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One of football’s all-time midfield maestros, Ryan Giggs has been talking about his recent hair transplant in the press and blamed the stress of playing for Manchester United for his worsening hair loss.

In order to help his increasingly thinning hair, he first turned to non-surgical hair loss treatment in 2009, to halt his shedding and promote hair regrowth. This approach included the use of laser devices and “lotions”, likely to be high strength minoxidil – the only clinically-proven topical hair loss solution to be both MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved.

However, a decade on, he decided invasive methods were necessary to fill in his thinning crown and bald frontal areas.

Pressure to perform took toll on thinning hair

Footballers hair loss Ryan Giggs Patrice Evra manchester united male pattern baldness receding hairline
Ryan Giggs, pictured centre in 2018 alongside former Manchester United teammates, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra

The former Welsh international was part of Man U’s most successful and beloved ‘dream’ teams, where he played alongside the likes of David Beckham, Eric Cantona, Paul Scholes, Gareth Southgate, Phil and Gary Neville.

Giggs also played under fearsome manager Alex Ferguson, who was known for his harsh management style and frequent ‘hairdryer’ treatment of players who got on his bad side. He started noticing signs of Male Pattern Hair Loss in his mid-to-late 20s. By the time he hit 30, he clearly remembers his friends telling him, “Flippin’ heck, your barnet’s going”.

Furthermore, as the club was used to success during that time, the various pressures to perform led to stressful times for the players, which took a further toll on the Giggs’ hair. Thinning on top and a receding hairline started to emerge and his previously thick curls kept being cut shorter and shorter – the method the Red Devil initially preferred for hiding his hairloss.

Still recognised as the club’s longest serving player, the retired footballer-turned-TV pundit and hair clinic part-owner told The Mirror he believes his Male Pattern Baldness was exacerbated by “stress-related hair loss“.

As he explained, “Football is stressful. You put yourself under pressure. You’re aware of the consequences if you lose a game or don’t play well. You are under the spotlight and if you have a bad game you’re aware of the criticism. Then it becomes a little bit more stressful. And stress is related to hair loss.”

He is not alone in this; fellow footballer, Lucas Moura has also blamed his hair loss on stress, as has French football manager Pascal Dupraz. But it’s not just soccer that has this effect – golfer, Tiger Woods has openly joked about going bald after a number of particularly stressful years, caused by surgeries, divorce and negative media attention. Whilst in something of a twist, Indian cricketer, Mohit Sharma blamed his poor form on the stress of having a receding hairline.

Stress and Male Pattern Baldness

Ryan Giggs is, of course, spot-on; As many people know, stress can both cause and worsen hair loss conditions, including Male Pattern Baldness – and you certainly don’t have to be a top flight footballer to be affected.

Some of the most pressured professions in the UK include social work, nursing, teaching and law, with men earning an annual salary of more than £75,000 and/or those working more than 52 hours per week all being more prone to stress-related hair loss, according to various studies.

Stress can cause temporary hair fall from all over the scalp – a condition known as Telogen Effluvium – which can take up to three months to present. It will generally clear up of its own accord within six months, for mild cases, but in chronic cases it may linger longer. Although more commonly seen in women, it can also affect men.

In those with existing hereditary hair loss, this temporary bout can make matters worse during this time, causing increased shedding from all over the scalp, with the areas susceptible to MPB – namely the top of the scalp, hairline and crown – often being particularly affected.

For those with an underlying genetic predisposition to MPB but who are not yet showing signs of hair loss, stressful episodes and Telogen Effluvium can trigger premature Male Pattern Hair Loss.

It is for these reasons – and those of your overall health, which can also be negatively impacted by stress – that it is important to keep any anxieties in check.

Stress management, alongside a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle can benefit your wellbeing and hair health. Whilst, for early to advanced hair loss where the follicles are still active, non-invasive hair loss treatment, including one or both of the only clinically-proven medications – minoxidil and finasteride 1mg, can help to inhibit DHT and promote hair regrowth.

Additionally, various hair growth supporting products – such as the LaserBand or Hair Vitalics for Men supplements – can be used to further augment this approach.

Even simply talking to a professional to assess where your hair is at and what can be done, can make some men feel more informed and at ease with the process. Whether you have the bank account of a highly-decorated Manchester United captain or not, recommendations from a hair loss specialist should point you in the right direction for regaining control over your follicles and giving baldness the boot.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free 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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New research into women’s risk of developing breast cancer has turned up some significant information, particularly for women of colour.

Findings from a seven-year study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, showed that regularly using permanent hair dye may raise a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer to around 60 per cent.

Furthermore, chemical hair treatments used to straighten the hair were also found to considerably raise women’s chances of getting breast cancer, with black women most harshly affected in each case.

Hair dyes, relaxers and Brazilian blow dry pose increased breast cancer risk

Relaxed hair coloured hair bleached hair dye afro hair straightened chemical straightener

A North Carolina-based team studied the association between hair products and breast cancer in 46,709 women. Each was aged between 35 and 74, and had a sister with breast cancer, but had no history of breast cancer themselves.

Through the use of questionnaires regarding hair product use over the 12 month period prior to enrolment, it was noted that 55 per cent of participants used hair dye when they started the trial.

At the follow up screenings, approximately 8.3 years after the study began, 2,794 cases of breast cancer were identified among those taking part.

Upon further investigation, researchers made the following associations:

  • an increased breast cancer risk of 45 per cent in black women who regularly use permanent hair dye;
  • an increased breast cancer risk of 7 per cent in white women who regularly use permanent hair dye;
  • risk of developing breast cancer rises with increased frequency of dye or straightener use;
  • an increased breast cancer risk of up to 60 per cent in black women who dye their hair at least every five to eight weeks;
  • chemical hair straightener (such as relaxers or Brazilian blow dry services) use linked to higher risks of developing breast cancer – particularly among black women whose use of such treatments was tallied at 75 per cent among participants, versus just 3 per cent of white women;
  • non-professional application of semi-permanent hair dye or chemical hair straightening products to another person linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

In conclusion, the team stated, “We observed a higher breast cancer risk associated with any straightener use and personal use of permanent dye, especially among black women. These results suggest that chemicals in hair products may play a role in breast carcinogenesis”.

The Guardian published an interesting piece about how breast cancer often hits black women harder, with affected women of colour being 40 per cent more likely to die from the disease than white women in America – the country where this new research was carried out.

Not only is this due to various socioeconomic factors, including many African American women’s traditional ‘need’ to straighten their natural hair in order to conform to Western beauty standards – discrimination against Afro hair is known to be rife, and was only made illegal in some parts of America in late 2019 – but also due to the toxic chemicals numerous hair products aimed at black women have been found to contain.

Additional damage chemical hair treatments can cause

Whilst these figures make for sobering reading, there are a number of less physically impactful, but often emotionally draining adverse events connected to the use of chemical hair treatments.

Hair Cuticle Health - Damaged hair v healthy hair diagram - hair breakage

Use of chemical relaxers has been linked to endocrine disruption, as well as an increased risk of miscarriage for hairdressers who are regularly exposed to these products at close range.

Over-dyeing and over-bleaching can severely damage hair, causing breakage, where the weakened hair strands snap off. Relaxers, including keratin-based Brazilian blow drys, can also be responsible.

Harsh chemicals such as these, if the solution is too strong or they are left on for too long, may cause hair loss from a condition called Chemical Trauma. This is essentially burns to the scalp and, depending on how badly burned the follicles are, this can result in patches of permanent baldness in extreme cases.

Although the evidence is currently anecdotal, Belgravia often receives enquiries from people who have noticed thinning hair soon after having a Brazilian blow dry – a treatment designed to ensure a smoother, more longer-lasting blow out.

When it comes to hair straightening, whilst heat damage is also a consideration, occasional use of flat irons or a roller brush blow dry are preferable to chemical straightening. Just be careful to use a heat protector product first, to help disperse the heat more evenly, and not to pull too hard when using a brush, as repeated blow-drying which harshly pulls at the hair may cause Traction Alopecia in any hair type. For Afro textured hair, a chemical- and heat-free technique known as African Threading is a great alternative.

For those who still wish to use such hair products, the best advice is to consult a professional and experienced stylist who can properly mix and apply these for you. For those using home-use kits, it is crucial to always follow the instructions to the letter, and if you are in any doubt or have any queries regarding the application process, always contact the brand or retailer for answers first.

Perhaps the most important point in both cases, whether you are getting your hair done at a salon or doing it yourself, is to carry out a patch test at least 48 hours in advance. This is key even if you have used the same product before as intolerances can build up so you may react differently, even to the same product, at different times.


Circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinics 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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Addpharma Inc, a South Korean drug research and development agency, has initiated clinical trials into low doses of the enlarged prostate medication, dutasteride, as a treatment for Male Pattern Baldness.

Dutasteride, which is also known by its GlaxoSmithKline brand name Avodart, is similar to the only currently MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved oral male hair loss treatment, finasteride 1mg, in that it inhibits the formation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

DHT is the testosterone-derivative which binds to receptors in sensitive follicles along the top of the scalp, anywhere from hairline to crown, in men – or women – with a genetic predisposition to androgenetic alopecia. This action gradually weakens the hair follicles; over time this slow destruction presents outwardly as the thinning hair and/or receding hairline we typically associate with hereditary hair loss.

Dutasteride and Male Pattern Baldness

By disabling DHT in adult males after puberty, once it is no longer of use to the body, these DHT-blockers have been shown to help men with Male Pattern Hair Loss maintain normal hair growth.

Reducing or stopping the process of follicular miniaturisation in this way, can help in preventing baldness. Continues below…

Diagram of Follicular Miniaturisation hair follicel shrinkage from genetic hair loss male pattern baldness
Diagram of Follicular Miniaturisation hair follicle shrinkage from genetic hair loss

Though both decrease the formation of DHT, the difference between dutasteride and finasteride is that, whilst finasteride acts upon one of the two types of DHT in the body, dutasteride acts on both.

As dutasteride is a more potent drug than finasteride and stays in the bloodstream for longer, the risk of adverse effects is higher, with side effects also potentially being more persistent.

At present only finasteride 1mg is permitted, DHT-inhibitor-wise, for prescription for this condition. Even then, in the UK and USA, it must only be given to medically suitable men aged 18 and over. The reason for this is largely to do with safety concerns relating to dutasteride.

Dutasteride is used as an authorised male hair loss treatment in a few countries, including Japan, and may be used in some instances as an ‘off-label’ or unofficial treatment under the strict guidance of a medical professional.

Although a cursory glance at any hairloss message board will reveal many men claiming to order dutasteride from internet sources – as with any prescription-only medication – this is highly inadvisable and can be extremely dangerous.

Avodart box dutasteride

Testing dutasteride for safety

This new Addparma trial aims to assess the pharmacokinetics and safety of a tablet known as ‘AD-208’ which contains 0.2mg of dutasteride, and Avodart soft capsules in 0.5mg dutasteride doses.

The clinical trial involves “healthy adult male volunteers”, all aged between 19 and 50 years. Interestingly, neither the inclusion criteria, nor the exclusion criteria for these participants mentions Male Pattern Baldness or any other form of hair loss. In fact, the specification of ‘healthy’ men suggests they are testing these drugs on men without genetic hair loss.

According to its clinical trial registration information, the study started recruiting on 3rd January 2020. Research will be carried out at Kyungpook National University Hospital in the Republic of Korea, and has an estimated completion date of March 2020.

As such, this appears to be a preliminary test, most likely as part of an information-gathering exercise before more targeted trials take place.

We will publish updates on this investigation as information becomes available; in the meantime, you can find out more about current options for treating men’s hair loss using clinically-proven medications and hair growth supporting products, on our dedicated Hair Loss Treatments page, or by having an in-person or online consultation with a dedicated specialist.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free 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 substantial number of study findings were published in 2019 which linked the hair loss-causing autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata (AA) to depression.

The highly visible nature of these hair loss conditions, which can cause anything from bald spots on the scalp to complete baldness from head to toe, was thought to contribute to the psychological and emotional difficulties of those affected.

In January 2019 it was also found that, not only is depression more common in people with Alopecia Areata, but having depression may significantly increase the risk of developing alopecia.

On 2nd January 2020, in Scottish research findings published in the British Journal of Dermatology, two specific molecules – type 17 and type 2 cytokines – were shown to exhibit positive correlations with both Alopecia Areata and depression.

Dysregulation in systemic type 17 and type 2 cytokines

These researchers wanted to explore the link between mental health and Alopecia Areata, reasoning that, “Unfortunately, 60 per cent of people with AA will also develop depression, anxiety or a related condition.”

Their primary aims were to find out whether people with Alopecia Areata had different levels of molecules that had been produced by the immune system in their blood. Previous research into other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, has made connections between molecules produced by immune cells and depression.

When comparing their clinical results to those of people without Alopecia Areata, the team discovered “increased levels of multiple molecules that are produced by activated immune cells” in the Alopecia Areata group.

Complex questionnaires were then used to establish depression scores for both the participants with Alopecia Areata, and those without. When using both sets of data to establish if there was a connection between these molecules and the depression some of the AA participants had, two specific molecules stood out. These were systemic type 17 and type 2 cytokines which were notably elevated in those with AA and these levels being associated with how depressed the individual was.

As such, the team concluded: “Alopecia Areata is characterized by dysregulation in systemic type 17 and type 2 cytokines, which may contribute to disease‐associated psychological morbidity.”

Research part-funded by Alopecia UK

Their studies were funded by a PhD studentship grant from Medical Research Scotland, part funded by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, with additional funding from the hair loss charity, Alopecia UK.

Alopecia UK is the biggest charity in the country that is dedicated to supporting those with medical hairloss. In addition to providing online resources, running local peer support groups and running many events where people who are affected by any form of Alopecia Areata – or their friends and family – can get together, it also funds research into the condition.

It is hoped this new information will help to further the medical community’s understanding of autoimmune alopecia and its relationship with depression and other mental health problems, and be of use to those developing new Alopecia Areata treatments.


The 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.

Related Stories


As a new year begins peoples minds often turn to making changes in their lives, particularly when it comes to their diets.

Belgravia specialists are often asked how certain foods can affect hair loss – either by causing it, or, conversely, by encouraging healthy hair growth – specifically in relation to the genetic conditions, Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

sugar drink soda cola coke nutrition diet food drinks unhealthy

Whilst there is no dietary solution that can treat a hair loss condition that is not the result of a nutritional imbalance, there are various vitamins and minerals which are known to support the maintenance of a normal healthy hair growth cycle. Most notable among these are zinc, biotin and selenium.

Additionally, researchers have found numerous ways in which the way we eat is linked to thinning hair and hairloss in both men and women. Here is a brief run down of some of their findings…

Increased sugar consumption linked to thinning hair

In 2015 a Copenhagen hair company published dermatological research which it claimed linked excess sugar consumption to thinning hair. As sugar leads to a rapid glucose spike which “causes an overreaction by several hormones, most notably insulin and steroids”, the findings suggest this can cause direct damage to the follicles.

As this results in severely fluctuating levels of glucose, insulin, steroids, adrenaline, testosterone and other hormones. One of these is dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the testosterone derivative which binds to receptors in the hair follicles located along the top of the scalp, from hairline to crown, in people with a predisposition to genetic hair loss, causing gradually thinning hair and, in the case of men, can lead to baldness.

Sugar is also believed to inhibit the body’s ability to deal with stress – which is a well-established cause of hair loss, albeit usually more temporary forms.

Whilst a sweet tooth alone is unlikely to result in balding, it is worth noting the negative effects excessive sugar in the diet may have on the hair, as a poor diet that is high in sugar is also known to cause oxidative stress. In turn, this has been seen to trigger premature Male Pattern Baldness in young men.

Fried foods may exacerbate Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss

A Brazilian study from 2014, which was published in the PLoS One journal, tested the effects of a diet rich in saturated fats and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids on rats. The findings suggested that these, and especially canola oil which is often used for frying foods in, could cause elevated levels of DHT.

Burger and chips fried food meat diet nutrition unhealthy eating

Furthermore, various studies have shown the link between regularly eating fried food and type 2 diabetes – a condition which is known to cause hair loss as a side effect. As the Harvard School of Public Health in America and the National University of Singapore’s joint research, published in 2014, found, that “people who ate fried food at least once per week had a greater risk of both type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and that the risk increased as the frequency of fried food consumption increased. For instance, participants who ate fried foods 4-6 times per week had a 39% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and those who ate fried foods 7 or more times per week had a 55% increased risk, compared with those who ate fried foods less than once per week.”

Encouragingly, separate research published on 30th July 2018 in the Scientific Reports journal found that hair loss linked to a high fat diet could be reversed in clinical trials which used an experimental compound.

Eating too much meat may increase risk of hair fall

Another Singaporean study, this time in 2017 and carried out by the Singapore Chinese Health Study, folloewd the dietary habits of over 63,000 people for 11 years. One of the most significant findings from the resulting data was how the quartile which had consumed the most red meat was 23 per cent more likely to have developed diabetes than those in the quartile that had eaten the least. The biggest poultry eaters were also more likely to get diabetes, with an increased risk of 15 per cent.

There are two temporary hairloss conditions which are linked to diabetes – Telogen Effluvium and Diffuse Thinning (Chronic Telogen Effluvium). Each causes hair fall from all over the scalp, which appears to come on suddenly – and, as such, the shedding may seem alarming – but actually occurs around three months after being triggered. In addition to being caused by the hormonal fluctuations associated with diabetes, it can also arise as an adverse effect of diabetes medication.

Whilst these conditions may last for around six months or so, they can make existing cases of Male or Female Pattern Hair Loss worse, or – where there is an underlying genetic predisposition – can spark the premature onset of these types of hereditary hair loss.

Dairy-free milk trend may contribute to hair loss

As plant-based diets become more prevalent, the trend for dairy-free milk has really taken off. But, unlike its dairy counterparts, whether coconut milk, oat milk, soy or rice milk, none of these ‘mylks’ contain iodine.

Iodine is important for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland and, in 2017, researchers at the University of Surrey advised that thousands of people, especially women, were at risk of developing thyroid disorders if they did not replace their iodine source. This applied not just to vegans, but to anyone reducing their dairy intake and regularly drinking these ‘free from’ substitutes.

Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, and some of the medications used to treat them are well-known to cause thinning hair and hair loss.

Whilst genetic hair loss is – as the name suggests – hereditary and the result of many different genes, there are a number of factors which can influence its effects. Whilst the odd burger and chips, sugary treat or almond milkshake is likely to have little to no effect on your hair’s health, regular consumption may well do. Therefore, it is wise to follow a balanced, healthy diet and lifestyle, at least the majority of the time, if you wish to help yourself to maintain a healthy mind, body and – of course – a healthy head of hair.

Although dietary changes may not reverse hair loss, they could help by at least not make things worse. And for those concerned about losing their hair, as soon as any shedding, receding, or a drop in hair density becomes apparent, a consultation with a dedicated hair specialist can provide you with a diagnosis, prognosis, advice and recommendations for a personalised hair loss treatment plan, so that you can take proactive steps towards preventing baldness.


The 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.

Related Stories


The Belgravia hair loss blog has been bringing you the latest developments, treatment Success Stories and answering readers’ queries, since 2006.

It is an extensive encyclopaedia of hair loss news and information, which is regularly updated by a team of writers, which includes trichologists and pharmacists.

As we kick off 2020, we take a look back at some of Belgravia’s most popular blog articles from the past decade, from 2009 to 2019, in no particular order…

mcdonalds-fries-chips-fast-food-junk-food-diet

Can McDonalds Chips Regrow Hair and Cure Hair Loss?

This story, from February 2018, detailed how a chemical found in McDonald’s french fries played an important role in a technique trialled for mass-producing hair follicle germs, from which to regrow hair. The discovery is still being developed and has potential applications for a number of hair loss conditions, including androgenetic alopecia in men and women, Cicatricial Alopecia and Alopecia Areata. Sadly, it does not involve eating any chips.

How to Prevent and Regrow a Receding Hairline

One of Belgravia’s earliest posts on the timeless subject of preventing hair loss around the hairline, with advice on restoring a receding hairline, is still among its most popular.

When Will Trinov / Prof Brotzu Lotion Hair Loss Remedy Be Released?

An update from December 2018 which outlined the latest information regarding a new, Italian hair loss product – known as both Trinov and Professor Brotzu Lotion, which claimed to treat Male Pattern Baldness.

Replicel Shiseido Treatment Update

A Summer 2018 update on where the hotly anticipated Replicel/Shiseido hair loss treatment for Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss was in its development process. The injectable hair loss solution was initially expected to be made available in 2015 but Replicel seemed to suggest Shiseido may have caused delays to the still unreleased product.

Thinning Hair May Signal Rare B12 Deficiency Disease

This article reported the findings of a 2017 study which explained how a rare condition known as cblC can stop people processing vitamin B12, leading to severe health problems, thinning hair and hair fall.

Male Pattern Hair Loss Treatment and Hair Growth Supporting Products The Belgravia Centre Hairloss Clinic

‘Can You Take Finasteride 3 Times a Week?’

One of the 2010’s most popular hairlossANSWERS article concerned the only oral Male Pattern Hair Loss Treatment to be clinically-proven, MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved – finasteride 1mg. A thorough answer to this blog reader’s query about the proper use of this DHT-inhibitor was provided by Belgravia superintendent trichologist, Rali Bozhinova.

FUE Follicular Unit Extraction Hair Transplant Technique, Renamed

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) announced the change in terminology relating to FUE hair transplant surgery in early 2018. Instead of standing for Follicular Unit ‘Extraction’, it was advised that this would stand for Follicular Unit ‘Excision’ from now on.

‘How Do I Apply Minoxidil?’

A constant favourite, Belgravia’s instructions on how to apply minoxidil – the only MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved hair loss treatment which can be used by both men and women – are clear, concise and easy to follow, no matter which formulation of this topical hair loss solution, you use.

The Truth About Sex, Masturbation and Hair Loss

Written in 2009 but still as relevant as ever, this article provides the facts of the matter regarding one of Belgravia’s most frequently asked hairloss questions, from men at least: does masturbation cause hair loss (spoiler: it doesn’t, or is at least incredibly unlikely).

How to Spot the Early Signs of Hair Loss in Men and Women

A self-explanatory article from 2009 details the key signs of Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss, so readers worried they may be losing their hair, know what to look out for.

If you have a question you would like our hair loss specialists to answer, here on our blog, click here to submit it. Thank you for reading and we hope to keep you fully informed throughout the new decade – remember to check back daily for new updates.


The 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.

Related Stories


Depending on which generation you’re from, you may know Ricki Lake from her role in the hit musical Hairspray, her US talk show, or as a contestant on the first celebrity season of The X Factor.

Throughout her career, the much-loved American was hiding a secret which she has only now opened up about: hair loss.

After shaving her head into a neat crop, the 51 year-old took to social media to talk about the pain of losing her hair and the remedies she has tried to get it back.

“From Hairspray to Hairless”

In a long post, published on New Year’s Day 2020, Ricki Lake detailed her hair loss story, first clarifying that she was not sick – that was not the reason for her new short haircut.

“Suffering in silence off and on for almost 30 years… I have been struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life. It has been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things… Almost no one in my life knew the level of deep pain and trauma I was experiencing… I know that by sharing my truth, I will be striking a chord with so many women and men,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Outlining how she believes a number of factors contributed to her thinning hair, she said it started due to the over-processing and over-styling required during filming for Hairspray. From what Lake says, it is likely the frequency of these damaging techniques may have caused chemical trauma and Traction Alopecia.

In addition, she feels that “yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, radical weight fluctuations over the years, [her] pregnancies, genetics, stress and hair dyes and extensions” were all part of the on-going hairloss problem.

Numerous causes of hair loss

It is often the case that women’s hair loss has numerous causes and factors.

Certainly emotional stress and the physical stress placed on the body by extreme diets and weight changes, hormonal contraception and having a baby, plus the strain placed on the follicles by extensions and wigs – something Ricki Lake also tried to hide her hair thinning – are known to cause or exacerbate hair loss from all over the scalp, or where the source of the tension is located.

Furthermore, a genetic predisposition can cause thinning and hair fall from the top of the scalp, from crown to hairline and temples, from Female Pattern Hair Loss. Common signs of this permanent, hereditary condition include the parting looking increasingly wider and changes to hair density, such as the ponytail feeling thinner.

Common womens hair loss conditions areas of the scalp affected thinning hair baldness women's Belgravia Centre
Areas of the scalp affected by specific women’s hair loss conditions

Tight hairstyles, extensions and wigs can cause Traction Alopecia, whilst stress-related hair loss is known as Telogen Effluvium or Chronic Telogen Effluvium and is generally temporary. However, in those with an underlying disposition to androgenic alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss) Telogen Effluvium can trigger this type of shedding prematurely, or make it worse if it is already active.

Whilst each of these hair loss conditions can be treated, individually or simultaneously, where the follicles are still capable of hair growth, in the UK at least, they are not treated with steroid injections, nor hair vitamins – as Ricki Lake advises she has tried.

Steroid injections tend to be used in some cases of patchy hair loss or baldness caused by the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, whilst vitamin supplements are not designed to treat hair loss of any kind; they are generally intended to encourage the maintenance of healthy hair through supporting the normal functioning of the hair growth cycle.

In the UK the only MHRA-licensed women’s hair loss treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss – which is also the only FDA-approved treatment in the USA, too – is the topical drug high strength minoxidil.

Although it has only been authorised for this specific use, the dose-dependent hair loss solution is largely acknowledged to have benefits when used as an ‘off-label’ treatment for other types of shedding, including Traction Alopecia and Telogen Effluvium.

After her last “extreme diet” caused another bout of hair fall, Lake decided to go for the chop instead of exploring further hair regrowth options. “I buzzed my hair off and it feels so good!… I am liberated. I am free…” she wrote, to much acclaim from her followers who left her over 1.6 thousand overwhelmingly supportive comments.

She said that she will continue to “wear hair” on occasion, but wanted to tell everyone because, after such a long time, she is now “so done with hiding”.


Circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinics 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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Wishing you a happy – and hairy – 2019!

hair-loss-belgravia-centre-happy-new-year2019 has gone by in a blur of activity here at Belgravia’s Central London and City of London hair loss clinics!

Our specialists have been busy giving hair loss advice to various media outlets, including the Daily Mail. We launched a number of new advertising campaigns, which have all been well received, as well as filming new client testimonial videos. Additionally Belgravia’s exclusive hair supplement, Hair Vitalics was relaunched with the same highly-targeted premium formulations and fresh new packaging!

As ever, our dedicated teams have been working hard to ensure the smooth and effective treatment of all our clients, both those who visit our City of London or Central London centres in person, and for those who follow our home-use hair loss treatment courses – wherever in the world that may be.

There is plenty more news set to come in 2020, but for now we simply want to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

If tackling thinning hair is on your New Year’s Resolutions list, get in touch now to arrange your free consultation – either in person or online if your location means you are unable to visit us. Belgravia’s team of professional specialists will be able to diagnose your condition and tailor a personalised hair loss treatment plan to your specific needs so you can get start making headway as soon as possible.


The 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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In June 2019 we reported on a new device developed by USA-based biopharmaceutical company Follica, Inc, to treat Male Pattern Baldness.

At this stage it was recruiting men for Phase II clinical trials of its “in-office” Hair Follicle Neogenesis (HFN) device, used alongside topical medication, designed to promote hair growth through hair follicle regeneration.

On 19th December 2019 Follica, Inc circulated a press release announcing its completion and topline safety and efficacy data from the small-scale trial which the company describes as “compelling”.

“The compelling data generated by the company thus far indicate that Follica’s approach could be a promising new option for the approximately 90 million people who are eligible for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in the United States alone,” said Dr Ken Washenik, MD, PhD. senior medical advisor to Follica.

Follica male hair loss treatment system for creating new hair follicles

Skin wounding to encourage hair regrowth

The HFN device that was trialled applies micro-abrasions to the scalp. This involves lightly wounding the scalp so that the ensuing healing process – combined with the effects of an unspecified “topical on-market drug”, believed to be the hair loss medication high strength minoxidil – then further promotes active hair growth.

Unlike established hair growth supporting products which have been FDA-cleared for the purpose of treating androgenetic alopecia, for instance the HairMax LaserBand devices, the HFN gadget is not meant for home-use; it is designed to be administered at the office of a doctor or dermatologist, or at a designated hairloss clinic.

As its trial information states: “Follica’s approach is based on generating an “embryonic window” in adults via a series of skin disruptions, stimulating stem cells and causing new hair follicles to grow. This process of hair follicle neogenesis involves minimal daily interruption and is enhanced through the application of a topical compound as part of the treatment regimen following HFN.”

For its Phase II endpoint-blinded, randomised and controlled trial, Follica recruited 48 men, all aged between 18 and 40 years old, with “moderate” Male Pattern Hair Loss. Their level of shedding had a classification of Hamilton Norwood III-IV.

Participants were then separated into three treatment groups although the treatments each of these arms underwent was not made public. What was published was the fact that researchers conducted the trials to “select the optimal treatment regimen using Follica’s proprietary device in combination with a topical drug”, which was successfully achieved.

The optimal frequency and number of treatments was studied across three treatment arms. The regimen was well tolerated across all treatment arms with no reported serious adverse events. No adverse events were related to device treatment. A single non-severe event (headache) was determined to be related to use of the drug and is in line with minor side effects seen from treatment with the approved drug alone.

The findings note that:

  • “The selected treatment regimen demonstrated a statistically significant 44% improvement of visible (non-vellus) hair count after three months of treatment compared to baseline (p < 0.001, n = 19).”
  • “Across all three treatment arms, the overall improvement of visible (non-vellus) hair count after three months of treatment was 29% compared to baseline (p < 0.001, n = 48), reflecting a clinical benefit across the entire study population and a substantially improved outcome seen with the optimal treatment regimen.”
  • “Additionally, a prespecified analysis comparing the 44% change in visible (non-vellus) hair count to a 12% historical benchmark set by approved pharmaceutical products established statistical significance (p = 0.005).”

Jason Bhardwaj, Follica CEO, Jason Bhardwhaj said of the findings, “Our data show that clinical results differ significantly based on the approach to disrupting the skin and confirm Follica’s proprietary treatment paradigm is optimized for new hair growth. We look forward to initiating the pivotal trial.”

The initiation of a Phase 3 registration study is expected in the first half of 2020.

Is Follica worth waiting for?

Belgravia hair loss specialists are often asked by both men and women with thinning hair whether it is worth waiting for new hair loss solutions to become available so they can use the latest treatments to regrow hair and prevent baldness.

The advice is generally the same: genetic hair loss is a progressive condition, meaning it will get gradually worse over time if nature is left to run its course.

For those who are going bald, there is a window of time – whilst the affected hair follicles are still capable of producing hair – during which it may be possible to promote accelerated hair growth and prevent baldness with appropriate treatment. However, once the effects of DHT have rendered the follicles incapable of hair growth, and the skin has taken on a smooth, shiny appearance, non-surgical treatment is no longer likely to be effective.

Therefore, given there are clinically-proven, MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved hair loss treatments available now, it is often advised that those interested in stabilising their shedding get started as soon as possible, using the best options that are currently available. This can be either topical applications of high strength minoxidil, the oral DHT-blocking tablet finasteride 1mg, or both, either of which can be combined with the use of drug-free hair growth supporting products.

New hair loss treatments and devices, as with any other medical therapies and new drugs, take a long time – often many years – to develop, and pass the necessary medical regulatory board requirements to be made available to the public, either over-the-counter or by prescription only. For example, obtaining a license from the UK’s MHRA, FDA approval for medicines and FDA clearance for medical devices, in the USA.

As the nature of genetic hair loss is both permanent and progressive, treatment is generally seen as being best to start ‘sooner rather than later’.

This does not mean that better hair loss treatments may be developed in future, it simply means they are unlikely to become available quickly enough to be worth anyone losing their hair now, waiting for.

Should a better innovation become available, with all the necessary safety and efficacy licenses, approvals and authorisations required, you can always talk to your hair loss specialist or other treatment supervisor about making the switch. But at least you will not have lost time – and potentially hair – waiting.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free 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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One of the UK’s most-loved children’s charities, Little Princess Trust, which supplies free real-hair wigs to kids with medical hair loss, has announced a breakthrough in its paediatric cancer research.

Funds raised by the charity not only go towards producing the wigs it donates, so they can be supplied without charge, but also fund childhood cancer research projects.

Little Princess Trust was set up by Wendy Tarplee-Morris, in honour of her late daughter Hannah, who was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumour in 2005. Now, a research project carried out by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, to which the charity awarded a grant of £63,844, has managed to pinpoint the earliest genetic root of Wilms’ tumour kidney cancer.

Improving treatment and helping to prevent recurrence

Little Princess Trust new logo 2018 hair loss charity for children

A statement on the Little Princess Trust website advises that this significant find should help scientists to “improve treatment and help prevent Wilms’ tumours returning”. Additionally, it may lead to a way to screen for this type of cancer in future to catch it early, or prevent it from developing altogether.

Study author, Tim Coorens explained the team’s discovery as follows:

“A good analogy for what we found is that Wilms’ tumour is not just an isolated weed on an otherwise well maintained field. We discovered that the weed has an extensive root underneath the soil. Now we know we need to look for the patch of soil where the root has taken hold. If we remove that patch, the weed isn’t going to return.”

“As a parent who lost my daughter to Wilms’, it is very sobering to know that almost 15 years later a child with the same diagnosis is likely to have the same outcome,” added Wendy Tarplee-Morris. “Therefore, the news of any advances which improve understanding and could potentially lead to preventing childhood cancer is very welcome indeed.”

Ways to help Little Princess Trust

Many people know about the Little Princess Trust through its hair donations – where men, women and children grow their hair long in order to be able to cut off at least 7 inches to donate to the charity, This is then processed and woven into wigs for children and young adults who have lost their hair, often to cancer treatment or forms of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata.

Whilst this is the shortest possible donation, those in the greatest demand are hair lengths of 16 inches and over, and all donors are advised to keep growing their hair until it is long enough to donate at least 12 inch-long strands. Full details of how to donate hair to the charity can be found on its website.

This year has seen two Belgravia team members – one from our City of London branch and one from our Central London hair loss clinic – donate ponytails of just over 11 inches each.

In addition to donating hair, monetary donations are also accepted by phone, post or online, as is sponsorship for the various fundraising initiatives the charity runs throughout the year. These are advertised on its website and social media channels.

Little Princess Trust is also planning to launch a range of merchandise soon, to further help bring in financial contributions to help with its heart-warming work.


The 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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