Dihydrotestosterone (often abbreviated to DHT) is the hormone that lies at the epicentre of balding. DHT may also be referred to as 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT) or 5α-androstan-17β-ol-3-one. Don't be confused, they're all the same thing!
DHT is derived from testosterone by the enzyme 5α-reductase. This is the reaction many hair growth treatments, including Finasteride and Saw Palmetto, target. These drugs inhibit 5α-reductase and therefore inhibit the production of DHT. Amazingly simple.
Only about 5% of testosterone is converted to DHT. That leaves a whole heap of testosterone to do what it does best - help you have great sex, help you look like a bloke, and help you build muscle. The effects of DHT are mainly localised to the prostate and hair follicles. That's why reducing the production of DHT doesn't render you testosterone free (thank heavens!). For most young men, this reduction in DHT has no noticeable side effects. In a small proportion, sex drive and sexual potency may be reduced. This is pretty rare and generally reversible.
If you have any more questions on DHT and why it causes hair loss, you can speak with your doctor or have a discreet online discussion with a doctor at Mosh. Complete a quick online consultation to learn more.