4 Things to Know About DHT Blockers for Hair Loss


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Life is full of abbreviations… LOL. IMHO. NBD. WTF. We could rattle off dozens. But one you may not be as readily familiar with is DHT.

It’s short for dihydrotestosterone, and if you know anything about hair loss, you know that DHT definitely isn’t your BFF. 

Enter: DHT blockers — hair loss treatments that either cut down the levels of DHT in your body or inhibit the effects of DHT at the scalp level.

Not all DHT blockers are created equally though. While some are backed up by high-quality scientific research, others aren’t supported by, well… much of anything, really. In short, DHT blockers can vary hugely in terms of quality and effectiveness. 

It’s our job to help you navigate the lingo and the options to find some HLP — hair loss peace (we just made that one up). So below, we’ve explained:

  • How DHT can contribute to hair loss

  • How DHT blockers work to treat issues such as male pattern baldness

  • Which DHT blockers are worth using as hair loss treatments 

  • Which are best avoided

That’s the TL;DR — here’s the whole story.

(Related: How to Get Finastride Over the Counter?)

What is DHT?

DHT is the sinister figure walking among your follicles. The main hormone involved in male pattern hair loss, DHT can attach to receptors in your scalp and damage your hair follicles. Over time, this can lead to a receding hairline, hair thinning and even severe hair loss.

DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a type of androgen (male sex hormone) — the most potent one produced by your body. Your body produces DHT as a byproduct of testosterone through the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. 

Like other androgens, DHT is highly important for your development as a male —you could say it writes your genetic bro code.

During the fetal development process, it plays a key role in producing your male genitalia. During childhood and puberty, DHT is responsible for your body hair, facial hair, deep voice and other male features.

In short, DHT is one of the hormones that makes you, as a man, male, at least during the early phases of your life. 

DHT Hormone and Balding in Men

Unfortunately, not all the things DHT is responsible for are desirable, kind of like how you won’t enjoy spicy food as much the next morning. After puberty, DHT takes on another, crappier role as a hairline ruiner. 

When DHT binds to receptors on hair follicles, it causes them to go through a process called miniaturization, in which the anagen phase of the growth cycle becomes progressively shorter. This reduced anagen phase results in hairs that are likewise thinner and shorter. 

Over time, as each hair follicle goes through a shorter anagen phase, new hairs eventually become so small that they’re unable to penetrate through the skin, like those seeds you planted in third grade science class that never came up. 

This type of hair loss is referred to as androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. It tends to begin as mild thinning around your hairline, and over the course of years or decades, it may also affect your crown. Eventually, it can cause significant hair loss across most of your scalp.

Not everyone is equally sensitive to the effects of DHT, which is why some men go bald early in life while others maintain a full head of hair well into old age.

Researchers believe that men affected by androgenetic alopecia tend to have higher levels of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which converts testosterone into DHT, as well as an increased level of androgen receptor activity in the scalp.

There’s a lot more to this — if you’re interested, our guide to DHT and male pattern baldness goes into more detail about what DHT is and the effects it can have on your hair follicles. 

(Related: What is propecia?)

Do DHT Blockers Actually Work?

So, do DHT blockers work? The answer to this question largely depends on your definition of “effectiveness.” 

DHT blockers do not magically reverse the effects of male pattern baldness. With the exception of hair transplant surgery, there’s no way to instantly restore a receding hairline or other consequences of pattern hair loss.

If you have realistic expectations though, then some DHT blockers — the ones supported by high-quality scientific evidence, at least —  can stop, slow down or partially reverse the effects of male pattern baldness.

But which one(s) you choose is important to your results. DHT blockers come in two main forms. Some, such as the hair loss medication finasteride, stop DHT from being produced from testosterone by blocking the effects of certain enzymes, such as 5-alpha reductase.

Others, such as DHT blocker shampoos, conditioners and hair oils, work by blocking the effects of DHT at specific parts of your body, such as the scalp. 

What Are the Best DHT Blockers?

