All posts by miriam

So here is a little bit about me, my name is Lucy and I’m 20 years old. I come from a small town in Suffolk, UK but currently studying Food with Nutrition in Bath at university.

Lucy wearing her Intralace

I wanted to share my Alopecia story to help others. It’s been (and still is) a battle, however I feel I am at the stage where, through my own experience, I can start supporting and helping others who are also experiencing any form of hair loss. I used to always focus on the negatives of alopecia but over time I’ve learnt to slowly accept it and try and focus on the positives—for one it makes you a WAY stronger person. You are beautiful with or without hair.

Lucy wit most of her hair gone

Firstly, I thought it would be relevant to outline my own story, from when I first discovered I had alopecia, to now.

My alopecia story first started at the age of 15, around 5 years ago now in 2014. Running my fingers through my then, long and thick brunette locks in a geography class at school, I halted as I suddenly felt a small bald patch at the back left-hand side of my head. As soon as I got home from school that day, I looked in the mirror and the reflection confirmed to me that a circular bald patch was apparent– It was very small, no bigger than a 5 pence piece.

For a few weeks, I shrugged it off. I began Googling explanations as to why as a 15-year-old girl could be experiencing a form of hair loss like this and (as expected from Google) there was a multitude of different explanations and reasons as to why it could be happening to me.

Little did I know what journey had just started!

At this early stage, I didn’t really think that much of a bald patch on my head- it was something at the back of my mind. In all honesty, I tried to avoid thinking about it. I was a busy teenage girl who was very social and highly dedicated to her studies. Although this doesn’t mean I didn’t check it every other day, hoping that it may have miraculously disappeared! However, in the weeks to come this balding patch at the left-hand side of my head had begun to increase in size…

A growing bald patch due to Alopecia

I didn’t really want to consider myself facing ‘hair loss’ at the age of 15. After all, hair loss is not something you consider experiencing in your teenage years at all- something I only thought happened to middle aged Dads! I tried not to think anything more of it nor do anything about it; I feel like I had subconsciously convinced myself that it was fairly common.

Nearing Christmas of 2014, I had noticed that my first patch was evidently becoming much bigger.

After Christmas and entering the new year of 2015 I noticed that my hair loss was worsening, at a swift rate too. My main concern was the worrying volume of hair falling out as I brushed it or in the shower as I was washing it. By this point, I had also unfortunately noticed that multiple further patches were also beginning to form on my scalp. Although others hadn’t realised, running my hands through my hair I could unquestionably detect a reduction in the thickness of my locks. My hair felt thin and limp, styling it how I used to had become a problem. Anyone who has (or is) experiencing Alopecia will understand how tiring and upsetting it is trying to constantly hide growing bald patches (also the strong hate for windy weather!).

The first patches growing larger

It was at this point that I found myself sadly realising that my experience of hair loss was going to affect me more than I had initially thought.

I can still vividly remember standing in front of my mirror, after a shower with drenched hair and wrapped in a towel. I stood in shock as dense hand falls of hair followed my hair brush as I retrieved it from my scalp. Thick strands, falling to the floor. It felt so wrong that this was happening to me! Every time I would comb through, bundles of strands would fall away. I think this was the first point where I couldn’t help but let myself cry!

More patches of hair loss appearing

Following this point and noticing the formation of other smaller patches, in early February I phoned the doctors and booked an appointment. The first doctor I saw gave me a selection of various creams and shampoos, initially suggesting that my bald patches were a cause of a problematic scalp. In all honesty, I felt relieved by this, the dreaded term ‘Alopecia’ wasn’t mentioned, and I held high hope the creams/shampoos prescribed by my Doctor would miraculously help regrow my hair!

Cut a long story short, the shampoo did not help- neither did the creams. Sadly, the patches were continuing to worsen- slowly but surely! The gradual process of my hair loss felt extremely difficult and draining, as it was occurring and deteriorating over a period of months which prolonged the confusion and anger, I was experiencing. ‘Why me?’ I would repeatedly find myself thinking. Finding clumps of hair on my pillow as I woke up or on the shower floor whilst I washed my hair, was, to simply put it- devastating and heart-breaking for a 15-year-old girl.

