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Autoimmune Hair Loss Research Alopecia Areata StudyScientists in Canada think they may be on the verge of being able to “supress” over-reactive cells in the body that lead to autoimmune disorders such as Alopecia Areata, which causes sudden, patchy hair loss.

According to a new report from the team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, regulatory T Cells – also known as Tregs (“tee-regs”) – play a key role in managing the body’s response to potential threats. When Tregs are not functioning properly, the body can “over-react” and start attacking when there is no need. This is the essence of an autoimmune disorder.

Common cause of hair loss

Alopecia Areata is the second most common cause of hair loss after androgenetic alopecia – more commonly known as male and female pattern baldness. It is estimated to affect around three per cent of people at some point during their lifetime, worldwide.

It has a number of suspected triggers, including physical trauma (such as a car accident), shock and sudden extreme stress (such as a bereavement) and long-term psychological stres, though the underlying biological mechanism that causes this form of autoimmune hair loss remains unknown. Accordingly, people who visit a specialist clinic for Alopecia Areata treatment can be frustrated as to why they are not given a precise reason as to what caused their hair loss, only what is likely to have triggered the issue.

Like all autoimmune disorders, alopecia areata is complex, and research aiming to establish more about the enigmatic condition is underway in a number of countries. Additionally, as there are currently only effective alopecia areata treatment solutions for the patchy, scalp-only variant, the medical community is highly focused on helping those with the presently untreatable, more extreme versions Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis. These cause sudden hair fall from the whole head, and from head to toe respectively. By understanding more about how autoimmune hair loss works, it is more likely that effective treatments for all severities will be discovered. For this reason, research like that of the Canadian team is vital.

Areas of the Head and Body Affected By Alopecia Areata

Areas affected by autoimmune hair loss from Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis are shown in blue

The researchers were investigating a rare mutation in a gene called FOXP3 which they found to affect the Treg cell’s ability to dampen the immune response. This, said the study’s lead author Dr Ciriaco Piccirillo, “results in the immune system overreacting and causing inflammation. This discovery gives us key insights on how Treg cells are born and how they can be regulated.”

His colleague, Khalid Bin Dhuban, added that: “Understanding this specific mutation has allowed us to shed light on how many milder forms of chronic inflammatory diseases or autoimmune diseases could be linked to alterations in FOXP3 functions.”

Inspired by its findings, the team went on to develop a molecule that could restore the Treg cells’ ability to control the immune system for patients with the same mutation. It has now been tested in animal models, and the researchers now hope to develop new drugs that will work with other conditions where defective Treg cells are thought to be an issue.

Immune system must be protected

What’s important, of course, is that new drugs don’t take things too far and inadvertently turn off the whole immune system. As Dr Piccirillo says: “Our goal is to increase the activity of these Treg cells in certain settings, such as autoimmune diseases, but we want to turn it down in other settings, such as cancer.”

While Alopecia Areata is just such an autoimmune disorder that might benefit from the team’s work, there appears a chance that developments in Treg research may even throw some light on possible new treatment options for genetic shedding conditions such as Male Pattern Hair Loss. A recent study by the University of California, San Francisco, found that defective Tregs may also play a part in genetic thinning, too.


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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Facial filler injection syringeThe global “facial injectables” market is on track to grow to $5.4bn over the next three years, but what few people consider in their quest to smooth out wrinkles is that there is a chance that products could lead to hair loss.

What could make things worse is that unapproved versions of dermal fillers are starting to become more widely available, especially online, including Juvéderm Ultra 2, 3 and 4 which the FDA has flagged up as currently being distributed illegally in the US.

Not cleared for sale online

The FDA – America’s Food and Drug Administration – cautions that these products are not cleared for sale in the country, and further warns that any Juvéderm products should only be injected and sold by a licensed health care provider.

While stories of hair loss caused by approved or unapproved versions of facial fillers are not widespread, one story in 2015 highlighted the potential dangers. So severe was the incident that the FDA published an inquiry report into the event, which was a woman’s account of patchy thinning following Restylane dermal filler injections.

The case had been reported to the FDA by a physician after a woman undergoing facial augmentation had developed what was described as an “intense burning sensation” in her right temple.

Two weeks later, she had a bald patch on the same spot, something that was diagnosed as having been caused by the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata. A degree of Scarring aka Cicatricial Alopecia was also observed. The FDA recommended that patients considering dermal fillers were warned of Alopecia Areata as a rare potential side-effect.

