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5-Alpha Reductase - the Culprit of Hair Loss

For  men, the most common cause of hair loss is Dihydrotestosterone, (DHT). When testosterone, a steroid hormone responsible for the development of male secondary sexual characteristics, produced in the testes, (and the ovaries and adrenal cortex), is converted to DHT by the 5 Alpha Reductase enzyme (5AR), the result is hair shrinkage, and ultimately, death.

When the DHT attaches to the androgen receptors on the hair follicle, it causes the hair to diminish, and miniaturize. The miniaturized hair follicle eventually dies and hair loss occurs. 

One of the most powerful and effective ways to stop hair loss is with 5a-Reductase Inhibitors (5-ARIs), which are also known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) blockers. Many inhibitors are medications that are anti-androgenic – they are used primarily in the treatment of enlarged prostates and androgenic alopecia (pattern hair loss).

These blockers inhibit the 5AR by preventing testosterone from converting into dihydrotestosterone. 

Monoxidil (Rogaine) is the second most used topical treatment for hair loss. Besides prolonging the anagen/growth phase of the hair cycle, minoxidil has been shown to increase the diameter of existing hair follicles. It also increases prostaglandin synthesis, and up-regulated growth factors, as well as increasing blood flow in the area where it is applied. It is considered anti-androgenic, meaning it may suppress androgen receptor-related functions.  

Misti Barnes, trichologist and physician trainer in St. Petersburg, Florida, together with a biochemist with a background in hair science (Aveda, L’Oreal) who holds 40 hair treatment patents, has developed an at an home product line, to help target the alpha-5, by harnessing the power of plants.

These plant based options are just one aspect of how Barnes treats hair loss. "I like to use a combination of treatments, including ozone, diet and supplementation," says Barnes.

If you are interested in learning more about Barnes' in-office treatment, please call 727-231-6689 or go to our website to learn more