The areas of hair loss getting larger as the Alopecia progresses

After returning from a school ski trip to Italy in March 2015 (around 6 months after finding my first patch), I revisited the doctors as the patches were becoming so awful and the prescribed shampoos were really doing nothing in my favour. This second Doctor first delivered to me the daunting word I had never hoped to hear, he had diagnosed me with Alopecia. After this diagnosis, I was sent to the dermatology clinic at my local hospital where a dermatologist put me on a course of steroids named Prednisolone. These steroids work with immunosuppressive effects which aim to stop/slow down my own body from attacking my own hair follicles! I held high hopes that this course of steroids would stop my immune system from attacking my own hair follicles, and they did… however only for a short period of time when my steroid dosage was at its highest.

Over the course of 8 weeks I would decrease my Prednisolone dosage by 5mg each week (starting at 40mg to begin with). At first, I saw great results- for the first 4-5 weeks things were looking fab as I had begun to grow ‘fluffy’ light hairs upon my bald patches. Yet as soon as my dosage decreased, my hair fall began to worsen again, which at the time was so frustrating and upsetting for me as my initial patches had begun to regrow (hurrah I had thought!). Once finishing my first set of Prednisolone, I was able to show my dermatologist my hair growth where the Prednisolone had worked at the higher dosage, but I was also able to show her my new patches, where my hair fall was continuing once I had begun to reduce my dosage level.

Lucy's first visit to Lucinda Ellery

I was put back on the same type of steroids for a longer period until December 2015, to see me through my GCSE examinations without possibly experiencing complete hair loss. Steroids came with many side effects, which weren’t the best experience (yet I felt as though I would do anything to stop my hair loss at this point). Although, as the end of December came around and my course of steroids finished, it was safe to say I was pretty damn happy to get off the stuff!

From December 2015 until March 2016 (when I lost all my hair) it was a downwards spiral unfortunately.

Lucy with her new hair

In later April, I lost all my hair on my head, around 4 months after finishing my course of steroids. This was when I visited Lucinda Ellery for the installation of my new hair (which was utterly life changing and I cannot thank them ever enough!). This period in my life was shocking and traumatising- no teenage girl should have to experience hair loss and a bald head at this age. Or any age- I completely sympathise with anyone who has or is going through it. I will always be here for you! Things do get better- trust me on that one!

However, in a certain way it also felt like a huge relief for me. For so long I had been fighting with this draining battle against me. In the latter stages of my hair loss I was able pick hairs from my head with no pain at all, strands would quite literally slide out. The journey felt so prolonged and heart-breaking for me and those around me. The worst part of my alopecia journey by far was the slow process of losing all my hair.

Lucy having lost most of her hair

In Mid-2016, I lost the rest of my hair on my body. I often say I miss my eye brows and eye lashes more than the hair on my head! At least with wigs and hair replacement systems you’re able to ‘conceal’ hair loss with brilliant alternatives but unfortunately there is still very little concealment for the loss of eye brows (sadly faux eye brow stickers were not for me!). I had also never applied false lashes prior to this point so the whole concept was daunting and unfamiliar to me. Luckily now I’m happy with my everyday makeup routine, and definitely mastered the art of applying eye lashes!

Lucy with new hair and wearing eyelashes

It has been a long journey, but I feel like I have now reached my most content point. I started university last September in the beautiful city of Bath and I have fallen in love with the city. I am absolutely loving my Lucinda Ellery Hair replacement system- as always! For the last three years, I have been in love with my hair system that they created for me. The Intralace Freewear system, in my eyes, is not a wig and I call It ‘my hair’. It is secured on with medical tape which is highly secure, and I change this at home usually once a week. I sleep, shower and can even swim in it. I style it with heat and wear it up in high pony tails etc, something that would be slightly trickier with a wig I feel- it seems like my own hair! I feel myself with my Lucinda Ellery hair, I honestly could not imagine a better alternative. I greatly look forward to visiting the LE salon in London. I always feel so welcomed and looked after by all the staff who help me, and my hair, look as great and natural as possible. They always take their time and make everything so comfortable and relaxing for me. My hair makes me feel like me… a happy me!

