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For people with untreatable forms of hair loss, such as the most extreme types of Alopecia Areata, peer support can be an invaluable tool.

Just being able to discuss aspects of autoimmune-related baldness with others who are going through the same thing, and knowing you’re not alone, can be hugely buoying.

Awareness campaigner and long-time alopecian, Nichola McAvoy has taken this idea and developed a convenient solution for those coping with Alopecia Areata: an app.

Alopecia friend-finder app

McAvoy grew up with a friend who had also lost her hair to Alopecia Universalis, the most severe form of Alopecia Areata. This causes a person’s body to reject all hair follicles from head to toe, leaving them completely hairless.

She has created an app which allows people with Alopecia Areata to find friends who also have the condition. The strength she, and her friend also called Nicola, drew from having each other to lean on was the inspiration behind the project. Continues below…

Ally friend finding app for people with alopecia areata hair loss support

“People can try to understand, but they don’t get it,” Nicola told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I drew on that experience of me and Nicola experiencing so much together, and how important it is to have somebody that knew exactly what you were going through.”

The free app is named Ally – friend finding for people with alopecia – and can be downloaded from the App Store for iOS users aged 17 years and over. In addition to the various types of Alopecia Areata, other hair loss conditions are also listed, including scarring alopecia, also known as Cicatricial Alopecia. This is where permanent hairloss is caused as a result of inflammation, whether underlying or directly – from burns or radiotherapy, for example. Continues below…

Hair loss support

For those looking for other forms of support, hair loss charities can be a great resource. Alopecia UK, for example, has a large community across the country, whilst other regional groups, including the North-East-based Woman Warriors by Panache Group, are also active in helping those affected and raising general awareness of the condition.

Alopecia Areata in all its forms occurs when the hair growth cycle is disrupted causing sudden hair loss; the body mistakenly attacks its own hair follicles, leading to these becoming ‘stuck’ in the resting phase of the cycle. In many cases of the scalp-only form, the patchy hair loss it causes will generally regrow naturally within 12 months; the more extensive the areas affected, however, the lesser chance there is of this happening.

Alopecia Areata treatment is currently only particularly effective for the scalp-only form, though many breakthrough therapies are in the latter stages of development for the more expansive phenotypes, Alopecia Totalis and Universalis. It is hoped that by 2022 there will be FDA-approved and hopefully MHRA-licensed options to treat all the various kinds of autoimmune alopecia, in medically-suitable adults.


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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Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder which affects roughly 147 million people worldwide.

It causes the body to mistakenly attack hair follicles in various hair-bearing regions, resulting in differing degrees of sudden hair loss which can affect a specific area or the entire body, from head to toe.

Although it is generally thought to affect males and females – of any age – equally, it has long been established that people with one autoimmune disease are more prone to developing others. The British Association of Dermatologists also reports that about 20 per cent of people with Alopecia Areata have a family history of the condition, so a genetic link is also suspected.

diabetes diabetic blood sugar test healthNow, new research has discovered additional information as to who may be more likely to develop Alopecia Areata.

Likelihood of developing additional autoimmune disorders

A study carried out at America’s University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine has found that women, white adults and white women in particular, with type 1 diabetes have an increased propensity towards additional autoimmune diseases, including the various forms of Alopecia Areata.

Published in the Healio journal via the Journal of Diabetes, the cross-sectional study was conducted using data relating to 158,865 adults with type 1 diabetes, taken from the HealthFacts patient register.

Of those studied, the mean age was 51.4 years old and the racial and gender breakdowns were as follows:
–  52.5 % of the participants were female; 47.5% were male
–  73.3% of study subjects were white, 21.8% were black, 2.3% were Hispanic, 1.7% were Asian and 0.9% were of Native American heritage

The study authors note that more than 30 autoimmune diseases were identified across the entire pool of participants, with thyroid disease, systemic rheumatic diseases and gastrointestinal autoimmune disorders being the most prevalent.

White women with type 1 diabetes most at risk

what is an autoimmune disorder information alopecia areataWomen with type 1 diabetes were found to be most likely to suffer from the following autoimmune conditions, listed in order of the likelihood: Sjogren’s syndrome (87%), lupus (82%), forms of Alopecia Areata (79%), rheumatoid arthritis (73%), hypothyroidism (69%), hyperthyroidism (69%) and coeliac disease (64%).

