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For those with a full head of hair – whether because they have won the genetic lottery and avoided hereditary genetic hair loss, or because they have actively sought out preventative or restorative solutions – it can be easy to joke about Male Pattern Baldness.

Gary Lineker with Alan Shearer MOTD bald jokes controversy

Up and down the country men with thinning hair often find their disappearing locks the subject of ‘friendly banter’, sometimes leading to low self esteem and desperate attempts to disguise a receding hairline before a night out.

But is what is said between friends permissible on a larger scale? At least one BBC viewer doesn’t believe so.

The broadcaster has received a complaint regarding ‘bald jokes’ directed at pundits Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy, by hirsute presenter Gary Lineker on its popular football highlights show, Match of the Day.

“It’s a strong start to the premier league season. Real hair-raising stuff at times – unless you’re Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy,” Lineker quipped at the expense of his bald co-stars.

From bad to worse…

As if to compound the matter, an unrepentant Linker took to Twitter to address these accusations in the tongue-in-cheek manner fans will be accustomed to, saying:

“The BBC has received a complaint about bald jokes on @BBCMOTD (genuinely). Very unfair I feel to call @alanshearer @IanWright0 & Danny Murphy jokes.”

Gary Lineker Bald Joke Tweet Match of the Day Male Pattern Hair Loss Alan Shearer Ian Wright Danny Murphy football

Unsurprisingly, the tone of the message – which was liked by Alan Shearer – did not sit well with everyone… whilst some took it as harmless fun, berating the complainant as being ‘too sensitive’, others noted this hereditary condition can be a tough emotional burden for those affected.

One Twitter user replied “On the one hand, I guess all topics are valid comedy-themes, and on the other, there aren’t many parts of a person’s body that people would openly ridicule (especially if it’s something they haven’t chosen, or can’t change). It depends on the kind of world you want to live in…”

Others wrote, “If it’s not ok to call someone ginger then it shouldn’t be okay to call someone bald”... ” it was right at the start of the show, childish and not funny”“Damn right too, you’re sexist, racist and all sorts nowadays so why not baldist?? I went bald at 21 and it was a terrible time, depression was a part of this. Yet people still take the p*ss out of bald people. Not clever, it’s 2019 people, were all different. We’re all equal.”

Not just a cosmetic issue for some men

Although some people do still consider hair loss conditions to be a purely cosmetic issue, this does not acknowledge the considerable psychological effects that losing their hair can have.

Whilst concerns about thinning hair may be dismissed as a sign of vanity, this is not only untrue, it is ignoring the deeper emotional impact hair loss is known to have on a man’s self-esteem and the significant stress it can cause.

Ironically – as the popular meme says – ‘worrying about hair loss can cause hair loss’ is pretty much spot on. Stress is known to trigger Male Pattern Baldness where there is a dormant underlying genetic predisposition, or exacerbate existing active cases.

Belgravia clients often tell us how they became self-conscious about their hair after being teased by friends about their hairline or thinning. Our hair specialists have heard of a number of cases were this type of ‘joking’ started in high school, at an impressionable age when kids already have enough to worry about. This feeling of depression and inadequacy can stay with them for far longer than just the moment of a fleeting joke.

The negative effect this can have on young men’s self-confidence should not be dismissed lightly and it’s easy to see how jokes about this, even if they are laughed off at the time, can hit harder than those affected may let on publicly.

It is true that there are clinically-proven hair loss treatments which can be useful in promoting hair regrowth and preventing baldness but how a person handles going bald is an incredibly personal decision and one that no-one should not be made to feel bad about – whatever they decide.

The following articles provide more examples of the impact hair loss can have on men’s mental health:

Anyone who is concerned about symptoms, such as a drop in hair density, excessive shedding or obvious signs of hair loss developing, who is interested in finding out about the range of hair loss solutions available should contact a specialist for a professional consultation as their first port of call.

This will give them a confirmed diagnosis and, if appropriate, personalised treatment recommendations based on their level and pattern of shedding, as well as their medical profile. For those whose hairloss is so extensive that they may be best-suited to a hair transplant, rather than non-surgical hair loss treatment which requires active hair follicles to be effective, a referral to a highly respected surgeon can be arranged.

