A Guide to Hair Loss Treatment

Here at The Sussex Trichology Clinic, we understand that hair loss and scalp problems can be distressing, embarrassing and upsetting. While male hair loss is a natural part of the ageing process, in extreme cases some men will show signs of losing their hair as young as sixteen and can be completely bald by their early twenties.

Hair loss in women is less common, but much more traumatic as hair plays a large part in a women’s identity and is commonly associated with beauty and femininity.

We offer a range of hair loss treatments, including the application of creams, steamer, scalp and neck massage, and therapy lamps. We use a non-steroidal approach, using products and medications from Philip Kingsley.

Hair Loss Treatment

Here’s a quick rundown of the different hair loss treatments used for the most common conditions seen at our clinic:

Androgen-Dependent Alopecia

Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss we see, affecting both men and women. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition, although we can slow the process down through a variety of treatments designed to control the effect of androgens on hair follicles. Internally, drugs such as Propecia can slow hair loss and encourage growth in areas where hair is still present. External treatments such as Minoxidil and anti-androgens can slow loss down and sometimes improve the thickness of your hair.

Alopecia Areata

Often triggered by stress, this condition causes bald patches, typically the size of a large coin. While the patches are reversible and tend to grow back on their own eventually, we provide a range of treatments to help speed the process up. We use a range of topical stimulation medications, including Minoxidil, and ultraviolet and infra-red rays, which repair the damaged skin and ‘trick’ hair into regrowth.

Scarring Alopecia

This condition can be difficult to diagnose as initial symptoms can be similar to Alopecia Areata, but Scarring Alopecia causes inflammation under the skin, which destroys the hair follicle and can cause permanent hair loss. Aggressive treatment is required before hair loss becomes permanent, which varies depending on the reason for the condition. Although hair cannot grow once the follicle has been destroyed, it may be possible to stimulate regrowth in the affected area.

Eczema

A common scalp problem, eczema is an advancement of dandruff, causing inflammation of the scalp and waxy yellow scales. It requires professional scalp treatment, including topical creams containing sulphur or salicylic acid. Where excessive scales are present, creams are gently massaged into the scalp, and a steamer is then used to soften the scales before they can be gently lifted off. Ray therapy is also beneficial.

Psoriasis

Another scalp problem, psoriasis can be identified by very red skin and white scales. It causes the scalp to split and bleed easily and can cause thinning of the hair. While not completely curable, it can be improved. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition. Mild cases can be treated with prescription creams and specialist shampoos. More severe cases require the gentle removal of scales by massaging creams containing coal tar, sulphur and salicylic acid into the scalp, and using a steamer to soften them. Infrared and ultraviolet light can encourage the condition to improve.

FAQs on Hair Loss Treatments

What can a dermatologist do about hair loss?
When it comes to hair loss, it is likely that as a hair loss specialist, a trichologist will have seen a wide range of hair loss conditions and will, therefore, have more experience. A dermatologist, whose specialism is primarily the skin, is unlikely to have the experience in diagnosing and treating the hair loss conditions a trichologist sees more regularly.

A dermatologist may be able to diagnose certain conditions if they have previous knowledge of them; for example, androgen-dependent alopecia (ADA), but they are unlikely to be able to treat the hair loss condition successfully.

Should I go to a dermatologist?
In many cases of hair loss or thinning, the first step patients take is to contact their GP, who refers them to a dermatologist – and vital time is lost. Patients are then distressed to learn that the doctor or dermatologist cannot help. You can avoid unnecessary stress easily. Trichologists are currently only available as a private service. So we urge anyone worried about hair loss not to bury their head in the sand, and hope the condition will go away. It rarely does. Get in touch to arrange a consultation with an expert trichologist.

Which specialist should I go to for hair loss?
At Sussex Trichology, we are qualified and experienced in diagnosing and treating all types of hair loss and thinning conditions using a holistic approach. Shuna Hammocks, our resident Consultant Trichologist, completely understands the distress these conditions can cause. “It is essential that I build trust in my relaxed farm-based clinic, to be able to connect with each patient who is suffering from hair loss”. If a patient prefers not to have a private blood test, we can refer them to their GP for blood tests. We find that this order of consultancy is the best approach.