Hair Loss/DHT Blocker
QUESTION: Dear Dr. Peter J. Panagotacos,
I am writing to you with regard to a sample product I received recently . I do not suffer from hair loss, but due to dying my hair excessively, I left myself in a position where my hair felt like chewing gum and broke constantly, leaving my clothes (and seats I sat in etc) covered in hairs. As you can guess, my hair length and thickness reduced rapidly.
I decided to dye it back to its "natural" colour so that I could allow it to grow out. I cut off all the broken, wiry ends and went scouring the Internet for hair growing tips etc.
I had many friends and friends-of-friends, hairdressers even, suggest I buy horse shampoo and use it. I'd heard before that horse shampoo helps to make your hair stronger, thicker and grow quicker - but I'd never tried it. So I ordered a shampoo and conditioner from a well known horse hair care brand (for the want of a better description) but thankfully they had a human range of the same type of products so I bought that. When I received my items in the post I was given a sample of another type of hair growing treatment along with it. It claims to be a DHT blocker and that by blocking 'harmful' DHTs it allows your hair to grow.
I'm just wondering if you could tell me what the side effects of using this product would be? You apply it onto your scalp/roots etc., leave it for say the night and then wash it out in the morning. A friend of mine used this particular product as well as hair growth promoting shampoos and in the space of ten days her hair had grown half an inch. Upon researching it I have come across a vast array of opinions from no side effects to permanent blocking of DHTs to uncontrollable weight gain (and the list goes on).
The results of this DHT blocker were of course great in relation to hair growth but, I cannot help but worry that there is some underlying problem, some serious side effects that are as of yet unseen.
Any help you can offer me, is and will be greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking your time to read this.
Many thanks and kind regards,
ANSWER: First let me say that the damage you have done to your hair is on the external visible hair shaft you mistreated with the previous treatments until it felt like chewing gum and broke constantly. Hair grows 1/2 inch per month so you will have to wait a couple of years for it to grow out to be long enough to reach your shoulders. Cutting your hair short and getting rid of much of the damaged hair was a good idea. Using horse shampoo is not. All you need to do now is use a shampoo which is labeled as having conditioner for damaged hair or use a separate conditioner for that purpose. You hair stylist should be able to advise you on a brand name conditioner available to you. The DHT blocking shampoos, conditioners, and lotions do help in many cases but since you do not suffer from androgenetic alopeica ( hair loss due to male hormone) there is little reason for you to use one of those products. They are NOT harmful. They do not lower your DHT enough to do anything to the rest of your body. I would not advise wasting your time and money on that type of hair product when all you need is a good protein condtioner.
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QUESTION: Dear Dr. Peter J. Panagotacos,
Thank you so much for response due to problems with my computer and internet access and then email access I have been unable to write back to your answer.
The product that I was referencing was " groganics DHT BLOCKER SYSTEM Hair Gro-n-Wild". It says it is "For advanced hair loss and severely thinning hair only!". The results to using this product are great, I wont lie, it's practically growing noticeably by the day. However this is what worries me. How can this be safe? Is it not in some way carcinogenic? In which case the price for faster growing hair is by no means justifiable. When using this product there is a tingling sensation on your scalp and then it feels slightly 'cool' for a while.
There is absolutely no denying that this product will not fix the damage I did to my hair (by the reckless bleaching) but it does make your hair grow at an exceedingly fast rate. I would greatly appreciate any help you an give me.
I know if I were to ingest the 'DHT blocker' in the form of a capsule or whatnot and if I were male I'd run the risk of prostate cancer... So as a woman applying this to my scalp, I'm afraid as to what the risks I'm running are.
Once again, I'd like to thank you so much for your previous answer, it really was helpful in more ways than one!
Many thanks and kind regards,
I looked up the ingredients of the product and other than saw palmetto -which is a very weak DHT blocker- I could find nothing that should cause your hair to grow faster. Sometimes other ingredients are put into products which are not listed and only after complaints to the FDA are they tested and found to have other active ingredients. I can not attest to the safety of this product and can not explain why you may have grown hair.
Here is a quote from the 2008 edition of my book "Hair Loss Answers, by the HairDoc".
"For example, one product released by a New York firm consists of a three-part “hair care system” that claims to restore hair in nearly all balding men and women. It consists of a DHT blocker, a topical solution and a scalp detoxifying shampoo. The product purportedly treats androgenic alopecia, an inherited condition common in both men and women. Product adds talk about dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the substance largely responsible for shrinking hair follicles that lead to baldness. The product claims to block the effect of DHT on hair follicles, but the label uses obscure and misspelled names of common herbs, only one of which—saw palmetto—has been shown to have any effect on the production of DHT. And the label gives no indication how much saw palmetto the product contains. The scalp lotion included in the three-part system contains minoxidil, an FDA approved hair-loss drug (brand name, Rogaine) now sold over the counter at about ten to twenty dollars for a one-month supply. Minoxidil may help some people grow hair, but the success rate is far below the ninety percent claimed by advertisements. Bottom line: this product, which was a top seller on the internet in early 2004, is a very expensive way to buy an undetermined amount of minoxidil.
In addition to offering a whole series of impressive sounding “solutions” to a wide array of phony hair loss “causes,” the sales material for bogus products follow up with “testimonials” from individuals, and sometimes even medical professionals. There is no way to verify these testimonials. Even if verified, there is no way to determine if the “miracle cures” were actually caused by the product being promoted, because there was no scientifically controlled clinical trial. Many types of hair loss are temporary, and hair growth resumes all by itself."