Like we said earlier, not all DHT blockers are equal. These treatments for hair loss aren’t all supported by a substantial amount of scientific evidence. 

Of the DHT blockers on the market, finasteride is far and away the best DHT blocker. It’s approved by the FDA, it’s backed up by plenty of actual research, and it’s readily available following a consultation with a healthcare professional. 

OTC shampoos, conditioners and other supplements work differently and to varying degrees. 

Read on to learn more about these options.


Finasteride belongs to a class of drugs called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. It works by reducing the effects of the 5α-reductase enzyme, which is responsible for the conversion of testosterone into DHT. 

Although finasteride, also known by the brand name Propecia, starts working right away, its effects on hair growth aren’t immediate. You may need to use finasteride for six to 12 months before you’ll be able to see improvements in your hair’s thickness, density and coverage. But during that time, here’s what will be going on beneath your scalp:

  • Process. By blocking DHT production directly at the source, finasteride drastically reduces the amount of DHT that can bind to receptors in your scalp and other parts of your body. Research shows that finasteride can lower the amount of DHT in blood serum by as much as 70 percent.

  • Effect. Because of its effects on DHT, finasteride is highly effective at slowing down, stopping and even reversing hair loss from male pattern baldness.

  • Results. In a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in the late 1990s, researchers found that men with pattern hair loss who used finasteride had clinically significant increases in hair count around the crown of the head.

  • Better hair growth.A more recent study from Japan found that more than 91 percent of men who used finasteride to treat male pattern baldness experienced improvements in hair growth.

  • Fun fact: Topical finasteride is not FDA-approved (yet) but has shown promise in clinical studies.

  • You can get it. We offer oral finasteride online, following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate.

DHT-Blocking Shampoos and Supplements 

While finasteride works by blocking DHT at its source, other DHT-blocking agents work locally (at the follicle) by preventing DHT from damaging hair follicles at the scalp level. 

Although DHT-blocking shampoos can produce improvements in hair growth, there’s not nearly as much scientific evidence to support their benefits as there is for finasteride.

DHT-blocking shampoos are widely available over the counter. They contain active ingredients that reduce the effects of DHT on your scalp and hair follicles.

Over the years, several active ingredients have been identified as possibly stopping the effects of DHT, making them popular choices for DHT-blocking shampoos. 

Look for the following ingredients when you’re comparing hair loss shampoos:

  • Ketoconazole. An antifungal medication, ketoconazole is commonly used to treat fungal skin infections such as athlete’s foot (tinea pedis). It’s also known to inhibit 5α-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT. Research suggests that ketoconazole shampoo can increase hair density and stimulate hair follicles to enter the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle.  

  • Saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is a popular natural ingredient that’s produced from a palm called Serenoa repens. A study published in the journal Urology found that it can reduce DHT levels in prostate tissue when taken as a supplement. Other research has found that saw palmetto can produce improvements in hair growth for men with pattern hair loss. You can find saw palmetto in our hair thickening shampoo, which is formulated to target DHT and promote volume and moisture.

  • Pumpkin seed oil. Pumpkin seed oil is a natural product that’s been linked to improved hair growth. In one study, researchers found that it may stop prostate growth — an issue that’s often caused by high DHT levels — when used with saw palmetto. Other research suggests that pumpkin seed oil supplements can increase hair growth in men with male pattern baldness. 

In general, it’s best to use hair loss prevention shampoo with finasteride, rather than on its own as a hair loss treatment. Our guide to DHT-blocking shampoos explains more about how a hair loss shampoo can fit into your hair care routine for optimal results. 

Side Effects of DHT Blockers

DHT blockers are safe and effective for most men, so you don’t have to worry about weird DHT blocker side effects like hairy palms from scrubbing these shampoos into your hair. However, some DHT-blocking medications may cause other side effects — including sexual ones. 

The most common side effects of finasteride include decreased libidoerectile dysfunction (ED) and ejaculation issues, such as a reduction in semen volume.

These side effects only affect a small percentage of men who use finasteride. For example, data from clinical trials shows that erectile dysfunction — the most publicized side effect of finasteride — only occurred in 1.3 percent of men who used it at the standard 1mg dose. 

