Anyone who has suffered or is suffering with hair loss knows how stressful and upsetting it is, but nearly all the hair loss patients we see at the clinic say that its the 'not knowing' that is the main cause of their anxiety. Not knowing the cause of the hair loss, not knowing if and when the hair loss will eventually stop, not knowing if they will lose all their hair. Having a consultation with our Trichologist and getting those questions answered helps patients begin to feel some control over the situation. The information, advice and treatment we are able to offer provides the support and reassurance that is needed.
'Alopecia' is a generic name encompassing all types of hair loss. There are many forms of hair loss and associated causes that a trained Trichologist will be able to identify and diagnose. However, the types most commonly seen are male/female pattern baldness, diffuse shedding, thinning, alopecia areata, cicatricial scarring and hair shaft trauma (leading to breakage). Many hair loss conditions are also accompanied by scalp scaling, flaking, inflammation, infection and other scalp disorders.
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Pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss and affects both men and women. There are several contributing factors including age, an hereditary predisposition and the presence of the hormone testosterone. Although this kind of hair loss can begin anytime after puberty early signs most commonly appear from the late teens onwards in men and from the late 20's in women.
The first signs of male pattern baldness will usually (but not exclusively) manifest as a slow recession to the temporal areas, followed by recession of the crown/vertex areas. The sides and back margins of the scalp are not part of the pattern area and therefore will normally remain intact. Hair transplantations utilise the hairs from these areas to implant them into the part/s of the scalp affected by pattern baldness.
Female pattern hair loss can sometimes include some recession to the temporal areas but the main area of loss is to the crown. Diffuse thinning generally begins at the central parting area of the scalp and then progressively widens accross the crown. There are varying degrees of loss of density to the hair in the affected area. The frontal hairline normally remains intact and even in the most advanced cases it is very rare for a woman to go completely bald. As with male pattern hair loss, female pattern loss is androgen related. This means that women with a genetic disposition to this condition are more succeptible during times of significant hormonal changes e.g. peri-menopausal, menopausal & post menopausal periods.
There is no cure for male or female pattern baldness, although in your quest to find a solution for your hair loss you will come across thousands of product claims stating otherwise. There are currently only two medications licensed in the U.K for the treatment of pattern baldness. Following a detailed consultation a qualified trichologist can assess and advise you on the suitabilty of treatments and medication.
A diffuse alopecia is an excessive hair shedding occurring all over the scalp and not just in patches or localised areas, sufferers will often notice a significant reduction in hair volume.
There are various types of diffuse hair losses but the most commonly occuring is telogen effluvium also known as a 'reflective loss'. The hair is often seen as a barometer of our general health. It is not unusual for an underlying illness to come to light only after help has been sought for the hair loss being experienced as a symptom of the main disorder.
A reflective hair loss can originate from a number of causes and can be short term (acute) or long term (chronic) depending on the underlying ailment, but once the causative factor has been discovered and eliminated there is a good chance that the hair loss will fully recover. A trained and qualified Trichologist will be able to successfully diagnose, advise and where applicable offer treatment to assist the recovery.
Some alopecias present as a patchy hair loss the most common of which is alopecia areata, whose unpredictability can be of particular distress to the sufferer. Loss of eyebrows and / or nail abnormalities may also occur; variants of the condition can also result in complete loss of scalp and body hair.
Traumatic alopecia refers to trauma caused to the hairshaft (and sometimes scalp) that subsequently results in breakage and hair loss. The trauma is usually the result of a cosmetic or styling process and will fall into one or more of three main categories: chemical trauma (permanent hair dyes, chemical relaxers, perms etc), thermal trauma (over use/incorrect use of heated styling appliances (e.g. hair straighteners, hot brushes &/or poor blow drying technique) and physical trauma (tightly braided hair, tightly pulled back ponytails, over use of hair extensions etc). The resulting hair loss can be short term, long term or permanent depending on the extent of the trauma suffered. Loss of hair volume due to traumatic alopecia (especially to the longer lengths furthest from the scalp) is often wrongly mistaken for hair shedding.
We offer a professional and supportive service 'providing therapeutic care for your scalp and hair' and look forwarding to helping you.
With clinics in Northampton, Leicester and Milton Keynes we treat patients throughout Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and surrounding areas.
Our Clinic Locations:
Martin Hair & Scalp Clinic
Leicester Sport Medicine Clinic
132 Victoria Park Road
Tel: 0116 2100 100
Martin Hair & Scalp Clinic
Consultations are also available in Milton Keynes.
Ring 07531 326 692 to make an appointment.