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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.

Related Stories


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

Name: Sarah

Question: I am considering starting hair loss treatment with minoxidil but I have a cat and have heard minoxidil is harmful to cats. Please can you advise me if this is true and if there is any way to use it without risking my cat’s health?

Answer: Hi, Sarah. We’ve had several queries regarding high strength minoxidil use and cats over the years.

is minoxidil harmful to cats hair loss treatment advice belgravia centre clinic london

Given it would be unethical to test human hair loss treatment on cats, there is very little reliable scientific research published in medical journals about this.

However, an article from the Journal of Vetinary Emergency and Critical Care, which was published in 2004, reports on the death of two cats following their exposure to topical minoxidil liquid.

The abstract states: “Two cats with dermal exposure to topical minoxidil solution were identified from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) files. Both cats were presented with lethargy and dyspnea within 36 hours of exposure. The cats were hypothermic, and had pulmonary edema and pleural effusion present on thoracic radiography. Both cats died despite supportive care. Necropsy of both cats confirmed pleural effusion and pulmonary edema and indicated cardiac compromise.”

What this does not tell us is how much minoxidil the cats came into contact with and what strength the hair loss solution was.

At Belgravia we always advise patients, with or without pets, to apply minoxidil at least one hour before they go to bed and to wash their hands their hands thoroughly after each application. This applies to all minoxidil formulations and, by doing so, allows sufficient time for the medication to be absorbed into the scalp with minimal residue.

This is important because any residue on the pillow means that, not only is some of the medication wasted as it is absorbed into the pillowcase rather than the scalp, but, when there is minoxidil residue on the pillow it may come into contact with the patient’s face, increasing the chances of skin irritation or the development of facial hair.

In cases where the patient is a cat owner, we would advise the same – apply at least an hour before going to bed to avoid residue on the pillow. You can also take the extra precaution of changing your pillowcase frequently, even daily, if you wish.

Symptoms of possible minoxidil toxicity in cats which you should be aware of include lethargy, weakness, a rapid respiratory rate, difficulty breathing, a lack of appetite and coughing.

It goes without saying that obviously you should not apply minoxidil to your cat or let it come into contact with your medication. But, should your cat accidentally touch minoxidil, I would advise washing the paw or fur immediately to remove any residue and take them straight to the vet as soon as possible.  

As you no doubt know, cats are very curious and can easily climb onto furniture, getting into even the smallest of spaces, so I would highly recommend storing your hair loss treatment safely, perhaps in a locked cupboard.

You can find further information on this subject, here, and, if you would like further details on women’s hair loss treatment, you may find an online or in-person consultation useful, where can discuss both your shedding concerns and any further queries regarding storage and application of your meds with a dedicated hair loss specialist.


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.

Related Stories


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

Name: Ash

Question: Hi. I’ve been bald for a few years now but am starting to miss my hair so my question is can minoxidil revive dead follicles?

Answer: Hi, Ash. We’re answering this query based on the assumption the reason for your baldness is Male Pattern Hair Loss, however, if this is not the case, we recommend a consultation with a specialist, trichologist or a dermatologist to determine why you went bald.

Bald male pattern baldness shaved head

As you may already know, minoxidil is one of only two clinically-proven male hair loss treatments that is both MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved. Topical solutions of high strength minoxidil are known to encourage hair growth and can be used on their own or accompanied by an oral DHT-blocker.

DHT – full name, dihydrotestosterone – is the testosterone byproduct which causes hair loss in those with a genetic predisposition to Male Pattern Baldness. During puberty it helps men to develop their sexual characteristics but after that time it is understood to attach to hair follicles located around the top of the scalp, from crown to hairline and temporal regions.

In men predisposed to hereditary hair loss, the DHT binds to receptors in these follicles, slowly weakening them, causing gradually thinning hair, receding and often eventual baldness. This process is known as follicular miniaturisation.

