fbpx Belgravia Centre Blog – Alopecia Category- Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Blog
WE CAN HELP
Book a FREE consultation  
For a free consultation or assistance, please call 020 7730 6666

Hair Loss Blog

Browse by Category

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.

Related Stories


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


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


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.

Related Stories


University Hospital, Bordeaux, France is due to carry out an observational study investigating inflammation in cases of certain autoimmune disorders, including Alopecia Areata.

The aim is to be able to analyse and better explain the relationship between these chronic inflammatory conditions and the function of blood and skin T-cells.

Autoimmune alopecia – whether the scalp-only patchy hair loss of Alopecia Areata, or the more extensive baldness caused by Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis are known to have links to inflammation – as do many other hair loss conditions.

This study will hopefully expand upon existing knowledge to provide more insight into these enigmatic disorders.

Normal Hair Growth Cycle versus Hair Growth in Alopecia Areata

Single-centre study

The French team will take blood samples and skin biopsies from 450 participants, made up of men and women aged between 18 and 75 years, during the prospective, single-centre trial.

Fifty of the 450 have a diagnosis of Alopecia Areata whilst other subjects have vitiligo, psoriasis or atopic dermatitis.

Although it is not yet recruiting, an estimated completion date of June 2023 has been provided as part of the clinical trial registration.

Treatment criteria

Exclusion criteria for trial participants includes those using certain therapies or systemic treatments, such as acitretin, methotrexate, cyclosporine, Apremilast, infliximab, adalimumab, etanercept, ustekinumab, secukinumab, ixekizumab or dupilumab, for less than four weeks.

Despite methotrexate, cyclosporine, adalimumab and secukinumab being authorised treatments for severe psoriasis, and dupilumab being a proven eczema treatment, all of these five drugs have also been – or are currently being – tested as potential Alopecia Areata treatments.

At present, there are no MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved treatments for Alopecia Areata in any of its phenotypes, though topical applications of high strength minoxidil have been shown to promote hair regrowth in cases of the scalp-only form. This hair loss solution is authorised by both the MHRA and FDA in these ways for the treatment of Male and Female Pattern Baldness.

There are many potential Alopecia Areata, Totalis and Universalis treatments in development, with JAK inhibition looking to be a particularly promising route for all three phenotypes. However, studies like this new French one should help treatment researchers by providing more mechanistically-based information in order to help them understand more about what happens in this hair growth cycle-disrupting condition.


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


Understandably, sudden hair loss can be extremely distressing, whether it’s bald patches on the scalp or total baldness that develops from head to toe.

This is what happens in the case of Alopecia Areata and its more expansive iterations, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis, autoimmune disorders which disrupt the hair growth cycle.

Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that various studies have found people affected by any form of Alopecia Areata are more susceptible to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

A study carried out by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA, and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology on 1st June 2019, is the latest to explore these links.

Higher risk of anxiety and depression for people with Alopecia Areata

depression anxiety mental health help motivation

Teams from the hospital’s Dermatology and Neurology departments worked together to analyse existing literature surrounding the association between all forms of Alopecia Areata, anxiety, and depression.

After reviewing a total of eight clinical studies, it was concluded that patients with Alopecia Areata are ‘at a higher risk of both anxiety and depression’.

As the study author writes, ‘A total of 8 studies that included 6,010 patients with AA and 20,961 control patients were included in the quantitative analysis. These included 4 cross-sectional studies and 4 case-control studies. Analysis of these studies demonstrated a positive association with anxiety (pooled OR, 2.50; 95% CI, 1.54-4.06) and depression (pooled OR, 2.71; 95% CI, 1.52-4.82).

Healthcare professionals must be cognisant of this higher risk and consider routine assessment of these conditions and referral to appropriate providers when indicated.’

…and vice versa

In addition to studies backing the link between people with Alopecia Areata developing psychological conditions, there are also research findings claiming those with existing mental health problems may have a higher chance of developing Alopecia Areata, or one of its phenotypes.

Men and women who experience PTSD or intense stress have been shown to more prone to a later diagnosis of autoimmune hairloss. Furthermore, a pre-existing depression diagnosis has been shown to increase the risk of developing Alopecia Areata, Totalis or Universalis by up to 90 per cent.

A 2019 mortality study showed that adults with Alopecia Areata had a higher risk of dying from smoking-related diseases, such as lung cancer. As those who are stressed, depressed or anxious are believed to smoke more as a form of ‘self-medication’, this could be a relevant factor in the study’s outcome, providing another reason dealing with the psychological aspects of hair loss is so important.

Where patchy hair loss of the scalp-only is concerned, in the majority of cases this will resolve itself naturally within 12 months, though Alopecia Areata treatment may be used to help accelerate the hair regrowth process. The bald spots may come back in the future, as this condition is known to recur, but if or when this may happen is unpredictable.

