Can We Reverse Hair Loss?
I recently received a message from a reader about hair loss:
Reader: “David, you might know this. Is there is a natural way to stop or even slow down male pattern baldness?“
I hope the irony is not lost on you that you are asking a guy who shaves his head about hair loss because it sure cracks me up! But yes, there are natural ways to both stop hair loss and perhaps even regrow it. And thank you for turning to me for help! I’m happy to help!
RULE NUMBER ONE: DON’T TRUST THE TV! There are much better alternatives than dangerous and expensive chemicals and expensive surgeries. I would also like to add that the alternatives are considered much safer as well and longer-lasting.
I am going to attempt to make this as simple as possible, but understand that there is a highly scientific and technical reason why this type of baldness occurs. That being said, it’s not that complicated once we define a few things. So let’s get some of the verbiages squared away first.
- Androgenetic alopecia – this is a very common form of hair loss in both men and women. In men, this condition is also known as male-pattern baldness. More than three million new US cases are reported each year. Yikes!
- Testosterone (T) – a steroid hormone from the androgen group
- Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a much stronger steroid from the androgen group (super-testosterone)
- 5-alpha reductase – an enzyme that regulates the production of DHT. Commonly seen in androgen metabolism.
- Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) – is a glycoprotein (a molecule that consists of a carbohydrate plus a protein) possessing high levels of binding in 17 beta-hydroxysteroid hormones such as testosterone.
So here is what we need to know: the (SHBG) binds the hormones together, the 5-alpha reductase takes the bundle and converts the testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) then that mess usually settles in the hair follicle. Finally, in a roundabout way, the DHT and the 5-alpha reductase basically kill the follicle and stop your hair growth. Yes, this is a simplified explanation, but again, I’m trying to keep this simple.
Of course, some are quick to suggest that we have to stop that process right away. I am going to caution you about that. It’s not that easy and also not that wise. There is a lot of conflicting information out there on the topic, and a lot of bad decisions are being made accordingly. Even in the medical community, one study will contradict elements of another, and so on and so forth. Remember, there is still much to learn about many mechanisms within the body, so my advice is ALWAYS to start naturally. Using the Three Rule Method tends to prevail with solutions, or at the very least, a few options.
We first must understand that DHT is a steroid hormone, just like testosterone but more powerful. This is important to note because a male’s entire existence is rooted in these hormones, and it’s usually not the best idea to try and shut these down or even pump them up. If you start to mess with the system by lowering or raising one hormone or the other, you may wind up dropping your sex drive and your overall vitality. Sometimes, you may cause a whole slew of other problems altogether. For instance: if you raise or lower one hormone too much without addressing the rest of the body, you could wind up with an imbalance, an enlarged prostate, or make the rest of your hair fall out anyway. (Possible exaggeration for effect). My research suggests it doesn’t have to come to all that.
Remembering that the (SHBG) binds the hormones together, the 5-alpha reductase takes the bundle and converts the testosterone into DHT, then that usually settles in the hair follicle, killing the hair. The popular thought now seems to suggest that inhibition of T conversion to DHT stops the balding process. This is true; however, this inhibition can also result in lower libido because of the reduction in DHT levels. So maybe we don’t want to do that.
Instead, we might want to take it a step further and free up the bundle per se and maybe even stop so much of the DHT from wanting to bind to the follicle in the first place. Then we provide the body with the proper nutrient to encourage hair growth. If we can do this, we could free everything up, make the hormones readily available for the body, and keep the “blob” from causing havoc on your head. In theory, it would have a similar positive effect as inhibiting the creation of DHT without the horrible side effects associated with actually inhibiting it.
Let’s face it, lower testosterone and DHT levels will tend to raise both insulin and glucose levels, not to mention estrogen levels and so on. The long-term effects of that are not pleasant because it ultimately results in changes in sexual function. This may include reduced sexual desire and fewer spontaneous erections, and some studies even suggest the possibility of infertility. For me: it’s not worth the risk. Physical changes… emotional changes… this sounds like a wrong road to go down for a few hairs. Remember, the problem is the imbalance that results from the sheer amount of bound testosterone and the conversion of that testosterone into DHT, which ultimately binds to the places we don’t want it to, not so much the DHT itself.
So let’s talk about “the blob.” It is suggested that about two percent of your testosterone levels are free and active at any given time. So while your testosterone levels could be high, not much of it is being used the way you might like. Instead, it is being turned into the “blob” that kills your hair. Think about it like this: roughly 98% of your testosterone is bound up by the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Not good!
So why is this a problem? The hair follicle not only contains hair but also an oil gland called the sebaceous gland. When the 5-alpha reductase has a lot of bound-up hormone to work with and creates all kinds of DHT, that eventually equates to more DHT getting into the follicle. This is because the DHT controls the sebaceous glands in the skin because DHT regulates the sebum production in that gland. In other words: DHT wants to be there.
Cause and effect, right? High amounts of bound-up testosterone equate to high levels of both the enzyme and DHT hanging out in the follicle. At the same time, you are left with lower levels of usable testosterone, a possible imbalance, and all the side effects such as enlarged prostate and hair loss, and maybe even an acne problem. And no, taking a testosterone booster will not help… in fact, it might make it worse.
