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Clinic News Archives | The Hair Ambulance
hair loss solutions

There are A LOT of hair loss solutions out there, and at first glance it can seem a bit daunting, not to say overwhelming. How on earth are you supposed to decide which one to choose?

Whilst your best first step is to book a consultation with a hair loss expert. But a lot will depend on your age and the stage of hair loss you have reached.

We’ve rounded up some of the best options for each stage below. It should be noted that these treatments are best suited to androgenic alopecia (male/female pattern baldness). For other hair loss conditions, you really should see a specialist for advice.

Hair loss solutions in your twenties/ very early stages

Now most of us won’t experience hair loss in our twenties, but there are those who do. If this is you, then hopefully your hair loss is not too noticeable as yet (if it is, skip down to the next stage).

At this point, you’re in a great position to try out most hair loss treatments. A hair transplant won’t work for you, but hair loss supplements or medications, or either low level laser therapy (LLLT) could present good options. With all of these treatments, the earlier you get started the better.

In your thirties and forties/ early stages of hair loss

By our late thirties or early forties, many of us who are going to experience hair loss might be starting to see the telltale signs. As above, you’re in a strong position here, as most hair loss treatments work best on the very early stages of hair loss.

While your hair loss might be more pronounced than that of someone in their twenties, you can consider all the options mentioned above. Another great option at this stage is scalp micropigmentation or SMP, which can be used on men to create the impression of a buzz cut, or on women to disguise any thinner patches of hair.

In your fifties/ midway through your hair loss journey

If you started losing your hair in your forties, the likelihood is that by your fifties it is starting to become a lot more noticeable.

At this point many of the options discussed above, whilst worth a try, are probably not going to cut it. SMP is the one notable exception to this rule. By now, if you’re a man, you might want to consider a hair transplant. This is one hair loss treatment that you need to leave until later in your hair loss journey. If you do it too early your hair will continue to recede behind the transplant line.

If you’re a woman, SMP is still an option, or you may want to consider a hair replacement system – this can be a great way to change up your style as well as disguising your hair loss.

Hair loss solutions in your sixties and seventies

By now you’ve probably lost all the hair you’re going to. If that means most of your hair is gone, then your best treatment options will be SMP or a hair replacement system.

If you’re one of the lucky ones and still have some hair left, then a hair transplant could be an option at this stage, but it is advisable to have a thorough consultation with a specialist first, to find out how effective treatment will be.

Smoking causing hair loss

We all know by now that smoking isn’t a great idea. It clogs up our arteries, causes lung cancer and emphysema, and leads to premature ageing, among many other negative effects.

But a new study has shown that smokers are more likely to develop androgenetic alopecia, or male/female pattern hair loss. And this isn’t linked to a family history of the problem.

The research

The study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, was carried out by a team of researchers from Egypt. They recruited 1,000 men aged between 20 and 35, none of whom had any pre-existing scalp issues.

The participants were then split into two groups of 500, one group of smokers and one of non-smokers. Each man completed a specially designed questionnaire, to find out more about their smoking and other lifestyle habits. Trichoscopy was used to diagnose androgenetic alopecia.

The results

A whopping 85% of the group of 500 smokers were diagnosed with male pattern hair loss. But in the non-smoking group, this dropped to 40%.

The researchers used the Hamilton baldness scale, which runs from grades one to seven with one being the least severe, to classify the degree of alopecia. 47% of the smokers were at grade three, with 24% at grade 4. For non-smokers the figures were 20% and 20% respectively.

The questionnaire responses showed a similar level of smokers and non-smokers who reported no recent family history of androgenetic alopecia.

Smoking and hair loss

So why would smoking make you more likely to lose your hair? The exact mechanism is not yet known. Experts have suggested that nicotine and its derivatives could contribute to accelerating the speed at which hair loss progresses.

So if you’re still smoking and are worried about losing your hair, this could be just the spur you need. And there’s plenty of support out there if you do want to go down that road.

But what about any hair loss that’s already occurred? Well, luckily there are plenty of treatments available to slow down the progression of your hair loss. Treatments like Scalp Migropigmentation or SMP, can even disguise the damage that’s already been done.

So if you are concerned about hair loss and would like to find out more about the options available, why not contact us today to book in a consultation. Our hair loss experts can talk you through all the treatment options that might work best for you.

Melatonin for hair loss

Melatonin. The sleep hormone. So good to help you get your full eight hours every night, but did you know it could also be useful to treat hair loss?

