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Want to prevent baldness? Take it from Michael Chiklis and stay away from greasepaint. The American actor said he lost his hair at the age of 20 when he played the part of a bald man in the play You Can’t Take it With You.

Greasepaint sends Chiklis baldChiklis, famous for his role as hardcore Detective Vic Mackey in The Shields, said it was a special effect make-up technique gone wrong that sent him bald at the age of just 20. In an attempt to look the part of a 65 year-old man, Chiklis shaved his head in the fashion of male pattern baldness and reveals his father, a hair stylist, did not approve of what he did to his hair.

“Instead of being smart and using powder on my head I used greasepaint like I did on my face and didn’t remove it properly,” Chiklis recalls. “It essentially killed the follicles on my head.

“It was a very traumatic experience as a young actor and it shaped my career in a lot of ways. I was forced to start wearing hair pieces, which I did in Wired, or to just be the person that I was.”

thing1Chiklis, who has also starred in such series as Miami Vice and Seinfeld as well as films like The Fantastic Four and Eagle Eye, said he wouldn’t change a thing.

“I have no regrets because it shaped my career,” he said.

Despite Chiklis’ certainty that it was the greasepaint that affected his locks so badly, Leonora Doclis doesn’t think so.

“Unless there were tarring properties in the greasepaint that could have shrivelled the follicles, in which case the burning sensation would have been overwhelming, there is no way that it could have caused him to go bald,” says the Belgravia Centre’s senior trichologist.

According to Leonora, the likely story is that Chiklis was in fact experiencing hair thinning. This is a precursor to male pattern hair loss which, if left untreated, could lead to baldness. However, because Chiklis was shaving his head, he couldn’t identify the warning signs and when he eventually let his hair grow back, it was a lot different to what he’d remembered.

Male pattern hair loss is a progressive condition and if caught in the early stages and addressed with the most effective treatment can be stabilised and controlled. So whack on as much hair tonic as you like because it probably won’t cause any damage to your hair follicles.

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Good nutrition is essential for healthy hair growth but unfortunately no one can cheat hair loss by swigging on the latest antioxidant-packed smoothie or snacking on super berries.  There is no single food that prevents hair loss, but it is a complex condition and nutrition can to a certain degree influence hair growth and the quality the hair.

You cannot discount nutritional influences on hair loss,” Leonora Doclis, senior trichologist at the Belgravia Centre says. “If a person’s diet is healthy it shows in the skin and hair.

foods-for-healthy-hair-growth“There is no conclusive evidence that any particular vitamin will prevent hair loss or make hair grow back, but if I had to say one food was beneficial for the hair it would be red meat. This is because it is the easiest absorbable source of iron.”

Hair is made up of long chains of amino acids but is comprised mostly of protein (91 percent in fact) so it makes sense that a diet rich in protein be recommended for healthy hair. The hair grows from follicles within the skin and at the base of the hair root, within the follicle, is the hair bulb where nutrients are received and new cells are formed.

Iron deficiencies can lead to hair loss,” Leonora states. This is because iron plays a key role in manufacturing haemoglobin, the part of the blood that carries oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. When your scalp is getting a good flow of blood, the follicles are stimulated to allow other nutrients to be absorbed.

Some forms of hairloss that could be directly related to nutrition are telogen effluvium and diffuse hair loss. Thyroid, haemoglobin and hormonal problems are linked to diffuse hair loss and telogen effluvium, mostly seen in women, has been associated with diabetes and anaemia along with child birth, severe emotional stress, birth control pills, dieting drugs and thyroid problems.

Anorexia and extreme dieting where you lose more than two pounds per week is a shock to the system and can lead to diffuse hair loss or telogen effluvium,” Leonora explains. “It could even be a precursor to male or female pattern hair loss.”

Whilst male and female pattern hair loss are genetic conditions, any number of the factors listed above could act as a trigger to bring about the condition earlier than it might have. A blood test can be taken to determine if nutrition is an initiating factor in hair loss.

Even if there is a hereditary tendency toward hereditary hair loss I would recommend a blood test for certain people,” advises Leonora. “Particularly vegetarians, vegans, people who feel weak, teenagers, people in their early twenties and women.”

Belgravia Centre Hair Vitalics Food Supplements for Healthy HairOther vitamins that have been linked to healthy hair growth are biotin, sulphur, silica, zinc and B12. “They are all involved in the formation of hair growth so of course any deficiencies could affect hair growth,” confirms Leonora. “Studies have proven that protein and iron are beneficial to the hair’s quality. The rest is hearsay but you cannot discount it.

