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hair loss & weight trainingLet’s face facts, weight lifting in many cases is a visual endeavour. So what good would a youthful, muscular physique be if we had to sacrifice a full head of hair? Some research will claim you’ll have to sacrifice one for the other when in fact you can have your pie and eat it too.

Research states that a 45 minute weights session can elevate testosterone levels by an average 25 percent. Science will tell you that when testosterone reacts with the enzyme 5-alpha reductase (naturally found in our hair follicles) it is converted into the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is what causes the hair follicles to shrink and inhibit the growth of new hair cells.

Theoretically then, it is plausible that weight lifting and the consumption of supplements such as protein and creatine could lead to hair loss. However, two and two rarely makes four in the human body. The Sun quoted a specialist from the Rogers Medical Group as saying: “We have seen an increase in men in their twenties and thirties who regularly circuit train. There’s no doubt it is often a factor in hair loss.”

This could be highly coincidental though as male pattern baldness affects around 80 percent of men. The condition is an hereditary one and can affect men from puberty up to the age of 70. The Belgravia Centre’s Senior Trichologist Leonora Doclis, says weight training and supplement consumption will not cause baldness.

“Elevated levels of testosterone and excess stress, in some cases, may accelerate the condition,” Leonora said. “But only if there is a genetic predisposition to male pattern baldness.”

Basically, weight lifting and using supplements to enhance the results of your sessions are likely to have little to no effect on your hair loss. If you are suffering from male pattern baldness, the Blegravia Centre has a number of treatment options to stabilise the hair loss and promote its re-growth.

Call the centre to book a free consultation on 020 7730 6666 or click here. Alternatively, fill in the online diagnostic form and a trichologist from the centre will be in touch.

(Image courtesy of alan_weinrantz on Flickr, some right reserved)

One of the most common questions we are asked is “how do you prevent hair loss?” Clearly people are searching the Internet for an answer. The difficulty is that anyone can publish on the Internet, so it’s hard to know who is credible and who is simply being a good, persuasive, sales person. We successfully treat thousands of people with hair loss every year, so we really do know what works.

People ask all sorts of things: “does caffeine prevent hair loss” or “does scalp oil prevent hair loss”. Even “can testosterone help prevent hair loss”. So let’s tackle some of these queries…

Coffee and Hair LossDoes caffeine prevent hair loss?

The caffeine one is interesting. In January 2007, the International Journal of Dermatology (skin) published a study that showed caffeine did significantly stimulate hair growth in hair follicles that had been removed from 14 people and were kept growing in the lab.

Let’s be clear, this isn’t about drinking coffee. You’d have to drink enough coffee to kill you before it had any significant effect on your hair. The idea is to apply it topically (ie. on your scalp) in sufficient concentration.

Now, we know that substances can be absorbed through the skin. Rub garlic on your skin and your breath will smell of it. Nicotine patches are another example. And caffeine will certainly harm you in a large dose. So there’s a big difference between steeping hair follicles in caffeine in the lab, and working out a way safely to deliver enough caffeine to the hair follicles to make a difference to your hair growth.

We have seen caffeine shampoos. But we’ve not seen anything that demonstrates it works as a hair loss treatment. We think it’s likely the development of caffeine shampoos has been driven by marketing departments who saw that same study and know that we’ll make the link between coffee as a friendly everyday stimulant and our hair’s need for stimulation. We have to buy shampoo, so why not buy the coffee one? Coffee is even associated with mornings, which is when many people shower. It’s a way for them to gain market share. No problem with that, we just are not convinced it will prevent hair loss.

Can testosterone help prevent hair loss?

Lack of testosterone might. In male pattern baldness (and in some instances of female pattern baldness), some hair follicles are genetically susceptible to a derivative of the male sex hormone testosterone. The effect is that those follicles gradually get weaker and eventually stop, causing baldness.

One of the recognised treatments (medically proven, actually works) is finasteride 1mg because it gets in the way of testosterone affecting the hair follicle, so preserving its life and indeed, preventing hair loss.

