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

Name: Nathan

Question: What is the best shampoo and conditioner to use to improve hair growth for men in their 30s? Something that doesn’t cause as much damage to the hair. Is hemp oil the best oil for the hair before using shampoo? Also, what are some of the best foods items to eat to improve hair growth?

Answer: Hi, Nathan. We’re not entirely clear on whether you just want to improve your hair growth or whether you are looking for advice on how to treat hair loss. As such, I have included a few additional responses in addition to your queries regarding the best hair care products for hair growth, and dietary tips.

If you are concerned that you have thinning hair, I advise you to have a consultation with a hair loss specialist who can examine your scalp and hair then discuss suitable, personalised treatment recommendations, where appropriate.

Hair loss from Male Pattern Baldness, a common condition among men in their 30s, is generally treated with medication, specifically either one or both of the only MHRA-licensed and FDA-cleared, hair loss treatments.

These clinically-proven drugs are the oral DHT-blocking tablet, finasteride 1mg and topically-applied solutions of high strength minoxidil. Although they are pharmaceuticals, they can be used alongside non-medicinal hair growth supporting products.

One of these which may interest you, whether you are concerned about hair loss or hair growth is the HairMax LaserBand, an FDA-cleared device that is worn three times per week for between 90 seconds and 3 minutes per session, depending on the model.

This gadget has patented teeth embedded into its curve, alongside medical-grade red lasers. The teeth part the hair, allowing the light therapy to get straight to the scalp. There, it penetrates into the skin, stimulating natural ATP production and, as a result, hair growth.

It is a popular hair loss product, generally used alongside pharmaceutical treatments, which manufacturers claim not only helps to treat thinning hair and prevent baldness, but also strengthens the hair and promotes healthy growth.

There are a number of misleading claims when it comes to shampoo and conditioner ranges targeting those worried about hair thinning, but it’s important to note that these types of hair care products do not treat hair loss.

However, a good quality shampoo is still important for its role in the maintenance of scalp and hair health. I cannot recommend any specific shampoo without examining you because everyone’s scalp is different.

As some general advice, the type of shampoo you should use will depend on the condition of your scalp. For example, if you have a very dry scalp, you should be using moisturising shampoos; if you have a skin issue that affects your scalp, for example dandruff or seborrhoeic dermatitis, you may find medicated shampoos that contain ingredients such as coal tar, zinc pyrithione, or ketoconazole, beneficial.

Belgravia Centre Professional Shampoo and Conditioner Hair Care Range

It is also important to keep the hair in good condition, especially if you are trying to grow your hair, or want to maximise the hair you already have. If you worry that your hair tends to be dry or tangled, you can try including conditioner into your routine.

After shampooing, this is applied often just to the lengths and ends of the hair. You can also apply it to the roots though not everyone likes to do this as applying conditioner to the roots of the hair can make it appear lank or greasy – especially if the hair is thin on top – and make any signs of hair loss look worse.

We offer a range of professional Belgravia shampoos and conditioners which you may want to consider. These are highly concentrated so that patients can thoroughly wash their hair and scalp to remove any medication residue.

The frequency we recommend for how often people should wash their hair is based on the patient’s hair type and scalp condition. As a guide, those with an oily scalp and people with finer hair may benefit from shampooing frequently – daily or every other day. This is because finer hair gets oily quicker and loses its volume. We often see this with the finer Caucasian or Asian hair types.

On the other hand, those with a dry scalp, thicker hair or tightly curled hair may need to shampoo less frequently. For example, many people with Afro textured hair shampoo once weekly.

Those who use minoxidil may need to shampoo more frequently to keep the scalp healthy and remove any medication residue.

However, in all cases I would not advise leaving the scalp unwashed for more than a week as this increases your chances of irritations, or developing a flaky and itchy scalp.

With regards using hemp oil before shampooing to promote hair growth, there is no significant scientific evidence to support the use of any hair oil for this purpose, nor to prevent or treat hair loss, regardless of when in your regimen you apply it.

If you are concerned about damaged hair or hair breakage, use good quality hair care products that do not contain large amounts of harsh chemicals, avoid or limit your use of heated hairstyling tools – which includes hair dryers – and get your hair trimmed regularly so that any split ends are dealt with.

The answer to your food-related question is also very similar, in that a good diet for one person may not be suitable for another.

Having a well-balanced healthy diet will contribute to healthy hair and skin, too. Dietary deficiencies, on the other hand, can trigger disturbances in the hair growth cycle and lead to increased shedding or the worsening of pre-existing hair loss conditions.