Several studies have shown that topical application of melatonin could cause increased hair growth in men and women experiencing hair loss.

The first study, published in the International Journal of Dermatology in 2004, was an observational investigation. It showed a significant reduction in hair loss after both a 30-day and a 90-day period. This was based on questionnaires filled out by both researchers and participants.

Another, which was published in the International Journal of Trichology in 2012, reviewed a total of five separate clinical studies of melatonin in the treatment of hair loss. It concluded that all five studies showed a positive outcome. Therefore, melatonin solution could be considered as a treatment option for all forms of alopecia.

How exactly does it work?

No one seems to know for sure what the exact mechanisms are that cause the topical application of melatonin to improve hair growth. But experts have theorised that it could be to do with regulating the hair’s life cycle.

Melatonin is useful to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm when it comes to sleep. The hair follicles also follow a circadian cycle, which tends to get disrupted with age. So the theory is that rubbing melatonin into the scalp helps the hair follicles to regain their youthful vigour.

If it’s so great, why isn’t everyone using it?

Strangely, given the size of the hair loss treatment market, topical melatonin does not seem to have taken off as you would expect.

There are so many options available to treat hair loss these days, that perhaps melatonin has just been lost in the mix. After all, other natural products such as biotin and larch wood extract also give great results. So, maybe the market doesn’t need another natural remedy.

What other options are there for treating hair loss?

There is a whole range of different options when it comes to hair loss treatment, and picking the right one for you will depend on a number of different factors.

If you are experiencing hair loss and would like to embark on a course of treatment to help your hair grow, your best first step is to speak to a hair loss expert or trichologist.

Here at The Hair Ambulance we are specialists in treating hair loss, so if you would like to find out more about what would be the best treatment for you, why not contact us today to arrange a consultation.

head tattoos

If you’re a man who is losing his hair, shaving it off is often the first suggestion you hear from those trying to offer advice. Doing so allows you to take ownership of your baldness, they say – skip the receding hairline stage and go straight to bald.

And some men like to go one step further, adorning their newly shaven heads with elaborate and distracting tattoos. If you happen to have a tattoo artist among your friends, maybe you too have been inspired to sport some artwork on your scalp. However, you may not have considered scalp micropigmentation, that can create a more subtle illusion.

Optical illusion

Tattoo artist Mat Pehrson, from Utah, recently took to Instagram with some photos of a particularly breathtaking piece he had created on his friend Ryan’s scalp.

Followers of Pehrson’s account were left astounded by the images of the tattoo. An optical illusion that gives the impression of an enormous ‘gaping hole’ at the back of Ryan’s skull.

With Pehrson’s followers being mainly tattoo fanatics, the pictures have received over 11,000 likes.

Not for the faint hearted

While Ryan’s tattoo may have gone down well on social media, the truth is that it is a decision he is going to have to live with for the rest of his life. And it might not be quite so well received at a job interview.

A head tattoo could be a great choice for those with the confidence to pull it off, but for many of us it’s just a step too far.

So what do you do if you’re balding and you want to shave your head but just can’t quite face that shiny dome every time you look in the mirror? Well, there is another option.

Scalp micropigmentation

Scalp micropigmentation – or SMP as it’s more commonly known, is a procedure that creates its own optical illusion. This time though, the illusion is that you have a full head of hair. You’ve just chosen to keep it short.

The procedure is often thought to be like tattooing, but it’s actually a much more specialised process, and needs to be performed by a highly trained practitioner. Over the course of between two and four hours, pigment will be injected into your scalp.

Several different shades of pigment will be used, matched with your natural hair colour, and each injection will be carried out to a slightly different depth and from varying angles, to mimic natural hair growth as closely as possible.

You will usually need two or three sessions of SMP before treatment is complete, but you will then be the proud owner of a buzz cut that needs zero maintenance and looks good all the time. You can even choose your own hairline!

For more information or to book a consultation with one of our hair loss experts, please call us on 0121 312 2999.

Male Pattern Hair Loss

A statement by a Taiwanese dermatologist has claimed that male pattern hair loss needs to be treated early for that treatment to be effective.

Lin Sung-Jan works at the National Taiwan University Hospital’s dermatology department. He said that men suffering from hair loss need to seek medical advice as early as possible for doctors to treat the problem. His belief is that the longer it goes on, the less can be done.

So, is he right? Should those of us with more advanced hair loss just give up and accept our fate?

It all depends on the treatment

Lin’s assertion is based on the standard medical treatments for male pattern hair loss – prescription medications minoxidil and finasteride.