There was also a 25 per cent chance of women having more than one autoimmune disorder identified, compared to a 14 per cent risk for men. However, 30 per cent of the female study participants presented with multiple autoimmune diseases, and the chances of more developing were found to increase with age.

The numbers further demonstrated a substantial propensity for white adults with type 1 diabetes (26.1% rate of prevalence) to be affected by multiple autoimmune diseases, compared to other races. Therefore, it was concluded that women – particularly white women – with type 1 diabetes are most likely to be diagnosed with additional autoimmune diseases than men.

Researchers felt this information backed the need for healthcare professionals to monitor those with, or suspected of having one autoimmune-related disorder – such as type 1 diabetes – in case others develop. It was noted that this is a far more significant risk than other potential diabetes complications.

Anyone noticing sudden hair loss, particularly rapidly developing bald patches, should consult a specialist as soon as possible. Whilst Alopecia Areata treatment is available for the scalp-only form, it will generally clear up naturally within 12 months in the majority of cases; for the more extensive cases that also affect facial hair and/or body hair a doctor should be consulted as there are currently limited hospital-based therapies for these phenotypes, known as Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis.


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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As companies seek to develop ever more innovative hair loss solutions for men and women, it is becoming increasingly important to gain a deeper understanding of how hair growth actually works.

To this end, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, in Philadelphia, USA, have been exploring the phenomenon of hair distribution.

feet foot relaxTheir hope was that, by exploring the regulation of hair growth and why some areas of mammals’ bodies are hair-bearing, whilst others are hair-free, they may gain valuable insights. These may then have useful applications in areas such as future hair loss product development.

Effects of Wnt inhibition on hair growth

Findings from the team’s research were published in the Cell Reports medical journal on 30th November 2018.

Through mouse and rabbit trials they showed that, although hairless areas, such as the soles of our feet and palms of our hands possess the necessary attributes to grow hair, the Wnt inhibitor Dickkopf 2 (DKK2) “suppresses plantar hair follicle development and permits the formation of hairless skin.”

It was therefore found that, as a result of evolutionary changes to its regulation, naturally-produced DKK2 specifies whether areas of skin will be hairy or hair-free in species-appropriate patterns.

“Plantar skin retains all of the mechanistic components needed for hair follicle development, as genetic deletion of Dkk2 permits formation of fully functional plantar hair follicles that give rise to external hair, contain sebaceous glands and a stem cell compartment, and undergo regenerative growth,” write the study authors in a summary of their discoveries.

Regional Control of Hairless versus Hair-Bearing Skin by Dkk2 Graphic Abstract Diagram Cell Reports“In the absence of Dkk2, Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity is initially broadly elevated in embryonic plantar skin and gradually becomes patterned, mimicking follicular development in normally haired areas. These data provide a paradigm in which regionally restricted expression of a Wnt inhibitor underlies specification of hairless versus hairy skin.”

Exploiting the Wnt pathway to treat hair loss?

In recent years the Wnt pathway has been identified time and again as playing a significant role in hair growth. Similarly, the DKK2 gene has been associated with Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss in other studies. Therefore, it is fair to say this latest information backs the theory that their properties could potentially be exploited in order to treat hair loss.

Discussing the decision to focus on the Wnt pathway, co-senior author of the Perelman School’s report, Professor Sarah E. Millar, Ph.D, told Medical News Today:

“We know that WNT signaling is critical for the development of hair follicles; blocking it causes hairless skin, and switching it on causes formation of more hair… In this study, we’ve shown the skin in hairless regions naturally produces an inhibitor that stops WNT from doing its job.

We hope that these lines of investigation will reveal new ways to improve wound healing and hair growth, and we plan to continue to pursue these goals moving forward.”

This is certainly an exciting area of exploration, however, given androgenetic alopecia is both permanent and progressive, coupled with the fact that developing new medications can take many years, anyone concerned they are losing their hair now, is best advised to seek advice as soon as possible. A consultation with a specialist will result in a timely diagnosis as well as personalised hair loss treatment recommendations, featuring clinically-proven medications, tailored to the needs of each individual.


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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HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Jordan

Question: Is too much potassium likely to cause hair loss or hair thinning? Thanks.

Answer: Hi, Jordan. Regular excessive potassium consumption may lead to hair loss in extreme cases, however, shedding is more likely to occur as a result of a potassium deficiency.

Potassium regulates the balance of fluids in the body, as well as the hair’s pH balance. It also plays a key role in heart health, ensuring good circulation which is critical for healthy hair growth. The UK government recommends adults aged between 16 and 64 years old, inclusive, consume 3,500mg of potassium per day. This should be easily achieved via our diet, with many everyday foods being good sources of potassium.

banana potassium nutrition food dietWhilst bananas tend to be one of the most commonly-cited examples, there are a number of other foods which are rich in potassium. A medium-sized banana tends to clock up around 442mg of potassium; in contrast half an avocado contains around 487mg, whilst a medium-sized sweet potato has approximately 541mg. Spinach, potatoes, edamame, butternut squash, beetroots and cannellini beans are all even more potassium-dense.

With so many natural sources of potassium around, before taking into account any enriched foods or potassium-containing food supplements, it may be the case that the recommended intake is exceeded sometimes. Whilst this is generally inadvisable, if you go over slightly occasionally it is unlikely to cause serious problems. However, if you exceed this limit by a long way and/or should it become a regular occurrence, there are known effects from taking too much potassium that can make you ill. These include nausea, diarrhoea and stomach pain.

Thinning hair is more common in cases where people experience a potassium deficiency, also known as hypokalemia. This is a recognised adverse reaction associated with not having enough potassium in the blood stream, as are extreme fatigue, muscle spasms, digestive issues, shortness of breath, tingling and numbness.

The type of hairloss that results from a nutritional deficiency – or an illness – is called Telogen Effluvium and it causes diffuse shedding from all over the scalp. It generally presents around three months after being triggered but, once the underlying cause has been addressed and rectified, normal hair growth should resume naturally within six months. Treatment for Telogen Effluvium may be beneficial and a consultation with a hair specialist can determine the best option for each individual.

Whilst temporary hair loss may not sound particularly worrisome, around 30 per cent of scalp hair can be affected, resulting in noticeably thinner hair and more scalp being visible. This can be shocking to see and anyone experiencing significant levels of hair fall should consult a professional for advice. Furthermore, for those with a genetic propensity to androgenetic alopecia (Male or Female Pattern Baldness), if this is active their hair loss may worsen, whilst for those where the condition has not yet presented, its premature onset can be sparked by Telogen Effluvium. A hair loss expert will be able to identify precisely which conditions are at play and recommend suitable hair loss treatments accordingly.


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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Real Husbands of Hollywood star turned House of Cards actor, Boris Kodjoe is asking his followers to tag men with thinning hair on Instagram.

A throwback photo of Boris Kodjoe with hair

This controversial move is meant to encourage men who are losing their hair to own their baldness, as Kodjoe has done, and let them know that it’s ok to ‘let it go’.

The 45 year old, whose smooth, shaved head has become his signature look, revealed a photo of him with hair earlier on in his career. With it, he admitted how he finally went bald after becoming a father and detailed the various steps he tried to conceal his hair loss, before embracing his “#BaldNsexy”.

“My hairline receded faster than I could colour it in”

In an Instagram post dated 28th November 2018, Boris Kodjoe left the following caption on the photo of him with hair:

“Yep…go ahead, you can say it. Scream if you want to….I had HAIR!!!! 🕺🏾😊👍🏽Granted it was a long time ago and it left me for good right around the time I became a father. But I fought for it, pretended it was still there even though my hairline receded faster than I could color it in with #mascara or other USELESS anti-balding remedies. #Sharpie #OnlyForMen #HairFibers #FillInPowder #Serum yes, I did it all!! And was convinced no one would notice…BUT THEY ALL KNOW YOU’RE DOING IT….EVERYONE KNOWS!!!!
And in the end… I cried 😫😢….and learned to say goodbye. And eventually I embraced my #BaldNsexy. 😉😁

Tag SOMEBODY YOU LOVE and who needs to LET IT GO!!!! 😉😁 #HairDontCare #LEDDIGOOOOO 😁👏🏾🕺🏾”

He gained just under 83,000 Likes for the post, with over 2,300 comments from people. These ranged from compliments on his appearance, to other men appreciating the sentiment and agreeing that they used to be the butt of jokes when they used certain concealer products which did little to hide a receding hairline.

Boris Kodjoe actor bald

Boris Kodjoe pictured in 2018 on the set of Station 19

There were many men tagged in the comments too – with a few jokers @-ing basketball legend LeBron James whose on-going battle with Male Pattern Baldness has been well documented.

When a shaved head isn’t an option

While it’s certainly true that some men, including Kodjoe, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Gianluca Vialli, seem to suit being bald possibly more than they suited having hair, this is not the case for everyone.

Hair can be a point of pride, making it hard to ‘say goodbye’ to for some, others may feel the bald look does not suit their personality or career, though it may also be a case of feeling unhappy about baldness drawing attention to a physical attribute they are uncomfortable about, such as large ears or the shape of their head. Sir Elton John, who has famously tried every trick in the book when it comes to hair restoration and concealment, said he felt he looked “like Shrek” with no hair due to his head shape.

Whatever the reason, if a man is noticing signs of hair loss and wants to try to stop further shedding and regrow what he had, there are clinically-proven non-surgical options available. The one-a-day oral tablet finasteride 1mg is designed to block DHT, the hormone to which those with genetic hairloss are susceptible and which causes thinning hair and receding, whilst topical applications of high strength minoxidil help to encourage accelerated hair growth.

Either or both of these two MHRA licensed and FDA approved Male Pattern Hair Loss Treatments can be employed once medical suitability has been determined. A consultation with a hair specialist will provide both a diagnosis and personalised treatment recommendations, meaning for those who aren’t as keen as Kodjoe to embrace their ‘bald n sexy’, there are viable alternatives worth exploring.


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 team of researchers from across Australia has issued new guidelines for Alopecia Areata, the autoimmune disorder which causes varying degrees of hair loss.

The aim is to encourage medical practitioners to identify which patients may benefit from receiving appropriate Alopecia Areata treatment.

Diagram Belgravia Centre Different Types of Alopecia Areata autoimmune hair loss

Areas affected by hair loss shown in blue

Whilst this may seem obvious, currently the approach GPs in Australia take is based on the fact that the majority of cases are likely to clear up naturally. As senior study author Professor Rod Sinclair from the University of Melbourne, advises, “It’s a bit of a renaissance in alopecia areata. We know 70% [of cases] will get better by themselves, but we’ve flipped it around to say: what about the 30%? In our clinic … this has been transformational.”

As their new approach is also the methodology Belgravia has always used when dealing with autoimmune-related hair loss – to recommend appropriate solutions to those presenting with scalp-only Alopecia Areata (AA) even if it is just a single patch that they are concerned about – we concur that this is certainly a positive step.

Psychological distress of Alopecia Areata can contribute to the condition

Their work has been published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology and notes that:

“While 40% of all affected individuals only ever get one patch and will achieve a spontaneous complete durable remission within 6 months, 27% will develop additional patches but still achieve complete durable remission within 12 months and 33% will develop chronic AA.

Without systemic treatment, 55% of individuals with chronic AA will have persistent multifocal relapsing and remitting disease, 30% will ultimately develop alopecia totalis and 15% will develop alopecia universalis.

The unpredictable course and psychological distress attributable to AA contributes to the illness associated with AA.”

Although the causes and exact mechanisms involved in all types of Alopecia Areata remain a mystery, various triggers have been identified. Sudden shock, trauma, extreme stress and allergies, as well as a hormonal and genetic element, can all potentially spark the condition. When this happens, the body turns against its own hair follicles and the hair growth cycle is prematurely shunted into the resting ‘telogen’ phase during which no active hair growth takes place.

Systemic treatment to be offered in all cases

Whilst it advises there are a number of topical therapies for the mild-to-moderate form of Alopecia Areata, when it only affects the scalp, not the rest of the head or body, including steroids, immunotherapy and minoxidil, there are also various potential systemic treatments available for the more advanced phenotypes, despite none being MHRA licensed nor FDA approved for this purpose. These include glucocorticosteroids, methotrexate, ciclosporin, azathioprine, dapsone, mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus and sulfasalazine.

