If you’re affected by hair loss, then it’s only natural to focus on your hair itself – especially if it’s conspicuous by its absence! However, it is well worth remembering that your hair itself is not likely to be where the problem is found. The hair shaft is not actually living tissue – which is the reason why you can have it cut without experiencing any pain – and so the actual cause of baldness or thinning can normally be found amongst the roots of the hairs themselves: in the scalp.
The scalp is the living tissue found on the surface of the skull from which our hair grows. Despite being only mere millimeters thick, the scalp is differentiated into five layers, which can be remembered through the handy mnemonic; S.C.A.L.P.
- Skin: The skin is the surface layer of the scalp. This contains the hair follicles that produce hair shafts, and the sebaceous glands that secrete oil that gives the hair its distinctive shine.
- Connective tissue: Immediately beneath the skin lies a layer of fat and fibrous material.
- The epicranial Aponeurosis: A denser layer of fibrous tissue that anchors the skin and connective tissue above in place is the next layer down. If this aponeurosis is damaged by a head injury, then the wound will be a gaping one, which will require stitching.
- The Loose areolar connective tissue: This lies beneath the epicranial aponeurosis. This more fragile layer is rich in blood vessels, and so it bleeds profusely upon injury.
- The Pericranium: The pericranium is the outer layer of the skull that provides the bone beneath with nutrition and the capacity to heal itself.
Blood supply and hair loss
As with the rest of the body, the scalp relies upon the blood to provide it with oxygen, nutrients and to dispose of waste chemicals. In the scalp, the blood is supplied via five arteries, which branch off the two major blood vessels that supply blood to the head – two from the internal carotid and three from the external carotid. From these major arteries, the blood filters through into a network of capilliaries. It is potentially here when one of the hair loss treatments used at The Belgravia Centre – Minoxidil – exerts it effect. According to some scientists, Minoxidil is effective because it causes blood vessels in the scalp to dilate, boosting the level of nutrients that hair follicles receive.
The appliance of science
Scientific knowledge like this has been crucial for the development of effective treatments to combat hair loss. Once the growth of hair was as mysterious as any of nature’s workings, but with careful research into physiology and biochemistry, our hair loss experts are now able to make informed assessments of each patient’s symptoms and their most probable cause. Every Belgravia Centre treatment plan is carefully tailored to the patient concerned – you can explore our online archive of success stories to hear the tales of many of our satisfied clients.
If you’d like to find out more about the science behind the treatments and how they could help you, then call us on 0800 077 6666 or contact us online to arrange a no obligation appointment at our London clinic, or complete our online diagnostic form for a remote assessment today!