When these receptors are more prone to allowing DHT to attach them, it may trigger hair loss.

To slow down or stop hair loss, DHT’s impact on hair follicles must be reduced. There are two ways this can be accomplished.

  • Blocking DHT: Even if the DHT level was high in the blood, if this hormone can’t bind to the hair root, then its adverse effects will be prevented. With this logic, if treatment involves a way to manipulate the receptors to not attach to DHT, it may stop hair loss or slow down.
  • Inhibitors: If the body produced less DHT, then hair loss could be prevented. With this logic, a treatment that involves a way to prevent the body from producing excessive amounts of DHT hormone could stop hair loss or slow it down.

Here is the list of ways to reduce DHT:

  • Improving diet with essential nutrients
  • Reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption
  • Activity levels and sleep pattern
  • Using education such as Finasteride

Improving Diet With Essential Nutrients

Hair needs essential nutrients to maintain a healthy growth cycle and continue to grow. When the body lacks some or all of the necessary nutrients, hair loss may occur. It is vital to remember that hair loss might not only happen due to nutrient deficiency and there could be many reasons that a person can or can not control.

With that being said, to minimize hair loss or stop it, it is important to ensure the body has all the nutrients it needs to grow hair. Also, some of the nutrients may work well against DHT and protect the follicles from its impact.

The nutrients can be grouped to make it easier to see what sources provide the resources for hair to stay healthy. Here is the list:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Protein
  • Omega Acids

Here is a table with the food that contains most of the essential nutrients to prevent hair loss.

Dairy Products

Green Leafy Vegetables

Nuts (Mixed)

Citrus Fruits

Fish

Red Meat

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamins B2, B12

  • Vitamin D

  • Protein

  • Zinc

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamins B1, B2, B6

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin E

  • Protein

  • Zinc

  • Iron

  • Vitamin B2

  • Vitamin E

  • Protein

  • Iron

  • Zinc

  • Niacin

  • Folate

  • Vitamins B6, B12

  • Vitamin D

  • Iron

  • Zinc

  • Niacin

  • Vitamins B6, 12

  • Vitamin C

  • Folate

  • Niacin

  • Vitamins B6, B12

  • Vitamin D

  • Protein

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid

*Source Healthline

Vitamins

Vitamins are very small organic molecules that assist an organism’s metabolism to function properly. Usually, the human body needs very small quantities of vitamins and can’t store them. Vitamins are used if they are necessary otherwise, they will be disposed of. That’s why it is crucial to intake vitamins on a daily basis not only for hair but for many other functions they have. (Harvard Health)

It is not advisable to rely only on the vitamins that are listed below as even if there is no direct correlation between a vitamin and its positive effect on hair, there still may be an indirect impact.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important as it is involved in vision, growth, cell division, reproduction, and, immunity. Another benefit of Vitamin A is its antioxidant properties. Especially individuals who are exposed to radiation or consume tobacco products may benefit from Vitamin A as it protects the body from the adverse effects of harmful substances.

For more information about Vitamin A, the National Institutes of Health has excellent content.

Since the body needs Vitamin A for growth and immunity, consuming enough Vitamin A could help the body to maintain hair health. Moreover, with the immunity benefit of Vitamin A, the body can protect itself better against microbes, thus this would improve the endurance of hair follicles.

It should be noted that as helpful as Vitamin A can be, taking higher doses than recommended may be harmful. The recommended daily amount of vitamin A is 900 micrograms (mcg) for adult men and 700 mcg for adult women. Furthermore, too much Vitamin A intake is associated with hair loss ( The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review).

Spinach, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt), liver, green leafy vegetables, carrots, and cantaloupe are rich in Vitamin A, and consuming these regularly can ensure having enough amount of Vitamin A in the body.

B Vitamins

The vitamin B complex includes eight water-soluble vitamin substances—thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, biotin (B7), folate, and vitamin B12—that aid in cell metabolism.  The recommended daily allowances of these vitamins can be reached by eating a balanced diet, with the exception of biotin, which is the only B vitamin produced by the body. In healthy individuals, biotin does not need to be supplemented.

More information can be found on the National Institutes of Health’s related page.

Only riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss. 

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) helps cells to produce energy and maintain a healthy structure. This vitamin deficiency may cause hair loss since the hair follicles are made up of cells and these cells need riboflavin to produce energy and eventually grow (The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review).

Vitamin B7 or Biotin takes place in histone modification, cell signaling, and gene regulation. Although Biotin deficiency is linked to hair loss, there are no large-scale studies to support this thesis. According to a study, when 18 patients with biotin deficiency were supplied with the vitamin, they showed improvement in hair and nail production. ( The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review).

Vitamin B9 (or Folate) and Vitamin B12 may have an effect on hair follicle production however studies so far are not high in numbers or convincing enough.