Lucy wearing her hair in soft curls

Lucinda Ellery hair consultancy changed my life for the better when they gave me my hair back. When you lose something like this, you realise how much you took it for granted before. Therefore, I will never stop appreciating and loving my LE hair as much as I do now.

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to have my Alopecia story published with the Daily Mail and some other publishers. Since then, I have been completely amazed by the wonderful feedback/support I have received from the article- from so many people who I know, old school peers, work mates to complete strangers! It really did feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I felt so much better for it. More importantly, it felt so great to know this would hopefully support and comfort others going through something similar. I have had countless messages from people experiencing similar and nothing feels better than comforting each other and being reassured that you are NOT alone. The reaction from people was something that terrified me before it was published, but I was shocked at how kind and supportive people can be!! It was a secret I kept for 4 years and I learnt a lot from it, one of which that I shouldn’t have been afraid or ashamed to share my story, everyone is facing their own problems big or small and people are way more supportive than you could ever imagine.

Lucy is now much happier

Please if you have Instagram, follow my page @myalopeciajourney. It’s my Instagram page which is dedicated to anything alopecia/hair loss related. On there I share my Alopecia Universalis journey, with all things hair, eye brows, eye lashes and alopecia makeup and support. It’s a great place to raise alopecia awareness and meet, comfort and chat to others who can relate to one another. I have also set up a YouTube channel where I will be uploading alopecia related videos also, it’s really exciting.

Lucy is now trying to help other girls who are going through similar problems with Alopecia

When my hair first started falling out, I felt so down and ashamed of my own body for what it was doing to me. I was afraid to tell others because of what they may of thought of me… but over time my thought processes regarding this changed. I began to accept my alopecia and consequently became much happier within myself. I can honestly say that things do really get better, don’t get me wrong I can still have down days or struggles but overall, I’m happy!

It took me time, and I am still learning to accept my alopecia, but I truly feel that happiness within yourself starts when you begin to accept and love yourself the way you are, and happiness truly is the strongest beauty.


The Causes

There are many variations of permanent hair loss, and a number of possibilities as to what causes it. Dealing with hair loss has a deep psychological and emotional impact on a woman’s well-being, which is why it is important to know both the root cause and the solutions available to you. We’ll be discussing the most common causes of permanent female hair loss and the hair loss management techniques we offer.

Female Pattern Hair Loss

Female pattern hair loss (FPHL), also known as Androgenetic Alopecia, is the most common form of women’s hair loss globally. It occurs most commonly after the menopause though it can start earlier. It is caused by diffuse thinning of the hair, usually on top of the scalp, as the hair follicles gradually produce finer and shorter hair and eventually stop production altogether. It is caused by genetic and hormonal factors.

Top view of women suffereign female pattern hair loss

Lichen Planopilaris

LPP is a rare inflammatory condition that results in patchy permanent hair loss on the crown and vertex. It occurs by destroying the hair follicle and replacing it with scarring. The cause of Lichen Planopilaris is unknown, but it could be connected to the body’s immune system.

Woman with Lichen Planopilaris showing patchy hair loss

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia, also known as Scarring Alopecia or Cicatricial Alopecia, causes hair loss at the front of the head, resulting in a receding hairline. It is caused by the immune system attacking the hair follicles, leaving scaring behind, but why it is concentrated at the front of the head is unknown. It occurs mostly in postmenopausal women but can occur earlier.

Two women with Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia showing receding hair line

Permanent Female Hair Loss: The Solutions

 Intralace System™

Designed for women with moderate to severe hair loss or thinning, this is our pioneering hair replacement prosthesis. The Intralace System™ is attached to the scalp over the area of hair loss. Any existing hair is carefully teased through the panels, which are made from ultra-fine mesh, and then additional human hair is added to it to completely disguise any hair loss. The result is undetectable and you’ll have complete freedom of activity – no more hiding indoors on windy days or avoiding going swimming with the family

Before and after pictures showing the use of the Intralace System

Intralace Minima™

The Intralace Minima™ is specifically designed for women with permanent thinning or hair loss at the fringe, parting and crown area. The system fully integrates with any existing hair – it looks, feels, and acts like your own hair. It requires around eight appointments per year in order to adjust to the hair’s natural growth and keep it in the correct position.

