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Hair Reveals Location of Criminals and Victims


Forensic scientists can find out where crime victims came from by analysing their hair, thanks to new research that identifies natural chemical imprints related to geographical location.

A new study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (Chesson et al, 2010) identifies how hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in water, canned drinks and beer vary from region to region, as manufacturers tend to use local water sources to produce them. The human body incorporates these hydrogen and oxygen atoms into proteins, including the protein in hair. Isotope patterns in hair can therefore serve as chemical “fingerprints” that reveal where a person has been.

This research may help criminal investigators identify the geographical travels of crime suspects, and has already been used to help identify a murder victim in a cold case from 1971, by focusing the geographical search area.

Hair is a remarkable structure, mainly composed of the protein keratin. The only portion that demonstrates biochemical activity is found in the follicle. The base of the root, called the bulb, contains cells that produce the hair shaft. Hair follows a specific growth cycle with three distinct phases that determine the length of the hair.

Problems can occur when male hormones called androgens affect hair follicles in men who are genetically predisposed to hair loss. Male pattern baldness affects only the area at the top of the head, for reasons which are not yet clear, leaving hair growing at the sides and back. Within the genetically programmed follicles, testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgen that inhibits the growth of new hair cells.

However, male hair loss can be stabilised, and new growth promoted, by treatment that combats this inhibiting effect of DHT. The Belgravia Centre’s comprehensive hair loss treatment courses are based around primary medications clinically proven to block DHT from reaching and destroying vulnerable hair follicles, and to stimulate the blood circulation that feeds the follicles and maintains their healthy condition. These are combined with trichological monitoring and various hair growth boosters to achieve the best possible results.

Belgravia’s senior trichologist Leonora Doclis explains that although hereditary hair loss may seem to inevitably lead to baldness, “If and when it does arise, there are ways to control the outcome by employing a personalised treatment programme that incorporates the most effective treatment for hair loss.”

If you have any concerns about hair loss or scalp problems, we recommend you call 020 7730 6666 to book a free consultation with one of our specialists, who can assess your condition and advise on the best treatment for your individual needs. Alternatively you can send us a message with any enquiry you might have, or complete the online diagnostic form for an individually designed treatment course, available worldwide. The earlier you address hair loss and other related problems, the more effectively and quickly your condition is likely to improve. You can view some of our success stories to see the impressive results we have achieved for so many people with our comprehensive treatment courses.

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