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It’s one of the most common practices in the world but for the longest time, hair styling has been blamed for the occurrence of hair loss. It’s time to set the record straight about the extent of damage hair styling can inflict on your luscious locks.

Hair loss is largely the result of genetics and hormones, however, lifestyle and environmental factors such as nutrition, hair styling and chemical exposure can come into play. Some methods of hair styling are universally damaging to the hair but most of the time, once the insult has stopped, the root portion should grow back.

Hair Cuticle Health - Damaged hair v healthy hair diagramHair breakage and hair loss as a result of styling can often be reversed once the underlying cause is dealt with, however, poor hair styling can instigate female pattern hair loss. Still, in any case, medically proven hair loss treatments such as minoxidil can be used to generate new hair growth while supplements and hair growth boosters will support the treatment and repair the damaged hair.

Hair colouring and using heat will not cause hair loss but it is damaging to the quality of your hair. Chemicals and heat used to dye, bleach, straighten or perm the hair can cause the shaft to break off, resulting in temporary hair thinning but the root is rarely affected to such an extent that it would result in permanent hair loss. However, since hair growth slows down with age, cosmetically damaged hair will be present longer on older people. For this reason, it is advisable that all chemicals used on mature hair should be weaker than those used on younger hair.

“Hair is basically a textile – it looks the best when new and degrades with age and use,” says American dermatologist Zoe D. Draelos, M.D. “The basic rules of hair dyeing are always staying within your colour group, preferably dyeing the hair no more than three shades from the natural colour.”

If you must change your hair colour, choose a temporary dye or one that is formulated with natural ingredients. These alternatives are not as harsh and will not present the extent of damage chemical dyes do.

Heat styling products like curling and straightening irons can dry out even oily hair if they’re used too much. Use a heat protective spray or serum every time you use them and never use these styling tools on wet hair or high settings. You should really give your hair at least a two day break each week from styling.

Pulling the hair tightly in a ponytail and the constant grip of hair extensions and tight braiding can cause some hair loss, especially in the temple area. This is called traction alopecia and if not corrected, the hair follicle may be permanently damaged.

Hair loss as a result of traction alopecia can be stopped by adapting your hair care to a more nourishing regime. Get the hair extensions removed, take out the braids and let your hair be in its natural state for a while. For those who wear ponytail styles, Dr. Draelos recommends switching from an elastic hair tie to a loose-fitting fabric scrunchie.

“[Women] who wear ponytails report that their hair is no longer growing, when in fact it is repeatedly broken at the same distance from the scalp due to the trauma caused by the tight rubber band,” Dr. Draelos said. “That is why I recommend that rubber bands should never be used.”

Hair relaxing and having a perm can also be damaging to hair and they should only be used on a limited basis, with a patch test being carried out first whether they are done at home or in a salon.

For people with damaged hair, the perming solution should be weak and left in contact with the hair for as short a period as possible. The relaxing procedure straightens the hair and can make it easier for some people to groom. However, Dr. Draelos cautioned that the grooming should be done gently to avoid hair fracture.

NEW vitamin supplements iron zinc Hair Vitalics for Women food hair growth supplement Belgravia Centre“The myth that the hair should be brushed 100 strokes a day and the scalp vigorously massaged with the brush is simply untrue,” says Dr. Draelos.

Some hair supplements are beneficial for circulation and the delivery of nutrients to the hair follicles, but high strength minoxidil is the only proven hair growth stimulant. It is the only hair loss solution currently both MHRA licensed and FDA approved for the treatment of female pattern baldness.

Brushing or combing should be limited to when the hair is dry to avoid stretching the moist fibres to the point of fracture, and when selecting a brush, look for bristles that are smooth, ball-tipped, coarse and bendable. Additionally, brushes used while blow drying should have widely spaced bristles to prevent increased heat along the brush, which could damage the hair.

“If you notice that your hair is becoming brittle or looking dull or damaged, you should consult [a specialist] immediately to determine the cause and how to treat it. Repairing damaged hair takes time, so the sooner you address it, the sooner you’ll notice results.”

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.

