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Two novel treatment possibilities for Alopecia Areata – the autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss – are to be combined for a new clinical trial, which is now recruiting participants.

Announced by US-based stem cell specialists Regeneris Medical, the trial is broadly similar to one announced last year by another company and in which Regeneris is also involved. The big difference between the two is that the previously-announced trial is focusing on the common genetic conditions Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

The newly-announced trial will look into the safety and efficacy of a biocellular mixture of adipose body fat tissue with platelet-rich plasma, with a specific focus on the treatment of people with Alopecia Areata and also Scarring Alopecia, which is more formally known as Cicatricial Alopecia.

In each of the trials, different formulas have been devised to try and assess which combination of body fat and platelet-rich plasma will be most effective.

White Adipose Tissue

White Adipose Tissue

Contrast to other treatment options

The methods being tested are a distinct contrast to better-known methods of Alopecia Areata treatment, which typically use topically-applied drugs to try and regrow hair in mild to moderate cases which cause patchy hair loss to the scalp only. Minoxidil is one of two medically-proven genetic hair loss treatments that are licensed by the MHRA and FDA; however, it is also known to produce encouraging results on those with Alopecia Areata. At Belgravia, our specialists have found bespoke courses featuring recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil can produce significant results.

The techniques being employed for the US trial, for which 60 people are being recruited, are certainly not for the squeamish.

Modified body fat (adipose) is at the centre of several trials at present, with scientists intrigued by the possibility of “growth factors” that exist within the fat and which can be extracted in order to be re-injected back into the body, a method known as stromal vascular fraction (SVF). Some of the widest-reaching research into this field is being overseen by US-based Kerastem, whose FDA-cleared trial into a liposuction-based treatment for male and female pattern hair loss has been named the STYLE trial.

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP as it is often referred to, is similarly concerned with growth factors, only this time they are extracted from the blood, which is first spun in a centrifuge.

By combining the two technologies, Regeneris Medical is likely wondering if they will perform better than they do on their own. In fact, it could be said that previous studies haven’t really been able to prove that the individual therapies as they currently stand are effective as primary treatment options for people who have lost their hair.

Encouraging results may be a breakthrough

If the Alopecia Areata/Cicatricial Alopecia trial results prove encouraging, then they may be deemed a significant breakthrough, as severe Alopecia Areata is notoriously difficult to treat. Those of Scarring Alopecia are arguably even more so, and at present there is no “go-to” treatment option for the condition.

Although there are no efficient treatments for Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis – the most extreme cases which see those affected develop complete baldness of their head or head and body, respectively – Regeneris is not the only company looking to develop a product for these conditions.

A suite of drugs known as JAK inhibitors are being successfully explored as hair regrowth treatments for Alopecia Totalis and Universalis in America, with an estimated release date of 2020 or 2021. A Japanese company – RIKEN – is developing a follicle regeneration method that would potentially allow artificial skin grafts containing fully functioning hair follicles to be implanted into the scalps of people with scarring alopecia. This is still in the clinical trial stages, too, however.

The Regeneris trial will assess both safety and efficacy of the various treatment combinations over a 12-month period and will take place in Irvine, California and Stevensville, Montana. We will bring you an update with the research findings as soon as they are made available.


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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HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Jamie

Question: I read on a forum that hair loss can be treated with anti-histamines. Can you tell me which ones work best? should I use cream or tablets?

Antihistamines for Hair LossAnswer: Hi, Jamie. The use of the anti-histamines for hair loss is something that crops up often on internet forums, however the advice is often misleading. We do not advise using antihistamines as a hair loss treatment.

Firstly, it depends entirely on what the hair loss condition is as to which treatments should be used. Secondly, anti-histamines have only been used, as far as we are aware, to treat bald spots brought on by the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata. Even in these instances, findings have been fairly inconclusive given the patchy hair loss this can cause often regrows spontaneously anyway so any benefits are difficult to measure precisely.

The Department of Regenerative Dermatology at Osaka University in Japan carried out an Alopecia Areata clinical trial in 2009 which discovered fexofenadine – a type of oral antihistamine – could be useful when taken as an accompaniment to topical immunotherapy, however it was not advised as a treatment in its own right.

