The merger between key hair loss charities Alopecia UK and Autoimmune Alopecia Research UK (AAR-UK) was finally confirmed on 1st November 2017.
With these additional resources now in place, the charity is moving forward with its key activities. These range from promoting awareness of and research into the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, to fundraising and supporting those affected.
To mark the increased-strength Alopecia UK, the charity unveiled its new logo ahead of a new website, set to go live in 2018.
As previously reported, the merger of Alopecia UK with AAR-UK had been awaiting approval from the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). Now that this has been granted, the integrated charity is beginning the process of a full rebrand, which it states will "include the strong legacy from both organisations".
The first step was to reveal the new Alopecia UK logo, which can be seen here. Described by the charity as "a lengthy process", the logo was designed by Rob Newman of Toasted Designs in collaboration with both Alopecia UK and AAR-UK.
Whilst it is sufficiently abstract to allow for individual interpretation - already having been compared to a firework, starburst and a flower - the logo was actually inspired by a dandelion.
"The dandelion, like alopecia, has associations with loss," the charity explains. "While we did want to incorporate this element we also wanted a logo that would feel very positive, with a shape that would feel distinctive and stand out from the crowd (also like alopecia). There is a nod towards hair loss with some florets missing and a space in the middle which could be seen as a patch of alopecia. We felt that visually the shape is in keeping with alopecia as a whole and would hopefully resonate with the alopecia community."
Alopecia UK has traditionally favoured a bold shade of blue as its signature colour, whilst AAR-UK appropriated a vivid fuchsia pink. As such, elements of both were incorporated into the final design as the design team felt the "single floret of pink made it 'pop' against the blue". As the rebrand continues, both colours will be used across the charity's marketing materials and merchandise.
This leading hair loss charity has formed a new Trustee board chaired by Simon Ray and comprising all existing Trustees from both AAR-UK and AUK. Furthermore, it has established a research committee, chaired by Karen Green, formerly of AAR-UK. This committee will further the work which AAR-UK started back in 2013; it was involved in establishing the first UK Alopecia Areata Bio-Bank, and was heavily committed to discovering more about the various phenotypes of autoimmune alopecia, in order to hopefully lead to an eventual cure or treatment options for the most severe forms - Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis.
Although the scalp-only form, which causes rounded bald spots and patchy hair loss, can often be successfully overcome either naturally or through the use of a specialist Alopecia Areata Treatment course, this is only appropriate for medically-appropriate over 16s.
There are currently few alopecia treatment options for children or for anyone experiencing baldness caused by the more extreme alopecias, though this is a particularly exciting time for hair loss research in this area. Clinical trials being carried out by Columbia University in the USA have been developing a suite of drugs known as JAK inhibitors with the potential to treat even Alopecia Universalis. These continue to gain momentum and, should the trial results continue to show safe and effective results, medical board approval and release could happen as early as 2020.
Mr. Ray said of the charity's future: “We are so excited to see that this merger has been successfully completed and we really look forward to working with all our new colleagues.”
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