It’s been reported that Spaniards who are struggling in the recession are selling their hair to help pay the bills. Justino Delgado, who exports natural hair to companies that make wigs and extensions, says he has seen a sharp rise in the number of people looking to sell their locks.
Delgado started his business 50 years ago, traveling to villages to collect hair from women before he began to import larger quantities from Asia, mainly India and China. He says the hair can be worth between £45 and £135. “There are some women who have a lot of hair and, as the price depends on the length and the weight, they can get well paid for it,” says Delgado.
In order to earn a buck from your hair, it must be more than 40cm (16 inches) long and never have been coloured. Delgado explains that sometimes people keep ponytails in their drawers for months but that these can still be of a good quality.
Delgado is glad at the growing trend in Spain as he says, “European hair is finer and very sought after, and sells for more than Asian hair for example,” which is thicker. He currently has 90 tonnes of blond, brown and red braided locks in his warehouse; he exports about 80% of his stock mostly to the rest of Europe and to the USA.
Delgado’s business has benefited from the growing fashion among young women to wear hair extensions which is ironic as hair extensions are one of the causes of a type of hair loss called Traction Alopecia. This occurs when excessive tension is placed on the hair shaft. The growing trend for a volumous long-haired look, achieved by wearing extensions, has led to a number of female celebrities being photographed suffering from damaged hair and in some cases, hair loss. The Belgravia Centre treats all types of male and female hair loss and offers clients a free consultation where they will receive a diagnosis and advice on treatment options. In the case of Traction Alopecia, the hair often recovers on its own, if left alone. However, some people find that a course of hair loss treatments can help restore the hair growth faster and to its optimum level.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so the saying goes, but can an apple a day keep hair loss away? Some scientists are claiming it might, if it is a particular rare variety that comes from Switzerland, which is believed to reverse skin aging, increase the lifespan of human cells and possibly re-grow lost hair. The cosmetic companies using this ingredient say that they can scientifically prove that plant stem cells can be added to skin creams and interact with human skin stem cells which lead to fewer wrinkles and younger looking skin. Medical research is using human stem cells to explore a range of possibilities (including hair restoration) however it is illegal to use embryonic stem cells in cosmetics.
The extract (called PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica) comes from a rare 18th century species of apple tree, the Uttwiler Spatlauber. Swiss scientists discovered its benefits by cutting pieces of the apple and seeing how it responded. The apple formed a protective surface layer made from plant stem cells. The scientists then grew these cells in a liquid culture and tested them on human stem cells. A solution containing 1% apple stem cells appeared to boost human stem cell production by a phenomenal 80%. The human cells were irradiated with UV light, which killed 50% of those grown in a normal liquid culture, but hardly any of those protected by the apple stem cells. Tests on 20 women using a cream with 2% of the apple extract showed that crows feet were reduced by 8% after two weeks and 15% after four weeks.
But what about hair growth? Hair follicles that were kept in a solution of the apple extract continued to grow for 18 days compared to those kept in a normal solution, which died after 14. But is this an indicator that the extract could prevent hair loss?
Senior hair loss specialist at the Belgravia Centre, Leonora Doclis, says, “This is really a long shot when it comes to hair loss. Fruit acids have been used in the beauty industry for a long time but whether they can possibly help hair growth in the future stretches the imagination. Stem cell technology is the topic of the day but whether plant stem cell can help hair loss is highly unlikely. Should it materialise, it does not reduce or impact on dihydrotestosterone (DHT – the hormone that causes genetic hair loss in men and women) so it still won’t help Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss, sadly.”
In agreement with Doclis is Professor Liam Dolan, the Sheradian Professor of Botany at Oxford University, who specialises in plant cells: “I don’t see how plant stem cells could interact with human stem cells in this way,” he told the Daily Mail.
But Dr Daniel Schmid, research director of Mibelle Biochemistry, the Swiss lab which developed PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica, says this ingredient has been “shown to improve the maintenance of the stem cells characteristics of epidermal stem cells,” though he admitted, “The anti-ageing benefit for the skin after topical application could not be confirmed in a clinical trial.”
