A recent paper published in the Journal for Cosmetic Dermatology suggested that sleeping viruses in your body can trigger hair loss. So is there a hair loss virus? In this blog we summarise the paper’s findings and explain what it could mean to male and female hair loss sufferers worldwide.
Hair loss, in most people, is driven by dihydrotestosterone (DHT) acting at the hair root to make it thin and fall out. This process only occurs at the top and crown of the scalp. Hairs on the side and the back are not affected.
DHT is produced in the skin by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, and if you have an increased activity of this enzyme, you have more DHT and therefore more hair loss. Like any other enzyme, your body regulates how much of it is produced and you can have high or low levels of the enzyme.
Is there a link between a virus and hair loss?
Research by Polansky and Kestenbaum found that common sleeping viruses can activate signals in your skin to increase the amount of 5-alpha reductase. This means there is increased enzymes producing more DHT causing more hair loss.
They suggested that this could be a mechanism for hair loss in certain individuals and treatments should also look to tackle these types of viruses. For now there could be a hair loss virus and a theory has been put forward. It will be interesting to see what the researches find out in the future.
What treatments are available to me if I have hair loss?
There is no treatment for tackling these viruses that cause hair loss yet. More research needs to go into this exciting area of science. However, there are many treatments still available to you.
Finasteride stops the activity of 5-alpha reductase and therefore lessens the amount of DHT. This reduces any further hair loss and helps to thicken your hair.
Minoxidil is a solution or shampoo you can apply on your hair. It helps to increase the blood supply to your hair root, thereby providing more nutrients for hair growth. It works to thicken existing hair and prevent any further hair loss.
PRP injections are a new way of thickening hairs too. PRP uses your own blood, taking the main growth cells and nutrients from it and injecting them back into your scalp. An initial round of 3 treatments should help to thicken you hair.
If you have developed completely bald areas in your scalp then your only option to regrow hair there is to have a hair transplant. A hair transplant involves taking hairs from the back and sides of your scalp and implanting them into areas where you have no hair. These hair roots that are implanted will grow over the course of 12-18 months- creating hair in areas where you had none previously.
Don’t delay- contact us today
At The Treatment Rooms London, our hair loss specialists and surgeons are happy to hold a consultation to explore you hair loss and advise you on the treatments best suited to you. If you are worried about your hair loss please contact us today. Delaying treatment may mean it becomes even more difficult to regain your hair to a style and density you like. Feel free to enquire now and book your free consultation by clicking (here).
Female hair loss can be caused by different factors. Female pattern hair loss is the most common cause with over 50% of females suffering from hair loss by the time they reach 50 years old. In this blog we explain this common condition and what can be done to treat it.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
Similar to male pattern hair loss, females can suffer hair loss as a result of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). However the pattern of hair loss in females differs from males. Unlike males, females suffer generalised thinning of their hair at the top of the head or crown. This is best summarised in the Ludwig scale of female patterned hair loss (picture below).
What causes female pattern hair loss?
Both males and females seem to be affected by dihydrotestosterone when it comes to hair loss. However, the way in which hair loss happens is different. In females you will find your hairs become progressively thinner over time with not much hair actually falling out. This mainly affects the top of the head as you can see from the picture above. As the hair thins out you can start to see more of the scalp giving the appearance of baldness.
Dihydrotestosterone works by acting at the hair follicles, making the hairs weaker and causing the follicles to shrink. In some cases, the lifecycle of these hair follicles can also change and the follicles die earlier causing baldness.
In most cases hair thinning (female pattern baldness) is a natural ageing process, however in some women thinning may start in their 20s with thinning becoming noticeable in their 40s. Some female hair loss sufferers may also have hair recession at the front of their head too.
Importantly, hair thinning does not affect the back of the head in female pattern baldness. If it does then it is likely you are suffering from acute telogen effluvium or chronic telogen effluvium (more on these topics in our next blog).
Sufferers of the condition Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) will also notice they may have female pattern hair loss. This is because in PCOS you get an increased amount of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in your body. This therefore contributes to a faster hair thinning process. If you are wondering whether you suffer from PCOS or not, you can check if you have the following common PCOS symptoms too:
Difficulty in becoming pregnant
If you are worried about PCOS then please go and see your GP who can carry out further blood tests to find out more. To find your nearest GP then click here.
What treatments are available to me?
There are some good treatment options for female pattern baldness. One of the first-line treatments available to you is Minoxidil (Rogaine®). This medication helps to increase blood supply (nutrients and oxygen) to the hair follicles. As a result you should start to see your hair becoming thicker.
Unlike male pattern baldness, females can’t take medications such as finasteride to prevent DHT (dihydrotestosterone) from acting at the hair follicle. This is because finasteride, in trials so far, hasn’t shown safe clinical evidence to prevent hair thinning and promote hair thickening.
Other treatment options that you can consider include Laser Therapy and PRP injections.
If you have developed significant female pattern baldness and have completely bald patches then you will likely benefit from a hair transplant. This involves taking hair from the back of your head and placing it in areas that you have become bald. At The Treatment Rooms London we are able to provide this as an unshaven procedure meaning you have little signs that you have undergone surgery.