Side effects from DHT blockers used in hair loss prevention shampoos are similarly uncommon, though some ingredients may cause irritation, dry skin, itchy skin or other minor side effects. 

If you experience any side effects while using finasteride or a topical DHT blocker, it’s important to let your healthcare provider know. 

Other Treatments to Use With DHT Blockers

Finasteride, for all its benefits, is not a one-stop shop, buddy. And like your aunt’s geriatric cat, you’re going to benefit from more than one medication in your daily routine. 

Although DHT is the main hormone responsible for male pattern baldness, there’s more to hair loss prevention than just blocking it from affecting your hair follicles.

Other hair loss treatments may help to limit shedding and promote growth by: 

  • Moving hairs into the anagen phase of your hair growth cycle

  • Improving blood circulation 

  • Providing hair with the nutrients to grow to full strength, length and density 

In addition to the DHT blockers listed above, consider using the following treatments as part of your hair loss prevention routine:


As the other side of the most famous duo in hair growth, minoxidil is a successful topical and oral medication for hair loss. It moves hairs into the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle by increasing blood flow to the scalp, which results in growing hair on your head. 

Some quick facts:

  • Although minoxidil doesn’t lower DHT levels, it’s one of the most effective medications available for treating male pattern baldness, especially when it’s used in combination with finasteride.

  • It’s a team player. In a study published in the journal Dermatologic Therapy, researchers found that 94.1 percent of men with androgenetic hair loss who used topical minoxidil and finasteride together saw improvements in their hair.

  • It can handle some hair loss by itself, too. In comparison, 59 percent of men who used minoxidil alone and 80.5 percent of men who used finasteride also showed improvements.

We offer minoxidil solution and minoxidil foam online. You can also buy finasteride and minoxidil together in our Hair Power Pack

Biotin Supplements

Who doesn’t love a good vitamin on a list of treatments? 

Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a water-soluble that’s found in certain foods. It’s also a popular dietary supplement that serves as an important nutritional building block for thick hair, strong nails and healthy skin. 

Like many vitamins for hair loss, research is mixed overall on the effectiveness of biotin as a hair growth supplement. However, some studies of supplements containing biotin suggest that they may offer benefits — especially on the rare occasion they’re used in someone who’s biotin-deficient.

Using DHT Blockers for Hair Loss

Hair loss from male pattern baldness can creep up on you in the form of rising DHT levels. Like global warming, it’s a problem that can sneak up on you if you don’t listen to experts. Also like global warming, it’s important to take action if you notice any of the early signs of balding

Knowing what action to take comes down to a few simple reminders:

  • Used effectively, DHT blockers like finasteride and our Hair Thickening Shampoo can help you to slow down or stop androgenic hair loss. 

  • In many cases, they can even stimulate growth and let you maintain a full head of thicker, healthier hair well into your 40s, 50s and 60s. 

  • But not all DHT blockers are created equally.

  • So, do your research. If you’ve noticed symptoms of DHT-related hair loss and want to take action, you can view our complete selection of hair loss treatments online.

The problem isn’t going to go away without being escorted out, so when you see DHT getting out of hand, it’s time to signal the bouncer. You can learn more about slowing down, stopping, and reversing hair loss using finasteride in our full guide to finasteride for men

This article originally appeared on Hims.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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17 Ways Men Can Increase Their Stamina in the Bedroom

17 Ways Men Can Increase Their Stamina in the Bedroom

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your partner in bed, and it’s affecting your private life, you’re not alone. Not to worry, though, because there are plenty of ways you can increase your stamina, even if you’re encountering some hurdles. 

Issues like  PE, ED and performance anxiety can make it difficult to last longer in bed. Health and lifestyle factors can take their toll too.

The good news is they’re treatable. We’ll take a look at what stamina means and how you can improve your private life or better control your timing so you won’t climax so quickly


What does stamina mean for men exactly? Simply put, stamina is your individual physical and mental ability to sustain activity before having to rest. How long you last and when you reach climax can affect your stamina. On average, it takes five to seven minutes for men to come  — although the range is wide. 