Despite the doubtful opinions of experts, cosmetic companies are keen to use the extract and attach a hefty price tag for the purported benefits. 3Lab, from Urban Retreat in Harrods and Selfridges, offers its Super ‘h’ Serum (£215), M cream (£185) and Super C Serum (£70) – these all have apple stem cells. Lancome offers its Absolue Precious Cells (£145 for 50ml), an anti-ageing cream it claims will ‘help restore the potential of skin stem cells and bring back the skin of youth’. The high cost of these products may explain why fans of the apple extract include such names as Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez and Helen Mirren.
When it comes to the serious business of politics, it’s easy to forget that politicians have a sense of humour. US Republican Andy McKenna announced his candidacy for the position of governor of Illinois last week and to mark the occasion launched a video called ‘Hair Today’ which features former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s hair atop the heads of Illinois citizens and politicians. The hairpiece is used as a symbol of corruption while McKenna is portrayed as an outsider to the Chicago culture of corruption.
While the advertisement is a refreshing take on hair and hair loss (the strapline is ‘hair today, gone tomorrow’) whether it has the desired effect remains to be seen. The video was created by Fred Davis, who also made John McCain’s campaign video (the one portraying Obama as the biggest celebrity in the world), and we all know the outcome of that contest.
But McKenna is confident the video and hairpiece humour will be effective. “We knew what was wrong with this primary was no one was creating any excitement,” McKenna told US newspaper Human Events, “We knew we need to do a couple things: One is to speak to their [people’s] embarrassment and anger about the failed leadership, the corruption — do it in a way that people could smile. Because we think when they smile, they also realize, ‘Yeah, we can change this'”.
And McKenna says there’s more to come: “It’s going to be the style of this campaign to do new and innovative things,” McKenna said. “We haven’t used up all our creativity.”
McKenna said he’s been getting emails, text messages, and phone calls comending the message and presentation. “I just talked to a friend today who said his college-age kid loved it and that he thought it appealed to a broader set of age groups than often happens with Republican messaging,” McKenna said last week. “Our campaign’s about uniting Republicans and also reach[ing] out to independents, and that’s part of what we really liked about this — it’s a really good primary message, but it’s also one that I think transitions very well to the general election.”
Unless a celebrity makes a point of raising awareness, hair loss, and particularly female hair loss, is not often discussed in the media.
As a result there is a high degree of confusion over the different types of hair loss women suffer from and the treatment that is available.
Here is a summary of the hair loss conditions most commonly experienced by women and how to deal with them.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
Also known as Androgenetic Alopecia, Female Pattern Hair Loss affects between 40 and 50% of the female population. It is caused by the same hormone that causes Male Pattern Baldness – Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Whereas men will eventually go bald, women tend to experience an all-over thinning. It is quite common, affecting 1 in 10 pre-menopausal women. After the menopause, the condition affects around 50% of women. Some women can see signs while in their 20s or even earlier. Hair loss can be highly distressing for women however stress can also exacerbate the shedding.
Female Pattern Hair Loss Treatment: In order to restore hair to its optimum growth levels, it is important to get a diagnosis as quickly as possible. There is only one female hair loss treatment that is proven to be effective in combating DHT in women. Minoxidil is a topical agent that can be tailored to suit the individual – it comes in various strengths and formulations and can be used with a range of hair growth boosters to increase its efficacy. Women who have been diagnosed with this condition would also benefit from finding ways to manage the stress and anxiety that hair loss can trigger. Stress-busters vary from exercise, meditation, counseling, seeing friends and family and taking up a hobby.
There are a number of factors that can cause the temporary loss condition Telogen Effluvium. Stress, illness, medications, rapid weight loss and childbirth (post-partum alopecia) can all cause certain hair follicles to temporarily enter the resting phase where they remain for three months. At the end of this period, the hairs are shed resulting in noticeable thinning. In some cases, a woman will have recovered from the event before the hair loss occurs.
