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Lindsay Lohan Hair Popular hair straightening salon treatment Brazilian Blowout became the centre of a lawsuit last week after stylist Kimberley Ryley filed a civil action against the company in America. Her decision was sparked by a recent Health Canada warning that was issued against the product after it was found to contain 12 per cent formaldehyde, 60 times the legal limit for cosmetics, and a potential trigger for hair loss.

The treatment, popular with celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan, de-frizzes hair making it easier to straighten and minimising the need for blow drying or styling over the 12 week period that follows treatment. To achieve this ‘wash and wear’ hair, a treatment of up to 90 minutes is necessary, where hair is washed, treated with the Brazilian Blowout solution and then flat-ironed. The treatment is only available in salons.

However, following a series of complaints from users of Brazilian Blowout, with symptoms including runny nose, burning eyes, and hair loss; Health Canada launched a full investigation into the reputedly formaldehyde-free product. Following a series of laboratory tests, which appeared to show exceptionally high formaldehyde levels, they issued a full warning on 7th October.

This was quickly followed by the Oregon Health and Science University’s Centre for Research on Occupational and Environment Toxicology’s (Oregon OSHA) release the following day recommending all stylists administering the treatment wear protective clothing and ensure clients are fully informed about the risks.

The news attracted the eye of Kimberley Ryley, a hair-stylist who frequently applies Brazilian Blowout to clients’ hair, and has a history of ill-effects following each treatment. Upon hearing the news, she launched a class action lawsuit against the company which has since received emails from over 200 stylists and product users who wish to be included in the suit.

Nicole Richie HairIt’s quite a blow for the ‘formaldehyde-free’ product; although it is unclear whether the potentially toxic levels of formaldehyde are permanently present in the solution or created when heat is applied, through straightening or blow drying. As both of these steps are necessary to use the product, if either claim is found to be true, Brazilian Blowout could also find itself facing a lawsuit for international deceit.

Brazilian Blowout’s response so far has been vehement denial. When the news first broke, they suggested that Health Canada had perhaps mislabelled a chemical present in the solution as the hair-loss culprit formaldehyde. They have also commissioned an air monitoring study in a typical salon environment. This took place on 9th October and appeared to show safe levels of formaldehyde in the atmosphere when treatments were performed. A press statement of the results followed soon afterwards. Interestingly, the company does not deny formaldehyde is created during use, only that the levels emitted are not toxic.

This debate looks to be ongoing for a while, and will require extensive research on both sides of the case to prove or disprove the potential dangers of the treatment. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if our favourite poker-locked stars start sporting a curlier look to avoid the threat of hair loss.

MHRA Medical License X | FDA Approval X

Revivogen is a brand of natural hair products and topical treatments that claim to prevent hair loss by combining a range of beneficial natural ingredients such as azaleic acid, zinc and saw palmetto to help inhibit the formation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp.

Revivogen products are classified as natural, and therefore are not subject to licensing or approval by medical regulatory bodies. The Medicines and Healthcare Product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US are responsible for ensuring a medicinal product is safe and clinically proven to be effective for its intended use.

Revivogen is not a medicinal product and only two hair loss treatments have been granted the approval and licensing required by the MHRA and FDA, meaning they are the only ones proven to be effective for the prevention of hair loss and regrowth of hair. You can find out more about those products here – Hair Loss Treatment for Men | Hair Loss Treatment for Women.

The Belgravia Centre does not offer Revivogen as part of its treatment programmes, but you can purchase it on various websites.

Revivogen ProductsThe active ingredients in Revivogen products (as stated on its website) include:
Alpha Linolenic acid (ALA)
Azaleic Acid
Gamma Linolenic acid (GLA)
Linoleic Acid
Oleic Acid
Procyanidin Oligomers
Saw Palmetto Extract
Vitamin B6

Zulvera Herbal Hair Shampoo is a natural hair loss remedy created by WellWorth Cosmetics, an Ayurvedic product manufacturing and marketing company based in India. They claim Zulvera works to produce stronger hair roots, revitalise dying hair follicles, and produce renewed hair growth, and can be used by men and women of all ages to “prevent hair loss and baldness“.