It seems as if the rumours about antihistamines and hairloss stems from the fact that both Alopecia Areata and Androgenetic Alopecia – commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss – are often referred to as ‘alopecia’. This can be confusing, especially given they are extremely different conditions.

Androgenetic hair loss is a permanent, progressive form of shedding that is inherited through your blood line. It causes gradually thinning hair around the top of the head and hairline and can lead to baldness in men. There are only two clinically-proven hair loss treatments recoginised to treat this in men – finasteride 1mg and minoxidil – and just one in women – minoxidil.

Alopecia Areata, however, is considered an autoimmune disease that suspends the normal hair growth cycle leading to one or more rounded bald patches anywhere on the scalp. These develop suddenly and the hair tends to fall in clumps, as opposed to the thinning seen in genetic hair loss. Although the hair will grow back naturally in many cases, alopecia areata treatment can help to speed up this process.

If you are concerned about excessive shedding or sudden hair fall, the first step is to have a hair loss specialist assess you to determine the cause. They can then talk you through your condition and recommend specially tailored treatment courses to help combat the problem.


The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - Hair Loss Specialist ConsultationThe 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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HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Rachel

Question: My head has been really itchy for a few months and a couple of weeks ago I noticed a bald patch at the side of my head under my hair. In two weeks it has grown from the size of a 50 pence piece to the size of an apple the patch is extremely itchy and 6/7 more hairs are falling out from around it each time I scratch it. Now other parts of my head are also itchy, hairs are becoming looser and my hair line looks higher. Is there anything I can do please or any advice as I’m worried I will end up completely bald. My GP advised it could be alopecia but wasn’t much help.

Normal Hair Growth Cycle versus Hair Growth in Alopecia AreataAnswer: Hi, Rachel. From what you say here, this type of hair loss does sound as if it is likely to be alopecia.

Alopecia Areata causes sudden hair fall, rather than gradual hair thinning over a prolonged period of time. It also tends to cause rounded bald spots anywhere on the scalp, either singularly or in multiple areas. Although a receding hairline is not a traditional symptom Alopecia Areata, it is linked to one of its sister conditions, Ophiasic Alopecia. It could also be the case that you are experiencing a patch of hair loss along the hairline which may make it appear uneven or as if it is receding.

These conditions are believed to be autoimmune disorders and, although little is known about the actual cause, it can be triggered by sudden shock, trauma and is even thought to have links to health issues such as allergies. Once the condition has been sparked it essentially pauses the normal function of the hair growth cycle, leaving it stuck in the dormant phase. The body awaits the signal that it is clear to resume regular hair production, though when or if this will come is unpredictable.

In many cases of Alopecia Areata the hair regrows naturally of its own accord, though this is not always the case. New bald patches may also develop once the hair has regrown as this type of autoimmune hair loss can recur. Alopecia Areata treatment can be effective in treating the patchy hair loss associated with this mild-to-moderate form of alopecia. At Belgravia we often tailor bespoke courses based around recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil, which is applied directly to the bald spots, and have seen a magnitude of Success Stories from this personalised approach.

However, if the condition develops into a more severe form – for instance Ophiasic Alopecia, Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis – where it affects the whole head or body, there are currently limited options. Those that do exist right now tend to be unreliable with a low success rate, though new JAK inhibitor treatments for these severe forms of Alopecia Areata are looking promising in early stage, small-scale clinical trials and have an estimated release date of 2020-2021, assuming they meet the necessary standards for medical approval.

With regards to your scalp itching issue, this could be due to a number of factors, from irritation to burning scalp syndrome. It can also be a signal of Alopecia Areata as some people describe this type of sensation before experiencing this type of sudden patchy hair loss.

We would need to find out more and assess your scalp in order to provide you with a thorough diagnosis of both your scalp and hair loss condition. This can take place in person at one of Belgravia’s Central London hair loss clinics or, if you are unable to visit us in London due to your location, we also offer an online consultation process and home-use mail order treatment option.


Circ - Minoxidil icon

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.


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Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Treatment Before and After Results - New Success Story

alopecia areata the belgravia centre 24 02 2017A new entry has just been added to Belgravia’s Alopecia Areata Treatment Success Stories gallery.

