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Sunday, 14 February 2021 20:12

Scalp micropigmentation for longer hair..

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Does Scalp Micropigmentation Work with Long Hair?

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) was initially created with the shaved head in mind, as long hair can look unnatural as the cosmetic micro dot tattoo creates the look of ‘stubble’. 

However, there have been recent developments in the scalp micropigmentation process that make it possible for the treatment to look natural with a longer hairstyle.

Scalp micropigmentation works best with long hair when combined with certain ‘types’ of hair loss. If your hairline is intact, and you’re experiencing general hair thinning across your scalp, micropigmentation can help create the illusion of ‘depth’ to your hair - resulting in a thicker looking head of hair.

Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) is a distinctive form of diffuse hair loss that occurs in women with androgenetic alopecia (a form of hair loss that is related to a genetic disposition and hormones - however, lifestyle, some medicines and emotional health can also ‘trigger’ this condition). Many women are affected by FPHL. By age 50 approx: 40% of women show signs of hair loss - and by the age of 80 this increases to approx: 55%

How much hair loss is considered to be FPHL?

FPHL becomes evident when a ‘diffuse thinning' of the hair (due to increased hair shedding), a reduction in hair volume (miniaturisation) or both increases .Another condition called chronic telogen effluvium (CTE) may also present with increased hair shedding (this is often confused with FPHL). It is important to differentiate between these conditions as management for both conditions differ.

 

What you will notice first; FPHL presents quite differently from the more easily recognisable male pattern hairloss (MPHL), which usually begins with a receding frontal hairline that progresses to a bald patch on top of the head. It is very uncommon for women to lose hair in this manner -  unless there is excessive production of androgens in the body.

 

Your hair style and FPHL; Wearing your hair in a long style with scalp micropigmentation may also be possible for those with receding hairlines. However, since this process will camouflage a bald spot (such as with Alopecia Areata), within long hair, it is necessary to limit the treatment to where your hairline has receded to. This process may lessen the severity of the thinning significantly and so make your hair appear thicker.

The future of your hair; Of course, in any event - you need to be wary of future hair loss: such as the possibility that your hairline may recede further, or your hair may thin more extensively. Your consultation with your scalp micropigmentation expert will help determine the best course of action for you. If you are looking to maintain a long hairstyle after scalp micropigmentation, it’s even more essential to seek out a skilled technician who has plenty of experience with this procedure. Scalp micropigmentation is a complex and labour-intensive process, and it’s something that should only be left up to an experienced specialist.

Is FPHL permanent? Once the follicle is empty and hair is lost - it cannot grow back. However, there are some very successful treatments that can stop hair loss and potentially help regrow some of the hair that appears lost through the ‘miniaturisation’ process - effectively giving you back more hair. SMP is a long term cosmetic solution that may be really helpful. 

Investigating FPHL and why this has happened to you; The èlan clinic will investigate your health and wellbeing along with blood tests (if supplied) and microscopic/trichoscopic testing to find the  causative factors.  Our methods are different to that of your GP, as are our treatments options. We will find the best treatment for you, that restores your confidence, helping you to feel and look better.

What to do first and where to start; The certified Trichologists at the èlan clinic have years of experience with thinning hair and have helped individuals with various treatments options.

If you are considering scalp micropigmentation or interested in other possible treatments for your thinning hair - speak to us at the èlan clinic. 

Tel: 01926 299001 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are here to help you at any stage of hair loss.

         Gill Harrison      ART

Monday, 11 January 2021 09:30

Covid hair loss

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Unexpected and uncharacteristic hair loss and shedding can happen after any stressful event.                                                                                                            The Covid pandemic appears to have led to an increase in people experiencing thinning hair.

While the exact mechanisms of why severe physical or psychological trauma can trigger hair loss is not entirely understood - in the majority of these cases, the patient is diagnosed with ‘telogen effluvium’, a temporary condition in which dramatically increased numbers of hair are shed each day, far beyond the typical 100 or so that is considered ‘normal’.