Some people may have to avoid certain foods for health reasons, therefore it is difficult to generalise the meaning of a ‘suitable diet for healthy hair’ as this should ideally be considered alongside the individual’s medical profile information.

Belgravia Centre hair supplement Hair Vitalics for Men food supplement nutrition vitamin tablet

There are a number of nutrients associated with the maintenance of healthy hair growth. These include biotin, selenium and zinc, all of which are included in the highly-targeted formulation for the Belgravia food supplement, Hair Vitalics for Men, alongside amino acids and botanicals, such as saw palmetto.

My overarching advice to you on this is to make sure you have a balanced, healthy diet, which means ensuring you receive the optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals recommended for men your age from your food. This should then give you the best chance of avoiding dietary deficiencies and preventing hair loss from these types of issues. You can find further details on this from the NHS website, your GP or a qualified nutritionist.

To check if you have any dietary deficiencies, you can speak to your GP about having a blood test. Additionally, if you have any medical conditions or follow specialised diets, I advise you to consult with them for guidance as to suitable foods.

You may also find our previous articles on the Best and Worst Foods for Hair Loss, Foods that Help to Prevent Hair Loss and Foods Which Can Lead to Hair Loss, helpful.

If you do not have hair loss or scalp problems and simply want to keep your hair in good condition, my advice, in summary, is to shampoo and condition your hair regularly and limit the use of heated hairstyling tools. Plus keep yourself healthy via your diet and exercise, avoid or learn to manage any stress, stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep on a regular basis and don’t smoke, as the state of your health is often reflected in the hair’s condition.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free ConsultationThe 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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HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Erick

Question: I am a 17 years old male and my hair extremely thinned in only a few days. I am not sure but the reason might be overdosing myself with my multivitamins that I bought recently. I stopped using it now, and my question is, will my hair grow back to how it was before? I had kind of a thick hair. If I need any tests to find out more, which ones would I need?

Answer: Hi, Erick. If you’ve noticed increased shedding over a short period of time, this may be a condition called Telogen Effluvium (TE).

This is a disturbance in the hair growth cycle where many actively growing hair follicles – up to 30-40 per cent – are being pushed from the anagen (growing) phase into the telogen (resting phase). The result is hair loss from all over the scalp, and reduced hair density.

vitamins minerals diet nutrition supplements tablets healthy hair growth

TE can be triggered for many reasons, including recent stress, changes in your health or diet. Overdosing on medication may also spark this off.

Overdosing on food supplements can lead to other side effects and complications, so I advise you contact your GP or regular doctor as soon as possible. They may arrange a blood test to see if you require any treatment or whether the fact you have stopped taking the supplements is enough.

However, whatever the cause, if you have Telogen Effluvium the shedding is temporary and the hair usually grows back shortly after the initiating factor has been eliminated; it tends to take roughly three months for the hair regrowth to become noticeable.

If you wish to be on the safe side and your doctor does not already suggest one, it may be worthwhile asking for a blood test where a number of factors can be checked out.

The blood tests we would normally recommend to adults worried about hair loss include getting a full blood count, iron, ferritin, vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate, zinc, and thyroid function screening.

These are investigated because anaemia – iron-deficiency anaemia or pernicious anaemia, dietary deficiencies or thyroid problems are all known to be associated with diffuse hairloss.

As, in your case, you mentioned you have been overdosing on multi-vitamins, I recommend you showing the multivitamin ingredients list to your doctor. They can then determine the best course of action, particularly as they will have knowledge of any relevant information from your general medical profile. If they decide it is worthwhile, they can arrange tests including a blood test to check your liver function as well as vitamin levels, depending on which vitamins you were taking, in case they are above their normal range.

It is so important to always ensure you follow the intake and usage directions to the letter, whether it is nutritional supplements such as multi-vitamins, or medication that you are taking.

Although many people assume it is safe to take lots of ‘natural supplements’ or vitamins, this is not the case and dosage information is provided with good reason. For example, vitamin A is just one nutrient which, when taken regularly in excessive quantities can build up in a person’s system and hair loss may occur as a side effect of this.

Therefore, if you do decide to start taking food supplements again, it may be worthwhile discussing this when you speak to your doctor and, if you do go ahead, ensure you stick to the recommended dose per day.


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

Name: Dina

Question: Are there any foods that reduce DHT levels in women? I have been diagnosed with female pattern hair loss and would like to treat it naturally if possible.

Answer: Hi, Dina. In order to answer your question fully, let us briefly explain the role of DHT in genetic hair loss.

