What is 5 Alpha Reductase? How Does it Affect Hair Loss?

If you’ve been losing hair or balding for a long time and have done your research, you will have come across the term: 5 Alpha Reductase or 5ar. What is it? How does it cause hair loss or balding? 

5ar is an enzyme that is produced by our body. There are actually 3 of them:

5ar-1, 5ar-2 and 5ar-3, each produced at different stages of human growth, starting from infancy to adulthood. Even though it’s a naturally occurring enzyme that’s produced, it can affect health in a negative way because it affects many organs in the body. 

How does 5ar affect hair?

The connection between 5ar and hair is that it takes testosterone and turns it into dihydrotesterone (DHT). DHT is what causes hair loss in the scalp because it blocks hair from growing. 

In men, it is less than 10% of testosterone that turns into DHT through 5 ar, for women it is less. But that 5% can be a lot of if the man produces a lot of testosterone. 

Can 5 ar be blocked? 

There are multiple drugs that have been tested to inhibit 5ar. They are called 5ar inhibitors. 

There are 2 popular drugs that fight 5ar:

1. Finasteride: It blocks 2 of the 3, 5 ar enzymes. 

2. Dutasteride: Studies have shown this drug is more effective and treats all 3 forms of 5 ar.

Both of these block the production of 5ar which after using for at least half a year can significantly reduce the amount of DHT levels in the body. That can cause people which have high DHT levels and hair loss to start seeing improvements. 

Do 5ar inhibitors have side effects?

There are side effects to every drug, but this is a topic that is being debated right now.

Can you naturally stop 5 ar? 

The only things that stop it right now are drugs, but DHT can be naturally lowered by eating a healthy diet that directly affects it.

You can also start using DHT blocking shampoos to help with this, but diet is the big deal.

The best way to solve the hair loss problem or if it’s 5 ar or DHT you’re targeting is to start from the diet. Everything we put inside our body has an affect on everything that happens outside our body. If you eat healthier, your health will improve and so will the condition of your hair. 

Drugs and other artificial means are inhibitors and not natural solutions. Your body will always produce 5ar. Inhibiting it with drugs might not be healthy. Diet is.

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