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high dht levels in women

Of the myriad causes for women’s hair loss and female pattern baldness, imbalance hormones, especially a high presence of DHT, is one of the most common physiological instigators. This hormone attacks the hair follicles, which leads to hair loss and the inability of hair to grow back from that follicle without intervention or treatment. Learning about DHT, how it’s made, why women might have higher levels of it, and what you can do about it can empower you to make the best possible decisions to treat and possibly reverse female hair loss, as well as prevent future loss.

What is DHT?

DHT is short for dihydrotestosterone, a hormonal byproduct of testosterone when acted upon by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. It’s one of the leading hormonal causes of hair loss in both men and women. In men, it makes sense. Men have a higher level of testosterone on average, so the fact that so much testosterone could be converted to damaging levels of DHT isn’t a surprise. But why would women have a higher level of DHT?

Testosterone and DHT in Women

Since you can’t have DHT without testosterone, and women do naturally have testosterone in their bodies, it’s not actually that much of a shock that women could become affected by DHT-related hair loss. If you’re a woman with higher-than-usual levels of testosterone, those high levels could make you more prone to DHT-related hair loss, since you’ll naturally have higher levels of DHT in your system than women with lower testosterone levels.

High testosterone levels in women often show up with the same type of symptoms, even though there are various conditions that could be the culprit. Acne, a deepening voice, excess body hair, unusual facial hair, and other similar symptoms could be indicative of a hormonal imbalance. If you suspect that you have high levels of testosterone, you should speak with your primary care physician or gynecologist to have a blood panel run and to discuss possible treatment options, if necessary.

However, you don’t have to have elevated levels of testosterone in order to experience damaging levels of DHT. Even if your blood work shows normal — and in some cases even low — levels of testosterone, you can still fall victim to DHT-related hair loss. It only takes a relatively small amount of testosterone converting to DHT in your system to cause damage to your hair follicles.

Causes of High Testosterone in Women

If high testosterone is the problem, one of three main conditions are likely to be the culprit. Hirsutism, polycystic ovary syndrome, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia are the three most common causes of high testosterone in females. Here’s a little bit of information about each one, but if you suspect you have a hormonal imbalance, you should seek out medical advice from a qualified physician.


Hirsutism is a hormonal imbalance that results most notably in excess or unnatural body hair. It’s most common to experience excess body hair on the chest, face, and back. This condition is caused by an imbalance in androgen (male) hormones, including testosterone, and while the amount of excess hair you experience is due largely to your genetic makeup, unwanted or excess hair in these areas is usually a sign to get checked out.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a painful and frustrating condition that many women experience. Because it often causes an imbalance in androgen levels, including testosterone, PCOS can also be a catalyst for higher DHT levels and subsequent hair loss in women. Some of the most common symptoms of PCOS include irregular and/or prolonged periods, infertility, obesity, excess body hair, and type 2 diabetes, among others.

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) directly affects the adrenal glands, which results in hormone production irregularity. In many, but not all, cases of CAH, the body overproduces androgen hormones. Since testosterone is an androgen, that means people with CAH can also experience higher levels of DHT. Infertility, excess body hair, and severe acne are a few common signs of CAH. If you experience them or otherwise believe you may have CAH, contact your doctor.

How to Combat High DHT Levels in Women

If you’re a woman suffering from higher than usual DHT levels, or you’re dealing with hair loss due to DHT, it’s important to consult medical care to ensure you don’t have an underlying hormonal condition that could be causing other issues, as well. Aside from that, using hair products that you find at most stores can actually cause worsening hair loss as many of them have harsh ingredients and follicle-clogging substances.

Using a natural hair care product, like Hair Renew, is a great way to help combat current hair loss and prevent future loss. Hair Renew uses ingredients like saw palmetto and nettles, which naturally help to block DHT from negatively affecting your scalp and hair follicles. It also includes cleansing and naturally nourishing ingredients that help to unclog pores, reverse the damage that other products or styling habits might have caused, and restore your hair. You can learn more about our products by visiting our ingredients page or shopping for Hair Renew directly.