Minoxidil is a topical hair loss treatment, which works by stimulating the follicles to help new hair grow thicker and faster.

Finasteride is a tablet taken orally, which helps to block production of DHT, the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness.

Both products can be very effective, particularly when taken together, and it is true that they will produce the best results in men at the very earliest stages of hair loss.

However, these are not the only treatments available. So if you are further on in your hair loss journey, don’t despair!

Hair transplant surgery

Hair transplants are a great option for men in the more advanced stages of hair loss. In fact, the surgery actually works much better for them than it does for those who are just beginning to lose their hair.

Why should that be, you ask. Well, the thing about a hair transplant is that while it will give almost anyone a lovely new hairline, it won’t do anything to prevent further hair loss.

So if your hair loss has got just about as far as it’s going to, you will almost certainly see real, lasting results. But if you’ve got more receding to do, that will still happen and you’re likely to need another transplant in future.

Scalp micropigmentation

Another possibility for heavily balding men is scalp micropigmentation, or SMP. This revolutionary treatment allows you to rock a buzz cut, with the hairline you’ve always dreamt of, and the results can be seen within hours.

The process is similar to cosmetic tattooing, but much more specialised. The practitioner will use pigments that are matched precisely to your hair colour. Often several different colours are used, as most of us have different tones to our natural hair. These are injected into the scalp to mimic very short hairs.

To enhance the ultra-realistic appearance, the pigments are injected at different depths and angles, because that is how your hair grows. You can even work with the practitioner to ‘design’ your own hairline.

So if your hair loss is getting past the early stages, don’t despair. There are plenty of options still available to you. Please contact us at The Hair Ambulance to find out more.

Hair follicle stem cells

It has long been thought that stem cells could play a key role in hair loss treatment. While procedures like platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) have their roots in this theory, scientists have remained unsure of how stem cells can be harnessed to affect hair loss.

However, a new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism could be about to change all that.

The research

The study, which was carried out by a team from the University of Helsinki, looked at what happens to the stem cells in hair follicles when they are in the dormant phase of the hair cycle.

The researchers found that in order to enter that resting phase, the stem cells have to change their metabolic state and reduce their energy use. The team identified one key protein, Rictor, that seemed to be essential to this process.

Most interestingly for those of us experiencing hair loss, the stem cells with lower levels of Rictor seemed to have more of a struggle in ‘waking up’ and beginning to grow more hairs. The team began to think that this might mean Rictor plays an important role in hair loss.

Testing out the theory

To see if their theory was correct, the researchers ran a study on some mice, and noticed that those mice with lower levels of the protein Rictor did indeed experience more hair loss.

Just like in humans, the mice with less Rictor in their stem cells tended to be the older ones, which could explain why hair loss often progresses with age.

But the research wasn’t just successful in identifying the potential cause of hair loss. Researchers were particularly excited that when they administered a glutaminase inhibitor to the Rictor-deficient mice, their stem cells began to function normally again.

Could this be the hair loss solution we’ve all been waiting for?

It is probably too soon to tell what impact this will have on hair loss treatment. Any products based on this research will need to undergo intensive clinical trials to ensure that they are both effective and safe. And there has been no indication that any such trials are underway just yet.

The research does however provide some hope that the scientific world is taking hair loss seriously. And the first step to finding an effective treatment for a problem is identifying the cause, so this is a big leap forward, even if it could take some years to result in a treatment.

In the meantime, if you are struggling with hair loss and would like to do something about it, there are plenty of options available to you. Your best first step is to seek expert advice, to identify the cause of your hair loss and find a solution that works for you.

If you would like to book a consultation with one of our hair loss experts, please call our friendly team on 0121 312 2999.

Losing Hair

No one wants to experience losing hair in any way. But if you know that the problem is likely to be temporary, that can offer some comfort.

On the other hand, knowing that your hair loss is permanent and progressive might be devastating, but it does allow you to plan out a course of action to help treat it as best you can.

Of course, there is no substitute for consulting with a professional and receiving an official diagnosis. However, we’ve put together a few tips to help you work out what type of hair loss you are experiencing.

Does losing hair follow a recognisable pattern?

Both male and female pattern hair loss (official name: androgenic alopecia), as the name suggests, tends to follow a pattern. But the pattern for women looks different to how it presents in men.

As most of us know, male-pattern hair loss tends to begin at the hairline and the crown, spreading slowly across the head.

