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Japanese Researchers Develop Scalp MRI to Monitor Male Hair Loss


One of the main disadvantages of pursuing a hair loss treatment course all by yourself – as opposed to with support and guidance from a specialist clinic – is that it can be extremely difficult to ascertain how well your scalp is responding to treatment. Measuring hairs is a famously tricky process, which means that the solo route can frequently lead to confusion and disappointment.

Specialist hair loss clinics are typically much better equipped to help clients get a true picture of their shedding – as well as regrowth as their treatment course progresses – and there are a number of well-established ways of doing this. A new technique being developed in Japan, however, looks set to potentially improve this type of monitoring.

MRI machine

A typical MRI machine

Clear images of hair follicles

Though not yet commercially available, a new MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) system has been developed by Tokyo’s Men’s Health Clinic which, it is claimed, can take clear images of 200-300nm (micrometre – one thousandth of a millimetre) hair follicles.

According to Japan Today, the clinic’s outpatient clinic for Male Pattern Baldness can use the new technique to observe a very slight increase (or decrease) in the amount of hair on a given area. With a traditional photograph, they state, it is normally necessary to shave the head to get a true measure of how many hairs occupy a particular spot. The new technique uses existing MRI technology and couples it with undisclosed new improvements to boost the resolution by around 15 times.

The article states that the clinic now hopes to improve on its technology for a possible commercial roll-out in 2017. They say the clinic also intends to gather MRI data and use it to predict the effects of Male Pattern Baldness.

Are hair loss MRIs really helpful?

Whilst these developments make hair loss MRI scans sounds like they could be somewhat useful, in general if the changes in your hair loss or your levels of regrowth are so slight that they need to be monitored via MRI then chances are there is a problem.

At Belgravia our clients are monitored via in-clinic using a variety of tests and high resolution photoscans at check-ups every three months. This is because this timeframe works best with the natural timeline of the hair growth cycle. Men with hair loss tell us all the time how the appearance of their thinning or their receding hairline is what concerns them, so if you need a scan to see any changes, this does not help with that at all.

If you are constantly monitoring your hair daily for changes – which is understandable, especially when you first start treatment and are excited and keen to see results -then you may well need an MRI to chart your progress as day-to-day gains, or losses, will generally be almost imperceptible to the human eye. It is, of course, unnecessary.

Following a personalised course of male hair loss treatments takes around three to four months for any initial results, from stabilisation of shedding to the first signs of regrowth to become noticeable.

Early Action Against Hair LossStop MPB in its tracks

What many men find to their delight when they discover they are losing hair to Male Pattern Baldness is that clinically-proven hair loss treatments can indeed do what they claim to do and can reverse the signs of MPB.

What is important is that action is taken sooner rather than later, however, because as with most conditions, the quicker a diagnosis can be made, the quicker treatment can begin and so, too, will the prognosis improve.

If you are unsure whether or not your hair is looking thinner than it was a year ago – and don’t have a handy MRI scanner at your disposal – an easy way to get the lay of the land is with a comb and a stop-watch and trying the 60 second DIY test.

If your hair seems to be coming out at a significantly higher rate during a 60-second comb, it might be an indicator that you are indeed genetically predisposed to Male Pattern Baldness – or possibly one of several other hair loss conditions.

Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free ConsultationThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. 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 UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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