17 Foods That Can Block DHT & Help You Regrow Hair

Medically reviewedby Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

We don't need to keep telling you about how impactful hair loss is on society (that American Hair Loss Association statistic that is totally not overused), and that you're not alone.

One of the most searched-for methods of blocking high DHT levels is to do it naturally via DHT blocker foods.

What are they? Do these DHT blocker foods work? Is there any science behind them?

Most importantly, are there more effective and quicker ways to defeat your male pattern balding?

When possible, we strive to try natural solutions first, and DHT blocker food options immediately come to mind.

before and after results

Top 17 DHT blocking foods, according to science

Here's a list of the 17 best DHT blocker foods, according to scientific studies only:

  1. Onions
  2. Turmeric
  3. Pumpkin Seeds
  4. Edamame Beans (Soy Protein)
  5. Green Tea
  6. Coconut Oil
  7. Berries
  8. Avocados
  9. Walnuts
  10. Bananas
  11. White Mushrooms
  12. Carrots
  13. Watermelon
  14. Spinach
  15. Soy Products
  16. Tomatoes
  17. Almonds

The list above is simplified, so we'll elaborate in greater detail below on how each of these can be an effective DHT blocker on your scalp and hair.

Onions

Onions are an excellent source of the antioxidant quercetin, which has been found in preclinical studies to be a DHT blocker - the male hormone linked to male pattern baldness.

DHT causes the follicles to miniaturize and eventually stop growing new hair. By inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that converts testosterone to DHT, quercetin may help reduce DHT buildup in the scalp and slow or prevent further hair thinning and loss.

Incorporating onions regularly into your meals can provide a good dietary source of this beneficial flavonoid to help fight hair loss.

Turmeric

This vibrant yellow spice contains the compound curcumin, which has shown promise in preclinical research for blocking DHT production in the scalp. Like quercetin found in onions, curcumin appears to inhibit the 5-alpha reductase enzyme's conversion of testosterone into DHT.

This may prevent DHT from binding to the follicles and causing them to miniaturize and stop hair growth. Adding turmeric to curries, smoothies, teas, and other foods and beverages can boost your curcumin intake as a potential natural way to manage DHT levels.

Pumpkin Seeds

The lignans concentrated in pumpkin seeds may inhibit the activity of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme that converts testosterone into the hair loss-causing androgen DHT.

This makes pumpkin seeds a promising natural way to potentially reduce DHT levels in the body. The zinc in pumpkin seeds provides further hair health benefits, as zinc deficiency is linked to hair shedding and loss.

Snacking on pumpkin seeds or adding them to salads, yogurts and baked goods can be an easy way to consume these beneficial lignans and zinc. You can also find them in the form of pumpkin seed oil, a convenient way to add the nutrients from pumpkin seed to dishes that might not work well with pumpkin seeds.

Edamame Beans (Soy Protein)

These immature soybeans are a rich source of isoflavones like genistein, which some studies have found can help lower DHT levels by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase activity, similar to the mechanism of pumpkin seed lignans.

The isoflavones in edamame, including soy protein, may bind to and block the activity of 5-alpha reductase, preventing as much testosterone from being converted to DHT. This may protect against DHT-induced hair thinning and loss.

Edamame makes a nutrient-dense snack, or addition to stir-fries and salads, or even as soy protein alternatives.

Green Tea

Green tea is a great source of the powerful antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

Research shows that EGCG may help promote hair growth by preventing DHT from binding to the hair follicle and rendering them inactive. By blocking DHT from damaging follicles, EGCG gives them a better environment to continue producing new hair naturally.

Green tea may also increase hair growth by stimulating follicles during the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle. Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea daily can provide antioxidants like EGCG.

This is why it is such a popular ingredient in most DHT blocking shampoo formulas we've seen.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is comprised primarily of medium-chain triglycerides like lauric acid. In test-tube and animal research, lauric acid has shown the ability to block DHT production by inhibiting the 5-alpha reductase enzyme.

This suggests that regular coconut oil consumption may help reduce high DHT levels that lead to androgenetic alopecia.

Furthermore, coconut oil can help nourish and strengthen hair to prevent shedding and breakage when used as a hair treatment product. Cook with coconut oil or apply it topically.

Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and other berries provide C vitamin, which some evidence indicates may help inhibit DHT production in the body.

Vitamin C is thought to bind irreversibly to 5-alpha reductase, preventing it from being able to convert testosterone to DHT. Early research suggests higher C vitamin intake may slow the formation of DHT and its associated effects like miniaturization of follicles.

Getting plenty of berries and C vitamin from fruits and vegetables may support lower DHT.