Telogen Effluvium Treatment: If stress is a problem, then it is important to find ways of managing the stress. When it comes to illness, medications and weight loss, once the body is back to a healthy state, the hair growth cycle should return to normal after 6-12 months. The hormonal changes involved with pregnancy lead to extra hair growth during the pregnancy; after childbirth this extra hair is shed resulting in thinning hair. Again, the hair usually returns to normal after 6-12 months. A short hair loss treatment programme based around Minoxidil can help the hair restoration process.
Thyroid disorders, anaemia, diabetes, coeliac disease and polycystic ovarian syndrome have been linked to a condition called Diffuse Thinning which is also known as Chronic Telogen Effluvium. This occurs as a result of internal factors other than genetics and leads to an excessive rate of fallout. Again, stress can make the hair loss more severe.
Chronic Telogen Effluvium Treatment: It is important to speak to your doctor about any ongoing health condition. You will usually be prescribed a medication to control the disease; these are usually compatible with hair loss treatments. Once the underlying condition is being effectively managed, it is possible to threat the hair loss using a tailored diffuse thinning treatment programme based around Minoxidil. A hair specialist will be able to advise you on treatment.
This condition is caused by an auto-immune disease and results in sudden, patchy hair loss. The shedding can occur overnight. The body’s immune system turns in on itself and starts to attack the hair follicles, mistakenly identifying them as foreign agents. Some people will go on to develop Alopecia Totalis (total loss of scalp hair) and some develop Alopecia Universalis (total loss of scalp and body hair). It is still not fully understood why this happens although some sufferers believe that the trigger was a stressful event. For example, TV presenter Gail Porter says she developed Alopecia Areata after divorcing her husband, and comedian and actor Matt Lucas says his hair fell out at a young age, after a serious accident. Alopecia Areata Treatment: Some individuals find that their hair re-grows within a year, on its own, without treatment. Others, unfortunately, do not experience this. However, it is possible to treat mild or early-stage Alopecia Areata. The Belgravia Centre has had success using personalised alopecia areata treatment courses featuring recommended high strength minoxidil products from the range available at our in-clinic pharmacies.
What To Do If You Are Experiencing Hair Loss
The earlier you get a diagnosis, the better. This will help you understand how to manage the condition to reduce further hair loss and restore lost hair. The Belgravia Centre offers a free consultation with a hair loss specialist, either at its London-based clinic or via the website. Appointments are available 7 days a week and take between 30-45 minutes.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centreis the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.
In L’Oréal’s lastest television advert, singer and X Factor judge Cheryl Cole smiles at the viewer and says, “My hair feels stronger, full of life, replenished with a healthy shine. It’s got its mojo back.” In the advert Cheryl claims that using L’Oréal Elvive Full Restore 5 will overcome “weak, limp, lifeless, dull or straw-like hair”. However fans are angry that the singer doesn’t reveal how she gets so much bounce and volume – by wearing hair extensions which cost in the region of £1000.
During the 30 second televised commercial, a message pops up, for less than two seconds, which says Cheryl’s hair is “styled with some natural extensions”. In magazine adverts, the hair extensions are referred to in tiny print that is 2mm high. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had rejected 13 complaints that the ads were misleading because the disclaimer about Cheryl’s hair extensions was “clear and legible”.
A spokesman for the ASA adds,“It is also worth noting that the hair extensions are made from natural hair and have been treated with the products being advertised.”
However, Cheryl’s hairdresser, Julien Guyonnet, was quoted in The Times as saying she now regularly uses artificial hair made from acrylic rather than extensions made of “natural” hair. Guyonnet said he last put artificial-fibre extensions into her locks just four weeks ago in Notting Hill, west London. Prior to that, he also gave Cheryl fibre hair extensions in July. Guyonnet, who charges £750 for the three-hour procedure, said: “She is very nice and down-to-earth. She didn’t tell me she was doing the adverts. She used to use human hair but the glue damaged her hair.”