Although many clients tell us that their confidence came back along with their hair regrowth, eliminating unkind ‘jokes’ would be a great step in helping people to feel more comfortable in themselves, regardless of their appearance. As an Alopecia UK spokesperson told The Telegraph, “Jokes about anyone’s physical attributes are extremely outdated and this includes ‘banter’ about hair loss.”


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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There are currently only two hair loss treatments that are both licensed by the MHRA and FDA-approved for androgenetic alopecia, perhaps better known as the common hereditary conditions, Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

These are finasteride 1mg – an oral one-a-day DHT-blocker for medically-suitable men only that requires a prescription – and high strength minoxidil, a dose-dependent topical hair loss solution that is available over the counter without prescription only in its 2% and 5% formulations.

low level laser therapy lllt versus high strength minoxidil pattern hair loss solution

What may be less well-known is that an adjunct therapy which can be self-administered at home has also shown successful clinical trial results for promoting hair growth, and comes in a number of FDA-cleared devices, such as the LaserBand.

This is known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) and although it can be used on its own, it is generally recommended to be used in addition to a solid pharmaceutical approach, by professional hair loss specialists.

According to an article in the July 2019 edition of the British Association of Dermatologists journal, a 15% strength minoxidil has been trialled against LLLT to see which provided the best hair regrowth results for patients.

Both found to be effective

The published notes regarding this oral presentation state that the 24-week trial was randomised, with 58 patients diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) taking part.

These were split into two groups, one of which was administered 15% minoxidil topical hair loss solution to apply twice per day; participants in the other group received three x 30 minute sessions of LLLT per week for the duration of the trial.

Researchers advised that, although both modalities were found to be effective in terms of producing visible hair growth and patient satisfaction, the minoxidil group reported the largest percentage increases, saying:

“The percentage of recovery from AGA and the patients’ satisfaction with their treatment were significantly higher in the minoxidil group than in the LLLT group. A significantly greater improvement from baseline in hair thickness, hair count, hair coverage and IGA [Investigator’s Global Assessment] was also observed with minoxidil 15% than with LLLT at the 12- and 24-week visits.”

In addition to stating that no adverse events were reported during the study, the following conclusion was given:

“As a new dosage of treatment, minoxidil 15% can help improve the percentage of recovery from AGA alopecia and increase patients’ satisfaction with their treatment.”

Wider ranging, larger-scale, longer-term clinical trials are required to confirm the efficacy, tolerability and safety of this higher strength solution, but this is certainly a positive initial step.

Combination hair loss treatment courses

At Belgravia, our genetic hair loss clients benefit from personalised advice from their dedicated hair loss specialist as to which precise formulations and components are likely to be best-suited to their level and pattern of shedding, as well as their medical profile and any lifestyle requirements that may be applicable. After all, there is no point in recommending something a client knows they will never use and, in the majority of cases, there are options and alternatives available that the patient may find more convenient.

A personalised combination hair loss treatment course which mixes appropriate medications with supplementary hair growth supporting products, can be put together following an in-person or online consultation.

These supporting products range from LLLT devices to Hair Vitalics food supplements formulated by Belgravia hair experts to contain a highly-targeted blend of key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals, including biotin, zinc and selenium to help maintain normal hair growth.


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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Popular millennial hair supplement brand Hairburst, whose range includes gummy vitamins and haircare products, has fallen foul of the UK’s advertising standards regulator, the ASA due to what it called ‘misleading’ claims.

These claims related to a number of its female-skewed products encouraging hair growth and reducing hair loss.

The retailer had four complaints lodged against it with the ASA relating to a number of products and, according to an August 16th report in Cosmetics Business, these were all upheld.

Unsubstantiated and misleading claims

gummy hair vitamins heart shaped

The four claims were as follows:

The first questioned whether the “efficacy claims relating to hair growth and hair loss” for the products ‘Volume & Growth Elixir’, ‘Shampoo & Conditioner For Longer Stronger Hair’ and ‘Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum’ could be substantiated and found them to be misleading.

The second claim found the product name ‘Volume & Growth Elixir’ to be misleading and questioned whether this could be substantiated

The third related to claims for the food supplement products ‘Healthy Hair Vitamins’, ‘Chewable Hair Vitamins’, ‘Hair Vitamins For Women 35+’, ‘Hair Vitamins For Men’ and ‘For New Mums’. It stated that these food supplements “were subject to Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods (the Regulation), as reflected in the CAP Code, and breached the CAP Code.”

The last, fourth, claim stated that “the ad included claims to prevent, treat or cure disease, which were prohibited by the CAP Code.”