Miss S, pictured, is pleased to have seen lots of new growth since she started treating her patchy hair loss at Belgravia.

Read Miss S’s Belgravia Centre review and see her regrowth results close up, or find out more about treating patchy hair loss from Alopecia Areata by clicking the relevant button below…

 

VIEW SUCCESS STORY

ALOPECIA AREATA TREATMENT

 


The 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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A Dorset schoolgirl who cut off her hair to raise awareness of Alopecia Areata, which causes sudden, patchy hair loss, has beaten her fundraising target by more than 1,000 per cent.

Twelve-year-old Lili Leung set out to do three things when she opted to get her long brown locks cut off: to increase people’s knowledge about Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disorder that affects up to two per cent of the population; to raise money for children’s cancer research, and to donate her hair to The Little Princess Trust, which makes real-hair wigs for children who have lost their own.

Little Princess Trust Charity Hair Donation 12 Year OldInspiration from several sources

Though Lili’s inspiration came from several sources, an especially important one was a good friend who goes to her school. Lili told local newspaper the Bournemouth Echo: “It feels nice to have done something like this. My friend is very close to me and she is very jolly – which is cool because she’s been through so much.”

Children are indeed hard done by when it comes to Alopecia Areata; not only are they more likely to be singled out for bullying by others but their treatment options are fewer than those available to adults. Alopecia Areata treatment for the moderate stage which causes patchy hair loss to the scalp only, can be very effective in those aged 16 and over. Furthermore, when overseen by a specialist hair loss clinic, support and advice are always on hand, in addition to the custom treatment courses.

Anyone aged 15 years or under, though, often has little choice but to “grin and bear it”, which can be distressing, especially when spontaneous regrowth – which does happen in many cases – may be short-lived. Although the exact cause of the condition is not yet known, it has multiple suspected triggers. These include a range of factors from allergies, sudden and severe emotional stress, and physical or emotional trauma to genetics.

Given that the one option that is often open to children with hair loss – choosing a wig – is so popular, The Little Princess Trust has been a godsend in the 10 years it has been up and running. The trust’s real hair wigs are high-quality and are given out free of charge to children who need them. More than 4,500 have already been made for youngsters in the UK – girls’ through the main Little Princess Trust and boys’ through the Little Princess offshoot Hair 4 Boys.

Fundraising activities

Lili’s big cut coincided with several fundraising activities, for which the youngster had set a fund-raising goal of £200. At the time of writing, her JustGiving page had smashed this by more than 1,000 per cent and was standing at £2,756. This amount, says Lili, will be given to Cancer Research Kids & Teens.

Writing on Lily’s JustGiving page, mum Jo says: “Very proud of this amazing girl and all of your support with the incredible donations raised. Thank you all so very much – she is just so happy to have raised so much for Cancer Research, to pass on her plaits to someone who needs them and had a fantastic haircut too!”


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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One of the most significant recent breakthroughs in the world of hair loss has been the promising clinical trial results of drugs known as Janus Kinase inhibitors.

Certain JAK inhibitors have been seen to regrow hair lost to the most severe forms of Alopecia Areata for both men and women in small scale trials. This includes Alopecia Universalis, the most extreme version of this autoimmune disorder, which causes total baldness from head to toe, and Alopecia Totalis which causes hair loss from the entire scalp and often the face as well.

Whilst there are already effective alopecia areata treatment courses available for the mild form which causes patchy hair loss to the scalp only, these trials have garnered widespread attention as there are currently no truly effective treatments for Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis. Therefore, these drugs – if approved – could provide a hitherto nonexistent option for those affected.

dr-brett-king-yale-university

Trials have been on-going and, though frequent reports on their progress have been forthcoming, one thing that has remained elusive is an estimated release date – until now.

A few years away

Whilst 2020 has been assumed by many in the field, this was not officially confirmed. This has been frustrating for those anxious to find out more, but now Dr Brett King of America’s Yale University, which has been at the forefront of this research, has announced further information.

Medscape Medical News reports that Dr. King told them heexpects a JAK inhibitor to be approved for the treatment of moderate to severe eczema in 2 years and for the treatment of moderate to severe alopecia areata in 2 to 3 years’. This means that the estimates of 2020 are not too far off, as the predicted release date is 2020-2021.