For women, the hair loss tends to appear in a more diffuse fashion, thinning across the head, but not in one noticeable spot. Usually it first becomes apparent at the parting.

If this sounds like what you are experiencing, then it could well be that you are suffering from androgenic alopecia. The bad news is that this kind of hair loss tends to be permanent, and it develops over time.

The good news is that these days there are plenty of treatments available. From laser treatments to hair transplants, SMP to hair loss drugs. There are many ways to keep hair loss in check.

Did you lose your hair suddenly?

There are a few causes of sudden hair loss, but fortunately the vast majority of them are temporary. The most common conditions that cause sudden hair loss are:

  • Telogen effluvium – often caused by a major stressful event or severe illness, telogen effluvium forces all the hair follicles into the “telogen” (resting) phase of the hair cycle at once, so that you shed a lot of hair in one go.
  • Alopecia areata – an autoimmune condition, alopecia areata causes the body’s immune system to attack the hair follicles, causing the hair in that area to fall out. It usually presents as noticeable patches of hair loss on the scalp, but can cause all the hair on the scalp to fall out (alopecia totalis), or sometimes all the hair on the body as well (alopecia universalis). The condition is usually temporary.

Can temporary hair loss be treated?

There are things you can do to diminish the impact of temporary hair loss, although it is probably not necessary to undergo any treatment to regrow the hair.

You may wish to experiment with hair replacement systems while you wait for the hair to grow back. Consider scalp micropigmentation to disguise the thinning areas.

If you’re still unsure what kind of hair loss you’re experiencing, or would simply like to speak to an expert to get a bit more information, please call us on 0121 312 2999.

Covid-related hair loss

A worn-looking Boris Johnson was subjected to yet more rumours about his health last month, with viewers noting some apparent hair loss during a Commons address in late October.

Hair loss is known to be a symptom of what is known as ‘long Covid’, and there have been concerns raised in the media that the prime minister could have fallen prey to this particularly unpleasant strain of the virus.

But it’s not just Covid itself that is causing more people than usual to experience hair loss at the moment. Lockdown and the ongoing restrictions have put many of us under a strain we have never previously experienced and that’s taking a toll on our hair.

Covid-related hair loss

Stress is known to be a major player when it comes to causes of hair loss – sometimes it’s one big stressful event causing a sudden shedding of hair. Ongoing, low level stress can also cause gradual thinning over time.

In 2020, many of us have had a double whammy of these stressors. Whether you live alone and have struggled with little to no social contact, or you’re a parent who’s been working from home and have taken on more childcare responsibilities. We have all felt the strain in one way or another.

But some people have also lost loved ones to the virus, or have been through it themselves and have suffered some serious after effects.

Whatever the reason, the fact is that Covid is causing hair loss in many of us, but how serious is it? And is the hair loss permanent?

Sudden, drastic hair loss

If you have experienced sudden hair loss, the chances are that you’re suffering from telogen effluvium – a relatively rare condition where a traumatic event can shock the hair follicles into entering the resting phase of the cycle all at the same time.

It is considered normal to lose a few hairs at a time, but with telogen effluvium most or all of the hairs it is not uncommon for up to 50% of the hairs to fall out at once.

The good news is that the condition is usually temporary and the hair will grow back, but that doesn’t solve the issue in the short term.

If you’re experiencing telogen effluvium and you can’t quite face just waiting it out, consider a procedure like scalp micropigmentation (SMP), where pigment is injected into the scalp to replicate hairs. This produces a very realistic ‘buzz cut’ appearance, which can help you to style out the hair loss.

Other options include hair replacement systems, or even experimenting with some stylish headwear.

Gradually thinning hair

Maybe you’re just noticing a few extra hairs on the pillow each morning, or a bit more than usual coming off on the hairbrush. Or you’ve become aware of a thinning area that wasn’t there before.

These can all be signs that your hair is being affected by the long-term stress of Covid and lockdown. But what can you do about it?

The best first step is to visit a trichologist, dermatologist or hair loss expert, to check that there is no other underlying condition that could be causing your hair loss.

They’ll advise you on a variety of products and treatments to deal with this type of hair loss, including hair loss supplements, laser therapy, SMP (see above) or even hair transplant surgery.

For more information on covid-related hair loss or to book a free consultation with one of our hair loss experts, please contact us today on 0121 312 2999.

hair loss supplements

The hair loss supplement is the ultimate treatment for thinning hair – it’s easy to do, no need for regular clinic appointments, and there are none of the perceived risks associated with laser treatment or hair transplant surgery.