Hairburst defended each claim but lost its argument in relation to each point.

Biotin, zinc and selenium

The ASA ruled that the brand was making misleading claims, had breached CAP code and had “exaggerated the claims permitted in relation to the effects that the ingredients biotin, zinc and selenium can have on the hair.

These three key ingredients also feature alongside a number of other key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts in both the men’s and the women’s formulations of the Belgravia food supplement Hair Vitalics.

The permitted claim which specifically relates to these three ingredients is that they can help to maintain normal hair growth. Hairburst’s claims were considered to exaggerate the sanctioned wording which is based on an overview of the actions each element has on hair health.

Biotin, zinc and selenium are beneficial to the hair in different ways.

Biotin zinc and selenium contribute to the maintenance of normal hair

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a water-soluble vitamin and enzyme cofactor which contributes to a normal energy-yielding metabolism. It also contributes to the maintenance of normal hair and skin. It is believed biotin can protect the hair against dryness and help to increase elasticity, potentially helping to deter hair breakage.

Zinc also contributes to the maintenance of normal hair, nails and skin. It contributes to normal protein synthesis, the normal function of the immune system and to the protection of cells from oxidative stress which has been linked to premature hair loss in young men. It also has a role in cell division.

A zinc deficiency can cause hair loss in the form of thinning hair from the temporary condition Telogen Effluvium. Recent research has also shown that women with Female Pattern Hair Loss could benefit from increasing their intake of zinc.

A separate study also showed that men with Male Pattern Baldness may benefit from upping both their zinc and biotin levels. As with all nutrients, it is best to get these naturally by consuming a varied, balanced diet. Whilst supplementation may be helpful for some, it should not be used to replace healthy eating.

Selenium is a trace element which plays an important role in the function of our immune system. It also helps protect cells and tissues from oxidative damage, as well as contributing to the maintenance of normal hair. It has been studied as a potential therapy for dandruff, however, the results were inconclusive.

gummy bear hair vitamins

No stranger to controversy

Hairburst is no stranger to controversy with regards to its advertising. The brand also came under fire with the ASA in January 2019 after celebrity influencers, including Hollyoaks actor Stephanie Davis, failed to disclose they were being paid to post about their hair vitamins.

They were pulled up by the Federal Trade Commission in the USA for similar reasons of social media influencer advertising non-disclosure in March 2017.

Furthermore, in March 2019 BBC reporter Omar Hamdi investigated claims and marketing tactics used by both Hairburst and SugarBear Hair, a similar American gummy hair supplement brand which is promoted by the Kardashians and Kylie Jenner who have also received official warnings from the relevant watchdogs over their failure to disclose their paid advertising relationships with the brand.

A BBC News report at the time of the X-Ray programme the investigation aired on stated that nutritional claims behind the gummies’ claims to promote hair growth were “based on “pseudoscience”” according to British Dietetic Association member and dietician Aisling Pigott-Jones.

The BBC also asked each of the brands whether it had any qualms about using social media and celebrity influencers who were clearly wearing wigs or hair extensions, to promote their ‘hair growth’ products.

The report states: “Asked whether it was misleading to plug their products using celebrities with hair weaves and wigs, the spokesperson [for Hairburst] said hair extensions could be a short-term solution for people waiting for their hair to grow… SugarBearHair declined to comment.”

The full list of complaints, arguments and the ASA’s ruling in this latest case against Hairburst can be found, here.


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.

Related Stories


A clinical study investigated the hair growth effects of high strength minoxidil – the only current MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved topical hair loss solution for both men and women with androgenetic alopecia.

The findings showed that, when patients with Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss were predicted to be unresponsive to the minoxidil alone, using the prescription acne medication tretinoin alongside it significantly increased the number of patients who responded to treatment after five days by almost 50 per cent.

Acne spots tretinoin

Tretinoin effect on hair growth

Tretinoin is a prescription medication used in cream or lotion form for the treatment of acne; it is a vitamin A derivitive known as a retinoid.

This skincare ingredient was used in an April 2019 hair regrowth study designed to find a way to improve patients’ response to minoxidil hair loss treatment by teams of researchers from America, India and Croatia.

