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

Name: Judith

Question: I’m worried and need some advice. My hair is thinning with especially noticeable hair loss near my temples. Is there anything I can do to make my hair thicker?

Answer: Hi, Judith. There are various potential reasons for thinning hair in women so we would advise you to have an individual consultation – either in person or online – in order to obtain a confirmed diagnosis.

Obviously the appropriate hair loss treatment will be decided once the cause has been established.

The following information regarding causes of hair loss which have symptoms the most consistent with those you describe may be helpful in the meantime, however.

Types of Womens Hair Loss - Areas of Scalp Affected by Temporary and Permanent HairLoss Conditions

Female Pattern Hair Loss – this is the diagnosis that most accurately fits the details you have given regarding your shedding. It is an extremely common permanent, genetic women’s hair loss condition – not to mention one that can be effectively managed with clinically-proven treatments.

This causes thinning hair at the top of the scalp, from hairline and temples to crown, and a general drop in hair density. Symptoms women notice first tend to include decreased volume, thinning at the temples and their parting becoming wider.

A topical hair loss solution known as high strength minoxidil is both MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved for the treatment of Female Pattern Hair Loss. This stimulates localised hair growth and can be used in conjunction with various hair growth supporting products.

These include the FDA-cleared LaserBands which use targeted low-level laser therapy to promote regrowth and stronger hair at home, and Hair Vitalics for Women – specially-formulated food supplements containing key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts such as biotin, zinc and selenium to promote the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth.

Telogen Effluvium – this is a temporary condition which causes intensely thinning hair from all over the scalp. The hair fall generally becomes noticeable around three months after being triggered and can affect up to 30 per cent of a person’s scalp hair at once.

Some issues that can spark this problem include nutritional deficiencies, emotional or physical stress, an underlying medical condition or side effects from prescription medication.

This temporary hair loss can last up to six months, with hair growth returning to normal naturally once the underlying issue has been addressed though, Telogen Effluvium treatment is also available to help speed this process along.

Telogen Effluvium may trigger the premature onset of Female Pattern Hair Loss in those with the relevant genetic predisposition, or exacerbate the condition if it is already present, as both issues can occur simultaneously. Where this is the case, both conditions can also be treated at once.

There are a range of temporary, cosmetic hair loss concealer products, such as microscopic fibres and coloured hair sprays that are used to make hair look thicker by colouring in the scalp so it is less obvious.

These are applied at least once daily and may be used to fake fuller hair in the meantime but they will not stop hair loss or treat thinning hair so the underlying problem will not be addressed, which is problematic in the case of Female Pattern Baldness as this condition gets gradually worse over time.

As before, the first step to treating hair loss is to identify the cause so we recommend having a consultation as your next move.


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


It’s fair to say that Happy Mondays singer and former hell-raiser, Shaun Ryder has put his body through a lot.

The chart-topping Mancunian’s hard-partying ways in the 1990s and early 2000s, including crack and heroin addiction, were documented in the film 24 Hour Party People.

Despite the known effects of this type of lifestyle on hair loss, his closely-cropped crew cut remained largely intact, with the exception of a bit of thinning on top, most likely due to Male Pattern Baldness, during this time.

However, after recent health problems and surgery, the now 56 year old is having his melon well and truly twisted after going completely bald, from head to toe.

Hip operation and thyroid problems

Shaun Ryder Hair Loss Alopecia

According to an article in the New Statesman, Shaun Ryder has been experiencing “extreme hair loss” due to thyroid problems. In the April 2019 interview he advised he has lost all his hair from his scalp, face and entire body.

Although he blames this on thyroid problems, which started before the recent hip operation he had soon after this interview and has left him still on crutches, hair loss from illnesses, surgery or medication does not generally affect the body.

Shock or trauma to the body, such as an underlying illness or emotional upset, can trigger two separate types of hair loss; one is Telogen Effluvium which causes diffusely thinning hair all over the scalp and can develop in cases of thyroid conditions, the other is Alopecia Areata.

Generally Telogen Effluvium takes around three months to present as intense shedding and up to six months to resolve itself naturally, whereas Alopecia Areata can be more immediate in its onset. Its duration also depends on the particular strain that develops.