If you are a female suffering from hair loss then please don’t delay. Contact us at The Treatment Rooms London and we can book you in for a free consultation. Click here to fill out an enquiry form!
From all of us at The Treatment Rooms in London we wanted to say a big thank you to every patient that has seen us in 2018 and a Happy New Year 2019! In this short blog we wanted to share some highlights at The Treatment Rooms.
What a year…
2018 saw The Treatment Rooms open up a second clinic location in Harley Street giving patients access to our specialists. We have seen patients far and wide, one patient even travelling from Los Angeles to have their hair transplant carried out by The Treatment Rooms London. We are extremely privileged to meet patients from diverse backgrounds. Our surgeons often spend a whole day with their patients which means they get to know them well- truly an added perk of the vocation!
With the growing success of The Treatment Rooms London, Managing Director Dr Vara was invited to speak at 2 of the leading aesthetic conferences, sharing his experiences in starting and growing a clinic. At both CCR Expo 2018 and Aesthetic Medicine Live 2018 he was delighted to have an engaging audience, guiding them as they start up their own clinic.
With more and more patients choosing to see the Doctors at The Treatment Rooms, in 2018 we welcomed two new Doctors to the team- Dr Umaira Ashraf and Dr Masooma Rizvi. Both have brought new expertise and skills to the table and we have enjoyed welcoming them into The Treatment Rooms’ Family!
As The Treatment Rooms bids farewell to 2018 we wanted to reiterate how much we love seeing new and old patients coming into our clinic. We are proud to be part of your treatment journey and look forward to seeing you all in 2019.
What we are looking forward to in 2019…
As we welcome 2019 all of us at The Treatment Rooms London are excited to bring in some new changes! For our patients who visit us in Putney you will see a renovated clinic reception area where you will be able to check-in. We have designed it to be warm in winter and temperate in summer- shielding you from the haphazard London weather!
We are also welcoming many new hair transplant, thread lift and advanced aesthetics treatment bookings for early 2019. For this reason, we have recruited extra nurses, doctors and surgeons to ensure high quality and safe treatments continue every single day.
New Clinics in 2019
Because there are many patients in the UK and Internationally who are asking for our services, we are now expanding to 2 international locations. This means Hair Transplants, PDO thread lifts and advanced treatments by The Treatment Rooms London are going to be accessible for those patients further afield. We look forward to sharing more about these clinics with you over the coming months!
And with that we bid farewell to 2018 and wish you a Happy New Year. We are excited to share 2019 with you all!
Donald Trump senior advisor, Stephen Miller, recently appeared on TV and his hair raised a few eyebrows! Overnight he had miraculously created a new hairline but it wasn’t his natural hair- he had sprayed hair on. In this blog we will explain what spray on hair is and when it should be used- so you can avoid the tell-tell signs of obviously sprayed on hair like in Stephen Miller’s case!
Appearing on the US programme Face the Nation, male hair loss sufferer, Stephen Miller, was sporting a mature hairline, but the hairline and hair colour was clearly different from his natural hair on the back and sides. The sprayed on hair also didn’t have a natural hairline with “freckles” of spray appearing just below his frontal hairline. As you can see from the picture above, the effect was clearly “fake”. It was a good example of how NOT to spray on hair.
He is not the first and last person to use spray on hair. Many well known people are thought to have used it too such as Wayne Rooney.
What is spray on hair?
Spray on hair uses coloured keratin-like fibres that can be sprayed onto the head. This creates the effect of having hair. However it should be sprayed in areas where hair is already there as it helps to given the illusion of thick hair by fibres “clinging” onto your hair. Spraying it onto an already bald scalp will likely give you the unnatural hair line- as in Stephen Miller’s case.
Using spray on hair in areas of thinning can be effective especially if you want to give the impression of thick hair. However, recreating hair lines and long hair is near impossible and easily spotted as fake. Also, it is easily wiped and washed away so you need to be careful in windy and wet weather!
What are the other options?
Stephen Miller is likely suffering from male pattern baldness, as 50% of males over 50 years of age already do. He already has fairly advanced balding and he ought to seek a hair loss specialist, like the Doctors at The Treatment Rooms, for advice.
Assuming he has male pattern baldness, Stephen could choose to “freeze frame” his hair loss by taking Finasteride. This stops the processes that underpin male pattern baldness by halting DHT acting at the hair follicle. This could help prevent any further hair loss- meaning his hair won’t recede anymore.
He can also use Minxoidil on areas of thinning to thicken hair and slow the process of hair loss down. Alternatively, PRP injections could also help to thicken his existing hair.
If he would like to regrow hair in areas that he has become completely bald then Stephen’s best treatment option is a hair transplant. The aim of the hair transplant would be to give Stephen Miller a natural mature hairline that would fit his character.
50% of men suffer from male pattern baldness by the age of 50. It is a common condition- so we are going to explain what you need to know about male hair loss in this blog.
What is male pattern baldness?
Also known as androgenic alopecia and genetic hair loss, male pattern baldness is a genetic condition that you inherit from your mum and dad. This should hopefully dispel any myths around hair loss being inherited primarily by genes passed down from your mother!
