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Beauty brand GHD held a day of haircuts at salons across the UK in aid of children’s hair loss charity, the Little Princess Trust on 21st September.

The aim was to raise not only money but also actual hair. This is because the Trust takes donated hair and turns it into real hair wigs which are then given free of charge to children with hair loss, often through cancer or alopecia areata.

#ChopToYourChin Day

Dubbed #choptoyourchin the event encouraged people to donate the minimum seven inches of hair – or more – needed for wig-making. One of those taking part was model, Amber Le Bon who had her hair cut broadcast live on Elle magazine’s Facebook page.

Amber, who is the eldest daughter of original supermodel Yasmin Le Bon and Duran Duran singer, Simon, took a break from her Fashion Week schedule to help the charity.

GHD ambassador and hairstylist Adam Reed, who did Amber’s cut, took 7 inches from nervous Amber’s long hair. He demonstrated how to measure the hair and band it in order to ensure there is enough hair to meet the minimum donation requirements. Though Reed advised anyone considering such a drastic change to have it done by a professional rather than doing it yourself. He also noted that bobbed hairstyles and long bobs – or ‘lobs’ – were a big fashion trend so it was a great way to get a current look whilst donating to a worthwhile and very grateful charity.

Making children with hair loss feel special

During the chop Le Bon said, “The good thing is that hair will grow back and you’re giving it to people whose hair isn’t growing. And I love that idea that my hair will grow back and it will take time but actually I like that process, seeing it change… But this is going to people who are so young – kids! – whose hair isn’t growing… It will make a child feel so special.”

Amber, who said that one of her sisters had also donated her hair to the charity, noted, “As you get older you do lose more hair… but as a child going through that it must be devastating… It can be difficult being a child at the best of times.”

Commenting on the video, the Little Princess Trust – which celebrated its centenary in 2016 – said, “We are SO grateful, Amber, thank you so much from everyone here at LPT!”

“Receiving a wig has a profoundly positive effect on those we assist. Thanks to Amber and everyone participating today in #choptoyourchin as well as all of our incredible supporters who donate their hair to our charity, the children and young adults being supported by Little Princess Trust will benefit at a very stressful time in their lives.”

Whilst Little Princess Trust supplies real-hair wigs to both girls and boys, the UK-based charity recently relaunched a separate boys division called Hero by LPT. Anyone wanting to donate their hair – or money to help produce the wigs and fund paediatric cancer research – can find out more on the charity’s website.


The Belgravia CentreThe 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.


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An up-and-coming Brazilian player whose hair loss has been caused by the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata has fallen foul of a sporting watchdog by using a banned product to try and fix his shedding.

Twenty-two-year old Marciel Silva da Silva is a midfielder for Sport Club Corinthians Paulista – better known as ‘Corinthians’ – in the country’s Série A league, and stress has been cited as the cause for his hair loss. In cases of Alopecia Areata, severe stress – as well as shock and physical trauma – are among a number of “triggers” for the condition that are commonly seen.

Marciel SilvaWorld Anti-Doping Agency

According to Brazil’s GloboEsporte website, the player is just returning to team games following a three-month absence from the pitch. His mistake was to have used a product to treat Alopecia Areata that has been banned by the WADA – the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Precisely what type of alopecia areata treatment Silva used is not clear, although it can safely be assumed that it wasn’t the topical hair loss medication minoxidil, as this is not banned by WADA.

Silva chose to lie low during his absence, which saw him going unusually quiet on social media, where he normally has quite an active presence. One of his few tweets during the ban simply stated: “Stop talking about my bald head.”

It seems that the player does normally take his condition in good spirits, however – there are several shots he has posted to Twitter where he is showing off a shaven head with a big smile on his face. In one photo, there appears to be evidence of a completely bald patch on the front of his head, a classic example of the kind of shedding seen with Alopecia Areata.

Whether or not the player is now seeking alternative treatment for his condition that isn’t banned remains to be seen, though he will likely be more careful about what he chooses if there is a next time.

The Alopecia Areata treatment provided via Belgravia’s in-clinic specialists and pharmacies is for the scalp-only patchy hair loss version that Silva appears to have. It involves recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil being applied directly to the affected areas to help encourage regrowth through opening the potassium channels and promoting localised blood flow. This drug is usually paired with further appropriate hair growth boosters tailored to the individual’s requirements and medical suitability.

Jonjo Shelvey footballerSportspeople in the public eye

It is never easy being a sportsperson with Alopecia Areata, not least because part and parcel of the job is being in the public eye. Former Leicester City and current Phoenix Rising FC left back, Jordan Stewart appears to have developed Alopecia Universalis during his professional footballing career, though he seems reluctant to speak about losing his hair. Premier League footballer Jonjo Shelvey, pictured. who currently plays for Newcastle United, has had to learn to live with the staring and the comments because he has Alopecia Totalis, one of the more extreme forms of the condition which leads to total hair loss on the head.