Using unlicensed fillers and those from questionable sources is only likely to increase the chances of potential problems, which would certainly not be limited to hairloss. When people buy drugs online, they sometimes either knowingly or unwittingly bypass a huge number of safety-nets that have been put in place by regulatory bodies, not least the proper storage of medications which is needed to retain their efficacy.

Several years ago, a former doctor named Raghbir Singh was given a suspended sentence for selling hair loss drugs that were not legally available in the UK; the same year a man living in Wales was found guilty of selling more than half a million pounds’ worth of fake health products, including some aimed at people who were losing their hair.

In fact, Ronald Noble, the Secretary General of Interpol said that counterfeit drugs were ‘more deadly than terrorism’, with 200,000 people dying from using ‘fake drugs’ in a single year in China alone. As long ago as 2008, 10 per cent of UK men admitted to buying prescription-only medicines from unregulated sources such as the internet.

Why take the risk?

But why would anyone take such a risk? The answer, usually, is that the price of name-brand medications is sometimes cheaper online, and there is also the potential appeal of saving time by not having to visit a doctor or specialist. But a customer can never really be sure what he or she is buying. One US hairdresser recently spoke out about the dangers of buying cheap shampoos and conditioners, for example, explaining that when they are discounted it is often because they are no longer fit for purpose and are potentially dangerous.
Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Treatment Men Women Hair Growth Hair Care page width

The most common hair loss drugs in the UK and US are called minoxidil and finasteride 1mg and these have been approved by the MHRA and FDA regulatory bodies for use on Male Pattern Baldness, and as treatment for female pattern hair loss (Minoxidil only).

At Belgravia, male pattern hair loss treatment can include the DHT-blocker finasteride 1mg as well as recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil which form the cornerstone of women’s hair loss treatment courses. Additionally, many of these custom hair loss treatment courses are augmented by special hair growth boosters which can help improve the chances of regrowth. These range from clinical therapy for clients who visit our Central London hair loss clinics in person, to convenient at-home LLLT treatments and bonus nutritional support from Belgravia’s exclusive Hair Vitalics hair growth supplements.

When following a treatment plan from a reputable hair loss centre you not only have peace of mind that the medication you are prescribed is genuine and suitable for use. Clients also benefit from on-going support from their appointed, dedicated specialist who can answer any queries as they come up. In addition to this they regularly monitor changes in hair growth and – where necessary – tweak their course components to ensure they are following the optimum plan for their needs at all times.


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 young American woman has described the hair loss that was caused by the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata as “the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Nell Sanders, from Massachusetts, was filmed for a video on Allure’s website  in which she talks about her condition and explains that it began when she was just 18 months old. It was first seen as bald spots on her head, and hair would regrow before falling out again – until eventually she was left with a single patch of hair. She vividly recalls the day she shaved it off with her father, thinking this would be the start of a worrysome new era.

Childhood was difficult

While Nell is more than comfortable with her bald head today, much of her childhood was overshadowed by the difficulties that having no hair entailed. At primary school she would try and cover her head with hats, only for other children to yank them off; later she started wearing wigs, which made her stop swimming and also put her off rollercoasters – which she loves – because she feared her wig may fly off.

There were multiple hard times – such as the day she was at summer camp when the heat made her wig slide off. Sleepovers were a nightmare, too, as Nell would sleep in the wig so that friends would never see her bald head. “It was a huge moment in my friendships when I took my wig off,” she says.

The net effect of hiding behind a wig and planning her life so as not to reveal what was underneath was that it became difficult to become close to people. It made dating even more problematic because she was hiding a lot of her identity. “I didn’t really like myself, and that was hard,” she says. Continues below…

Alopecia Areata treatment can be effective when the hair loss is patchy and confined to the scalp – indeed Belgravia has seen many, many success stories from treating the condition when it presents like this. At Belgravia, once diagnosed, a tailored treatment course based around recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil from the range available from our in-clinic pharmacies can be prescribed. The hope for people with extreme Alopecia Areata in the forms which also affect facial hair and body hair, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis, is that new treatments being developed in the US and further afield may one day help hair to grow back in these cases too. Nell, however, would not be interested. If her hair grew back, she says, she would cry and they shave it off again.