Telogen effluvium may often appear 3-6 months after the ‘triggering’ stressful event has happened, and in most cases (if the cause is removed) the problem will resolve itself (in rare cases, unremitting stress can lead to chronic and prolonged shedding).

Currently, no published research exists to suggest that Covid-19 attacks hair follicles; indicating that any related  hair loss is a result of the body reacting to the physiological and emotional stress caused by the disease, rather than a symptom of the disease itself (indeed, I have yet to see a  hair loss patient that has actually been diagnosed with coronavirus).

The current cause for the recent increase in hair loss conditions is therefore most likely to be connected to the stress and worry connected to the pandemic, such as financial worries, the disruption to a routine, coping with home schooling and work, holiday cancellations or the worry over an ‘at risk’ family member, 

Anyone with new or worsening hair loss should seek a professional diagnosis from a certified trichologist.

It is imperative to rule out other possible causes, such as thyroid problems, medications, genetic disposition, illness, alopecia areata, scalp disorders, dietary failings and anaemia.

Friday, 18 December 2020 14:34

Serum Ferritin - stored Iron

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The lower a person’s ferritin is - the more likely it’s related to the hair loss they are experiencing.

Ferritin is a measure of the bodies iron storage levels. The ideal amount varies - males tend to have higher ferritin levels than females and premenopausal women tend to have lower ferritin levels than post menopausal women. Extremely low ferritin levels have many potential side effect and may prevent the body from making haemoglobin - a condition which is called ‘anaemia’ (many people may also have low ferritin levels without actually having an anaemia).

How low can go ferritin levels go before it starts to contribute to hair loss?

Many females have ferritin levels 20-40 without hair loss. In fact, if you were to measure iron levels in all women between ages 20-40, you may find many have ferritin levels of 28 - 44, you’d not find many with ferritin levels above 50 (some would have ferritin levels of 6 - 19).

While it’s often considered that one needs to have a ferritin level above 40 (or above 70) for healthy hair growth, this rule is perhaps too simplistic. We often "aim" for that level for optimum hair health …. but it is not always correct to suggest that ferritin levels below 40 will cause a problem. If a ferritin level is between 20 - 40 and there is hair loss, we would  recommend an iron supplement.

If ferritin levels are low and haemoglobin levels are also low (indicative of iron deficiency anaemia) it is recommended to speak to your G.P. 

Vitamin C helps iron absorption and taking a vitamin C rich sources with iron supplements will help to increase your bodies iron.  Limiting the consumption of caffeine may also help.

Monday, 07 December 2020 08:38

Alopecia Areata Treatment

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Although there are currently no treatments that work for everyone with alopecia areata (AA), some treatments are effective for some people. Depending your age, general health and the extent of hair loss, there are a variety of treatment options available. The main goals of treatment are to block the immune system attack and/or stimulate the regrowth of hair. This can be effective, especially for people with milder forms of the disease (less than 50% hair loss*).

If there is no ‘cure’ for alopecia areata, what good are treatments?

There are a variety of treatments for both mild and severe AA. The aim of treatment is to stop active hair loss and stimulate/aid the regrowing hair.

Treatments for mild alopecia areata

Topical Corticosteroids                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Decreases the inflammation around the hair follicle. Available in a variety of strengths and preparations (such as solutions, lotions, foams, creams, ointments). Here at the èlan clinic we offer a solution based on DNA analysis - for improved results.

Benefits: Studies have shown that there is a reduction of hair loss - with improved regrowth of approx: 25%.

Drawbacks: The effectiveness of some topical corticosteroids is limited by their absorption in the scalp - lotions are a better option than creams or ointments.

Intralesional Corticosteroid Injections                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This method of treatment — the most common form of treatment for AA — uses corticosteroids that are injected into bare patches of skin with a tiny needle. These injections are repeated about every 4 - 6 weeks and are usually administered by a dermatologist (GP referred or private).

Benefits: If new hair growth occurs - this may be visible within 4 weeks. There are few known side effects related to this kind of treatment.

Drawbacks: like all treatments for AA, it does not prevent new hair loss from developing. While there are few reported side effects, temporary depressions (dells) in the skin may result. You may experience slight discomfort from the needle pricks and tingling from the medication, but usually there is no lasting pain or discomfort.

Anthralin/Dithranol Cream                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also widely used for psoriasis — this is a common form of treatment for AA. Applied to areas of hair loss once a day and then washed off typically after 30 - 60 minutes (or in some cases - several hours).

Benefits: If new hair grows - it is usually visible within 8 - 12 weeks.

Drawbacks: May irritate the skin and cause temporary discolouration.

Minoxidil                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5% topical minoxidil solution may be applied 1 - 2 times daily, to help stimulate hair to regrow. Minoxidil is not usually effective for AA when used alone, but when applied in combination with topical corticosteroid medications, some may see improved results.

*For those who have more than 50% hair loss on their scalp (or other areas of the body), there are also oral  and topical medications, phototherapy and light treatments available.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020 21:15

What is Androgenetic Alopecia/Female Pattern Hair Loss?

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Almost every woman eventually develops some degree of female pattern hair loss (FPHL). It can start any time after the onset of puberty, but women tend to first notice it around menopause, when hair loss typically increases. The risk increases with age, and it's higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family (genetic disposition).                                                                                   

FPHL involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which contribute to the ongoing development of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. (In some cases It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumour on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity).    

FPHL occurs because of a genetically determined shortening of anagen (the growing phase of the hair), and a lengthening of the time between the shedding of a hair and the start of a new anagen phase. This means it takes longer for hair to start growing back after it is shed in the course of the normal growth cycle. The hair follicle itself also changes, shrinking and producing a shorter, thinner hair shaft — a process called ‘follicular miniaturisation’. As a result, thicker, pigmented, longer-lived hairs are replaced by shorter, thinner, non-pigmented hairs - hair density is reduced and the scalp becomes more noticeable.

Hair loss treatment for women

Topical medications are the most common treatment for hair loss in women.

DNA/Genetic testing for specialist prescription - the most complete genetic test for hair loss, analysing genetic factors and other relevant patient characteristics (16 genes and 48 genetic variations related to alopecia)  resulting in a more effective treatment for better results. Included factors for analysis are: prostaglandins metabolism, inflammation, androgenic effect, vasodilation and blood circulation, collagen synthesis, vitamins and minerals metabolism and Insulin-like growth factor metabolism. We strongly advise this form of topical medication, we have many very satisfied patients who are experiencing far more effective results with our bespoke prescription service.

Minoxidil (Regaine). 2% and a 5% solution/foam. Minoxidil - can produce some new growth of fine hair in some women, but it wont promise to fully restore the full density of the lost hair. It's not a quick fix, either -  results often take  at least 3 months. The effect often peaks at around four months, but it could take longer, so plan on a trial of 6-12 months. If minoxidil works for you, you'll need to keep using it to maintain those results. If you stop, you'll start to lose hair again.                                                                                                                   

How to use minoxidil: Be sure that your hair and scalp are dry. Using the dropper or spray pump that's provided with the over-the-counter solution, apply it twice daily to every area where your hair is thinning. Gently massage it into the scalp with your fingers so it can reach the hair follicles. Then air-dry your hair, wash your hands thoroughly, and wash off any solution that has dripped onto your forehead or face. Don't shampoo for at least four hours afterwards.                                                                                                                  

Some women find that the minoxidil solution leaves a deposit that dries and irritates their scalp. This irritation (contact dermatitis) is caused by the alcohol that is included to facilitate drying.

Cosmetic Hair Enhancement

Hair fibres (Toppik) hair building fibres create thicker, fuller looking hair instantly, made from keratin fibres, just like each of your natural hairs they attach to your hair to cover areas of thin or thinning hair.

