Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a hormone that the body naturally makes from testosterone. Though it’s important to have this hormone to grow body hair, it’s detrimental to have too much of it because it can cause people to lose the hair on their head. This is where DHT blockers come in. The job of a DHT blocker is to reduce the amount of DHT in the body to slow down or even stop hair loss. Though there are lots of supplements and vitamins that claim to be able to block DHT in the body, they’re not all equally effective when it comes to helping stop hair loss. The following are the main DHT blockers that you should know about because they are backed by scientific evidence, including clinical studies.

Caffeine

Caffeine can do more than just wake you up throughout the day. According to several clinical studies, it also has the power to reduce hair loss because it can block DHT. In fact, the International Journal of Dermatology published a study in which researchers exposed hair follicles to testosterone and then observed that their growth slowed down. The researchers then exposed the hair follicles to low amounts of caffeine and saw increased growth. Drinking caffeine won’t make a noticeable difference in hair growth, but applying it topically can, which is why using a special shampoo that contains caffeine can help anyone who wants to stop hair loss.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, is a type of catechin that is found in tea leaves. It’s known for its effects on health, since it is an antioxidant that happens to help stop hair loss. One way it does this is by increasing the length of the anagen stage of the hair growth cycle. During this stage, the hair grows about half an inch every month or so. Essentially, anyone losing hair at a rapid pace should want to stay in the anagen phase for as long as possible, and EGCG can help with this. For example, in one study, researchers gave rats green tea orally and saw a hair regrowth rate of 33 percent, with no hair loss. Meanwhile, the control group saw hair loss during the study.

Saw Palmetto Berry Extract

Saw Palmetto Berry Extract, or SPBE, is another DHT-blocking substance. This extract comes from a plant that people have been using as both medicine and food for decades. Not only can it increase libido, treat bladder infections and reduce the size of an enlarged prostate, but it can also stop hair loss by binding to the DHT receptor that is present on the hair follicle. In a two-year study performed using SPBE, males who took it orally saw an increase in hair growth. The study included 100 males ranging from 20 to 40 years old. About 38 percent observed hair growth, while more than 52 percent either maintained or grew their hair during the study.

All three of these DHT blockers have been shown to be effective for many men hoping to avoid hair loss or even regrow their hair. Rather than trying each one out individually to see what works best for you, try them all at once via the Shapiro MD shampoo and conditioner. This line of products features these three DHT blockers in a safe, sulfate-free base that can help your hair become fuller and thicker over time.