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A new paper co-authored by scientists in the USA and China has been looking at a number of studies into autoimmune disorders to try and understand why a variety of these diseases, some of which lead to hair loss, happen.

Experts at the Third Affiliated Hospital at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and the Memphis VA Medical Centre in Tennessee, wanted to explore research from around the world pertaining to something known as regulatory T-cells (Tregs), which the medical community is fast coming to realise play a key role in autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.

Diagram Belgravia Centre Different Types of Alopecia Areata autoimmune hair lossVarying levels of hair loss

Three such conditions can lead to hair loss varying from mild to extreme, and headway has already been made over the past few years into research about the role Tregs play in them. The least severe of the three is alopecia areata, which will affect roughly 2-3 percent of all people in their lifetime and which typically manifests itself as sudden bald patches on the scalp.

Fortunately, treatment for alopecia areata already exists, and Belgravia’s hair loss experts have found that topically-applied high-strength minoxidil from the available formulations at the clinics’ in-house pharmacies can be can be effective at treating scalp-only phenotypes.

However, when people are diagnosed with either of two related conditions named alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis, they are dismayed to hear that their treatment options are significantly reduced. These two diseases cause total baldness on the head, with the latter adding the loss of body hair as well. Given the large number of trials that are currently taking place around the world which are looking quite specifically at completely new potential treatments for the two disorders, it does seem possible that new choices may be available soon.

The review from the USA and China argues that some of the most important new treatments for autoimmune disorders may come from research pertaining to Tregs, and explains how these cells play a crucial role in maintaining immune homeostasis.

Suppression of unwanted immune responses

Much is made in the paper of the importance of a protein named IL-2, which has been shown in studies to induce immune tolerance when exposed to patients in low doses. In doing so, the scientists note, Treg development is promoted and the net result is the suppression of unwanted immune responses. This, they say, paves the way for potential new treatments for certain autoimmune disorders.

The paper, published on nature.com, makes for fascinating reading for anybody with a sufficient grasp of medicine to decipher its complexities, but even a quick look at the conclusions are enough to arouse interest: “Independent clinical trials have shown the safety of low-dose IL-2 treated in multiple autoimmune diseases,” the authors write. “Moreover, these trials have provided preliminary indications of significant biological and clinical efficacy.”

The researchers do caution, however, that these new therapeutic approaches currently present some undesirable side-effects, though potential ways of preventing these are offered by the team. In summary, they propose that additional well-controlled clinical trials are needed to validate improved and safer dosing strategies for low-dose IL-2 use on autoimmune disorders.


circ - Belgravia Centre hair loss clinic London pharmacy hairloss treatmentsThe 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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New research from the United States and Singapore has shed light on why people experience hair loss with old-age – and suggests that this type of thinning may be slowed down with creams that could alter a person’s metabolism.

The work of a team led by A*STAR (Singapore) scientist Thomas Dawson, as well as researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina Pharmacy School, puts forward the idea that it is the slowing down of our metabolism as we age that leads to age-related hair loss, also known as chronogenetic alopecia and senescent alopecia.

cowBioenergetics of the hair follicle

The researchers used laser microscopy on human and cow hairs to study what happens at a molecular and metabolic level, with a particular interest taken in how mitochondrial metabolism and its by-product, reactive oxygen, feature in the bioenergetics of the hair follicle.

Reporting on the findings, medicalxpress.com quotes Dawson as saying: “As we age, mitochondrial energy production slows, so we end up with a reduced ability to make good hair. Any time there is a screw up in your metabolism you lose hair. People who go on crash diets, students undertaking exams, all will lose hair – only a small change in metabolism makes a noticeable difference.”

The website also credits Dawson with what could well be the best hair-related fact of all time: that the average human grows almost 2m of hair over their body every hour.

The energy required to grow all this hair, say the experts, has long-term consequences. Once old age sets in follicles effectively become “worn out”, or as Dawson puts it: “The follicle loses its ability to continue to operate at full form over time.”

He adds: “If we use materials such as leave-on creams or lotions that alter metabolism you can change the way hair grows and make follicles survive longer and produce better hair.”

This latest research follows a 2016 breakthrough discovery which found that a decrease in collagen as we age may be responsible for hair thinning. Those findings, made by biologists at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, made the claim that ageing hair follicles were denied a key collagen protein and stop producing hair. This theory was tested on mice, and it was found that age-related DNA damage triggered the destruction of a protein called Collagen 17A1.

The Japanese study also found that the hair follicles of people aged 55 and over were smaller than those of younger subjects and had lower levels of Collagen 17A1. At the time, the scientists behind the study suggested their findings may one day be explored in the hope of finding potential new treatment options for thinning hair.

