One of the brightest stars on last weekend’s Britain’s Got Talent was a young singer named Ella Shaw who sat down at a piano and then performed one of her own compositions, a song called Summertime.
When the 18-year-old from Lancashire scored four yeses from the judges, a week of media activity ensued. A highlight was a revealing interview with Lorraine Kelly on the Lorraine show.
Suffered from alopecia
The singer – who has previously appeared on the X Factor – told Lorraine that she had suffered from Alopecia in her last year of primary school. She also explained how this difficult part of her childhood actually went on to make her stronger.
“It was quite a time,” Ella said, “but I wouldn’t have wished it not to happen… it boosted my confidence and I want to try and spread the message that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that things will be OK at the end.”
The singer went on to explain that after having been picked on for her hair loss and being made to feel miserable as a result, she vowed that she would never pick on others. This, she says, helped her to be a better person because she now knows what it feels like to “be at the bottom”.
Fortunately, Ella’s Alopecia cleared up after three years, and she has since gone on to perform numerous concerts and write a multitude of songs.
William Hill bookmakers currently rate Ella’s chances of winning Britain’s Got Talent at a promising 14/1.
Hitting rock bottom
The feeling of having hit rock bottom, just like Ella did, is quite a common complaint amongst women who suffer from Alopecia Areata, which is characterised by a sudden, patchy loss of hair. Like Ella, many sufferers also make a recovery, although this doesn’t happen overnight.
Journalist Alya Mooro, writing recently in the Daily Telegraph, explained how she was 23 when she first found a bald spot at the back of her head, a horrifying moment that quickly led to the realisation that she was suffering from Alopecia Areata.
Alya spent the next year hiding her problem from almost everyone, she says, and described the misery of seeing ever more hair disappear down the drain during the initial stages of her hair loss treatment course. She also became something of an expert on the subject, and writes in the article about how common the complaint actually is, pointing out that up to 8 million women in the UK are currently suffering from hair loss.
There are a number of suggested factors behind why people suffer from Alopecia Areata, including allergies, viral infections, physical trauma, stress and also a genetic predisposition. However, there is no definitive answer as to why it affects some people.
Treatments shown to be effective
At Belgravia, we offer treatment for Alopecia Areata in its mild to moderate stages, and while the condition has no known permanent cure, a number of treatment options have been shown to be effective.
One is the topical formula Minoxidil, which is licensed by the MHRA and the FDA for the treatment of genetic hair loss but has also been seen to produce promising results in cases of Alopecia Areata. Pictured is just one example showing Paris, a Belgravia client who came to us for treatment for her alopecia areata and experienced significant regrowth, as you can see in her full Success Story.
Many find applying high strength minoxidil straight onto the affected areas an effective and satisfying way to ensure that the product is going exactly where it is needed.
Other treatments sometimes offered by hospitals include steroids, which is most successfully used as an injection. Steroids are injected directly into the scalp and are well suited to smaller patches of hair loss, though the experience can be uncomfortable and painful. On-going topical immunotherapy is another option although the success rate is only 40%.
As with all hair loss conditions, an early diagnosis is strongly recommended so that specialists can offer personalised advice on how best to proceed.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.