Certain dysfunction problems and overall health issues can weaken your stamina. PE is one of the most common forms of dysfunction, affecting about 20 to 30 percent of men who are active (although reports are very subjective, so the true prevalence might be higher or lower). While PE can occur alone, it’s often seen along with ED.

Other factors that can affect stamina include:

  • Coming. As you’ve probably noticed, you have to take a break after coming to rest and let your refractory period pass. The refractory period allows your body to rest from activity and return to a normal state.

  • ED. Sometimes, your ability to maintain an ED can interfere with your performance. ED is the inability to get or maintain. When you have ED, you may lose you last.

  • Physical exhaustion. At the end of the day, arousal is a physical act that can wear you out. If you’re exhausted from work, lack of sleep or overextending yourself physically, you may be too fatigued.

  • Psychological factors. Your mind can play a role in your ability to perform in bed. Mental health disorders, dealing with PE in a relationship or just the fear of not satisfying your partner are all psychological factors that can affect stamina.


If you’re aiming to increase your stamina and last longer during arousal, there are several things you can do — from making changes to your habits and lifestyle to using medication.

Below, we’ll share 17 simple, science-based tactics to increase your stamina, improve your performance and make it a longer-lasting, better experience for you and your partner.

Try Topical PE Treatments

If you tend to come too early during penetrative arousal, topical treatments might help.

Delay Spray is a PE spray that can reduce sensitivity in your genitals without completely numbing it. Spray it on 10 to 15 minutes before getting intimate to have an enjoyable performance without worrying about coming too quickly.

Our guide to lidocaine spray for PE goes into greater detail about how these products work and how you can use them effectively for better stamina and a more pleasurable performance.

Another topical PE treatment to consider is wipes. Clockstopper Climax Delay Wipes contain benzocaine, a local anesthetic that can limit overstimulation of the genitals and lengthen sessions.

According to one study, these wipes may improve symptoms of PE.

To use these wipes, apply them to the head and shaft of your genitals and allow it to dry for five minutes before performing.


If do-it-yourself methods for how to improve stamina are ineffective, it might be time to seek medical care. If you’ve been diagnosed with PE, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication to help manage symptoms.

Some medications can be used to treat PE, though they aren’t approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to treat PE specifically. These include sertraline (the active ingredient in Zoloft), paroxetine (generic for Paxil) and sildenafil (Viagra).

When used as prescribed, these medications might help you control your climax and last significantly longer in bed.


If you have dysfunction problems like ED, prescription medication may be a good option to increase stamina. 

PDE5 inhibitors are ED drugs that can help you get aroused by increasing blood flow to your genitals. Some of the more common PDE5-inhibiting medications include sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and avanafil (Stendra).

Our guide to PDE5 inhibitors covers how these medications work and how they can help promote harder arousals. 

Some companies offer several ED medications online, such as chewable ED hard mints, following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who’ll determine if a prescription is appropriate.


In case you didn’t know, poor health habits can contribute to dysfunction.

While performing can be considered mild to moderate physical activity, you’ll need to get physical outside the bedroom to maintain the healthy weight and cardiovascular health to keep you at peak performance in the bedroom.

According to a review of multiple studies, ED is commonly associated with the following factors:

  • Physical inactivity

  • Obesity

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

  • Metabolic syndrome

  • Cardiovascular diseases

Obesity can impact stamina. A review of 47 studies revealed a substantial connection between obesity and decreased function. In fact, ED is more common among men with obesity than men without obesity. 

When you have a high body weight, you’re more susceptible to weight-related diseases and other health problems. 

The body mass index (BMI) can be a great screening tool to help estimate your risk for developing certain diseases that may later contribute to dysfunction. You can use the CDC’s BMI calculator to see what your number is.

See the breakdown of BMI rates for men below.

