You may or may not have heard of Spex – he’s a ‘hair loss mentor’ and an advocate for a renowned hair transplant surgeon in New York called Dr. Feller. Spex’s real name is Spencer Stevenson, and he has a story to tell. He had a few bad hair transplants in the nineties and wasted almost £30,000. He has now taken it upon himself to arm the public with the knowledge he didn’t have, so that they can make an informed decision on what to do if they are experiencing the same problem he had. Spencer predominantly uses online discussion forums to do this.
Earlier this week I caught up with Spencer…
“As nobody is immune to hair loss, male pattern baldness is a genetic trait that can affect anyone from the man on the street to multi-millionaires”, he said. “By the age of 30, a quarter of men start to lose their hair. “For both men and women, hair loss has a profound psychological impact and can erode their confidence. “My job is to act as a patient mentor to those vulnerable individuals who need my help. The hair loss industry is a minefield, often inhabited by conmen and unskilled surgeons, and because of my own experiences in these territories, I can offer my opinion and steer the men seeking my guidance down the right path and towards the reputable surgeons and clinics.”
Protecting and Informing The Public
Like we have been doing at The Belgravia Centre for many years, Spencer is working hard to improve the standards of the hair loss industry in the UK. 20 years ago it was almost impossible to find a reputable medical clinic that could offer licensed and proven treatments, professional advice and easy access to medical hair loss experts, but The Belgravia Centre has turned that around thanks to our comprehensive hair loss services and in-house pharmaceutical facilities.
Spencer is trying to do a similar job by communicating directly with hair loss sufferers to offer them the very best advice. “I’m not a doctor so I can’t recommend particular surgery,” he insists. “If they don’t need a transplant and can salvage their hair through a course of appropriate proven treatment, I will tell them straight.”
Celebrities and Hair Loss
A number of stories in the press lately, including the highly publicised hair transplant that Wayne Rooney undertook, have shown the kind of results that can be achieved by finding the right transplant surgeon. Belgravia have a long list of celebrity patients to whom we offer a totally discrete service, many of which have had a lot of publicity related to the phenomenal change in the density of their hair. This publicity often leads to speculation that they have had a hair transplant when in fact their results have been achieved purely from the use of a combination treatment programme.
SPEX sheds light on a similar subject, “Hair restoration in the right hands can be phenomenal. In fact – mentioning no names as I am sworn to secrecy – there are many A-list celebrities who have had hair transplants that are so skilfully done, you would never notice them.” “Those who have not gone down the transplant route may well be using treatments for hair loss as a preventative measure, and again, you would never know.
Spencer discusses how hair loss affected him personally and emotionally…
“My hair had been my trademark, my identity, as it is to many. It was part of my image and I was dependent on it for how I perceived myself. So when I started to lose it, it crucified me. I didn’t realise that you’ve already lost 50 per cent of your hair before you even realise it. The average head of hair loses 100 hairs per day, but I was losing far more.
“It changed my personality completely. I went from being this very confident individual to a withdrawn shadow of my former self. I just shrivelled away into someone I didn’t recognise.
“I turned into an isolated young man who lost his spark. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to my friends about it; the only people I told were my mum and sister. Going out became an ordeal so my life went on hold.”
Hair loss affects every man differently. Many men will go bald gracefully, feeling no need to stabilise their problem – some even laugh at the idea, as we experience frequently on our Facebook page (some unsavoury comments have to be removed!). But there are of course also many men who like Spencer, worry a great deal and feel their hair is so important that they will go to any measure to keep it. For those who come into that category we strongly advise carrying out extensive researchbefore making a decision.
“I never felt that wretched, but was determined to beat it, to get back to the person I used to be. “I got desperate, chose the wrong clinics, spent thousands of pounds on several bad transplants and tried loads of lotions and potions that didn’t work.”
Research is Essential
Because of the not-so-strict regulations on the internet (although they are improving all the time, with the ASA now being the official regulator of websites), there is an abundance of product advertisements that claim to work better than anything else. Because of this and a general lack of expertise by some hair loss organisations in the UK, many men make the wrong decisions at first which can be time-consuming and also very expensive.
Spencer is one of the individuals trying his best to fix this problem. “I dedicated many years of my life to solving my own hair loss. Now I’m helping others. I currently use 5% Minoxidil. This is perfect for me as it has worked to maintain the hair I have, but patients who wish to increase their regime to a stronger defence, can use the extra-strength minoxidil doses that are offered by Belgravia. Their 8%, 10% and 12.5% formulationsare highly recommended for patients suffering from more aggressive hair loss.”
Hair Loss Treatment or Surgery?
“Hair transplant surgery is a last resort and prior to surgery you need to stabilise you situation through recommended treatments such as the ones Belgravia centre provide.” advises Spex. “Monitor your hair loss and Belgravia can help you do this very accurately. Only when you feel confident your hair loss is under control is surgery then an option if you choose to further improve your situation. The Belgravia Centre can advise you on choosing the right surgeon, or put you in contact with me personally to offer you the best advice so you can make an informed decision.”
Spencer has his own website – Spexhair.com – where you can find out more about him and read a wealth of information about what you are able to do if you wish to go down the surgical route. He has built a strong reliable reputation for protecting and educating patients.
Written by Jonny Harris – Belgravia’s director, and long-term hair loss treatment user