For the more extensive forms, there are currently no significantly effective treatment options available, though many trials are underway and it is hoped that clinically-proven Alopecia Totalis and Universalis hair loss treatments, authorised by relevant medical regulators, should start to become available from around 2021.

For those concerned about the psychologically impact of these sudden onset hair loss issues, emotional support – whether from a specialist therapist, or peer support groups, such as those run by dedicated charities such as Alopecia UK – can be beneficial, whether or not treatment or natural hair regrowth is possible.


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 results of a new Korean study investigating the mortality risks associated with Alopecia Areata patients has produced some interesting findings.

Researchers examined data for 73,107 patients with all forms of this autoimmune disorder, which causes varying degrees of hair loss to different areas of the body, from bald spots on the scalp to complete baldness from head-to-toe.

This was then compared to age- and sex-matched control subjects as part of the nationwide population-based cohort study.

Smoking-related diseases, psychiatric disorders and self-harm

smoker smoking cigarette

Three key high mortality risk areas were identified in the study findings, which were published on the JAMA Dermatology website on 29th May 2019.

The risk of death through intentional self-harm or psychiatric disorders was found to be higher in patients with any form of Alopecia Areata than in the control group.

Malignant smoking-related diseases, such as lung cancer, were seen to have a higher mortality risk only for people with the more extensive phenotypes, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis. These cause baldness of the head, usually including a loss of eyebrows, eyelashes and facial hair as well as scalp hair, and a complete rejection of hair from head to toe, respectively.

There was, however, a lower mortality risk associated with diabetes mellitus seen in Alopecia Areata patients. Interestingly, researchers have previously likened Alopecia Areata to ‘diabetes of the hair follicle’.

Lessons to takeaway

“Given the large scale of the project, its findings demonstrate an important point for patients with Alopecia Areata and their mental health. However, the research did only focus on one country so may not be wholly representative of Alopecia Areata patients’ experiences elsewhere in the world,” advises Belgravia hair loss specialist, Rali Bozhinova.

“Aspects that are certainly worth paying attention to are that it is important for people to manage their mental health as well as they manage their physical health, particularly given there are numerous studies that have already established links between psychiatric disorders and all forms of Alopecia Areata. Whilst hair loss can often be considered ‘cosmetic’, there are often far deeper psychological effects associated with this sudden onset condition that should not be ignored,” she notes.

“Additionally, giving up smoking is one of the key takeaways from this study and that is always a good message to spread, for our general health and hair quality, regardless of whether a person has Alopecia or not.”

Even with Alopecia Areata treatments currently available for the scalp-only phenotype, and the first authorised hair loss solutions for Alopecia Totalis and Universalis regrowth expected to be released in the next few years, these findings are a good reminder that it is important people take care of their general health – both mental and physical.


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


Findings from a small scale study by researchers from the Faculty of Medicine at Zagazig University, Egypt, have added more weight to the theory that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy may be a beneficial treatment for Alopecia Areata (AA).

In a paper published on 10th May 2019 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the team provided an overview of its trial into the the safety and efficacy of PRP for Alopecia Areata in comparison to intralesional steroid treatment, which is already available.

This follows on from separate research data released earlier the same month, also suggesting PRP may benefit Alopecia Areata hair regrowth.

syringe-injection-prp-adipose

Improved hair regrowth

Two groups of patients, each comprising 40 participants – a mix of men and women all with confirmed Alopecia Areata diagnoses – received different forms of treatment. Group I was treated with intralesional steroids while group II was treated with PRP.

Both of these therapies involve scalp injections with different hair loss solutions, either steroids or a platelet-dense mixture which is produced from the patient’s own blood. This is done by taking blood from their arm then spinning it to separate the components, before the enriched blood is extracted and injected back into their body via the scalp.

Patients were monitored for six months in total – 3 during treatment and 3 post-treatment.

According to the study manuscript as a result of dermoscopic evaluation and hair regrowth scores allocated to each participant just before starting treatment (baseline), then at the 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 week marks, both groups saw improved hair regrowth.

Group I, the steroid group, recorded 26 out of 40 members (65%) experiencing ‘greater hair re-growth’, which was 5% less than the 29 patients from the PRP group (group II) who reported the same outcome. However, it was the different relapse rates noted in Group I and Group II which proved more interesting.

The study authors state, “There was significant re‐growth of pigmented hair and decrease in dystrophic hair (P < 0.001) by dermoscopic evaluation in both groups. The difference between both groups was insignificant (P = 0.57). At follow‐up, two (5%) patients in group II had relapse compared to 10 (25%) patients in group I.

These results overall led them to conclude “Platelets rich plasma is safe and promising therapeutic option in AA.”