The corresponding study author, John McCoy of the Department of Research and Development at Applied Biology in Irvine, California, USA, wrote in the Dermatologic Therapy journal (doi.org/10.1111/dth.12915) of the minoxidil and tretinoin relationship:

“Minoxidil sulfate is the active metabolite required to exert the vasodilatory and hair growing effects of minoxidil. For hair growth, sulfotransferase enzymes expressed in outer root sheath of the hair follicle sulfonate minoxidil…

Retinoids have been reported to increase minoxidil response. The purported mechanism of action was retinoid modulation of skin permeation to minoxidil; however, evidence to the contrary supports retinoids increase dermal thickness.

In order to elucidate the effect of topical retinoids on minoxidil response, we studied the effect of topical tretinoin on follicular sulfotransferase. In this study, we demonstrate that topical tretinoin application influences the expression of follicular sulfotransferase.”

What researchers found was that, of their clinical trial participants who were initially predicted to be non-responders to minoxidil hair loss treatment for Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss, 43 per cent ‘converted’ to responders after 5 days of using additional topical tretinoin applications.

Useful information for developing future hair loss treatments

The researchers believe this novel study is the first to bring this interaction to light and, as such, its findings may be useful for the development of future pattern hair loss treatments for both men and women.

One consideration that is likely to need additional consideration, given we do not know the scope nor size of this multi-centre study, is the side effect profile of tretinoin.

Tretinoin is potent so is generally used in extremely small doses of 0.025% when treating acne. It is a known irritant which can cause side effects including skin redness, itching, dry skin, scaling and/or mild burning when applied to the skin.

However, many users tolerate this well, either straight away or after building up to the required daily dose in order to help increase their tolerance gradually.

Another aspect of Tretinoin’s use which may be particularly of concern, given this method would require it to, presumably, be applied directly to the scalp, is the question of photosensitivity.

Tretinoin can increase users sensitivity to the sun, making them more likely to experience sunburn and potentially placing them at a higher risk of melanoma.

The recommendation is currently that users limit their time in the sun, wear sunscreen daily and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Given the scalp is so exposed, users would almost certainly need to wear a hat whilst outdoors whilst using any tretinoin-based hairloss treatments.

Although this trial has seen positive results, there is still a long way to go before it can be fully established whether or not a beneficial, safe and tolerable relationship between minoxidil and tretinoin exists for hair growth in cases of Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

It should go without saying but for the sake of clarity, Belgravia does not advise any current tretinoin users to try this as a hair loss treatment, certainly not without the recommendation and close supervision of a dermatologist or medical professional.


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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Swiss apple stem cells as hair loss fighting ingredient appears to be enjoying something of a resurgence.

The introduction of these plant stem cell culture extracts to cosmetic products was pioneered by Mibelle Biochemistry, which released its breakthrough PhytoCELLTECH Malus domestica range in 2008.

Now, the company has started promoting Swiss apple stem cell extracts for its hair benefits, again. But does this ingredient really treat thinning hair? We looked into these claims to find out how it may be of use and precisely which conditions may it be beneficial for.

swiss apple stem cell extract for hair loss hair growth

First pioneered in 2008

Mibelle’s patented approach involved using extracts from the endangered Malus domestica cultivar Uttwiler Spätlauber variety of Swiss apples, which boasts the ability to be stored for long periods without showing signs of ageing and whilst still retaining its flavour.

The company’s research is said to show that this ingredient may help to delay onset of the hair thinning associated with ageing. This is something known as senescent alopecia which has since been shown, in 2016, to be related to humans’ collagen production decreasing in line with their age.

Whilst this may be a concern for some, age-related hair thinning is unlikely to be the first hair loss condition people think of when they see that a product described as benefiting ‘thinning hair’.

This is especially likely given thinning hair is the key symptom of the two most common permanent hair loss conditions, Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss, as well as temporary issues such as Post-Partum Alopecia and Telogen Effluvium.

This is why, particularly for consumers who don’t want to waste their money on the wrong products for their needs, it is important to understand the difference between hair loss treatments and hair care products.

Difference between hair care products and hair loss treatments

In addition to being used in anti-ageing skincare to protect cells, plant stem cells are also often added to hair products such as conditioners, serums and hair oils. Whilst companies using this ingredients have sometimes advertised its purpose as being to ‘treat hair loss’, this is not an accurate claim – particularly for cosmetic haircare products.

Minoxidiil and Finasteride 1mg tablets - hair loss treatment SMALL

There are only two genetic hair loss treatments that are both licensed by the MHRA and FDA approved for this purpose; these are finasteride 1mg (men only) and high strength minoxidil.