DHT – or dihydrotestosterone to give it its full name – is an androgen hormone which is derived from testosterone in both men and women.

It is created when a certain amount of testosterone reacts with an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase (5aR), producing DHT.

During puberty DHT plays a key role in the development of sexual characteristics. However, once puberty has finished, those with a genetic predisposition to Female Pattern Hair Loss or Male Pattern Baldness will find some of their follicles will be susceptible to some negative effects of DHT.

This involves the DHT latching on to receptors in the hair follicles located along the top of the scalp, from hairline and temples to the crown, gradually weakening them. This results in thinning hair in the affected areas, a loss of hair density, and excessive hair fall through a process known as follicular miniaturisation. Women with this condition tend to eventually experience advanced thinning but, unlike men, do not usually go bald.

Although there is an MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved oral DHT-inhibiting male hair loss treatment, unfortunately this is not suitable for women.

There are certain additives and natural ingredients believed to help with lowering DHT levels, which are appropriate for women, though.

Hair Vitalics for Women Belgravia Centre hair vitamins supplement nutrition healthy hair growth 2019

Whilst not a foodstuff you’ll find in many people’s every day diet, the herb saw palmetto is believed to have DHT-lowering properties. This is generally taken in supplement form and features in our Hair Vitalics for Men food supplement.

Women can also take saw palmetto but Belgravia made the decision to substitute this in the Hair Vitalics for Women formulation because we contraindicated it for women who are trying to conceive (this does not apply to men trying to start a family), simply as a precaution.

The ingredients added to the women’s Hair Vitalics supplement in place of saw palmetto are the phytoestrogens genistein and daidzein. These soybean isoflavones have been shown in studies to inhibit 5 alpha-reductase, therefore reducing the amount of DHT in the body, which should help to also reduce hair loss.

Stinging nettles and panax ginseng, also known as red ginseng, are also believed to have DHT-reducing properties, although their effects have little clinical evidence to support these, often anecdotal, claims.

Although it will not reduce hair loss in genetic cases, ensuring you have a good diet, full of all the nutrients needed to maintain the normal, healthy functioning of your body and hair growth cycle, can help you to make the most of your hair, keeping it in good condition.

Unfortunately there are not yet any scientifically-proven natural hair loss solutions for any hair loss condition; the only female pattern hair loss treatment that is clinically-proven, licensed by the MHRA and authorised by the FDA, is a medication known as high strength minoxidil.

This is a topical product applied directly to the scalp, either once or twice per day, depending on the instructions and formulation of this dose-dependent drug.

Another option which is neither natural nor pharmaceutical but which may be worth considering is the use of low level laser therapy (LLLT).

There are a number of LLLT devices available; those we recommend are the FDA-cleared LaserBand devices which contain medical-grade red light lasers embedded in a convenient headband, which also features patented teeth to ‘comb’ through the hair. This parts the hair, allowing the LLLT to get straight to the scalp where it stimulates the follicles.

Depending on the model, the LaserBand is worn three times per week for between 90 seconds and 3 minutes each session. This causes the light to be absorbed deep into the scalp where it can stimulate production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which can promote hair growth.

Belgravia hair specialists normally recommend using such LLLT devices as an additional hair growth supporting product to be used alongside authorised medication for the best chance of seeing results, but it can also be used on its own.

If you would like further information or personalised treatment recommendations based on your medical profile plus your level and pattern of shedding, we recommend having a consultation either in-person or online.


Circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinics LondonThe Belgravia Centre

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

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

Name: Brittany

Question: I’m 30 years old. I received an injury in November which led me into depression for a month but I recovered by the end of December. Before then, also in December I experienced severe, unexpected trauma due to a death in the family.

By late February-March I noticed I was shedding everywhere and my parting became more visible. My scalp had severe flaking. It’s now October and although this flaking has gone and I’ve seen small improvements to my shedding, I’m concerned about my hairline which doesn’t seem to be regrowing as well.

Types of Womens Hair Loss - Areas of Scalp Affected by Temporary and Permanent HairLoss Conditions

The back of my hair seems to be thickening up and I’m getting back some density, but my fringe and front hairline were hit hard. I also have some thinning in my temples. Could this be Telogen Effluvium? Also my mum has the same hair as me and she is 50 with a lot of hair, the same as her mother.

Answer: Hi, Brittany. It sounds like you have had a lot to deal with over the past 12 months and this could certainly have resulted in hair loss.

It is likely you did indeed experience Telogen Effluvium (TE) earlier this year when you were shedding hair diffusely from all over your scalp. This temporary hair loss condition can be triggered by emotional or physical stress and the associated hair fall tends to present around three months it is set in motion.