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder which disrupts the hair growth cycle resulting in sudden hair loss; this can be anything from rounded bald spots on the scalp only, to becoming completely hairless – as is the case with the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here runner-up.

When it is this extensive, it is known as Alopecia Universalis – the most severe alopecia phenotype.

Treated with scalp injections

Shaun Ryder Black Grape NME
Shaun Ryder on the cover of the NME in 1995

Whilst Alopecia Areata treatment is often effective for the milder, scalp-only patchy hair loss version, there are currently no reliable hair regrowth treatments for Universalis.

He mentioned having alopecia treatment via scalp injections in his New Statesman interview, which is likely to be steroid injections.

“I reckon all my hair will start ­coming back in the next three months or so when we get the treatment levels sorted,” Ryder told The Sunday People, joking, “Hobbling about on me crutches with ­alopecia – it’s not a great rock ’n’ roll image is it?”

If the hair loss Shaun Ryder has been experiencing is Alopecia Universalis, he is unlikely to regrow hair within the next three months.

Belgravia senior hair loss specialist, Leonora Doclis, advises: “His symptoms, and indeed his photos, clearly indicate Alopecia Universalis. This is an autoimmune condition as much as a thyroid problem.

Alopecia Universalis hairloss is so extensive and advanced that regrowth is unlikely, or, should it resume naturally, it can take a long time – certainly longer than a few months. That said, there have been a few cases of this condition rectifying itself within a few months, however, it is uncommon.

Steroid injections may stimulate regrowth within a short period of time but, the regrowth does not seem to last and frequent steroid injections are generally not recommended due to high risk of side effects”.

Should Shaun Ryder turn out to have Alopecia Universalis and find that his hair does not grow back, he will no doubt be pleased to hear about the number of potential treatments currently in development. Most are from a suite of drugs known as JAK inhibitors and the first – whichever they may be – are thought to be heading towards a release in the next three years, MHRA-licensing and FDA-approvals pending.


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


The annual Alopecia UK Big Weekend convention will be held 27th to 29th September 2019, in Bristol.

This popular event, held during Alopecia Awareness month, is an informative, inclusive and fun weekend for those affected – either directly or indirectly – by hair loss from various forms of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata.

Adults, teens and children are all welcome, with special programmes including workshops, exhibitor demonstrations, games and talks tailored to each of these attendee groups.

Alopecia UK Big Weekend 2019 Bristol - annual hair loss charity event

Meet others who ‘just get it’

To announce this year’s event Alopecia UK listed nine reasons why those with, or supporting someone with, Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis may wish to attend, on their social media channels.

These were, in reverse order…

9. Find out about products and services that can help

8. Learn new skills

7. Make new friends

6. Socialise and have fun!

5. Feel comfortable to do something different

4. Build your confidence

3. Listen to talks from experts in alopecia

2. Meet others who ‘just get it’

1. End the weekend feeling uplifted and inspired!

Importance of peer support

Whilst the educational elements and practical advice are undoubtedly helpful for people with alopecia, simply being in safe space with others who are all going through the same issues can be a huge comfort.

The ability to ditch the wig or headscarf and go ‘au naturel’ for a weekend is something many people may not feel able to do in their everyday lives. These types of gatherings can, therefore, be an invaluable release and great source of peer support.

Research has shown that people with Alopecia Areata are more prone to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, so opportunities for these types of group gatherings, as well as professional advice on coping strategies – particularly for the forms where treatment is not yet possible (currently Alopecia Areata treatment is only generally successful for the basic scalp-only phenotype) – can be extremely uplifting.

The last day of the weekend sees attendees who wish to take part flood the banks of the River Avon with a ‘sea of AUK blue tops’ – blue being the main official colour of Alopecia UK – to help raise alopecia awareness – as well as for some picturesque photo opportunities!

Tickets to the event, which will be held at the Bristol Marriott Hotel in Bristol city centre, can be purchased via the Alopecia UK website where all necessary information and a brochure of the weekend’s events is also available.


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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Congratulations to Tim Wheeler, the Headmaster of Stockport Grammar School and Chair of Trustees at, children’s hair loss charity, The Little Princess Trust, on being awarded an MBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

According to a Facebook post on the official Little Princess Trust page, it was given in recognition of his services to both charity and education.

