DHT binds to the androgen hormone receptors in the dermal papilla cells at the base of hair follicles.77 Its binding strength is five times that of testosterone and triggers certain genes that promote hair loss.(16) Studies indicate DHT is also three to seven times more potent than testosterone.84
One of the effects of DHT is miniaturization of hair follicles. Normal scalp hair follicles are the large terminal type, but in men and women with androgenetic hair loss scalp follicles shrink, the growth phase of the hair cycle is shortened, and the replacement hairs become fine and shorter.16
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