Naomie Campbell - receding in April 2008Naomi Campbell may have made a career out of her long, lustrous locks (that, and her enviably long legs, gorgeous figure and striking face), but all that excessive styling took its toll on the British supermodel. Last April, we saw a most unusual site for a then 37-year-old woman – a receding hairline. But it wasn’t the first signs of baldness that the supermodel was experiencing, it was traction alopecia.

Last year, Heat magazine asked one of the Belgravia Centre’s expert hair specialists about Naomi’s hair loss.

“There is a possibility that Ms Campbell could be experiencing a condition called traction alopecia but, if so, it is a very mild case,” Leonora Doclis said. “Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by excessive and long-term pulling on the hair follicles. This can be due to hair extensions or weaves and results in deterioration of the hairs thickness.” 

Hair growth success from traction alopeciaThe Belgravia Centre sees traction alopecia cases all the time and the damage ranges from mild to extreme. In mild cases, the damage can usually be reversed by removing the offending traction (hair extensions, braids) or changing hair styling habits (using fabric hair ties instead of elastic, not wearing the hair pulled back so tightly). Other times, the hair follicle can be so badly injured it needs treatment to re-stimulate hair growth.

Naomie Campbell's hair is back to normal in April 2009The Belgravia Centre continues to treat traction alopecia affectively thanks to their tailored hair loss treatment courses that are based around scientifically and medically proven medications.

Naomi was brandishing a flattering fringe shortly after making headlines, possibly to conceal the damage while she worked at inching back the injury. Now she looks like a 38-year-old woman should – or a 38-year-old supermodel, should we say.

Find out more about hair loss in women and the most effective hair loss treatments for women. Call the Belgravia Centre for expert advice on 020 7730 6666, or send an email.

Hair Loss Success Comparison: “They taught me how to look after my afro hair”

HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Mike

Question: My wife is Chinese and swears that ginger rubbed on the scalp causes new hair growth. She had some small bald patches herself, but after 2 months of rubbibing ginger onto these areas daily, her hair has fully re-grown. Could this help men in any way, or is it just the action of rubbing that stimulates the scalp and hair growth?

Could a ginger scalp massage cure hair loss?Answer: Hi, Mike. Good circulation is often the key to healthy hair as it allows nutrients in the blood to reach the hair follicles, although it has not been proven that massaging the scalp helps hair to grow. A few decades ago there was a bit of a craze where people were being advised to stand on their heads in the belief that a topsy-turvey stance would increase blood flow to the scalp. However, other than giving you a headache it won’t do much good.

Minoxidil is a topical hair loss treatment that has been proven to promote hair growth. It is a vasodilator and stimulates blood circulation, but whether or not it promotes hair growth by this mechanism isn’t entirely understood. The fact, however, is that it does help hair growth when suitable formulations are used consistently and as directed.

With regards to the ginger your wife used, it’s unlikely that it caused the sporadic re-growth of her hair. Ginger is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine and in homeopathy but, although it has anti-inflammatory and circulatory properties, it alone is unlikely to regrow hair. Herbal supplements and treatments may be beneficial to improve hair quality but none have regulatory approval for the effective treatment of hair loss.

Also, hair loss in women is generally a bit more complicated than male pattern baldness. It may have been that your wife was experiencing telogen effluvium (a common temporary form of hair loss) or if the patches of hair loss were coin-shaped, bald patches and not thinning hair as such, it may have been alopecia areata (an autoimmune condition where the hair grows back on its own without treatment in majority of cases where only the scalp is affected).

Rubbing ginger on a man’s head to treat hair loss is not recommended as male pattern baldness is largely due to the effects of a testosterone by-product the body produces, known as DHT. There are clinically-proven, MHRA licensed and FDA approved solutions to promote hair growth and inhibit DHT in order to treat male pattern hair loss and these are far more likely to produce results than ginger scalp rubs.

Circ - Male Pattern Baldness hair loss treatment Belgravia Centre clinic 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.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or Lupus) is a serious autoimmune disorder that affects many parts of the body. About half of those with Lupus experience hair loss. Lupus affects about 1 in 2,000 people but it’s higher in non-white populations and affects women more than men by a ratio of about 9:1. Incidence increased sevenfold in the US between 1955 and 1974.