Still, I am suggesting that it’s not the DHT or even the testosterone we want to mess with. Remember, nature provided us with all of this for a reason. We really want to unbind the testosterone and DHT from the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), keep the enzymes busy, and then supplement the body with proper nutrients for the desired results. This is a process, but a relatively easy one, but remember what Hippocrates said: ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’
The first thing we want to do is get the body back in homeostasis. For this, (of course) I recommend the Briobiotic Protocol. Learn it, live it, and love it! Your body has to communicate with itself. This protocol will help with that immensely. If you are doing this right, you should only need two supplements moving forward.
The protocol will align your gut with where it needs to be. This will be important because some of the vital nutrients you need will be created there. For instance, one of the nutrients we need is biotin. Biotin promotes hair growth within the hair follicle, and biotin deficiencies are linked to hair loss. Your body produces biotin in the intestines, and biotin levels get fairly high when you can adequately digest things like dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and egg yolks. Sure, you could supplement biotin, but natural forms will probably get your further.
You also need to ensure you are getting plenty of Vitamin C and Zinc. Vitamin C for obvious reasons, but zinc because zinc accelerates the renewal of cells. Also, zinc deficiencies are linked to a loss of hair as well. Following the Briobiotic protocol will get you plenty of zinc, because great sources of this vital nutrient are found in red meat, poultry, and certain types of seafood.
The protocol recommends heavy doses of Vitamin D. This will be your first supplement, though, because it is unlikely that you are getting enough right now. We need plenty of vitamin D because the vitamin D receptor helps regulate your hair cycle.
Finally, our second supplement, we will supplement with nettle root. Nettle root is a perennial plant that grows in many parts of the world and has several health benefits. Still, the reason why I suggest it here is that the lignans (chemical compounds found in plants) from nettle root may interfere with the sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and prevent it from associating with androgens and estrogens in the first place. It has also been shown to block DHT’s ability to bind in places it’s not supposed to. Another neat thing it does is blocks the conversion of testosterone into estrogen and helps to unbind already bound testosterone and DHT from the glycoprotein sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). How awesome is that?
Now, there is conflicting information as to whether it can directly block free 5-alpha reductase & aromatase, the enzymes some believe are directly responsible for certain types of hair loss like androgenetic alopecia. Still, it is clear that the results of taking nettle root are increased hair production and higher free testosterone levels (not to be confused with more testosterone). This is a very good thing, especially considering the only known adverse side effects from taking nettle root are from really his doses resulting in possible stomach complaints and sweating.
The truth is that studies have shown that 10% of nettle root hydroalcoholic extract can decrease the binding of DHT to SHBG by as much as 67%. This is amazing! And when we decrease DHT’s ability to bind, it results in a significant improvement in hair growth and density. Similar findings are seen with other forms of the supplement too. So basically, nettle root elevates circulating free testosterone and free DHT levels and keeps these hormones in the body where they are needed. And when both types of testosterone remain in the body and remain readily available for the body to use, and when the 5-alpha reductase is otherwise preoccupied with whatever nettle root is doing with it, you will have less hair falling out and, more than likely, a reversal of hair loss (hair growth). Plus, it’s evidently great for prostate issues, and the fact that you will have higher percentages of free testosterone to use probably couldn’t hurt much in the gym.
The best part about all this is that it is much cheaper than expensive chemicals and surgeries. And as far as I’m concerned, the other benefits that come along with all this are priceless. It won’t be long until you not only look great but also free great as well.
Keep in mind; results do not come overnight. This does take time, but many report seeing results in as little as a few months. The body takes time, so be patient. Now, if you really want to throw everything you can at the problem and you REALLY want to spend your money, you could also try adding the following supplements to the program:
- L-Lysine: A United States patent has been issued for L-lysine to treat various types of hair loss, including androgenetic alopecia. Note, though, that L-lysine actually does inhibit 5-alpha-reductase.
- L-Arginine: Hair follicles use nitric oxide to maintain and promote new hair growth. L-arginine is required to produce nitric oxide.
HINT: Foods like seafood and turkey provide high levels of L-Arginine, and great sources of L-Lysine are high-protein foods such as eggs, meat (specifically red meat, lamb, pork, and poultry) – all of which you will be consuming high amounts if on the Briobiotic Protocol.
Of course, you could always do what I do and just follow the instructions above, enjoy the freed-up testosterone, go work out and get big, then go invest in a razor, shave your head, and call it a day! Works for me, and the money I save on not getting my hair cut more than pays for my supplements.
Oh… and one final note: nettle root is also great for women with the same problem; it just works a little differently in the body. Also, red light and laser therapy are great in some situations.
Be sure to check out my article titled” “Liposomal Glutathione – WoW”.”
Dr. Robertson is a health researcher and educator, not a physician. The information provided here is not medical advice, a professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or service to you or any other individual. The information provided is for educational and anecdotal purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation, or the advice of your physician or other healthcare providers. Dr. Robertson is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or additional information, services, or product you obtain or utilize. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN.