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A clinical review revealed scalp cooling devices were both safe and effective at treating hair loss induced by chemotherapy.

The analysis was conducted by Megan Kruse, MD and Jame Abraham, MD – both from the Taussig Cancer Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. Their work follows similar research conducted in 2017 which confirmed the efficacy of Paxman’s scalp cooling system.

Around eight per cent of women reject chemotherapy, citing the prospect of losing hair. It is clear the possibilities offered by scalp cooling machines may help to save more lives in the future.

The authors compared three studies which tested if scalp cooling could prevent “chemotherapy-induced alopecia in patients receiving chemotherapy for solid tumor malignancies”.

cooling cap glenn paxman hair loss cancer

Scalp cooling studies

They discovered it was 100 per cent effective at reducing hairloss in patients receiving weekly paclitaxel cancer treatment. It was also around 20 per cent effective at limiting hair fall in patients undergoing anthracycline chemotherapy.

The research also challenges the notion that scalp cooling devices can increase the risk of metastases – secondary malignant growths which develop away from the primary site of cancer.

Among the study participants, who were monitored for seven years after their treatment with manual cooling cap systems, the highest risk of scalp metastasis was 0.45 per cent.

Writing in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Kruse and Abraham note: “these studies support the safety of scalp cooling in patients with solid tumor malignancies undergoing chemotherapy. Clinicians should be aware of the available data on hair preservation with scalp cooling to counsel patients on the likelihood of success with various chemotherapy regimens”.

The FDA has already cleared two systems for routine use in the US: the Paxman Scalp Cooling System and the DigniCap. The former was finally cleared for American use in April 2017.

How do these devices work?

Chemo drugs fail to differentiate between healthy and cancerous cells. As a result they can attack hair follicles which may result in thinning hair from anagen effluvium.

Inside the DigniCap Cold Cap

Inside the DigniCap Cold Cap

As explained on the Paxman website, scalp cooling treatment works by reducing the head’s temperature “by a few degrees immediately before, during and after the administration of chemotherapy”. This is achieved through a “cold cap” which is worn by the user.

This process prevents baldness by restricting blood flow to the top of the head, reducing the potential for chemotherapy drugs to reach hair follicles and damage them.

Considering the freezing temperatures used in scalp cooling treatment, there are some potential adverse side-effects, which Kruse and Abraham list as “scalp pain, headache, and chills”. Fortunately these symptoms were tolerable for most of the patients surveyed in recent clinical trials.

The authors mention hair loss remains “one of the most feared complications of chemotherapy” for men and women alike. BBC TV presenter Victoria Derbyshire described losing her hair as the worst part of her cancer experience.

Consequently, these devices can help to address the emotional impact of cancer-related hair shedding. Kruse and Abraham state, “Because prevention of chemotherapy-induced alopecia may have an effect on quality of life and psychosocial well-being, use of scalp-cooling technology should be viewed as a means to care for the whole patient rather than a solely cosmetic issue”.

In most cases hair begins to grow back naturally around 12 months following a course of chemo, but this cannot be guaranteed. Many people also notice their hair grows back slightly differently to how it was before treatment but this is usually temporarily, lasting a few hair growth cycles.

It is hoped cold cap systems will continue to become more effective, meaning more people will have access to these hairloss prevention devices during cancer treatment. This ambition is shared by Paxman CEO, Richard Paxman, who aims to eliminate hair loss from chemotherapy entirely.


circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Near Liverpool Street LondonThe 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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Two French women experienced food poisoning after eating toxic varieties of pumpkin and squash. In both cases they also noticed hair loss a few weeks after the initial symptoms – the first time this response has been medically documented.

Peculiarly, they didn’t know each other and bought their fruit from different vendors.

Cucurbit poisoning

Pumpkin Seeds and Hair Loss - HalloweenDr Philippe Assouly, a dermatologist from Saint Louis Hospital in France, wrote a report which covered these incidents.

He believes their adverse reactions were caused by cucurbitacin, a toxic and bitter-tasting chemical found naturally in some members of the Cucurbitaceae plant family. This includes cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash.