Whilst this is definitely exciting news, it is worth remembering that, until a medication has been properly and successfully trialled for safety, efficacy and tolerability, as well as getting MHRA and FDA approval, there is no guarantee that it will ever make it to market.

One of the major concerns to date has been potential side effects though topical versions of these medications, that are applied solely where they are needed, are being tested in addition to oral options, in order to see if this has a beneficial effect.

Two JAK inhibitor drugs leading the way

The two potential alopecia areata treatment JAK inhibitor drugs that are currently showing the most promise, according to published clinical trial results, are Tofacitinib Citrate and Ruxolitinib. It is therefore likely that one, or both, of these are the specific drugs Dr. King is referring to.

Xeljanz Used to Treat Alopecia Universalis in Yale Hair Loss Treatment StudyTofacitinib, which is also known by its brand name: Xeljanz, is manufactured by Pfizer. It is currently only approved by the FDA for the treatment of moderate to severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis which, like Alopecia Areata in its various forms, is an autoimmune disorder. The drug has caused controversy over its side effect profile which includes ‘serious infections’, including tuberculosis, and ‘certain cancers’. It is therefore not yet available in certain countries, including the UK as the MHRA has not granted a license.

Tofacitinib has mostly been investigated in relation to alopecia areata by teams at Yale University in America. In various recent trials it has been shown to regrow hair in various cases of autoimmune hair loss, as well as restoring eyebrows and reversing nail dystrophy – a common side effect of alopecia totalis and universalis.

Ruxolitinib, which also goes under the brand name of Jakafi, is a product of the Incyte Corporation. It has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of intermediate or high-risk myelofibrosis (a serious bone marrow condition) as well as inflammatory diseases and some forms of cancer.

Ruxolitinib (Brand Name: Jakafi)Ruxolitinib has mostly been investigated as a potential severe alopecia areata drug, in oral and topical forms, by researchers from Columbia University in the US, including the pre-eminent Dr Angela Christiano. To date, these trials have found that the topical cream version of ruxolitinib is more effective than the oral medication when treating autoimmune hair loss.

As he has been heavily involved with tofacitinib trials – and gave his most recent presentation on the drug at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in early March 2017 – we would expect he hopes this to come through first. Another reason that tofacitinib may be preferable to ruxolitinib, given their success rates in trials seem similar, is the cost. Dr. King advises that ruxolitinib costs “more than $100,000 per year and tofacitinib is more in the range of biologics.” Biologic drugs, such as Humira, which has also been tested as a potential hair loss treatment, are significantly cheaper, clocking in around the $1,800 – $2,500 per year mark.

Whilst the research results for both drugs, particularly in relation to severe Alopecia Areata, have been encouraging to date, there is still the need for larger scale clinical trials. As Dr. King says, “We’ll see what we can do in vitiligo in the next year to make the case for large clinical trials.” We look forward to reading the next installment from both camps as research progresses, and will post updates here on the Belgravia hair loss blog as news becomes available.


Circ The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Treatment for Alopecia AreataThe 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 different types of hair loss have been interviewed in China for a study into how this affects their quality of life.

Researchers at the departments of dermatology and oncology at Shandong University in Jinan consulted with 178 patients whose hair loss was caused either by their genes (as is the case with Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss) or by the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata. This condition is not nearly as commonly-seen as genetic hairloss, though it is still regularly observed by dermatologists.

Sad - Hair Loss - Quality of LifeWhile all three conditions can often be effectively treated using custom hair loss treatment courses, some people choose not to pursue treatment or, in cases of baldness due to male hair loss, can be deemed “too far gone” for clinically-proven pharmaceutical methods to be worthwhile.

Hair loss scored

The Chinese team’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) honed in on 10 aspects of daily life pertaining to how people who had lost their hair were feeling and how this related to such things as leisure, relationships, work and school. Participants could score each of the 10 questions they were asked between 0-3, with a maximum score of 30 demonstrating a very high quality of life.

