The Ultimate Guide to Thinning Hair & Hair Loss Birmingham
Updated: Jul 9
Hair is more than just strands of hair that keep your head warm, it provides you with style and boosts confidence. Now we understand where the hashtag #goodhairday comes from, and why it is so popular. Just like our skin, when our hair looks good, we feel great and far more confident. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everybody. In fact many millions of individuals suffer hair loss (both men and women), which is practically like having a bad hair day every single day. But now with advances in cutting-edge treatments and procedures this doesn’t have to be the case.
WHAT CAUSES THINNING HAIR?
The average person has about 100,000 head hairs, with a loss of approximately 50-100 of them every day. The majority of cases, these hairs do grow back, but if they do not grow back at the same rate, or one suffers more shedding (hair fall) - this can they lead to a gradual thinning of hair. Not just men, but even women at 40% have visible hair thinning at middle ages. This is due to many different reasons, some of which are listed below. But the general message is the sooner you act on the hair loss, the better your chances are of successfully treating it and restoring hair regrowth.
COMMON CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS AND THINNING:
Genetic predisposition Male and female pattern hair loss Is known as Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), and this is the most common form of hair loss and affects many millions of men and women across the globe. If your immediate family do suffer with thinning hair, chances are you will be genetically predisposed. Male and female hair loss (AGA), although often hereditary and occurring in healthy individuals, is also associated with high blood pressure, diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome, and other autoimmune conditions.
Diet and nutritional status In addition to taking your personal and familial histories into account, in some cases it can also be recommended to have a blood test, to assess for vitamin and mineral deficiencies that may be contributing to your hair loss, thus, in combination with hormonal imbalances. For instance, deficiencies in vitamin D, B and iron can be a predisposing factor for hair loss. These can be more common than you think, and are easily corrected. Other implications are alcohol consumption, smoking and hydration levels.
Hormonal imbalances are a huge factor within the dreaded hair loss. Mainly of all – DHT hormone (dihydrotestosterone), a derivative of testosterone that binds to receptors in scalp hair follicles affects their function, eventually killing the hair follicle. Hormonal alterations like following pregnancy can also be associated with hair thinning. Also, menopause can often have huge implications in many cases, as lower estrogen levels are linked to thinning. Many women lose substantial amounts of hair following menopause.
Stress Stress releases a poison hormone called cortisol which is a stress hormone which causes all kinds of problems, including hair loss. Alopecia Areata for instance, is a form of sudden patch hair loss that is often associated with stress. Basically, it is thought that the immune system gets stressed and attacks the hair follicles, causing them to weaken and fall out. There is no particular fast or easy cure or treatment for this condition, but platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment and steroid injections are often used.
Illness Again, certain autoimmune disorders can cause hair loss, most commonly associated with conditions like lupus, adrenal gland or thyroid dysfunction due to the alterations and hormonal function.
There are also certain drugs and medications that one may be taking for the treatment of a condition which can also have side-effects of hair thinning.
WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF HAIR LOSS?
Anagen Phase (2–6 years) This is the growing stage, this is when the cells in the root of each hair divide, pushing the previous strand out to make room for a new one.
Catagen Phase (2–3 weeks) Reduced hair growing, increased rate of shedding so it can eventually renew. This is referred to as the ’transitional phase’.
The Telogen Phase (3 months) This is the resting phase, during which club hair is formed.
HOW TO TREAT THINNING HAIR
Hair loss is complex and notoriously difficult to treat. The majority of hair loss treatments out there are about stimulating blood-flow, and combining different approaches like modification to diet, products and treatments. There are many non-surgical solutions which are both preventive and effective, providing good improvements, but it’s important to have realistic expectations, as results can take months to show true effects.
Essential Oils We recommend the following to create a good balanced healthy environment, along with promoting circulation, and keeping hair and scalp hydrated:
lightweight coconut mist (non-greasy) OGX Nourishing + Coconut Oil Weightless Hydration Oil Mist
Tea tree and cypress
lemon oil can balance sebum production so follicles don’t get clogged
Diet/Supplements To strengthen brittle hair follow a balanced diet that includes high protein foods such as eggs, fish and nuts that contain omega-3 fatty acids, also recommend zinc, iron, oral castor oil and Biotin supplements - we recommend Solgar Biotin. Another expert favourite is Nutrafol which is good for both thinning hair and anti-aging - by reducing free radical damage, rebalancing stress-producing hormones, and contains botanicals that promote the absorption of hair-boosting nutrients.
The latest development in hair loss treatment with an active ingredient that works to counteract hypoxia which can contribute to hair loss. Hypoxia is a decrease or deprivation in oxygen supply, which can cause hair follicles to weaken and fall out. Stemoxydine targets this by attempting to increase oxygen levels in the tiny vascular structures of the scalp. The molecule acts upon hair-derived stem cells, improving their regenerative potential and maintaining function so new growth can occur.
