Most people who contact the Belgravia Centre are seeking advice about a personal problem with hair loss, but quite often newspapers and magazines call to ask for help with articles, too.
Other times, existing information on the Belgravia website and blog is borrowed by the media to add weight to their stories; occasionally Belgravia is mentioned in first-person articles by people who have been in for a consultation, too.
Stress and struggles with Alopecia Areata
The latest batch of Belgravia’s press articles began with a report in Cosmopolitan by a young woman named Sophie, who described her struggles with Alopecia Areata, the autoimmune disorder that leads to sudden, patchy hair loss. She explained how her hair started shedding following the breakdown of a relationship and the loss of a friend in a car accident just after her first year at university.
“When I went home a few weeks into the term,” she writes, “my mum spotted that I had very little hair behind my ears. I hadn’t noticed it at all, but when I went back to uni I saw a doctor about it just in case. She told me it wasn’t severe enough to refer me to a dermatologist, so I went away and tried to forget about it.”
The hairloss continued, however, and Sophie decided to visit another doctor. She was told it was likely that she had stress-related Alopecia Areata. The disease has a number of suspected triggers, and psychological long-term stress is one of them – as is shock and sudden, extreme stress.
In her account of the resultant struggles of trying to come to terms with her shedding, Sophie details how she also had to deal with the hair from the rest of her body starting to fall out, too, suggesting that her condition had developed into Alopecia Universalis.
A glimmer of hope came when hair started to regrow on her head around eight months ago, but it fell out again. Sophie writes that she was told upon visiting The Belgravia Centre that the pattern in which her hair had fallen out – “starting behind my ears and then snaking across my head” – indicated that there was a good chance it may never grow back.
While Alopecia Areata treatment at Belgravia has certainly resulted in many success stories, this is only suitable for the scalp-only form of the condition. There are currently no truly effective treatments available for the more extreme types of autoimmune hair loss, though many are in development.
Stress was mentioned again in the context of Belgravia in another article on Livestrong.com, which was looking at how men might grow thicker facial hair. “Leonora Doclis, senior trichologist at the Belgravia Centre, reports that stress can actually cause hair loss,” stated the article.
Indeed it can, and not just in cases of Alopecia Areata, or – as the article referenced, beard hair loss known as Alopecia Barbae. In fact, stress is more often thought to be behind a temporary all-over shedding condition named Telogen Effluvium, which can happen when the body reacts badly to something and causes an increase in the number of hairs that enter the resting phase, before falling out. This can exacerbate or even trigger the early onset of androgenetic alopecia in men and women with a predisposition to this hereditary type of hair loss.
Next, in an article on Romper.com about postpartum hair loss, their journalist was contemplating whether or not certain hairstyles could exacerbate the problem of thinning hair after having a baby. The writer states that the advice from “the hair loss specialists at The Belgravia Centre is to try and wear it loose as much as possible.”
This is so as not to cause further shedding to already-vulnerable hair (many women experience Postpartum Alopecia, a form of Telogen Effluvium which follows pregnancy) and would also minimise the risk of a separate condition named Traction Alopecia, which is sometimes seen when people frequently wear very tight hairstyles or hair extensions for long periods of time.
Treatment for Traction Alopecia and, for women who are not – or are no longer – nursing, postpartum alopecia treatment are both possible. These can often help to speed up the hair growth process for women and include both pharmaceutical and non-medicinal products.
Male pattern hair loss
For an article on WebMD, Christina Chikaher, Belgravia’s superintendent pharmacist, is quoted as saying that “some people are of course of the opinion that bald men are more attractive, so not all men have a problem with losing their hair.” The story was headlined “Tips for men to cope with hair loss” and focused on the genetic condition Male Pattern Baldness, which – despite Christina’s encouraging words – is still viewed by plenty of men as a disastrous phase in their life.
Luckily, there are clinically-proven male hair loss treatments which, in many cases, can provide an effective way of regrowing a receding hairline and/or a thinning crown. Through using either or both of the key medications – finasteride 1mg and minoxidil, which are the only medications licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA for this purpose – formulated to inhibit the cause of hair thinning and promote hair growth, men have a viable solution for potentially preventing baldness.
Lastly, the Daily Mail featured a response from Leonora (pictured) giving Belgravia’s views on the announcement of a new Help Hair protein shake “that promises to reverse hair loss”.
The Mail Online quotes her explanation as to why the nutritional supplement may help to keep hair in good condition but will not stimulate hair growth.
“‘Protein and amino acids are indeed essential for healthy hair growth but they will not reduce levels of DHT – the hormone that causes genetic hair loss,’ she said. Her practice offers a similar product, but without the protein, which she says is not designed as a stand-alone hair loss treatment and that the Help Hair shake should not be classed as one either. ‘These products, as much any vitamin supplement, can be very helpful if nutritional deficiency caused the hair loss and if taken in combination with the proven hair loss medications. ‘Dr Shapiro’s shake may have gone a step further in incorporating most of the essential vitamins and mineral in a protein shake compared to other brands.'”
Recent media reports on studies and anecdotal evidence has also suggested that nutritional supplements, particularly whey protein shakes, that are taken in drink form may even contribute to hair loss. This is believed to be due to the different rates of absorption seen between liquid supplements and solid formats.
For more information on hair loss issues, visit the Belgravia blog, which is updated daily. Or, for personalised advice you can ask a question, here, or arrange a free consultation either in person at one of our Central London hair loss clinics, or via our website consultation form for those based further afield.
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.