“If a blood test shows that a woman experiencing hair loss is anaemic, even if she has a tendency toward female pattern hair loss, they are most likely to solely blame the hair loss on an iron deficiency.” However, Leonora says a two-pronged approach is best if hairloss is associated with nutritional deficiencies.

Minoxidil and the LaserComb are FDA approved and cleared treatments for hair loss which stimulate blood flow so when combined with a new dietary approach or the use of supplements, the patient can receive maximum benefits.

If you’re not as healthy as you think you should be, or are concerned that your lifestyle may be contributing to your gradually thinning hair, consult an expert and get a proper diagnosis from a certified trichologist to determine what type of hair loss you’re experiencing.

Leonora cautions, “Don’t just blame the diet because it may be only one factor contributing to the bigger picture.”

circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Laser TherapyThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is 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.

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Hair loss is a major worry for men, ranking amongst their top three concerns about ageing and even more concerning than memory loss.

Despite this, only a minority of those losing their hair seek help for the problem, even though effective treatments are available.

Hair Loss Caused by Stress and DepressionMore worried about hair loss

Hair loss is closely identified with ageing and, according to a 2009 survey conducted by Nelson Sofres (TNS) Direct Services, more men are worried about going bald than they are about losing their memory, developing impotence or wrinkles.

Of those surveyed who were not currently balding, almost half were worried about the prospect of looking older due to thinning hair in the future.

Up to 80 per cent of men will experience male pattern baldness and whilst some will feel empowered by their sleek new look, others can feel less attractive, worried they look prematurely older, and are more likely to be the butt of jokes from other people.

Almost a third of hair loss sufferers surveyed admitted having to put up with jokes about their hair, while 20 per cent found other people often overestimate how old they are and 11 per cent believed others considered them to be less attractive.

Unsurprising findings

“These findings do not surprise me,” Leonora Doclis, senior hair loss specialist at the Belgravia Centre said.

“Male pattern hair loss can significantly affect the way men view themselves, however, it is a treatable condition that can be halted and even reversed.

“Most people notice if their hair is thinning or receding but sometimes it’s not until someone takes the mickey out of them that they actually seek advice or treatment.”

The Belgravia Centre london clinic Mens hairloss treatmentClearly, the effects of hairloss are not just skin deep and a significant proportion of men are negatively affected psychologically as well as physically.

However, only four per cent of those men with pattern baldness who took part in the TNS research had sought medical advice from a GP, pharmacist, trichologist (hair specialist) or dermatologist; furthermore, of these, 29 per cent felt their concerns were not taken seriously.

Just over half had been offered treatment, even though there are three authorised and proven hair loss solutions currently available – two MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved medications plus various LLLT devices that are cleared by the FDA.

Despite these clinically-proven hair loss treatments being well established, the research reports that 36 per cent were offered herbal remedies, despite there being a lack of reliable scientific evidence showing that any herbal hair loss products can treat Male Pattern Baldness.

An estimated 6.5 million men are affected by genetic hair loss in the UK; it is an incredibly common hereditary condition but there are solutions available. So, with professional advice, treatment and monitoring from a specialist, there are proven options that can help men wanting to keep their hair and prevent baldness.

The Belgravia Centre

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

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If you were told a cheek swab could tell you whether or not you carry a baldness gene, would you take the test? More importantly, what would you do if it said you did carry the gene? A new product called “HairDX” claims to identify people that will experience androgenetic alopecia, before the symptoms arise.

This new genetic test kit, according to HairDX, can identify a genetic variant found in more than 95 percent of bald men. If the gene is present it would indicate a 60 percent chance of going bald by the age of 40. If it is not present, it would indicate an 85 percent chance of not going bald by the age of 40. It claims to effectively identify the absence or presence of an androgenic receptor gene.

woman-looking-in-miror for hair lossFor men, HairDX claims to identify the presence of the androgen receptor (AR) gene found on the X chromosome but not the two unrelated genetic variants on chromosome 20 that studies have also identified to increase the risk of male pattern baldness sevenfold. Research has shown that one in seven men will have all three genetic variants.

But the test says it is not just for men. For women it provides a CAG score which supposedly helps to analyse the risk of developing female pattern hair loss. A larger CAG score indicates a low occurrence and risk of female pattern hair loss. A smaller CAG score will indicate a greater likelihood of significant hair loss.