The study found that the respondents’ quality of life score ranged from zero to 28, with a somewhat low mean score of just 6.3. Interestingly, higher scores were seen among younger patients, while those with Alopecia Areata were also inclined towards a more positive outlook than those with genetic hair thinning.

The researchers concluded that “Alopecia Areata and Androgenic Alopecia moderately affected the quality of life of the patients. Both conditions moderately affected the quality of life of the patients not only in physiological aspects, but also in their emotional and social aspects. The bio-psycho-social aspects need to be addressed, even though these conditions are not life threatening.”

Familiar refrain

It is a familiar refrain: people who are losing their hair often feel that their life is being dramatically and adversely affected but that they are not being taken seriously from a medical point of view. In many cases, they feel that are simply expected to “get on with it.”

This is something Belgravia’s hair loss specialists hear all too frequently from men and women when they visit for their initial assessments. Visitors to our hair loss clinics or those who opt for the virtual support that accompanies Belgravia home-use treatment plans are often surprised – and relieved – to find professionals who do take their concerns seriously and who can address their questions with empathy, as well as highly specialist knowledge.

Hair Loss Consultation Trichocheck at The Belgravia CentreHere are just a few of the comments we have received from clients on the subject…

I found Leonora’s advice and consultation really helpful.  She was really friendly but most of all allowed me to describe what I was going through. I felt listened to and she was able to advise what my problem was.”

I have tried previously for more than 2 years with different doctors and specialists, tried MSO, was good but not anywhere near as good as Belgravia treatment.”

…compared to my GP, [hair loss specialist] Daiva listened to my concerns I was confident that I was being given the correct treatment. I didn’t feel any pressure to purchase treatments that were not necessary and was happy with the service.

“…My GP was very unhelpful.  I was depressed and embarrassed.  A friend told me about Belgravia.  My first reaction was does it really work because my hair needed urgent attention.  I called clinic, they were very helpful.  Now a year on I have amazing results.

The support factor that comes with having a dedicated specialist on hand to provide advice and to monitor treatment progress is something many clients find comforting. People often find this personal approach preferable to going it alone with over-the-counter products as it offers them added peace of mind. Even just making the decision to have an initial consultation can help anyone worried about hair loss to feel proactive, whether or not they decide to proceed with treatment.


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 nurse whose hair loss has been caused by a rare form of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata has described herself as looking like “a Barbie doll that’s been attacked by a kid.”

Carley Manhire, 28, from Melbourne, has been losing hair for almost than a decade, having been diagnosed with a condition named Ophiasic Alopecia Areata when she was still in her teens. Whereas Alopecia Areata typically leads to the sudden appearance of small bald patches (from around the size of a £2 coin), Ophiasic Alopecia Areata leads to thinning around the entire hairline – almost as if the hairline had been raised several inches around the head.

This “band” of baldness is what lends the name “Ophiasic” to the condition: ophis is Greek for snake and the shape Ophiasic Alopecia Areata takes is considered somewhat serpentine.

Accepting possibility of permanent hair loss

Nurse with Ophiasic Alopecia Areata Hair Loss

Carley Manhire Before and After Shaving Her Head

Talking to the Daily Mail in Australia, the nurse said that her family didn’t think much about it when her mother first noticed a bald patch at the back of her head when she was 19, but a visit to a dermatologist – just to be on the safe side – led to the shock diagnosis.

The condition steadily got worse, despite a treatment regime that Ms Manhire says has included oral steroid therapy, steroid injections, immunosuppressant therapies and topical steroid lotions.

This combination of treatments led to Ms Manhire gaining weight (as much as 9kg) and feeling both anxious and nauseous. And it didn’t reverse the hair loss.

In light of her most recent bout of pronounced shedding, which began in March 2016 and has progressed rapidly, Ms Manhire says she feels she will soon lose her hair permanently. “Right now I’m contemplating just shaving my head,” she tells the Mail. “I’m tired of seeing clumps on my pillow.”

Just after the article was published in February 2017, Carley did shave her head.  She said of the experience of both making the decision and then living with her newfound baldness: “I made the extremely difficult decision to shave the remainder of my hair as waking up to a pillow full of hair and brushing chunks of hair put everyday was becoming too distressing… I’m trying to not let my struggle define me. Yes, people stared. Yes, people glanced my way. But I walked down the street with my head held high without my imperfections covered for the first time… To make a change; you need to be the change.