Assouly suggests that the compound’s “antimitotic action” – the ability to inhibit the process of cell division – could explain why both women suddenly started shedding hair.

The report, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, covers the experiences of the women during and after their meals.

The first ate a bitter pumpkin soup and experienced symptoms of food poisoning – “nausea, vomiting, diarrhea” – which lasted for a day. A week later she noticed substantial hairloss on her head and also lost hair on her genitals.

Her family ate the soup in smaller quantities and contracted food poisoning but didn’t lose any hair.

The second woman fell ill after eating a meal that included bitter-tasting squash: three weeks later she lost a considerable amount of hair from her scalp and had “severe alopecia on the armpits and pubic region”. 

She was dining with friends who didn’t show any signs of hair loss as they declined to eat the squash.

After two months the woman who ate the pumpkin soup witnessed two centimetres of hair growth on affected areas of the scalp. The second had hair regrowth of six centimetres on her head after six months.

Anagen Effluvium

Hair Growth Cycle DiagramAssouly explains that both women experienced Anagen Effluvium which makes hair fall out during the active – or anagen – phase of the hair growth cycle.

As the research demonstrates, visible signs of the condition can be dramatic. Belgravia hair loss specialist Rali Bozhinova explains, “nearly 90 per cent of the hair is in the anagen phase, so most of it would be lost”.

Anagen Effluvium is common among those receiving chemotherapy treatment. It can also be caused by other forms of toxicity which affect cell mitosis – such as cucurbit poisoning.

Eliminating the hair loss trigger is sometimes sufficient to allow hair to start growing back. Where appropriate Belgravia would typically treat cases of Anagen Effluvium with a tailored hair loss treatment course based around a topical medication and featuring additional supplementary hair growth supporting products.

Hair regrowth from this condition is typically quicker than it is for Telogen Effluvium, which forces the hair cycle into its resting (telogen) phase early. According to Bozhinova, “this is because the hair is not completely lost with the bulb in cases of Anagen Effluvium – it’s only broken due to atrophy in the hair shaft”.

This may also explain why both women acquired trichorrhexis nodosa – a disorder characterised by swelling along the hair shafts, causing them to fracture.

Domesticated Cucurbitaceae are specifically bred to make them safe for human consumption – pumpkins have actually shown to be good for hair health. However, it’s best to heed Assouly’s advice and avoid any that taste too bitter, particularly considering its newfound implications.


Circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinics LondonThe 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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Eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has never been shy about his love for football. Through his sponsorship deal with sportswear company Puma he trained with German soccer team Borussia Dortmund, perhaps the first step in achieving one of his ultimate dreams – playing for his team, Manchester United.

While Bolt didn’t end up signing a contract with the German outfit, this experience marked yet another personal milestone for the star: the next may be addressing his concerns with hair loss.

Bolt’s bugbear

The ex-sprinter officially retired from athletics in 2017, but judging by his forays into football he shows no signs of slowing down. Bolt will play at Old Trafford on 10th June 2018, joining the Unicef charity football fundraiser Soccer Aid as captain of the World XI Team. This annual fixture sees celebrities and professional footballers past and present play in a World vs England match. Usain Bolt’s team includes Gordon Ramsay, Clarence Seedorf and Robert Pires. They will face an England squad captained by Robbie Williams.

It is my dream to make it as a professional footballer, so to be able to step out onto the pitch at Old Trafford in June and play against some of football’s biggest legends is going to be remarkable,” the skipper told The Sun newspaper. “I enjoy the thrill of competition in front of a crowd, so Robbie and his England team better watch out as I won’t be going easy on them!

The Jamaican continues to carry himself with the trademark confidence which he previously displayed on the track. However, in a rare moment of vulnerability, he was asked what he didn’t like about himself in an interview with The Guardian in 2016: “Honestly? My hair. My hairline… I don’t know where it’s going”.

He continued, “That’s why I always wear my hair high, mohawk, so it doesn’t show it that much. Every Olympics, I always cut my hair, but then I grow it again. I might try growing a beard, too, to see if that helps”.