The butterfly rash, a common sympton of Lupus

A drug-induced variety of SLE caused by any one of about 400 different medications but most commonly procainamide, hydralazine, quinidine, and phenytoin is reversible, but the more common autoimmune disorder has no cure although nowadays it’s also not life threatening. Treatment aims to minimise symptoms which can come and go unpredictably.

In general, autoimmune systems must be sensitive enough to recognise and deal with foreign material. However, in evolutionary terms, a population must have genetic diversity in order to withstand disease. Lupus may be more likely in someone with a particular set of genes where some part happens to be near the edge of what the human immune system has evolved to deal with. Add in an environmental factor such as stress, medications, hormones or infections, and the body’s immune system starts to create antibodies against itself which ultimately damage blood vessels in critical areas of the body.

Diagnosis is difficult because many symptoms such as fever, malaise, joint or muscle pain, fatigue, temporary loss of cognition and skin complaints may also have other causes so it’s often only when a full list of symptoms is considered that a diagnosis of Lupus can be achieved.

Michael Jackson is reported to have SLE, and Seal’s facial scars are reportedly due to a Lupus variant.

One classic Lupus symptom experienced by about 40% of those with Lupus is the ‘butterfly rash’, a photosensitive red skin rash across the bridge of the nose and over each cheek. Sunlight makes Lupus symptoms worse. This combination of avoidance of light with skin lesions is thought to have inspired vampire stories.

Skin rashes appear in the majority of patients with Lupus. Besides the butterfly rash, similar rashes, bruising, hives, blisters or ulcers may be present in other areas. Diffuse hair loss caused by Lupus can temporarily recover or it may come and go, however hair loss caused by Lupus is often permanent and the best treatment is often either hair transplants for small patches of scarring alopecia or hair replacement which will undetectably cover up the appearance of the hair loss.

Related pages:

Belgravia’s page on Lupus

When hair loss can be dangerous

More on Michael Jackson

We used to think hair loss was something only men with generations of baldness had to contend with but these days it seems that there’s more to hair loss than pure genetics.

And there is no definite cure for hair loss. However, thanks to scientific research and improved methods of hair restoration developed over the years, much of the effects of hair loss can be undone as they have been for tens of thousands of people. So, what are some of the most common causes of hair loss and what can be done?

Androgenetic Alopecia
Classic case of male pattern hair lossCommonly coined male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia is due to a combination of factors influenced by genes and hormones, namely dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It’s a chemical derivative of the male hormone testosterone that has negative effects on the hair follicles in predisposed persons, causing them to shrink. The hair growth lifecycle goes through phases of growth, transition and shedding over a period of about seven years. However, as the follicle shrinks due to the effects of DHT, the lifecycle gets shorter and shorter and the hair shaft grows thinner and thinner. This is why most people don’t realise they have a hair loss problem until they’ve “lost” about 40% of their hair. Androgenetic alopecia is a progressive condition that causes thinning hair rather than hair shedding and because it’s normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day, it can be hard to notice any change. Men should pay attention to their hairline or widow’s peak and the crown which where thinning and hair loss first tend to occur and women should concentrate on their central part which can get wider as overall thinning of the scalp occurs.

Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium is a reactive form of hair loss, where excessive shedding or thinning hair causes hair loss. It’s mostly temporary and largely due to situational circumstances or the result of some underlying medical cause such as thyroid diseases. The actual causes of hair loss, though, may include stress, emotional trauma, exposure to chemicals, prescription medications, poor nutrition and childbirth.

Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata affects one person in every hundredThis autoimmune condition which appears as coin-shaped or patchy hair loss is the result of a number of hair follicles entering the shedding (telogen) phase of the hair growth lifecycle at once. Alopecia areata is often stress related but there are a number of other triggers that have been linked to this largely inherited condition such as local skin injury, viral or bacterial infection, allergies and chemicals. You should consult your doctor and a hair loss specialist to try and get to the bottom of the problem and find out which method of treatment is right for you.

How can it be treated?

Determining which treatment is right for you will depend on your age, degree of hair loss and other factors. Not everyone who is experiencing hair loss can seek the same treatment – a hair loss specialist can determine why your hair is falling out and suggest a treatment that will correct the underlying problems.