B Vitamins can be found in whole grains, meat, fish, seafood, and dark, leafy green vegetables.

For Vitamin B12, the only source is from animals and this could be a problem for vegans or vegetarians. It is advisable for these individuals to start taking supplements to ensure the body has enough Vitamin B12.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the well-known vitamins in the world. This vitamin helps the body with controlling infections and healing scars. The vitamin itself is a powerful antioxidant and its structure can kill the radicals or harmful organisms in the body.

More information can be found on the National Institutes of Health’s relevant page.

As covered in the earlier chapters, hair loss may occur due to hair follicles getting damaged by the radicals in the bloodstream. If the follicles are damaged or blocked, the hair can’t survive and eventually falls.

Vitamin C can act as a vital protector against the oxidative impact caused by elements in the blood. Moreover, the body needs collagen, an important aspect of hair structure, and collagen production requires Vitamin C. Additionally, Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron, a mineral essential for hair production.

Vitamin C can be found in good quantities in strawberries, peppers, guavas, and citrus fruits as well as can be taken with a supplement.

More information about Vitamin C can be found here (The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review).

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that also is present in the human body as a hormone. This vitamin assists the body with absorbing and keeping the phosphorus and calcium. There are many other benefits of the vitamin in the human body such as reducing cancer risk, controlling infections, and promoting bone growth.

Vitamin D deficiency could trigger hair loss, according to the search. Also, consistent levels of Vitamin D in the body might help growing new hair follicles.

This vitamin can only be synthesized with the sunlight, so just having enough amount of Vitamin D in the body is not enough. Direct sunlight is mandatory.

Fatty fish, cod liver oil, some mushrooms, and fortified foods are good sources of Vitamin D as well as supplements.

More information about Vitamin D can be found here (The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review).

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that has many benefits in the human body. In structure, it is fat-soluble.

The common duty of antioxidants is to protect the cells from free radicals and help with the immunity of the body. Vitamin E can help the body to combat sickness and protect the body from getting ill.

According to a small study, Vitamin E is linked to hair production. Patients who have taken Vitamin E had 40% hair growth while placebo group had almost none.

Moreover, Vitamin E may increase blood flow. This could bring more nutrients and oxygen to the follicles and help them to grow if they are in the rest phase. Additionally, having the recommended amount of Vitamin E could increase the health and thickness of existing follicles and combat against hair thinning.

Vitamin E can be found in green leafy vegetables as well as some nuts. There are also many dietary supplements that have Vitamin E.

More information about Vitamin E can be found here (The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review).

Minerals
Iron

The most common nutritional deficiency in the world is iron deficiency.

Iron is one of the most important minerals that provide the body with the energy it needs as well as improving immunity system and regulating body temperature.

The deficiency of iron could lead to hair loss or thinning.

Iron can be found in clams, oysters, eggs, red meat, spinach and lentils. Dietary supplements may also include Iron.

More information about Iron can be found here (The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review).

Zinc

Zinc takes part in DNA synthesis, immune system, metabolism and growth. Moreover, it could help the body with reducing inflammation .

The recommended daily intake would be 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women. Zinc deficiency could cause hair loss or thinning. However, taking too much of this mineral could cause side-effects and therefore individuals should be careful when taking this mineral.

Hair tissues need Zinc to grow and maintain. Another benefit of Zinc to the hair would be keeping the oil glands in the scalp working properly.

Zinc deficiency may cause alopecia. According to a couple of studies, individuals who had hair loss had lower levels of zinc in their system when compared to the healthy individuals. However, there are some contradicting studies that find no correlation between zinc and hair loss (The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review).

You can find more information about these studies and results here.

Zinc can be found in oysters, beef, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and lentils. In addition, many dietary supplements contain Zinc.

Protein

Protein is one of the most important elements in human body, Protein helps the body to form almost all of the tissues such as muscles, brain and nervous system.

Hair follicles are made of a protein called keratin and if there is protein deficiency, this protein can’t be created. Thus, hair follicles start to enter the telogen or rest phase. Over time, this could cause hair thinning and loss. Having enough protein in one’s diet could even help with hair regrowth.

Meat, poultry, fish and seafood, dairy products and some green leafy vegetables are rich in protein. (Betterhealth.gov)

Omega-3 Acids

Omega-3 is linked to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss although the studies are not strong enough to make a case.

Omega-3 acids could provide essential proteins and nutrients to hair follicles to help them grow and stay healthy. Moreover, omega-3 acids may prevent hair follicle inflammation. This effect could save follicles from falling due to inflammation. Furthermore, omega acids are linked to improving blood circulation in the scalp that may help more blood and thus nutrients supplied to the hair follicles (Healthline).

More information about Omega-3 acids and their potential benefits to hair can be found here (Healthline).