Heather Fisher

Bald look can be difficult to pull off

The turning point for Nell came between her sophomore and junior years at high school when she went to a conference for people with Alopecia Areata. It was a real eye-opener, she says, as she had grown up feeling she was the only person with the condition. “I grew up feeling like an alien,” she says.

“I went into this hotel and there were no people with hair – people who had hair were the outsiders. There was just a sea of bald heads,” she says. On the first day there she met a bunch of young people with Alopecia Areata and they all made a pact not to wear their wigs the next day. They went bowling and Nell says she suddenly felt completely free. “Once I got that taste of freedom I was like, ‘That’s it, I’m done’,” she says.

On her first day back at school she seized the chance for everyone to see her without her wig – and she was petrified. “But people were chill,” she says. “In fact not many people even looked at me. I became like an instant badass and once I got my confidence, people would part, like that, and my confidence shifted. And my entire perception on life changed because I realised I just overcame the hardest thing I ever dealt with.”

It’s a powerful video and likely to be of comfort to teenage girls in particular, although it’s equally fair to point out that not everyone is able to easily find a way to wear the bald-headed look with pride. In fact, the emotional agony of losing your hair when you are a woman is well documented. England rugby player Heather Fisher (pictured), who has Alopecia Areata, recently revealed that she is regularly mistaken for a man. “It never gets any easier to take,” she said.

Though little is still known about the precise mechanism of autoimmune hair loss, cases of Alopecia Areata are thought to be kick-started by an event of some kind. Known triggers include shock and sudden extreme stress, infections and allergies.


circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Near Liverpool Street 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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A debate is raging in the State of Wisconsin, USA, over whether or not Governor Scott Walker is stretching the truth when he says his hair loss was caused by a bump on the head.

The Republican politician is currently embroiled in something of a furore over his party’s controversial plans for the American healthcare system, which prompted a rival to state that “the most original thing he said recently is that he got his bald spot from hitting his head on a cabinet.”

Circular bald spot on head

Governor Scott Walker HairIndeed, this does seem to be Walker’s explanation for a circular patch on the top of his head of the kind that is synonymous with the genetic condition male pattern baldness. According to the Politifact website, Walker said in 2015 that “I wish I could grow a little bit more hair on my scar up there.” It was while fixing a sink some years ago that the injury is said to have happened.

So what’s going on? There are two distinct possibilities: the first is that Walker’s injury was sufficiently bad enough to cause severe scarring. When this is profound enough, it can permanently kill hair follicles and is known as ‘cicatricial alopecia or Scarring Alopecia. At present, there is no effective method for making dead follicles start to regrow, though a hair transplant may be an option in some cases and researchers are currently investigating ways from regenerative stem cell procedures  to 3D printing in order to produce functioning hair follicles artificially. The aim is that these could then be grafted into the scalp in cases of extreme hair loss, including cicatricial alopecia.

The second scenario is that the local skin trauma and/or the shock of the injury caused the onset of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, which can appear as at least one rounded bald patch that is the size of a coin, or larger. In photographs, however, Walker’s hair loss doesn’t quite appear to match the typical profile of an Alopecia Areata patch, and it would be unlikely that the hair had not regrown by now, as the condition usually heals itself within six months.

Scarring Alopecia is commonly seen after burns to the scalp, though it can also happen after extreme inflammation, as seen as a result of dermatological conditions such as lichen planus and pseudopelade. Alopecia Areata is more common, affecting around 2-3 per cent of all people in their lifetime and Alopecia Areata treatment at a specialist clinic can often yield successful results. Belgravia has a large number of case studies showing hair lost to the condition having grown back.

Possible third option?

The third option that may explain Mr Walker’s bald patch is that he is, in fact, mistaken, and he has a thinning crown because of genetic reasons – just millions of fellow 49-year-olds around the world. It is clear from photos that the Governor is already affected by Male Pattern Hair Loss as can be seen in his general thinning on top, so it could well be the case that this has also affected his crown. Male pattern baldness causes thinning of the hairs located around the top of the scalp – including the crown, vertex and hairline – so developing a bald spot on his crown is likely if the politician is not using preventative treatments, like the GOP’s leader, Donald Trump.

Male hair loss treatment at Belgravia takes a bespoke approach, with clinically-proven hair loss drugs – finasteride 1mg and minoxidil – frequently being used alongside recommended boosters.