Further trials needed

Normal Hair Growth Cycle versus Hair Growth in Alopecia Areata

Trialling potential treatments for Alopecia Areata – the scalp only form which causes sudden, patchy hairloss – and obtaining meaningful results can be tricky.

This autoimmune disorder affects the hair growth cycle, causing it to pause normal hair production; this is generally a temporary issue, with hair regrowth resuming naturally within a year of its onset in many cases.

The problem is that if or when regular hair growth will resume cannot be predicted. Therefore, it can be difficult – especially in small-scale studies – to determine whether regrowth occurs spontaneously or as a result of a specific treatment therapy – or due to a combination of both.

Belgravia superintendent pharmacist and senior hair loss specialist, Christina Chikaher advises, “It is for this reason that, whilst there are many potentially interesting applications for PRP – and some data which does suggest it shows promise for Alopecia Areata and other hair loss conditions – until reliable, independent evidence is seen from randomised, double-blind, large-scale clinical trials, it remains an unproven treatment for hair loss of any kind.”

Adults looking to help accelerate hair regrowth in cases of the scalp-only form, may be suitable for a personalised course of Alopecia Areata treatment featuring components including high strength minoxidil – a topical medication currently MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved for the treatment of Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss – following an in-person or online consultation.

For the more extensive phenotypes – Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis – whereby hair on other areas of the head and body are also affected, and for children with any version, it is best to seek advice from a GP or dermatologist given treatments for these iterations are still being developed.


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


Concert Pharmaceuticals has announced a second open label clinical trial into a form of its novel oral treatment for Alopecia Areata, CTP-543 is due to start soon.

This will concentrate on a one-a-day 24mg dose of CTP-543 and will compare results to 12mg twice-daily doses, taken by separate, randomized groups over a 24 week period.

Each of the 60 patients taking part across the USA and Canada will have a confirmed diagnosis of hair loss from Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis.

These are the key forms of the autoimmune disease Alopecia Areata, which presents as patchy hair loss to the scalp only (Alopecia Areata), total baldness of the head, often including a loss of eyelashes, eyebrows and facial hair (Alopecia Totalis), and complete hairlessness from head to toe (Alopecia Universalis).

Pills medication tablets

Whilst not exactly a JAK inhibitor itself – the suite of drugs currently leading the race to produce the first authorised, MHRA-licensed and FDA-cleared treatment for all forms of Alopecia Areata – CTP-543 is a deuterium modified version of the Janus kinase 1 and 2 inhibitor, ruxolitinib (brand name, Jakafi).

Complementary trial

This new trial – which is currently estimated to complete in April 2020 – has been designed to complement Concert’s first open label trial of CTP-543. Findings should help researchers to determine the drug’s optimal dosing, providing the basis of doses to be tested further in additional clinical trials.

The first study, which began in March 2019 and is due to complete later in the year, involves participants receiving oral CTP-543 doses of either 8 mg twice per day or 16 mg once each day, for a total of 24 weeks.

Both trials will compare patients’ baseline and 24 week-mark Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) scores in order to determine the drug’s – and dose’s – efficacy.

“Our aim is to optimize the dosing regimen for CTP-543, so that we can best meet the needs of patients with this autoimmune disease for which there are currently no FDA-approved treatments,” said James V. Cassella, Ph.D., Chief Development Officer of Concert Pharmaceuticals, via a company press release.

Interim CTP-543 phase 2 trial results

The most recent update as to how the current CTP-543 trials are going, was provided at the March 2019 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting, where promising interim results were disclosed from an ongoing Phase 2 trial.

Concert Pharmaceuticals’ CTP-543 has received Fast Track designation from the FDA, along with two other companies also developing potential hair loss solutions – oral and/or topical – to address mild to severe Alopecia Areata.

food-and-drug-administration-usa-fda

Due to the significant emotional and psychological effects these various forms of sudden hair fall can cause, and the fact no FDA-approved – nor MHRA-licensed – hairloss treatment for these specific conditions yet exists, the FDA is hoping to help speed up the process for developing treatments by working closely with the most promising candidates.

The earliest likely release date for any of these novel hair loss solutions is estimated to be 2021-22.

In the meantime, Alopecia Areata treatment is available for adults with the scalp-only phenotype, and a personalised course can be recommended following a consultation with a hair loss specialist.

Adults with more extensive baldness, or children with any form of Alopecia, are advised to contact their GP or dermatologist as a first port of call. Hair loss charities can also provide invaluable help in the form of free wigs, contacts for suppliers and local or online peer support groups.

However, hopefully, we are now closer than ever to there being a realistic treatment option for those who have lost their hair to conditions as severe as Alopecia Universalis, and would love to have it back again.

UPDATE: On 5th June 2019 it was announced by Concert Pharmaceuticals that the company had completed enrolment for this trial and topline data from this study is expected between October and December 2019.


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