Male pattern baldness is called a “pattern baldness” because it typically occurs in a predictable pattern. A by-product of Testosterone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes the hair loss by making the hair smaller and fall out over a shorter period of time. The DHT predictably acts in a certain pattern hence the name “male pattern baldness”. It is so predictable that you can even classify different stages of how severe your hair loss by the pattern of your balding. DHT does not affect the hair at the sides and the back of your head. This is why you often see old gentlemen who still have hair on the sides and back but none on the top. A name is given to these different stages- it’s called the Norwood Scale (picture below). You might even be able to tell which stage you are at.
If you suffer from male pattern baldness over a period of time, you can see from the picture above that you will eventually become bald (Norwood 6 or 7).
Are you worried you are losing your hair?
As hairs go through different stages of their life cycle we, as part of that process, normally shed approximately 100 hairs per day from our head. However, it is when you start to lose more than the average 100 hairs per day over a period of time that the natural lifecycle of hair growth tips over to hair loss. Hair loss can be slow or quick and knowing when you are losing hair can be an important step. Some gentleman don’t realise until it’s too late and they lose all their hair meaning treatment can be difficult. So before you get to that stage, here are some methods you can use to test if you are losing your hair:
Gently pull on 40-60 hairs in 3 different areas of your head. If you pull out >10 hairs this can be a sign of hair loss
After combing your hair, collect any hairs on the brush or on the floor in a bag. Do this for 14 days. If the average number of hairs you collect over 14 days is more than 100 hairs per day this could also be a sign of hair loss.
Sometimes you may realise you are losing your hair when looking at old pictures of yourself. Some of your loved ones may even comment on the fact that your hair is thinning or receding. In these instances you are probably having less obvious hair loss that is happening slowly.
Treating Male Pattern Baldness
For men worried about hair loss, there are many different treatments out there to help you. You need to think about two main questions:
How do I stop any more hair loss?
Do I want hair back in completely bald areas of my head?
One of the first steps you must take to address both questions is booking in to see a hair loss specialist- like one of the surgeons here at The Treatment Rooms London. With many different treatments out there, you must choose your treatment carefully. Our advice is to stick to treatments that are tried and tested with proven clinical benefit (approved by the MHRA and FDA).
How do I stop any more hair loss?
To stop any more hair loss you need to stop the DHT acting on your hair in your head. This can be done by taking a medication called Finasteride (a DHT- receptor blocker). This helps to stop any more hair loss and promote healthy thick hair growth. By taking this medication you essentially freeze frame your current hair loss pattern and give yourself a chance to thicken your hair (as the hair is no longer being miniaturised by DHT).
You can also take Minoxidil, which is a shampoo or spray you apply to the top of your head. Minoxidil helps to increase blood supply, nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. It therefore helps to grow thick hair on your head.
Other treatment options include Laser devices and PRP injections which can help thicken hair but do not always work for everyone.
Do I want hair back in completely bald areas of my head?
If you want hair back where you no longer have it then a hair transplant may be the best treatment option for you. A hair transplant uses hairs that are not affected by DHT (hair on the sides and back) and transfers those hairs to areas you have become bald in. These hairs remain resistant to DHT and so they don’t shrink and fall out over time. This means a hair transplant gives you a new hairstyle for life- reversing any hair loss that has already happened.
At The Treatment Rooms we find a combination of medical treatments like Finasteride and Hair Transplant surgery is the best option for male hair loss sufferers.
Will I go completely bald?
If you are suffering from male pattern baldness then the likelihood of going completely bald without having treatment depends on a few factors.
For men who have aggressive hair loss and have receded quickly over a short period of time (e.g. receding to Norwood 3 or 4 by mid 20s) then you may become completely bald at an early age.
Sometimes you may only notice hair thinning and recession when you get to your 30s or 40s. This means you have a slower form of male pattern baldness and it is unlikely you will go completely bald anytime soon.
To have an idea of whether you will go completely bald take note of when you started to have hair loss and how quickly you have thinned or receded. By seeing a hair loss specialist you may be able to start treatments that prevent any further hair loss and promote new thick hair growth.
When should you decide to treat hair loss?
The answer to this is really dependant on you. If you don’t mind being bald and want to sport the “Jason Statham” or “The Rock, Dwayne Johnson” look then you can certainly choose not to have treatment. For those who would like to keep hair on their head that they can style then you should look to get in contact with our hair loss surgeons and specialists as soon as you can. The more hair you have lost the more difficult it becomes to give you your hair back. You can book a consultation with our surgeons by clicking here.
Patterns of Hair Loss
With male pattern baldness you may find you fit a particular type of balding pattern. You can compare your existing hair loss pattern to the Norwood Scale or you can look at some of the pictures below which will likely match your hair loss pattern too.
Other male hair loss conditions
This is where you develop small bald patches in your hair. It happens because your body’s immune system is overreacting to its own follicles making them thin. Eventually they will fall out. Alopecia areata can also be treated but it is important you see a hair loss specialist to get a diagnosis and a management plan.