Wheeler was previously head of Hereford Cathedral Junior School where he became involved with this popular organisation, which provides real hair wigs free of charge to children with medical hair loss.

This was the school attended by Hannah Tarplee, the young girl in whose memory The Little Princess Trust – was founded in 2006.

A dedicated boys division, Hero by LPT, was added in 2017. Both help children who have lost their hair, frequently as a result of cancer treatment, Alopecia Areata or one of its more extensive phenotypes, Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis, to feel more ‘normal’.

Tim Wheeler MBE The Little Princess Trust Childrens Hair Loss Charity

Completed ten marathons

One of the ways in which Wheeler, 58, raises awareness and funds for Little Princess Trust is by running marathons. He has completed ten so far, with plans for more, in addition to carrying out his Trustee duties – and day job!

Tim Wheeler told the Trust that being notified of his impending award “came as an enormous surprise”.

It has been a privilege to be able to contribute to the work of such an amazing charity, which not only impacts directly on the lives of children now but is also rapidly developing its research programme in an attempt to find kinder treatments for the future.”

CEO of The Little Princess Trust, Phil Brace, praised Tim Wheeler’s “energy, enthusiasm and dedication,” saying “We are absolutely thrilled that Tim’s incredible work in the charity and education sectors has been recognised in the form of an MBE”.

Another Royal nod

Little Princess Trust and Hero by LPT are some of the best-known UK hair loss charities and have already been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – known as ‘the MBE for volunteer groups’.

They enjoy support from people of all ages who donate their time, money – and hair – including some high profile celebrities and royalty.

In January 2018, real life princess, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge had her hair cut and donated a 7 inch pony tail of her hair to Little Princess Trust.

She followed in the footsteps of actor, singer and Gucci model, Harry Styles who grew his hair especially long in order to be able to donate a good amount to the Trust when he had it chopped short.

Hair donations are blended together so each wig they are woven into is a mix of various people’s strands and the donors’ identities are kept secret so no-one knows whether their wig contains hairs from a pop star, a princess or anyone else.

In addition to providing real-hair wigs to children in need, Little Princess Trust also funds vital research into childhood cancers, having put £2,800,000 towards this already.

Anyone wanting to donate hair or money, or simply find out more about the charity, can 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.

Related Stories


Aclaris Therapeutics has announced the six-month findings from its Phase 2 open-label clinical trial into ATI-502 – a topical hair loss solution being tested as a potential treatment for Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

The physician-led biopharma released its latest update on this investigational JAK inhibitor drug in a press release dated 17th June 2019. It noted that this data is from the trial’s mid-point, with 12-month findings due in the next six months, by the end of 2019.

ATI-502 is one of the company’s leading hopes and is currently being fast-tracked by the FDA for use as a potential treatment for autoimmune hair loss caused by Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis.

Women’s hair loss improved the most

This six month update advised the trial has so far been evaluating men and women aged between 18 and 50 years old, with genetic hair loss.

Hair Loss Research Study

Each of the 23 participants who completed the full six months applied topical ATI-502 to their scalp twice per day for 26 weeks. The precise dosages were not revealed.

Of these 23 test subjects, 20 (14 of whom were male, 6 of whom were female) had “evaluable hair counts”, and 22 of them (15 male, 7 female) recorded investigator global assessment (IGA) and subject self-assessment (SSA) scores.

The mid-point data showed an overall hair count increase of 8.6 hairs/cm2 (non-vellus) at the six month mark. Whilst the male participants showed an overall increase of 5.6 hairs/cm2, the women saw almost three times that, with an overall increase recorded as 15.3 hairs/cm2.

Results from the IGA and SSA components involved subjects with positive hair growth increases being allocated a score of +1 for a slight increase, +2 for a moderate increase, or +3 for greatly increased hair growth.

Aclaris say investigators rated 73% of the participants (16/22) as “experiencing increased hair growth”, however, 82% (18/22) of the test subjects self-assessed themselves as such.

ATI-502 was found to be well-tolerated in this small-scale study as no treatment-related serious adverse events were recorded. One unrelated incidence of breast cancer was reported in week one and the affected patient withdrew immediately.