Given the Man U fan had these concerns two years ago, two outcomes are possible: his hairline may have continued to deteriorate, or he may have taken action to prevent further shedding.

Not everyone can set multiple Olympic records, but many men can attest to worrying about a receding hairline, whether they have a hairloss condition or not.

High forehead or receding hairline?

Usain Bolt has a high forehead – like former Chelsea FC captain, Dennis Wise – which can contribute to an illusion of hair loss or make any receding look worse, simply due to its positioning on the head. After comparing old and current photos of the retired athlete, the edges of his hairline do look to be thinning slightly.

Based on his 2016 comment, it does seem that these thinning edges have been gradually creeping in and he is unhappy about it. If he has not done so already, now would be a good time to seek advice about regrowing hair and preventing baldness.

A receding hairline is usually caused by Male Pattern Hair Loss, a genetic condition which can start any time following puberty and is experienced by around half of all men before they reach their fifties. It only affects hair follicles along the top of the scalp, leaving the back and sides alone.

While hereditary balding is permanent and progressive, clinically-proven hair loss treatments are available. At Belgravia, specialists have seen promising outcomes for many patients taking this pharmaceutical approach which involves the use of topical and oral medications, both licensed by the UK’s MHRA and the US’s FDA. Additional non-medicinal hair growth booster products can be incorporated into personalised treatment courses as appropriate.

As Bolt demonstrates, it can be tricky to understand hair loss, and self-diagnosis may end in frustration. However, an online or in-clinic consultation with a specialist can help to work through any queries and give a professional diagnosis; where suitable, tailored treatments recommendations can also be suggested.

Given the stresses that are associated with hair loss, many Belgravia clients welcome the guidance they receive during the treatment experience. Jason, pictured, states, “When I first came I was understandably anxious but the staff are really attentive and personable. The results have been tremendous and I have improved my esteem as a consequence”.


The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - Hair Loss Specialist ConsultationThe 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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A survey conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) has found that men are increasingly turning to surgical procedures to tackle their hair loss – at odds with findings from recent market research.

In a 2018 Mintel poll, 39 per cent of men aged between 18 and 34 stated they would consider surgical procedures, however, it discovered only seven per cent would opt for hair restoration surgery.

What is interesting here is that, whilst the ISHRS survey is international, the Mintel research relates solely to the UK. Although there was a reported surge in British and Scottish men enquiring about hair transplant surgery in 2015, it would seem the tide may be turning.

Hair Transplant Surgery - Surgical InstrumentsIn 2016, there were 635,189 hair transplants performed worldwide, a 60 per cent increase from 2014: during this period, the surgical hair restoration market also grew from $2.5 billion to $4.1 billion.

The ISHRS findings also revealed that 86 per cent of transplant recipients were male, and nearly one in five were in their twenties. This is despite many surgeons considering 30 to be the minimum age for a hair transplant.

Wayne Rooney effect

The ISHRS survey makes it clear cosmetic surgery is becoming more prevalent among men, with many actively seeking to confront the signs of hair loss associated with Male Pattern Baldness.

This trend is likely to be, at least in part, due to many high-profile celebrities being open about their own hair loss surgery, particularly footballer Wayne Rooney, who went public with his own Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure to help combat premature balding.

His widely-reported experiences with hairloss have inspired fellow sportspeople – such as Liverpool legend Didi Hamann – and many other men around the world to undergo transplants. This phenomenon is often referred to as ‘the Rooney effect’.

But why do so many men want to avoid baldness? Professor Thomas Cash, author of The Body Image Workbook and retired emeritus professor of psychology at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, explains to The National newspaper which reported on the survey, “Across cultures, hair has been used to indicate gender, status, values and group membership. In short, hair can be an essential part of our self identity. Things that threaten our identity, such as hair loss, can disturb our wellbeing”.

Justin Thomas, the author of The National article, notes “if we were less appearance-obsessed, male pattern baldness would be less of an issue”. However, this may be easier said than done given the pressure to look and feel good in the current image-conscious context of selfie culture.