If you want to know what your odds are like, the test will set you back US$249. Someone will take a swab of the inside of your cheek and send the swab off to a lab to be analysed.

cotton-bud1Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male and female pattern hair loss, is a progressive condition. Generally, one third of men with this hereditary form of hair loss will experience thinning hair by the time they’re 40, but thinning can start anywhere from puberty. Current statistics show that up to 80 percent of men will be affected by androgenetic alopecia whilst roughly 40 percent of women will experience female pattern hair loss. However, because androgenetic alopecia is a multi-factorial condition (as in the gene is present but may not generate any symptoms until something, such as hormones, sets it off), most women won’t notice any hair loss until they reach menopause.

There are a few ancient methods of diagnosing hairloss such as a scalp biopsy, where a piece of scalp is taken to be analysed, or a unit area trichogram, where 50 to 100 hairs are plucked from different parts of the scalp and the follicles examined to determine the percentage of hair in anagen (growth), catagen (transitional) and telogen (resting) stages of hair growth. “Ten percent should be on the resting stage,” says Leonora Doclis, senior trichologist at the Belgravia Centre. “Any higher than that and it would indicate telogen effluvium.”

“A scalp biopsy is sometimes used to see if the follicles are scarred or degenerating,” Leonora says. “Trichograms are not very popular as most people worried about hair loss don’t want to part with any extra hair.”

The easiest and still effective option is a visual examination and consultation with a trichologist who can generate a diagnosis based on medical knowledge and non-intrusive methods. “Pattern hair loss is a multi-factorial condition but it is relatively easy to determine the genetic tendencies,” Leonora says.

man checking for hair lossIn majority of cases, people tend to notice hair loss when there is thinning of about 20 percent of hair. “Some people are in denial,” Leonora says. “They realise they’re losing hair long before they decide to do anything about it.”

Perhaps the genetic tool kit would shorten the phase of denial if it were in fact a 100 percent guaranteed crystal ball. Still, if hair loss is not occurring, there is not much point taking drugs and treatment to prevent it, even if the genetic tendency is present.

There are plenty of supplements that attest to being able to prevent baldness and regrow hair which would, essentially, be relatively safe to use. Most are simply herbal remedies that will make the hair stronger and healthier but will in no way interfere with the genetic mechanisms of hair growth. There are only three hair loss treatments that actually work, that is, they have been approved by the FDA and scientifically proven to prevent hair loss and regrow hair.

“It’s a case of ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’,” Leonora says. “Even preventative treatment is not beneficial if there is no evidence of receding or thinning.”

The best option remains – if you start to notice thinning, seek professional trichological advice and be assured that you’re getting the best advice and the best treatment possible. Even if you do wallow around in the denial phase for some time you’re likely to see some good results.

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Is there a certain age when it’s not worth undertaking hair loss treatment?

If you’re a man, going grey or going bald adds gravitas to your look. It shows your seniority and your experience and commands respect. But not if you’re 18 years old. So when is it right to go bald, and when is too early?

The Norwood Scale The consensus view is interesting and appears to centre around being attractive to women, so from an anthropological point of view perhaps significant balding before 40 is undesirable. Most people would say that losing your hair at 20 years old would class as premature balding, but some balding and hair loss at 40 would be expected.

Baldness is measured using the Norwood Scale (pictured right), with hair loss stages being referred to as, for instance, an NW3 (in the diagram that’s shown on the second line, under I, with some receding at the temples, a characteristic ‘M’ shaped hairline and possible hair loss at the crown).

That’s clearly not the whole story. Norwood is a baldness scale, not a ‘thinning hair‘ scale. So some will have thick hair, others hair thin enough that the scalp is visible. Also, hair loss doesn’t necessarily follow a linear decline to baldness. Progress can be in a stop-start fashion with hair loss seeming to happen in bursts.

So, is there a professional view about what is premature balding? Not really, no-one will write ‘premature balding’ in your notes. But here’s something interesting. Looking back at the records for people who attend The Belgravia Centre and graphing their ages… where do you think the peak age would be?

I can tell you, the graph falls away evenly either side of this peak age. The most common age of a man coming to the Belgravia Centre to try to prevent hair loss is… wait for it… 29 years old. And given that the graph falls away symmetrically either side of that, that tells you there are plenty of men in their early twenties and even late teens coming to us to seek hair loss treatment. They clearly think they have premature baldness.

