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DHT Cream For Hair Growth: Does It Work?
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Updated on June 10, 2024

Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is an important hormone when it comes to hair growth. If you have male pattern baldness, your sensitivity to DHT is a major contributor to hair loss. Research suggests it can play a part in female pattern hair loss, too [1].

DHT creams are often used to treat hormone deficiencies in children [2]. But what’s the impact of DHT creams on hair growth?

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What DHT cream is and what it does.
  • The difference between DHT creams and topical dihydrotestosterone (DHT) blockers.
  • Which DHT creams you can use to promote hair growth.
Table of Contents

What is DHT?

DHT is an androgen or male sex hormone. It’s necessary for the physical development of male foetuses, and continues to play an important role in infancy and childhood for boys.

However, after puberty, DHT can be detrimental in men. Excessive amounts of DHT or high sensitivity to the hormone can lead to an enlarged prostate gland and male pattern baldness.

DHT binds to sensitive hair follicles and causes them to miniaturise, so they eventually stop producing hair:

hair follicles shrink infographic

What is DHT cream and what does it do?

DHT creams like androstanolone and stanolone are primarily used to treat hormone deficiencies in children. The most well-known DHT cream is Andractim, which contains a 2.5% concentration of DHT.

Other evidence suggests DHT cream can be used to promote penile and prostate growth in those with underdeveloped external genitalia [3].

There’s currently no evidence to suggest the DHT creams above work to treat hair loss. However, creams or topical solutions that block DHT production may help improve your symptoms if you are experiencing hair loss.

What’s the difference between DHT creams and DHT blockers?

DHT creams contain the active ingredient dihydrotestosterone, which is essential for boys but not for adult men. Most children have naturally adequate levels of DHT; DHT creams are only necessary if they have a hormone deficiency and could benefit from androgen replacement.

Topical DHT blockers, meanwhile, can protect adult hair follicles from the effects of DHT naturally produced by your body. Topical Finasteride and topical Dutasteride are both effective treatments for male pattern baldness.

There are also some natural DHT blockers and DHT blocking shampoos that may help promote hair growth.

Does DHT cream work for hair growth?

DHT cream is very unlikely to help your hair grow. While no studies have investigated the use of DHT cream for hair loss, it’s well established that DHT can cause hair loss [4-5].

Since DHT creams contain DHT, applying them to your scalp is likely to make hair loss worse in adults with male pattern baldness.

Instead, use a topical formula that contains a DHT blocker like Finasteride or Dutasteride to treat hair loss.

Is DHT cream safe?

DHT cream is safe for its intended usage, but it shouldn’t be used for hair loss. It could actually damage your prospects of hair growth and hasn’t been tested clinically for this purpose.

DHT blockers, on the other hand, have been shown to safely promote hair growth in those with male pattern baldness. Finasteride is one of just two licensed male hair loss treatments in the UK.

While topical DHT blockers haven’t yet been licensed, evidence suggests they are safe and effective for many people [6-7]. This includes women, who are usually advised to avoid oral DHT blockers. Learn more about DHT blockers for women.

How to use DHT blocking cream

Topical DHT blockers are usually available as sprays or solutions rather than creams. They’re only available off-label, so you’ll need to get a prescription from a qualified trichologist or doctor.

Topical Finasteride and topical Dutasteride usually come in a spray or dropper bottle for easy application:

  1. Clean your scalp — Clean and dry any thinning areas on your scalp.
  2. Apply solution — Use the spray or dropper nozzle to apply the prescribed amount.
  3. Guide solution across balding areas — Use your fingertips to gently spread the solution across all areas affected by hair loss.

Remember to wash your hands after applying to avoid spreading the solution elsewhere on the body.

Should you use DHT-blocking cream for hair growth?

DHT-blocking creams and solutions aren’t suitable for everyone, so it’s important to seek professional advice before using them.

While early studies show anti-DHT creams to be effective for women, they’re not always recommended. DHT blockers will only help with hormone-related hair loss, and there are usually multiple contributing factors in cases of women’s hair loss. So most women need a tailored female hair loss treatment plan that tackles the specific causes of their alopecia.

DHT-blocking creams are more widely used as a hair loss treatment for men, but it’s still essential to consult a trichologist to see if this treatment is likely to stimulate hair growth.

Book a consultation at the Wimpole Clinic to discuss your hair loss, and we can help you put the right treatment plan in place.

DHT Cream For Hair Growth: Does It Work?, Wimpole Clinic

DHT cream FAQs

Learn more about DHT cream for hair growth in these FAQs.

DHT creams that treat hormone deficiencies are androgenic anabolic steroids.

However, DHT-blocking solutions that can promote hair growth are not steroids.

Possible DHT cream side effects include [2]:

  • Acne and oily skin
  • Increased body and facial hair growth
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • Hoarseness and other voice changes

DHT-blocking solutions, meanwhile, can cause side effects like skin irritation, itchiness, contact dermatitis, and redness.

Yes, DHT gels and creams boost the ratio of DHT to testosterone, which in turn lowers testosterone levels [9]. Find out more about the effect of DHT blocker Finasteride on testosterone.

Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)Updated on June 10, 2024
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