Category Archives: Hair Loss in the News

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust have received a generous donation of two new innovative machines designed to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy treatment.

The Orbis Paxman machines have been donated by inspiration breast cancer charity Walk the Walk. They are portable, so can be used at both Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital.

The devices work by cooling the scalp and head before, during and after chemotherapy treatment. By lowering the temperature of the scalp, the hair follicles shrink and subsequently limit the effect of chemotherapy on hair. This can prevent or at least limit the kind of profuse hair loss usually caused by chemotherapy treatment.

Nina Barough, who is the founder and head of Walk the Walk, said:

“I know personally how much integrated care helped me on my journey through breast cancer so I am delighted that Walk the Walk has made this very special donation to Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital.

“It is extra special to be able to see our fundraising efforts go to such a worthwhile cause within our local area and I know women are going to benefit from the scalp cooling treatment.”

For many female hair loss sufferers, advice and support from others with similar conditions can be an essential lifeline. Simply by talking about your feelings and concerns in relation to your hair loss can really help to relieve your anxiety, so you can stop hiding away and go out there and live your life.

One valuable support network for women with hair loss is Bald Girls Do Lunch, a non-profit organisation set up in 2007. Although it mainly operates in the US, holding events and bringing women with alopecia together, the organisation offers advice, medical information and support to people with hair loss worldwide via its website.

The founder of the organisation, Thea Chassin, has had alopecia areata universalis for many years after the condition showed itself in 1997. Thea recently spoke to a publication in Pasa Robles in California, where Bald Girls Do Lunch is due to visit in the next few weeks. She said:

“It cannot be overstated how valuable it is for women who may feel secretive and ashamed about having alopecia areata to finally meet others like themselves,”

“We encourage lifestyle options of all types, so women come to our events with hats, scarves or rocking their bald look. The Bald Girls Do Lunch network is the remedy for feeling alone with this condition.”

A recent survey has found that British men worry more about losing their hair than they do about bankruptcy. They are also 20 per cent more likely to worry about it than they are about finding a long-term partner.

In all, 2,000 people were questioned on the subject of hair loss and there were a number of other findings. Around two thirds of men thought a full head of hair made them look more attractive and a quarter thought that losing their hair would affect their career.

Men in Wales were most worried about the prospect of losing their hair, while those in the East Midlands were least troubled by the thought of it happening to them.

The chairman of the Institute of Trichologists, Marilyn Sherlock, said:

“I don’t think it is surprising, in this day and age, how much emphasis men place on having great hair. Experiencing some hair loss is a fact of life for a vast majority of men with research showing that 8 million men in the UK currently suffer from hair loss and 40% of men under 35 are already losing their hair.”

Almost a quarter of the men questioned in the survey said that the reason they don’t seek help or advice about hair loss is because they don’t believe that treatments work, which may reflect a lack of knowledge of the many differing approaches that are available nowadays.

Swedish actress Malin Akerman has shaved her eyebrows and part of her head to play a character with alopecia universalis in new film happythankyoumoreplease, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last year.

The film is directed by and stars Josh Radnor, who is most famous for his leading role in TV series How I Met Your Mother. In an interview with Filmmaker, Radnor explains how Akerman shaved off her eyebrows and the sides of her head to play Annie, a character with alopecia universalis. This is a hair loss condition which causes the total loss of hair all over the body.

In the film, Annie is a strong, intelligent woman trying to come to terms with her female hair loss condition and overcome her problems with commitment and self-image. Radnor says he based this character on a real-life friend of his who has alopecia, describing her as “hilarious and wise and wonderful, so I wanted to base a character on her”.

Explaining what it was like to play an alopecia sufferer on camera, Akerman said:

“Shaving off the eyebrows and wearing a bald cap was kind of freeing. It was the first time I looked in the mirror and saw somebody else. I felt like Annie became more of an interesting person because of her alopecia. It was more about finding that character than even the lack of hair”.

According to BBC News, scientists at Edinburgh University are in the process of developing a new device that could reduce some of the side-effects of chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients. The side effects it could possibly prevent include sickness, a weakened immune system and even hair loss.

The micro device works by using a small amount of the metal palladium, coated in a substance which allows it to penetrate cells safely to trigger reactions. This will allow cancer treatments to work at the site of the tumour, rather than negatively impacting on normal cell activity throughout the body.

Pending further research, scientists believe that this device can be used to treat cancer patients and hopefully limit the side-effects of aggressive chemotherapy treatments. The device is still in the early stages of development, but it could help to reduce hair loss and sickness in cancer patients.

Professor Mark Bradley from Edinburgh University’s chemistry school, which is working alongside the Universiti Kebangsaan in Malaysian on this groundbreaking research, commented on the discovery. He said:

“This technique potentially gives us the ability to deliver drugs to exactly where they are needed, for example in targeting cancerous tumours.”

An adventurous woman from Hereford is planning to celebrate her upcoming 40th birthday in unique style; by jumping out of a plane to raise money for an inspirational children’s hair loss charity.

Michelle Joinson from Whitecross Road in Hereford is planning to do a parachute jump this Saturday 5th February in Cirencester, and is calling for sponsors in her local area to come forward and donate to a worthy cause.

The money raised from the jump will be donated to the Little Princess Trust, a children’s hair loss charity in Hereford. The Trust aims to provide children who have lost their hair through alopecia or cancer treatment with human hair wigs. The hope is that these wigs and hair pieces will help to boost their confidence and help them cope with their hair loss better.

Michelle’s fundraising money will hopefully cut waiting times for children hoping to receive a wig from the Little Princess Trust.

Michelle, who works for a refrigeration equipment company in Rotherwas, said of her upcoming adventure:

“My 40th birthday is approaching and I wanted to do something to start my 40s off,”