The first is a once-a-day oral tablet which helps to prevent baldness by inhibiting DHT, whilst the second encourages active hair growth.

These approved hair loss solutions involve medication and, therefore, the medical claims that can be made about their purpose and efficacy cannot be applied to cosmetic products. In short, cosmetic products cannot make medical claims about ‘treating’ hair loss.

Whilst cosmetic products cannot treat a hair loss condition, they may be able to improve hair health, making it look healthier and, in some cases, temporarily conceal thinning hair by creating an illusion of volume, making it look thicker.

If you are concerned your hair isn’t as thick as it once was, or if you are worried about unusual levels of shedding or signs of thinning, a consultation with a professional hair loss specialist can be an easy route to peace of mind. Following a scalp assessment – either in-person or using photo-uploads – they will be able to offer a diagnosis, advice and, where appropriate, personalised recommendations for treatments and hair growth supporting products.


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


A Belgian study, conducted by Hasselt University in conjunction with Jessa Hospital, will investigate whether photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) can be used to treat – or possibly prevent – chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA).

This type of hair loss affects approximately 65 per cent of chemotherapy patients, according to the researchers.

PBMT is a form of red-light laser hair growth therapy, similar to that delivered via devices already established for the treatment of Male Pattern Baldness and women’s hair loss, such as the FDA-cleared LaserBand.

According to the trial registration information, “the investigator’s research team demonstrated already that PBMT can prevent oral mucositis and acute radiodermatitis. The aim of this project is to explore the use of PBMT in the management of CIA.”

Using photobiomodulation to prevent hair loss from chemo

Chemotherapy study

Whilst hair loss from cancer treatment can sometimes be prevented by the wearing of a cold cap hooked up to a scalp cooling system during chemo sessions, some patients find this to be an uncomfortable option.

This type of therapy involves wearing a helmet-like device which chills the scalp to extremely low temperature. By doing so, when the chemotherapy drugs enter the bloodstream, it deters them from reaching the hair follicles, thus preventing hair loss.

When chemotherapy-induced hair loss does occur, the patient’s hair should return to its pre-cancer state within roughly 12 months of their last chemo session. Sometimes it may look a little different to start with, but this is generally nothing to worry about.

Where this new hair loss solution comes in is as a method that may be used to help minimise shedding during chemo and to promote accelerated hair regrowth afterwards.

According to the researchers, “Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) is a new, preventive and therapeutic technique in the supportive care of cancer patients. It uses visible and (near)- infrared light produced by laser diodes or light emitting diodes (LED) at a low power to stimulate tissue repair and reduce inflammation and pain.”

The randomised study, due to start in September 2019, will involve 30 breast cancer patients. Each will receive twice-weekly photobiomodulation therapy sessions for the duration of the 12 week study, starting at their last chemotherapy appointment. Whilst half of the group will receive active photobiomodulation therapy, half will be using sham devices as a placebo.

In addition to changes in the patients’ hair growth results, their quality of life will also be measured and researchers state “Results of this project will lead to an improvement of the patients’ quality of life after CT [chemotherapy].”

Low level laser therapy already studied

This latest exploration could possibly build on previous low level laser therapy (LLLT) clinical studies.

LLLT – the type of phototherapy delivered by the HairMax LaserBand devices, and previously its precursor the LaserComb, have already been held using an iGrow device. This is similar in style to a cold cap, having a bicycle helmet type design.

In 2017 a small-scale trial was held in America which showed that LLLT was a promising hair regrowth tool for patients who had lost their hair during cancer treatment. The results were declared to be “more dramatic than we expected” by the director for the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, who announced the results of the study at the 37th Annual Conference of the society in May 2017.

As only 11 patients took part in this initial investigation, the researchers aimed to enrol more participants in order to complete full, wider-ranging clinical trials into whether this form of red-light therapy that has been shown to be so useful in treating genetic hair loss may also benefit with those whose with CIA.


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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A 2019 Malaysian study investigated the impact hereditary hair loss has on men’s and women’s psychological health.

It found that men’s quality of life was more negatively affected by pattern hair loss than women’s.

However, the small-scale investigation, which comprised 125 participants aged 20 years and over, appears to have been male-skewed in that over 67 per cent of the participants were men (84 versus 41 females).