Before and after pictures showing the use of the Intralace Minima

The Intralace Freewear System™

The Intralace Freewear System™ is most suited to clients with total hair loss. It is a great option if you are looking for an alternative to a wig. The Intralace Freewear System™ is held in place with medical-style tape and a liquid adhesive that is kind to the skin. With this hair loss solution, you can choose whether you want a natural parting or side hairline panels. You can sleep, wash and dry your hair as if it was your own – this brilliant wig alternative allows you real freedom. The Intralace Freewear System™ is super simple to use and you can even replace the adhesive and tape at home by yourself.

Before and after pitctures showing the Intralace Freewear System

Here at Lucinda Ellery, we’ve been providing 21st century hair loss management and hair replacement solutions exclusively for women who want to look and feel incredible. We’re invested in getting our client’s confidence back and giving them their dream locks once more. If you would like to book a FREE confidential consultation to discuss your options, simply pop us a message on Facebook or contact us here.

The Lucinda Ellery Team x

During pregnancy most women will experience a fuller head of hair, however, along with your little bundle of joy comes some other rather trying factors of having a baby. Along with the common sleep loss and mood swings, you may notice that your hair begins to shed, or even that clumps of hair are falling out. Don’t panic! This is very common and you’re not alone.

85-95% of your hair is in the growth phase at any time, and during pregnancy your body will experience huge levels of estrogen and progesterone which will lengthen this growth phase, resulting in thicker hair. However, after pregnancy you hair isn’t always so kind to you. Your hair will remain in the resting phase for an average of 3 months before it starts to shed and new growth starts. Normally you would lose an average of 80 hairs a day, however, new mums can lose a massive 400 hairs a day.

Mother and baby

How to cope

There are several things you can do at home that will benefit your hair during these months. Reducing stress (sometime difficult when raising a newborn!) in general and where possible will help. Remember, stressing and worrying about losing hair won’t help you, you’re not alone and this will most likely pass like the other slightly favourable elements of pregnancy.

Keeping a healthy diet with lots of protein, more nourishing shampoo and conditioner, and using a brush that won’t stress or pull your hair will also help to decrease the likelihood of your locks shedding. Don’t be afraid to shampoo often either, there is a common misconception that washing your hair regularly increases hair loss but this isn’t necessarily the truth. In fact, the frequency at which you wash your hair shouldn’t have an impact on the amount of hair you lose at all. Boosting the blood flow to your scalp, also recommended by many, can help to feed your roots, promoting growth. You can do this by massage, using kneading motions on your scalp for 2-3 minutes every morning.

Washing and conditioning hair

How Lucinda Ellery can help you

We understand that raising a baby can be stressful enough without the added trauma of hair loss, which is why we’re here to help you. If you find that your post pregnancy hair loss has surpassed the norm, and are worried about bald patches or thinning of your hair, we have a variety of treatment options.

The Intralace System is commonly used for those suffering with larger areas of hair loss, whilst our Medi Connections are a great solution to hide areas of thinning that won’t affect already existing hair. The Intralace Minima is another that is perfect for those with thinning or hair loss at the fringe, parting and crown area. With more than 30 years of experience with the systems we have, we can help you to find the perfect treatment for you, so you can care for your little one and have one less thing to worry about.

Looking after baby

Our friendly teams can boost your hair and your confidence, so start your Lucinda Ellery journey by booking a FREE consultation today. (Link is to our London Studio – other studios also available from the contact menu)

We’ll confidentially discuss your hair loss, and chat about the best treatment option to suit your hair.

Up to 40 percent of all hair loss sufferers are women. With hundreds of conditions to contend with, losing your hair can be a daunting and terrifying experience. Famous actors and celebrities like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Vin Diesel make hair loss look fashionable. Whilst women, on the other hand, tend not to opt to totally shave their head, even when they’re suffering with a hair loss condition like Female Pattern Hair Loss. Often leaving them with widening partings, limp hair and suffering self-confidence.

checking hair loss

What Is Female Pattern Hair Loss?

Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) or, as it’s more widely known, Androgenetic Alopecia is the most common form of women’s hair loss globally, with over 8 million people in the UK suffering with it in some form. It can start as early as puberty, but occurs most commonly after the menopause. FPHL is a genetic condition and is inherited from one or sometimes both parents, and can be triggered by hormones at any time after puberty. The hair starts to thin around the front, top and crown areas of the scalp and can vary in intensity, leaving some people with areas of thinner hair.

example of thinning hair

How Female Pattern Hair Loss Is Triggered

The first signs of FPHL are often the widening in the parting or the noticeable feeling that your hair isn’t as thick or as full as usual. Female Pattern Hair Loss increases with age, with fewer than 50 percent of women having a full head of hair their entire life. There are various triggers for FPHL, the most common being genetics. The gene is usually passed down from parents and family members, but can lay dormant for years before becoming active. Medication, stress, illness and other forms of Alopecia can also be triggers of the condition.

results of using the Intralace System

How To Deal With Female Pattern Hair Loss

There are plenty of options to try which will enable you to live a happy life, with healthy hair. We can treat hair loss from the early stages, as well as the more severe cases. Our range of safe and easy-to-wear hair systems allow you to live life comfortably with the hair you’ve always dreamt of. Medi-Connections are perfect for minimal cases, with the Intralace System being the choice for more severe cases.

We understand that living with a hair loss condition is no easy task and something no one should have to contend with. But there are some simple ways you can make the whole process a little easier. The first step is remembering your family and friends are there for you – don’t suffer in silence. Many people try and hide their condition from the people they love. because often they think it’s a burden, but the more you talk about it, the easier it will be to handle. There are thousands of groups and sites you can visit where you can talk to like-minded people, who are going through similar situations to yourself.

If it’s not yourself but someone you know who is going through a tough hair time, make sure you’re there if they need you. Pop in to see if they’re okay, message them with words of support, or come along with them to one of our studios. We’re sure they will appreciate it.

support your friends

How Lucinda Ellery Can Help You

Our aim is to make sure our clients leave our studios feeling a million dollars. Our friendly teams and welcoming studios are on hand to give the very best treatment for your condition, all in complete confidentiality. Your experience will start with a FREE consultation that allows you to talk about your condition, and allows us to assess the situation and work out the best treatment for you. We often opt for the Intralace System or Medi-Connections for Female Pattern Hair Loss cases.

If you’re still unsure about anything we have mentioned or have more questions about Female Pattern Hair Loss, don’t hesitate to drop us a message over on our Facebook page. And don’t forget, you’re never alone!

The Lucinda Ellery Team x

Hair loss can be triggered at any age and there are a vast amount of conditions out there, meaning sometimes it’s hard to understand what’s going on or what is wrong. There are some simple steps you can follow to understand whether you are losing your hair and why.

hair on a hairbrush

Shedding – normal or not?

The average person sheds between 100 – 150 strands of hair a day, a lot more than people think, so simply seeing hair in the plughole doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong. However if you feel like you’re losing more than this or your hair is getting thinner, and are seeing larger amounts in the shower or when brushing/styling your hair then this can be an early sign that something isn’t right.

Women’s hair can often go through temporary periods of change, caused by hormonal swings, stress, or illness, and will often return to normal in a few weeks; so there’s no need to worry straight away, but you should keep a close eye on it and if it persists then you should investigate further.

Pay attention to your parting…

Your parting can often be one of the first areas of your hair to change, if your parting is widening and you’re finding it hard to cover up, then this is likely to be an early sign that shouldn’t be ignored.

…and your parents

Hair loss can be genetic, so it is also worth tracing back through your family history to see if this could be one of the causes. Did an aunt or a grandmother have very thin hair earlier than might be expected? Or did someone on the family wear wigs?

If there’s no record of hair loss in the family but you’re losing thickness or finding areas where your hair is disappearing then it’s best to seek medical advice to find out if there is a clinical cause, such as thyroid or hormonal problems, before taking any further action.

Thinning, receding, or patchy loss?

Take careful note of the type of loss you are noticing, so you can clearly describe it to your GP or any other professional you speak to. Maybe even take photographs so you and they can assess how matters are progressing. You may know how your hair looked or where the hair line was a few months ago but they are only seeing it as it is now.

