TV presenter and Alopecia Areata sufferer Gail Porter has recently talked about her experience of life without hair after hearing about Moira Cameron, the Beefeater who went bald after being bullied by work colleagues. Porter, 38, told The Sun that she was diagnosed five years ago while she was going through her divorce. At the time Porter was working in the USA and noticed bald patches on her head. “I’d wake up with mouthfuls of it because so much would fall out overnight and the bathroom plughole would be blocked,” explains Porter.
Hair loss is a difficult thing to face but the sudden shedding that is often involved with Alopecia Areata can be particularly distressing. Porter said she became tearful and cried all the way back from America. She was most concerned about frightening her daughter, Honey, who was 2 at the time. Infact, little Honey thought her mummy’s bald head was cool.
Porter says she chose not to wear a wig because she found them uncomfortable. Life is still not easy for Porter who says lots of kids point at her and people stare. She says some people mistakenly think she has cancer. “Sometimes I held my head up high and other times I just didn’t want to go out. But the support of my friends and family helped build my confidence. The letters and emails of support from other alopecia sufferers were also amazing.” Porter says Moira Cameron should get in touch with alopecia support groups as “it has helped me enormously” and says the best advice is “to get on with your life and think positively”.
Alopecia Areata is caused by an auto-immune disorder and causes bald patches. Sometimes this progresses to Alopecia Totalis (total loss of scalp hair) or Alopecia Universalis (total loss of scalp and body hair). Porter developed Alopecia Universalis and lost her eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair. “Losing my eyebrows and eyelashes was pretty upsetting – I felt I looked strange, like someone had just rubbed me out,” reveals Porter.
In 2006 Porter made a documentary for the BBC in which she tried a number of treatments including steroids and laser therapy, but she found nothing worked. Porter said some of the treatments even made her feel worse. Porter didn’t say whether or not she tried using Minoxidil, the only hair loss treatment with sufficient evidence to show it is both safe and effective. Even if Porter did try Minoxidil she may have used it in a formula that was not suited to her condition. The Belgravia Centre has found success treating mild or early stage Alopecia Areata with a number of high strength minoxidil formulations available from our clinics. Often this is paired with hair growth boosters as part of a personalised approach carefully customised to fit each client’s needs and suitability. To see the kind of results a tailored treatment course can produce, take a look at Belgravia’s Alopecia Areata Treatment Success Stories.
With regards to laser therapy, the Belgravia Centre offers the HairMax LaserComb as a hair growth booster to be used alongside proven treatments (such as Minoxidil). It is not recommended for use as a stand alone hair loss treatment.
While knowledge about Alopecia Areata is still relatively minimal, if it is diagnosed early, it can be treated. In some cases, the hair regrows on its own, however there is no way of telling if or when this will happen. Porter’s eyebrows and lashes recently grew back and three months ago patches of hair began to grow on her head. While Porter says she does not know for sure why her hair has started to re-grow, she says she has made changes to her lifestyle and exercises more, relaxes more and feels more grateful for things in her life.
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.