Testosterone may function as a dht antagonist as a man ages, having positive implications for hair growth and health. The prevailing myth for years has been that a high testosterone level is somehow bad for hair, due largely to its assumed propensity to increase DHT. We still occasionally get pestered with the age old question, will lifting weights increase hair loss, due to the increase in testosterone. First of all, the borderline moronic way most people train (or overtrain) will have little effect, if any on raising testosterone, and even if it did they would likely be helping their hair in a roundabout way. An associated myth is that balding men are somehow more virile, with the perverse paradox being that hair loss likely reduces the chance of having virile encounters. One study evaluating hormone levels in men with hair loss revealed that men with MPB actually have lower testosterone levels than the non-balding controls. So much for the myth of increased virility.
The one exception to this appears to be older adolescent and young males who can occasionally manifest early onset MPB due to a combination of high testosterone and low Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), facilitated by insulin resistance associated with growth spurts.
So should I actually use exogenous testosterone for hair growth you ask? Not so fast. If you have low testosterone you invariably have an insulin resistant state and a higher level of aromatase , and you will convert much of it to estrogen and DHT, predisposing to bodyfat accumulation ,prostate disorders and hair loss.
However if testosterone is increased on its own vis a vis insulin management and pharmaceutical and/or plant based aromatase inhibitors, estrogen and DHT will typically decline. If exogenous testosterone is introduced AFTER insulin resistance has ameliorated, it is not likely to be problematic for hair. So the question becomes, what can be done to inhibit aromtase and facilitate insulin management to optimize my hormone profile for both health and hair growth?
Several things. In no particular order: Green Tea Extract, Black Tea Extract, Resveratrol, Pomegranate Extract all have established en vivo aromatase inhibiting, testosterone increasing properties in human and animal models. All are also documented and viable players in helping to treat insulin resistance.
Dietary common sense, translated- a mostly raw, moderate to high protein diet with lots of saturated fats (yes you read that correctly) like Red Palm and Coconut Oil, minimal to no grains, and lots nuts ,seeds, fruits and vegetables will by itself largely correct an insulin resistant state.
By far the best excersize for health and hair is a combination of resistance training, (Kettlebells are by far my favorite) along with a short sprint based oxygenating aerobic workout, known as HIIT or in its most intense form, Tabata interval training. This type of training has been shown to improve insulin resistance. Sustained distance aerobics could theoretically have a negative impact on hair and overall health via several mechanisms.
So if there `is a takeaway here, let it be that you realize that a physiologically high testosterone is actually your friend , not your enemy in the fight against hair loss, and that are several ways one can readily increase your testosterone levels, ameliorate insulin resistance, and simultaneously enhance your health and longevity.
Decline of plasma 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels upon testosterone administration to elderly men with subnormal plasma testosterone and high DHT levels.
Gooren LJ, Saad F, Haide A, Yassin A.
Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The study was performed to measure the impact of testosterone (T) administration on circulating levels of 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Group 1 (32 men; mean age 61 years; mean T 6.9 +/- 1.9 nmol l(-1)) were treated for 15 months with long-acting T undecanoate. Group 2 (23 men, mean age 60 years, mean T 7.6 +/- 2.0 nmol l(-1)) were treated for 9 months with T gel. Plasma T and DHT were measured before and after 9 months T administration. In the men treated with T undecanoate plasma T and DHT were also measured after 12 and 15 months. Before T administration, plasma DHT ranged from 0.39 to 1.76 nmol l(-1) (0.30-1.90 nmol l(-1)). Mean DHT declined upon T administration from 0.95 +/- 0.50 to 0.55 +/- 0.30 nmol l(-1) (P < 0.05). With an arbitrary cut-off at 0.60 nmol l(-1), all 21 values of DHT > 0.60 nmol l(-1) had fallen from 1.29 +/- 0.50 to 0.70 +/- 0.60 nmol l(-1) (P < 0.01). Below this cut-off point 13 values rose and 21 fell upon T administration. Below this cut-off point values on average declined from 0.39 +/- 0.12 to 0.30 +/- 0.14 nmol l(-1) (P < 0.05). The study revealed that in a cohort of elderly men with subnormal plasma T levels plasma DHT levels declined upon T administration when they were in the higher range of normal (>0.6 nmol l(-1)), with a profound shift of DHT/T ratios presumed to be an indicator of a reduced 5alpha-reductase activity. Below plasma DHT levels of 0.6 nmol