Knowing when to advise treatment for patients should now be based on sufficient clinical indications, including active patches of hair loss, exclamation mark hairs, and results from pull tests. In cases where the hair loss is rapid and/or extensive – affecting over 50% of the scalp or body – and should additional issues identified as “chronic disease, severe distress or a combination of these factors” be identified, systemic treatment should also be explored.

Further information was also provided to guide doctors and dermatologists with regards to patient satisfaction and when to stop treatment.

Anyone concerned about sudden hair fall, patchy hair loss or bald spots should contact a specialist as soon as possible for prompt advice. Once a diagnosis has been established, suitable hair loss treatment solutions can be recommended based on the findings and the individual’s medical profile. Unlike genetic hair loss, in cases of scalp-only Alopecia Areata, once the hair regrows, treatment can generally be stopped with appropriate supervision.


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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Another day, another story of a potential hair loss remedy. So great is the public’s interest in preventing baldness that research into developing the next best hair loss treatment seems to be more active than ever.

Whilst a number of innovations, from hair replication to the use of JAK inhibitors, seem to be making great strides towards fighting Male Pattern Baldness, many potential customers are looking for a ‘natural’ alternative.

Investigators at the Department of Dermatology at Sina Hospital in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan, have taken up this challenge to a certain extent; they are currently recruiting for a clinical trial into a topical herbal hair loss solution for men with androgenetic alopecia, which is to be used alongside high strength minoxidil – currently the only topical MHRA licensed and FDA approved genetic hair loss treatment.

Tincture naturopathy botanical extracts natural hair loss treatmentHerbal hair loss solution used with minoxidil

According to published trial registration information, 40 men will take part in a double-blind, randomised trial whereby the results of a novel herbal solution will be compared to those gained from using 5% strength minoxidil. Participants will be aged between 18 and 50 years old, with Male Pattern Hair Loss with a classification of II to V on the Norwood-Hamilton scale.

The extensive exclusion criteria ranges from having used hair loss treatment within the past three months, having had a hair transplant or presenting with any additional hair loss condition. Hormonal diseases, smokers, men with ‘uncontrolled hypertension’, liver and kidney disease, skin disorders affecting the scalp, and those with dyed, bleached or permed hair are also ruled out from taking part.

The final approved volunteers will be split at random into two separate groups, with a different treatment arm allocated to each. The experimental group will use an unnamed topical herbal solution every day, applying it to their scalp where there is hair loss, for 3 to 6 months. They will follow this with a daily application of 5% minoxidil liquid, also applied to the affected areas of the scalp, for 3 to 6 months. A control group will use daily applications of 5% minoxidil only over the same period.

The study aims to establish the safety and efficacy of the herbal solution when used in tandem with high strength minoxidil. Results will be assessed at baseline, Month 2 and either Month 4 or Month 6, for changes in total hair density and the hair diameter. Individual assessors will also give their feedback on hair growth over the period in question, and will report any adverse reactions volunteers may experience during the trial.

In addition, participants from both groups will be asked to complete a satisfaction questionnaire regarding how well they think the treatment is working and how happy they are with their appearance, at baseline, Month 2 and, again, Month 4 or Month 6.

Whilst little is known about the topical herbal solution, details submitted to the clinicaltrial.gov database state that it “covers all three major causes of androgenetic alopecia, namely the 5α-reductase enzyme, androgen receptors, and paracrine agents that affecting dermal papilla.”

Dealing with Male Pattern Baldness

Male Pattern Baldness is an hereditary condition which can affect those with the relevant genetic predisposition any time after puberty, and becomes increasingly more likely the older a man gets. A biological sensitivity to the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is formed by 5 alpha-reductase and testosterone, ensues.

The DHT latches on to hair follicles located along the top of the scalp, from crown to hairline, in men with androgenetic alopecia. This causes gradual weakening of the affected follicles, causing them to produce increasingly thinner hair over time, until they eventually perish, often leading to baldness. The hair at the back and sides of the head remains unaffected.

There are two established, clinically-proven male hair loss treatments available which are both MHRA licensed and FDA approved for regrowing hair and stabilising hair fall. One is the aforementioned minoxidil, whilst the other is a DHT-blocking one-a-day tablet: finasteride 1mg. These can be used separately or together as part of a comprehensive approach to deterring hair loss and encouraging hair growth, and additional supplementary supporting products can be employed for those wanting a fully-rounded approach.

