- DHT Blockers: The science seems good but can natural DHT blockers like saw palmetto, pygeum and nettle be powerful enough to have a noticeable effect on hair growth like Propecia does
- Propecia is effective, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. See my article “Should I take Propecia” to see why I would never take it
- So your next best bet after Propecia is a natural DHT blocker supplement
- How do you find an effective DHT blocker?
- There are a few key ingredients you need to look for. If you see all of these ingredients in a supplement, you’ve found a good one:
- Green tea. Green tea reduces PGD2 in the scalp. This is now thought to be key to stopping male pattern baldness
- Resveratrol: A study in 2014 and one in 2016 concluded that resveratrol suppresses PGD2-stimulated OPG synthesis through inhibiting p38 MAP kinase and SAPK/JNK in osteoblasts (Kuroyanagi, Gen et al., 2014), as well as the fact that Resveratrol could inhibit PGD2-mediated inflammation. (Devon et al., 2016). Read more here.
- Quercetin: A study published in 2012 on contact dermatitis and photosensitivity argued that Quercetin can effectively inhibit secretion of histamine and PGD2. When compared to Cromolyn, Quercetin significantly decreased contact dermatitis and photosensitivity and was argued to be a promising candidate as an effective mast cell inhibitor through sufficient oral absorption.
- Note that resveratrol and quercetin are also powerful natrual antioxidants
- Large amounts (500mg) of cysteine, lysine and taurine. These amino acids have been shown to increase hair growth in studies.
- Iron: According to MPB Research,
virtually all treatments for hair loss in both men and women are more efficacious with iron supplementation, whether you are “iron deficient” or not. Dr. Rushton maintains that this effect is dramatically enhanced when iron is used in conjunction with vitamin C and L-Lysine.
- Note that soy contains iron. This may be partly why soy isoflavones help reduce hair loss
- Pygeum: pygeum has DHT blocking effects, similar to Propecia but not as effective:
In a 2007 study those taking a treatment involving pygeum had 43.3% improvement, comparable to the results for finasteride (57% improvement) Finasteride.
- Vitamin D3 (unless you already get lots of sunshine)
- Anti inflammatory ingredients like curcumin, quercetin (also mentioned above). Why? It’s widely speculated that DHT causes serious inflammation in the scalp, which leads to male pattern baldness.
- Other ingredients worth looking out for include saw palmetto, pumpkin seed oil and capsaicin / cayenne.