Avocados

As one of the best dietary sources of healthy monounsaturated fats, avocados may contribute to lowering DHT levels, though the mechanisms are still being researched.

Some studies suggest that avocados' combination of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats may help optimize hormone levels by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase activity.

Their anti-inflammatory properties may also prevent DHT from binding to follicles. Including nutrient-dense avocados in your diet is an easy way to potentially manage DHT naturally.

Walnuts

Walnuts contain L-lysine, which a few studies have shown can help block the DHT production by inhibiting the 5-alpha reductase enzyme.

They are also rich in protein, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin E and other nutrients that may help protect against hair loss and promote hair growth.

The amino acid L-lysine paired with walnuts' other beneficial nutrients make walnuts a promising natural option for keeping DHT levels under control.

Bananas

Bananas are a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that some evidence suggests may help prevent testosterone from being converted to DHT by 5-alpha reductase.

Biotin deficiency is also linked to hair loss, so getting sufficient biotin from bananas and other foods likely helps maintain healthy hair growth as well. Bananas also provide prebiotics like fructooligosaccharides that help feed the good bacteria in your gut.

Since gut health impacts hormone regulation, bananas support balanced DHT levels through biotin content and gut benefits.

White Mushrooms

Mushrooms like white, cremini and portobello are excellent sources of the mineral zinc. Zinc plays a vital role in protein synthesis and the growth and repair of tissues like follicles.

More importantly, zinc acts as a natural DHT blocker by being a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, blocking the production of DHT from testosterone.

Zinc deficiency is linked to hair loss, so consuming zinc-rich mushrooms ensures you get enough of this key nutrient to potentially lower DHT and promote hair growth.

Carrots

These vibrant root veggies are loaded with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, as well as other antioxidants like vitamin C, E and K.

The antioxidants in carrots are believed to stimulate follicles and promote hair regrowth while preventing breakage and shedding related to DHT damage. Vitamin A plays key roles in cell growth for healthy hair production.

Meanwhile, C vitamin may inhibit DHT synthesis. Eating carrots frequently gives you a nutrient-packed way to nourish follicles and potentially reduce DHT's effects.

Watermelon

Similar to tomatoes, watermelon is an excellent source of the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene.

There's evidence that lycopene can help minimize the effects of DHT on the scalp and follicles through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.

Enjoying watermelon can provide a good dose of lycopene to potentially protect against DHT-related male pattern baldness.

Spinach

This leafy green veggie is loaded with zinc, a mineral that directly blocks the activity of 5-alpha reductase and inhibits DHT production from testosterone.

Zinc deficiency has been linked to hair loss and shedding, so getting ample zinc from spinach and other plant foods is key for keeping DHT levels under control.

Spinach also provides iron, C vitamin, and other nutrients for hair growth on your scalp.

Soy Products

Sources of soy like edamame, tofu and soy milk are rich in isoflavones - compounds that may help lower DHT levels by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase activity.

The primary isoflavones in soy, like genistein and daidzein, can bind to the enzyme and block its ability to convert testosterone into DHT.

This protects against DHT's effects like hair follicle miniaturization leading to thinning hair and bald spots.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene. Some research indicates that lycopene may help reduce the effects of DHT on the scalp and hair follicles.

By countering DHT through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms, the lycopene in tomatoes may slow or prevent follicle miniaturization caused by high DHT levels.

Almonds

These nuts are rich in vitamin E and healthy fats that may help manage DHT levels linked to hair loss.

A study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology found that vitamin E inhibits the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which converts testosterone to DHT, thereby potentially preventing hair follicle miniaturization.

Almonds also provide zinc, an essential mineral for hair growth, and anti-inflammatory compounds that may counteract the effects of DHT-induced inflammation.

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What is DHT?

DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is an androgen hormone derived from testosterone that plays a significant role in male biological characteristics, including hair growth, and is associated with hair loss in both men and women.

DHT is a potent form of testosterone that is produced when the enzyme 5-alpha reductase converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. While DHT is essential for male development and characteristics, excessive DHT levels can negatively impact hair growth by binding to hair follicles, leading to thinning and hair loss, especially in individuals with a genetic predisposition to male or female pattern baldness.

How does DHT affect the hair growth cycle?

DHT affects the growth cycle by shortening the anagen (growth) phase, causing hair follicles to shrink, and ultimately leading to hair fall and hair loss.

The natural hair growth cycle consists of three phases: anagen (growth), catagen (transition), and telogen (resting). DHT impacts the anagen phase by binding to hair follicles, causing them to shrink and produce weaker hair strands. Over time, this results in a shorter anagen phase, thinner hair, and eventual hair loss.