Does oil prevent hair loss?

I think we are squarely in the world of ‘snake oil’ here. Even if someone once got a benefit from massaging an oil into their scalp, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. And there are hundreds of things you could try. Meanwhile, you’ll be getting more bald. We say: start with what’s proven to work, you might save yourself a whole lot of time. If you get insufficient joy from proven treatments, you can try massaging oil into your scalp if you like.

Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Treatment Men Women Hair Growth Hair Care 360pxSo what is the best treatment to prevent hair loss?

Some illnesses cause hair loss and some drugs have hair loss as a side effect, so the first thing is to check with your doctor.

Hair loss treatment is not available on the NHS, however, so once ‘illness’ is removed as a cause, doctors won’t have spent much time thinking about how to cure thinning hair and will often just recommend a hair loss shampoo, so you need to see a specialist.

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has approved two medical treatments for hair loss, finasteride 1mg (for men only), and Minoxidil. Whilst everyone responds differently – which is why each solution is tailored to the individual client’s requirements – Belgravia specialists find the most effective treatment outcomes tend to arise from using both these complementary medications with the right combination of formulations, paired with suitable hair growth supporting products.

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.

Related Stories

It may seem bizarre that a tooth infection could cause hair loss but according to research, if you’re like the one in every thousand who suffers from seemingly random bald patches on your scalp or even your beard, eyebrows and eyelashes, you may need to consult your dentist.

In most circumstances hair loss is genetic, in fact an estimated 80 percent of cases are hereditary. However, sudden patchy hair loss with no apparent cause may be due to alopecia areata – an enigmatic autoimmune condition. Alopecia areata can be triggered by a number of factors and new research reveals a tooth infection may be one of them.

ToothacheTooth infection and alopecia areata

The study conducted by the professors at the University of Grenada uncovered a close relationship between tooth infection outbreaks and the presence of alopecia areata. Doctor Elena Dimitrova of the Belgravia Centre says it is possible that alopecia could be connected to dental infection.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease and there are a number of factors that could cause the immune system to weaken. If the tooth infection were extreme it could have an effect on hair loss,” Dr Dimitrova said.

It is understood that alopecia areata occurs when white blood cells mistakenly attack the hair follicles, weakening them to the point where hair growth can no longer occur. When a tooth becomes infected, white blood cells work overtime to attack and destroy the infection. These cells can sometimes migrate to nearby cells, such as those found in the hair follicles.

The association of alopecia areata and tooth infection is often detected close to the affected area. Hair loss may be seen in the beard, eyebrow and neck area, on the crown or lower portions of the scalp. In about 50 per cent of alopecia cases patients will experience spontaneous hair regrowth without any treatment within a year, but the likelihood of total regrowth diminishes as the severity of the condition increases. A study reported in the European Journal of Dermatology also estimates that seven to 10 percent of patients may experience more extensive and chronic forms of the disease.

Treating alopecia areata

In light of this recent discovery, many dentists are now being trained to look for sudden patchy hair loss in patients experiencing tooth infections. The good news about infection-induced alopecia is that, because a cause is linked, it can be treated and reversed. If the symptoms are caught in early stages of development, both the infection and hair loss can be easily treated.

Whilst science has not yet demonstrated a cure for alopecia, there are some options available to help treat the symptoms (that is, sudden patchy hair loss). A course of steroid injections into the scalp can help in cases where the bald patches are quite small. The treatment involves several injections about 1cm apart (however the number of injections is often limited by pain) and is repeated every four to six weeks.

However, Belgravia patients have found alopecia areata treatment based around regular, non-invasive applications of high strength minoxidil – a topical drug available from our clinics’ in-house pharmacies – to be as effective, if not more so than these injections.

This approach also provides a much more comfortable alternative, with clients frequently seeing significant regrowth results within three to six months of starting their bespoke treatment course, instilling a renewed sense of confidence.

Circ - The Belgravia Centre Treatment for Hair LossThe 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.

