HomeTrichologyIs testosterone harmful to hair? Is it worth examining its level to diagnose androgenetic alopecia?
Is testosterone harmful to hair? Is it worth examining its level to diagnose androgenetic alopecia?
Anna Kuznetsova, trichologist
Women need testosterone just as much as men. However, taking contraceptives with an anti-androgenic effect in the hope of improving the situation with hair loss is not the solution.
Testosterone metabolism in hair follicles has 2 directions:
through the 5 alpha reductase enzyme
through the aromatase enzyme
And here comes the key question! Which of the two enzymes will be the more active? If it is aromatase, then testosterone will turn into estradiol and we will get the effect of beautiful, shiny skin and a storm of curls on the head. However, if the 5 alpha reductase enzyme is given priority, then testosterone will be converted into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). And this can lead to excessive body hair and androgenic alopecia taking place at the same time.
High testosterone level do not play a major role in this situation. In women, testosterone can stop hair growth only at very high concentrations, which are 3-4 times higher than the optimal physiological level. On the other hand, most studies confirm that there is a link between androgenetic alopecia in men and women and insulin resistance! Because insulin increases the activity of the 5 alpha reductase enzyme, which – as I said before – converts testosterone into DHT.
So who or what decides about baldness? I have seen patients with polycystic ovary syndrome and hyperandrogenism who had beautiful hair. I also saw the perfect test results in patients with androgenetic alopecia. Our genes are responsible for baldness! They decide whether the hair follicle will be sensitive to DHT or not. But that doesn’t mean you should give up! The processes of baldness can be inhibited in the same way as we can help our hair grow back!