“It was quite tough for me with people calling me names and things,” he once said of his childhood. Likewise, England rugby star Heather Fisher has spoken openly of how difficult life became when she suddenly started losing hair to Alopecia Areata in her mid-20s. “I felt really ugly,” she said. “And to a certain extent I still do. You just don’t feel attractive because as a woman you want to go out and do your hair. I don’t have that.”

Gold medal-winning Olympian cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand MBE chooses to wear a wig when she is not competing. Both Joanna and Heather are ambassadors for the charity Alopecia UK.

It is usually fairly easy to spot when hair loss is being caused by Alopecia Areata because of the unique pattern of the shedding. Unlike other conditions, where hair often thins out gradually, Alopecia Areata comes on quite suddenly and is usually seen as a bald spot or series of distinct rounded bald patches, which can vary in size. The more extreme phenotypes, Totalis and Universalis, cause total baldness of the head, and from head to toe, respectively. There are currently no effective treatments for these types of alopecia, though researchers believe they are currently on track to release the first in 2020/2021.


Circ - Minoxidil iconThe 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.


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One thing that is sometimes not mentioned in the run-up to chemotherapy treatment is that hair loss may extend to eyebrows and eyelashes as well as the scalp.

Most patients enter into treatment fully aware that severe shedding on their head is likely, but to suddenly notice that your eyebrows or eyelashes have disappeared as well can be both surprising and devastating. The same is true when people are diagnosed with Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis; two autoimmiune disorders which also lead to total baldness of the head and face (Alopecia Universalis causes body hair to fall out, too).

Eyebrows can, of course, be painted back on, but there’s an innovative alternative solution, which is both effective and rather good value.

Eyebrow wigs made from real human hair

For £75, New York salon HairPlace NYC offers a set of eyebrow wigs that are made from real human hair. Popsugar writer Jessica Cruel gave them a try and loved them. “For three days I wore the wigs,” she wrote. “I worried that people would start to stare, or I’d lose a brow on the subway – but neither occurred. Surprisingly, the faux arches were unrecognisable to most. Even my best friends didn’t realise they were fakes! They just looked like I had filled in my brows with dark pencil. In the end, the eyebrow wigs became a time-saving and cost-effective solution.”
HairPlaceNYC natural eyebrow wigs
The salon’s website says that the eyebrow wigs are a “beautiful solution for those who have thin or no eyebrows due to over-plucking, scars, genetic causes, chemotherapy, Alopecia or stress,” and that they are available in a variety of shapes, colours and thicknesses. They are applied with an adhesive and will stay on for up to three days at a time. The Popsugar writer says that they will need replacing every six months or so.

Like hair on the scalp, eyebrows will usually start to grow back within a few months if they fall out after cancer treatment, making eyebrow wigs a good short-term solution. Cold caps can help to minimise hair loss during chemotherapy by chilling the scalp and keeping the drugs away from the scalp, but these devices are not currently designed to chill the eyebrows.

Alopecia options

Eyebrow wigs seem like a good solution for those with temporary hair loss. It is also a worthwhile option for those who have lost eyebrows to other conditions, including scarring alopecia, and are not keen on brow microblading – a form of medical tattooing whereby tiny hairs are tattooed on in a range of shades in order to realistically mimic natural eyebrows. This does require regular top-ups but has been hailed as being incredibly valuable in boosting the self-esteem of people coping with baldness from the severe forms of alopecia areata.

In cases of Alopecia Totalis and Universalis, there is often little chance of any hair growing back, as current treatment options are not well-regarded and are rarely very effective – though help may soon be at hand if new drugs in development in the US are given the green-light.

Moderate Alopecia Areata is a more common form of autoimmune hair loss, affecting up to three per cent of people in their lifetime. Though eyebrow-shedding isn’t normally associated with this sudden-onset condition, it has been seen in some rare cases. In many instances this hairloss will clear up naturally and regrow will resume of its own accord. However, if or when this may happen is unknown.

Treatment for Alopecia Areata of the scalp is possible and often effective. At Belgravia, personalised treatment programmes for this type of patchy hair loss involve topical applications of high strength minoxidil from the recommended formulations available at Belgravia’s in-clinic pharmacies. This solution is applied directly to the scalp where needed, in order to promote an increase in localised blood flow and encourage hair growth. It cannot, however, be used on eyebrows or to treat any other form of facial hair loss or shedding of body hair.


The Belgravia CentreThe 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.


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Up-and-coming Australian musician Daniel Ahern – better known as Bus Vipers – has been learning to live with severe hair loss since he was 11, when he first started losing hair to Alopecia Areata.