  • Is your hair getting thinner overall but is otherwise normal?
  • Is your hair line receding? And is it at the front or the sides?
  • Are there patches where the hair is falling out and/or not regrowing or growing back much thinner than usual?
  • Is there any inflammation of the scalp?
various hair problems
Some examples of thinning and patchy hair loss

Where to turn next?

If there is a clear medical reason for your hair loss then there may well be a treatment available which will return your hair to normal along with your health. However there is much that is not understood about the causes of hair loss and what can trigger it, so if your GP can’t offer any help then you may have to request a referral to a Trichologist for further enquiry. Sometimes unfortunately a diagnosis doesn’t offer prospects of a cure – for instance Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia (characterised by severe receding of the front hairline) is currently considered irreversible and you have to turn your attention to ways of disguising your hair loss in order to look your best.

Hair problems solved
Those same ladies after coming to see us

This is where we come in. As well as advising you on your level and type of hair loss or who to speak to medically, we have vast experience of using a variety of different techniques to make your hair look normal and healthy– from simple styling ideas for mild loss, through scalp make-up, ultra-fine hair extensions to add body, right through to full 24/7 hair systems to augment or even completely replace your hair. We’ll give you as many options as we can to suit your needs and lifestyle.

In the next post we’ll discuss the different types of hair loss, how they progress and how best to handle them. In the meantime if you’d like to speak to us or come in for a free consultation we’d be happy to hear from you. Call our London number – 0208 741 8224 – or one of our other studios across the UK or drop us an enquiry through one of our contact forms on our main UK site.  If you’re in the US then please visit our US website – studios in Los Angeles and New York.

before and after
Last week, we continued a new tradition we’ve had in place for the past few years by hosting ‘International No Pulling Week’.

The week looks to raise awareness of a condition called Trichotillomania, or TTM for short, which affects around 110 million people worldwide. We think it’s staggering that so many people around the world are touched by TTM yet so few seek treatment for it – latest figures estimate that this is less than 1 in 10. The condition is actually more common than bulimia and No Pulling Week helps us to raise awareness of this little-known problem.

For those of you who aren’t too sure what TTM is, it is a disorder where sufferers feel compelled to pull out hair from their head, eyelashes, or even body to deal with personal emotion, stress, anxiety. It can be described as a ‘coping’ mechanism and, as I like to call it, a method of ‘self-calming’.

I have worked for 25 years to find ways to lessen the impact that TTM has on women’s lives. Like any condition of this kind, it is worse when sufferers are feeling anxious, stressed or lacking in self-confidence; so by having fabulous looking hair, we can try and minimize these feelings and offer hair styling and support in a safe environment.

Katie Neiman
Katie Neiman

Therefore with all the above in mind, we wanted to ensure International No Pulling Week got the attention it deserved in the media – you may have seen some of the pieces on our Twitter and Facebook channels but we were thrilled with the debate it raised. We kicked off the week with two pieces in Ok and Look, with the latter featuring one of our ladies who we’ve been working with for a while – Katie Neiman telling her story about how she first started pulling when she was at university. She also told her inspirational story on the Daily Express Online.

Phoebe Ottomar
Phoebe Ottomar

Another client who sought our help was Phoebe Ottomar – just 19 years old, Phoebe started pulling out her hair at the tender age of 8, and her incredibly brave story was featured on the likes of the Mail Online, Cosmopolitan online as well as in Phoebe’s local newspapers.


A very special mention also needs to go to Charlie Suggett – aged 25, Charlie came into our London studio to film a piece for Channel 5 News. The health reporter, Catherine Jones, spent a few hours at our studio, interviewing Charlie and hearing how TTM had affected her, while I talked about how our pioneering Intralace system can make a difference – if you haven’t seen the piece already, make sure you watch it here.

While International No Pulling Week has now drawn to a close for another year, our work to continue to help women with Trichotillomania continues. As I’ve outlined, for many women, the first, and biggest step is admitting to themselves that they have a problem so if anyone reading this thinks they might suffer from TTM or knows someone who needs help or advice, don’t suffer in silence – please visit the Trichotillomania pages on our main site.