Stemoxydine also has clinically proven effectiveness. It has been shown not only thickened hair, but also “woke up” follicles that had been dormant. Stemoxydine is one of the most exciting developments in the treatment for hair growth.
Is a naturally occurring substance that studies have shown to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase in human skin. Inhibition of this enzyme by azelaic acid can reduce the concentration of DHT in scalp and therefore stimulate hair regrowth.
Minoxidil, otherwise known as Rogaine (over-the-counter), is another product which is aimed at stimulating blood-flow to the scalp. It is popular as there is some evidence to suggest that it can slow hair fall and increase the diameter of hair. However, results are variable, and if successful it may just slow the progression of hair fall as opposed to promoting actual hair regrowth. Again, if successful it may take months to show. Side effects associated with topical minoxidil can include scalp itching and flaking, so it's not an option for everyone.
Concealers like hair nano fibres are a good idea for individuals who are concerned about thinning, and are a quick and easy way to cover thinning areas when heading out to an event or something nice.
Hair Care Thinning hair requires considerable TLC. Hair should be looked after, well hydrated and not abused. Considerable attention should be paid with washing drying and using heated appliances like hot hairdryers and straighteners. This also goes for hair dying and various wax/gel products - creating toxic environment for your hair.
This comes down to personal preference, but we tend to recommend blood stimulating caffeine based shampoos like Waterman's Grow Me Shampoo or Lipogaine. These also have a natural DHT blocker. Also Kapigen Anti-hair loss shampoo is very good (Turkey) and Regenepure DR.
A for 'alternative' natural DHT blockers - we tend to recommend Herbal Piping Rock.
Prescription Medication In some cases ketoconazole is recommended which is an anti-fungal ingredient that’s now used in some shampoos such as Nirozal to promote hair growth. Another option is finasteride and spironolactone which are also used to prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT. However, results are again varied and this can come with unwonted side-effects. A NEW and exciting treatment is now being offered with us at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine's hair loss clinic in Birmingham and Solihull which includes a mix of prescription-strength ingredients such as topical finasteride and many other important ingredients used in mesotherapy for hair loss, depending on the patient’s condition. Effective results so far have been shown very impressive. The advantage to this is that it has less side-effects than oral finasteride. PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
Laser Therapy Laser Therapies are again a treatment which is used to try and stimulate blood flow to the scalp, usually in the form of laser headbands and hats. They are designed to try and improve follicle function and reduce thinning hair. However, results again with this varied (most of which are poor clinical outcomes, with poor scientific evidence), and it can be very time-consuming.
PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP) & AUTOLOGOUS STEM CELL MICRO-GRAFT TRANSPLANT
By far our favourite treatments, especially after trying every single treatment available. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and the autologous micro-graft transplant are newer, more effective and natural biologic treatments in regenerative medicine for hair loss or thinning hair. PRP is a simple and safe treatment involves drawing a small sample of the patient’s own blood and then extracting a high potency of platelets following a centrifugation process. These platelets are then further concentrated and activated before being injected into the scalp with a tiny micro needle. Once injected, this high concentration of platelets naturally releases bioactive protein growth factors which then stimulate hair follicles in thinning regions of the scalp, to preserve hair, reduce hair loss and to promote new hair regrowth.
Furthermore, these bioactive growth factors recruit natural stem cells, which all together then activates the active hair growth phase and allows hair to grow back where it has been lost. We have seen simply fantastic results with our PRP treatments, and they are best provided for patients with general thinning hair as opposed to complete balding. With thinning hair – the dormant hair bulbs still exist for the PRP to nourish them, rather than those with prolonged hair loss where the hair bulb is likely not intact anymore.
Many scientific studies are showing favourable and clinically significant results in terms of hair count and density, and more larger-scale trials longer term trials are building rapidly. PRP treatment protocols involve treatment once a month for 3-4 months, and then maintenance treatments every 6-18 months following may be necessary depending on the needs of the patient.
The next-generation form of PRP is called PRF (platelet rich fibrin), which has actually been used in general medicine and oral surgery for quite some years to its great potential to promote healing and tissue repair. PRF is similarly to PRP, but contains more growth factors, which are released over a longer duration. We are tending to prefer PRF treatment for hair loss as it allows the platelets to remain in one location while releasing growth factors in a controlled manner that can last for days. This is known as a fibrin matrix (platelet rich fibrin matrix). This differs from PRP as PRP growth factors only last a few minutes to hours. The benefits of longer-lasting growth factors are able to promote more hair growth by stimulating hair follicles for longer.