This autoimmune disorder, which has several suspected “triggers”, including psychological and long-term chronic stress, physical trauma and sudden extreme stress, sometimes leads to total hair loss on the whole body, as well as the head. When it does, the condition is named Alopecia Universalis, and it is something that Ahern now has.

Key part of identity

Rather than shy away from his baldness, or attempt to conceal it with a wig, Bus Vipers appears to have embraced his hair loss and made it very much a key part of his identity. If the videos for two tracks from his debut EP are anything to go by, the multi-instrumentalist seems more than comfortable in his own skin.

The EP is called Federal Highway, and features a picture of Ahern’s bald head, with no eyelashes or eyebrows, emerging from a pile of sand on the cover; visual imagery that is very much in keeping with the theme of the videos for both CSIRO Weeds and Fluid – two songs which can be found on the new release – which feature Ahern, often naked, in a variety of artistic scenes.

Rolling Stone described the video for Fluid, the most recently-released of the two, as “beautifully bizarre”, and for anyone with Alopecia Areata and its related conditions it is sure to be inspiring. Continues below…

Unfortunately, what often happens when people lose all or a significant amount of their hair to these autoimmune disorders is that their self-esteem is severely dented. It’s something that England rugby star Heather Fisher – who started losing her hair to Alopecia Areata in her mid 20s – has spoken about at length. “I felt really ugly,” she said of how she felt after first shaving off the last few strands of hair she had left. “And to a certain extent, I still do.”

Options when alopecia is severe are few and far between, though Alopecia Areata treatment can be effective on people aged 16 and over with patchy hair loss of the scalp only. At Belgravia, a fully rounded treatment course based around topical applications of high strength minoxidil from the recommended formulations available at Belgravia’s in-clinic pharmacies is often used to help promote regrowth, alongside additional hair growth boosters.

While Bus Vipers appears unlikely to be interested in any kind of products that would bring back his hair, many others with Alopecia Universalis are awaiting the possibility of new treatment options based around drugs known as JAK inhibitors. Initial trials suggest that these show great promise at growing back hair even on completely bald heads, though regulatory issues mean that it is likely to be at least a few years before any such products are cleared for wider use.

Different types of hair loss

Interestingly, the word “Alopecia” is sometimes misused by the media, who incorrectly use it when they are referring to other types of hair loss. The word ‘alopecia’ does simply mean ‘hair loss’ though it has come to be shorthand for autoimmune hair loss rather than other conditions that cause thinning hair.

Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss, for example, are genetic conditions rather than autoimmune disorders, though these two can correctly (if confusingly) be described as “alopecia”, meaning “androgenetic alopecia” rather than alopecia areata.

For anyone perplexed about their type of hairloss – and it’s worth remembering that some conditions share similarities plus it is possible to have more than one hair loss condition simultaneously – a visit to a specialist is always a good idea, not least because the support and guidance offered alongside tailored treatment recommendations can be extremely beneficial, even if it’s just in putting your mind at rest.


Circ - Belgravia Centre TaxiThe 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.


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Leading hair loss charity Alopecia UK is marking this year’s Alopecia Awareness Month by celebrating different people affected by autoimmune hair loss disorders.

By sharing personal stories via their social media channels, the charity is spreading helpful information and increasing recognition of this group of conditions, known as Alopecia Areata. They are also encouraging those with hairloss to talk about their experiences, by using the hashtag ‘#GetTalking’.

Normal Hair Growth Cycle versus Hair Growth in Alopecia AreataWhat is Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia Areata, which causes patchy hair loss of the scalp only, also has more extreme phenotypes, including Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis. These cause total baldness of the head and from head to toe, respectively. There are also additional forms of autoimmune hair loss, all of which can affect men, women and children.

Very little is known as to the precise biomechanism of Alopecia Areata, however, it is widely believed to be the result of some form of ‘shock’ to the body which causes the hair growth cycle to become stuck in its resting (Telogen) phase. Triggers for this are thought to include sudden trauma, extreme stress, chemicals, viral or bacterial infection, and a genetic link is also suspected. The outcome is sudden hair fall – as opposed to the gradually thinning hair seen with genetic hair loss conditions.

In cases of Alopecia Areata this leaves behind rounded bald patches which can be as small as a coin, and can be singular or appear in multiples. They can also join up to form larger patches. This tends to reverse itself in many cases, though when or if this will happen cannot be predicted. Additionally, the hairloss may recur at a later date.

In cases of Alopecia Totalis the hair fall is more extreme as the shedding quickly progresses to baldness of the head – including facial hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Whilst for Alopecia Universalis this also includes losing all body hair, too.

Whilst there are effective alopecia areata treatment options available for those aged 16 and over, currently the more severe alopecia variations are untreatable. Research is on-going in these areas, however, and the first ever treatment option – believed to come in topical and oral forms – is currently estimated to have a 2020/2021 release date. This is based on the outcome of clinical trials going to plan and the outcomes meeting with the approval of medical licensing agencies such as the MHRA and FDA.

