The selfie stick - a mobile phone attachment which allows you to take photos of yourself from further away than your arm's length - looks set to retain its status as a popular stocking stuffer and Secret Santa gift this Christmas. But did you know that this clever gadget can also help you monitor your hair loss?
An important part of any hair loss treatment course is ensuring that the condition and responses to treatment are monitored throughout; this is normally undertaken by our specialists when clients choose to undergo their treatment at a clinic. Trained staff are adept at making sure that a photographic record showing progress is kept - like those seen in our Success Stories gallery - and they are well-versed in the techniques needed to take high quality photoscans.
When clients choose to monitor their own progress at home, however, things can be more difficult, particularly for those dealing with areas that are harder to see than a receding hairline, such as a thinning crown, for example. Selfie stick to the rescue!
There is more to self-monitoring than a quick snap from up high, of course, so we have put together this short guide to taking those all-important photos. The key is to be consistent with your technique, so that you have a genuine like-for-like comparison.
Note also that this is a good technique to use if you have not yet begun hair loss treatment but want to try and ascertain the severity of your thinning or balding over a period of time. It can be used to keep track of progression of or regrowth from treatment for any hair loss conditions.
Take photos in the same room with the same lighting conditions every time you take them make sure the light is good enough to give a clear picture. It is generally best not to use a flash as this can obscure results by causing the light to bounce off any visible scalp.
If you are using artificial lights generally a very good idea because natural light can vary depending on the time of day and year then ensure the lighting is as neutral as possible to recreate a natural environment. Try not to 'spotlight' directly onto your head.
Place a chair where you plan on taking the photos and make a note of exactly where this was placed so you can ensure you are in the same spot each time. An easy way to do this is to put crosses in tape on the floor which correspond to where the legs of the chair are.
Make sure your smartphone camera is on a high resolution setting and is properly focused on your hair and scalp.
1. Sitting in the chair with your arms by your side, straighten one arm out directly in front of you at shoulder height then take a photo of your face, showing the front of your hairline.
2. Keeping your arm where it is, put your chin on your chest and take another photo. This will show more of the front of your hairline and less of your face.
3. Now, with the camera at arm's length, take a photo of the top of your head looking straight down onto your scalp.
4. Next take a photo of the back of your head from as far away as you can using the selfie stick. This 'bird's eye' view is where the stick really comes into its own.
5 & 6. Finally, take a photo of the left of your head, followed by the right it may be easier to move the camera rather than your head but experiment until you find which will give you the most realistic photos with natural-looking lighting.
As mentioned earlier, consistency is key when it comes to monitoring hair loss or regrowth, so put a reminder in your phone to help you to remember to take these photos regularly in order to be able to make true comparisons.
You don't need to take them every day (you're unlikely to notice any difference from one day to the next), but monthly or quarterly is a good idea. Also remember that each person responds differently so your results from hair loss treatment may take more or less time to become noticeable than other people's.
Having a dedicated specialist regularly monitor all this for you and, where necessary, tweak your course components to ensure you are always using the optimal products for your specific stage and pattern of shedding as it changes is one of the somewhat hidden benefits of having professional treatment from an established hair loss clinic. Despite this, it is something Belgravia clients often tell us they truly appreciate, and being able to physically see the changes to their hair over the course of their treatment helps them to not only see the tangible regrowth benefits, but also to feel more confident and supported during their journey.
If you are concerned about Male Pattern Baldness, thinning hair from Female Pattern Hair Loss or any other shedding issues, and would like to talk to us about how Belgravia could help you, simply contact the centre to book a free consultation at one of our Central London clinics or, if you are based outside London or the UK, complete our quick and easy Online Consultation.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic 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 from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.