How is it MEANT to work?

Zulvera Herbal Hair Shampoo for men and womenZulvera Herbal Hair Shampoo contains ingredients such as chamomile, sage, tea tree, witch hazel and saw palmetto, which its manufacturers say have medicinal properties and help revive dying hair follicles. Apparently Zulvera has been “scientifically prepared using the principles of Ayurveda” that aggressively nourishes the scalp to create the optimum environment for new, healthy hair.

The idea is that Zulvera will keep the scalp clean and strengthen and fortify the hair follicles to enable them to endure or resist the effects of DHT, the most common cause of hair loss, and continue producing hair growth. It also attests to work successfully for the receding hairline and that “areas which lost hair most recently will show the first results.”

DOES it work?

According to Zulvera Herbal Hair Shampoo’s website, “studies indicate that its very effective for the majority of people. It has a very high success rate.” However, they do not provide a reference to any study that would allow the consumer to evaluate that claim and determine if Zulvera is in fact effective for hair loss.

Some of the ingredients such as saw palmetto, also contained in Belgravia’s Hair Vitalics, have been shown to benefit hair health. But there is no proof that any of them can effectively stabilise, stop or even prevent hair loss. Additionally, in its disclaimer, Zulvera’s manufacturers say, “We do not make any claims to the effectiveness of the product contained in this site. It is by no means conclusive, and does not guarantee results. It is not meant to take the place of medical treatment.”

Only two products have been medically approved and licensed for the treatment of hair loss. Following years of extensive clinical trials and studies, these hair loss treatments have proven both safe and effective for that express purpose. Zulvera is a natural herbal product and is not approved or licensed by the FDA or MHRA. There is no conclusive evidence that Zulvera is effective for hair loss.

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Herbal Remedies for Hair Loss

Pilfood is a brand of products, created by Spanish pharmaceutical and health products company Laboratorios Serra Pamies, which includes shampoos, a hair supplement, and a topical anti-hair loss treatment. It is said that Pil Food products will help ensure healthy hair growth and the strengthening of damaged and brittle hair, and that Pilfood Direct can stop hair loss.

Pilfood Direct is a cosmetic product, according to Laboratorias Serra Pamies. It is not a medicinal product and it is not licensed by the MHRA for the treatment of hair loss, however, much of its product information may be misconstrued by some consumers.

No conclusive prrof that Pilfood Direct can stop hair lossPilfood Direct is claimed to:

*Stop / Slow down hair loss by 90% 
*Speed up growth of new hair by 64%
*Bring strength and volume to hair by 73%

Pilfood Direct is “indicated for all those situation, in men as well as women, in which there is an excessive hair loss”. It boasts PRO-ANAGEX as its active ingredient, which manufacturers claim to be an “anti hair loss can capillary reviving molecule”. However, there are no studies or conclusive evidence to confirm that Pilfood Direct can alone stop, stabilise, or prevent hair loss in men or women.

How is it MEANT to work?

According to Pilfood manufacturers and marketers, Pil Food Direct works to:

Stop/Slow Down Hair Loss – by restoring “hormone equilibrium”. The main cause of hair loss, most of the time, is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an active bi-product of testosterone that gradually weakens and shrivels the hair follicle and hinders hair growth. Pilfood Direct claims to slow this process down and increase the number of hairs in anagen against those in telogen (see hair growth cycle).

Speed Up Hair Growth – by promoting the transport of essential nutrients for hair growth to the follicles. It is said the ingredients of Pilfood Direct work to stimulate cell activity in the hair follicle and promote new hair growth.

Improve Hair Strength and Volume – by repairing the capillary structure and improving the cuticle surface. Pro-Anagex is claimed to fight fragility and capillary weakness and strengthen and thicken the hair.

DOES it Work?

Manufacturers claim in vitro tests were used to assess the effect Pro-Anagex had on hair. In an artificial environment, they say an increase of new hair against loss of hair was observed. There is no indication that it has been examined and proven to have the same effect in practical human use.

The details of the clinical study relating specifically to Pro-Anagex and Pilfood Direct are unknown.* At this stage there is no way of knowing how comprehensive the study was and whether the results hold any significant value, or if they are accurate.

