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Does testosterone cause hair loss?

Does testosterone cause hair loss?
07 October 2022
2-minute read

Does testosterone cause hair loss? 

Hair loss is caused by a broad range of factors, from genetics to stress and unhealthy lifestyle choices. But does testosterone cause hair loss? Here, we dispel one of the most commonly held myths about male pattern hair loss and introduce you to everything you need to know about dihydrotestosterone. We also show you how you can effectively treat hair loss by introducing you to our clinically-backed treatments.

So, does testosterone cause hair loss?

Although many people believe otherwise, the reality is that testosterone does not cause hair loss, and it’s actually one of the most widely perpetuated myths about male hair loss. Rather, male pattern hair loss is commonly caused by Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a hormone that is a byproduct of testosterone. Let’s take a closer look at what DHT is and how it leads to hair loss. 

What is DHT? 

DHT is a sex hormone called an androgen, but it is also one of the leading causes of androgenetic alopecia in men. While DHT contributes positively to male sex characteristics during puberty - deepened voice, increased body hair, and growth of the penis - it can also lead to hair loss on the scalp as you get older. 

Approximately 10% of a man’s testosterone is converted to DHT, thanks to an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. When present in your bloodstream, DHT can bind to the receptors on your hair follicles, which causes them to shrink and die out. 

DHT and hair loss 

It’s perfectly normal to lose anywhere between 50 and 100 hairs every day, as your hair goes through four distinct stages of growth. The final stage is known as the exogen (shedding) phase, in which older hair follicles shed from before new ones grow in their place. However, when DHT binds to your hair follicles, it prevents the regrowth of your follicles, which causes the hair on your scalp to thin out. Some people are more susceptible to the effects caused by DHT as a result of their androgen receptor genes. This is why male pattern hair loss is said to be primarily caused by genetics, as opposed to lifestyle factors, stress, and other environmental issues. 

What can you do about DHT? 

Thankfully, you can do something about hair loss caused by DHT. While you can’t change your genetic makeup, you can block DHT from binding to the receptors on your hair follicles. Finasteride is a clinically-proven medication that prevents DHT from binding with 5-AR proteins. 

As a result, DHT is unable to bind to your receptors, which prevents them from shrinking. Finasteride has a high success rate and is the primary medication offered to men looking to combat male pattern hair loss. When used in conjunction with Finasteride, Minoxidil - a vasodilator - can also combat hair loss, and it works by increasing oxygen and blood flow to the affected areas of your scalp. 

The verdict: Does testosterone cause hair loss? 

While testosterone doesn’t cause hair loss, dihydrotestosterone does. When it binds to your hair follicles, it can cause them to shrink and die, which can lead to long-term hair loss if you don’t do something about it. 

At Sons, we offer a range of clinically-backed treatments that are perfect for improving your hair and combatting male pattern hair loss. Check out our product range and get in touch if you have any questions about how any of our treatments work.

All of our blog articles are reviewed by our Medical Director before publication.