Hair loss in women is quite often the result of nutritional deficiencies. Your hair is the reflection of your overall physical condition so your diet is important in promoting healthy hair growth. Avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat and concentrate on foods rich in iron, protein, fibre and vitamins and mineral which really benefit your hair.

Male hair loss however is still largely attributable to genetics and while improved diet will benefit the condition of the hair and overall health, proven medical hair loss treatments are the most effective for genetic hair loss – in both men and women.

Surgical methods to help hair loss can be effective for genetic hair loss although medication is highly recommended to try before resorting to surgery. Hair transplants are usually performed for a moderate degree of hair loss or for patients with scars on the scalp, face or body such as the eyebrows, but if hair loss is genetic, ongoing use of medication is necessary afterwards to prevent any further hair loss.

For further information, contact the Belgravia Centre or call 020 7730 6666 for a free hair loss examination with a specialist. Alternatively, fill in the online diagnostic form and a specialist will contact you with information about your condition and recommended treatment.

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The Most Effective Combination of Proven Hair Loss Treatments

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Male Hair Loss – Causes, Risk and Treatment
When Female Hair Loss is Reversible
Lifestyles Causing Premature Baldness
Hair Loss Treatment – Transplant or Medication?

If you’re a woman battling hair loss you’re not alone – 40% of hair loss occurs in women and it affects people in all walks of life. Because of cultural norms and ideas about hair and femininity, women’s hair loss is devastating and even celebrity women will do what they can to keep their personal secret under wraps. Nearly all of them have at least dabbled with hair enhancement systems from wigs and hairpieces to extensions and weaves. It may seem normal to see female celebrities donning a wig or wearing weaves but could they be using such measures to hide a hair loss condition?

Tina Turner, Dolly Parton, and Sinead O’Connor have all been rumoured to suffer from hair loss. Tina’s rarely seen without her wig and rumour has it that she suffers from alopecia universalis.
Gail Porter continues to raise awareness of alopecia areataIt’s a rare condition that usually starts out as alopecia areata(which is reversible in some cases) but if left unattended will progress and result in the loss of all body hair. Unfortunately there is no known cure or treatment for alopecia totalis and hair replacement is the most suitable option for women with this condition.

Another personality who’s suffered the same debilitating form of hair loss is Gail Porter. Going completely bald would break many women but the TV presenter and formal model who has battled depression in the past, opted to maintain her high profile and shun the wigs to raise awareness of the condition.

Dolly Parton can't manage her hair styles with her own thin hair As for Dolly Parton, the down-to-earth country girl admitted she started wearing wigs in 2002 when her hair started to thin. She said it became so fine she that she could no longer work it into the glamorous hairstyles she’s so famous for.

Hair loss in women is almost always stabilised and reversed when proven hair loss treatments are administered in the right dose for each person and are supported by various hair growth boosters, although Dolly had her reasons for opting for a hairpiece.

“It got to be fun for me, a conversational piece,” she said. “But this is how I think I look the best. I’m not a natural beauty, and this is just the look I chose.”

Most women will experience thinning hair at some point in their life. Our hair is an indication of our overall health so it’s very common for women to encounter excessive shedding which can be the result of anything from stress and poor nutrition, to the contraceptive pill and childbirth.

Geena Davis and Debra Messing received a lot of publicity over her post-baby hair loss and it’s highly likely that most Hollywood mums went through the same phase. Even Angelina Jolie and Kate Hudson’s enviable locks probably suffered the typical hormonally induced changes that happen during pregnancy. The good news for most women is that any hair loss after childbirth usually corrects itself within a few months without the need for treatment.

Natalie Portman was a bald bombshellSome women on the other hand choose to bare all. For instance, Sinead O’Connor set a trend when she shaved her head and proved that bald really can be beautiful (but you’ve got to wonder whether she opted to chop before the going got tough), and other female celebs have followed suit for one reason or another. Natalie Portman carried off her bald look with ease in V for Vendettaand Demi Moore sent tongues wagging went she shaved her head for and GI Jane. Then there was Britney Spears who shaved her head just for the heck of it (although the popstress went on to conceal her naked scalp with a vast collection of wigs and hairpieces).