Alopecia UK support

Alopecia UK is one of a small number of charities working to provide support to people of all ages who are affected by hair loss, as well as their friends and families. In addition to online and social media resources, the charity arranges local support groups and hold an annual get-together known as their Big Day Out.

This takes place each September – given this is Alopecia Awareness month – in a different UK venue each time. This year’s event takes place from 22nd to 24th September in Birmingham.
Alopecia UK - Alopecia Areata Awareness Month is SeptemberThe charity also fundraises and had a number of supporters take part in the Great North Run at the weekend.

One of these was Sue from Cheshire who also appears in the #GetTalking campaign. In response to the question ‘How has alopecia had a positive impact on your life?’, Sue gave the following response:

“Dealing with the emotional impacts of losing my hair has helped me develop a real sense of myself. It sounds a bit cheesy, but I know I am more strong, brave and resilient than ever and as a direct result of this I am doing more of the work I love.”

Other queries posed to people with Alopecia include: “What advice do you have for parents of children with alopecia?”, “How has alopecia shaped the person you are today?” and “What has most surprised you about having alopecia?”.

To find out the answers and see the inspiring stories being posted daily throughout September as part of Alopecia Awareness Month, visit the Alopecia UK Facebook page.


Circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinics LondonThe 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.


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One of the most truly significant avenues of hair loss research over the last few years has been the area of janus kinase (JAK) inhibition.

Researchers across the world, though mostly in the USA and associated to the medical arm of Columbia University in New York, have been trying to exploit the JAK-STAT pathway in order to develop an effective treatment for some of the most severe hair loss conditions. These include autoimmune disorders which cause total baldness of the head, and from head to toe, respectively – Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis, which are currently untreatable.

Dr Angela Christiano - Hair Loss Research Professor at Columbia University

Dr Angela Christiano of Columbia University, USA, has been instrumental in the development of JAK inhibitor hair loss treatment 

As the drugs move along the clinical trial process – currently working towards an estimated initial release date of 2020/2021 – more information about their progress is released. The latest milestone is that Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. has been assigned two new patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the use of certain JAK inhibitors as hair loss treatments.

These have been granted in relation to treating both autoimmune alopecia and androgenetic alopecia, more commonly known as male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss.

Treating alopecia and inducing hair growth

Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. pledged its support to developing JAK inhibitors for hair loss early on. It has been acquiring a vast patent portfolio over the past few years, clearly hoping to be the first to bring these drugs to the alopecia market ahead of competitors such as Pfizer, who are also currently conducting clinical trials into JAK inhibition and hair loss. The American company is described as being ‘a dermatologist-led biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing and commercialising innovative and differentiated therapies to address significant unmet needs in medical and aesthetic dermatology’.

U.S. Patents No. 9,737,469 and 9,730,877 have been granted to The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, who are the patent owners. They, in turn, have licensed them exclusively to Aclaris just as they did with earlier U.S. Patents from this project, which were awarded in April 2017. Both cover methods of use and administration of various JAK inhibitor drugs in relation to treating different hair loss conditions.

U.S. Patent No. 9,737,469 relates to the use of baricitinib in ‘inducing hair growth and for treating hair loss disorders such as alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia’. It covers 10 separate issued claims, including specific methods of using baricitinib to treat forms of alopecia areata – understood to be Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis.

U.S. Patent No. 9,730,877 relates to the use of a number of JAK inhibitor drugs, including tofacitinib, baricitinib, ruxolitinib and decernotinib, to treat male and female pattern hair loss. This contains 22 individual claims.

Both patents expire in November 2031.

Dr. Neal Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aclaris, said of the announcement: “We are extremely pleased with the continued development of the patent portfolio we exclusively licensed from Columbia. These new issuances continue to expand the breadth and depth of our JAK inhibitor intellectual property portfolio covering methods of use for certain JAK inhibitors for the treatment of hair loss disorders. The issuance of these patents is another successful step in the development of a robust patent portfolio relating to JAK inhibition and hair loss.”

Oral and topical hair loss treatments

Aclaris is known to be developing two products currently known as ATI-50001 – an oral medication – and ATI-50002, which has a topical formulation.

The development of both oral and topical drugs mimics the formats of currently available – and the only MHRA and FDA approved options – for treating genetic hair loss in men and women.

At Belgravia, hair loss treatment courses are often built around topical applications of high strength minoxidil, a vasodilator understood to open up the potassium channels in order to encourage hair growth. This can be paired with the oral DHT-blocker finasteride 1mg for men, and both men and women can add in appropriate hair growth boosters to help maximise the effects of their prescribed treatments and promote good scalp and hair health. Treatment for alopecia areata when in its moderate scalp-only form, also uses topical use of minoxidil and suitable boosters to help accelerate the regrowth process. When followed comprehensively, these approaches have seen considerable success for many, many clients.