  • Underweight: 18.4 or below

  • Healthy weight: 18.5 to 24.9

  • Overweight: 25.0 to 29.9

  • Obese: 30.0 or higher

Keep in mind BMI isn’t the be-all and end-all for physical health. Speak with your healthcare provider to discuss weight concerns.

So, what can you do to maintain a healthy weight? Generally speaking, adults should aim to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and two days of muscle-strengthening activity.

Even small bouts of exercise can help improve your functioning, so get moving. 


Remember the old saying, “You are what you eat?” Well, it’s actually true. If you want to increase stamina, you need to eat the right foods.

Aim for foods rich in amino acids like l-arginine. You can find l-arginine in most animal-based sources of protein, including fish, poultry, red meat and dairy products.

According to a review, your body converts l-arginine into nitric oxide, which helps relax your blood vessels to promote blood flow throughout your body. Nitric oxide is responsible for increasing blood flow to the genitals to help you get aroused.

Beyond protein, you can add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes to your diet. And try to limit junk foods, of course.

It’s important to keep in mind that eating certain foods won’t immediately make you a rockstar in the bedroom. Eating a healthy diet is more about long-term health and, over time, can reduce the risk of diseases (like cardiovascular disease) that may contribute to dysfunction.

(RelatedWhat Foods Help You Get Hard: 8 Foods For ED)


Since arousals are about healthy, consistent blood flow, good heart health is essential for maintaining arousal. 

There are many connections between ED and cardiovascular diseases. In fact, ED is sometimes considered a vascular disease, meaning it affects blood flow. 

A review showed that ED is commonly seen in men with high blood pressure. It also noted that this dysfunction problem could be a side effect of antihypertensive medications.

Diabetes is another cardiovascular disease that can contribute to ED. Research shows that men with diabetes are three times more likely to develop ED than men without diabetes.

Talk to a healthcare provider about your cardiovascular health and how it might affect stamina in bed. If necessary, your provider may prescribe medication or suggest changes to your habits and lifestyle to improve your heart function and promote better performance. 


Are you catching enough Z’s each night? 

Poor sleep is associated with many health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, hypertension and cardiovascular disease — which, as you now know, are often at least party to blame for many guys’ issues with arousal.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 33 percent of American men have a “short sleep duration,” meaning they get an average of less than seven hours of sleep per night.

The CDC recommends adults 18 and older get seven or more hours of sleep each night.

A review of studies linked these sleep disorders to ED and other urological disorders:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

  • Insomnia

  • Shift work disorder

  • Restless legs syndrome

To get your shut-eye, set a sleep schedule you can stick to or try a supplement or prescription aid (if appropriate)to fall asleep faster.


There’s nothing wrong with having a glass of wine, beer or a cocktail here and there in social settings. But over-consuming alcohol is a no-no when it comes to how to increase your stamina.

A review of multiple studies revealed that alcohol is tied to performance problems, such as alcohol-induced ED.

In a study involving 100 men diagnosed with alcohol dependence, 72 percent had one or more dysfunction problems, such as PE, ED or low libido.

With this in mind, the CDC suggests limiting alcohol to no more than two drinks a day.

As you may already know, drinking heavily can affect your heart health too. A review found that daily binge drinking was associated with arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and hypertension — both conditions can affect blood flow to the genitals.

Another habit that can impact stamina is smoking. A review found that cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing ED regardless of age or health problems. This is possibly because cigarettes can affect the nitric oxide pathway, worsening the mechanisms responsible for ED.

If you’re ready to quit smoking, contact your healthcare provider. They can provide resources and recommend medications to help you quit. 


Want to know how to improve stamina in a more simplified way? Spend more time with your partner before getting hot and heavy.

What exactly can you do? For starters, try kissing, touching or oral performances with your partner to extend your time together.

(RelatedDoes Honey Make You Last Longer?)


As with foreplay, take your time to slow things down. Unless that’s the goal, fast performances can lead to coming early.

Instead of speeding through it, dial it back a notch and go at a slower pace, focusing on enjoying the shared experience with your partner.

