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Cemmos's article

Instead of having to hunt for beard oils that don't contain DHT blockers, another route to take is to make your own. It's both economical and provides peace of mind that you're not hindering your progress when trying to grow your beard out. The initial cost might add up to more than a bottle of pre-made beard oil that you might find, but because we're purchasing these items in larger quantities, they will last much longer than a single bottle of oil.

 

Things You'll Need to Make Your Own Beard Oil

  • Carrier oil
  • Essential oil
  • Glass amber bottle
  • Steel funnel

Carrier Oil

The carrier oil will be the main ingredient of the beard oil. You could technically just buy some carrier and call it a day; this alone would provide enough benefits of keeping your hair and skin healthy without going overboard with your purchases. But if you want some scents and benefits of using essential oils, you'll want at least one of those too. Grab a carrier such as jojoba, and make sure it's cold-pressed for the best quality. Jojoba most resembles our natural sebum, doesn't contain a composition that inhibits DHT (like coconut oil), and is very light and easy to spread. It's not a thick oil, unlike castor.

 

Essential Oil

As an example, peppermint essential oil was tested against minoxidil and was shown to be an effective way of growing hair. Keep in mind that there are a lot of essential oils that are plant-derived anti-androgens — you don't want to be putting these on your face, as we talk about in the article "Why We Shouldn't Use Scalp-Related Products to Grow Our Beards."

In short, the mechanism of growth shouldn't be via 5-alpha reductase inhibition, as we need DHT to grow facial hair.

In conclusion, our experimental data suggest that 3% PEO facilitates hair growth by promoting the conservation of vascularization of hair dermal papilla, which may contribute to the induction of early anagen stage. In addition, PEO effectively stimulated hair growth in an animal model via several mechanisms and thus could be used as a therapeutic or preventive alternative medicine for hair loss in humans.

- "Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs"

 

Amber Bottles

The glass amber bottles run for cheap and are great because they block out more UV rays than the blue bottles do. Most oils that you buy will likely come in amber-colored bottles. A 10-pack of half oz (15ml) bottles with glass droppers run for less than 7 bucks, which will allow you to make a different combination of oils if you're going that route.

15ml of beard oil should also last quite a while: my beard at the time of this writing is roughly 4 inches off my face, with no trimmings to keep it short or neat. 7-10 drops of oil does the trick for both the skin and beard hair. To put things in perspective, there are 300 drops in 15ml.

The steel funnel is the most optional out of all of the things you'll need, but it will definitely make mixing your oils easier. It's self-explanatory.

 

Mixing the Oils Together

Now that you've gathered everything you need, all you really need to do now is get the essential(s) mixed into the carrier(s). Using the included dropper that came with your carrier oil, fill your amber bottle almost to the neck, but leave some space as you'll want to take into account putting the dropper back into it and the additional ingredients you're adding. If you have the 15ml bottles as we'll be using as an example, great. If you have the 30ml bottles (that's 1 ounce), then all you need to do is double the numbers to achieve the same thing.


15ml = 0.5oz | 15ml = 300 drops


Note that 300 drops is an estimate, as it also depends on the oil you're using, as the viscosity varies. This guideline is fine to use for most oils, however, and the general rule in aromatherapy is that 1ml contains 20 drops.

 

Diluting the Essential into the Carrier

After you've gotten your carrier into your bottle, you'll need to start adding drops of essential into it. This is where the steel funnel comes in handy, particularly if you've purchased an essential that uses its cap as the dropper (more common) rather than one that comes with a glass, detachable dropper.

Generally, you'll want to stay around 2-3% dilutions, which would mean:


6 drops essential to 15ml carrier = 2%
9 drops essential to 15ml carrier = 3%


If you have only one essential, such as peppermint, put 9 drops in; close the cap; shake it up! It's that easy. If you're adding more essentials to make your own scent, add just a single drop at a time until you feel that the scent is where you want it.

I'd recommend not going over about 5% (15 drops to 15ml carrier) of essential oils in the total makeup of your beard oil. Remember that essential oils are potent, so it takes very little to have an effect on your skin (positive or negative). Essential oils can actually be toxic in high doses, such as if you put the undiluted oil directly onto your skin in large amounts. So avoid doing that.

 

Quick Application without Mixing

If you don't have amber bottles or a way to mix your oils, you can also do a quick application. Simply put your carrier oil into your palm, then a single drop of your essential; rub your hands together, then apply to your beard. This is higher than a 5% solution, of course. Take note of how your skin reacts, highly diluted or not. If you're wary of reacting to essential oils, do a spot test first by applying your diluted solution to the underside of your arm and check it 24 hours later. Keep in mind that we can have skin reactions to essential oils, but we cannot have allergies to them.

 

Additional Tips & Reminders

  1. Store your essential oils in a cool place, like your refrigerator, to keep the lifespan of them prolonged. Many oils last years, particularly if they're stored in a cool place and are sealed with the cap.
  2. Don't go overboard with adding essential oils into your carrier oil. Try to stick to a 2-3% solution, and if you want to later, go higher after you've been using the oils for some time. This gives your body a chance to adjust to using these oils.
  3. Do a spot test to check for adverse skin reactions. It's nothing to be scared about, but safety comes first.
  4. Keep carriers and essentials out of direct sunlight, even with amber bottles. The sun heats up and cools down the oils, causing oxidation.

Have you mixed an oil that you'd like to share with Beard Profile members? Let us know over on the beard boards; many people are interested in different beard oil combinations.

You may also be interested to learn more about beard oils, balms, and butters. In that link, we go over every facet one needs to know about these products, as well as some great example ingredients of how to mix/make your own!