It is likely that some of the JAK inhibitor drugs being developed for topical, rather than oral, use is in a bid to reduce their side-effect profile. Concerns have been raised by medical agencies in the past regarding tofacitinib in particular – currently available as a prescription rheumatoid arthritis drug under the brand name Xeljanz – due to the seriousness of its side-effects. This is likely to be something researchers are working hard to reduce in order to achieve the necessary safety and tolerability standards needed to be eligible for eventual MHRA and FDA approval in the coming years.


Circ - The Belgravia Centre Treatment for Hair LossThe 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.


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Most people who contact the Belgravia Centre are seeking advice about a personal problem with hair loss, but quite often newspapers and magazines call to ask for help with articles, too.

Other times, existing information on the Belgravia website and blog is borrowed by the media to add weight to their stories; occasionally Belgravia is mentioned in first-person articles by people who have been in for a consultation, too.

Stress and struggles with Alopecia Areata

Sophie AlopeciaThe latest batch of Belgravia’s press articles began with a report in Cosmopolitan by a young woman named Sophie, who described her struggles with Alopecia Areata, the autoimmune disorder that leads to sudden, patchy hair loss. She explained how her hair started shedding following the breakdown of a relationship and the loss of a friend in a car accident just after her first year at university.

“When I went home a few weeks into the term,” she writes, “my mum spotted that I had very little hair behind my ears. I hadn’t noticed it at all, but when I went back to uni I saw a doctor about it just in case. She told me it wasn’t severe enough to refer me to a dermatologist, so I went away and tried to forget about it.”

The hairloss continued, however, and Sophie decided to visit another doctor. She was told it was likely that she had stress-related Alopecia Areata. The disease has a number of suspected triggers, and psychological long-term stress is one of them – as is shock and sudden, extreme stress.

In her account of the resultant struggles of trying to come to terms with her shedding, Sophie details how she also had to deal with the hair from the rest of her body starting to fall out, too, suggesting that her condition had developed into Alopecia Universalis.

A glimmer of hope came when hair started to regrow on her head around eight months ago, but it fell out again. Sophie writes that she was told upon visiting The Belgravia Centre that the pattern in which her hair had fallen out – “starting behind my ears and then snaking across my head” – indicated that there was a good chance it may never grow back.

While Alopecia Areata treatment at Belgravia has certainly resulted in many success stories, this is only suitable for the scalp-only form of the condition. There are currently no truly effective treatments available for the more extreme types of autoimmune hair loss, though many are in development.

Stress was mentioned again in the context of Belgravia in another article on Livestrong.com, which was looking at how men might grow thicker facial hair. “Leonora Doclis, senior trichologist at the Belgravia Centre, reports that stress can actually cause hair loss,” stated the article.

Indeed it can, and not just in cases of Alopecia Areata, or – as the article referenced, beard hair loss known as Alopecia Barbae. In fact, stress is more often thought to be behind a temporary all-over shedding condition named Telogen Effluvium, which can happen when the body reacts badly to something and causes an increase in the number of hairs that enter the resting phase, before falling out. This can exacerbate or even trigger the early onset of androgenetic alopecia in men and women with a predisposition to this hereditary type of hair loss.

The Belgravia Centre london clinic Womens hairloss treatmentPostpartum hairloss

Next, in an article on Romper.com about postpartum hair loss, their journalist was contemplating whether or not certain hairstyles could exacerbate the problem of thinning hair after having a baby. The writer states that the advice from “the hair loss specialists at The Belgravia Centre is to try and wear it loose as much as possible.”

This is so as not to cause further shedding to already-vulnerable hair (many women experience Postpartum Alopecia, a form of Telogen Effluvium which follows pregnancy) and would also minimise the risk of a separate condition named Traction Alopecia, which is sometimes seen when people frequently wear very tight hairstyles or hair extensions for long periods of time.

Treatment for Traction Alopecia and, for women who are not – or are no longer – nursing,  postpartum alopecia treatment are both possible. These can help speed up the regrowth process by combining recommended high strength women’s minoxidil products with boosters such as the highly-targeted hair growth supplement, Hair Vitalics for Women.

Hair Loss Consultation Trichocheck at The Belgravia CentreMale pattern hair loss

For an article on WebMD, Christina Chikaher, Belgravia’s superintendent pharmacist, is quoted as saying that “some people are of course of the opinion that bald men are more attractive, so not all men have a problem with losing their hair.” The story was headlined “Tips for men to cope with hair loss” and focused on the genetic condition Male Pattern Baldness, which – despite Christina’s encouraging words – is still viewed by plenty of men as a disastrous phase in their life.