Given the stressful issues you experienced occurred initially approximately 2-3 months before you started experiencing diffuse thinning, it seems to fit with this diagnosis.

TE is the result of a disturbance to the hair growth cycle, which causes many of the actively growing (anagen) hairs – up to 30-40 per cent – being prematurely pushed into resting (telogen) phase. This results in excess shedding.

Whilst Telogen Effluvium treatment courses are available, normal hair regrowth should spontaneously resume shortly after the trigger factor has been removed. This will involve the shedding slowing down and short regrowing hairs becoming noticeable all over your scalp, with your hair density also improving.

You mentioned that you are now seeing some improvements to your hair and there is thicker hair at the back of your head, but that it has remained thinner towards the front, around your hairline and temples.

It is common to inherit genetic hair loss – more commonly known in women as Female Pattern Hair Losss – and the traits involved in this hereditary condition can come from the male side of your family as well as the female side.

This condition causes thinning hair in the region along the top of your scalp from the crown to the hairline and temples. This is known as the vertex; the rest of the scalp – the back and sides of the head – are not affected so the hair will feel thicker there.

Common signs of female pattern hairloss include your parting getting wider and your hair having less density than usual. This is often most noticeable when trying to put your hair into a ponytail as it will feel much thinner than usual.

Genetic hair loss can start at any age following puberty and tends to come on gradually, as it is a permanent, progressive condition. It can also be exacerbated or even prematurely triggered in women with an underlying genetic predisposition, by various additional factors. These include stress, some medical conditions and dietary deficiencies.

If you did notice any signs of Female Pattern Hair Loss prior to your eye operation or the sudden death of your family member, it could be that you have the necessary genetic make-up and the stress these incidents caused, which led to the Telogen Effluvium, also sparked off this hereditary shedding.

Of course, whilst this is the most likely conclusion based on the small amount of information you have provided here, we advise you to have a professional consultation, online or in-person at a dedicated hair loss clinic, in order to receive a confirmed diagnosis.

From there, a personalised course of women’s hair loss treatment products can be recommended to you, based on your condition, medical profile, age and any lifestyle requirements.

This is likely to involve appropriate formulations of the clinically-proven hair loss solution high strength minoxidil, as well as supporting non-pharmaceutical elements such as the use of an FDA-cleared LaserBand low level laser therapy device to stimulate the follicles, and Hair Vitalics for Women one-a-day nutritional supplements.

It may also be beneficial to find ways to help manage your stress; grieving is often an on-going process over many years after the bereavement, so getting support with this may help too.


Circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinics LondonThe Belgravia Centre

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

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

Name: Nathan

Question: I bought some minoxidil treatment for my receding hairline but I know MPB can affect other areas of the scalp too. Do I just apply the treatment to my hairline or should I apply it all over the whole scalp as a preventative measure?

receding hairline man afro hair type working stressed concentrating phone

Answer: Hi, Nathan. If you are treating a receding hairline as a result of MPB (Male Pattern Baldness) then it is likely you may have signs in the other areas this condition affects.

This is not your entire scalp but along the top of it – the area known as the ‘vertex’ which runs from the crown to the hairline and temples.

Although thinning hair at the temples may be more obvious – after all, the hairline is far more immediately obvious to us given we see it a lot more than the top of our head! – you should check for other signs of hair loss, too.

These can include increased hair fall, thinning on top, a thinning crown, and a general decrease in how thick your hair feels when you run your hand through it. These additional symptoms may appear singularly or you may have a few, or even all, of them simultaneously.

As Male Pattern Hair Loss is a permanent, progressive condition, they may not all present at once to start with, but may develop over time; we presume this is where your extremely valid concern regarding preventing baldness comes from.

If, after checking, your only hair loss concern is your hairline, you should still start treatment by applying minoxidil to the temple and frontal hairline areas that are thinning or receding but also using it to cover the rest of the vertex. Keep to the dosage advised in the directions which you should find printed on the packaging and/or in the patient information leaflet.

Ensure you follow the instructions provided with your product, strictly and, if you have any queries about these, we recommend you contact the vendor or manufacturer for further advice, given you are not a Belgravia patient.

Using additional medication on other areas of your scalp even if you do not notice any further signs of shedding or decreased hair density can be a preventative measure.

It is not unheard of for Male Pattern Baldness to develop in all affected areas but only be visible in one or two – in this case the hairline – initially. This is a phenomenon that has been dubbed ‘invisible hair loss‘.