Anyone concerned they are developing signs of Male Pattern Baldness, such as a receding hairline or thinning hair, should consult a specialist. They can then diagnose their condition, level and pattern of shedding and recommend appropriate treatments based upon their findings as well as the individual’s medical profile.


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.


Related Stories


More research coming out of America shows that low doses of naltrexone may treat Alopecia Areata, the autoimmune disorder which can cause hair loss in various hair-bearing areas of the scalp and body.

Low-dose naltrexone (LDN) was named in January 2018 by Natasha Atanaskova Mesinkovska of the Department of Dermatology at the University of California, as an emerging treatment for Alopecia Areata.

Researchers from the dermatology departments at both the University of California and Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, then carried out a systematic review of naltrexone’s current and potential dermatological applications, in April the same year. The results appear to back this earlier assertion regarding autoimmune hair loss as well as discovering LDN may also be a potential solution for Lichen Planopilaris and scarring alopecia, also known as Cicatricial Alopecia.

Their findings were published in the JAMA Dermatology medical journal on 28th November 2018.

Potential treatment for chronic inflammatory skin conditions

Naltrexone was initially authorised in 1984 to treat drug and alcohol addiction. Although there was little substantive research into other areas in which it may be helpful, anecdotal reports from clinicians have repeatedly been submitted. These include linking the medication to improvements in conditions including multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, cancer, HIV infection and AIDS.

In the study paper, its authors state the reason for wanting to review current literature regarding naltrexone treatment for dermatologic conditions, as follows:

“Dermatology is encountering increasing rates of autoimmune disease manifesting in primary skin conditions that are difficult to treat without a risk of immunosuppression. Naltrexone is an orally active opioid antagonist that influences a variety of systemic pathways, including the immune system, in low doses of 1.5 to 4.0 mg/d. This phenomenon has piqued the interest of researchers and practitioners in regard to low-dose naltrexone’s potential in the treatment of several autoimmune conditions.”

Using the PubMed database, searches were carried out into articles regarding dermatologic studies published between 1971 and April 2018 that contained specific search terms. These included ‘naltrexone’ or ‘low-dose naltrexone’ and ‘dermatology’, ‘skin’, ‘hair’ or ‘nails’. The team gathered 1,037 articles in total, of which 22 were suitable for review.

After thorough consideration, it was concluded that the research to date suggests low-dose naltrexone “is safe and effective in the treatment of Hailey-Hailey disease and lichen planopilaris and both low- and high-dose naltrexone successfully treat pruritus attributable to various pathologic conditions; however, more adverse effects occurred in those taking high doses. Low-dose naltrexone has the potential for the treatment of chronic inflammatory skin conditions”.

It was, however, also noted that further evidence would be needed regarding dosing and guidelines for long-term treatment before this could be put into wider practice.

“Naltrexone, particularly in low doses, has the potential to treat an array of primary skin lesions through inflammatory and immune-cell regulation and skin regeneration,” state the study’s authors. “Potential future uses include the treatment of diabetic wounds, bullous diseases, scarring alopecia, alopecia areata, and psoriasis.”

About Alopecia Areata

Normal Hair Growth Cycle versus Hair Growth in Alopecia AreataAlopecia Areata (AA) is a term used to refer to both a group of hair loss conditions caused by autoimmune disease, and its mildest phenotype. This presents as patchy hair loss to the scalp only and can range from a single, small £2 coin-sized bald spot, to multiple rounded bald patches which may join up to form larger areas of shedding. Alopecia Barbae is similar in appearance but only affects beard hair.

The two more extensive iterations are Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis which result in baldness of the whole head, and from head to toe, respectively. Although Alopecia Areata Treatment exists for adults with the mildest scalp-only form, where hair outside the scalp region is also affected, or for children with any version, options become fewer and less effective.

Typically in all instances the onset is sudden and men, women and children can all be affected, regardless of race or hair type. Hair fall is understood to occur when a trigger, often suggested to be shock, sudden trauma or allergies, disrupts the hair growth cycle, pushing it prematurely into the resting ‘telogen’ phase, where hair is shed. How long it remains in this dormant state cannot be predicted though in the majority of Alopecia Areata (scalp-only) cases, normal hair regrowth should resume within 12 months.