Luckily, there are clinically-proven male hair loss treatments which, in many cases, can provide an effective way of regrowing a receding hairline and/or a thinning crown. Through using the key medications finasteride 1mg and minoxidil in recommended formulations, alongside appropriate hair growth boosters, Belgravia has been successfully helping men to prevent baldness for over 25 years.

Lastly, the Daily Mail featured a response from Leonora (pictured) giving Belgravia’s views on the announcement of a new Help Hair protein shake “that promises to reverse hair loss”.

The Mail Online quotes her explanation as to why the nutritional supplement may help to keep hair in good condition but will not stimulate hair growth.

“‘Protein and amino acids are indeed essential for healthy hair growth but they will not reduce levels of DHT – the hormone that causes genetic hair loss,’ she said. Her practice offers a similar product, but without the protein, which she says is not designed as a stand-alone hair loss treatment and that the Help Hair shake should not be classed as one either. ‘These products, as much any vitamin supplement, can be very helpful if nutritional deficiency caused the hair loss and if taken in combination with the proven hair loss medications. ‘Dr Shapiro’s shake may have gone a step further in incorporating most of the essential vitamins and mineral in a protein shake compared to other brands.'”

Recent media reports on studies and anecdotal evidence has also suggested that nutritional supplements, particularly whey protein shakes, that are taken in drink form may even contribute to hair loss. This is believed to be due to the different rates of absorption seen between liquid supplements and solid formats.

For more information on hair loss issues, visit the Belgravia blog, which is updated daily. Or, for personalised advice you can ask a question, here, or arrange a free consultation either in person at one of our Central London hair loss clinics, or via our website consultation form for those based further afield.


Circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinics LondonThe 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.


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People with the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata which leads to sudden, patchy hair loss are often in for a very rough ride, something that can be made all the worse by a feeling that they have somehow become different to the rest of society.

Even though the condition affects around three per cent of all people in their lifetime, it remains relatively rare to see someone with the type of patchy hair loss that Alopecia Areata causes as it can often be concealed under a hat, a headband, an innovative hairstyle or a clip-on hair extension. When the condition is more extreme, however, and the shedding intensifies leaving the head either entirely bald, as with Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis, it can feel like the whole world is staring at you.

When this becomes your everyday life, everything can seem a struggle – getting ready for school or work can take longer; medical appointments can eat into your schedule and in many cases social activities become avoided. In a world that seems full of people with full heads of hair, it is easy to feel like an outsider.

Bald Emojis released after alopecia areata hair loss campaignPetitioning for bald emoji

Luckily, support from charities like Alopecia UK can help – as can small victories that might not seem very important to others but which are a very big deal to you. Things like adding a bald emoji icon to the selection that is currently available – something that one young woman with Alopecia Areata has been petitioning for for some time.

Her name is Jade, and her struggles with severe Alopecia Areata have been chronicled on her website Life On A Strand. In a posting about her quest to see a bald emoji introduced to the world, she writes: “How many emojis would you say that you use a day? 10? 50? 100? So many of us send thousands of these cute smileys without even realising. They have become part of our everyday life. But, one thing I’ve noticed is that they don’t have one which represents being bald. Millions of people in the UK alone suffer with hair loss, children and teenagers included. With the emoji family constantly growing, and an update just recently of 100 more, my mission is to speak on behalf of those suffering with hair loss. And get Apple to listen to us!”

More than 200 people have signed Jade’s petition, with supporters often experiencing hair loss themselves. “As someone receding at an alarming rate,” writes one, “this is becoming a serious issue. How can I truly express myself in emoji form when there is no emoji representing the follicly-challenged?”

Her work seems to have paid off: according to an article on the BBC’s website, the Unicode Consortium – the body which approves new emojis – that a series of bald emojis will be released in June 2018. As well as this, ginger, grey and afro hair emojis will also be in the new drop, to help make the little faces as representative of as many different people as possible.

Different severities of Alopecia Areata

jade-life-on-a-strand-alopecia-areata

Jade from Life On A Strand, who successfully petitioned for bald emojis to be released

Jade’s hair loss is of the type which can be very difficult to treat as it is so pronounced.  There are a number of types of autoimmune alopecia of which Alopecia Areata is the only one to have effective treatment options at present.

In mild cases the hair should normally regrow naturally within up to 12 months, though if or when this hair growth will resume is unknown – something which can be extremely infuriating for those affected. In these cases – when the rounded bald patches affect the scalp only – professional treatment can often be effective, as can be seen in Belgravia’s Alopecia Areata Treatment Success Stories gallery.

The Alopecia Areata treatment provided via Belgravia’s in-clinic specialists and pharmacies is for this scalp-only patchy hair loss version. It involves recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil being applied directly to the affected areas to help encourage regrowth through opening the potassium channels. This drug is usually paired with further appropriate hair growth boosters tailored to the individual’s requirements and medical suitability.