Inconclusive findings

The reason why hair often falls out in older people is certainly not clear-cut, and in fact one study of more than 2,000 patients seven years ago concluded that old age is not a significant cause of shedding. However, it is certainly true that the likelihood of a person displaying hair fall as a result of a genetic hair loss condition – namely male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss – increases with each year, even if this is only because the odds are increasingly stacked against them. By the time men are 50, they will only have a 50% chance of retaining a full head of hair. Post-menopausal women are also more likely to experience the vertex shedding that is seen in cases of female pattern hair loss.

Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Treatment Men Women Hair Growth Hair Care 360pxBoth of these conditions can be treated in more senior clients (people sometimes assume that specialist help for hairloss is only readily available to people wanting to combat thinning edges, pronounced widow’s peaks, balding crown areas and receding hairlines when they’re in their 20s-40s), though the approach is slightly different for men and for women.

In men, genetic hair loss can often be successfully managed through the use of a male hair loss treatment course – especially when help is sought before it becomes too advanced. Male pattern baldness has two recognised medications – finasteride 1mg and minoxidil – which have both been licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA, having been clinically proven to stabilise existing shedding, promote hair regrowth and prevent baldness with ongoing use. Additional hair growth supporting products can be used alongside either or both of these front-line treatments.

Female pattern baldness is far more common than many people realise, and while some women may be able to disguise their hair fall with clever styling, it is nonetheless worrying to see signs such as an increasingly wider parting, less volume and the hair thinning at the temples.

As per male pattern baldness, there are clinically-proven women’s hair loss treatment solutions too, however, finasteride 1mg is unsuitable for women. Instead, women are able to use topical applications of high strength minoxidil which comes in a range of formulations and can be used alongside FDA-cleared LLLT devices, used to stimulate the follicles. Food supplements designed to encourage the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth, such as Hair Vitalics for Women which contains biotin, zinc and selenium alongside a proprietary blend of key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts, can also be used though these should not replace a balanced diet.


circ - Mens and womens hair vitamins Hair Vitalics for Men Women Belgravia Centre hair growth supplementThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. 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 world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.


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Children in a Norfolk town have been inspired to raise money for people whose hair loss has been caused by the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata after a local shopkeeper with the condition spoke to students about it.

Kim Starling, who sports a completely bald head, so moved the students after her talk – during which she explained how she woke up one morning and found that she had lost almost a third of her hair overnight – that they embarked on a fundraising campaign.

All remaining hair lost

According to the Eastern Daily Press newspaper, Ms Starling, who runs a greengrocers and florist in Fakenham, lost all of her remaining hair in the month that followed the initial overnight shedding – eyebrows and eyelashes included. This is synonymous with the condition Alopecia Universalis, which is a severe form of Alopecia Areata that leads to total hair loss all over the head and body.

Ms Starling told the newspaper: “I will never forget the day it happened, as it was so dramatic. It had been an incredibly busy time at work with a lot of stress, so I was really expecting to go to the doctor and to be told it was curable with treatment.”

She quickly discovered to her dismay, however, that little can be done to alleviate the symptoms. Unlike treatment for Alopecia Areata – when the hair loss is of the scalp-only, patchy type – Alopecia Universalis and its sister condition Alopecia Totalis (which is identical save for the fact that only the head and facial hair are affected), still evade the best efforts of doctors. This may hopefully change soon thanks to various trials that are taking place around the world into JAK inhibitor drugs and modified versions of these. Continues below…

Flowers - Thank You

While clearly upset about the sudden change in her appearance – people who lose that hair to any autoimmune alopecia phenotype frequently say that it greatly affects their sense of identity – Ms Starling adopted a very positive approach towards the disease. She says that she decided she would accept that her hair was unlikely to grow back, and that she would make the most things. “There is nothing worse than the agony of hope – that’s what keeps you awake at night,” she told the newspaper, adding that people actually don’t pay as much attention to a bald head as might be imagined.

Incredible efforts

Clearly impressed by the way in which this popular local shopkeeper had dealt with what could have been an extraordinary setback, children at the nearby Sheringham High School set out to raise funds for the charity Alopecia UK. In doing so, they also managed to demonstrate what a fun place their school is: the school council raised almost £2,000 thanks to a talent show, a teachers’ football tournament, a lip-sync battle – and even a ‘man versus food’ eating competition. Ms Starling described their efforts as “incredible”.

So visible are the effects of Alopecia Areata that many individuals and organisations feel compelled to get behind causes that benefit those who have been diagnosed. Among them are Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, who recently donated a 7-inch length of her hair to charity – most likely Little Princess Trust, which makes real hair wigs for children who have lost theirs to medical hairloss, including that caused by cancer treatment and alopecia.