Subsequent trial may be female-focussed

According to Dr. Neal Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aclaris, “This finding demonstrates that inhibiting a non-hormonal and inflammatory-mediated pathway may be an option for the treatment of AGA [Androgenetic Alopecia – male and female pattern hairloss].”

Further to this, Aclaris also advised that through recent formulation work, it “can achieve significantly higher topical concentrations of ATI-502”.

As such, Aclaris have advised that its next steps will involve initiating a double-blind, randomized, controlled Phase 2 dose-ranging clinical trial with higher concentrations of ATI-502.

It was also indicated that this trial, due to start in the first half of 2020, may potentially have a “female focus”.

Should ATI-502 make it through the relevant stages of development and be able to finally demonstrate sufficient safety, efficacy and tolerability that it is awarded the relevant licences and approvals from medical regulatory boards, such as the MHRA and FDA in the UK and USA, it will be the first significant breakthrough in this area in decades.

Currently the only MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved hair loss treatments for men and women are high strength minoxidil – a unisex topical hair loss solution – and finasteride 1mg – a one-a-day oral DHT-blocker for use by medically-suitable men only.

These clinically-proven treatments are already widely-used either on their own or in combination with hair growth supporting products such as low level laser therapy devices and highly-targeted food supplements such as Hair Vitalics, by both women looking to regrow their thinning hair and men hoping to prevent baldness.


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


Scalp health is crucial for healthy hair growth so it’s understandable that people often worry about hair loss when they develop symptoms such as an itchy scalp or dandruff.

The majority of scalp conditions are easily treated and are unlikely to cause shedding – besides potential hair breakage from repeated scratching.

However, there are some scalp problems which can lead to permanent hair loss, though these are – thankfully – rare.

Here we explore some of these rare scalp conditions…

1 Sarcoidosis of the scalp

Sarcoidosis of the scalp - Rare Scalp Condition

A widely-cited article (PMID: 10727323) on sarcoidosis of the scalp published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology from the year 2000 advises that only 24 cases of this condition had ever been reported at that point.

The condition is said to be a “rare manifestation of cutaneous sarcoidosis” which is more common among African-American women, and is diagnosed via a biopsy.

A blood test may also be taken as the British Association of Dermatologists advises calcium and angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) may be elevated in people with sardoidosis. Lung function may also be monitored as this can be affected, too.

In addition to causing Cicatricial Alopecia (scarring hair loss) and non-Cicatricial Alopecia, it may also involve plaques or nodules developing on the scalp.

Treatment for the scalp form of sarcoidosis involves the use of topical, prescription steroid solutions or injections, though where scarring hairloss has occurred, hair regrowth is unlikely as the follicles will have been destroyed in the scarred areas.

2 Lipoedematous alopecia*

Lipoedematous alopecia - Rare Scalp Condition
A) shows a patient diagnosed with Lipoedematous Alopecia B) shows the patient’s x-ray illustrating their scalp thickening

Lipoedematous scalp causes the layer of fat under the scalp to thicken; this causes the forehead and/or back of the head to become “soft, spongy or thick”. It is commonly found in women, frequently women of colour, and when associated with hair loss, it is referred to as Lipoedematous alopecia.

Although the precise cause of these rare conditions are unknown, factors are believed to include frequently wearing tight headwear and hormonal issues. It has been linked to diabetes mellitus, renal failure and ovarian cysts, among other illnesses.

No treatment or cure for Lipoedematous alopecia exists, though corticosteroids may be used to help stop or slow down its progression.

3 Lumpy scalp syndrome

First discovered in 1978, in addition to the obvious symptoms – pus-filled lumps or ‘nodules’ on the top or back of the scalp – Lumpy Scalp Syndrome also causes hair loss in these areas, a lack of nipples, ear deformities and partially webbed toes, according to a November 1990 paper published in the International Journal of Dermatology.

This research states its origins were traced to a woman in Somerset, UK, who died in 1918, via five generations where, of 56 of her direct descendants, 10 were found to have this condition and 2 had partial diagnoses.

Information provided by the US National Library of Medicine advises Lumpy Scalp Syndrome is caused by mutations to the KCTD1 gene and diagnosis involves genetic testing. An image of someone with the condition can be found, here.