There is little doubt that that extreme forms of Alopecia Areata are difficult to treat. Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis are two severe variants that lead to total hair loss on the head, with the latter condition leading to total hair loss on the body, too. Topical immunotherapy conducted in hospitals is sometimes recommended by dermatologists, though it only has a success rate of around 40 per cent and its application can be somewhat difficult.Tofacitinib (Xeljanz) being trialled as Alopecia Areata Treatment

Ray of hope

Many people with Alopecia Totalis and Universalis are currently waiting with baited breath for news of a suite of drugs named JAK inhibitors which have been used – and continue to be used – in a number of medical trials around the world.

These drugs, which were originally developed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers and other conditions, have shown themselves to be very effective at regrowing hair on people with Alopecia Totalis/Universalis, though approval for these drugs for widespread use on Alopecia-related conditions is unlikely to happen for some years yet – if it happens at all. As with all medications, these drugs need to be thoroughly investigated and have to pass many various tests in order to ensure their safety and tolerability, as well as their efficacy for their stated purpose, before they can be made available for prescription use.

From the information that has already been released about how these early-stage clinical trials are going, it certainly seems possible that JAK inhibitors may be effective on people with Ophiasic Alopecia Areata in the future, although Belgravia is not aware of any specific trials into this condition having been announced.

Minoxidil Dropper with liquidAlopecia Areata can be treated

What must be very frustrating to people with a severe form of Alopecia Areata is that the condition in its non-extreme form – where it causes patchy hair loss to the scalp only – can clear up of it’s own accord in many cases. It can also respond well to existing pharmaceutical alopecia areata treatments in many cases.

At Belgravia, hair loss specialists understand the difficulties in dealing with this type of shedding and often use a bespoke selection of treatments, including recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil to help promote new hair growth. This approach has resulted in many happy clients, some of whom can be seen before and after starting their courses in our Alopecia Areata treatment Success Stories gallery.

Unfortunately for Ms Manhire, treatments for her rare form of Alopecia Areata are clearly not working and she is now looking for different solutions. To that end, she has shaved her head and launched a GoFundMe page on which is she is aiming to raise AU$7,000 to buy a medical-grade wig. She is also asking for donations for Australia’s National Alopecia Areata Foundation to help fund research. “I know it’s just hair and I have my health, but it’s like losing my identity,” she says. “The prospect of being bald at such a young age is just terrifying.”


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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The kind of hair loss known as Scarring Alopecia is often permanent, with hair follicles destroyed by the condition Cicatricial Alopecia.

This is certainly true in cases of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA), which is believed to be linked to or synonymous with a condition named Follicular Degeneration Syndrome, itself also known as Hot Comb Alopecia – though this is something of a misnomer.

CCCA is a condition that most commonly affects black women with afro hair, and doctors in the US have launched a study to try and find out more about how these women are affected by it and how easily they are able to get treatment.

Hair Loss Research StudyEarlier detection may lead to better treatment

Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois believe that earlier detection of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia will lead to better treatment and less psychological stress placed upon those who are diagnosed. To explore this, they are recruiting 50 women with the condition to try and ascertain exactly what personal, historical, logistical and environmental factors got in the way of obtaining medical care for their condition.

The doctors will also be asking women with the condition how it has affected their life. They write: “Based on previous research on the psychosocial impact of generalised hair loss in black women, it is fair to consider that CCCA hair loss also leads to problems with self-esteem and participation in daily life activities. This research, the first of its kind, will add to existing knowledge of CCCA by investigating the quality of life and barriers to care of patients with this condition.”

The team’s findings will, they say, be instrumental in modifying dermatology resident training, adding to existing dermatology management guidelines, and even developing public health advocacy programming. The Illinois study is scheduled to finish this summer, although it seems unlikely that the findings will have any bearing on treatment options outside of the US.

Stress, diet and genetics?

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia is not an especially rare condition, accounting for about three per cent of all hair loss diagnoses, but it is not all that well understood, with causes thought to include stress, poor diet and possibly even genetics. It was once thought to have been caused uniquely by extremely high temperatures of the hot oil applied during traditional straightening treatments (hence “Hot Comb” Alopecia) but this is no longer the case.