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is an advanced cosmetic/aesthetic procedure in which natural organic pigments are applied to the epidermal level of the scalp via specialist micro needles, replicating the appearance of hundreds or thousands of hair follicles/strands - gradually reducing the amount of visible scalp seen through the hair.                                                                                                                           The procedure usually takes place over 3 sessions (each lasting approximately 3 – 4 hours) resulting in a gradual build up of hair density and a natural recreation of the hairline. During the initial consultation, our expert technician will discuss the various implications of SMP.

Hair Pieces - clip in ultra-realistic hair that fixes to your own hair, creating a seamless illusion of thicker/fuller hair, designed and made here at Elan clinic.

Sunday, 25 October 2020 17:24

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia

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Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is a 'primary cicatricial alopecia' (encompassing a group of hair loss disorders in which the hair follicle is irreversibly damaged and replaced by fibrous tissue); this results in permanent hair loss along the frontal hairline.

Other areas of hair loss may include the top or back of the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, eyebrows and body hair.

FFA is most common in middle-aged or older women. Upon examination - the scalp shows alterations in the front hairline, including scattered isolated hairs or 'lone hairs’. Thinning of the skin is often associated with FFA - resulting in more readily visible veins. The actual cause of FFA is currently unknown - although hormonal abnormalities may be present in some women.

Unfortunately, as with other scarring conditions, there is (as yet) no successful treatment for areas where scarring hair loss is already present, although topical applications (steroid creams) can help prevent the condition from progressing.

Common signs in Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia Diagnosis:

1. Eyebrow loss is common, often it is the first sign - although not always recognised

2. Both areas of the hairline in front of the ear have receded .

3.  Fine/short hairs are no longer present in the front hairline. Instead there are individual long hairs. There is often a faint ‘redness’ around the base of the hair.

4. Veins may be more visible (scalp/front hairline) and the skin itself often seems smoother and ‘paler’ in colour.

5. The average age for FFA is 46 - 66

Frontal fibrosing Alopecia is a complex condition, as with many conditions there is no 'one way' that it appears - it can present in many variations and diagnosis should be performed by a registered trichologist.

Tuesday, 13 October 2020 13:31

Microdot hair

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Micro Dot Pigmentation for hair loss (or Scalp Micro Pigmentation - SMP) is a relatively new hair loss treatment for men and women with hair loss/thinning hair. For men with extensive hair loss or a receding hairline - once completed, the effect will look like very short hair; and can be utilised to effectively camouflage not just  thinning hair, but also scars, and produce a fuller look for hair transplants. As closely shaven hair appears as thousands of ‘small dots’ on the scalp -  Micro Dot Pigmentation thickens and restores lost hair by using pigment hair dots that effectively replicate this appearance. This cosmetic procedure for hair loss, when applied by a highly trained and skilled technician - is a highly detailed procedure that creates an incredible natural simulation of micro hair. Hair Micro Dot Pigmentation can create the appearance of a fuller, thicker head of hair, and recreate a natural hair line and camouflage the visible scalp area due to hair loss, accident, operation scars and burns.

Hair Microdot Pigmentation - is a  non-invasive process offering instant and reliable results. Many men and women decide on MDP (also known as SMP) in favour of, or in conjunction with other hair loss treatments, such as hair transplant surgery or hair loss medicines. Pigment dots are layered over several sessions to gradually increase the density and darkness until the correct blend is achieved. In terms of quality, it is vital to choose a reliable professional to guarantee the most genuine outcomes from MDP. The placement of each dot is of paramount importance. Misplaced, marginally darker or larger dots could lead to ‘telltale’ signs and an unnatural appearance,                                                                

The scalp micro pigmentation procedure offers benefits such as:

Low risk - an advantage of the microdot pigmentation treatment is that there is ‘next to no risk’ of infection - when done by a skilled professional. There is no pain - more a ‘sensation’, and you do not have to wait for grafts to grow.

Cost-effective - compared to hair transplantation, microdot hair pigmentation costs are much less, results are immediate and there is almost no ‘healing’ required.