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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Teams working together from opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean have made some discoveries that they feel may help people whose hair loss has been caused by severe breakage.

Hair breakage can lead to hair feeling and looking thinner, drier and more brittle than normal – and people who have been affected by it (dyes, bleaching and excessive heat styling are the most common causes) are often at pains to find a solution.

Healthy Hair Cuticle

Smooth, Healthy Hair Cuticle

Protein to repair hair

Researchers in China and the USA set out to try and find a protein that would bind to hair and help to repair it, and were building on the research of other hair care scientists who had searched for find protein-based products with the same pH value as hair. According to reports, matching proteins have proven to be somewhat elusive, so the scientists at Jiangnan University and the University of Nebraska turned to gluten, found in wheat, and modified it.

Gluten was considered because it is so plentiful and cheap, and whilst its pH was not the same as that of hair, the experts were able to change it by soaking gluten in enzymes that broke down its proteins into their base peptides. They then added a chemical formula to make the peptides a better match for hair; this was then blended into a shampoo and tested on volunteers.

The team claims its small study was a success. In tests, researchers ran a comb through the treated hair samples and measured levels of friction. Its gluten-based shampoo, it states, resulted in 21% less friction in dry hair and 50 percent less in wet hair. On top of this, the scientists reported that when studying hair samples under a microscope, they could see newly-formed bonds in the hair, which made it less brittle and smoother.

Hair Cuticle Damaged By Colouring

Rough Hair Cuticle Damaged By Colouring

Following up on the story, Science magazine interviewed a dermatologist at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine who deemed the results “inadequate”, and said they were missing key information pertaining to what type of hair was tested as well as details on the consistency of the combing force. She conceded, however, that the findings were promising.

There seems to have been an abundance of gluten-related hair stories of late: scientists recently found that processed gluten-free foods could be wreaking the kind of stress on the body that leads to certain types of hair loss. Other headlines have come from the fact that there are now gluten-free shampoos on the market. These, though, seem highly unlikely to be of benefit to people with coeliac disease as this is an autoimmune disorder rather than an allergy, and – as Coeliac UK advises – gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin. Therefore, it is only likely to be problematic to coeliacs if they ingest it. As such, shampoos containing gluten should not trigger a related reaction.

Expert hair advice

Whilst the majority of new Belgravia Centre clients present with hair loss of some kind, the clinics’ experts are also called on to dispense advice to people worried about the general health of their hair, especially when hair breakage is an issue.

Hair Vitalics Belgravia Centre Hair Growth Supplement Men WomenThis is where damaged hair snaps along the shaft, making it appear weak and frizzy. As it does not affect the root it is not technically a hair loss condition, it can cause hair thinning when a large amount of hair is concerned.

Breakage is usually dealt with by getting a good haircut – like Zayn Malik and Katy Perry – either having it cut shorter or having it layered or razored to shave off damaged strands at different levels without losing too much length. Additionally using nourishing, strengthening haircare products, such as protein-rich shampoos and conditioners, can help to get the hair get back into shape whilst the damage grows out. Encouraging hair regrowth is an important consideration for many who are affected.

One popular product that can be recommended by the Belgravia specialists is called Hair Vitalics – a highly-targeted premium hair growth supplement, developed by the clinics’ experts – to promote healthy hair from the inside, out. These are suitable for vegetarians and free from dairy, gluten, sugar, salt, yeast and lactose.

Whilst not intended to replace a balanced diet, Hair Vitalics offers a convenient nutritional support, with the separate formulations of Hair Vitalics For Men and Hair Vitalics For Women allowing these one-a-day tablets to be highly-targeted.

As well as being full of tailored doses of hair-friendly vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals, each also contains important ingredients that would not normally be found in the typical kitchen. For instance, the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein were specifically chosen for the Women’s formulation – and saw palmetto for the Men’s – due to their proven ability to reduce levels of DHT in the bloodstream.

For those with extreme breakage, hair loss treatment may be an option and it is certainly worth also having the scalp checked for signs of chemical trauma. A hair loss specialist will be able to offer advice as well as a diagnosis, on the best way to proceed – whether in person at one of Belgravia’s London hair loss clinics, or via an online consultation for those based elsewhere in the UK or abroad.


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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A dermatologist specialising in hair loss amongst Hackney’s black communities has expressed concern that the shedding locks that many endure is a subject that is not taken seriously enough.

In an article in the Hackney Gazette, Dr Sharon Wong, consultant dermatologist at Homerton Hospital, explains that she regularly sees female patients whose thinning hair has had a dramatic impact on their life.

In many instances, the women are of Afro-Caribbean or African origin and a condition known as Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) is to blame for their hair fall. Dr Wong says that this and women’s hair loss generally is frequently glossed over.