Lupinus Albus - main component of Pro-Anagex, key ingredient in Pilfood DirectThe trademarked Pro-Anagex soy compound formula has not been independently tested and confirmed to have any effect on stabilising hair loss. Pro-Anagex is derived from a pulse cultivated in the Mediterranean region known as lupinus albus, or white lupin. According to Pilfood manufacturers and marketers, it is an active compound rich in amino acids, vitamins and nutrients and has powerful effects on slowing down hair loss and stimulating growth. But no vitamin, mineral or amino acid has ever been proven to have such a significant effect on hair loss.

The product information about Pilfood Direct Anti-Hair Loss Treatment does concede that it should be used “as a supplement of oral treatments and/or topical anti-hair loss products”. That is, in addition to clinically proven and licensed hair loss treatments. There are no studies that firmly prove Pilfood Direct is an effective treatment for hair loss.

* Belgravia has contacted the manufacturer in regards to specifics of the study. This post may be updated once further details are acquired. 

More Information:
Male Hair Loss
Hair Loss in Women
Hair Loss Product Guide

Avacor is a company that produces products under the same name that aim to help re-grow hair and prevent future hair loss.

How is it MEANT to work?

Avacor Hair Loss Product RangeAvacor sell a range of hair loss products and they claim one of these products is FDA-approved. However, it is one of the ingredients in this one product that is FDA approved for hair loss, not the Avacor product itself.

The Avacor Physician’s Formula contains minoxidil, one of only two clinically proven treatments for hair loss. According to Avacor, their Physician’s Formula contains “the highest concentration of the proven hair growth medication minoxidil” which “slows down further hair loss and starts your hair regrowth”. And even if you’re not thinning or losing hair, Avacor says that its products can help thicken hair.

DOES it Work?

Minoxidil, as an individual treatment, has been licensed by the MHRA and FDA-approved for hair loss. Because the Avacor Physician’s Formula contains minoxidil, there is a good chance that users will receive some benefit. However, there is no proven way of increasing hair thickness. Clinically proven hair loss treatments work to restore the hair to its former glory, but they will not improve its thickness if the hair is naturally thin.

Avacor Physician’s Formula contains a 5% concentration of minoxidil, which it claims is “the highest concentration”. However, there is a belief that the concentration of minoxidil one requires to achieve the best results should be individually determined. This is why minoxidil is available in strengths that range from 2% lotion to a 12.5% minoxidil cream.

There are only two clinically proven hair loss treatments that have been medically approved and licenced to help prevent and reverse hair loss. If prescribed at the optimum dose to suit the individual, and used and combined correctly, most users will experience stabilisation of loss and hair regrowth with use of these products.

Avacor Scam Exposed

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Avacor for Hair Loss: Deceptive and Fraudulent, Court Says

Viviscal for MenViviscal is essentially a natural supplement available in a men’s and women’s formula, although they do also sell shampoo, conditioner and scalp lotion. According to its website, Viviscal says it has been “scientifically proven to stop thinning hair, and promote healthy hair growth”, but according to the criterion set by the MHRA and UK Advertising Standards Authority for natural supplements, such a claim may be crossing the lines of truthfulness and substantiation.

How is it MEANT to Work?

Viviscal says it provides nourishment for your hair and “is used extensively by models and actors to promote longer, stronger, more beautiful looking hair”. It contains a combination of silica compounds, vitamin C, and a “highly concentrated marine protein”. Like Belgravia’s own Hair Vitalics, natural supplements can help provide the nutrients your hair needs for optimum health but they are not licensed treatments for hair loss. Lax regulation in regards to food supplements, however, means embellished statements can sometimes go by the wayside, but there is no sufficient evidence that proves any supplement is effective in stabilising or reversing hair loss, not even Viviscal.

DOES it Work?

As a natural supplement, Viviscal are not required to prove that their remedy works. Their independent studies are not overseen by any regulatory body and, according to the MHRA, as long as their supplement avoids promising to cure a specific ailment, Viviscal can say pretty much whatever they want.