By tailoring the components of each course to the specific needs of the individual and their level and pattern of shedding, Belgravia’s hair loss specialists find that many clients experience significant results from stabilising hair fall to increasing hair density and promoting healthy hair growth – as well as preventing baldness on an on-going basis.

What would be interesting would be to see Mr Walker’s bald patch up close; this would allow for a definitive diagnosis, and may prove that what began as a scratch on the head actually coincided with the start of genetic hair thinning, which will only intensify with each passing year without treatment.


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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Little Princess Trust is a respected UK charity which provides real hair wigs to children with hair loss, free of charge.

Most of the children who use its services have lost their hair due to cancer treatment, or an autoimmune disorder which causes patchy bald spots – Alopecia Areata – or total baldness – Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis.

Now, having donated more than 5,000 wigs to both girls and boys over the past 10 years, the charity has launched a new initiative. aimed at encouraging young men and boys with hair loss from these issues to make use of their services too.

Footballers John Stones and Raheem Sterling of Manchester City support Hero by LPT

Hero by LPT

Hero by LPT is open to young men with cancer who are up to 24 years of age, and for boys with hair loss from medical conditions such as the various types of Alopecia Areata. It replaces the former ‘Hair 4 Boys’ arm of the Little Princess Trust.

The Little Princess Trust has a number of well-known supporters who have donated their own hair to the charity, including Jessie J and Harry Styles. Hero by LPT has also acquired special celebrity ambassadors including Will Butler the Worcester Warriors and England U20 rugby player and the Manchester City and England footballer, John Stones.

These sportsmen have offered ‘their unconditional support’ according to a statement released by Little Princess Trust. It also explains that, “In addition to these Ambassadors, a whole bevvy of celebrity ‘heroes’ have agreed that the charity can use outlines of their hair styles in order to encourage boys and young men to make contact. These endorsements show to boys and young men that every hero needs some sort of a hair style.”

Hairstyles as worn by Wasps and England rugby star Tommy Taylor, Harry Styles post-hair donation, and the Argentinian international and Manchester City striker, Sergio Aguero, are just some of those that can be selected from the Hero by LPT website: herobylpt.org.uk.

“We want the boys and young men that we help to feel as comfortable as possible when they come to us. Hair loss can completely knock someone’s confidence – boy OR girl,” says Trustee, Co-founder and Case Manager for both charities, Wendy Tarplee-Morris. “We have created the Hero by LPT brand so boys and young men will know even more that we understand what they are going through and that we are here to help.”

Hair loss in children

Suddenly losing their hair can be understandably devastating for children, especially as it is such a visible issue. It can result in teasing from other kids and – just as it can with adults – may cause negative self-esteem and confidence issues.

In the case of hair loss from chemotherapy, survivors’ hair generally regrows fully within 12 months of their last session. There are currently no effective alopecia areata treatment options for under 16s, however.

Both the Little Princess Trust and Hero by LPT assist children who are dealing with the trauma of hair loss at such a young age. As the Little Princess Trust website states, “receiving a free real hair wig, can go some way to help someone feel more like their old self again”.


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

alert alopecia areata the belgravia centre 26 06 17A new entry has just been added to Belgravia’s Alopecia Areata Treatment Success Stories gallery.

Su, pictured, is pleased to have seen dense regrowth since she started treating her patchy hair loss at Belgravia.

Read her 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…

(Results may vary and are not guaranteed)

 

VIEW SUCCESS STORY

TreatmenT information 

 


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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The well-regarded charity Alopecia UK has announced details of its annual Big Weekend, where people whose hair loss has been caused by autoimmune disorders – Alopecia Areata and its related conditions – gather to share support and stories.

It will be the fourth time the hair loss charity has run the event, and this year it will take place in Birmingham from Friday 22 to Sunday 24th of September 2017.

Alopecia UK Big Weekend itinerary

Birmingham Alopecia UKThe itinerary is as follows:

Friday: evening reception drinks and canapés, which promises visitors the chance to get to know other attendees. The evening is aimed at adults and older teens, but families needn’t feel left out as the organisers can put them together with other families so that they can arrange a visit to the cinema or similar group activities.

Saturday: during the day adults will be able to take their pick from a wide variety of talks, workshops, exhibitions and demonstrations. This will run from 9.30am to 5pm, with a focus on sharing information. Kids and teens will be well catered to within the venue thanks to an assortment of games, crafts and workshops. In the evening, everyone is invited to a lively and upbeat night of dancing, food and fun. The event will coincide with Alopecia Awareness Month, so attendees are being asked to wear the charity’s signature colour: blue.