It is important to note that you will be using the same amount of medication per application regardless of whether you are using it to treat the entire vertex or just the hairline. The dosage should not be increased, it should remain the same and simply be spread over the larger surface area.

Do not increase the high strength minoxidil dosage as over-using your medication will not make it more effective and may lead to an increased risk of your developing adverse events.

We hope this information is helpful but should you require a second opinion on your current hair loss treatment or details of which additional hair growth supporting products may be best-suited to your specific level and pattern of shedding, you are welcome to have a consultation with a dedicated specialist, either online or at one of Belgravia’s City of London or Central London hair loss clinics.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free ConsultationThe 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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HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: David

Question: I’m looking into getting a hair transplant and want to be prepared about aftercare and what I need to use to keep up the results from my surgery. I want to get my receding hairline filled in and understand I need to keep using hair loss treatment after but I’m confused about the difference between ATP spray and minoxidil – are they the same thing? Or do you use both or one, and if it’s just one, which is best?

Answer: Hi, David. ATP spray and minoxidil are different products but there is a scientific connection between the two.

spray liquid

High strength minoxidil is a topical vasodilator that is MHRA-licensed in the UK and FDA-approved in America for the treatment of genetic hair loss in both men and women ie. Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

Liposomal adenosine triphosphate spray, often referred to as just ATP spray, is used after a hair transplant to aid healing and improve the chances of the grafts taking properly.

After hair restoration surgery the scalp will be tender and raw from the incisions, as well as in the donor areas where the implanted hairs were taken from.

Although minoxidil-users will understand they need to use this treatment consistently, it cannot be applied to broken skin so is unsuitable for use after a hair transplant until the scalp has properly healed. This is where the liposomal ATP spray comes in.

The actions of minoxidil and ATP are linked in that minoxidil is transformed into minoxidil sulfate in the hair follicle which then stimulates the sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) into releasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

This ATP is then turned into adenosine and appears to spark the hair follicles’ dermal papilla cells’ adenosine receptors into producing vascular endothelial cells, resulting in hair growth.

Liposomal ATP is generally used for the first 48 hours following hair transplant surgery to help improve the grafts’ chances of survival. It is not recommended as a hair loss treatment outside of this.

When the donor hairs are replanted, they have no natural blood or oxygen supplies and ATP spray is believed to increase the supply of both to the follicles, as well as maintaining the cells’ health in order to make them more viable. This, therefore, can give them a better chance of taking and aiding scalp recovery through skin healing.

Anatomy of a hair - diagram hair follicle

Sometimes the liposomal ATP spray will also involve copper peptides as these have been seen to help push the transplanted follicles into the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle, where they start actively growing. You can find out more about this in an article from the Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology from 2015, called Hair restoration surgery: challenges and solutions.

It is worth noting that ‘ATP treatment’ can actually have two meanings in relation to hairloss. In addition to it being the use of liposomal ATP spray outlined above, it can also refer to Advanced Tricho Pigmentation. This is a type of medical grade scalp tattooing that uses dots in a number of shades to create the illusion of a crew cut. It is also known as micropigmentation and is a method of concealing hair loss rather than treating it.

In order to help you with your research into what exactly is involved in getting a hair transplant, including preparation and aftercare, we recommend you visit as many different well-respected, experienced and licensed surgeons who specialise in this area, as you can. It is important to find a good fit and a surgeon you feel confident with.

Furthermore, a consultation with a specialist at a hair loss clinic that offers non-surgical treatment options can be useful too. Following a scalp assessment – either in-person or online – personalised recommendations can be made for pre- and post-transplant hair loss solutions, as well as a referral to an accomplished surgeon being made.

It is usually recommended that men wanting to have hair restoration surgery first undergo 6 to 12 months of clinically-proven, pharmaceutical male hair loss treatment. This is because it should stabilise shedding and maximise hair growth, giving the surgeon a cleaner area to work with. It also gives the patient the opportunity to see the levels of regrowth that can be achieved without surgery, so they can then decide if they wish to proceed with the operation, delay or cancel it.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free ConsultationThe 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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HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Kiran

Question: My friend told me he’s using red ginseng ethanol tincture to treat his hair loss. I just want to know if this really can regrow hair for Male Pattern Baldness, how much should you use and if it is safe?