Psychological effects of hair loss

Asian man thinning temples receding hairline hair loss men

Despite androgenetic alopecia – more commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss, as although it can cause extensive thinning, it rarely results in baldness in women – being widely seen as a ‘cosmetic’ issue, it can have significant psychological ramifications.

Many studies have been undertaken, essays have been written and first-person anecdotal evidence has been presented to confirm that hair loss is more than skin deep. A 2017 survey even found that men were turning to drink and drugs to cope with the lack of self-esteem they attributed to losing their hair.

The Malaysian research involved patients at a private hair loss clinic completing two Quality of Life questionnaires which used the Dermatology Life Quality Index and Hairdex Score System. The results showed the worse the hair loss, the worse they believed their quality of life was, with men scoring higher on the impairment scales than women.

Logically there would seem to be two key reasons why women may be better equipped to cope with thinning hair than their male counterparts.

Firstly, Male Pattern Baldness causes distinct areas of hairloss which may result in total, and obvious, areas of baldness, such as a receding hairline. Whereas in women the condition causes a more generalised thinning in the areas affected by androgenetic alopecia, namely the vertex – the top of the scalp from the hairline and temples to the crown.

Secondly, there is traditionally a wider range of hairstyles available to women, which may increase their ability to hide signs of hair loss, making it somewhat easier to deal with. However, sometimes this ‘trick’ of using certain hairstyles or accessories such as hair extensions to give the appearance of fuller hair can actually do more harm than good.

Hair loss less likely to worry the unemployed

One particularly interesting finding from this research, published in volume 10 of the 2019 Indian Journal of Public Health Research and Development, relates to employment.

stress stressed out man work job

Both men and women with hair loss who were employed, reported a lower quality of life than those who were unemployed.

The exact figures were not available, nor was any clarification as to the meaning of ‘unemployed’ as, for example, it would be easy to understand why those who were sufficiently financially stable that they do not need to work would have a higher quality of life than those who do.

Of course, those who are unemployed and actively seeking work may also have more immediate concerns, pushing their appearance further down their list of priorities.

Correlations between anxiety regarding hair loss as it relates to a person’s job has been noted many times, however. As has how workplace perceptions, notably of men, change based on whether a man has a full head of hair, thinning hair or other signs of male pattern hair loss, or is completely bald.

Men with a full head of hair are traditionally regarded as being more youthful and vigorous, whilst a 2009 survey showed that men who were clearly losing their hair were less likely to even get an interview for a job.

Whilst smooth-scalped bald men can be regarded as more ‘powerful’ and ‘manly’, they can also be seen as more ‘aggressive’ and confrontational – qualities which may not be conducive to career progression. This may perhaps be it has been shown that bald men are ‘less likely to succeed‘.

The study findings may also be influenced by the fact that previous research has shown not only that work stress causes or exacerbates Male Pattern Baldness, but also that the higher earners are likely to encounter this on a larger scale than those who are paid less.

Whatever the overall picture, each individual deals with hair loss in their own way, both on a psychological and practical level. Whilst some men and women choose to accept their fate and shave their head or look into cosmetic solutions such as wigs, others will start a hair loss treatment regimen. Appropriate, personalised courses using clinically-proven hair loss solutions and additional hair growth supporting products to help regrow hair and prevent baldness with on-going use, can be tailored by a dedicated specialist following a consultation.


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.

Related Stories


Cryogenic preservation may seem like the stuff of sci-fi movies but it is increasingly becoming a modern-day reality – and one that may help with preventing baldness in the future.

On 1st August 2019 it was announced by UK start-up HairClone that men and women aged 18 years and over are now able to store their hair follicles in newly Human Tissue Authority-approved cryopreservation follicle banks.

This involves up to 50 follicular units from each individual being cryogenically presevered and stored at -150C in dedicated centres, ready for withdrawal and implantation to address any hair loss they may develop in the future.

Preserving follicles for future hair restoration

HairClone

In a news update published on its website, the biotechnology company announced:

“HairClone, working with an established and licensed UK tissue bank, have received regulatory approval to begin follicle cryopreservation and banking. HairClone’s Clinical Partners and Banking Associates will be established procurement centres… Hairs like any other structure of the body ages and cryopreservation and storage at -150C at as early an age as possible “stops the clock”.”

