There are many ways to treat hair loss and it can be difficult to understand which type of treatment to go for and which product to use. The first thing to do if you are noticing thinning hair, a receding hairline or any baldness is to see a hair specialist who will be able to diagnose the condition and advise on treatment options. Here is a summary of the various options available.
Shampoos and ‘Volumizing’ Products
Many of these products claim to reduce hair loss and increase volume. They provide a short-term boost to the hair by using an ingredient called collagen which attaches to the shaft to temporarily increase the thickness. They may be suitable for people with naturally thin hair to give the hair a temporary lift but they will not prevent hair loss which can be caused by such things as genes, stress, nutrition deficiencies, hormones, medications and thyroid disease.
These work by increasing the amount of nutrients that reach the hair follicle which is believed to help improve the hair growth cycle. They can be useful where there is a deficiency in the diet, which can often be a factor for hair loss in women. However, you should always consult a hair loss specialist to ensure there is no underlying medical condition. Overdosing on certain vitamins and minerals can also be dangerous and may cause further hair loss. There is also the possibility that the hair loss is genetic, in which case, supplements alone will not be able to restore the hair. But they can work alongside proven hair loss treatments to improve the condition of the hair.
There are only two products that have been proven, in clinical studies, to be safe and effective in stabilising hair loss and restoring hair growth. Minoxidil (for men and women) and Propecia (for men only) have been licensed by the MHRA and ‘FDA-approved’ for the treatment of hair loss in the UK and USA respectively. Minoxidil is available without a prescription and is an ingredient in the majority of hair loss treatments. However, it can also be prescribed to an individual in various strengths, best suited to the individual’s hair loss condition. The Belgravia Centre has an in-house pharmacy which is registered with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and is the only UK pharmacy that specialises in hair loss treatments. It is licensed to add anti-androgens to its Minoxidil formulations. These anti-androgens significantly increase the effectiveness of the treatment but they must be prescribed by a hair loss specialist.
Propecia is available to men only and can be used in conjunction with a specific strength Minoxidil for certain cases of male pattern baldness. Again, it is wise to get the professional guidance of a hair loss specialist.
Hair transplantation involves moving skin that contains hair follicles from one part of the body (the donor site) to bald areas (the recipient site). It is mostly used to treat male pattern baldness; the hair follicles that are resistant to the effects of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the hormone that causes baldness – are transplanted to the bald scalp. It can also be used to restore eyelashes, eyebrows and to rectify scars that a patient may have as a result of being in an accident. It is a complicated surgical procedure and often requires several operations and the use of medications (see above) to kick-start and maintain the hair growth cycle. Candidates for hair transplantation need to have a certain amount of hair left and be prepared for the costs; it usually goes into the thousands.
Laser treatment aims to stimulate blood flow to the root of the hair follicle and thereby improve the levels of vital nutrients that reach the scalp, and thereby encourage a healthy hair growth cycle. There are a number of laser treatments for hair loss on the market. However the only product (other than Minoxidil and Propecia) that shows significant evidence of preventing hair loss is the FDA-cleared HairMax LaserComb. This means that it has successfully undergone clinical testing by the Food and Drug Administration, the medical regulatory body in the USA.
The reason this Lasercomb is so effective is due to its unique patented mechanism – the combs are specially designed to part the hair so that the light can shine directly on the scalp, without the hair getting in the way. This makes the treatment more efficient. The Lasercomb has shown evidence to be effective for clients at The Belgravia Centre when used as part of a combined hair loss treatment programme and is one of our treatment plans offers.
It is important to get a diagnosis for your hair loss before undertaking any of these treatments. The Belgravia Centre has many years experience diagnosing and treating hair loss and offers a free consultation. To book an appointment, please call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. Alternatively, for a consultation via the website, please complete the online diagnostic form.