Of course the bald emoji will also be useful to people undergoing cancer treatment and men who have lost their hair to male pattern hair loss. Interestingly, though both men and women can be affected by genetic hair loss, it is only men who tend to experience true baldness. Women with female pattern hair loss instead develop thinning hair across the top of their head which may become intense, but rarely deteriorates to the point of acute baldness.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss ClinicThe 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.


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Normal Hair Growth Cycle versus Hair Growth in Alopecia AreataDue to the media’s frequent mis-use of the term ‘alopecia’, it can be confusing for people to understand the difference between hair loss conditions such as male pattern baldness, and sudden hair fall that is caused by autoimmune disorders.

Autoimmune hair loss encompasses a band of disorders which cause baldness in a range of severities, and can all affect men, women and children of all ages and races. Together they come under the umbrella of Alopecia Areata, though each version has its own distinct symptoms and names.

The exact cause of each of these is currently unknown, but what researchers do know is that there are a number of provocateurs which are believed to be able to trigger alopecia areata. These include extreme shock, trauma, chronic stress, hormonal changes such as pregnancy or IVF, and genetic factors. Recent research has likened alopecia areata to ‘diabetes of the hair follicle‘, whilst links between vitamin D and alopecia areata appear fairly regularly in studies hoping to pinpoint the disorders’ actual cause.

Hair falls out when whatever the underlying trigger is causes the body’s immune system to turn on itself, shocking the hair growth cycle and leaving various follicles stuck in its resting – Telogen – phase. Whilst little is known about its actual pathogenesis, all forms of Alopecia Areata are believed to share the same triggers.

Here we explain the four most common types of alopecia areata which, although their precise bio-mechanisms remain fairly mysterious, they are all considered autoimmune hair loss disorders.

Alopecia Areata: patchy hair loss from the scalp only

This is the most common form of autoimmune hair loss and, despite being used to refer to the group of conditions, also refers specifically to the most moderate form of the disorder.

Alopecia areta is characterised by rounded bald spots which can appear anywhere on the scalp. These can be as small as a £1 coin or far larger, and there may be a single bald patch or many, sometimes even joining up to cause larger areas of hair loss. The hair fall presents suddenly, as opposed to the gradual thinning which is seen in cases of the more common androgenetic alopecia.

Whilst, for many, normal hair growth should resume within 12 months, this is not the case for everyone. Frustratingly for those affected, on top of not knowing the exact cause of the disorder, if or when regrowth may occur is also unknown and cannot be predicted. Furthermore, in some instances, even if the hair grows back satisfactorily, alopecia areata can recur at a later date.

Alopecia Totalis: baldness of the head, including scalp and facial hair

Diagram Belgravia Centre Different Types of Alopecia Areata autoimmune hair lossWhereas Alopecia Areata causes circular bald patches on the scalp, Alopecia Totalis causes sudden hair fall from the head. This leaves the scalp totally bald, with a smooth, shiny appearance. Frequently it will also lead to facial hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes, falling out too.

Alopecia Universalis: complete baldness from head to toe

Alopecia Universalis is the most extreme type of alopecia areata. It goes a step further than Alopecia Totalis by causing total baldness all over the head and body, leaving the person completely hair-free. It can also cause changes to the nails, which may become brittle and show signs of pitting and/or ridges. Whilst Alopecia Universalis is understood to be the result of a genetic mutation that means the condition is present from birth, it may take many years to become active.

Ophiasic Alopecia: a band of baldness encircling the hairline

This form of autoimmune alopecia is similar to Alopecia Totalis, in that it leaves behind a hair-free area of smooth, shiny skin and only affects the head. However, it takes a different shape. Named after the greek word for ‘snake’, Ophiasic Alopecia presents as a thick band of baldness which encompasses the front, back and sides of the hairline. It is also known as Ophiasic Areata and Ophiasic Alopecia Areata.

Alopecia Barbae: rounded bald patches in the beard

Although Alopecia Barbae causes rounded bald spots to the beard only, it can present alongside Alopecia Areata too. The bald patches – singular or multiple – this causes are known as ‘herald patches’ and may potentially indicate that the condition may spread. Alopecia Barbae – also known as Alopecia Areata Barbae – may also appear in addition to other hair loss conditions. The most common of these is Male Pattern Baldness, which can be identified by thinning hair on the top of the head, either along the vertex, at the crown, forming a receding hairline, or in any combination of these patterns.

Treatments for Alopecia Areata

Currently hair loss from three of the above disorders can be treated. These are Alopecia Areata, Ophiasis and Barbae.

There are currently no truly effective hair loss solutions for Alopecia Totalis and Universalis, though researchers are avidly working on this and hope to have the first treatments ready to release in 2020/2021, assuming the necessary approvals and clearances are granted by the relevant medical regulators. In the meantime and, especially when children are concerned, there are a number of extremely supportive hair loss charities whose resources include everything from free wigs to local support groups.