Womens Hair Loss Hair Growth Afro Hair Women of Colour Black Hair CareHair linked to identity

“It’s a condition that I think is unfairly trivialised,” Dr Wong told the newspaper. “Until it happens to you, you don’t realise the impact it has. Hair is not an essential structure, and you don’t need it for survival, but it’s so closely linked to identity and feelings of attractiveness.”

She continued: “In history, it could be related to your culture or religion. It’s a statement about yourself. It’s so personal yet it’s so public for everyone to see. If people lose their hair they have been stripped of their identity and with that comes a feeling of anxiety, and people might undergo social phobias.”

Dr Wong’s observations add weight to a growing school of thought that the most prevalent hair loss condition amongst black women is not actually Traction Alopecia – something which is most commonly brought on when women choose to wear tight hairstyles such as braids or hair extensions for prolonged spells – but CCCA.

In 2016, in fact, a study of more than 5,500 African-American women found that almost half of all those surveyed had experienced some kind of hair loss – and that most of these cases appeared to fit with a diagnosis of CCCA.

For her part, Dr Wong says that she sees it as the number one cause of shedding among women with an Afro hair type where braids, weaves or chemical relaxers are a common feature. Her theory, which is echoed by other experts, is that a combination of genetics and styling techniques can lead to the condition, which manifests itself as inflammation of the follicles which results in a thinning crown or hairloss along the vertex (the top of the scalp).

Not widely understood

CCCA is not widely understood – which is something of an anomaly in itself given that so many people appear to be affected by it. Indeed, the aforementioned survey of African-American women found that less than 20% of those polled had thought about seeking expert help from a dermatologist. This seems to suggest that for many women with Afro hair, CCCA is almost an unspoken, “accepted” hazard that goes with the rigours associated with styling and straightening.

The condition was also recently linked to an increased risk of uterine fibroids in women of colour.

Luckily due to an increased awareness of the dangers associated with harsh hair-styling practices, especially on Afro hair which is naturally more brittle, the natural hair movement is gaining increased momentum worldwide. This encourages people of colour to wear their hair in its natural state without straightening it or using chemicals to give it a more Western appearance and texture.

Many people believe CCCA is linked to or synonymous with another condition known as Follicular Degeneration Syndrome. This particular hair loss condition, when treated very early, before follicles have died, can be targeted with a tailored treatment course.

At Belgravia, this would usually be based around carefully selected and topically-applied formulations of high-strength minoxidil from those available at the clinics’ in-house pharmacies. Additional help would likely be offered in the form of suitable hair growth boosters, if a client’s hair loss specialist deemed them appropriate.

Closely related to CCCA is Cicatricial Alopecia, also known as Scarring Alopecia, which describes hair loss from a group of conditions brought on by the inflammation of the scalp. If the hair follicles are destroyed as a result of one of these conditions, then scar tissue ensues and hair can no longer grow. Because of this, getting a timely diagnosis when any type of Scarring Alopecia is suspected is strongly recommended.


circ - womens hair loss treatment belgravia centre hair vitalics hair growth supplements for 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.


Related Stories


Wayne Rooney Ginger hair transplant mpb Monday Night FootballFootballer Wayne Rooney’s hair loss has again been in the headlines after the player appeared on TV sporting a striking new look.

The Everton footballer has already admitted that he underwent hair transplant surgery several years ago to try and deal with the genetic condition male pattern baldness, and rumours persist that he actually had two of these. Bamboozled by Rooney’s new ginger hair – a shade akin to the lighter hair colour he had as a 16 year old – and an unusual fullness that is not always seen when he is in training, the Sun newspaper came to the conclusion that the former England player had actually had a third operation when the Liverpudlian appeared on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football as a pundit.

This seems unlikely – not least because many surgeons will not carry out more than two operations because there is a distinct risk that too much donor hair taken from the back of the head (where male pattern baldness is not normally seen) will end up leaving this area looking too sparse. However, Belgravia has come to an entirely different conclusion…

Hair loss concealers?

Whilst this cannot be proven and is only an opinion, due to the shade and sudden increase in his hair density, it looks like Rooney may currently using microscopic fibres known as hair loss concealers to fill out his hair. In fact it appears that he often does this when he is about to make some kind of public appearance, including starting for Everton.

Wayne Rooney Hair Fibres Ginger Hair Thicker Hair Loss TransplantInterestingly though, and the reason it seems unlikely Wayne Rooney has had another hair transplant, is that he can have thicker hair one day, then the next it looks to be thinning on top again. Photos of the forward taken during training sessions tend to show the player with more hairloss, whilst fuller hair is apparent in those when he is on the pitch or at events. This frequent ebbing and flowing of hair thickness is not something associated with surgical hair restoration.