Those taking steps towards preventing baldness will need to do so whilst the hair follicles are still active – even if the hairs that are present are thinning this is a sign of life! – if they wish to pursue non-surgical hair loss treatment options, such as minoxidil.

Once the follicle have been destroyed and baldness has set in – signified by the smooth, shiny appearance of the scalp – these are no longer capable of producing hair growth, even with stimulation.

In some cases bald men may be able to have hair transplant surgery to get their hair back, however, this depends largely on the size of the area involved and the amount of good quality donor hair they have available.

Donor hair is found in the areas of the scalp that are immune to the effects of DHT, namely the back and sides, roughly from in line with the top of the ears down to the nape.

A highly-skilled surgeon should be consulted before embarking on such a delicate procedure, especially where there is a large area to be covered. They can not only advise you on whether or not you are a good candidate for a hair transplant, but can advise as to the type of surgery that best suits your situation, and whether natural-looking results are possible and how long it is likely to take for you to achieve your preferred look.

Additionally, choosing a reputable surgeon who is local to you ensure proper after care which is especially valuable should anything go wrong afterwards. Whilst hair transplants abroad may be cheaper than in the UK, there are significant dangers associated with this type of medical tourism – which it is important you make yourself aware of before considering such a move.

Although a hair transplant is not often seen as a ‘big deal’ now, it is still an invasive operation and requires a high degree of skill, precision and professional medical training to be done correctly – not to mention good quality, sterile equipment and proper aftercare.

Scalp Micropigmentation
An Example of Scalp Micropigmentation

There are cosmetic options, where non-surgical hair loss solutions are no longer possible and a hair transplant does not appeal. One of the most popular new services is called micropigmentation and involves medical-grade fine tattooing of the area where hair would normally grow. Many dots are applied in a number of different shades over several sessions, mimicking the natural appearance of hair in a buzzcut style, such as that worn by Vin Diesel.

As with hair transplants, this is not a service we offer at Belgravia, but, again, it also requires a highly adept and specially-trained professional to carry it out, not a regular tattoo artist nor beautician. Getting it wrong can not only be a costly and painful error when laser-removal is necessary, but the results can look extremely unnatural as various YouTube videos can attest to.

Whichever route you choose, it is so important to do your homework first to ensure you are happy with not only the option you select, but also that you feel comfortable and safe with the person carrying it out, and understand them to be both properly qualified, trained and licensed to perform this for you.


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.

Related Stories


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

Name: Nathan

Question: I have thinning hair on top and it’s been like this for a few years now so I suspect it’s Male Pattern Baldness and I know that’s pretty much normal. What I’m worried about is that I now have hairs coming out from my donor areas. When I brush my hair I notice I’m losing around 10 hairs each time (every day) from the back and sides of my head. I want to keep my donor hair healthy in case I ever consider a hair transplant so can you tell me what I can do to maintain this hair please and is it normal to be losing this much hair from the areas that don’t have MPB?

Areas of the scalp affected by male pattern hair loss baldness - Belgravia Centre
Areas of the scalp that can be affected by male pattern hair loss

Answer: Hi, Nathan. The hair loss you describe from the back and sides of your head sounds absolutely normal; in fact, it is common for everyone to lose around 100-150 hairs per day as a regular function of the hair growth cycle.

Shedding 10 hairs per day from these healthy areas does not signal a hair loss condition or anything to be worried about.

The thinning on top that you mention does sound likely to be Male Pattern Baldness given the length of time it has been present and the fact that it only affects the areas affected by DHT in those with a genetic susceptibility. These are the top of the scalp (vertex), crown and hairline including the temples.

Waiting until you lose your hair in these areas before proceeding straight to surgery is quite a drastic approach and we would definitely advise you to have a consultation with a hair loss specialist or even an experienced hair transplant surgeon now.

The reason for doing this is to find out whether it is likely you may be a suitable candidate for surgical hair restoration or not; and, if so, at what point this may be most appropriate – as well as when this operation would not be possible.

