With another year drawing to a close and a new year about to begin, now seems like an apt time to take a look back over the last 12 months and review the hair loss stories making the headlines in 2010.
Experimental Hair Loss Treatments
Last week we reported that German scientists had managed to clone hair follicles from animal stem cells and hope to be able to offer a revolutionary ‘hair cloning’ treatment within five years. Japan’s Unihair meanwhile made similar claims back in November, though their proposed hair cell regeneration technique relies on taking tissues from the patient’s own hair follicles and then multiplying this in a lab. They announced that their research had been boosted following their purchase of scientific assets relating to hair cloning from previous industry leaders Intercytex.
Celebrity Hair Loss
Over in America meanwhile, celebrities with alopecia have been making the headlines for completely different reasons. In November, NBA basketball player Charlie Villanueva’s struggle with Alopecia Universalis was highlighted in the media after a player for a rival team referred to him as a “cancer patient”. The comment on court outraged Villanueva, cancer survivors and sports commentators alike. Villanueva’s alopecia resulted in him losing all hair on his scalp and body at an early age, and today he is the national spokesman for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
Over on the west coast, Kayla Martell, who suffers from Alopecia Areata and has lost virtually all hair on her scalp, won the Miss Delaware beauty pageant in June. Since taking the title she has used her position to raise awareness of alopecia and hair loss in women. In January Ms. Martell will compete in the Miss America pageant, and if she wins she will become the first ever bald Miss America.
Back in England, celebrities have been making the news due to hair loss as well. Gail Porter recently revealed that she has started suffering from alopecia again, having briefly re-grown some of her hair following a long and very public battle with hair loss. Naomi Campbell meanwhile was pictured with patchy hair loss, thought to be due to traction alopecia, a hair loss condition caused by hair extensions and tight hairstyles.
Guru the chimpanzee, over in southern India’s Mysore Zoo, reminded us that not only humans suffer from hair loss. The great ape was pictured in the global media suffering from alopecia universalis, having lost all his body hair due to unknown causes.
Hair Product Warnings
In Canada, warnings were issued against hair straightening product Brazilian Blowout and several other hair products, after they were found to contain unacceptable levels of formaldehyde, which can cause hair loss and other harmful side effects. The news triggered lawsuits in both Canada and the US.
Unusual Hair Loss Remedies
Way back in February, filmmaker Michael Winner revealed that he soaks his hair in beer to thicken it. Shane McGowan of The Pogues meanwhile declared that the only way to keep a full head of hair was to pour Guinness over the scalp into a bucket, and then consume the remains of the unlikely hair loss tonic in the morning. Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither unconventional method has been tested scientifically, much less proven to prevent hair loss.
Finally, a survey at the beginning of the year on behalf of the manufacturers of hair loss treatment Rogaine, discovered that most Americans would rather be fat than bald.
Suffering From Hair Loss?
If you’re thinking of tackling your hair loss in 2011, contact the Belgravia Centre for a consultation, or browse our success stories and information website to see how we can stabilise, prevent and even reverse hair loss.