These fibres are either sprayed or sprinkled onto the scalp, the intention being to match the shades of the fibres to that of the user’s hair. With hair being made up of a multitude of tones, it can be difficult to get an exact match, however – especially under the glare of TV studio lighting. Appearing in Sky Sports studio – rather than, as we are used to seeing him, on the pitch – his hair certainly appeared far more ginger, and matte, than usual.

Football fans on Twitter were quick to react – and with predictably cruel ‘banter’ – with some suggesting that the player had put shoe polish on his head and others wondering if he had painted his hair on.

The best way to use hair loss concealer fibres is to buy several different shades and to mix them so that something close to the precise colour of your natural hair can be achieved – although this naturally takes a degree of effort and makes an already fiddly process even more time-consuming. In one YouTube video showing four men in various stages of male pattern baldness trying hairloss concealers, the products’ limitations can clearly be seen, with several participants bemoaning the fact that some of them leave streaks all over their scalps, whilst others didn’t like the overall effect that these powders achieved.

It is very easy to empathise with men who try this route, especially when some videos of the products in action appear to suggest very impressive results. However, there are currently no hair loss products on the market which will hide thinning hair flawlessly.

Wigs and hairpieces, including lace-front hair systems, whilst much improved these days in many cases, can lead to issues related to visible netting, glue, styling and artificial-looking hairlines. We often hear that wearers constantly worry about the weather and how their ‘hair’ will fare, particularly on windy days. Similarly hair extensions used to give the illusion of thicker hair can lead to stress being placed on the follicles and actually cause more – potentially permanent – shedding (this is from a condition named traction alopecia), whilst powders, as Rooney may have found to his peril, don’t always cut the mustard in terms of giving a natural look.

More permanent solution

A more permanent hair loss solution for men wanting to regrow hair and prevent baldness without resorting to surgery, centres on courses based around either one or both of the two clinically-proven, MHRA licensed (UK) and FDA approved (USA) drugs. These medications – finasteride 1mg and minoxidil- target genetic hair loss from complementary angles.

The first, finasteride 1mg, is a one-a-day oral tablet which helps to block the production of the testosterone by-product DHT. This is what ultimately causes follicles around the top of the scalp and hairline to shrink and hair to thin then fall out in men with an inherited sensitivity to it.

Men’s hair loss treatment courses can also incorporate formulations of high-strength minoxidil, the second recognised product. These are applied topically to the scalp where needed either once or twice a day, as directed. By opening up the potassium channels and promoting increased localised blood flow, minoxidil can often encourage new hair growth.

The use of either or both of these medications can be complimented by the addition of appropriate hair growth supporting products. These offer a number of benefits, from stimulating the hair follicles using low level laser therapy (via FDA-cleared devices including the LaserComb and the LaserBand models), to providing nutritional support via highly-targeted hair supplements.

With so much information about men’s hair loss available it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff, as well as knowing what applies to your specific case. This is why we recommend anyone worried about losing their hair to have a consultation with a specialist. It is an easy way to get professional advice, have your questions answered and, where appropriate, receive a diagnosis and personalised treatment recommendations. Just being taken seriously by a hair expert and feeling better informed about what is going on can really help to put a person’s minds at rest when they start losing their hair as this can be an incredibly stressful experience.


Circ - Male Pattern Baldness hair loss treatment Belgravia Centre clinic LondonThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. 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 world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.


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When people have concerns about thinning hair, they are sometimes stunned to hear that their diet may be the heart of their hair loss problem.

While human hairs are essentially made up of dead cells, the follicles that create them are very much a biological marvel – and they are greatly affected by a person’s overall health. A poor diet can place severe stress upon the body, which in some instances can lead to havoc being wreaked upon the scalp.

In pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, some people choose a gluten-free diet, though coeliacs who have a negative autoimmune reaction to wheat proteins don’t really have a choice. Now a new study has found that those looking to free-from substitutes, as opposed to making naturally free-from food choices, could have a far unhealthier diet than they realise.

Supermarket Food Diet Nutrition1,700 foods compared

Researchers at the UK’s University of Hertfordshire compared the nutritional information of more than 1,700 sweet and savoury items and found that gluten-free foods had higher levels of fat, salt and sugar than regular products. The worst offenders were processed gluten-free foods such as biscuits and crackers, which contained comparatively larger quantities of potentially unhealthy ingredients to improve their taste.

There are plenty of foods that are naturally gluten-free such as quinoa, rice and corn as well as meat, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables. These are not part of the problem – a gluten-free diet has even been suggested as a good way for people with Alopecia Areata (another autoimmune disorder which causes patchy hair loss) to help manage their condition. It is the pre-packaged, processed ‘freefrom’ foods that are in the firing line.