These expectations can also lead to numerous psychological problems. The article lists a number of them, including low self-confidence, impaired quality of life and even psychological disorders, including depression, anxiety, trichotillomania…and body dysmorphic disorder, or extreme appearance anxiety”.

Surgery or no surgery?

Those with their heart set on a hair transplant are urged by the ISHRS to avoid unlicensed practitioners – especially when looking into getting one abroad – as there has been an increased rate in surgery to correct botched procedures.

While surgical hair restoration procedures appear to be on the rise worldwide, the fact that only seven per cent of respondents taking part in UK-specific research would opt for one suggests a possible increased awareness of non-surgical male hair loss treatments.

At Belgravia, a consultation can help to address any queries that may exist, and provide a professional diagnosis; from there a bespoke hair loss treatment plan can be recommended. There are clinically-proven, MHRA licensed and FDA approved medications – topical and oral – which can be used to help stabilise shedding, promote regrowth and prevent baldness when used on an on-going basis. This approach can be further augmented by the us of non-pharmaceutical hair growth booster products to ensure each treatment course is as fully-rounded as possible.

Belgravia clients frequently mention how their supportive treatment courses, with regular monitoring, can restore self-esteem, such as this client who noted, “My hair loss had been getting me down but my confidence is really coming back after seeing the progress I’ve made!” as well as this client, Steve, who noted in his Success Story: “The staff at Belgravia were very helpful and took an interest in what my hair loss was doing to me on a psychological level as well as a physical. The information and support that was received was fantastic and I would recommend anybody who is a sceptic to give them a try as you will not regret it.”


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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The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) revealed it is changing the terminology relating to certain hair transplant procedures.

Currently ‘FUE’ – a popular form of surgical hair restoration usually carried out on men with genetic hair loss – stands for Follicular Unit Extraction; this will now refer to ‘Follicular Unit Excision’ moving forward.

According to the ISHRS this change was driven by the need to make the phrasing “more scientifically, clinically and surgically accurate” given that FUE involves excisions of tissue and hair. In many countries the term ‘extraction’ also has non-surgical implications.

Scalp Punch Device Used in FUE Hair Transplants

Scalp Punch Device Used in FUE Hair Transplants

Original term misleading

The FUE hair transplant method uses a robotic ‘punch’ device to individually harvest follicular units from the back of a client’s head. As a result, the scalp heals faster following FUE surgery and there is less potential for scarring.

On the ISHRS website, Ricardo Mejia, a board member of the organisation and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Issues Pertaining to the Unlicensed Practice of Medicine, explains why the terminology was amended:

“When performed by qualified, properly trained hair restoration surgeons, hair transplantation is a safe and highly effective procedure to correct hair loss. However, it is a cosmetic surgical procedure and any attempt to downplay the significant surgical aspects of FUE to appear less invasive is misleading, and potentially dangerous, to patients”.

Dr. Mejia notes that for the past 15 years, the term ‘extraction’ was used to “imply a non-surgical procedure that only involves “extracting hairs”.

He believes this vague phrasing has spawned a “black market for hair transplantation”, with procedures performed by unqualified practitioners – this may explain the spike in surgery carried out to correct botched transplants.

ISHRS’s announcement reflects its recent push to make the hair transplant industry more client-friendly. In 2017, it released a number of guidelines to help prospective recipients understand exactly what is involved and what factors to consider when seeking out a surgeon. When deciding on surgical hair restoration it is imperative that thorough research is done beforehand.

Dr. Mejia hopes that amending FUE terminology will be a key step, ensuring recipients “avoid inadvertently paying to have surgery performed by someone not licensed to practice medicine”.

Hair restoration options

In 2016 a total of 635,189 surgical hair restoration procedures were carried out worldwide, a figure which has increased 60 per cent since 2014.

While other hair transplant techniques exist, such as Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), 92.5 per cent of ISHRS members reported performing FUE on their patients. Various celebrities have admitted to having this type of procedure, including footballer Wayne Rooney, chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay and soccer referee Mark Clattenburg.