Plus, anyone can take a supplement; man or woman, young or old, right at the start of your hair loss journey, or limping slowly towards the finish line, hair loss supplements are for everyone.

But we all know that male-pattern hair loss and female-pattern hair loss are very different beasts, so which supplements will work best for each?

Hair loss supplements for men and women

Whilst many companies market their hair loss supplements differently for the different genders, the truth is that the same supplements are likely to work for both men and women.

While the presentation of androgenic alopecia may vary between men and women – women tend to get more diffuse thinning, whilst men’s hair loss follows a more predictable pattern, starting at the temples and often spreading to the crown – the mechanism behind it is pretty much the same for everyone.

What causes male- or female-pattern hair loss?

Both male and female-pattern hair loss are caused by the same hormone, Dihydratestosterone, or DHT. DHT is an androgen, and high levels of androgens in the body are known to shrink hair follicles, eventually causing them to die off completely.

While other hormones contribute to this process in women, DHT is the main culprit for both genders, so that’s what you really need to focus on when trying to fight hair loss with supplements.

What other ingredients work to combat hair loss?

The key ingredients to look out for when choosing a hair loss supplement are ones that are known to assist hair growth. Nutrients like biotin and keratin are both used regularly in products that work to improve hair health, so their presence in a supplement is a good sign.

Here at The Hair Ambulance, our Hair Loss Ampoules are among our most popular treatment options.

These contain a micro-encapsulated phyto cell extract that works as a DHT inhibitor, as well as polyphenol from larch wood extract, which reactivates the formation of new stem cells. This in turn stimulates the hair follicles and encourages new hair growth.

The formula also includes biotin, as well as a range of vitamins and minerals known to help promote hair health.

Are hair loss supplements for me?

As discussed above, hair loss supplements really are suitable for everyone. However, how much they can help you really will depend on the extent of your hair loss.

The best first step when considering any hair loss treatment is to seek expert advice, so if you’re considering embarking on a treatment plan, why not contact us today to book a consultation with one of our hair loss specialists.

can scalp massage treat hair loss

After the quite frankly alarming story that hit social media recently, about a mum who bought a vibrator online thinking it was a scalp massager to help stimulate her follicles, we got to thinking about the question: can scalp massage treat hair loss?

Follicle stimulation

The concept sounds believable – after all, a lot of bonafide hair loss treatments talk about stimulating the hair follicles, so surely a scalp massage could do the same job at a fraction of the price?

Sadly, when it comes to actually dealing with hair loss, we’re not talking about that kind of stimulation. To encourage new hair growth, you need to stimulate the follicles from the inside, triggering them to produce hairs.

If you look at a treatment like platelet-rich plasma therapy, which very much relies on follicle stimulation, what it’s actually doing is triggering the body’s wound-healing mechanism, thus causing new stem cells to be produced in the hair follicles, which should in turn spark the growth of new hair.

So why do so many scalp massagers claim to be good for hair growth?

Whilst there is no evidence that scalp massage can stimulate hair growth, experts are all agreed that the process is great for your hair.

Used regularly, a handheld scalp massager (which can be as simple as a plastic brush, you don’t need any fancy gadgets) can help to exfoliate, loosen dandruff and improve circulation.

A small minority of hair loss sufferers find that their hair is thinning due to poor circulation. For these fortunate few, a scalp massager could provide the answer, but for the rest of us, it probably won’t do much more than ensure that the hair we do have is shiny and healthy looking.

What options are there to deal with hair loss?

There are any number of hair loss treatments available, and the one that is most suitable for you will depend on the type of hair loss you are experiencing, as well as your preferences in terms of how invasive the treatment is, or if you prefer something a little more natural.

If you do prefer to take a more natural route, hair growth supplements can be a great option, so long as you choose carefully. Otherwise, Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) can offer a very effective, minimally invasive hair loss treatment, depending on how extensive your hair loss is.

If you prefer a more surefire route, hair transplant surgery works well, but is best suited to men at a more advanced stage of balding, or scalp micropigmentation is a great way to disguise hair loss.

Whatever your preference, your best first step is to speak to an expert. Why not contact us today to book a consultation with one of our hair loss specialists.

Get in touch

    The Hair Ambulance is our mobile service where you can be seen by one of our experts but if you prefer you can attend one of our private hair loss clinics. Fill in the contact form and one of our team will be in touch to find out how best we can help.

    Alternatively, call us on the number below or drop us a line.

    0121 312 2999

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