Quick healing time - microdot hair pigmentation is a swift healing process, usually 1 - 2 days for slight ‘redness’ to the scalp to subside. Another great advantage is that existing MDP can be restored or the colour can be updated over a period of time - depending on your requirements and needs.

Why consider microdot pigmentation? - microdot pigmentation is a great solution for alopecia, thinning hair, hairline decline and burn, scar and surgery related hair loss. In conclusion - some of the benefits offered by this non-surgical treatment include the following:

Generate the appearance of a fuller, thicker head of hair

Camouflage the symptoms of hair loss

Hide birthmarks, blemishes, scars and burns

Work as a blend with hair transplantation to offer supplementary density

Reconstruct a natural hair line

Contact the elan clinic for more information on the Microdot Hair Pigmentation procedure and how this treatment could benefit you.

Tuesday, 06 October 2020 07:26

Scalp Micropigmentation for Long Hair

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SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION
FOR LONG HAIR

Scalp micropigmentation was initially created with the ‘shaved head’ in mind, as the micro dots of pigment recreates the look of stubble. However, there have been recent developments in the scalp micropigmentation process that make it possible for the treatment to look natural with a long hairstyle.  For the technician - working with long hair can be time consuming, it is essential to work through the hair patiently and in small neat sections. This is something Gill Harrison, our Elan clinic precision SMP technician can achieve fantastic results with. 

Scalp micropigmentation will work well for long hair with ‘certain types ‘of hair loss. If your hairline is intact, and you’re merely experiencing hair thinning across your scalp, micropigmentation can give the illusion of depth to your hair. Thinning hair is relatively common for both men and women and Scalp Micropigmentation for long hair can be a great solution. To keep your hair at a longer length after scalp micropigmentation, you need to satisfy certain requirements if an effective illusion is to be achieved:

a relatively intact frontal hairline

a willingness to keep the hairline in the current position (bringing it forward is unrealistic)

at least 50% coverage in the crown area

SMP with long hair results

If you have long hair that you can blend with your Scalp micropigmentation, the results can look very good, but SMP for long hair isn’t necessarily always a long-term solution. Scalp micropigmentation can only create the illusion of short hair itself….. If your hairline has receded or ‘thinned’ beyond a certain point, you may need to look at other options. For men - if your hair is thinning and you would like to keep the length longer without having to wear a shaved look then SMP techniques can do this by creating an illusion of density by building up treatments and shades of micro-dots around and in-between your existing hair.                                             For those clients who are turning grey/white - it is advisable to keep the hair colour a darker shade for optimum results, or at least match the pigment used in the SMP process to the remaining darker shades of the hair.                                                                           

Long hair SMP for men 

For men with a longer hair length, scalp micropigmentation can maintain your look as your hairline starts to recede. You will need to have some hair at your hairline to help create the appearance of fuller, thicker hair. SMP can fill in the visible areas of your scalp that a receding hairline leaves behind, helping you to look younger for longer. Over time, men can expect their hairline to further recede. When this happens, it may be time for a shorter cut or a different type of treatment. SMP for long hair can also be used to fill in gaps in other areas of hair loss (e.g. the crown) – it is a very effective way of creating an overall appearance of thicker hair.

Long hair SMP for women

For many women, long hair becomes a part of your identity, and something you’re not ready to surrender (and why should you?). There are many varied reasons why so many women go through the experience of thinning hair. For women, this usually means that the hair becomes thinner and the scalp can be seen through the strands (‘diffuse’ hair loss). Using scalp micropigmentation, it’s possible to disguise this - small micro dots of pigment can make your hair look thicker and fuller again. Often, long hair SMP is very effective for masking small patches of complete hair loss or hiding thinning hair. 

SMP for long hair with a receding hairline

Scalp Micropigmentation can create the illusion of thicker hair along a hairline, as long as there is sufficient remaining hair to strengthen the overall look. You may find that as your hairline thins, you may need to wear a shorter style, but under the right circumstances - SMP for long hair may allow you to keep your hair for longer than you otherwise could.