Until 2007 Cheryl wore human-hair extensions glued into her hair at the roots but was said to be worried about damaging her hair and scalp. And she is not the only celebrity to voice such concerns. Actress Jennifer Aniston, another former L’Oréal model, said her hair was almost ruined by extensions while she modelled the famous “Rachel” cut in the 1990s.
Indeed, as well as irritating the scalp, wearing extensions places excessive tension on the hair shaft which can lead to a type of hair loss called Traction Alopecia. If the hair is left to recover, and given a rest from styling aids (extensions, braids, weaves,wigs) then the hair growth cycle should return to normal. However in today’s celebrity culture, women with a profile such as Cheryl are expected to look picture-perfect 7 days a week. And with paparazzi around every street corner, it may be that Cheryl’s overstyling is putting her at risk of hair loss.
Guyonnet says this year she has tried using artificial-fibre hair instead. The 10in plastic strands, which weigh a third of the weight of human hair, are braided around four stems of natural hair close to the scalp and then sealed using the heated ends of a clamping gun. Both natural and artificial extensions need to be replaced every three months as they grow away from the scalp.
Guyonnet adds that she may have used human hair for the advert. However others are adamant Cheryl’s hair is not natural. Simon Forbes, owner of the Antenna salon in Kensington, is said to have invented extensions 30 years ago and says, “It is either second-hand hair or artificial. Cheryl looks great because of her extensions and L’Oréal are bathing in that light.”
A spokeswoman for L’Oréal said she “did not know” whether Cheryl used human or artificial extensions. A company statement said: “Cheryl has worn hair extensions for some time. They are part of her look and are cared for in the same way as normal hair.”
A spokeswoman for Cheryl said: “L’Oréal are within their rights and the ads are not breaking any rules. We would never comment on what type of hair extensions Cheryl is using because these are quite personal questions.”
Whether Cheryl’s extensions are real or not, the 26-year-old may want to give the styling aid a rest at some point as even natural extensions can damage the hair follicle if worn regularly. Senior hair loss specialist at the Belgravia Centre, Leonora Doclis, says, “Even though the artificial extensions are lighter, they can damage the hair. They are still attached to the scalp which places tension on the hair shaft and, if worn regularly, can cause the hair to break.” While Cheryl no doubt has access to the very best hair care, Doclis points out that even Victoria Beckham decided to give up the extensions after they were making her hair look more ragged than beautiful.
If you are concerned about hair loss and would like to find out how hair loss treatments can help, contact the Belgravia Centre for a consultation with a hair loss specialist. Appointments are free-of-charge and available 7 days a week. To book, just call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. Alternatively, complete the online diagnostic form and a treatment advisor will contact you over the next two days.
Former X Factor contestant Lucie Jones, who left the show last week after coming bottom in the public vote, despite being one of the more talented singers, has said image plays a huge part in winning the show and being successful in the music industry. Since leaving the show Jones has said that viewers didn’t get to see the real her and that she didn’t like some of the outfits she was given to wear. Jones, 19, was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying, ‘I was lucky to have the experience. It’s taught me so much about the business, about singing, about people and about how important it is to have the complete package – the look, the style, the hair – all those things are just as important as the way you sing.’
Today’s celebrity culture gives women more style icons than ever before and there is an ongoing debate about the pressure that this places on girls and women to look ‘picture-perfect’. This raises interesting questions when it comes to hair loss which is often considered unacceptable in women in these image-conscious times. Whereas men have a number of hairless role models to turn to (Bruce Willis, Andre Agassi, Vin Diesel), women that show any scalp are often portrayed as sick (and pitied), as alien (and feared), or as butch (and derided).
