Elan Blog

Elan Blog (6)

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 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