For those looking to regrow hair and prevent baldness without surgery, a bespoke plan including non-invasive male hair loss treatments may provide a less painful alternative.

Belgravia offers customised hairloss treatment courses which centre around two clinically proven medications. In order to ensure every aspect is covered, a variety of hair growth booster products can be incorporated into tailored regimens where appropriate. These range from home-use LLLT devices, such as the LaserComb, to Belgravia’s Hair Vitalics for Men food supplements.

The clinic’s on-going monitoring and support means that specialists are always available to answer queries and tweak courses where appropriate. This ensures that clients are using the optimum treatments for their condition, level and pattern of hair loss at all times.

It appears more men are taking heed of non-surgical hair loss solutions: a Mintel poll revealed only 7 per cent of British male respondents would opt for a hair transplant.


The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - Hair Loss Specialist ConsultationThe 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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A BBC Newsbeat documentary, ‘Too Young To Go Bald’, explored the sensitive topic of hair loss among young people.

It was presented by 23-year-old blogger and public speaker Chidera Eggerue, who had noticed she was beginning to lose her own hair.

The programme comes at a time when a trend for young people starting to develop forms of hair loss earlier than previous generations is becoming apparent.

Physical hair loss, emotional effects

In the documentary Eggerue revealed that her hairloss began when she wore large, heavy extensions tied up in a high bun. The weight gradually pulled on the follicles around her hairline, eventually resulting in a balding band of frontal hair loss. As a result of this, she felt deeply uncomfortable when going out: “I would never wear hair upwards or in an afro without covering it”.

This condition is called Traction Alopecia and occurs when sustained, excessive pressure is placed on the scalp, often from taut hairstyles or extensions. It is more common among women of colour: given the Afro hair type is naturally more brittle than Caucasian and Asian hair, this puts it at a higher risk of damage from the condition. Continues below…

Eggerue interviewed actress and rapper Paigey Cakey, who had a more severe form of the condition caused by tight weaves, to the extent that one side of her scalp was nearly bald. Discussing how this made her feel, she noted, “I felt like I was the only one in the world going through this…I’ve just turned 25, I’ve been experiencing this since college, like I’m way too young to be losing my hair.”

The documentary also covered Male Pattern Baldness, a genetic condition which, as Eggerue mentions, is “by far the most common form of hair loss in men”.

She talked to Perry O’Bree, a vlogger who began to notice the signs of the condition, such as hair thinning on top of his head, when he was 20 years old. Similarly to Paigey Cakey, O’Bree emphasised how losing his hair has been an emotional challenge: “My hair is me . . . if my hair is gone I feel like I’m becoming someone else”.

Hair Loss Consultation Trichocheck at The Belgravia Centre

Control over the process

Later in the documentary O’Bree met George, a 26-year-old who started losing hair in his early-twenties: he decided to shave it all off live on Facebook as a statement of ownership, and urged the video blogger to do the same.

However Perry O’Bree was more hesitant:“When it does come to the day where I just can’t cover it up any more I will go for it, but right now I just love the fact I can still play with my hair”.

This conversation reflects the dilemma faced by many people losing their hair: is it worth trying to keep it or not?

For those looking to retain or restore their hair, a consultation with a specialist can provide some peace of mind by clarifying any existing queries, presenting a diagnosis and formulating a bespoke treatment course.

Treatment for Male Pattern Baldness looks to deal with hair loss from many different angles. At Belgravia two MHRA licensed and FDA approved medications are often combined with the clinic’s wide selection of complementary, non-pharmaceutical hair growth booster products – such as the Hair Vitalics premium food supplement range. Progress is closely monitored with on-going support throughout.

Although fully preventable, when caught before it gets to the point of Paigey Cakey’s – where permanent hair loss can set in – treatment for Traction Alopecia is an option many consider. The first step is always to remove the source of tension in order to rest the follicles, then topical drugs and hair growth boosters may be used to encourage hair regrowth and to ensure the hair is in optimum condition.

Whatever decision is made, acknowledging hair loss can be incredibly empowering and the benefits apply to both men and women, regardless of age. At the end of the documentary, Eggerue explained, “I’ve started going out with my natural hair a lot more often, I’ve learned to just make peace with my hair loss and now I just feel liberated”.