Hair loss can be a traumatic experience for a woman to go through because female identity is so much connected to hair and appearance. While celebrities such as Gail Porter have helped bring female hair loss out of the closet, many women are still unaware of the different types of hair loss. Indeed, with all the hair and make-up advice out there, it is easy to think it is something that only happens to cancer patients. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Female Pattern Hair Loss is a genetic condition that affects approximately 50% of women. Levels of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) often increase when a woman is in her 30s (and sometimes younger). This leads to thinning hair across the top of the crown. The menopause can often make the thinning more noticeable. Many women will suffer stress as a result, and stress can exacerbate the condition, creating a vicious downward spiral. It is possible to treat this condition. Minoxidil is the only hair loss treatment that has been found to be both safe and effective for the treatment of female hair loss. A Belgravia specialist will be able to tailor a treatment programme around bespoke formulations to ensure you are getting the best treatment available.
Sometimes hair loss is a temporary condition. Telogen Effluvium occurs when the body undergoes some kind of shock such as an illness, severe stress, childbirth or rapid weight loss. In women who are affected, the shedding will start around 3 months after the event. In many cases the hair growth cycle will return to normal after 6 to 12 months. However, in some individuals the condition can trigger permanent hair loss. In such cases, a hair loss treatment course can also help.
Another type of hair loss more commonly seen in women is Diffuse Thinning. This is hair loss that results from internal factors other than genetics such as thyroid disease, blood disorders and nutritional deficiencies. Sometimes stress can also lead to this condition. Once the root cause is being treated, it is possible to treat the hair loss.
If you are concerned about thinning hair or hair loss, the best thing to do is see a specialist so that you know what it causing it. Once this is established you can explore treatment options, if necessary. To book a free consultation with a Belgravia specialist, just call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. If you are unable to visit the London-based clinic, simply complete the online diagnostic form and a treatment advisor will contact you to discuss your diagnosis.
Following on from the release of Chris Rock’s film ‘Good Hair’, a documentary about African Americans and how they perceive their hair, model and television presenter Tyra Banks has featured the topic on her programme, the Tyra Show. Rock spent two years researching afro-caribbean hair after his 4 year-old daughter asked him “How come I don’t have good hair”? Tyra explains that so called ‘good hair’ is hair that a lot of Black women say is smooth, silky, long; it’s not kinky, it’s not coarse, it’s not Afro, not ‘nappy’.
In the first part of the show, Tyra speaks to Tayheedah, a young black woman who has been using relaxers and weaves for 12 years and is now considering going natural. Tayheedah reveals that she has spent over $20,000 on her hair only for Tyra to say she’s spent more than that. Tyra adds that black American women spend more money on hair products than any other culture in the country. “We make up 6% – 7% of society in America but we spend 80% of the 100% of hair product.”
Hair loss can be due to a number of factors, and is often genetic however chemical relaxers can cause hair loss. This can be permanent hair loss if they burn the scalp and the follicles are badly shriveled as a result or temporary hair loss if the hair breaks from becoming too brittle and dry. Excessive styling, through the wearing of braids, weaves and extensions, can also cause a type of hair loss called Traction Alopecia.
Like many women with Afro-caribbean hair, Tayheedah says that she can’t go anywhere without relaxing her hair and that her hair has been severely damaged as a result of all the chemicals she has put in it. The chemicals have not only caused her hair to become brittle, dry and severely weakened (and at risk of hair loss) but Tayleedah says she also has financial problems. This can obviously lead to stress and stress can itself cause a type of hair loss called Telogen Effluvium.
It is possible to manage these conditions and to restore a healthy hair growth cycle using hair loss treatments as long as the hair is given a rest from chemicals and overstyling.
Tyra also speaks to Kelley, who believes there’s no reason to use relaxants and weaves, and says, “The problem with black women is we have to learn how to style and treat our natural hair and stop trying to conform to something that is not natural and is unhealthy for our hair.” Having used relaxants herself Kelley warns, “Chemical relaxers do not make your hair healthy. I don’t care how shiney it looks, I don’t care how much it bounces, when you put that chemical on your hair, it is sucking moisture out of your hair, it is breaking your hair down.”
Tayheedah says, “It’s so hard. I want to go natural but then I don’t know how people would perceive me, I don’t know people would take to me with my natural hair because a lot of people have never seen me with natural hair.”