Watch this video below of Belgravia client, Joe, who started losing his hair whilst at university, to hear about his journey from accepting his hairloss to getting help to regrow his hair.

Circ - Hair Loss Treatments Regrow hair Belgravia Centre Clinic LondonThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is 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.

What Are the Causes of Hair Loss in Women?If you had the power to stop and reverse your hair loss, would you? Hair loss is a common issue that can hold a different meaning for every individual.

There are lots of men who will be happy to tell you that baldness is a sign of virility or even that, “Bald is beautiful!” Very few women however are not distressed if they experience excessive hair loss and many cover it up with hairstyles, makeup, hats or scarves.

Others choose medications – particularly in the case of female pattern hair loss which is a permanent condition but can usually be easily be managed with on-going treatment– or hair replacement systems, or sometimes even surgical procedures to deal with the problem.

However not all forms of hair loss are permanent. So how do you know when and if you should do something about it?

Let’s take a look at some of the temporary conditions and what can be done to correct them.

Temporary Hair Loss:

Chronic Telogen Effluvium / Diffuse Thinning

Diffuse thinning is frequently seen in women. It is not the type of hair loss where you wake up in the morning and your hair is gone. Rather it is the kind that sees extra hairs in your comb, a few more in the sink and will eventually cause your hair to become noticeably thinner each time you look in the mirror.

Chronic Telogen Effluvium, as diffuse hair loss is also known, results in a general thinning all over the scalp and a detailed clinical history must be taken as there are a number of factors that could be linked to the condition. Diet should be checked for adequate intake of nutrients, clinical investigations should be made for thyroid, haemoglobin and hormonal problems; stress may also be a contributing factor.

Treatment for Diffuse Thinning once the underlying cause has been identified and dealt with, has produced many encouraging regrowth results as can be seen in our Success Stories.

Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a form of diffuse hair loss many women experience, especially after giving birth. It can be brought on by emotional distress, such as a death in the family, or after a physical stress, such as a high fever, sudden or excessive weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, surgery, or serious illness. It causes thinning hair all over the whole scalp.

Normally, the hair goes through cycles of growth (lasting about two or three years) and rest (lasting about three or four months). During anagen (growth), hair grows about half an inch each month and when it reaches telogen (rest), the hair strand falls out and a new one grows in its place. Most people shed 50 to 100 hairs per day and this amount of hair loss is considered normal and does not cause noticeable thinning of the scalp hair.

However telogen effluvium causes the timing of the resting (telogen) phase to be reset. A couple of months later, too many strands fall out at the same time resulting in overall hair thinning and the sufferer who by this stage, may find it difficult to pin-point a cause, is left in a panic. Hair typically grows back once the condition that caused the hair loss corrects itself, but it can takes months.

If the stress was a one-off, then telogen effluvium will often correct itself,Leonora Doclis, senior hair loss specialist at The Belgravia Centre’s flagship clinic notes. “However, treatment for the loss of hair can help to minimize the damage, particularly if there is a tendency toward female pattern hair loss, whilst the body is dealing with the crisis.”

Other Causes of Hair Loss in Women

There are a number of things that can prompt increased shedding and affect the condition of the hair, such as having inadequate protein or iron in your diet. This is often seen with fad diets, crash diets, and illnesses, such as eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.

Illnesses like diabetes and lupus can also cause hair loss as a side effect, as can some prescription medications used to treat a number of unrelated health issues including gout, arthritis, depression, heart problems and high blood pressure. Taking birth control pills also may result in hair loss for some women.

Causes of Baldness

Instead of thinning, some people develop bald patches.

Traction Alopecia

This can occur if you regularly wear certain hairstyles, such as ponytails, braids, dreadlocks or if you use tight rollers. Hair loss typically occurs where hair is pulled tightly but if the pulling is stopped before there is scarring of your scalp and permanent damage to the root, hair usually grows back normally. The problem is that when the hair starts to thin, most people cover it with weaves or add hair extensions until the condition gets so bad that very little can be done.

If the hair starts to thin and becomes an issue for the person, instead of adding artificial coverage they should consult a professional,” Leonora recommends. “At least that way they can be educated on hair styling if that is what the problem is.”