By preserving hairs in this way whilst patients hair is in good condition, the aim is that, should they start to develop Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss later in life, they could then ‘withdraw’ their cryopreserved hair deposits.

HairClone aims to use a hair replication technique – where multiple hair follicles are produced from a single follicle or a patient’s stem cells – on these donor hairs. This could then provide a supply of hair for future use, providing a type of ‘hair insurance’ against going bald.

These donor follicles are transferred to the areas of thinning hair via a standard hair transplant procedure. This involves implanting the preserved donor follicles into tiny incisions in the scalp, where needed.

Full procedure has not yet been carried out

Dr-Bessam-Farjo-Hair-Restoration-Expert-and-Belgravia-Centre-Hair-Transplant-Partner-282x300-282x300
Dr. Bessam Farjo

Whilst the ideas and clinical testing have been investigated, the full procedure, from harvesting donor hairs and cryopreserving them, to replicating the relevant cells and replanting follicles into a patient, has not yet been carried out.

Now the relevant government agency has given its authorisation to the storage of hair follicles for this purpose, this is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

“Now that the licence is in place we’re ready to bank hair for patients. Consultations can begin in earnest,” says HairClone founder and leading UK hair transplant surgeon, Dr. Bessam Farjo. “We are contacted every day by people concerned about hair loss, and who are asking when the banking system will be ready.”

So, how much will HairClone cost? At present the price list states the initial process of harvesting hair follicles and cryopreserving them will be £2,500, with £100 per year storage costs. Additional costs for future implantation are not yet available but will likely be determined by the number of follicles involved, as with current hair restoration surgeries.

What the long-term effects of this type of procedure would be and whether more than one surgery may be necessary remain to be seen. However, it is certainly an exciting innovation and one we look forward to following, though whether the process will replace current clinically-proven, MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved hair loss treatments is doubtful – at least for now.


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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We recently reported on Belgravia hair loss specialist, Rali Bozhinova’s second hair donation to leading children’s charity Little Princess Trust.

Her 11 inches of hair are being woven into real-hair wigs which will be given free of charge to children and young adults up to the age of 24 with medical hair loss as a result of cancer treatment or the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata.

Now, Belgravia patient care team member, Roisin O’Connell has been inspired to cut her long hair in order to donate a whopping 15 inches to the charity.

“Something I could help with”

At the end of July 2019, Roisin had 38 cm (14.9 inches) of hair cut and secured into a ponytail – as required – ready to be sent to the Little Princess Trust, which also encompasses Hero by LPT.

“I’ve been growing my hair for 5 years now and felt like it was time for a change,” Roisin told us when we asked why she wanted to donate her wavy locks. Continues below…

Roisin before and after hair donation to Little Princess Trust - Belgravia Centre July 2019

“I wanted my hair to be healthier because seeing as I’ve been growing it for so long it was starting to feel a little less healthy at the ends. I felt like it needed a fresh trim to make it look and feel healthier as well as being more manageable, especially in the hot weather.

I felt that, if I was going to cut my hair for the purpose of donating it, I would give the most away that I was comfortable giving.

Rali’s two hair donations definitely inspired me to do this; she explained to me what was involved and what The Little Princess Trust does for children. I know it’s a great cause that she’s really passionate about and felt like this was something I could help with.

Roisin Belgravia Centre hair donation little princess trust july 2019
Roisin’s 15 inch hair donation ready to be sent off to the Little Princess Trust

It’s a huge change which has left thoughtful Roisin with a great, glossy new look. “I am happy with my new haircut,” she says. “It’s a big change but hopefully it’ll be easier to maintain and I’ve been getting lots of compliments on it already.”

Belgravia hair donation Hall of Fame

As the latest to have her hair cut for such a worthy cause, Roisin joins the Belgravia Centre hair donation Hall of Fame in second place, just behind Rali whose two offerings combined total 22 inches.

Other entrants include Belgravia’s Longmoore Street hair loss clinic reception manager, Roxy who donated 12 inches, and former accounts assistant Kathleen who also matched her length.

Alopecia Areata treatment client, Laura Green kindly donated 12 inches of her hair after successfully growing it back after experiencing the scalp-only form of this autoimmune hair loss condition.

If Roisin and the rest of our kind team have inspired you to want to send in your hair, it’s worth noting that whilst it’s easy to do, there are a number of criteria you must meet if you want to donate hair to charity, including certain minimum length and condition requirements.