The rare inflammatory condition is also known as Scalp-Ear-Nipple (SEN) syndrome or Finlay–Marks syndrome and is generally present from birth, though some symptoms may go away during childhood, including scalp lesions healing.

4 Graham-Little-Piccardi-Lassueur syndrome*

Graham-Little Piccardi Lassueur Syndrome - Rare Scalp Condition

As with many of the above, Graham-Little-Piccardi-Lassueur syndrome (GLPLS) causes cicatricial alopecia of the scalp; it also, however, causes non-scarring hair loss in the armpits and groin areas. Additionally, follicular lichen planus may cause rough bumps to occur around the hair follicles. It is a rare condition that, although it can affect men, is four times more likely to present in women aged between 30 and 70 years old. It can also be accompanied by severe itching in the affected areas.

Potential causes are thought to include stress, genetics, autoimmunity, vitamin deficiencies and hormonal changes, though none have been confirmed.

Although the scarring hair loss cannot be treated in terms of promoting hair regrowth, there are therapies such as corticosteroids, retinoids, antimalaraials and antibiotics, which may slow the rate of hair loss.

Anyone who is worried about losing their hair, seeing extra hair fall or sudden bald patches develop, or notices a drop in hair density should contact a hair clinic for a consultation.

Following a scalp assessment by a dedicated hair specialist, personalised recommendations for scalp care products and/or hair loss treatments can be made, where appropriate.

If there is no non-surgical remedy available for their particular hair loss condition – as is the case with many forms of scarring alopecia – Belgravia may offer a referral to a highly-skilled hair transplant surgeon for a consultation.

* Information provided by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Centre, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The Belgravia Centre

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

Related Stories


The seemingly endless updates on the on-going development of JAK inhibitor treatments for various forms of hair loss can often steal the spotlight from some of the other innovations being developed in the field.

One of these is hair follicle regeneration, whereby the scalp is lightly wounded in order to induce hair regrowth, or ‘hair follicle neogenesis’.

Follica, Inc, one of the companies specialising in this area, has announced it plans to commence what is described in a press release as “a pivotal study” into its proprietory scalp micro-abrasion device for Male Pattern Baldness, at the end of 2019.

Improved hair count after three months

Follica male hair loss treatment system for creating new hair follicles

Follica, announced it had seen “positive interim data” from the ongoing safety and optimization study of its new device as a treatment for Male Pattern Hair Loss.

“In addition to being well tolerated and informing key treatment parameters, analysis of 20 male study participants with androgenetic alopecia showed that Follica’s approach achieved a visible and statistically significant improvement in non-vellus (visible) hair count after three months of treatment, compared to baseline. Additionally, blinded head-to-head bench testing of the proprietary Follica device has shown significant therapeutic advantages in scalp treatment versus commercially available skin disruption devices,” states the company’s 13th June press release.

The men studied in these trials – and those who are being enrolled for future research – were aged 18 to 40 years of age with moderate levels of hair loss. This is classified as a level III to IV on the Hamilton Norwood scale, suggesting that – as with the present clinically-proven hair loss treatments for men – Follica cannot be used to regrow hair in men who are already bald.

How Follica hair follicle regeneration works

Follica explains they way its device works as being designed to “induce an “embryonic window” in order to initiate the formation of new hair follicles from epithelial (skin) stem cells. This occurs through the use of its micro-abrasion device and what it describes as “a topical compound”.

Whether or not this ‘topical compound’ is high strength minoxidil – the only current topical hair loss treatment to be MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved for Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss – remains to be seen.

The original concept on which Follica technology is based was discovered by the University of Pennsylvania, USA, and has been licensed exclusively from them.

“The biology of wounding in humans is very complex, and our ability to translate its effects into new hair growth is sensitive to a range of treatment factors,” says Jason Bhardwaj, chief executive officer of Follica. “From years of clinical testing, we have optimized the dosing, frequency, and several other important parameters and translated these learnings into a unique and proprietary treatment. Based on this interim analysis and the results of three previously conducted studies, we are excited to move forward into a pivotal study at the end of 2019.”