(This blog is by guest contributor John Allsopp). As a man, I didn’t think I was going to like Breaking the Silence on Women’s Hair Loss. I mean, I’ve read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus: How to Get What You Want in Your Relationships
, so I’m comfortable being uncomfortable when the book jacket talks about “women who struggle with hair loss and its accompanying emotional toll and shame”. The third sentence in chapter one is “Fairy tales, myths and legends abound with hair central to the story”.

women's hair loss

It turns out, though, that Hoffmann herself, a ‘seasoned medical journalist and editor’ also seems uncomfortable with that and soon gets into her stride talking about what causes hair loss and what you can do about it. Journalists aren’t flowery by nature, they like to report the facts as they see them. That’s their job. I love it.

So, I think what’s happened is the flowery stuff has been forced there by the publisher in order to satisfy their model of what sells the books to women. That’s fine, just don’t get the impression the book deals only with the emotional and social side of hair loss. There’s a load of great information in here that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

I’ve taken a step back. And that’s very slightly annoying 


Hoffmann gets serious with hair loss, providing, for example, the biggest list I’ve seen anywhere of reasons to see your doctor first, from Lupus to statin drugs and SSRIs like Prozac with hair loss as a possible side effect.

There’s advice on who to talk to and how to build a ‘hair loss team’ around you. The largest chapter is probably the one covering a wide range of hair loss treatments. Then it’s hair nutrients, wigs and finally she reaches the book’s basic conclusion which feels like: you may improve your hair but you probably won’t get back your teenage years. You need confidence in you, and your hair isn’t you. The major battle isn’t your hair, it’s you and your attitude towards it.

It’s in the treatments part of the book, however, that I think it falls down. Basically, I’ve read the book and I learned a whole lot about hair loss causes and treatments. But I still don’t know what to do.

If I have hair loss, why should I have to learn about it? 


What I really wanted was for Hoffmann to write a book titled “John’s hair loss, what it is and what he should do next”. I’ve spent maybe four or five hours reading the book and I know more about hair loss, I’m better equipped, I have a more rounded appreciation. But I’m nowhere nearer making a decision about getting my hair back. In fact, whereas before I was looking for a hair loss solution, now I’ve reverted to wondering whether I should just accept me for who I am. I’ve taken a step back. And that’s very slightly annoying.

But isn’t that how life is now? We’re suffering under a weight of choice. Want broadband? You’ve got to understand it before you can buy it. Want a mobile phone? May your God help you. Want something to calm your nerves? First, you have to deal with more information than you can shake a stick at, and nowadays the first place people turn is the Internet. Anyone, even stupid people, can write articles on the Internet.

I have a different view. I think there will be a backlash against the herd, against stupid people you don’t know or trust making stupid online comments. Against DIY. Against information overload. I think the pendulum will swing back towards the expert.

If I have hair loss, why should I have to learn about it? Surely I just want to turn up to an expert, get it treated, walk out and get on with what I want to do.

Our life is just the hours we get given. We shouldn’t waste them. Do what you want with your life. Learn about hair loss if that’s what you really want to do. Otherwise, consult a hair loss expert, get it sorted to the best of their ability (and let them worry about that), then get on with your life. Hair loss can’t stop you.

(Pic courtesy Dawn Ashley on Flickr, some rights reserved)

This Christmas the Belgravia Centre are donating to ActionAid UK to help prevent poverty in some of the less fortunate areas of the world.


Together with more than 2,000 civil society partners worldwide, ActionAid work with and support the poorest and most vulnerable people to fight for and gain their rights to food, shelter, work, basic healthcare and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. Founded in 1972, ActionAid has been fighting poverty worldwide for over 30 years. In 2003, ActionAid’s work reached almost 13 million people in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

If you would like to make a donation you can visit the ACTIONAID WEBSITE.

Tricologic is a hair supplement that can be used by both men and women produced by Wellman.  It’s a relatively new line for Wellman but the name has spread rapidly because of the vast amounts of advertising carried out for the product.