Given the psychological toll this type of hair loss can have on people, the FDA has granted ‘fast track’ status to a number of treatments currently in development, with a view to approving treatments for all forms of Alopecia Areata within the next few years.


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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In the search for natural hair loss solutions, it is common for people to turn to what they find in their home – particularly fruit, vegetables and spices, with onions, garlic and ginger leading the way.

There are many myths regarding home hair growth remedies, which – largely thanks to the internet – refuse to die, despite being dis-proven by experts.

The latest addition to this list appears to be pomegranate seed oil, which some companies – notably those selling it – are claiming can make hair grow quicker.

pomegranate hair growth nutritionFull of nutrients and antioxidants

Pomegranate seeds, known as arils, are rich in vitamins C and K. The fruit is renowned for its antioxidant profile, but also has beneficial quantities of potassium, folate and fibre, though it is also high in naturally-occurring sugars.

Vitamin C aids collagen production, helping to produce strong, healthy hair, whilst vitamin K contributes to heart and bone health as well as supporting the immune system. Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, is a B vitamin involved in the production of red blood cells, with good circulation being important for hair growth.

Being potassium deficient can cause hairloss, The potassium channels in the body are also thought to be linked to hair growth; minoxidil, the only clinically-proven unisex genetic hair loss treatment that is both MHRA licensed and FDA approved, and which has been shown to accelerate regrowth, is thought to work by stimulating the potassium channels. This is currently the only treatment established for encouraging hair growth, though there are FDA cleared low level laser therapy devices, such as the LaserComb, which are also proven for this purpose.

The two key antioxidants found in pomegranates are highly-potent unicalagins and punicic acid which is found in pomegranate seed oil. These are essentially forms of conjugated linoleic acid and are the source of many of the claims regarding how good pomegranates are for you. These fatty, omega-rich acids are considered advantageous for both scalp and hair health, plus punicic acid is thought to be anti-inflammatory.

Effects on hair growth

So, given each of these nutrients can contributes to healthy hair growth, eating the seeds and/or drinking the juice as part of a generally balanced diet and lifestyle, it could be said that pomegranates may be useful in this regard. However, on their own, and certainly when applied topically, they are unlikely to make hair grow faster.

Hair Growth Cycle DiagramVarious research projects have studied whether there are any real benefits to taking supplements of pomegranate seed oil; you can find a summary of these studies, here, however, there is no mention of hair growth in any of the findings.

Whilst natural remedies, including common foods such as fruits, are often thought of as safe to consume, this is not always the case. For example, in the case of pomegranate, some people can be allergic to the berry whilst others may have a sensitivity to pomegranate extract. Furthermore, pomegranates’ skin, root and peel all contain poisons and are widely considered unsafe to consume in large quantities. Therefore, if you wish to try taking pomegranate seed oil to see if it has any effect on your hair growth, we would recommend taking it in supplement form from a reputable brand and retailer. Also ensure you read and follow the instructions and, if you have any concerns or queries, ask the provider to answer these before taking any.

One word of caution we would offer is to be wary of any products touted as ‘quick fix’ solutions for making hair grow quicker, especially those promising results within weeks as this is simply unrealistic.

Each phase of the hair growth cycle takes a certain length of time to complete and there are no natural methods known for extending the active growth (anagen) stage, at present. As such, whilst some food supplements, such as Belgravia’s exclusive Hair Vitalics, may promote the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth as part of a balanced diet, they are intended as a nutritional support rather than a treatment designed to alter the natural rhythm and timeline of this function.


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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Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Treatment Before and After Results - New Success Story

ALERT success story female pattern hair loss treatment belgravia centre women hr 01 12 2018A new entry has just been added to Belgravia’s Female Pattern Hair Loss Treatment Success Stories gallery.

Like many women, this client says she was so worried the first time she came to Belgravia’s Central London hair loss clinic but, thanks to the “nice and supportive” staff, at her first check-up she was much more positive, and happy with the way her custom treatment course is going.

Read her full review and see her regrowth results up-close in her full Success Story, or find out more about treating hereditary hair loss in women by clicking the buttons below…

(Results may vary and are not guaranteed)

VIEW SUCCESS STORY

TreatmenT information 


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.