The thing celebrities and ordinary people with hair loss have in common is that they need to be treated before the hair is gone for good and they end up needing an expensive Hollywood makeover. It’s plain to see that hair loss can be just as personal to a celebrity as it is to the girl next door, and while some Hollywood stars will shave their head for a role, very few would actually choose to lose their hair.
Cameron Diaz - scared to go baldCameron Diaz couldn’t even part with her blonde locks for a part in the upcoming film My Sisters Keeper, prefering to take the safe route with a bald cap instead.

But the thing is, women’s hair loss can be effectively reversed with medical hair loss treatments and easily hidden with high quality hair enhancement and replacement systems. So unless the paparazzi get very sneaky or one of these female celebs decides to endorse a hair loss product in an infomercial, we’ll just have to keep guessing about the state of their hair. Not that it’s really any of our business or is something that should define a person – Dolly Parton for one hopes people can see past all that.

“I hope people see the brain underneath the wig and the heart beneath the boobs,” she once said.

If you’re worried about hair loss, contact the Belgravia Centre and talk to a hair loss specialist or fill in the online diagnostic form to find out what’s causing it and what can be done.

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Amy Winehouse almost lost her hair when her beehive caught fireHair is arguably one of our most valuable natural assets. For women in particular, hair (like diamonds) is a girl’s best friend and has the power to change your image faster than you can say GHD. So it’s understandable that hair loss or thinning hair can cause stress of astronomical proportions. Take Amy Winehouse for example.

The Rehab singer is renowned for her erratic behaviour but could you imagine her reaction when her hair caught fire? It’s almost hard to say which is more famous – her music or her beehive – but it was almost the end of Amy’s infamous wig when it caught fire while the 25-year-old was reportedly trying to fix some electrical cables. She managed to douse the flames but she’s temporarily ditched her trademark style for her naturally curly ’do. 

At home and while on holiday, Amy’s been snapped sporting a more relaxed look and a shorter style but it’s the beehive and those wide-winged eyes which she’s instantly recognisable for when she’s out on the town and performing.

Amy’s dabbled with hair extensions in the past but has cleverly opted for hairpieces ever since. It can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon and go for hair extensions to get instantly longer locks but they are one of the most damaging things you could ever do to your hair and they’re often the cause of a hair loss condition known as traction alopecia. But unlike other wig-wearing female celebrities, Amy doesn’t appear to have a problem with hair loss or thinning hair – in fact she’s got masses of hair, but almost 40% of women will experience hair loss at some point in their lives.

Most women’s hair loss can be easily treated and reversed using proven medical hair loss treatments and hair growth boosters without the need to resort to wigs or similar hair replacement options. Although the Back to Black singer shows it doesn’t hurt to experiment with them occasionally to change your look.

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Just because hair loss is often a genetically inherited tendency doesn’t mean there’s nothing that can be done about it. In most cases, thanks to beauty of science, hair loss is a treatable condition and we’re continually learning ways to keep it at bay. When it comes to nutrition, moderation is the key and while there is no one food that can prevent hair loss, there are foods that you can avoid which would ordinarily rob the body of vital nutrients needed for healthy hair growth.

Foods that are bad for hair healthSimple Carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates such as cakes, biscuits and white flour are high in sugar and low in fibre which means any nutrients that have been ingested are often re-directed to facilitate the digestion of these typically nutritionally sterile foods. They could in fact also indirectly lead to hair loss as sugar is known to inhibit your ability to handle stress and stress is a major contributing factor that leads to hair loss. Switching to complex carbohydrates and high fibre options such as wholemeal flour, beans and bananas will aid digestion and improve the body’s ability to deliver nutrients to the blood stream and effectively, the hair follicles.

Fried Food

Consumption of high fat, fried foods and hydrogenated oils should be avoided at all costs. Studies have linked monounsaturated and saturated fat to increased testosterone levels which could potentially lead to elevated levels of DHT (a by-product that causes hair loss) while hydrogenated oils are thought to affect hair growth by suppressing essential fatty acids needed for healthy hair. Not just that, high-fat diets can lead to diabetes, coronary disease, and obesity.

diet-low-fat-yoghurtSugar-Free Foods

When trying to avoid sugar laden foods it’s tempting to opt for the sugar free or ‘diet’ alternatives but the jury says these foods should be avoided at all costs. According to the FDA, the artificial sweetener aspartame can cause hair loss and thinning hair as well as a number of unpleasant symptoms such as arthritis, bloating, depression, impotency and sexual problems.