Sunday: with an emphasis on awareness, Alopecia UK is looking for budding models (and, indeed, anyone with Alopecia Areata who fancies some fun in front of a camera) to volunteer for photo and video shoots so that the charity has lots of promotional material for the coming year.

Tickets for the full weekend cost just £50.50 (plus booking fee), while separate events cost between £6 and £27. Children with hair loss get free access to everything. For full pricing details or to buy tickets, see the Alopecia UK website.

Dealing with Alopecia Areata

The work done by Alopecia UK has been warmly received by the many people dealing with various types of Alopecia Areata, as well as their friends and families. Although it can be hard to deal with at any age, this is especially true for children who are often subjected to bullying due to the general lack of alopecia awareness. This is why the work the charity does in offering support networks, education and opportunities like the annual Big Weekend event, to get together in a ‘safe space’ with others with similar experiences, is so important.

The charity can be a fount of information pertaining to medical developments, concealing techniques (wigs, hairpieces, scarves and the like) and it also runs nationwide support groups where people get to see that they really are not alone. It’s also worth pointing out that Alopecia UK is not without a sense of fun: the name of its team entered into a 10k obstacle run this year is “Apatchy Warriors”.

Alopecia areata is a complex autoimmune disorder that may be mild – displaying as sudden, patchy hairloss affecting the scalp -or more severe causing baldness to the head, including facial hair, or from head to toe. These conditions are known as Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis respectively.

There are Alopecia Areata treatment courses available now for over 16s, which have been seen by specialists at Belgravia to produce significant, positive changes to hair growth in cases of the mild-to-moderate, scalp-only form. For now, there are no effective treatment options for Alopecia Totalis or Universalis, however. There are many in development though after a number of breakthroughs into potential treatments and it is believed a new form of severe alopecia areata treatment involving JAK inhibitor drugs will be released in around 2021.


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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The autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, which causes hair loss in the form of coin-sized patches on the scalp that sometimes spread, is closely linked to allergies and the immune system. Advanced cases are notoriously difficult to treat, but news from Australia this week suggests that new developments in the field of immunology may one day benefit people with the condition.

The link between the findings of a team at the University of Queensland and Alopecia Areata is not a direct one, but with so many researchers coming back to a defective immune response as an underlying cause of the condition, the promise is irrefutably there.

In fact, the researchers – led by Associate Professor Ray Steptoe at the university’s Diamantina Institute – think they may one day be able to turn off unwanted immune responses permanently with a single treatment.

Work to build on

Up until now, the team’s focus has been on stopping adverse reactions to allergies, but if successful it seems likely that their work would be built on.

“When someone has an allergy or asthma flare-up, the symptoms they experience results from immune cells reacting to protein in the allergen,” says Steptoe. “The challenge in asthma and allergies is that these immune cells, known as T-cells, develop a form of immune ‘memory’ and become very resistant to treatments.”

He says they have been able to ‘wipe’ the memory of these T-cells in animals using gene therapy. They have effectively “de-sensitised” the immune system so that it tolerates the protein.

“Our work used an experimental asthma allergen, but this research could be applied to treat those who have severe allergies to peanuts, bee venom, shell fish and the like,” adds Steptoe.

The ultimate goal for the Australian team would be to develop a single injection – as simple as a flu jab – that could safely be used to permanently prevent allergies.

Whether or not the work will lead to new developments in Alopecia Areata research remains to be seen, but it already appears to dovetail with the work of several other teams around the world. Scientists in Nice, for example, are looking into the possibility of using low doses of the interleukin IL2 as a treatment option; interleukins are a group of cytokines in the blood that play a part in the body’s immune response.

Way back in 2010 scientists at the Columbia University Medical Centre established a link between eight specific genes and Alopecia Areata – the same genes were connected to other autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. It’s little coincidence, perhaps, that in the intervening years the same university team has been behind some of the most pioneering work into the use of well-known rheumatoid arthritis drug tofacitinib as a potential new treatment for people with extreme autoimune hair loss from Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis. They have also patented two JAK inhibitor treatments in the US for moderate to extreme Alopecia Areata conditions: Baricitinib and Decernotinib which are currently in the later stages of clinical testing.