Although Viviscal’s “clinically proven hair loss treatment that can turn thinning hair into thicker hair” is walking a very fine line in advertising standards, it does not hold much significance in the treatment of hair loss. Viviscal’s formulations may promote healthy hair growth by providing beneficial nutrients to the follicles, but none of its ingredients have been individually proven to help stop hair loss or stimulate new hair growth. And although there are no studies that conclude Viviscal is not beneficial in treating hair loss, there is no reliable or conclusive evidence to say that it is.

Unlike food supplements, medical hair loss treatments are subjected to exacting scientific trial to prove them both safe and also effective and are overseen by medical regulatory bodies. Only two products have been clinically proven and licensed by the MHRA and FDA approved for the treatment of hair loss.

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Natural Hair Supplements vs. Medical Hair Loss Treatments

Wellman TricologicWellman specialise in nutritional products that aim to support “the human body in its own natural processes”. The hair growth cycle is a natural process and Wellman Tricologic is a nutritional supplement designed to help “nourish hair and maintain healthy hair follicles”. Its ingredients indicate that it may be effective for this specific purpose, however, there is no evidence to suggest that Wellman Tricologic is useful in preventing the onset or controlling the progression of hair loss.

How is it MEANT to work?

Wellman has developed two different formulas for its Tricologic product – one for men, one for women. They say “supplementation can play an important role in safeguarding an individual’s nutritional intake” and that the carefully considered blend of vitamins and minerals in Wellman Tricologic can help maintain scalp health and nourish hair follicles by ensuring the right nutrients are delivered “directly to the hair roots for maximum benefit,” which in turn will help “keep hair looking thick and healthy.”

DOES it work?

Wellwoman TricologicAccording to science, there is no way of increasing hair diametre if your hair is naturally thin. Equally, if you’re experiencing thinning hair as a result of a genetic predisposition, natural supplements can’t improve thickness or stop it from thinning any further.

As a hair supplement, the ingredients contained in Wellman Tricologic – such as iron, zinc, biotin and L-cysteine (ingredients found also in Belgravia’s own natural supplement, Hair Vitalics) – have all shown to benefit the hair and scalp. By supporting the structure of hair and encouraging cellular metabolism, Wellman Tricologic may help improve the quality of existing hair, but none of its ingredients can individually prevent, stabilise or reverse hair loss.

There are only two clinically proven hair loss treatments that have been medically approved and licenced to help prevent and reverse hair loss. If prescribed at the optimum dose to suit the individual, and used and combined correctly, most users will experience stabilisation of loss and hair regrowth with use of these products.

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Natural Hair Supplements vs. Proven Hair Loss Treatments

Nourkrin Product RangeNourkrin is essentially a natural hair supplement, but it has also branched out into lotions and shampoos. On each of its packages it states that Nourkrin “Nourishes thinning hair and promotes existing hair growth.” And while its ingredients may help to provide an optimal environment for healthy hair growth, there is no substantial evidence that Nourkrin can encourage renewed hair growth or prevent the onset or progression of hair loss.

How is it MEANT to work?

Nourkrin says it “is an entirely natural, drug-free food supplement designed to supply your body with the specific nutrients needed to promote good, natural hair growth from the follicles.” Containing a range of marine based extracts, vitamins and minerals, Nourkrin as a hair supplement boasts ingredients that have been found to be beneficial to promoting good quality hair. But Nourkrin also says that its Extra Strength range “slows down and reduces thinning hair” in the first two months of use, and that the “key ingredient is a protein compound of marine extracts, including the cartilage of deep-sea fish.”

DOES it work?

Nourkrin is a product that has not been licenced by the MHRA or FDA  and has therefore not been through the rigorous testing that medical hair loss treatments are subjected to. As far as the individual ingredients are concerned, none of them have been proven to have an effect of the course of hair loss.

There are only two clinically proven hair loss treatments that have been medically approved and licenced to help prevent and reverse hair loss. If prescribed at the optimum dose to suit the individual, and used and combined correctly, most users will experience stabilisation of loss and hair regrowth with use of these products.

Nourkrin Information

Hair Loss Product Guide

Herbal Hair Supplements vs. Proven Hair Loss Treatments

AlpecinName: David

Question: Have you any views on Alpecin Hair Shampoo which is being advertised heavily in the London press?