The hair loss may also be linked to female pattern hair loss in which case it’s best to catch as early as possible. “If the follicles have shriveled and the area has gone smooth, then it’s very unlikely the condition can be reversed,” Leonora explains. Treatment for Traction Alopecia is available and a personalised plan can be formulated to address simultaneous hair loss conditions should two, or more, be present at the same time.

Traction alopecia should not be confused with trichotillomania, which is a obsessive condition in which people have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair, from their scalp, their eyebrows or other areas of their body. Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves them with patchy bald spots on their head, which they may go to great lengths to disguise. No specific cause has been found for trichotillomania but psychiatrists regard trichotillomania as a psychological disorder and treatment will usually involve therapy. Trichotillomania sufferers have also been known to eat the hair that they pull out – this is a condition called Trichophagia.

Alopecia Areata

In alopecia areata, hair loss usually occurs in small, round, smooth patches on the scalp, but hair loss can crop up on any area that has hair, including the eyebrows, eyelashes and beard. It is a condition that might cure itself or might progress, possibly even leading to complete baldness over the head (alopecia totalis) or even over the whole body (alopecia universalis), however both of these cases are extremely rare. No-one knows much about what causes alopecia areata but it is classified as an autoimmune condition and can be triggered by stress.  People who develop the condition are generally in good health but some may have other autoimmune disorders such as a thyroid condition.

They are of similar nature, so the genetic tendency is always there,” Leonora says. “For instance, psoriasis is a condition where the immune system attacks the skin, but in alopecia it’s the hair.”

The hair will frequently grow back by itself with no treatment or if not there are effective Alopecia Areata treatments that help to regrow hair lost from moderate cases of patchy hair loss.

The rule of thumb is that if it hasn’t grown back in six months, then it’s time to consider treatment,” Leonora advises.

Effective Treatment for Hair Loss

Minoxidil DropperMost of the time, in the conditions mentioned above, the situation will correct itself and the hair loss will stop. Unfortunately however, this is not always the case and the problem won’t go away by simply combing and pinning the hair to hide the loss or wearing a headscarf.

There are plenty of miracle cures on the shelves to choose from but there only two options (for women) that are clinically proven, and approved by the FDA, to be the best hair loss treatment products. These are of course minoxidil and the HairMax LaserComb.

Whilst not a proven treatment for hair loss, it is usually recommended that women use a herbal supplement to complement one or more of the proven treatments. A supplement will supply the body with a number of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to ensure healthy hair growth. No supplement has been proven to effectively stop hair loss or generate new growth but they work to improve the strength and quality of the hair.

The effective treatment of female hair loss requires a combined approach that tackles all possible causes. A professional treatment course aimed at halting the shedding and encouraging regrowth should start with a diagnosis of the problem by a hair loss specialist nurse along with a discussion and a search for contributory lifestyle and health factors. On-going monitoring and advice is important so that progress can be checked and the treatment can be adjusted if necessary. With a combined, professional programme, women’s hair loss can often be stopped and often reversed.

The Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is 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.

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Click here to see the latest LLLT devices offered by The Belgravia Centre

Laser therapy for hair regrowth is an idea that’s undoubtedly been toyed with by many a hair loss sufferer but is, of course, part of a long line of hair loss products and treatments promising an effective solution.

But given the amount of products, potions and lotions out there, it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to hair loss solutions. As such, many people are still unaware or unsure about the efficacy of treating hair loss with laser devices, so we wanted to give you some information to clarify what is involved.

HairLoss Treatment Men and LasercombFDA-Cleared LaserComb

Low level laser therapy (LLLT) delivered via the HairMax LaserComb more specifically, is the most recent addition to the FDA’s sanctioned hair loss products with the LaserComb being FDA cleared (as it is a device), and the well-established finasteride 1mg and minoxidil medications being FDA approved (as they are medicines).

The LaserComb was the first proven laser product and offers a unique method of action. The patented mechanism works by using combs to part the hair in order to prevent hair from blocking the light  from reaching the scalp. There are many other forms of low-level laser therapy which are unproven and are, therefore, not recognised by the FDA.

In 2007 the FDA cleared the Laser Comb, declaring it a safe and effective device for promoting hair regrowth. This device was the first drug-free alternative hair loss treatment to be sanctioned by the FDA, and the first LLLT device to be given FDA clearance for hair growth. This gives many hair loss sufferers, previously unable or unwilling to turn to drug-based solutions, an avenue that may be worthwhile exploring.

Quite often, men who suffer from hairloss will accept their condition, shave off their remaining hair or wear some type of non-surgical hair replacement system. Others will take a more aggressive approach and go for the surgical hair transplant option.