Choosing how to deal with losing hair is an incredibly personal decision and, for those affected, it can be comforting to know that their are experts out there who can provide professional advice and recommendations without obligation.


The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - Hair Loss Specialist ConsultationThe 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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Irish mum, Anne Harkin, has set up a popular blog – adopting the online moniker Ms. Amazebald – where she discusses her heartfelt experiences with both depression and hair loss, the latter of which she has lived with for the best part of 20 years.

anne alopecia depression bloggerHarkin’s hair loss

When Harkin was 17, a hairdresser spotted a bald patch on the side of her head and more continued to appear. When the patches began to merge into each other, and when the hair did not grow back, she “freaked out”.

Following a consultation with a dermatologist, she discovered that she had the autoimmune condition Alopecia Areata, which manifests as rapidly-forming, patches of hairloss on the scalp only.

She continued to shed hair even as she was approaching her wedding day, a situation also faced by London-based Keremi Gawade.

Recalling this moment in the Derry Journal, she noted, “As the patches grew into each other, I refused to shave it off. But, I didn’t want to go up the aisle a half-bald bride. So, I travelled to Belfast, got a wig and that evening I shaved my head”.

Harkin later developed Alopecia Universalis, a more severe form of Alopecia Areata which causes complete head and bodily hair loss as well: “It’s strange, but I don’t remember the rest of it falling out and I don’t remember my eyebrows falling out”.

Living with Alopecia

For Anne and others like her, living with hair loss has its tough moments, particularly considering her separate battles with mental health.

Diagram Belgravia Centre Different Types of Alopecia Areata autoimmune hair lossWhen discussing her depression, Harkin urged people with the same condition to “Exercise, practise self care and take medication if you need it”.

These pieces of advice can also apply when approaching hair loss. Exercising regularly – without over-doing it – helps to minimise stress, a suspected trigger of various conditions which cause thinning hair.  Whilst its cause is currently unknown, triggers for all forms of Alopecia Areata are believed to include sudden shock or trauma, allergies and even perhaps genetic elements.

Self-care is also immensely important: wigs have been a “massive benefit” to the blogger’s self-esteem and offer those experiencing hair loss more control over their image. In 2015, Vogue Magazine published an article which explored how nine women who have lost their hair experimented with hats, wigs, and scarves, proving that women can look incredibly stylish with or without hair.

However, Harkin has begun to embrace her baldness more openly. Speaking about her decision, the Irish blogger noted, “If I’m out and about I don’t like going without my wig, as sometimes I do feel naked without it. It does take time to adjust… I’m not as brave as some people – but I am getting there”.

Fellow Alopecia blogger Ruth McPherson went ‘wig-free’ for a week to raise money for Autoimmune Alopecia Research UK, a charity which has since merged with Alopecia UK.

Understandably, embracing hair loss remains an incredibly difficult process for some people. For those with the scalp-only form of Alopecia Areata, treatment options do exist for those aged 16 years+, and can be hugely beneficial for some. Its two more extreme phenotypes – Alopecia Totalis and Universalis – however, currently have no effective treatment options.

Harkin proves that there are many ways of dealing with her condition though, and she has evidently emerged from these experiences as a stronger and more confident woman. Furthermore, many charities, including the aforementioned Alopecia UK, can help people to deal with the effects of hair loss, ensuring those affected – as well as their friends and relatives, where appropriate – receive any support they might need.


Circ - Minoxidil iconThe 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


German shampoo brand Alpecin was banned by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) from claiming that its products can help to reduce hair loss.

Man Washing HairThe company has previously come under scrutiny for the way it markets its products, which are centered around treating Male Pattern Baldness (MPB).

ASA’s statement

Advertisements for Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo stated, “German engineering for your hair. Shampoo is too small a word for it. Alpecin provides caffeine to your hair, so it can actually help to reduce hair loss. Simply apply daily and leave on for 2 minutes… to help the Caffeine Complex penetrate your hair and scalp”.