As there are numerous PRP preparation systems and kits used for treatment these days, this can make good high level consistent clinical research difficult, as so many different protocols are used. However, as a general rule from good scientific studies and personal clinical experience - what we do know is that PRP is a safe and effective treatment for hair loss, with the majority of good clinically adopted PRP kits. Here at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine we are proud as always to announce that we only used FDA-approved i-STEM PRP kits, as they are simply the best PRP kits available on the market for high concentrations of good quality PRP. So much so in fact that we have even put our name of i-STEM PRP kits and we are the only distributor for the whole of the UK.
PRP is a safe, natural, effective, and simple biologic treatment that is mostly effective by releasing growth factors like VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and other stem cell by-products to stimulate and kick-start dormant hair follicles, at the same time as producing angiogenesis (an environment with the production of new blood vessels and blood supply). Many new studies are also identifying how PRP treatment is more effective that minoxidil, and adding that it’s also a good alternative to minoxidil without the side effects. It has also been recently understood that one of minoxidil’s key mechanisms of action is up regulation of VEGF.
Research and clinical evidence is too large to fit into the article, but please refer to our page Research Publications for further information and new updates. Also, please follow us on social for daily research updates.
Regenera Activa® Autologous Micro-graft Transplant
The new and exciting Regenera Activa® is a simple, fast micrograft hair loss treatment that utilises your own regenerative cells extracted from your scalp to stimulate hair regrowth
How does Regenera Activa® work? Regenera Activa® is an advanced system that works by extracting tiny micro-grafts from the back of your scalp. These micro-grafts are then processed to harvest then regenerative cells. These cells are then injected into the areas of hair loss, where they are used to facilitate repair and stimulate hair regrowth. The result is thicker and stronger hair. Further information can be found here:
Surgical Options If you are too far gone, or all non-surgical solutions have been exhausted without success, hair restoration surgery can be an option. But, is not the holy grail in hair restoration solutions and can have its draw backs. The best surgical option for hair loss is a hair transplant, which entails removing hair from the back of the head and implanting it into thinning areas. It is more commonly done for men as not all female patients are ideal candidates.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) - a strip of hair is removed from the back of the head, hairs are separated and implanted into the areas that need it. This, however, is an older surgical approach and is not often used anymore.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) - this is individual extraction of a hair follicle, removing and implanting it back into thinning areas. These procedures are lengthy and can take five to eight hours, depending on the size of the treatment area.
Although you can be semi-guaranteed with results and most of the implanted hairs do grow, there are still some disadvantages to be aware of:
invasive and downtime is needed
results sometimes do live live up to expectations
local anaesthetic required
discomfort following procedure
We have been inundated with patients at our hair loss clinic in Birmingham who are not happy with their transplants for many reasons, with the most common reasons being - hair is still too thin, hair is still too 'gappy', hair has not grown back to full expectations, hair has only grown back patchy etc... One of the realistic expectations we all should have to expect if we are looking to go down the surgical transplant route is that, one procedure only is very rarely enough, and more procedures are often required to give you what you want over time. Also, we need to except the fact that with time our normal existing hair can be lost, naturally. Which can mean for example that if you have a transplant for frontal hairline correction, and then over time you lose the hair behind this naturally, then you are left with tufts of hair at the front, looking independent. This can then essentially force your decision to get the rest of the scalp done as an attempt of aesthetic correction. All the above being noted FUE transplants do have some advantages - BUT if seen by the right trusted clinic with an experienced surgeon. Often unfortunately we have seen some very poor results from clinics abroad and procedures preformed by inexperienced technicians.
Regenera Activa® vs FUE hair transplant (click for further information).
TOPICAL FINASTERIDE & MESOTHERAPY
Here at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine we are very passionate about hair loss and believe in true results. To add to our arsenal of effective treatments for hair loss we are now offering a NEW and exciting treatment which includes a mix of prescription-strength ingredients such as topical finasteride and many other important ingredients used in mesotherapy for hair loss. New information can be found here. PLEASE CONTACT US FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
Diagnostics through Dermo-trichoscopy
Being reatlistic in any case, we understand and appreciate that not all cases of hair loss treatments are successful. From this we want to thoroughly understand why the individual patient is not responding to treatment. Here we like to offer to the possibility of running some diagnostics via dermascopy. These diagnostics can give us a clear and detailed indication of what is causing and contributing factors towards hair thinning and hair loss. Ultimately, we want to understand whether the hair loss is standard androgenetic alopecia (AGA) or the possibility of an inflammatory/hormonal/immunological cause of hair loss. We also recommend blood tests to coincide with dermascopy to rule out any deficiencies or imbalances, which can be done with your local GP surgery.
GET IN TOUCH TO FIND OUT MORE OR SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION
Don’t let hair loss get you down and affect your confidence. Schedule a FREE consultation with Dynamic Regenerative Medicine today, and let us treat your hair loss and provide you with full confidence again. We have clinics operating out of Solihull (Henley-In-Arden) and Birmingham (Edgbaston).
Call us today 01564 330773
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