Effective treatments for Alopecia Areata

There are currently effective home-use Alopecia Areata treatment options that can be offered through Belgravia’s hair loss clinic pharmacies, though these can only be used when the condition is in its scalp-only patchy hair loss iteration. There are currently no effective treatment options for the more severe Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis which cause baldness of the head, and the body too, respectively.

A dedicated member of Belgravia’s expert team talks each client with Alopecia Areata through the condition so that they fully understand what is causing their hairloss, including the disorder’s suspected triggers and the fact that it can sometimes spontaneously recur at a later date. Additionally, they can tailor a bespoke treatment course comprising topical applications of high strength minoxidil in appropriate formulations, along with complementary products to help boost hair growth based upon the individual’s level of shedding and medical profile.

There’s little doubt that the landscape is changing in terms of treatment for Alopecia Areata and its related conditions, and while it might seem that a miracle cure is agonisingly within reach, regulations and the intricacies of the biopharmaceutical industry suggest that anyone who is losing hair because of Alopecia Areata and in need of help would be unwise to wait.


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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An 18-year-old British model whose hair loss was caused by the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata has explained in an interview how he was worried about how people would view him when he started losing all his hair.

Sam Collet, from Surrey, was talking to fashion magazine i-D about how he has risen from schoolboy to something approaching superstar status in just two short years. His sleek, bald look and charming uniqueness having landed him a prestigious modelling contract with the edgy high fashion brand Rick Owens, and jobs with acclaimed photographers including Tim Walker.

Sam Collet Rick OwensHair loss escalated

But just five years ago, Collet’s life was a very different story. Barely into his teens, the sudden, patchy hair loss that began when he was four escalated to total baldness. “I started to feel really self-conscious about how people would view me and what they would assume was going on with me,” he tells i-D. His initial reaction was to cover up the shedding with hats, but before long he thought, “Why bother?” and went out with his head uncovered.

People didn’t react the way I was expecting,” says Collet. “Everyone was surprisingly understanding, or concerned if I was OK. Lots of people said that they wouldn’t have been able to cope the same way I did, because I just took it on the chin and said, ‘This is who I am now, so let’s roll with it.’”

From photographs that accompany the i-D article, as well as those on the website of his agent, MiLK Management, it would appear that Collet has a rare form of Alopecia Areata. Either Alopecia Totalis, which causes total baldness of the whole head, eyebrows and eyelashes included, or – if the hair loss extends to his body as well – Alopecia Universalis.

Unlike Alopecia Areata treatment, which Belgravia specialists have found can often produce encouraging hair growth results, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis treatment is less advanced and currently widely regarded as unsuccessful.

Many Belgravia clients with Alopecia Areata have seen significant regrowth from following a bespoke treatment course that features topical applications of high strength minoxidil in recommended formulations. This is in spite of minoxidil only being licensed by the MHRA and FDA to treat the genetic conditions Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss. However, minoxidil has little or no effect on these more extreme forms of the autoimmune disorder.

Whilst relatively little is known about the mechanisms of these conditions, they are all thought to manifest themselves after some kind of trigger incident. Commonly these include sudden shock, severe stress, physical trauma or allergies, though there is also believed to be a genetic link. According to the i-D article, Collet attributes his own hair fall to anxiety.

Unknown world

The good news is that the 6ft 2.5 in model is now comfortable in his skin – and enjoying his life in front of the camera. Asked about his thoughts on modelling, he said: “Before I started it didn’t mean anything much. It was a completely unknown world, almost like walking into Narnia for the first time. It’s eventually become like second nature to me. Now I love it and all the adventure it brings.”

For people with pronounced Alopecia Areata and its more severe sister conditions who are less at ease with their shedding, help may be at hand in the form of new research coming chiefly from the US, where a range of drugs known as JAK inhibitors are proving to show promise at regrowing autoimmune-related hair loss in early trials.


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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The ITV show Loose Women has proven time and again that it is comfortable opening up about issues that few other programmes want to discuss, and its frank and ongoing discussion about hair loss in women seems to be gathering momentum, with the BBC now covering it.

Thinning Hair Women Female Pattern Hair LossLast year Loose Women said it was setting out to end the stigma” of women’s hair loss after revealing that around 8 million women in the UK were losing their hair, most of them to the genetic condition Female Pattern Hair Loss.

“It can be deeply traumatic, cause embarrassment, low self-esteem and lead to a sense of losing your femininity,” said presenter Ruth Langsford at the time. Now, the show’s Andrea McLean, who is 47, has revealed on Loose Women that how her own hair is thinning, and how she wears extensions to conceal it.