Answer: Hi, Kiran. Red ginseng – also known as panax ginseng – is believed to inhibit DKK-1, a gene found to be highly upregulated – made more prevalent – in the dermal papilla of hair follicles affected by androgenic alopecia, which is perhaps better known as Male Pattern Baldness.

panax ginseng - red ginseng

A 2007 study from Kyungpook National University in Daegu, Korea, found that DKK-1 mRNA is upregulated only 3-6 hours after dihydrotestosterone (DHT) treatment; DKK-1 is then secreted from dermal papilla cells in response to DHT.

This was seen to inhibit the growth of cells in the outer root sheath and trigger cell death. These findings would, therefore, explain the gradual follicluar miniaturisation process and eventual baldness that occurs in cases of androgenic alopecia.

Researchers from the study concluded that “…DHT-inducible DKK-1 is involved in DHT-driven balding” adding that, to reverse the effects of DHT in the dermal papilla, a DKK-1-neutralising antibody should be used.

A further hair loss study was carried out in 2017 at Dankook Medical College in the Republic of Korea, using panax ginseng extract to inhibit the effects of DKK-1 in the hair follicle. This was successfully achieved on ex vivo human hair organ culture.

Published results show the panax ginseng extract managed to regulate apoptosis-related gene expression in the hair follicle. This essentially means the genes responsible for cell death in the hair follicles were better regulated with the help of the panax ginseng extract, leading to a reduction in the rate of cell death in the follicles.

Although only ex vivo trials were conducted, I believe this has good potential for further research and we may well see it being used in genetic hair loss treatments in the future.

Panax ginseng has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, both of which are important for healthy hair follicles. Several studies over the years have also found it to be helpful in promoting hair growth as it stimulates cell proliferation. Now we also know that it inhibits cell death in outer root sheath keratinocytes in the hair follicle.

Most studies I reviewed used panax ginseng extract in ethanol which is also known as a panax ginseng tincture, ‘tincture’ referring to the common pharmacology practice of dissolving a medication or drug in alcohol. Many minoxidil preparations are also dissolved in alcohol.

Usually when a medication is used, the administered dose is strictly regulated, for example the only clinically-proven oral male hair loss treatment – the DHT-blocking tablet finasteride – is taken in a 1mg dose each day. Also, when applying minoxidil, usually only 1ml of the formula is used in total during each application (usually once or twice per day depending on the instructions provided). This is a very small amount and is unlikely to cause skin irritations, unless there is a pre-existing skin condition or sensitivity to one of the ingredients.

Regarding absorption or efficacy of red ginseng extract or tincture, it is difficult to comment as we need more research. Red ginseng extract is already used orally, and occasionally topically, with various effects, however, as with most herbal preparations, there is no particular dose that is widely or strictly recommended – nor is this regulated – for use relating to hair regrowth.

There is no reliable evidence determining precisely what percentage of ginseng tincture is absorbed topically into the hair follicles if it is applied to the scalp.

Whilst one study I am aware of used 20ppm (parts per million) root of panax ginseng extract in 70% ethyl alcohol, this was in a lab setting and not tested on human patients. The few human trials I have seen involved red ginseng taken orally while the participants were also using other hair loss medications, such as corticosteroids for Alopecia Areata.

Overall, it seems clear more research is needed in this area to establish not just its proper safety, efficacy and tolerability, but also the optimal dosing and delivery methods.

There are warnings regarding possible side effects for oral red ginseng, which include sleep disturbance, blood pressure changes, breast pain, mood changes and rashes developing. Topical use is likely to be safer but this has not yet been properly established. I consulted my colleague, Superintendent Pharmacist Prescriber, Christina Chikaher, on this who advised it is unlikely the tincture element would cause any harm, but agreed that the likelihood of adverse events related to the red ginseng was yet to be properly established.

Again, I believe we need more research on the efficacy and safety of topical red ginseng when used specifically as a hair loss treatment, as well as its long-term profile, given pattern hairloss requires on-going use.

Given this, for now at least, there is not enough concrete scientific evidence to support our recommending it without further research but if you wish to give it a go, we advise you to do so under the supervision of your GP. However, if you wish to explore authorised treatment options, a consultation with a dedicated specialist can provide you with a diagnosis and, if appropriate, tailored recommendations for suitable hair loss solutions and hair growth supporting products.


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

Name: Joey

Question: My friend has thinning hair and he’s using peppermint oil and dermarolling to get his hair back to normal. It seems to be working. I have Male Pattern Baldness too and am wondering if I can use peppermint oil to treat my receding hairline – do you think it would work?

Answer: Hi, Joey. There are a number of different hair loss conditions which can cause thinning hair and, if your friend is seeing good hair regrowth results from his routine of using peppermint oil and dermarolling, the chances are his is not caused by genetics.