To keep things interesting, try mixing different intensity levels. When things get more intense and you feel the climax approaching, slow down to get your breath. This is known as edging.

Going slow initially can pay off in more intense, exciting and pleasurable performances.


Yes, something as simple as switching what condom you use can increase stamina in bed. If you’re feeling overstimulated, thicker condoms might be the answer.

Several brands sell “extended pleasure” or “delay” condoms to help slow coming. Some condoms for PE are thicker than average, while others may contain numbing ingredients to reduce the physical sensations of performances.

A study involving 100 patients with PE found that thicker condoms can be effective in enhancing the intensity and time of your arousal. You may have to try a few to find a comfortable condom that meets your needs.


The stop-start and squeeze techniques are non-medical ways to treat low stamina.

With the stop-start technique, you have as usual until right before you reach climax, then slow down or stop until the urge to come disappears. 

This method can be fairly easy and effective, but you might have to practice a few times to get it right. 

Studies have shown that 45 to 65 percent of men have short-term improvements with performing using this technique.

The squeeze technique involves squeezing the head of your genitals right before climaxing, then waiting about 30 seconds to recover before continuing. Like the stop-start technique, this method can take practice.


Guys, pelvic floor exercises aren’t just for women.

Pelvic floor exercises (aka kegel exercises) can train the muscles extending from your pubic bone across your tailbone. These muscles are responsible for controlling urination and some aspects of the process.

One study found that pelvic floor exercises increased stamina in men with PE. More evidence suggests pelvic floor exercises may improve arousal in men with ED.

Check out our guide to pelvic floor exercises for a simple kegel exercise routine. It only takes a few minutes a day to improve your control and potentially boost your stamina.

Inside Creative House/istockphoto

It’s okay if you need more time to reach climax and come a second time. In fact, it can be quite normal for many men due to the refractory period, which can last a few minutes or as long as a day.

If you want to know how to improve stamina, consider jerking off hours before to slow down the climax and come.

Results of this method vary among men. Research suggests that some men find jerking off before performing helpful, but it only works if they’re able to get a second arousal within the right time frame.

Do so too long beforhand, and you won’t notice as much of a benefit. Experiment with timing to see what works best for you.


Nothing’s wrong with watching adult content here and there, but too much of a good thing can impact your expectations about performing. 

As discussed in our guide to adult content-induced ED, some research has found a link between adult content usage and decreased satisfaction — an issue that could contribute to a reduced level of interest in performing.

Also, adult content addiction can impact real-life relationships. A study involving 487 men aged 18 to 29 suggested that higher adult content use negatively impacted the enjoyment of intimacy with a partner.


While you might be tempted to skip the doctor’s office and try non-prescription pills to increase stamina — take caution.

Non-prescription “Viagra” pills are often marketed as natural options for boosting stamina and improving function. But they may contain unlabeled ingredients that pose safety risks for consumers.

Learn more about the risks of these products in our guide to non-prescription ED pills. Or check out the FDA’s list of tainted enhancement products.


Mental health disorders and emotional issues may contribute to low stamina.

In a study involving over 18,000 patients, having depression was highly associated with the risk of PE. A review of multiple studies showed that dysfunction can arise in younger men due to anxietydepression, low self-esteem and relationship issues.

If you’re facing emotional issues or have a mental health condition, consider in-person or therapy.


To maintain arousal, control coming and lasting longer in bed, explore ways to increase stamina. The above tips and techniques can help you improve performance and enjoy longer-lasting experiences.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • Low or absent stamina may arise from dysfunction, performance anxiety, medical conditions, poor physical health or mental health issues.

  • PE treatments typically involve a combination of psychotherapy, behavioral modifications and pharmacologic therapy. 

  • ED treatments may include PDE5 inhibitors or other medications.

  • Non-medical approaches and lifestyle changes might help with endurance. This includes the stop-start technique, using thicker condoms, limiting adult content, masturbating before performing, maintaining a healthy weight, doing regular workouts, drinking less and quitting smoking.

This article originally appeared on Hims.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.



Featured Image Credit: Inside Creative House/istockphoto.