the different branches of your family tree if you are trying to see into your hair loss future.

  1. Thinning Hair = Higher Testosterone Levels

While men experiencing hair loss may want to take comfort in the idea that it is a sign of robust testosterone levels, there is simply no link between baldness and high testosterone. That said, it’s easy to see why there may be some confusion on this point.

Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a derivative of testosterone that is in fact scientifically linked to hair loss. But it’s not the amount of testosterone that is the issue, but rather the level of DHT fastening to hair follicle receptors in the scalp. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes them to stop growing new hairs.

  1. Hats Kill Hair

If hats caused hair loss, every baseball player would be bald. This enduring myth is absolutely false. Wearing hats frequently will not have any impact on the strength of your hair or accelerate the rate at which you lose hair. If, however, you wear extremely tight hats a lot, that can cause stress on your follicles and lead to a condition called traction alopecia. But it’s not the hat that is causing the damage, it’s how you wear it.

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, know the truth about hair loss and we know how to help men and women restore their hair and their confidence. We evaluate each hair loss patient with a comprehensive and proven methodology, obtaining a detailed medical history, performing an in-depth scalp examination using state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and if indicated, blood tests to detect any underlying imbalances or deficiencies that may be contributing to the hair loss problem. With this information, we can determine the cause of hair loss and the most effective treatment option.

To schedule your personalized hair loss evaluation, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

hair loss myths

4 Hair Loss Myths Everyone Should Ignore

hair loss mythsHair loss myths seem to circulate around social media, no matter how much concrete and credible information is readily available. Unfortunately, the popularity and sheer temptation of self-diagnosis is difficult to overcome. Once you notice those few extra strands on your pillow or in your shower drain, placing blame on genetics, stress, diet, haircare or an underlying illness can be your initial (and often accurate) reaction. While these are the most common hair loss causes, outlying and unrelated factors are frequently accused of initiating excessive thinning or shedding.

Here are four hair loss myths that you should never believe:

  1. Women Don’t Have Genetic Hair Loss

Not only is female pattern hair loss (FPHL) a result of genetics, it’s one of the most common causes of women’s hair loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association, women account for nearly 40 percent of all hair loss victims. Keep in mind, androgenic alopecia – the clinical terminology for hereditary hair loss – does not affect men the same way it does women. Male-pattern baldness is more targeted with noticeable balding around the hairline, temples or crown. FPHL is more diffuse, causing a general thinning across the scalp. One of the first signs of FPHL is a widening part, though individual cases vary.  

  1. Tanning Causes Hair Loss

Contrary to popular notion, UV radiation is not linked to hair loss. This myth is rooted in the misconception that sunshine damages hair follicles to the point where they shut down and fail to cycle through the hair growth stages as usual. While excessive sun exposure could lead to damage, breakage and skin cancer, you don’t have to worry about it affecting the volume of your hair.

  1. Balding is Linked to High Testosterone

At the pinnacle of all hair loss myths is the belief that balding men have more testosterone running through their systems. Although inaccurate, it’s easy to see where this fallacy lies. Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a derivative of testosterone that is scientifically linked to hair loss. Researchers say that the amount of testosterone isn’t the issue, but rather the level of DHT fastening to hair follicle receptors in the scalp. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes them to stop growing new hairs.

  1. Hair Loss is Inherited from Your Mother’s Side

If you tell a friend you’re worried about going bald, they’ll probably tell you to check your maternal grandfather’s locks first. However, your mother’s side of the family isn’t the only piece of your genetic makeup that puts you at a greater predisposition of developing androgenic alopecia. You’re just as likely to inherit hair loss from your father’s side, so consider all relatives before you stress about the future.

Only qualified hair loss specialists and dedicated physicians can formally diagnose a hair loss condition. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we invite those concerned about thinning or shedding to undergo a comprehensive hair loss evaluation at our South Florida clinic. To schedule an appointment, call 305-925-0222 today.

Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss

Hypothyroidism and Hair LossThe length, thickness, and color of your hair is often a good indication of the health of the rest of your body. This is particularly true in the case of hormones, as the quality of your hair may be representative of overall hormonal balance.  By the same token, hair loss might be an indication that a hormonal imbalance exists. Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and thyroid are a few of the hormones that may have a profound impact on the appearance of your hair. Of these three hormones, thyroid is a common cause for hair loss among individuals who have either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. To better understand why, we must first examine how these three major hormones interact with one another during the hair growth cycle.

Understanding Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, & Thyroid

Testosterone: Testosterone is widely recognized as the male hormone, however it is present in females as well. The hormone is primarily produced by the reproductive organs of both men and women—in the testes and ovaries, respectfully. Smaller amounts of testosterone are also produced in the adrenal glands of both sexes. In males, the primary role of testosterone is to fuel the development of reproductive tissues. In both sexes, testosterone also plays a critical role in the development of bones, muscle mass, and of course, hair.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): DHT is formed when testosterone is synthesized by a very unique enzyme, 5α-reductase. DHT also influences the development of sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics, like physical appearance. Unlike testosterone, DHT may cause the hair follicle to shrink (and in some causes disappear). This leads to thinning, shedding, or loss of hair.

Thyroid: Thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid gland, one of the body’s largest endocrine glands. Thyroid hormone serves as a “regulator” of sorts, controlling a number of vital body functions. These include metabolism, involuntary muscle contractions, and the production of cellular energy. When a thyroid condition exists, the body has a difficult time producing the correct amount of thyroid hormone. As a result, the body becomes unable to effectively regulate other body functions, including hair growth.

Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss: 4 Things to Know

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Common causes of hypothyroidism include iodine deficiency, lack of proper gland function, or even stress.

When it comes to hypothyroidism and hair loss, there are 4 important things to know and understand:

1. Overactive Thyroid May Increase Synthesis of DHT

As noted above, DHT is a synthesized version of the hormone testosterone. Unlike testosterone, however, DHT disrupts the natural growth cycle of hair and may eventually cause total loss of the hair follicle. For some individuals, a thyroid disorder may perpetuate hair loss by exacerbating the conversion of testosterone into DHT.

2. Thyroid Medication May Cause Hair Loss

Thyroid disorders come in two main varieties: Hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. A common treatment for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine sodium, a prescription medication that is available under many brand names including Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid. Prolonged hair loss is a side effect of this medication for many individuals, specifically for patients taking Synthroid.

3. Additional Thyroid Medications Might Be Necessary to Prevent Hair Loss

If you take thyroid medication and exhibit signs of hair loss, you may need additional prescription medications to effectively treat both conditions. Patients must understand that any prescription drug may cause short term or long term side effects however, and they must always consult a physician prior to starting, switching, or ending a prescription medication regimen.

4. Drug-Free Hair Loss Treatments Are an Effective Option

If you suffer with hair loss that is the result of a thyroid condition, or is the side effect of the thyroid medication you take to treat your condition, you may want to explore other drug-free hair loss treatments. These may include:

  • Hair Transplant Surgery: Hair transplant procedures are now conducted with greater precision and effectiveness than ever before. The Hair Transplant Institute’s very own is co-creator of Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT), a new transplant process by which individual follicular units are extracted from the donor area and transplanted with minimal scarring. More traditional Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) procedures are also available.
  • Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): LLLT treatment for thinning hair uses state-of-the-art lasers to stimulate hair growth at the follicle. Click here to watch Dr. Nusbaum explain this exciting new technology in this introductory video segment to laser hair therapy with the LaserCap™ device.

Schedule an Evaluation with the Hair Transplant Institute

Our friendly staff includes South Florida’s finest hair transplant surgeons, microscopists, technicians, and registered nurses.  We understand the agony and frustration that accompanies hair loss, and we are committed to helping you develop a customized plan that will create natural results.

To learn more about Miami hair transplant procedures at the Hair Transplant Institute, please contact us online or call us directly at 1.877.443.9070.

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