According to The Independent, a complaint was initially made by a consultant trichologist who believed that the company’s claim was dubious. However, Alpecin replied that the adverts “did not imply any medicinal action”.

It also insisted that “topically-applied caffeine had a long history of use with individuals suffering from thinning hair or increased hair loss” and could “counteract the suppression of hair growth induced by testosterone and even stimulate hair growth to normal level”.

Alpecin backed up its claims with eight full studies, several study summaries and a consumer opinion survey.

However, the ASA found this supporting research inadequate: “we had not seen any studies of the actual product as used by consumers on their scalp using an accurate and objective analysis of hair growth, in a well-designed and well-conducted trial”.

The regulatory body concluded Alpecin’s claim “had not been substantiated and was therefore misleading”.

Going forward, the company was instructed “not to state or imply that their product could reduce hair loss unless they held adequate evidence to support their claims”.

Caffeine and hair loss

One of the studies the company refers to was conducted by the University of Jena in 2007.

Hair follicles were removed from balding men and artificially grown in a laboratory: all of them were exposed to testosterone – its by-product DHT being the underlying cause of genetic hairloss – but some were also exposed to caffeine.

The findings revealed that the stimulant appeared to prevent shedding and stimulate hair growth.

However, as emphasised by ASA, more research needs to be undertaken to confirm its effectiveness. Furthermore, the question remains how successful it is when applied directly onto the human scalp, outside of a laboratory setting.

Christina Chihaker, Belgravia’s superintendent pharmacist, also questions the efficacy of a hair growth treatment in shampoo form:

“Even if a shampoo is left on the scalp for two minutes, I feel that this is an insufficient amount of time to stimulate hair growth. Many people only shampoo their hair once or twice a week. I think it is highly unlikely that a caffeine shampoo used at this frequency would stimulate hair growth.

A study in the International Journal of Trichology has shown that, ‘regarding the route of delivery of caffeine, hair follicles are considered an important route for drug delivery. A recent study which assessed the follicular penetration of topical caffeine in hair follicles proved hair follicles to be faster route of drug delivery for topically applied drugs’. Another article in the same Journal also found that: ‘caffeine stimulates the hair shaft and helps it grow faster by blocking the effects of DHT, a chemical known to damage follicles’.

However, you’d have to drink between 50 and 60 cups of coffee a day for your locks to obtain an adequate dose orally, so applying caffeine solutions topically is the better bet. That said, it should not be considered a standalone hair loss treatment in either form.

Those concerned about thinning hair or a receding hairline would be well advised to consult a specialist who can discuss appropriate Male Pattern Hair Loss treatment options with them. This includes both the MHRA licensed and FDA approved medications as well as supplementary hair growth supporting products. From there, the incredibly personal decision as to which route is best for them can be decided.


The Belgravia CentreThe 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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New research from Mintel has found that almost a quarter of men in the UK would be open to cosmetic surgery but only 7 per cent would opt for a hair transplant.

This is possibly due to the availability of clinically proven, non-surgical hair loss treatments.

The poll was carried out among 1,947 British internet users aged 18 years and over.

Man beard shaveImage-conscious men

The younger the male respondent, the more likely he was to consider surgical procedures: 39 per cent of men aged between 18 and 34 years were interested.

This data demonstrates that young men are becoming more aware of their image. In turn, many are compelled to turn to cosmetic surgery.

The poll also revealed how people felt about non-surgical procedures – such as teeth whitening – with over 43 per cent of those surveyed showing an interest in them. Nearly half of all participants agreed that social media has made getting this type of cosmetic work more commonplace.

Explaining this, Jack Duckett, Senior Consumer Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel, said, “People’s increasing candour online about their experiences of non-surgical procedures have helped to erode many of the taboos which still surround ‘having work done’, even normalising certain treatments”. 

Footballer, Wayne Rooney is one of the celebrities known to have contributed to this newfound openness regarding surgical intervention, particularly among young men, after going public about his experiences with Male Pattern Baldness.