Whilst some gluten-free variants can contain similar levels of sugar and calories to their regular counterparts – milk chocolate Hob Nobs biscuits being a good example – these can also differ wildly, so it is always best to check the labels for nutritional content information.

Refined sugar is often included in these convenience foods and studies have previously linked this to both thinning hair and the presence of ‘hidden sugars‘ in the diet to a potential worldwide health crisis. Artificial sweeteners, sometimes used in place of refined sugars, are also on the naughty list, with links to obesity and diabetes. Underlying illnesses – whether diagnosed or not – as well as certain prescription medications can also lead to periods of excessive hair fall.

It could be, therefore, that people on this type of exclusion diet are unwittingly packing ingredients into their body that could raise their risk of hair loss. Though this is not the sole hair-related concern; Dandruff is sometimes thought to be caused by poor diets, too.

Diet-related hair thinning

The form of hair loss most commonly seen as a result of unbalanced diets is an all-over thinning, affecting the whole scalp fairly evenly, which is named Telogen Effluvium.

Though this temporary condition has a number of triggers, they mostly revolve around stress – either physical or emotional; nutritional issues fall under this category as they can place a strain on the body. This in turn can disrupt its normal functioning, including that of the hair growth cycle. As the body diverts its resources away from non-critical functions such as this, the cycle can fall abruptly into its resting period – known as the ‘telogen’ phase.

Hair Vitalics Belgravia Centre Hair Growth Supplement Women MenNormally only 10 per cent of the hairs on our head are in the resting phase at any one time; Telogen Effluvium can cause up to a further 50 per cent of follicles – or more in extreme cases – to fall dormant. This leads to intense hair fall which, whilst often seeming sudden in its onset, tends to only become noticeable around three months after the condition is sparked.

In most cases, Telogen Effluvium will clear up naturally within six months, once the original problem has been dealt with. However, if someone were to, for example, have a largely unhealthy diet and/or any additional health issues – whether as a direct result or not – then the condition could progress. It would then be reclassified as Chronic Telogen Effluvium, also known as Diffuse Hair Loss, which follows the same pattern of shedding but lasts for a minimum of six months.

Treatment for Telogen Effluvium to help speed up the recovery period in both regular and chronic forms, is possible. At Belgravia this is based around appropriate formulations of high-strength minoxidil from those available at the in-clinic pharmacies. This topical solution is applied directly to the scalp and, though its precise mechanisms in relation to hair regrowth remain fairly mysterious, it is widely understood to open up potassium channels and increase localised blood flow. This, in turn, encourages new hair growth.

Belgravia treatment programmes tend to pair this medication with complementary non-pharmaceutical products known as hair growth boosters. These range from FDA-cleared low level laser therapy devices such as the LaserComb and LaserBands – which can be used at home to stimulate follicles – to highly-targeted food supplements. Hair Vitalics is a premium hair growth supplement developed by Belgravia’s hair experts, which blends key beneficial vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals in optimal doses, including components known to lower DHT levels. Importantly, both of these one-a-day formulations – Hair Vitalics for Men and Hair Vitalics for Women – are gluten-free. They are also free from lactose, yeast, salt and sugar, as well as being suitable for vegetarians. They are also suitable for people following a dairy-free, plant-based diet though strict vegans may wish to avoid them as one of the vitamins is sourced from the wool of live, healthy sheep.

As for those with regular nutritional requirements, as long as people follow a mindful gluten-free diet that is balanced, their should be minimal negative related effects. Of course this does not exempt them from developing hair loss conditions – particularly androgenetic alopecia, often more commonly referred to as male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss – it is simply less likely to be as a result of poor dietics.


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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If there is one thing that can rival the column inches that US President Donald Trump has amassed over his stance on immigration or his thoughts on North Korea, it is the amount of media attention he has garnered for his so-called hair loss.

Most recently, the press took delight in a video that emerged of the POTUS in which his famously wild hairstyle took a beating as he climbed the steps to board Air Force One. Battered by wind, the Presidential locks appeared to part to reveal a vast tranche of bald head underneath.

Some sectors of the media seemed to think that this was conclusive proof that Trump wears a wig. However, there could be another explanation.

Revelations about hair

What’s first worth remembering is that we already know several facts about the President’s hair. As recently revealed in the new book Fire And Fury, his daughter Ivanka regularly regales her friends with stories of a scalp reduction operation that her father had 20 or 30 years ago – something which first became public knowledge during the divorce proceedings from Ivanka’s mother, Ivana. In simple terms, a slice of scalp is stretched over a bald patch so that a new, more flattering, look can be achieved. On top of this, Trump’s doctor, Harold Bornstein, revealed in the New York Times that Trump uses the clinically-proven and MHRA licensed (UK), FDA-approved (USA) hair loss drug finasteride 1mg.