The pressure to have ‘good hair’ begins in childhood for many African American women. On Tyra’s show, Kiana, who is just 8 years old and already has her hair relaxed, says that it burns when it’s relaxed but she likes it because its straight and “it’s like my friends at school”. Shaniyah, 6, says white people have better hair than black people. Tyra even speaks to one mother who relaxes her 3 year-old daughter’s hair.
So it would seem that ideas of what is ‘good hair’, however misinformed, start at a very young age and can result in physical damage (brittle hair prone to breakage and permanent damage to the hair follicles) and emotional trauma (feelings of anxiety with one’s natural hair and financial stress from the cost of relaxing hair).
If you are concerned about thinning hair or hair loss, then the Belgravia Centre can help. We have a team of experts who can diagnose the condition and recommend a treatment programme that can help stabilise hair loss and restore lost hair. To book an appointment (which is free) with a specialist, just call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. Alternatively, complete the online diagnostic form for a consultation via the website.
Speaking last week at the American Academy of Dermatology’s SKIN Academy, dermatologist Paradi Mirmirani, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, discussed how to maintain healthy, beautiful hair on a budget. “There are many ways that we can trim our hair care expenses, from going to the salon less frequently to using fewer products,” said Dr. Mirmirani. “But, the ultimate goal with any type of change in our hair care routine should be to maintain healthy hair.” Dr Mirmirani also said not to cut corners in order to save money when it comes to purchasing treatments for hair loss.
Dr Mirmirani explained that as hair is a fibre, its structure and integrity must be looked after in order for the hair to maintain its healthy look. The root of the hair (the hair follicle) produces the hair fibre which is made up from hair keratins. These are fine, fibre-like structures knitted closely together and wrapped in a hard, protective outer cuticle. When the outer cuticle is damage, it breaks apart and the inner fibres are exposed. The result is brittle, flyaway or dull hair. In order to protect the cuticle it is important to follow a good hair care routine; Dr Mirmirani discussed the following points.
Hair Brushes Dr Mirmirani advises against expensive boar bristle brushes which she says put a lot of friction on the hair: “This can cause a considerable amount of damage, and consumers can save money and keep hair healthier at the same time by buying inexpensive plastic brushes with wide-spaced needles, which are widely available.”
Shampoo By shampooing more efficiently, people can save money. Dr Mirmirani explained, “When we wash our hair, we tend to use too much shampoo by washing the entire length of the hair rather than concentrating on cleaning just the scalp.” She adds, “In addition, how often you wash your hair should be based on how oily your scalp is if it’s oily, you might need to wash it more frequently than someone with a dry scalp. However, most of us are probably over-washing our hair and can save some money by using less shampoo.” Dr Mirmirani also pointed out that African Americans should only wash their hair once a week as this hair and scalp type tends to be much dryer than other races. Over-shampooing can dry out African American hair. “I recommend that you choose a shampoo formulated specifically for your type of hair,” said Dr. Mirmirani, “the key is finding the product that works best for you and avoid the temptation to spend more than you have to.”
Conditioners These are important for vibrant-looking locks. For those with long hair, Dr Mirmirani says conditioner plays an important role in helping protect and maintain the structure of the cuticle, especially at the ends. And for damaged hair, conditioning is absolutely vital. Dr. Mirmirani says, “A leave-in conditioner for deep conditioning that can be applied at home also is important for people with long or damaged hair, and these products do not need to be expensive to work well.” Those with fine hair should only use conditioner on the tips and not the scalp or the length of the hair as this can make the hair appear limper.
Heat, Colour and Chemicals When using any heat-based styling product (including a flat iron, blow dyer or curling iron), Dr. Mirmirani recommends using a styling product specially designed to protect the hair from heat before styling the hair, such as a leave-in conditioning spray. For colouring hair, Dr Mirmirani says home-dye kits can be as good as salon-dyes but it is important to test the product on a small area 24 hours before dying the hair to ensure the person does not have a reaction. Dr. Mirmirani also warned that ultraviolet (UV) light will bleach hair and strongly advised against prolonged sun exposure, and said those with colour-treated hair should wear a hat for protection. For those using home-perming kits, Dr Mirmirani said extreme care should be taken as leaving in the chemical for a moment too long can permanently damage the hair. She also said not to use this type of product more than once every 8 weeks.