Laser therapy, aside from being painless, is simple and cost effective. You have the option to perform the session yourself in the privacy of your own home and you’re able to visit a hair loss centre to receive booster clinical treatments. Using the HairMax LaserComb is easy and convenient, taking a few minutes up to three times per week; although it can be used as an individual treatment, Belgravia’s hair specialists always advise that you use one or more of the other medically proven treatments in order to help maximise results.

The most important aspect of laser therapy is that it is completely safe, painless and aside from growing more hair, has minimal side effects. An extensive clinical study on the effectiveness of the LaserComb concluded that 93 percent of participants (who were aged 30 to 60) using the HairMax LaserComb had an increase in the number of terminal (thick) hairs and the average number of terminal hairs per square centimeter increased by 19 hairs/cm² over a six-month period. During the study, there were no reports of serious side effects and, interestingly, the number and types of side effects were similar in both the active and placebo groups.

Will not prevent baldness

Despite the laser therapy’s active role in hair regrowth, it is important to note that it will not singularly prevent baldness and stop thinning hair.

“The LaserComb doesn’t stop thinning hair,” Dr. Elena Dimitrova, hair and scalp care specialist at the Belgravia Centre notes. “It will happen with medication but the laser on its own can only encourage hair growth and make the hair stronger.”

The LaserComb uses low-level laser light to increase blood circulation to the hair follicles and allow nutrients to be delivered to the cells. It also helps to divide the hair cells so as to enable the storage of adenosine three phosphate (ATP), a coenzyme responsible for intracellular energy transfer and known to stimulate living cells including the hair follicles.

“If the cells need energy, the stored ATP will be released and this is what is used to increase hair growth,” Dr. Dimitrova explains.

Success of laser therapy differs from person to person, from voluminous to minimal results. The results will depend on how far advanced the occurrence of hair loss is and if a combination of effective treatment is being used. As male and female pattern baldness are permanent, progressive conditions, it is wise to seek advice about starting treatment as soon as possible. As you will see from Belgravia’s Success Stories gallery the more advanced the hair loss is to start with, the longer it can take to see results.

With everything we have subjected our hair to in the past in the quest for a full head of hair, it appears we finally have a solution or three. We have cut, coloured, washed, glued, sewn, implanted and pill-popped everything we could to create that perfect head of hair. Now, with the advent of medical regulator-authorised hair loss treatments we can stimulate our scalp to get the follicles back on track and start producing hair again.

circ - Mens and womens hair vitamins Hair Vitalics for Men Women Belgravia Centre hair growth supplementThe 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.

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) have found that a fat synthesizing enzyme may be the key to healthy skin and hair in research which could lead to new ways to treat hair loss and maintain healthy locks.

“For some time, we have been studying the enzymes that make triglycerides,” said Robert V. Farese, Jr., senior investigator and author on the study. “We found that one of these enzymes is a major regulator of retinoic acid actions in the skin.”

Hair loss in miceWhen researchers used genetic engineering to delete the enzyme known as DGAT1 in mice, they found its absence caused levels of retinoic acid (RA) to be greatly increased in the skin, resulting in alopecia, or hairloss. A GICD release said these effects could be prevented by depriving the mice of a source of retinol in their diet.

Retinoic acid (RA), which comes from vitamin A (retinol), is essential for many biological processes and has been used to treat skin disorders, such as acne and psoriasis, and certain cancers, but it is fairly toxic and must be carefully controlled.

The study discovered that DGAT1 can convert retinol to a relatively idle storage form but without DGAT1, this ability is lost and any excess retinol is converted to RA.

In mice without DGAT1, the skin was very sensitive to retinol and they were lean, resistant to diet-induced obesity, more sensitive to insulin and leptin, and had abnormalities in skin and mammary gland (milk-producing organ) development.

“Our results show that DGAT1 is an important component for controlling retinoic acid levels in the skin of mice,” said Michelle Shih, one of the authors on the study. “These findings may have implications for the treatment of human skin or hair disorders.”
The Gladstone researchers have begun to clarify mechanisms for the hair loss and even to identify treatments that cause the hair to grow back.

(Mouse pic courtesy of be khe at flickr)

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How do you prevent hair loss?