Wellman TricologicTricologic is an herbal product that contains vitamins, minerals and nutrients.  It’s a similar product to Hair Vitalics, and a number of other well-known hair supplements.

But what is the purpose of Wellman Tricologic? Will it help prevent hair loss like the proven treatments do?

As stated on the Wellman website, Tricologic helps to ‘maintain healthy hair growth and hair follicles’.  Like all other non-proven hair supplements, Tricologic is designed to maintain the condition of the hair, but will not significantly help to reduce, prevent, or reverse hair loss. There are a number of similar supplements for healthy hair, but only two medical treatments that have been proven to prevent and reverse hair loss.

The two medically proven hair loss treatments are Finasteride 1mg and Minoxidil. They have undergone vigorous clinical testing and are the only ones to have been licensed for the prevention of hair loss by both the MHRA and FDA in the UK and USA respectively, for the treatment and prevention of hair loss. You can find more information on these treatments on the HAIR LOSS TREATMENTS PAGE.

Put “hair growth” into Google and you’ll see the best of the worst. There are Chinese factories offering to manufacture your own brand hair loss product, and there are shampoos guaranteed to make your hair grow faster.

What can we say? All life is on the Internet.

A survey came out today that says almost half of hair loss sufferers would spend their life savings to get their hair back, and more than a third said they would give up sex. Very curious, that; we thought part of the point of getting your hair back was … anyway.

Another survey of women showed that hair loss is the body issue they feel would make them least attractive to men.

Hair loss is incredibly important to those dealing with it. People will do a lot, and give up a lot, to get good hair growth.

Of course, that makes it an area ripe for sharp practice.

Our approach has always been what everyone’s should be: we use our comprehensive expertise and years of experience to deliver only what works. By cutting out everything else, we save you money. We take our knowledge from proven studies, not conjecture, hearsay, touched-up photographs or made-up testimonials written by the sales guys.

So when you walk in through the doors of the Belgravia Centre, you’re free of all that. We just treat your hair loss. It works. Job done.

John Cleese has had a hair transplant

You will have probably read by now that John Cleese has had a hair transplant. So, why did he choose surgery and not the established hair loss treatments?

Well, it’s not actually a choice.

Male Pattern Baldness affects the hair follicles over the top of the scalp, often leaving thick and bountiful hair around the sides .. the ‘power doughnut’ look of President Ford.

The idea of hair transplants is to take hair follicles from the side of the head and transplant them into the bald areas on top. Because those follicles aren’t genetically sensitive to DHT, the chemical derived from testosterone that causes all the hair loss trouble, they grow quite happily in their new site. Clearly once the evidence of surgery dies down this will look natural because it really is the person’s own hair.

So, what’s obvious about that? Well, if you take hair from the sides, there will be less hair there .. you’re just moving hair around. Sure, it’s probably better to have it up top than hidden around the back, but still.

If, say, you’ve lost 80% of your hair, moving the remaining 20% of your hair around isn’t going to give you the full head of hair you probably had when you were 18.

For hair transplantation to be successful, you really need to increase the hair you have, both because that will lessen the areas you need to transplant into, and it will provide more hair for you to harvest for transplantation. Maybe if less transplantation is required, the cost will be less too.

So if you’re trying to choose between a hair transplant and drug-based hair loss treatment, it’s the wrong question. It’s not a choice. Established hair loss treatment is a necessary first step. Once you’ve done that for a while, if you still want a hair transplant, you’ll have much better results. And if you’re having a hair transplant for a small area of hair loss (i.e. the hairline) you will need to use treatment to maintain the rest of your hair, which will most probably otherwise be affected in the future.

(Pic courtesy Luc Van Braekel on Flickr, some rights reserved)

I just found a great bit of information on the internet. It’s straight from the FDA website and although it was written a good few years ago, the information is still very relevant. The main body of the article talks about the treatments and options available but it’s the following section that caught my interest…

‘The mythology of hair loss is a book unto itself. Wearing hats won’t cause it, doctors say. Nor will standing on your head to increase blood flow cure it. Massaging your scalp and brushing your hair won’t save you. Toweling off your head lightly rather than vigorously will only postpone the inevitable for a few days.