“It started when I was in my early forties,” she said. “I actually spray it, I put make-up on it to cover it. It makes you feel less womanly and I decided that I won’t take that lying down.”

Losing hair all over

In the same week, Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha posted a highly emotional video online – watch below – in which she expanded on the thinning hair that she first talked about on the show last year.

I think I’ve lost maybe a third of my hair”, said Sawalha in the video. “People do say, ‘Oh my God, your hair’s so thick’, but it’s not. You see here?” she says, pointing at her slightly uneven hairline. “This is where it’s balding. I’m losing it all over. I feel bad even saying this when you think of people who’ve lost their hair completely because of alopecia or cancer treatment but it doesn’t really make it any easier.”

The actress went on to explain that her thinning began when she started going through the perimenopause ,which precedes the menopause. Between sobs, she explained that she went to see a specialist for advice and was told she had “the balding gene”. Continues below…

Women are frequently surprised to hear that there is such a thing, as genetic thinning is often mistakenly thought to affect only men. Female Pattern Hair Loss treatment, however, is well-established and used by women all over the world. The right combination of treatment products can help to stop shedding, encourage regrowth and prevent hair loss moving forward.

Female hair loss is such a serious issue for women that an astonishing 94 per cent of respondents to a Loose Women poll said they were worried about it. Writing about the subject on the BBC website, reporter Laura Lea states that around 50 per cent of women aged over 65 will experience Female Pattern Hair Loss.

Fellow BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire picked up on the story, the subject being especially close to her heart as the presenter herself endured hair loss after undergoing chemotherapy treatment during her recent fight against breast cancer. “I have to say that losing my hair was the worst bit about cancer treatment for me, more so than having a mastectomy,” said Derbyshire a year after her chemotherapy treatment had ended.

On Derbyshire’s BBC 2 show last week, the presenter featured a clip from former Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker who talked about her own hair thinning, which began after childbirth. This was likely caused by a temporary hair loss condition known as Postpartum Alopecia.

It’s that hit-you-in-the-face moment when you think, ‘This is my hair, what’s going on?’ and you start to do your hair and you think, ‘I haven’t got as much hair as I used to have,’” said Baker. “I was in absolute shock and like Nadia I shed a lot of tears. It was such a distressing thing to go through. I did everything: I bought a wig, I bought hairpieces and everything I could buy in the chemist to try and address it. I back-combed my hair, I did everything, Then I took a supplement that seemed to work, although it might have been (a question of) time.”

Food supplements are often recommended as part of a hair loss treatment course as all conditions need a properly nourished scalp to maximise chances of successful regrowth. While a balanced diet can achieve this, for those who are concerned that they may not be covering all their nutritional bases, a highly targeted supplement designed for healthy hair growth, such as the range developed by Belgravia named Hair Vitalics, can be helpful and convenient.

Sudden, patchy hair loss

Derbyshire’s show also featured an interview with American singer Nell Bryden, who lost her hair to a severe version of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata. Unlike female pattern hair loss and postpartum alopecia which both cause thinning hair, this leads to sudden shedding which leaves behind smooth, rounded bald patches. In cases of the more extreme classes of Alopecia Areata – Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis – this can quickly progress to complete hairloss of the head, or head and body respectively. These forms of alopecia are all believed to be caused by the body attacking healthy cells in the scalp in the mistaken belief that they are enemy cells.

I had very little time between initially losing my hair and realising I had Alopecia and that I was going to go completely bald,” Bryden told Derbyshire. “And in that time we set these markers for ourselves, like, ‘How am I going to deal with the next step?’, so at first it was, ‘I’ll chop my hair and have different haircuts’ and then it was, ‘I’ll wear a hat’. Then I realised towards the end when I was looking at the mirror I saw someone who looked ill. I needed to take back the sense of being a victim, so I shaved my hair off and I felt so much better and liberated and in control.

The issues highlighted on Loose Women and by Victoria Derbyshire show that women are far from unusual if their hair starts to fall out – literally millions of women around the world are affected. The sensible way to proceed is to get the condition professionally diagnosed by a hair loss specialist who can then, if required, recommend a tailored treatment course in order to help promote hair growth and prevent hair loss moving forward.


circ - The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - For Men and WomenThe 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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