Maintaining Hair Growth and Preventing Hair Loss While all of the above tips will help the hair look its best, the fact is there are many factors that can cause thinning hair and hair loss in women. Stress, childbirth, medications, nutritional deficiencies, weight loss, and genetics can all cause hair loss. While some non-genetic hair loss conditions can be temporary, it may be possible to use a hair loss treatment to help restore a healthy growth cycle. Female Pattern (genetic) Hair Loss, which affects approximately 50% of women, will often require treatment to prevent a severe all-over thinning.
In these instances there is only one hair loss treatment that has been shown to be effective – Minoxidil. Licensed by the MHRA and FDA-approved, Minoxidil comes in various concentrations. In over-the-counter products for women it is nearly always in a 2% concentration, however there have been studies to show that a higher strength is significantly more effective at restoring an optimum hair growth cycle. Furthermore, there are a range of hair growth booster products that can significantly enhance Minoxidil’s effectiveness. Belgravia offers a range of exclusive hair growth boosters for those looking to see optimum regrowth.
Dr Mirmirani says that anyone considering using Minoxidil should see a specialist for a full evaluation first. This will give the person a clear diagnosis of what is causing the thinning or hair loss and ensure that the person knows which type of Minoxidil will work best for them.
The Belgravia Centre is based in central London and has a team of experts who have been successfully treating male and female hair loss for several years. To see clients’ comments, photographs and video diaries that document their treatment progress, take a look around the large collection of hair loss success stories.
If you would like to have your hair assessed, Belgravia offers consultations at its clinic or via the website. Appointments are free of charge and available 7 days a week. To book yours, simply call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. Alternatively, complete the online diagnostic form and a treatment advisor will contact you to discuss matters further.
Everyone gets stressed from time to time but what happens when stress becomes a regular part of daily life? Or when a person faces an emotional upheaval such as divorce, redundancy or the death of a loved one. One of the physical symptoms of stress can be hair loss. Here is some information to explain how stress affects hair growth and expert advice on treatment.
What is Stress-Related Hair Loss?
Stress, illness, medications, childbirth and rapid weight loss can all cause a type of hair loss called Telogen Effluvium. This causes thinning hair all over the scalp. It is often a temporary condition where the hair growth returns to normal approximately six to twelve months after the event.
However, in some cases it can trigger Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Lossin those with the ‘balding gene’. For those people already experiencing these forms of hereditary hair loss, stress can accelerate the rate of shedding. These permanent, genetic conditions may require treatment to prevent severe all-over hair thinning or baldness.
How Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?
When a person feels intense stress – whether emotional or physical, the body releases a large amount of adrenaline; this transmits a signal to the hair follicles which causes them to enter the telogen (resting) phase early, where they stay for three months.
During this phase there is no new hair growth. This results in an uneven hair growth pattern which leads to thinning hair and then hair loss from all over the scalp. It is typical for around 50 per cent of hairs to be affected in cases of Telogen Effluvium and Chronic Telogen Effluvium, also known as Diffuse Thinning.
Why Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?
Hair growth is considered to be a non-essential bodily function. Therefore, when the body feels under attack – meaning stress in any form, from an underlying illness, sudden trauma, to emotional stresses or other issues that place unusual strain on the body – it diverts its attention away from these ‘lesser’ processes in order to put all its energy into maintaining the normal activity of critical functions. As a result, the hair growth cycle can be affected.
Some forms of stress can also lead to an increased chance of poor lifestyle choices such as smoking and unhealthy eating. These too have been linked to hairloss, particularly in relation to oxidative stresswhich researchers have found may prematurely bring on male pattern baldness in young men.
