Primarily thought of as a male disease, hair loss affects more women than one would imagine. According to the American Hair Loss Association, women actually make up forty percent of American hair loss sufferers. Any form of major hair loss is considered alopecia. The most common form of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia; this form of pattern baldness is found in both men and women.

It was first believed that the hormone testosterone was the leading factor in hair loss, but within the last few decades scientists have discovered that it's the androgen hormone DHT that is the biggest contributor to hair loss.

Within the last few decades scientists have discovered that it's the androgen hormone DHT that is the biggest contributor to hair loss.

What is DHT?

The American Hair Loss Association describes Dihydrotestosterone, DHT, as a derivative of the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone with the help of the enzyme Type II 5-alpha-reductase converts to DHT.

When the levels of DHT increase, it shrinks and damages hair follicles making it difficult for healthy hair to survive and grow. Even with the lower levels of testosterone that women carry, DHT can still affect hair growth.

Can your shampoo save the day?

The FDA has only approved one over the counter medication that is considered effective in fighting women's hair loss. Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is a topical or foaming solution that when applied to the scalp is used to stimulate hair growth in both adult men and women.

Many brands make shampoos now that claim to include key ingredients to help with hair loss by reducing and blocking DHT.

The benefits of some of these shampoos are that they may contain DHT blockers, increase blood circulation to the scalp, increase hair growth, remove scalp fungus and clear dead skin cells from the scalp.

The commonality in the majority of these shampoos include the use of saw palmetto nettle extract, pumpkin seed oil, azelaic acid and B-Complex vitamins like biotin and vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid). Each ingredient contains its own unique benefit to the health of the hair.

Pura D’or Organic Argan Oil Anti Hair Loss Shampoo

$24.99 on Amazon

  • gentle, color safe, and organic formula that contains 12 advanced DHT blockers to stop premature hair loss and stimulate follicles.
  • reduces excessive shedding and beneficial on thinning hair and receding hairlines.

  • free of SLS, Parabens and other harsh chemicals.

  • contains a B vitamin complex, biotin, nettle extract, saw palmetto, he shou wu (Fo-Ti) and other natural ingredients to help strengthen hair strands.

Regenepure DR Doctor Recommended Hair Loss Shampoo for Hair Growth and Scalp Treatment

$25.00 Amazon

  • sulfate-free shampoo, free of harmful chemicals parabens and SLS

  • contains 1% ketoconazole, a powerful anti-fungal that is often used for dandruff treatment and help hair regrow.

  • packed with other beneficial elements, including saw palmetto extract, vitamin B6 and zinc oxide. Niacin, caffeine and linoleic acid, which stimulate the scalp, while emu and jojoba oils keep the skin supple and rejuvenated and help in nourishing the scalp by turning dry and damaged hair into fuller and thicker hair.

What shampoos have you found effective in reducing DHT?

photos courtesy of hellos8 (Getty Images) and Pura D'or