Peppermint Oil

A recent study showed that peppermint oil may help to treat hair loss from conditions such as Telogen Effluvium and Diffuse Thinning (Chronic Telogen Effluvium).

These differ from Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) in that they are not hereditary, are temporary and affect the entire scalp, whereas MPB only causes shedding along the top of the scalp, from the hairline to the crown.

These temporary conditions will also generally clear up of their own accord within a few months once the underlying cause – often stress-related – has been dealt with. Therefore it is likely to be difficult to tell whether or not your friend’s hair regrowth is the result of his peppermint oil hair routine, or it is simply the normal hair growth cycle resuming.

Whilst the stimulating effect of peppermint oil, or menthol, on the scalp can benefit localised blood flow, as well as soothing the scalp, relieving any itching symptoms – one of the reasons it is included in some of the clinical therapy sessions at Belgravia – there is no scientific evidence to support any claims that its use can inhibit the formation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is the testosterone-derivative which binds to androgen receptors in DHT-susceptible hair follicles in people with Male Pattern Hair Loss – namely those in the areas along the vertex and frontal scalp, outlined previously.

Over time the DHT will weaken the affected follicles, causing increasingly thinning hair, a receding hairline and more hairloss; it can also lead to baldness in these areas.

For those interested in preventing baldness, there are a number of hair loss solutions available, ranging from clinically-proven, MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved hair loss treatments, to supplementary hair growth supporting products.

When treating a receding hairline we generally to advise on a combined approach – using both high strength minoxidil and taking the one-a-day DHT-blocking tablet, finasteride 1mg – as this is the most stubborn part of the scalp, where hair growth tends to be the slowest. This can be augmented with the use of low level laser therapy (LLLT) delivered at home via an FDA-cleared device such as the LaserBand, three times per week.

Ensuring you have a balanced diet and lifestyle, appropriately managing any stress, is also beneficial for your hair’s condition, something a good quality, highly-targeted nutritional supplement can also help with though this is not intended to replace a healthy diet.

The first step to dealing with hair loss of any kind, however, is to have a professional assess your scalp in order to get a confirmed diagnosis of your condition.

Once that has been properly established, bespoke treatment recommendations can be made based on factors including your pattern and level of shedding, age and general medical profile. If you wish to try using peppermint oil and/or a dermaroller as part of your regime, this can also be discussed with your hair loss specialist, so they can advise you further on what is likely to be best for your specific situation.

There are a couple of things to be aware of regarding the topical use of peppermint oil, should you decide to try this. Firstly, if you have any health problems or are taking any medication, speak to your GP to ensure peppermint oil is not contraindicated for these as it is not suitable for everyone. Secondly, if you are using any essential oils on your skin, it is crucial to ensure they are properly diluted before application. Otherwise they can cause irritation, rashes and, in severe cases, burns, so always buy from a reputably supplier then read, prepare and use the oil in-line with the instructions provided with the product.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free ConsultationThe 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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HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Re

Question: I have a question regarding stress-induced hair loss. I have Male Pattern Baldness and two months after an emotionally stressful event, noticed intense shedding. The shedding lasted for about 2-3 months and now my hair loss is stable but I notice a diffuse thinning all over my scalp. I am using minoxidil hair loss treatment and want to know if the shed hair that I lost from what I presume is Telogen Effluvium, grow back?

Answer: Hi, Re. It does sound like you experienced acute Telogen Effluvium (TE) which is a temporary condition often associated with physical or emotional stress.

It causes a disturbance to the hair growth cycle which leads to many hairs that were in the anagen (actively growing) stage being prematurely pushed into their telogen (resting) phase.

This results in those hairs shedding from all over the scalp, which can seem intense due to up to around one third of the scalp hairs being affected at once. However, normal hair regrowth tends to resume shortly after in the majority of cases.

In most people hair regrowth is seen within 3-6 months after signs of hair loss from Telogen Effluvium become obvious, whether they are using hair loss treatment or not.

It is a very good sign that your hair loss has stopped now and it is completely normal for it to feel like you have lost hair density, from all over the scalp, for a short period after a bout of TE. New hair growth should start to come in soon so you should look out for signs of short hairs all over your scalp.

Those with stubborn hairloss are sometimes offered a dedicated Telogen Effluvium treatment course featuring appropriate formulations of high strength minoxidil. Although this topical medication is MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved for the treatment of genetic hairloss in men and women, it is known to have additional ‘off-label’ applications for other hair loss conditions, one of which is TE.

Given you are already using minoxidil to treat your Male Pattern Baldness, a permanent genetic problem which can be exacerbated by this temporary hair loss condition, additional treatment is not recommended.

