As hair is often a source of pride for many women, discovering hair loss can cause acute embarrassment so it is always good to remind sufferers that they are not alone.
Following Belgravia Centre client, Alya Mooro's recent piece in The Telegraph, where she spoke frankly about her struggle with Alopecia, we caught up with her to provide further insight into her story.
Alya came to us as she had been experiencing patchy hair loss, which was discovered by her hairdresser. As she explains in her article, 'I started losing my hair at 23 and felt like a failure'.
A Belgravia hair loss specialist quickly diagnosed her condition as classic Alopecia Areata; an autoimmune disorder which causes the hair to fall out in clumps. The condition is easily identifiable by the patches of scalp it leaves visible, which are often circular in shape, and can present anywhere on the scalp.
Alopecia Areata occurs when the hair follicles shut down, often as the result of extreme stress or a sudden shock although the precise cause is unknown.
Follicles prematurely enter the resting ('Telogen') phase of the growth cycle, lying dormant as they await a signal to resume normal hair production. However, it is impossible to know when, or indeed if, this signal will come.
Although there is no cure available as yet, Alopecia Areata treatment can be effective, particularly in the condition's earlier stages.
Daily applications of high strength minoxidil - a topical medication licensed for the treatment of genetic hair loss - have been seen to produce significant regrowth in many Belgravia clients in the early-to-mid stages of Alopecia Areata.
This is what we prescribed to Alya at her initial consultation and photoscans were taken in order to chart her progress. She was advised how to apply minoxidil directly to the scalp in areas where hair loss had occurred, helping to stimulate blood flow and shock sleeping follicles back into action.
Alya also visited us each month for regular clinical treatments, and started taking Hair Vitalics supplements to ensure her hair was getting its nutritional needs met, all of which can further promote healthy regrowth
Alya says, "It took several months to start noticing results... I felt, as I couldn't see the back of my head - where the hair loss was, that my hair was starting to grow back". This is why taking photoscans of clients, so that they can see what is happening and visually chart their progress, is such an important part of our service. As you can see from her images above, taken before and four months after starting her treatment course, Alya's hair grew back, with dense regrowth apparent at the four month mark.
When faced with a hair loss condition like Alya's, although it can feel like a lifetime from starting treatment to seeing your hair start to grow, it usually takes three-to-four months for regrowth results to become visible. This timeframe generally depends on whereabouts you are in your hair growth cycle when you first start treatment.
We caught up with Alya who explained how even the process of getting treatment was helpful to her. "The treatment provided routine and the opportunity to feel like you were actually doing something, contributing in some way, rather than waiting helplessly for your hair to grow, or not grow back", she told us.
"Coming in to the clinic every month and applying the cream and using the shampoo and conditioner helped put the power back in my hands and helped me feel like I was doing something to ameliorate my situation."
"I would definitely recommend the treatment to others with hair loss. At the end of the day, there's nothing to lose! At the time I was willing to do anything and everything that could have potentially helped with hair re-growth. I'm sure most people in my situation would be willing to do the same."
If you are concerned about patchy hair loss and would like to speak to an expert about the causes and possible treatment options, contact a hair loss specialist who will be able to offer you advice and support as well as a diagnosis.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic 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 from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.