Although still in development, this is certainly an interesting area of research and we will publish updates about this novel treatment option’s pipeline here on the Belgravia hair loss blog as more information becomes available.

In the meantime, anyone worried about losing their hair now would be best advised to contact a hair loss specialist for a consultation sooner rather than later; given Male Pattern Baldness is a permanent, progressive condition with no cure, but effective management options, it is advisable that anyone wanting to prevent baldness starts exploring their options as soon as they can in order to see the best possible results.


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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Cicatricial Alopecia refers to a group of conditions which all the hair follicles are permanently destroyed, leading to scarring hair loss which is often permanent.

It is generally diagnosed via a scalp biopsy, though some forms of cicatricial alopecia, such as Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia, present in established patterns and so may be spotted by a hair loss specialist via a simple visual assessment.

A report published in the Skin Research & Technology journal on 29th May 2019 by members of the dermatology and radiology departments from the Faculty of Medicine at Selcuk University, Selçuklu, Turkey, explains their use of ultrasound techniques as a novel approach to exploring Cicatricial Alopecia.

ultrasound machine

Examining tissues using ultrasound

The reason scalp biopsies tend to be used in diagnosing Cicatricial Alopecias is that it is an effective method of showing the level of inflammation present.

As such, for conditions where there are few outward signs other than this inflammation, the biopsy method is currently extremely useful.

This Turkish study employed a combination of shear wave elastography (SWE) and superb microvascular imaging (SMI) to explore the differences between areas of cicatricial alopecia and unaffected ‘normal’ scalp areas. Researchers aimed to establish how feasible it would be to use these technologies for such assessments.

Using an Aplio 500 system for the trials, these “noninvasive ultrasonic techniques” evaluated thickness, stiffness, and the vascular index of skin tissues in 17 patients with Cicatricial Alopecia as well as 20 healthy control participants without hair loss.

The mean age of patients in the Cicatricial Alopecia group was 37 years old (± 13.16), whilst for the healthy controls it was 36 years of age (± 11.79).

SWE results in cicatricial plaques were found to be higher than healthy, unaffected scalp areas in patient group; SMI values for the Cicatricial Alopecia patient group were noted as being “significantly higher” than those recorded for the control group.

The full results can be found in the report abstract.

Study conclusions

In conclusion, the study authors state, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate SWE and SMI scores in cicatricial alopecia. We found higher stiffness and vascularity in patient group. We conclude that SWE and SMI can show fibrosis and inflammation like previous studies. Especially, SWE as m/s is more sensitive than as kPa for cicatricial alopecia”.

Therefore it seems these ultrasound techniques may be beneficial in helping to determine factors associated with Cicatricial Alopecia.

Whether or not they could potentially replace the need for diagnosis using a scalp biopsy where scarring hair loss is suspected, remains to be seen, though.

Presently there are a limited number of scarring hairloss conditions which can be treated, such as Follicular Degeneration Sydrome. It is often the case that treatment revolves around the patient’s doctor or dermatologist prescribing them medication to help manage the associated inflammation, rather than using anything for hair regrowth.

Sometimes hair restoration surgery may be a viable option but, as there are many factors involved in determining whether a patient is suitable for a hair transplant – including scalp health, blood supply to scarred areas and the availability of enough good quality donor hair – this is decided on a case-by-case basis by highly-specialist surgeons.


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 short paper published in the Dermatologic Therapy journal on 6th June 2019 outlines the outcome from using Biofibre® artificial hair implants on men and women with hair loss.

This method, which has been in development for over ten years, implants synthetic hairs during a hair transplant operation, and, the company stresses, must be carried out by a specifically trained professional, not least because it involves using new, proprietary MediCap equipment.

The key conditions this was used to address were Male Pattern Baldness, Female Pattern Hair Loss and scarring alopecia, also known as Cicatricial Alopecia.

Hair transplant surgery

During normal hair transplant operations, donor hair is required. This is the term for follicles harvested from areas of the patient’s scalp which are unaffected by their specific hair loss condition. These follicles are then implanted into incisions in the sparser areas they want to fill out.

For example, in the case of Female or Male Pattern Baldness, which affects the follicles along the top of the head, from hairline and temples to crown, only, ‘donor hair’ is taken from the sides and/or back of the head.

