We know that belly fat puts us at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes, but could there be a link between abdominal fat and hair loss? That’s what research carried out at Kings College London aimed to find out. In collaboration with the University of Melbourne and Epworth Hospital, the study may have discovered a link between belly fat and hair loss, which could change the way hair loss conditions are treated in the future, as well as potentially helping to deal with obesity.
A solid link
The study showed that when hair grows, it activates the growth of fat tissue in skin, beneath the follicles. It also revealed that the protein responsible for the activation of hair follicle growth could inhibit the production of fat. This is the first research of its kind in the world to link the hair growth cycle to fluctuations in body fat.
Obesity and future treatments
Professor Rodney Sinclair of the University of Melbourne commented, “The specific chemicals identified in the study could be produced synthetically, and used in creams, to modulate the growth of fat beneath the skin. The creams could ‘trim’ fat on the areas it is applied, by ‘pausing’ the production of factors that contribute to fat cell growth.”
Although the effect of changes in the fat tissue on synchronized patterns of hair follicle growth has long been proven, Professor Sinclair explains: “This is the first demonstration that the opposite also holds true in that the skin below the hair follicle can regulate the development of fat.”
This discovery could potentially be used to replace missing fat in scar tissue, as well as providing a localised fat-dissolving treatment for obesity. It could also affect the future treatment of hair loss for conditions such as male pattern baldness and female hair loss. The research also suggests their findings could be used to develop a new treatment for alopecia.
Abdominal fat and hair loss
We already know that diet can be a factor in the development of hair loss, but does this latest research prove that belly fat causes hair loss? Excessive abdominal fat can impact your endocrine system, by causing your body to produce excess levels of androgen; a hormone which is present naturally in small quantities in the body. A sensitivity to the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can cause genetic hair loss.
Also known as pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia, this type of hereditary condition is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women, and affects the top of the head. In the same way that following a healthy diet, having an active lifestyle with targeted abdominal and core-centric exercise, plus managing stress levels which can cause cortisol in the body to deposit fat around your middle, may help to beat the belly bulge, there are also steps you can take to combat genetic hair loss.
Current hair loss treatments
There are only two medically-proven medications for treating pattern baldness and thinning hair from androgenic alopecia. These are minoxidil and finasteride. The topical solution minoxidil can produce promising regrowth results in both men and women, however finasteride is only suitable for men.
Our Hair Loss Success Stories gallery provides an extensive number of photographic examples, like those pictured here, featuring Belgravia clients who have experienced a variety of positive results, from stabilisation through to dense regrowth, by following our comprehensive hair loss treatment programmes.
If you are concerned about hereditary hair loss, it is best to seek expert advice as early as possible. Following a free tricho-check, a hair loss specialist will be able to diagnose both the cause and stage of your shedding, then recommend a personalised treatment plan.
The 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.