Food Additives

The growing demand for natural and organic foods isn’t without good cause. Hair loss can be triggered by certain food additives such as caramel colour, which may be processed with caustic chemicals, sulphites or ammonia. Even natural additives have been associated with hair loss.

Cochineal extract or carmine dye – a colour additive extracted from dried bugs and commonly used in fruit drinks, sweets, yoghurt and other foods – is thought to cause hair loss along with a number of life-threatening allergic reactions.

Clearly a poor diet can affect hair growth because the body will ration nutrients in a hierarchy of vital organs first and hair last, however more research is needed before these foods are indisputably linked to hair loss. Although improved nutrition alone will not prevent hair loss – unless the shedding is the direct result of nutritional deficiencies – it’s not going to do the rest of your body any harm and will undoubtedly support the proven medical hair loss treatments that stop hair loss and encourage re-growth.

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.

Related Stories

Question: There are a lot of websites offering treatments that they claim work to reduce hair loss and promote hair growth. One of these products is the Bellamo Hair Laser System, and I was wondering if you could tell whether it would work or if it is a scam.

Belamo LaserAnswer: The Bellamo Hair Laser System is a relatively unknown product in the UK. Here is the information gathered after researching its website:

The device has three functions – massage the scalp, shine infra red light on the scalp, spray ‘Revital Serum’ on the scalp. There is also a shampoo to be used in conjunction with the device.

Infra Red: There is no evidence to indicate that Infra Red light assists in preventing hair loss or promoting hair growth.

Massaging the scalp: Same as above – people once believed that massaging the scalp could help to prevent hair loss but I’d say this is now generally classified as an ‘old wives tale’, similarly to standing on ones head!

Revital Serum and shampoo: These are purely natural solutions whose ingredients I have never come across. The ‘active’ ingredient is Bellamo’s patented product, ‘MS 13’ as well as other natural ‘oriental herbs’. There isn’t much information disclosed but this product can safely be classified as one of the many unproven products that has no evidence to say that it assists in preventing hair loss. There is no evidence of any clinical efficacy for this product on the Bellamo website.

So there is nothing within Bellamo’s ‘Hair Laser Revital System’ that actually has any efficacy for the prevention of hair loss. The cost is £295.

A treatment programme consisting primarily of the medically proven, FDA approved treatments (of which there are only three), will ensure optimum chances of hair loss stabilisation and hair regrowth. For more information on these treatments, and how you can get the best out of them you can CONTACT US with any questions you may have, or to arrange a free hair loss consultation, or complete our ONLINE DIAGNOSTIC FORM following which you will be contacted by a Belgravia treatment advisor who will inform you of the best treatment options for you.

Woman Concerned About Thinning hairSerious hair loss affects an estimated eight million women in the UK and many more suffer from more minor hair thinning. Many factors cause hair loss in women but in any situation there are things you can do to cope and proven, reliable treatment options that can help restore hair.

Female Pattern Hair Loss

This type of hair loss normally starts with gradual thinning across the top of the head and is caused by an abnormal reaction to the male hormone testosterone. It’s quite common and affects around one in ten women although after menopause it’s far more common and your risk is higher if it runs in your family.
What to do: The earlier you start treatment, the greater your chances of preventing further hair loss. Talk to a hair loss specialist and find out about the proven hair loss treatments for women. You may be prescribed minoxidil which  stops hair loss in most women and helps hair grow back, but it is a dosage-dependant medication that should be administered at the right strength for each woman. Various hair growth boosters can also improve its effectiveness in treating women’s hair loss.