Cases of alopecia barbae are generally dealt with by a dermatologist, given they are on the face, but specialist hair loss clinics can offer treatment for both areata and ophiasic alopecia.

At Belgravia, custom courses of Alopecia Areata treatment tend to focus primarily on recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil. This is generally paired with additional hair growth boosters to complement the action of this treatment.

The minoxidil is applied directly to the areas where it is needed, either once or twice per day as instructed. This then opens the potassium channels to stimulate localised hair growth.

In our experience, regrowth from Alopecia Areata often takes around six months, depending on its severity. Shorter or longer recovery times have certainly been witnessed among Belgravia clients, though Ophiasic Alopecia does generally take longer than this. This is because it is a more stubborn form of hair loss that requires more attention.


The Belgravia CentreThe 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.


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A major trial by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer into the use of potential new treatment options for Alopecia Areata, which leads to sudden, patchy hair loss, is to seek participants from Australia, Canada and all over the United States.

The latest news follows a previous announcement from the company that it intends to conduct a Phase 2a randomised, double-blind trial using a JAK3 inhibitor drug named PF-06651600 and a TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor PF-06700841.

The company plans to recruit 132 people with the condition, which is classed as an autoimmune disorder, for what is now clearly intended to be a trial with a truly global scope.

PfizerPfizer’s mystery drug

What is unknown at this stage is the precise make-up of the two drugs that Pfizer intend to trial. The company already makes a well-known JAK inhibitor named Xeljanz (tofacitinib citrate), which was developed for people with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it has also shown potential at treating people with Alopecia Areata, when it was used by scientists at Yale University School of Medicine on a patient with plaque psoriasis. The patient also happened to have an extreme and rare form of Alopecia Areata named Alopecia Universalis, which causes the whole body to shed all of its hair, and saw significant regrowth for the first time in many years, while using Xeljanz.

These findings encouraged a number of scientists with an interest in Alopecia Areata to initiate their own trials into JAK inhibitor drugs as potential treatment options for people with the condition, some of which are considered to have been a success. At present, however, no JAK inhibitors have been licensed by the MHRA in the UK or approved by the FDA in the US for use on any form of autoimmune hair loss disorders. Question marks linger about the long-term safety of what are essentially a rather powerful suite of drugs.

Effective treatment options are already available for adults affected by the moderate version of Alopecia Areata, which causes patchy hair loss to the scalp only. At Belgravia, clients following bespoke Alopecia areata treatment courses often see significant results through consistent use of recommended, topical high strength minoxidil formulations, paired with appropriate hair growth boosters.

Much has happened in the field of Alopecia Areata research since Pfizer’s trial was first announced in January 2017. In that time, Concert Pharmaceuticals’ phase IIa trial into the JAK inhibitor CTP-543 was placed on hold by the FDA following safety concerns, but was allowed to proceed once the scope of the trial was amended.

Additionally, key discoveries have been made showing the involvement of regulatory T Cells (also known as Tregs) in the biology of Alopecia Areata. With further research and development, these findings may one day lead to more targeted treatments for people with all forms of the condition.

JAK inhibitors’ route to market?

In April of this year, patents were granted in the USA for baricitinib and decernotinib JAK inhibitors – the two current front-runners for potential treatments for even the most severe forms of Alopecia Areata. The patents were granted to the Trustees of the Columbia University School of Medicine in New York, where noted Alopecia expert Dr Angela Christiano runs a research team. It appears that a company named Aclaris Therapeutics, with whom Columbia have an agreement, would be the ones charged with taking any resultant new drugs to market. A release date of 2020/2021 has been mooted.

Meanwhile a trial by Boston-based Novopyxis has been set up to look into new delivery methods for Alopecia Areata treatment drugs. While JAK inhibitors as potential autoimmune hair loss drugs have been investigated both in oral tablet and topical cream forms, LEO’s novel take on proceedings suggests that a spray-on solution may one day be an effective way to use Alopecia Areata medication. Currently little is known about the liquid they are testing, other than the name it is referred to by in trial registration documents: LEO 124249.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news – a research letter published by the JAMA Dermatology journal suggested that Xeljanz may not be effective for everyone with Alopecia Areata and related conditions, at least in its current form. After examining records of 13 people with Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Universalis or Alopecia Totalis (which leads to total hair loss on the head but not the body) who had used the drug, they found that regrowth over a nine-month period ranged from two to 90 per cent, although it should be noted that three participants did pull out of treatment.

Whilst it takes many years to sufficiently develop and test new prescription medications to the point where they are safe to be made available to the public, these new avenues are certainly exciting. This is especially true for people with the more extreme types of Alopecia Areata who, until now, have had no reliable treatment options.


Circ - The Belgravia Centre Treatment for Hair LossThe 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.


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