Perhaps the biggest myth is that cleaning your scalp of sebum (the semifluid secretion of glands attached to the follicle) will unclog those follicles and allow hair to grow. Surgeons will tell you that when they’re performing transplants, there’s no trapped hair to be found.

In 1989, FDA banned all nonprescription hair creams, lotions, or other external products claiming to grow hair or prevent baldness. And it has taken action against companies that continue to sell such products. In 1996, the agency sent a warning letter to Daniel Rogers Laboratories Inc., of Paramus, N.J., the manufacturer of “Natural Hairs,” for claiming its product could promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. Two years earlier, after an FDA investigation, a U.S. district court judge enjoined the marketing of “Solution 109 Herbal Shampoo” because of claims that the product warded off hair loss.

Advertisements for “hair farming” products and others that hint they can regrow hair are still plentiful. But if you’re desperate, keep one thing in mind: “There will be never be a secret [ingredient] that works for hair loss,” NYU’s Washenik says. And, if they were to find it, he says: “It will be on the cover of the New York Times. It will be on the nightly news. … When this happens, it’s going to be wildness. You’re not going to need an expert to tell you the name of the drug.” ‘

… today we still have the same situation. There are so many products advertised that claim to stop and reverse hair loss, making it difficult for anybody losing their hair to know what actually works and what doesn’t. Our PRODUCT REVIEW page will help you with this – we’ve listed a number of products that you may have come across whilst researching hair loss solutions. Only two of them are proven to work, and are endorsed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration – USA). The others are unproven and there’s no evidence to support their effectiveness for hair loss prevention or hair regrowth.

You can find the full FDA article here – http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1997/397_hair.html.

What is hair restoration? To what degree can thinned hair be restored?

There’s a slight difference between thinning hair and hair loss. Once a hair has been ‘lost’, it can’t be restored without surgery. The process of hair loss consists of each hair becoming thinner with each growth cycle (each growth cycle lasts between 2 and 8 years and is different for each person). Eventually the hair becomes so thin that it can’t be restored… tiny fluff-like strands almost invisible to the human eye. When this happens the area becomes shiny, commonly referred to as baldness.

So on the way to hair loss, the hair thins more and more over time. Hair restoration is very possible without surgery. It is these thinned hairs that can be restored, and much of the time, with the correct combination of primary hair loss treatments and hair growth boosters, can be thickened up considerably. You can see examples of the different degrees of hair restoration Belgravia patients frequently experience by visiting our hair loss before / during treatment photo pages. All patients who visit the centre are monitored with photos.

Hair Restoration

A lot of the time ‘hair restoration’ refers to surgery. Surgery (a hair transplant) is the only way to restore hair to completely bald areas, but if there are still signs of hair growth then there is every chance of hair restoration. As you’ll see from the photos, results vary from person to person… some will only experience hair loss stabilisation, but most will also see some degrees of hair restoration, whether it’s vast amounts of regrowth or a slight increase in visual density of the hair.

Here’s some more information on RESTORING YOUR HAIR. It’s very possible for most people with thinning hair. You can arrange a free examination at the centre so that we can recommend the most effective course of treatment for you, or you can complete our ON-LINE DIAGNOSTIC FORM if it’s difficult for you to get to London.

We’ve also recently monitored a patient with videos – HAIR LOSS VIDEO DIARIES. And he’s due to film his next video diary soon so keep a lookout.  Here’s the direct comparison between his hair at day 1 and day 88 of treatment but you can click on the link above for his bi-monthly diary reviews…

[flashvideo filename=”https://www.belgraviacentre.com/imagecentre/Videos/Diyaa_Hair_Shots_Month_1_and_3.flv” width=”410″ height=”307.5″ /]