Pregnancy and Childbirth

You’re hair will probably be about the healthiest it’s ever been during pregnancy. The increased levels of oestrogen affect the hair growth lifecycle and the follicles remain in the growth phase (anagen) longer than usual. Hair appears thick, shiny and full of vitality, but after the birth thinning occurs as all the hair that’s hung around in the anagen stage falls with the rest during the telogen phase. Your hair will temporarily take a back seat as your body’s resources are used to replenish the rest of your system.
What to do: The disruption to the hair growth lifecycle and hair loss after childbirth generally won’t last long. As hormone levels start to return to normal, so does normal hair growth. Hair supplements may be helpful during this time but consult your doctor first.

Steroid TabletsIllnesses and Drug Treatment

Cushing syndrome, coeliac disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders and polycystic ovarian syndrome have all been linked to hair loss. Along with various other symptoms, thinning hair is quite common in people with these conditions. Some drugs can also cause hair loss as a side effect but you should never stop taking prescribed medication without consulting your doctor.
What to do: Hair loss treatments can assist the body to help reproduce hair whilst it’s recovering from a crisis but the underlying cause also needs to be dealt with. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and discuss tests to diagnose or rule out these conditions. They can be controlled and some can even be treated with the right therapy. If you’re concerned that your medication is causing your hair to thin, ask about alternatives.


Women have always dealt with stress but these days more and more women are taking on two full-time jobs – motherhood and a career. The constant physical stress of leading almost two lives has seen the number of cases of hair loss in women double in the past ten years. Emotional stress also affects the hair whereby increased cortisol levels induce the hormone changes that are responsible for hair loss.
What to do: Stress can be hard to pinpoint as the culprit because often hair loss is delayed by up to three months. If the stress was a one-off event, the situation will generally correct itself but hair supplements could be beneficial to improve the health and quality of the hair. Taking time off work could be helpful in the short term if you’re continually feeling stressed, but you need to start allocating more time to yourself and incorporating stress-reducing activities such as yoga or meditation into your lifestyle.

Junk Food Can Lead To Hair LossPoor Nutrition and Extreme Dieting

A lack of iron is the most common nutritional deficiency, especially in women. Iron deficiency anaemia can lead to thinning hair as can extreme dieting. If you’re losing weight at a rate of more than two pounds per week, it’s not just your body that will be getting thinner and weaker.
What to do: Iron deficiency anaemia can be diagnosed by a simple blood test and if this is the problem, your doctor can prescribe iron tablets while you attempt to replenish your stores naturally. You should aim for two servings a day of foods such as red meat, fish, eggs, bread, fortified cereal and green, leafy vegetables. And if you’re excessive weight loss is causing your hair to thin, consider a more sensible approach of eating five small meals a day which incorporate the foods for healthy hairand regular cardio workouts.

Hair Styling

Certain hairstyles such as ponytails, braids, dreadlocks, hair extensions or even the regular use of tight rollers can cause hair loss. The constant, tight pulling on the hair could be damaging the follicles and where the hair is being pulled is where you’ll notice it starting to disappear.
What to do: The most common mistake people make when experiencing hair loss of this kind is that they cover it with weaves or add hair extensions rather than deal with the problem but it’s the worst thing you can do as sometimes it can stop new hair follicles developing and lead to permanent hair loss. If the pulling is stopped before there is scarring of the scalp and permanent damage to the root, hair usually grows back normally. However minoxidil may be needed to induce hair re-growth and you should consult a stylist to recommend a safe styling regime.

American Actress Jackie Nguyen Talks Frankly About Her Battle With Alopecia Areata and DepressionAlopecia Areata

This is an autoimmune disease that affects around one in 100 people but it tends to run in families and can be triggered by stress. It presents as small patches of hair loss on the scalp when your immune system goes into overdrive and starts attacking the hair follicles. In very rare instances it can lead to complete loss of hair on the head (alopecia totalis) as is the case with Gail Porter, or even the body (alopecia universalis).
What to do: Inform your doctor and talk to a hair loss specialist. In majority of cases the hair grows back itself within a year, but if hair hasn’t started to grow back after six months it may be worth considering treatment. There’s a wide range of treatments that include steroids, transplant surgery and medical hair loss treatments but it’s always advised to try the medical treatments first before resorting to steroids or surgery.

Contact the Belgravia Centre for more information about women’s hair loss or call 020 7730 6666 to book an appointment with a hair loss specialist.

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