However, the fact that only 7 per cent of men would consider these procedures may suggest that men are becoming more aware of non-invasive hair loss treatment alternatives. It may also be the case that men are becoming increasingly savvy with regards their options, as hair restoration surgeries are generally not recommended for those under 30 years of age, despite high-profile exceptions to this rule such as Rooney.

Selfie culture

While genetic hairloss will affect around three-quarters of men in their life, it is still often incorrectly depicted as a symptom of old age, with increased rates of Male Pattern Baldness becoming more prevalent in the late teens to twenties group.

These statistics correspond with the emergence of ‘selfie culture’ – photos that are shared over social media can often reveal hard to spot signs of hair loss. Even teenage boys are beginning to seek hair transplants more oftenA 16-year-old who had one scheduled explained the impact of social media upon his self-esteem: “I don’t put pictures on Facebook anymore — there were jokes about the way my head looks”.

In such an image-conscious world, hair loss can be a tricky topic to navigate, but, as indicated by the findings, men may be coming around to the possibilities offered by non-surgical hair loss treatments. Two have already been clinically proven to promote regrowth, stabilise shedding and help to prevent baldness.

Belgravia offers well-rounded treatment packages inclusive of clinically proven medicines, various hair growth boosters, hair and scalp products and clinical therapies.

Furthermore, while social media can often make some men extremely aware of their thinning hair, a consultation with a Belgravia specialist, either in person or online, can be an important first step in relieving some of the stress associated with the hair loss process.


Hair Vitalics for Men food supplement for hair growth CIRCThe 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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Hair is a peculiar thing. It continues to be bound by cultural stereotypes: for men, it often signifies masculinity and strength, while for women it can reflect femininity and beauty. Because of this, hair loss is more than just a physical process.

A poll conducted by Loose Women suggested that it affects approximately 8 million women in the UK, a rate which is continually increasing. Despite this, it is a topic of discussion that unfortunately remains neglected, even stigmatised.

Bearing this in mind, it is worth exploring the potential psychological repercussions faced by many women when they lose their hair, and what treatment options are available for those in this position.

Woman Worried About Hair LossPsychological effects

As previously mentioned, women’s hair has some pretty powerful connotations. A report revealed that 96 per cent of female respondents believed that their sense of beauty was directly connected to their hair.

By this train of thought, losing it may correspond with feeling less beautiful, despite the fact that many striking models without hair have emerged in recent times.

The stresses associated with the process can also induce other psychological conditions. Speaking to The Telegraph, consultant dermatologist Dr Sharon Wong explained, “the psychosocial effects of hair loss due to any cause can be profound and are grossly under recognised. Many patients spiral into depression, anxiety and social avoidance behaviour”.

Wong’s statement reflects the findings of a study conducted by Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, which revealed that hairloss can occasionally lead to major psychological breakdowns.

Some women who begin to lose their hair may also feel that their claims are insignificant, which can put them under more stress. Wong also noted that the process “is often trivialised as ‘just hair’ or ‘cosmetic’ because it isn’t life-threatening. I commonly encounter patients who aren’t taken seriously and are made to feel guilty for being upset about their hair loss”.

This sentiment is expressed by Loose Women’s Nadia Sawalha, who experiences Female Pattern Hair Loss“That’s why a lot of women don’t talk about it, it’s because they think, ‘Well, I haven’t got cancer, why am I moaning about losing my hair?'”

Joanna Rowsell ShandOptions for dealing with stress

It is important to remember that women losing their hair are not alone.

For many, simply opening up about their experiences and embracing themselves can be a positive step in the right direction.

The BBC Newsbeat documentary, Too Young To Go Bald, provides a brilliant example of how taking control over hair loss can be immensely empowering for women, underlining that beauty isn’t bound by hair.

Famous figures, particularly former Team GB cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand and England rugby star Heather Fisher, prove that being bald needn’t be a sign of shame.

However, if it is causing significant psychological disturbances, such as depression or anxiety, then seeking help from a therapist may be useful. It is also worth booking a consultation – online or in-clinic – with a Belgravia specialist who will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and follow up with a customised hair loss treatment plan.


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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