Furthermore, stress also has a drying effect on the body, meaning the hair can appear dull and dry during particularly intense bouts.
How to Treat Stress-Related Hair Loss
It is important to resolve the issue that is causing the stress or learn how to manage the stress so it has a lesser impact.
Examples of how to deal with ‘small’ stresses include taking up a hobby you enjoy, exercise, meditation, spending time with friends and reading. It is important that this becomes a regular part of your routine to help the body relax and release tension. For stress that is more severe, such as divorce, workplace bullying, job loss or the death of a loved one, it is advisable to seek the help of a counsellor, support group or therapist – your doctor should be able to recommend appropriate organisations or refer you, as necessary.
Once the underlying stress is being managed, if shedding persists and does not clear up of its own accord, it is possible to use appropriate hair loss treatments following a consultation with a hair specialist to ensure the optimum products are recommended based on the condition and the patient’s medical suitability. In addition to established medications, hair growth supporting products can also be used to supplement the pharmaceutical approach.
Whatever is causing the hair loss, trying to cope with it can add to the stress already being experienced. A specialist will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis, answer any questions you have and discuss treatment options. This kind of support can be invaluable, as we often hear from clients who feel like a weight has been lifted once they take that first, proactive step of having even just an initial consultation and find out that help and support is available.
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.
There are many causes of hair loss in women and it is important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible. While some doctors have good knowledge of hair loss, some are less well-informed and may be unsympathetic as it is considered a ‘cosmetic’ issue. Infact, hair loss can be deeply distressing and cause anxiety and depression in many individuals. The best person to see for advice is a hair loss specialist who will be able to diagnose the condition and discuss suitable treatment options.
Androgenetic Alopecia The most common reason for hair loss is a genetic predisposition to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which attacks the hair follicles. This often starts when a woman is in her 30s and results in an all-over thinning. Approximately 50% of women develop permanent Female Pattern Hair Loss and the thinning can become more severe during the menopause. While the scalp becomes more visible, women tend not to go bald, as with Male Pattern Baldness. However a small percentage of women do experience baldness. This condition can be successfully managed using a tailored treatment programme.
Telogen Effluvium Another common condition in women is Telogen Effluvium. This occurs when certain hair follicles prematurely enter the resting (telogen) phase where they remain for three months before being shed. During this time there is no new hair growth and after the hair has fallen out, there may be visible bald patches. The hair follicles do this when a person undergoes some kind of stress such as an emotional upset, an illness, taking medications, childbirth or rapid weight loss. In many cases this is a temporary condition and the hair growth cycle will return to normal 6 to 12 months after the event. However this condition can trigger permanent Female Pattern Hair Loss. Some people choose to treat the condition in order to help restore an optimum hair growth cycle. Again, a tailored treatment programme prescribed by a specialist is the best route to seeing results. To see how this can help, take a look at one woman’s video diary for hair loss treatment post-pregnancy.
Diffuse Thinning There are certain medical conditions which can cause a type of hair loss called Diffuse Thinning. Thyroid problems, blood disorders, or serious nutritional deficiencies can cause an excessive amount of hair to fall out. Stress may also be a contributing factor. Once the underlying cause(s) are being managed, it is possible to treat the hair loss and prevent further shedding.
Hair Loss Treatment Programmes A Belgravia hair loss treatment programme is based around Minoxidil, the only product for female hair loss that has been shown to be both safe and effective. Minoxidil is a vasodilator which means that it relaxes the blood vessels. It is believed that as result, more blood (and nutrients) flow to the scalp which increases hair growth. This is not a concrete theory though as other vasodilators do not have the same effect. Experts also think that Minoxidil opens up the potassium channels which has a beneficial effect on the hair follicles.
If you would like to see a specialist to discuss hair loss treatments, contact the Belgravia Centre for a free consultation by calling 020 7730 6666 or by messaging the centre. Alternatively, complete the online diagnostic form and a treatment advisor will contact you over the next 2 working days.