DHT Blocker Shampoo Side Effects On Male And Female: Full List

Medically reviewed by Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

If you're struggling with hair loss, you have probably found out that it could be treated using DHT blocking shampoos.

It's not wrong, DHT blocker shampoos can indeed be a hair loss treatment.

But, as with anything that interferes with your hormones, it comes with potential side effects for male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss.

What is the ingredient in a DHT blocker shampoo that can cause side effects?

The active ingredient in your DHT shampoo can be the reason behind the side effects.


Ketoconazole, or ketoconazole shampoo, is a potent antifungal that targets scalp conditions and reduces DHT levels, potentially leading to irritation or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. 

Saw Palmetto

Derived from the fruit of the saw palmetto tree, this natural DHT blocker is believed to slow hair loss by blocking DHT. Its use can occasionally result in scalp itchiness or irritation.

Tea Tree Oil

Known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil is used to cleanse the scalp and prevent dandruff. However, this natural ingredient may cause allergic reactions or skin irritation in some people.

Pyrithione Zinc

This ingredient is effective against dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. While beneficial for scalp health, it can sometimes lead to dryness or irritation of the scalp.

Salicylic Acid

Used to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum from the scalp, salicylic acid can promote a healthy hair growth environment. Nonetheless, it might cause skin dryness or irritation in higher concentrations.

What are DHT blocker shampoo side effects?

DHT blocking shampoo side effects generally do not differ based on gender, as the side effects are related to the ingredients in the shampoos and how they interact with DHT production, DHT levels, scalp, and hair.

The main side effects of DHT blocker shampoos for both male and female hair loss are:

  • Scalp rashes, blisters, and burns
  • Change of hair texture
  • Scalp irritation and dryness
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fear, anxiety
  • Acceleration of hair loss
  • Fading hair color
  • Premature scalp aging
  • Inflammation and blocked blood circulation to the hair follicle

These side effects are caused by DHT blockage, so even if you opt for natural DHT blockers, it might still happen.

How to minimize DHT?

To minimize side effects, it's important to focus on factors that directly impact how these DHT shampoos interact with your scalp health and hair growth cycle.

Here are a few ways you can minimize DHT side effects:

1. Follow Application Guidelines Precisely

Adhere closely to the recommended amount and frequency of use provided by the anti DHT shampoo manufacturer. Using too much shampoo or applying it too frequently can exacerbate side effects.

2. Gradual Introduction to Your Routine

Introduce the DHT blocker shampoo into your hair care routine gradually, starting with fewer applications per week and slowly increasing as your scalp adjusts, to minimize potential irritation or adverse effects.

3. Rinse Thoroughly

Ensure you rinse your hair and scalp thoroughly after each use to remove all traces of the shampoo. Residual products can lead to scalp irritation or dryness.

4. Moisturize and Condition

Use a nourishing conditioner or a scalp moisturizer after shampooing, especially if you experience dryness or irritation from the DHT blocking shampoo. This can help restore moisture balance and soothe the scalp.

5. Monitor Scalp and Hair Health

Regularly assess your scalp for signs of irritation, such as redness, itching, or flaking, and monitor your hair for changes in texture or increased shedding. These observations can help you adjust your use of the product accordingly.

6. Patch Test for Sensitivity

Before fully integrating a DHT blocker shampoo into your regimen, perform a patch test by applying a small amount to a discreet area of your scalp. Wait 24 to 48 hours to observe any adverse reactions.

7. Limit Concurrent Hair Treatments

Avoid using other potentially irritating scalp or hair treatments in conjunction with a DHT blocker shampoo, such as chemical hair dyes, perms, or relaxers, to reduce the overall burden on your scalp.

Is there an effective alternative for hair growth?

An alternative without any harmful side effects and has a 93% clinical trial effectiveness.

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Hair Growth Routine | For Women
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What to do if you see side effects?

In case of severe side effects of DHT blockers, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Do not apply the DHT blocking shampoo again and wait for the doctor’s instruction to alleviate the side effects. They will also be able to give you alternative hair loss treatment options depending on your male or female hair loss.

Read more:


  1. Dihydrotestosterone [Internet]. [cited 2021 Sep 19]. Available from: https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/dihydrotestosterone/
  2. Burke D. Allergic Reaction: Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention & More [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Sep 19]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/allergic-reaction
  3. Green B. How Bad are Parabens for Your Hair? [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2021 Sep 19]. Available from: https://voiceofhair.com/how-bad-are-parabens-for-your-hair/

    Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S. is a House Physician in the Medical Unit 3 Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, and deals with hepatic, cardiac, neurological, and dermatological issues daily. He did his MBBS from Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad. He believes that a good haircare routine is one where you nourish it naturally. During his free time, he works as a dermatologist for Scandinavian Biolabs.