What the Illinois doctors have correctly identified is that the chances of someone with the condition making a recovery are greatly improved following early detection.

Whilst most forms of Scarring Alopecia cannot be treated due to the follicles having died, FDS is an exception. With Follicular Degeneration Syndrome treatment the goal is to catch ailing follicles while they are still alive, before scarring sets in. If follicles do indeed still show signs of life, a personalised treatment course devised by a specialist hair loss clinic can often stimulate them back into growth.

The key treatment that these courses are built around is often a recommended formulation of high strength minoxidil. This is applied topically to the scalp once or twice per day, as directed by your treatment advisor, and can also be combined with hair growth boosters to further aid recovery. FDS is often seen alongside another hair loss condition: Traction Alopecia and courses can be customised to address both issues simultaneously.

When pharmaceutical treatment is no longer possible because follicles have died, a hair transplant may sometimes be possible. This is decided solely on a case by case basis and it is imperative that there is enough donor hair elsewhere on the head to work with. As with all hair loss conditions, early detection and a professional diagnosis equate to the best possible chances of regrowth.


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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More evidence has been found that key minerals may play a part in Alopecia Areata, the autoimmune disorder that leads to sudden, patchy hair loss.

Analysing data from 10 previous studies – in which 764 people had taken part – researchers at the Yuhuangding Hospital in Yantai, China, found that levels of both zinc and selenium were lower in people with Alopecia Areata.

The levels had been ascertained by an analysis of patients’ serum – a component of blood – which also found there to be no aberration in levels of copper, iron, ferritin or magnesium. The Chinese team drew no concrete conclusions from their findings, but suggested that a deficiency of zinc and selenium may be associated with the susceptibility of Alopecia Areata. They are now recommending targeted studies to see if cases of Alopecia Areata may be improved by “correcting” zinc and selenium levels.

Zinc Vitamin SupplementsZinc’s role in Alopecia Areata

The part that a zinc deficiency may play in Alopecia Areata has certainly been highlighted before: in 2015 researchers at the Ain Shams University in Cairo discovered that people with the condition could see an increase in the severity of their baldness if they had low levels of serum zinc.

These findings weren’t exactly a shock to medical professionals as zinc is known to play a key role in hair production. All hair follicles need a supply of zinc to produce new hair shafts during the anagen (growth) phase of the hair growth cycle, and shedding is sometimes observed when levels of zinc are low.

However, low levels of zinc do not normally equate to the immediate onset of Alopecia Areata. More commonly, they can trigger a temporary hair loss condition called Telogen Effluvium, as can various other imbalances in a person’s diet. As with Alopecia Areata treatment, specialist intervention from a trained professional can provide beneficial results for people with Telogen Effluvium, although many cases will clear up on their own in up to six months.

Zinc’s potential role in Alopecia Areata, however, is only recently starting to come to the fore. Might it be that the mineral could stave off cases of Alopecia Areata, or reduce the severity of each case?

Unfortunately, there’s a catch. As with many things related to hair, a delicate balancing act is at play when it comes to what we put into our bodies. And both selenium and zinc have been listed by experts as being likely to actually cause hair loss when they are taken in too great a quantity.

America’s National Institutes of Health are among those who have said that too much selenium can lead to thinning hair, while the Nutritional Supplements Health Guide says that an excess of zinc can lead to hairloss, too.

Links between vitamins and hair loss

Doctors are regularly finding links between thinning hair and an excess of/deficiency of vitamins and minerals. Recently a lack of vitamin D has been linked with Alopecia Areata, as well as with the genetic condition Female Pattern Hair Loss, too.

Ensuring that your body has the recommended daily intake of everything it needs is certainly a sensible idea, but this is perhaps not the best way to tackle a hair loss condition. What makes more sense is a visit to a specialist hair loss clinic for a diagnosis. Following a conversation with a trained expert that takes into account everything from your lifestyle to your diet, an explanation of and recommendations for a personalised course of the most appropriate products, from clinically-proven hair loss treatments to hair growth boosters, including Belgravia’s food supplements, Hair Vitalics.


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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