Friday, 17 April 2020 10:08

Thinning hair - causes and treatments

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Hair loss and hair thinning can be caused by an individual or wide range of varying factors, it can be hard to understand the root of the problem without seeking professional help from a Trichologist

Diagnosis is crucial for any treatment is to be effective. Through in-depth consultation your trichologist will examine your personal/medical history, lifestyle, genetic factors, blood test results (where necessary) and scalp and hair.

However, there is always a reason for hair loss and hair thinning. Hair growth is responsible for the second most active production of cells within the body - and those cells can be the most sensitive to internal imbalances and changes.

Friday, 17 April 2020 09:53

Is hair loss for men inevitable?

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It may be considered natural for men’s hair to thin over time, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. Today, there are many more ways to combat hair loss than ever before. I would encourage any man who notices an increase in hair loss to seek professional advice. As with any medical condition - diagnosis is the key; and although some loss over time is inevitable - starting treatment early can slow down and even reverse the visible signs of certain hair loss conditions.

While ageing naturally causes hair to thin, other lifestyle factors can also be an influence. Smoking is one such example, cigarettes can hinder the blood flow that maintains hair health. Likewise, not enough protein, omega 3, iron, vitamin C and other essential vitamins and minerals in your diet, as well as dramatic weight loss.

Alternatively, speak to your trichologist about taking supplements if you aren’t getting enough nutrients naturally. 

Other factors that can contribute to hair loss include stress, some medications, medical conditions, changes in testosterone, lack of exercise and genetic inheritance.  

Hair loss remedies prescribed by a G.P. or pharmacist are a ‘one type suits all’ - I prefer and use what is considered to be the most complete and advanced genetic test for hair loss, which analyses DNA and relevant patient characteristics to produce ‘personalised’ medication, designed specifically to work with your individual genetic functioning - resulting in improved hair regrowth and retention that is far superior to the generic 'over the counter’ remedies.

3 things to do straight way  

  • Seek professional help - your trichologist can identify the cause of your hair loss.
  • If advised, use ‘personalised’  topical treatments - based on DNA testing, to slow down and reverse the visible signs of hair loss - (it is possible to achieve dramatic results that many men are extremely happy with).
  • Examine your lifestyle, diet, exercise regime, stress management, sleep patterns and overall health.

Cosmetic solutions 

There are also a number of excellent ‘cosmetic’ enhancements - that will improve how your hair looks - and restore confidence; from changing your hairstyle, shampoo, conditioner and hair styling products to the use of fibres that adhere to your own hair to make each strand thicker and (in more pronounced cases) hairpieces that can be made to replicate natural hairlines and perfect colour blends. 

The ultimate ‘cosmetic’ hair enhancement is now considered to be Scalp Micropigmentation - a procedure in which  pigments are applied to the scalp via specialist micro needles, replicating the appearance of hundreds or thousands of hair follicles, resulting in a gradual build up of hair density and a natural recreation of the hairline. 

Hair transplants 

The final word  however - must go to the option of hair transplants. All too often, trichologists are inundated with requests from men who are far too young, often showing very little if any signs of hair loss. It would be considered unethical by a surgeon of any professional standing to consider such a patient. 

 Responding to advertisements can be a lottery, you may or may not have success, but the results of an unsuccessful procedure will remain with you for a long time - and may be extremely costly to put right. Transplant surgery requires a great deal of care, attention to detail and expertise. A great deal of skill and experience is required to achieve a natural look that replicates the normal growth pattern. If this delicate procedure is not performed precisely, your hair will not grow correctly, if at all. 

The èlan clinic offers a personalised hair transplant referral service; working closely with some of the countrys’ leading hair transplant surgeons, we are ideally qualified to select the best surgeon for your specific needs.

It is important to accept - there often isn’t just one cause of hair loss - so a treatment plan often doesn’t just contain one solution”.

          Neil Harvey  MIT - consultant trichologist