It is always best to be fully informed of your options and have the details you need ahead of time so you can make the best decision about if, when and how to tackle your hairloss.

If you would like to explore non-surgical ways of preventing baldness, there are clinically-proven medications that are both MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved for this purpose, as well as an array of non-pharmaceutical hair growth supporting products, which can help.

Depending on your age and medical profile, there are oral and topical options which can be used individually or, as Belgravia specialists usually recommend, together as part of a combination hair loss treatment course, to encourage accelerated hair growth and to inhibit the formation of DHT.

DHT (dihydrotestosterone), as you may know, is the testosterone-derivative which, following puberty, attacks susceptible hair follicles in the areas outlined above. By binding to their receptors, it causes increasingly thinning hair that gradually becomes weaker over time and can lead to baldness through a process known as follicular miniaturisation.

Adjunctive follicle-stimulating low level laser therapy (LLLT), delivered via an FDA-cleared device such as the HairMax LaserBand can further assist in preventing hair loss and promoting stronger hair growth, whilst highly-targeted food supplements. Whilst not a replacement for a balanced diet, these can ensure the hair receives optimum amounts of key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals, including biotin, selenium and zinc which contribute to the maintenance of normal hair growth.

These latter options in particular can also help what you refer to as your ‘donor hair’, keeping it in optimum condition.

Other day-to-day tips for healthy hair include washing your hair every day, or every other day (unless your hair type is Afro, in which case washing once a week is fine), to ensure your scalp is kept clean and in good shape; avoiding heat styling as much as possible or taking a sensible approach to this to prevent dryness and hair breakage, having a healthy lifestyle and diet – including getting enough sleep – so as to avoid emotional and physical stress and any dietary deficiencies which can cause hair loss all over the scalp.


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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Name: Vik

Question: I am writing on behalf of my girlfriend. Over the last 2-3 weeks she has noticed loss of eyebrow hair and has also felt itchiness. Whilst she has been to a GP and has been prescribed with an anti-fungal cream to use, this has worsened the redness and itchiness and the hair loss continues. She has been asked to try hydrocortisone next but is worried about the rate of hair loss and I am writing to find out if there are any suggestions and if it would be worth having her arrange a consultation to discuss this further as she is getting quite concerned at how quickly the rate of hair loss is increasing.

Answer: Hi, Vik. We specialise in hair loss that affects the scalp only so unfortunately will not be able to prescribe any treatment for the face.

An example of seborrhoeic dermatitis in the eyebrow
An example of seborrhoeic dermatitis in the eyebrow (red patches which are often accompanied by flaking skin in and around the brow)

However, I do recommend your girlfriend sees a dermatologist who can examine her eyebrows thoroughly. If her GP suspects there is a fungal infection, there are tests that can be arranged to confirm this diagnosis.

Itchy and flaky eyebrows may also present with seborrhoeic dermatitis which is a type of eczema that often affects the areas rich in sebum.

This dermatological condition does not cause hair loss, however, excessive scratching of the area may cause hair breakage or temporary hairloss.

Anti-fungal products often help with seborrhoeic dermatitis, so this may be one of the reasons your GP prescribed such a cream. On the other hand, if the cream made the condition worse, it is important your partner reports this to her GP so that other treatment options can be explored.

Loss of eyebrow hair can happen for various other reasons and it is important for the area to be examined thoroughly so your partner can receive the correct treatment.

For example, Alopecia Areata (AA) can affect any hairs on the body, including the eyebrows, although it is more common on the scalp. It is an autoimmune disorder which tends to present as sudden-onset patchy hair loss.

Possible triggers may include stress, recent infections, dietary deficiencies, other autoimmune problems and, sometimes, a genetic predisposition.

Alopecia Areata should not irritate the skin, though occasionally excessive hair shedding may feel tingling or itchy. The prognosis of AA is very unpredictable but in most cases the hair grows back.