By blocking DHT, you can help restore the normal growth cycle and promote healthier hair growth.

Why should you block DHT?

Blocking DHT is essential for preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth, as excess DHT production can cause hair follicles to shrink and weaken, leading to thinning and baldness.

In individuals susceptible to hair loss, DHT molecules can bind to hair follicles, causing them to shrink and produce thinner, weaker hair strands. Over time, this can lead to hair loss and baldness. By blocking DHT production, you can protect your hair follicles from the harmful effects of this hormone, potentially slowing down hair loss and promoting healthier hair growth.

It's important to note that DHT is also responsible for body hair growth. And that usage of these foods might also lead to weight loss as you adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Will DHT blocker foods help your hair loss?

DHT blocking foods can help combat hair loss by reducing the levels of DHT, a hormone linked to hair fall and male pattern baldness.

Consuming DHT blocking foods can be a natural and effective way to address hair loss. These foods contain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help inhibit the conversion of testosterone to DHT, a hormone that can cause hair follicles to shrink and contribute to hair loss. Including DHT blocking foods in your diet, along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, can potentially slow down hair loss and promote hair growth.

How do DHT blocking foods work?

DHT blocking foods work by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into DHT, thus preventing the accumulation of DHT and its negative effects on hair follicles.

DHT blocking foods are rich in certain nutrients, such as lycopene, zinc, biotin, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help inhibit 5-alpha reductase activity.

By doing so, these foods can help reduce the production of DHT in the body and minimize its harmful effects on hair follicles, potentially slowing down hair loss and promoting hair growth.

Best 4 tested ways to help reduce hair loss

While the foods can help reduce hair loss, they might be less effective than rigorously researched solutions.

With these solutions, you can ensure effectiveness through years of research and clinical testing.

1. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

hair growth products before and after

Consider Scandinavian Biolabs' Hair Growth Routine as an alternative solution.

Unlike dietary approaches that solely focus on blocking DHT, our routine takes a comprehensive approach to rebalancing the hair growth cycle naturally.

The Hair Growth Routine relies on a carefully formulated blend of botanical ingredients that work to nourish the scalp and follicles, creating an optimal environment for healthy hair growth. Rather than harsh chemicals, the formula harnesses the power of nature to gently support the body's natural processes.

Clinical studies have shown the routine to be effective in promoting fuller, thicker hair growth in men and women experiencing various types of hair loss.

Scandinavian Biolabs prides itself on using high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients and adhering to strict manufacturing standards.

For those seeking a well-researched, natural approrach to addressing hair thinning or shedding, the Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine presents a compelling alternative to explore.

The routine aims to deliver visible results without the potential side effects associated with more aggressive DHT blocking methods.

Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Formulated to combat shedding & signs of balding
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Formulated to combat thinning hair & visible scalp

2. Finasteride

If you are certain that your hair loss is caused by a high DHT level (we're speaking professional diagnosis), then Finasteride is an FDA-approved hair loss treatment that can block DHT hormone from causing more hair fall.

Finasteride works for DHT hair loss by specifically inhibiting the type II 5-alpha reductase enzyme, thereby reducing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a key factor in the miniaturization of scalp hair follicles.

Or, look at alternatives to finasteride.

3. DHT blocking supplements

DHT blocker foods are a more natural way for you to reduce your DHT levels.

But many of us lead busy lives, with often no time to proactively pick what we eat.

For those who are busy, DHT blocker supplements present an effective, safe, and convenient way to make sure your body gets the nutrients it needs to stop your body from excess DHT.

4. Hair transplant

Hair transplant is a popular way to quickly undo your hair loss. Typically, the surgeon transplants your hair from areas where you do not have hair loss to your scalp.

However, hair transplant is typically expensive and require a lot of downtime.

Contrary to popular belief, hair transplant do not guarantee success. There is always a chance of failure and side effects.

You might want to try other alternatives that could work for you for cheaper.

Final thoughts

DHT hair loss can be treated with DHT-blocking foods and a healthy and diverse diet, DHT-blocking medication, scalp massage, and our specially formulated hair care routine.

Through understanding DHT production and its connection to hair loss, specialists have found ways to hack hair loss through DHT blocker foods, so you can recover from hair loss one mouthful at a time.

Read more:

Resources

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24836650/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4017725/

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-4-431-56547-5_71

https://www.thehairphysio.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Nutrition-in-Hair-loss-management.pdf

Disclaimer: The information presented in this article may indicate trends, but by no means is sufficient research to confirm that these foods will block DHT. We highly recommend visiting a licensed healthcare provider to get more personalized and accurate information.

Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.