MHRA Medical License X | FDA Approval X | Food Supplement Tick

Viviscal is a natural food supplement intended to nourish hair follicles and promotes the growth of existing hair where it has slowed down or temporarily stopped. It contains an AminoMar C™ Marine Complex that Viviscal claims is what helps deliver the nutrients essential for hair growth.

Natural products and supplements must not make medicinal claims, such as that they can “treat hair loss”, but they are not required to prove their claims in clinical trials. Viviscal is not a medicinal product, and as such it is not subjected to approval and licensing by the MHRA or FDA

The Medicines and Healthcare Product Regulatory Agency and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for approving medicinal products in the UK and US respectively, and licensing them for a specific purpose once they have unequivocally demonstrated safety and efficacy in treating that condition. You can therefore only be sure that a product is effective to its stated cause if it has been licensed by these bodies.

The MHRA and FDA have only licensed and approved two products for the express purpose of treating hair loss. You can find more information about those products here – Hair Loss Treatment for Men | Hair Loss Treatment for Women

Viviscal Natural Hair Loss TreatmentThe Belgravia Centre does not offer Viviscal but it can be purchased at most pharmacies, including Boots, and online via its website.

Viviscal Ingredients:
AminoMar C™ (Marine Complex)
Acerola Cherry Extract (Malphigia Glabra L)
Microcrystalline Cellulose (E460)
Horsetail Extract (Equisetum Arvense L.)
Natural Orange Flavor
Magnesium Stearate

Alopecia areata sufferer Julia Crittendon has written a book in hope it will offer encouragement to other female Alopecia Areata sufferers, after she found no literary or any support other than her family when she was diagnosed seven years ago.

Her recent self published book, “Metamorphosis: Inspirational Stories of Women Living with Alopecia”, charts the experiences of 22 women as the dealt with hair loss and what it’s like to be a bald woman.

Bald is beautifulAutoimmune hair loss

Hair loss is not a male-restricted domain, it can affect up to 40 per cent of women and alopecia areata specifically, can affect as many as one person in a thousand at some time in their life and spares no regard for age or gender.

It is a condition of hair loss which falls into the category of autoimmune diseases, which means for one reason or another, the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. The result is rapid and patchy hair loss, usually starting with one or more small, round, smooth bald patches on the scalp which can, in extreme cases, progress to alopecia totalis (total scalp hair loss) or alopecia universalis (complete body hair loss).

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition which, with monitored treatment, can see results. However there is no prognosis to determine its success.

If hair loss is still in the patchy stages there is better chance of regrowth,” trichologist Leonora Doclis said. “Very often it grows back spontaneously by itself but if it hasn’t after six months it might be worth considering treatment.”

Psychological impacts

Despite the statistics, baldness in women remains a very hush-hush issue but the impact cannot be written off as mere vanity.

For all sufferers the condition can be a shocking and traumatic experience,”says Leonora.

A study on the psychosocial impact of alopecia areata found that the condition causes dramatic and devastating emotions in patients, which can negatively affect their self-esteem, body image and self-confidence.

Sometimes doing something about it might be enough to make you feel better,” Leonora explains. “But it is discretionary and sometimes people need further help when general family support isn’t enough. In these cases I would recommend counseling.

The psychological impact can be heightened in women because of social pressures on them to be attractive.

People are still hiding from it,” Julia from Mansfield, Ohio said. “These women are standing up to what was meant to destroy and depress them and are turning it into positive, productive energy so that the next woman who loses her ‘crown and glory’ won’t fall victim to what society deems as ‘normal’.”

Wig‘Take me as I am’

The women who contributed to the book described it as a therapeutic journey. Jenn Pendergrast from Florida who was diagnosed in 2006 said she has finally accepted that she is totally bald.

“It was actually the first time I put my story into words and I cried the entire time I was writing,” she said. “It felt awesome to put all that had happened into words for others to read.

Netherlands resident Tamara Cramer Bornemann, who also contributed to the book, was diagnosed with alopecia areata when she was five years-old. “I only wore a wig once, when I was about seven years-old, and I didn’t feel too good about it,” she said. “So from that moment I went through life without a wig. The teenage years were pretty difficult because I wanted to be normal. In my 20s I felt in bloom and enjoyed life.”

Julia said it took her five years before she went bald in public. At one point she tried wearing a $3,000 wig but these days she shaves her head. She recalls telling herself before her first outing, “This is me, take me as I am.”

(Images courtesy of arianne… at flickr)

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Circ The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Treatment for Alopecia Areata

The Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is 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.