As you do not appear to be a Belgravia client, we recommend checking in with your treatment provider but, for now, advise that you continue using your medication as usual to ensure you keep stimulating your hair growth.

Also, another reason it is wise to continue your normal regimen is because a break in treatment could result in your shedding from male hair loss resuming once again.

As Male Pattern Hair Loss is an on-going concern, treatment needs to be on-going too – at least until a cure is found! Stopping treatment can result in you losing any regrowth gains and your hair thinning continuing as it did before you started using minoxidil.

If you are considering additional hair growth support, you may find products such as the LaserBand useful for stimulating the follicles and nutritional supplements convenient for the maintenance of normal healthy hair. Belgravia offers its highly-targeted Hair Vitalics for Men one-a-day tablets to non-clients as well, and they can be purchased from either of our London hair loss clinics in person, or online from hairvitalics.com. These should not, however, replace a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

If you would like a second opinion or scalp assessment from a professional hair loss specialist, you may find a consultation helpful, either in-person or online. Alternatively, you may wish to simply see how you get on over the next three months, then reconsider should there be any significant hair loss increases, or a lack of regrowth after this period.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free ConsultationThe 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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HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Mikey

Question: I’m using hair loss treatment and have got dandruff, I don’t know if it’s the minoxidil foam but it’s definitely been worse since I started around two months ago. What can I do to treat my dandruff without it interfering with my treatment? I don’t want to stop treatment so I just need a way to sort out the flaking.

Answer: Hi, Mikey. Although we have not examined your scalp, it is highly unlikely you would need to stop your hair loss treatment course in order to effectively deal with your dandruff.

Dandruff and Diet

There are, however, a number of steps you can take and one does involve potentially switching the type of hair loss solution you are currently using. We understand you are not a Belgravia patient so you may wish to discuss our advice with your current treatment provider in this regard.

The first step we recommend is to wash your hair every day, alternating between using a good quality gentle shampoo – anything that is not full of harsh chemicals and drying to the scalp – and a specifically-targeted dandruff shampoo.

Ideally you should use a good quality medicated shampoo which contains ingredients known to combat dandruff inc ketoconazole, pyrithione, climbazole, coal tar or birch tar. Belgravia offers clinical therapy sessions to patients to help ease these types of issues, but these are only available to our clients. Our exclusive B4 shampoo, which was specifically formulated for the purpose of treating a range of scalp issues, is, however, also available to non-clients by visiting or calling our London hair loss clinics.

You mention using minoxidil foam to treat your hairloss; it may be worth considering switching to a different formulation, such as liquid minoxidil.

Liquid formulations of high strength minoxidil are often easier to apply, given drops can be applied straight to the scalp whereas with a foam, it is often the case that people accidentally apply more to the hair their actual head. This can not only be a messy, ineffective application method but the optimal amount of the hair loss product may not be absorbed by the scalp.

It is also important to ensure you are applying minoxidil properly – following the instructions to the letter. It should be applied to a dry scalp (the hair should also be dry) to avoid any dilution of the medication, and should be given sufficient time to absorb – a minimum of half an hour but ideally at least one hour – before coming into contact with water, for example taking a shower or going swimming.

Furthermore, ensure that, if you blow dry your hair, you do so before applying your solution, otherwise it is likely to evaporate.

Belgravia Centre B4 Medicated Shampoo treatment shampoo

Sometimes people do experience mild scalp irritation from minoxidil so we would recommend both trying the above shampooing routine and speaking to your treatment provider in order to determine the best course of action.

Then, if after a couple of weeks you don’t notice any improvement, you would do well to consult a dermatologist regarding your scalp condition, or a hair loss specialist if you wish to both review your treatment regimen and have your scalp issues professionally diagnosed.

There are certain scalp-drying situations which may make the flaking worse, so by being aware of these, you may be able to take steps to help you avoid them. These include being in an environment where there is constant central heating or air-conditioning, or taking flights – especially long haul.

Do also try to avoid scratching your scalp as this can aggravate the skin, may lead to an infection and, should it be a repeated behaviour on an on-going basis, could lead to permanent hair loss if the area becomes scarred.

If your dandruff is self-diagnosed it may be worthwhile getting a professional opinion as a flaky scalp can indicate a number of issues, not just dandruff. These include seborrhoeic dermatitis and eczema, both of which have a number of treatments available, including prescription medication, but which – in mild cases – should also be cleared up using the medicated shampoo routine previously outlined.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free ConsultationThe 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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