Where there is not enough good quality donor hair available, hair restoration surgery may not be possible; this tends to be the case where the patient has extensive follicular damage, either through advanced baldness, where the scalp has taken on a smooth, shiny appearance, or due to scarring.

This is one of the reasons why hair transplants for Cicatricial Alopecia patients, who have often lost their hair to scarring caused by burns or injury, are decided on a case-by-case basis by specialist surgeons, rather than there being a general rule about it being a suitable procedure for those with this condition.

Biofibre® hair implantation system

Biofibre® hair implantation system negates the need for donor hair as it uses artificial hair, which the peer-reviewed, published report describes as having “special physical, chemical and mechanical features”.

According to Biofibre marketing literature, the out-patient procedure requires no down-time and can be done at a rate of 800 hairs implanted per hour, in order to provide a ‘high hair density’ result. The average number per procedure is 2,500 synthetic strands. Continues below…

They offer 14 different hair colours, and strands of different lengths that mimic all hair types and textures, plus further claim that it is a painless and reversible op. Also, as the hair is not real, it will not age or go grey.

There are, however, a number of downsides to this promising-sounding surgery. Additional ‘touch-up’ surgeries may be needed in order to maintain the initial look, and patients will need to follow scalp- and hair-aftercare both to properly preserve their results and for hygiene reasons.

The artificial hairs are believed to last around 7 to 8 years, and shed at a rate of approximately 10 per cent per year.

The Biofibre® hair implantation system is not suitable for everyone; the company website states that patients who are sensitive to “the pre-implant test or suffering from scalp diseases or overall illness, such as diabetes, lupus, HIV, hepatitis, autoimmune diseases, etc.” will find the system “cannot be be used in all scalp area with same degree of performance”.

Potential hair loss solution for some candidates

If a hair transplant candidate no longer needs to have sufficient – or, indeed, any – donor hair, it widens the scope of those who may be suitable for this type of surgery.

Biofibre Hair Implants System hair transplant synthetic hair

There are already clinically-proven, MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved hair loss treatments available for Male and Female Pattern Baldness, which can be used so long as the follicles are still functioning – even if they only produce thinning hair – and the individuals are deemed medically-suitable.

In cases of true baldness – which is rarely seen in women with genetic hairloss, but common in men – and Cicatricial Alopecia, there are currently no widely accepted remedies, other than cosmetic solutions, such as wigs.

Therefore, should this innovation prove viable, this may provide men and women who may currently have no real options for getting their hair back, with a way to have a full head of hair again. This is, of course, as long as the procedure and materials are proven to be both safe and effective for long-term use.

Furthermore, whereas with a regular FUE or FUT hair restoration operation it can take around 12 months to see the full results of the procedure, the results from Biofibre® hair implantation, using a novel CE 0373 certified medical device, are said to be instant – something that will no doubt appeal to clients who want on-demand, ‘quick-fix’ hair loss solutions.

An international team* studied how the synthetic hair implants performed on 1,518 patients – a mix of men and women – with varying degrees of baldness from genetic hair loss or burns and scars.

Their findings state: “According to our experience, this technique gives immediate and visible results without scarring or hospitalization and the aesthetic results are very encouraging for both male and female patients with a rapid recovery of self‐esteem and psychological well‐being.”

We look forward to seeing wider-ranging trials involving this innovative system, which does not yet have FDA-clearance but has been authorised by its Australian equivalent body, and will report on any updates here on the Belgravia blog.

*The researchers came from the Department of Dermatology at the University of Parma, the Clinic of Dermatology in Ferrara, and the Department of Dermatology at Rome’s University G. Marconi, all in Italy, the Department of Dermatology at University Cluj‐Napoca in Romania, the Department of Dermatology at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, India, the University of Cairo’s Department of Dermatology in Egypt, and both the Department of General, Vascular and Abdominal Surgery, and the Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Dermatologic surgery, at the Medical Institute of Ministry of Interior in Sofia, Bulgaria.

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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Polycystic ovary syndrome, commonly known as PCOS, is believed to affect 1 in every 5 women in the UK, according to NHS figures.

PCOS polycystic ovary syndrome womens health hair loss

It is an endocrine disorder which affects the normal functioning of the ovaries and can cause both hirsutism (excessive hair growth issues), and hair loss.