 

Products Linked in This Article

For quicker reference back to the products we've listed in this article, you can find them easily below to mix your own beard oils.

Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is an androgen hormone derived from testosterone. Years ago, and even to some extent still today, DHT was inappropriately considered a bad hormone that merely caused things such as male pattern baldness and prostate cancer. According to a study, prostate cancer may not even be caused by DHT. While it may be one cause of baldness in men prone to it, the hormone itself is responsible for a number of health benefits in men.

One of these responsibilities includes developing secondary sex characteristics like facial hair and the male reproductive system. This is especially important during puberty. For adults, DHT is the primary androgen for our beard growth and our prostate's wellness. In fact, using DHT blockers like finasteride has been shown to lower libido in men that are trying to combat baldness. The trade-off is, essentially, loss of manhood for head hair.

 

DHT Promotes Body and Facial Hair Growth

Like we've discussed in the article "Why We Shouldn't Use Scalp-Related Products to Grow Our Beards," androgenic hair requires dihydrotestosterone. Without DHT and by inhibiting the enzyme (5AR) that converts it from testosterone, we are not helping facial hair growth at all. This seems to be highly misunderstood by many people, including those that sell beard oils that contain anti-androgens. DHT, locally, for balding men is bad only in the sense that it's part of the reason that causes them to bald. It is, otherwise, still very good for everything else.

A higher level of serum DHT does not not correlate with balding.

  . . . Yet the absolute serum androgen concentrations in men with a disposition to balding is lower than in men with no reduction of scalp hair. The widespread assumption that androgen levels are in general elevated in bald-trait men must therefore be rejected. In accordance with this finding, men with a disposition to balding are morphologically (with regard to anthropometric measures) no more masculine than those with good scalp hair growth . . .

Technically, it's the free testosterone in your system along with the local 5-alpha reductase enzyme at your scalp that causes hair to thin, not necessarily the amount of DHT you have.

 

DHT is an Aromatase Inhibitor and Promotes a Better State-of-Mind

DHT is converted from testosterone via 5-alpha reductase and is at least three times more potent than testosterone itself. What's great about DHT is that it cannot be converted into estrogen like testosterone can; it quite literally blocks the conversion of testosterone into estradiol, which is why DHT is known as an aromatase inhibitor.

We rely on hormones (test, estrogen, DHT) to feel healthy, happy and stress-free. DHT has a neural effect that lasts longer in our brains compared to testosterone because of its vastly superior potency to it as an agonist to the androgen receptor.

Take libido as one example. Men with healthier sexual appetites are, in general, happier and less stressed than those with low libido. DHT = libido.

 

Moving forward...

 

Being Fat Lowers Testosterone and DHT

DHT has little anabolic effect on skeletal muscle compared to testosterone, so it's not necessarily going to be your muscle builder (which, in turn, the extra muscle would burn more fat). However,

. . . statistical analysis indicated that DHT, but not T, was independently negatively associated with different measures of fat mass and insulin resistance . . .

 - http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jc.2007-0252

Fat, particularly that around the midsection, has been shown to increase aromatase enzyme activity, which converts testosterone into estrogen. Being more lean leads to higher testosterone levels, as well as higher DHT, as less testosterone is being converted into estrogen. This aromatase enzyme is found in fat cells.

Because leptin is also associated with fat, the more fat you have means higher levels of leptin and lower levels of testosterone. In short, leptin controls our satiety and tells us when enough is enough when it comes to food. Being fatter means having less control over eating reasonably.

 

5AR Inhibitors; What We Should Avoid

DHT blockers should be avoided when possible. While it's common to say "DHT blocker," the actual mechanism of blocking DHT is through the reduction of 5AR, the enzyme that converts DHT from T.

There are topical and oral products that inhibit 5AR, as well as foods. Here is a short list of some of the most common DHT blockers. This is not an exhaustive list.

Essential Oils:

  • Rosemary
  • Lavendar
  • Tea Tree
  • Pumpkin Seed
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Emu

Pharmaceuticals:

  • Dutasteride
  • Finasteride
  • Alfatradiol

Foods/Vitamins:

  • Zinc
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Soy
  • Rice bran

Increase DHT by Eating Good Fats and Organic Foods

There are some great foods that increase 5-alpha reductase activity. Things that increase testosterone are also good to keep in mind. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are a no-no; go for saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.

When possible, eat organically. In studies, agricultural pesticides have demonstrated anti-androgenic effects, with a reduction in 5AR activity.

Coffee (and the caffeine that goes with it) is a great addition to one's active lifestyle, as it can work as a fat burner while also increasing performance and endurance in the gym. Remember, the less fat you have, the easier it is to raise your testosterone levels. The more output you can work into your intense exercise routines, the more your T levels raise. The majority of your caffeine benefits will come from your exercise, so if you're a sedentary person, consider getting up off that chair; caffeine also raises cortisol levels, which you want to avoid, so don't drink a bunch of coffee and laze about thinking it's only beneficial.

For some carbs, think about picking up some whole grain sorghum or sorghum flour which can increase 5AR by over 50%. With the grain, you can pop it like popcorn and with the flour, you can add a tablespoon or two to your post-workout shake to make things easy. Or for you chefs out there, bake some bread with it!

 

Stay healthy, active and stress-free.

Now that you know why DHT is so important, and a little bit about how to avoid inhibiting it and continue promoting it, let's spread the word: DHT is good. Get the body you want and grow the beard you aim for.

Make the most of the plethora of knowledge we're blessed with today. And beard onward.

 

Products Linked in This Article

For quicker reference back to the products we've listed in this article, you can find them easily below.

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