Example of Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia
An Example of Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia

Some types of cicatricial alopecia, also known as ‘scarring alopecia’, such as Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia (FFA), can also affect the eyebrows. This is also an autoimmune condition, but it is poorly understood and the triggers are as yet unknown.

This hair loss condition causes inflammation in the hair follicles which persists for a while before destroying the follicles, leaving permanent band of baldness, where the skin is often smooth and paler, around the frontal hairline area.

FFA is a rare form of hairloss and looks very different to Alopecia Areata and hair breakage, so an experienced dermatologist should be able to confirm the diagnosis following examination.

It is difficult to advise you on treatments or diagnosis without examining the affected area. However, as Belgravia does not offer any hair loss solutions for the face or body, I advise your girlfriend to consult with her GP and/or dermatologist.


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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Name: Roary

Question: My mum has just been diagnosed with female hair loss at 47. I’m pretty sure it’s hereditary so want to know if she has pattern hair loss does it mean I’ll get male pattern baldness? My dad isn’t around so I don’t know what his hair’s like. I’m 20 and think I have a good head of hair and a decent hairline but am worried about losing my hair in the future.

Answer: Hi, Roary. You are right in thinking that pattern hair loss is a hereditary condition; androgenetic alopecia, to give it its medical name, is the result of a number of genes which can be passed on by either your mother, your father, or both.

Therefore, if your mum has Female Pattern Hair Loss, this is a sign that the condition does, indeed, run in your family, regardless or whether your dad has Male Pattern Baldness or not.

Areas of the scalp that can be affected by genetic hair loss male female pattern baldness men women
Areas of the scalp that can be affected by genetic hair loss in men and women

Although this permanent condition – which causes a genetic sensitivity to the androgen hormone DHT which attaches to hair follicles located around the top of the scalp from the hairline to the crown any time following puberty, leading to gradually weakened, thinning hair and receding in these areas – runs in families, it has been known to skip a generation.

When this happens, it means the relevant genetic traits may have been passed on but instead of being active, they may simply be dormant. This means that there may be no outward signs of hair loss but they can still be passed on to any children.

In terms of age, typically men with the relevant predisposition tend to start developing obvious symptoms of pattern hairloss in their 30s, though it is certainly not uncommon among young men in their 20s, either. These include a general decrease in hair density – how thick your hair feels, thinning on top, receding at the temples and/or a thinning crown.

Regardless of your mother’s diagnosis, losing your hair is nothing to worry about. Firstly, although it is – unfortunately – likely, it is not certain it will happen to you.

Secondly, if it does happen, it may not be for a number of years yet, and even when it does start, the rate of shedding may be slow. The speed at which hair thins and sheds varies from person to person so it cannot be predicted but the process of going bald is definitely not a sudden one in cases of androgenetic alopecia.

Lastly, if the worst does happen and you start to lose your hair soon, there are clinically-proven Male Pattern Hair Loss treatments which can be used from the moment a diagnosis of this condition being actively present is made.

Both MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved, there are oral and topical hair loss solutions available which can be used individually or – as is usually recommended by Belgravia specialists – in combination.

These help with inhibiting DHT, promoting accelerated hair growth and, with on-going use (Male Pattern Baldness is, after all, a permanent condition for which there is not yet a cure), preventing baldness.

Additional non-pharmaceutical hair growth supporting products can also be used to help encourage stronger hair regrowth and maintain normal healthy hair growth. These range from food supplements to follicle-stimulating, FDA-cleared low-level laser devices which can be used at home.

Right now, however, it does not appear you have any hair loss concerns so whilst it may be worth keeping an eye on your hairline and overall volume, there is no immediate action you should take.

Should this change, the first step would be to consult a hair loss specialist who can assess your scalp and diagnose any issues, as well as recommending a tailored treatment course where appropriate.


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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