You can find out more about how to donate hair to Little Princess Trust and Hero by LPT on their website and, for those who want to help without losing their hair, monetary contributions to help keep this valuable service free for children in need, are always welcome! For more details visit littleprincesses.org.uk.


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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A common question asked of Belgravia specialists is about whether there are any effective ‘natural’ hair loss remedies.

There are a number of plant-derived herbal ingredients believed to have hair-friendly properties, some of which – for example, saw palmetto – include potentially deterring DHT, the hormone behind genetic hair loss in men and women.

These are often found in food supplements designed to support healthy hair growth, including Belgravia’s Hair Vitalics range.

However, they are not considered ‘hair loss treatments‘ as there are no natural hair loss treatments available at present that have been sanctioned by any medical regulatory body, such as the MHRA or FDA, as safe and effective for this purpose.

Researchers in Korea are currently trying to develop a herbal hair loss remedy and have published their findings into what they believe may be the best way to deliver this solution in order to promote hair growth.

4HGF herbal mixture for hair growth

He Shou Wu aka Chinese Knotweed
He Shou Wu aka Chinese Knotweed

Known as 4HGF, details of the Gachon University investigations from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences advise this is an “herbal mixture of Phellinus linteus grown on germinated brown rice, Cordyceps militaris grown on germinated soybeans, Polygonum multiflorum, Ficus carica, and Cocos nucifera oil.”

Phellinus linteus is a medical mushroom commonly used throughout Asia, whilst Cordyceps militaris is a type of fungus. Ficus carica is the scientific name for the common fig, whilst cocos nucifera oil is coconut oil.

The herb polygonum multiflorum is also known as Chinese knotweed or He Shou Wu is commonly used in Chinese medicine to treat hair loss and has been associated with liver damage and even fatalities.

Researchers found benefits to using poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA)-based nanoparticles as delivery agents for the 4HGF product during a clinical trial, which had its final findings made public on 13th July 2019.

The final study report advises this method was chosen as the delivery vehicle due to the nanoparticles’ “controlled release characteristics, low toxicity, and biocompatibility.”

Of their study methodology and results, the researchers write: “…we encapsulated 4HGF within PGA-based hydrogel nanoparticles, prepared by simple ionic gelation with chitosan, to facilitate its penetration into hair follicles (HFs).

In this study, we report the hair promoting activity of 4HGF encapsulated with PGA nanoparticles (PGA-4HGF) and their mechanism, compared to 4HGF alone. The average size of spherical nanoparticles was ~400 nm in diameter.

Continuous release of PGA-4HGF was observed in a simulated physiological condition.

As expected, PGA-4HGF treatment increased hair length, induced earlier anagen initiation, and elongated the duration of the anagen phase in C57BL/6N mice, compared with free 4HGF treatment.

PGA-4HGF significantly increased dermal papilla cell proliferation and induced cell cycle progression. PGA-4HGF also significantly increased the total amount of β-catenin protein expression, a stimulator of the anagen phase, through induction of cyclinD1 and CDK4 protein levels, compared to free 4HGF treatment.

Hair Loss Consultation Trichocheck at The Belgravia Centre

Our findings underscore the potential of PGA nanocapsules to efficiently deliver 4HGF into HFs, hence promoting hair-growth. Therefore, PGA-4HGF nanoparticles may be promising therapeutic agents for hair growth disorders.”

Aimed at ‘hair growth disorders’

So which hair loss conditions may this herbal hair growth remedy be used for? The researchers say it may be “promising” for “hair growth disorders” but do not set out precisely what they mean by this.

We believe it is therefore likely to refer to conditions whereby the hair growth cycle is in some way disrupted. These include the temporary hair loss conditions Telogen Effluvium and Diffuse Thinning (also known as Chronic Telogen Effluvium) and possibly Alopecia Areata.

Whether or not it could be of benefit to the hereditary conditions Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss – either in addition to clinically-proven treatment as a hair growth supporting product or on its own – is currently unknown.

However, particularly given the safety concerns over Hu Shou Wu, it is necessary for this new remedy to undergo rigorous, wide-ranging testing before it could potentially be made available for any condition.

As such, for anyone worried about hair loss or looking to improve the health of their hair, a consultation with a specialist can point them in the right direction, beit authorised and clinically-proven treatments for a specific hair loss condition, or advice on products that may support healthy hair growth, such as home-use laser devices.


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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