Although this shedding can be a side effect of PCOS medication, such as Letrozole (Femara), here we explain why PCOS is often linked to the genetic condition, Female Pattern Hair Loss.

Hyperandrogenism and androgenic alopecia

Hyperandrogenism – the term given to excessive male hormone (androgen) production – is a key symptom associated with PCOS. Androgens are the group of steroid hormones, naturally present in both men and women, that regulate the development of male characteristics.

Female Pattern Hair Loss, also known as androgenetic – or androgenic – alopecia, involves the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) binding to susceptible follicles, causing increasingly thinning hair to the top and frontal, temporal regions of the scalp.

Dihydrostestosterone DHT diagram

Though it can present in those with the relevant genetic predisposition any time following puberty, it is more common for women to develop this type of hair loss when they are in their 30s or 40s.

Due to the fact that stress – whether physical, such as an underlying medical issue eg. PCOS, or emotional – can induce premature hairloss in those with an existing genetic predisposition, there are numerous reports of women now starting to lose their hair in their 20’s – something widely blamed on the pressure of modern life.

For those with PCOS who do not have the relevant inherited predisposition towards Female Pattern Hair Loss, excessive androgen production may cause shedding in a similar pattern.

Female Pattern Hair Loss and hyperandrogenism review

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a report into the associations between Female Pattern Hair Loss and Hyperandrogensim in February 2019, which has recently also appeared in the July issue.

Investigations were carried out by a ‘task force’ of experts in dermatology, endocrinology and reproductive endocrinology, which was appointed by the Androgen Excess and PCOS Society.

The team’s evaluations came from an in-depth, intelligence-gathering exercise using agreed-upon, peer-reviewed studies into Female Pattern Hair Loss, up to December 2017, to determine the most important facts that hair loss specialists and medical practitioners in the field should be aware of.

The following conclusions were drawn:

Womens-hair-loss-consultation-belgravia-centre-hairloss-treatment-regrowth

1 “The term “female pattern hair loss” should be used, avoiding previous terms of alopecia or androgenetic alopecia”; this is due to many women finding the latter wording particularly upsetting.

2 “The two typical patterns of female pattern baldness are centrifugal expansion in the mid scalp, and a frontal accentuation or Christmas tree pattern.” This essentially means that the key areas of the scalp affected by female pattern hair loss, and typical signs, include hair loss that starts as a widening of the (middle) parting and spreads outwards over time as the follicles along the vertex (top of the scalp from hairline to crown), frontal hair loss at the temples.

3 “Isolated female pattern hair loss should not be considered a sign of hyperandrogenism when androgen levels are normal.” Hair loss can be a sign of an underlying health issue, including PCOS. However, as this is an hereditary condition, where there is thinning in the same pattern as genetic hair loss but the patient’s androgen levels are normal, PCOS is unlikely to be a factor.

4 “The assessment of patients with female pattern hairloss is primarily clinical.” There is no need to carry out a biopsy in order to diagnose genetic hair loss. A trained specialist can spot this condition via a scalp assessment and medical information about the patient.

5 “In all patients [thought to potentially have PCOS] with female pattern hair loss, assessment of a possible androgen excess is mandatory. Measurement of vitamin D, iron, zinc, thyroid hormones, and prolactin are optional but recommended.” Belgravia always recommends women worried about losing their hair have a full blood count blood test where possible, specifically covering vitamin levels for vitamin D and vitamin B12, ferritin and zinc, thyroid hormones and diabetes mellitus, before visiting a hair loss specialist for a consultation, and bring their results along with them.

6 “Treatment of female pattern hair loss should start with minoxidil (5%), adding 5α-reductase inhibitors or antiandrogens when there is severe hair loss or hyperandrogenism”. Currently, high strength minoxidil is the only women’s hair loss treatment that is both MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved for this purpose.

Anyone concerned about thinning hair, with or without an additional diagnosis of PCOS, may find a consultation at a dedicated hair loss clinic helpful. That way, a professional hair specialist can provide a confirmed diagnosis and personalised recommendations for appropriate hair loss solutions based upon their findings and the individual’s medical profile.


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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