But it is perhaps revelations made about how Trump supposedly colours his hair – also reported in Fire And Fury – that are most pertinent here. He apparently uses a hair dye named Just For Men – but he allegedly does not have the patience to leave it on long enough for the tones to develop properly. This results in an odd shade and patchy colour distribution, and upon closer examination of the video of Trump boarding Air Force One, it may well be that as his hair flaps to one side in the wind, we get a glimpse of the lighter, relatively undyed, white hair underneath.

Given that the eye expects to see pale skin on the scalp (a look at Trump’s relatively white neck is a clear indication that his rather orange face is the result of some kind of tanning treatment, so his scalp would naturally be much paler), it could easily be that this glimpse of white hair looks like a large bald patch.

Furthermore, the genetic condition Male Pattern Baldness does not normally extend to the back of the head, which is where the “baldness” in the video is most evident. As millions of men around the world will attest, it is something that blights the crown, the top of the head and hairline. While the hair on Trump’s head does seem thinner in places, this could be put down to the fact that he is now 71 years old; as a general rule, everyone’s hair thins with old-age. Additionally, the rigours of stress and the notoriously bad diet of junk food that he eats mean that the President is unlikely to be giving his scalp the key nutrients it needs for healthy hair growth.

Hair loss can be treated

Genetic hair thinning can be addressed with a male pattern hair loss treatment course, which is usually based around one or both of the only two clinically-proven drugs for androgenetic alopecia – the aforementioned finasteride 1mg, and high strength minoxidil. Furthermore, these can be augmented with additional non-pharmaceutical hair growth supporting products which are include a range of innovations designed to nourish the follicles and stimulate them.

It is worth noting, though, that pharmaceutical treatment is not normally recommended once men pass 65 –70 years of age, depending on which approach is taken.


Circ - Male Pattern Baldness hair loss treatment Belgravia Centre clinic LondonThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. 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 world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.


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People with hair loss who look to the internet for natural solutions are frequently bombarded by advice that is questionable at best. But the web currently seems more taken than usual with the notion that rice water can help boost hair growth.

One newspaper’s website which has run with the story is South Africa’s Southlands Sun, which describes rice water as Asia’s best kept secret and the reason why so many Asian women’s hair looks so strong and healthy. It claims that rice water was first used by noblewomen of the Japanese Imperial Court more than 1,000 years ago – an era, it notes, when long, beautiful styles were especially in vogue.

Brown RiceNutritional benefits to hair

Unlike some DIY solutions for hair growth – including but certainly not limited to cow urine and onion juice – applying rice water is neither unpleasant nor difficult. Simply wash a cup of rice to get rid of any impurities, then leave it in water for 30 minutes to soak. Once the water has taken on a whitish hue, it should be strained and then put into a spray bottle ready for use.

The article also says that rice water is good for the skin, thanks to its combination of amino acids, minerals and vitamins. These include folic acid, a form of water-soluble B vitamin which plays a role in cell division and is known to be important in healthy hair growth; and iron, a lack of which may or may not play a part in the genetic condition female pattern hair loss, depending on which study is to be believed.

People sometimes think of hair as being somewhat “dead” biologically (rather like fingernails) as it is made of a tough protein called keratin, but this is only true of the shaft; the real magic that goes into it comes from the hair follicle – an area that a solution sprayed onto the hair is unable to reach.

Says Belgravia’s senior hair loss specialist Leonora Doclis: “If people want to try it, applying rice water to the hair shouldn’t harm it but there is no evidence to suggest this solution can make the hair grow, nor treat genetic hairloss. Female pattern hair loss – and male pattern baldness, for that matter – are genetic conditions that involve specific reactions to the hormone DHT. Given rice water does not inhibit DHT or enhance blood flow it will have no effect on these forms of hereditary hair loss. It is possible that topical applications may make the hair look healthy with added shine, but this is purely cosmetic. It is also worth noting that the Asian hair type is naturally more shiny and smooth than Caucasian and Afro hair, as a general, biological rule.”

Dietary considerations

Whilst the South African story centres around applying rice water directly to the hair, could it be that drinking it may be more beneficial? Leonora is doubtful, explaining: “The nutritional benefits of rice water if consumed orally, rather than applied topically, may help women with dietary deficiencies to avoid thinning hair from the temporary condition Telogen Effluvium, but they should check the values first to see if a) it is worth it – I would assume these values are fairly low – and b) to ensure an overall balanced approach to nutrition. As with many vitamins and minerals, folic acid and iron can be easily consumed in their recommended doses via our daily food intake, especially for meat-eaters. Because of this, and particularly in the case of iron, it is important to ensure you are not regularly overdosing – too much iron can be as bad as too little when it comes to the hair. This is actually true of certain other vitamins and minerals too, so it’s important to follow a balanced diet.”