Answer: Alpecin’s ‘After Shampoo Liquid’ contains caffeine and is said to tackle genetic hair loss. The manufacturers of Alpecin base these claims on studies undertaken by the University of Jena which showed that caffeine stimulates weakened hair roots. The study, carried out in January 2007, involved hair follicles being removed from balding men and artificially grown in a laboratory. The follicles were then all exposed to testosterone and some were also exposed to caffeine. The follicles that were exposed to testosterone showed reduced growth (as occurs in Male Pattern Hair Loss) while the follicles that were exposed to testosterone and caffeine seemed to be less affected by the testosterone and also stimulated new growth.

While these results seem to suggest that caffeine prevents the negative effects of testosterone and is a cure for genetic hair loss, there is always the question of how successful it is when applied outside of a laboratory, directly onto the human scalp.

Alpecin claims to have conducted its own research on its products – these show positive results but on only very small numbers. Indeed, before a conclusive answer can be given on caffeine’s effectiveness as a hair loss treatment, much more research needs to be carried out on a much larger scale. This type of research involves large-scale clinical trials in order to accurately understand the effects of caffeine on the human scalp, how much needs to be absorbed to prevent hair loss and how much caffeine can be safely absorbed by the human body.

After consideration, the Belgravia medical team don’t deem it realistic that enough caffeine would be absorbed by the scalp from a shampoo to effectively assist in the prevention of hair loss, even if caffeine was found to be an effective hair loss preventative in laboratory conditions. As shampoo is diluted by water and only applied for a short period of time before being washed off, minimal quantities will be absorbed into the scalp, if any.

The Daily Mail recently published ratings of 8 hair loss products, Alpecin being one of them. You can view the results here – Daily Mail Hair Loss Ratings.

Belgravia has recently introduced an extra strength minoxidil 8% liquid to its treatment range, containing caffeine as a hair growth booster. Because of the absorption properties of the ingredients in our minoxidil liquid solution, traces of caffeine will reach the hair follicles with the aim of helping prevent DHT from inhibiting hair growth.

Currently, there are only two hair loss treatments that have been licensed in the UK and US by the government medical regulatory bodies, you can find further information on these treatments, which are the only ones that have shown sufficient evidence that they are effective for hair loss prevention, here.

*Last updated on 8th April 2010*

Regaine / RogaineRegaine (known as ‘Rogaine’ in the US) is the most well-known brand-name for minoxidil . Regaine’s manufacturer, Pfizer, offers the product in a 2% ‘Regaine Regular Strength’ (men and women) or 5% ‘Regaine Extra Strength’ (men only). The extra strength version is available as Regaine liquid or Regaine Foam.

Minoxidil is one of only two medically proven treatments for hair loss in men and the only medically proven treatment for hair loss in women. The drug is a vasodilator, which means it increases blood circulation to the areas of application. Its hair growth properties were discovered accidentally when it was being administered in pill-form for high blood pressure. For more information on minoxidil including statistics, side effects and how to get the best from it you can visit our MINOXIDIL page.

Belgravia Centre MinoxidilRegaine takes form as a liquid or gel that’s applied to the scalp once or twice a day. Other minoxidil formulations are available and more information about high strength minoxidil is available by contacting the centre.

Minoxidil is effective for both men and women, and although not licensed for conditions other than androgenetic alopecia, it is well-known that minoxidil can be beneficial for other hair loss conditions including Alopecia Areata and Diffuse Hair Loss. The effects of minoxidil for hair growth are still a bit of a mystery as other vasodilators have not been found to have the same effects.

Find out how you can maximise results achieved for hair growth from Regaine, Rogaine or another form of minoxidil by combining it with the other medically proven treatment and various hair growth boosters – HAIR LOSS TREATMENT INFORMATION.

To see the kind of results that can be expected from the use of specially combined hair loss treatments including minoxidil, visit our HAIR LOSS SUCCESS STORIES, featuring comments written by happy Belgravia hair loss treatment users and their ‘before and during treatment’ photo-scans.

Hair Loss Before After