Hair Vitalics Belgravia Centre Hair Growth Supplement Women MenWhat we eat – and drink – plays an important part in maintaining healthy hair. A 2015 UK survey found that three quarters of us are likely to be dehydrated due to not drinking enough water – something which is vital to the normal functioning of the body, including hair growth and keeping the hair in good condition. Having a balanced diet is also crucial to overall health and certain nutrients are known to be particularly advantageous to the hair; these include biotin, selenium, zinc and silica.

Though not intended to replace the nutrients that can normally be found in a good diet, a food supplement may be useful to some people. Modern life can be so demanding that some people find it difficult to get what they need through their everyday food intake. This is one of the reasons why the hair experts at Belgravia researched and developed a highly-targeted range of hair growth supplements – Hair Vitalics.

Hair Vitalics for Men and Hair Vitalics for Women are premium one-a-day food supplements which contain optimal doses of a range of key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals known to benefit the hair.

Biotin, selenium, zinc and silica have been blended with additional elements such as copper – which can help to maintain hair colour – and L-Methionine, an essential sulphur amino acid which is involved in the body’s synthesis of L-Cysteine, a building block of proteins.

Furthermore, each Hair Vitalics product contains ingredients that have been shown to lower levels of DHT in the blood stream and which are not readily found in the average man or woman’s normal diet. These include saw palmetto for men and, for women, the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein. Whilst these ingredients have been proven to help lower serum DHT, they are not intended for use as hair loss treatments in their own right; these support products are simply more armaments in the arsenal of those taking a holistic approach to maximising their hair’s potential.


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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Researchers in Japan are the latest to advance developments in the area of hair regeneration as a potential method for treating hair loss. And the aspect of their research that has caught the eye of the tabloids is the fact that a chemical found in McDonald’s french fries plays an important role in the scientists’ approach.

mcdonalds-fries-chips-fast-food-junk-food-dietPublished research findings in the Bio-Materials journal detail the new methods for mass-producing hair follicle germs (HFGs). Whilst previous efforts have also managed to recreate follicles capable of producing hair, this is the first time this type of bio-engineering has been successful on a large scale.

The McDonald’s connection is a chemical named dimethylpolysiloxane, which was combined with human and mice stem cells during the research. This led to a flurry of excitement in the media that might have caused people to believe that eating more chips would result in sudden hair regrowth.

Unsurprisingly, that’s not the story at all – what the researchers have done is regrow hair on mice in a lab using a novel method that they claim to be much easier than others and, in tests, allowed for the production of 5,000 HFGs at the same time. The chemical that is found in fries is actually added to cooking oil to stop it from foaming, and is a key part of the process.

Whilst still early in the development phase, this Yokohama National University breakthrough could be significant as it may provide new treatment options for some hair loss conditions that currently cause permanent baldness.

Using hair regeneration to cure baldness

Androgenetic alopecia – more commonly referred to as male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss – is a common, and growing, concern worldwide. Now, as these types of hair loss are starting to not only become more prevalent in our ageing society, but are beginning to affect men and women from an increasingly early age, the search for a cure – as opposed to hair loss treatment – is hotting up.

Yokohama National University - Hair Follicle Mass Reproduction

Culture vessel for the mass preparation of hair follicle germs (above). Generated hairs on the back of a mouse (below).

Furthermore, there are a number of conditions that can cause baldness, either in specific patches or all over the scalp, which are currently untreatable. These include severe cases of traction alopecia, a form of hairloss often caused by the over-wearing of tight hairstyles, which – thanks to modern hairstyle trends – is becoming ever more prolific.

The most significant area, however, is probably that of cicatricial alopecia – the umbrella term for a group of issues and illnesses that can cause permanent hair loss – which is also known as ‘scarring alopecia’. These can cause permanent baldness – often in patches, though some can affect the whole scalp – through inflammation which can be the result of varying factors, ranging from radiation to lupus.

Whilst hair follicle regeneration – also known as hair replication – has been heralded as being ‘five years away’ for quite some time now, it does appear to be closer than ever. And for those who are unsuited to other treatment or surgical options of hair restoration, it can’t come soon enough.

Technique may work on humans

If brand new, hair-producing HFGs could be generated in a lab and then injected into a scalp where needed, then the treatment landscape could be changed dramatically. And the Japanese team think that the technology which saw black hairs growing on mice could work on humans.

“The key for the mass production of HFGs was a choice of substrate materials for culture vessel,” explains Professor Junji Fukuda of Yokohama National University. “We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of culture vessel, and it worked very well.”

It also gave the newspapers something to write about, the prize for the best headline arguably going to the Daily Mail with “Short, back and fries”.


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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