Category Archives: Hair Loss Treatments

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

row of wigs

A wig is a head of hair normally made from either human hair or synthetic materials. The word wig is short for Periwig and first appeared in the English language around 1675. Historically wigs were classed as a status symbol hence the term “big wig”.

Wigs can be used for many purposes: as a cosmetic accessory for a fun change of style,  sometimes in the context of religious practice of cutting or shaving one’s natural hair. Actors of course often wear costume wigs in order to portray characters in film or theatre, but most commonly people use wigs to disguise hair thinning or hair loss. In recent years the demand for Human or Real hair wigs has surpassed the demand for synthetic wigs but it comes down to personal choice and there are pros and cons for both.

manequin with synthetic wigSynthetic Wigs

Synthetic wigs are made of artificial fibres. They can be handmade or machine made and are normally created on a base of lace. The key points about synthetic wigs are:

The Good

  • They are relatively inexpensive (prices range from approx £70)
  • They hold their style very well so this eliminates the need for daily styling
  • Synthetic Fibres hold their colour permanently, no dying required!
  • If you are open about wearing a wig then you can experiment with fun colours
  • Synthetic Wigs are normally what is supplied by the NHS for clients having chemotherapy or for clients with hair loss problems.

The Bad

  • They need to be washed carefully (not whilst on the head), it is important to follow the after-care guidelines of the supplier or manufacturer. You cannot treat synthetic hair like your own natural hair.
  • Synthetic hair has a shine to it which can look unnatural (like a dolls hair)
  • The strands can burn easily so you need to be careful with heat from a hair dryer and you cannot use straightening irons or curling tongs
  • These wigs are often ill fitting unless you pay for one to be made to measure
  • They can have too much volume, making them appear unrealistic

Human Hair Wigs

close-up of human hair wigs
Indian or Chinese hair are commonly used to make real hair wigs but European hair and Virgin Russian hair can also be used. It’s all about what suits your budget but Russian Virgin hair is apparently the best hair that money can buy. Here are some points to consider when thinking about getting a real hair wig.

The Pros

  • They are made with real hair so can be very natural looking
  • They can be treated like your own hair in terms of styling products, styling tools and hair dye
  • As well as looking natural, the hair is real so it feels real to the touch
  • You can wash it and brush it just like your own natural hair

The Cons

  • They can be expensive; especially if you are buying a bespoke one
  • They don’t tend to hold colour well and the quality can be affected if repeatedly dyed
  • Human hair wigs will need to be styled almost daily or at least every time you wash your hair
  • They have a limited life span

The Problems with both Human Hair Wigs and Synthetic Wigs

wig problems

While there may be arguments for and against for both, the common negatives for both synthetic wigs and human hair wigs are:

  1. They have to be removed at night, you cannot sleep in them
  2. They could come off at any time as they’re not secured to the scalp
  3. You cannot swim in them and many activities would be impossible whilst wearing a wig

Choosing a More Permanent Option – The Intralace System

afer the Intralace

Those three factors are the main reasons why many women choose to use something more permanent like the Intralace System.

If you’re suffering from partial hair thinning or hair loss then the bespoke Intralace System will give you more freedom than a wig and it also looks incredibly natural. It is integrated with your own hair so you can wash it, brush it, sleep in it and swim in it. You wear it 24 hours a day. You can use it while you are waiting for your own natural hair to regrow or if you are managing a permanent type of hair loss or thinning then you may choose to use it as a hair management option for life.

If you have total hair loss then you may choose to use the Intralace Freewear as this can be worn for longer periods of time than a wig or hairpiece. It is secured to the scalp using a combination of skin-friendly tape and liquid adhesive. You can sleep with the system still in place. The most scrutinized part of our hair is our hair line and the hair line created by the Intralace Freewear option is convincingly natural looking.

Wigs May Still be a Good Choice for Some

Wigs can be a good choice for many women while they are managing their hair loss. Perhaps they are more appropriate for temporary types of hair loss as it seems inevitable that you would get tired of the restrictions associated with wearing a wig. Much depends on your budget and your life style. Thankfully the appearance of wigs has improved dramatically over the last few years so take your time when choosing the right style and the right colour. An initial consultation with your chosen provider is the best way forward.

Here are some helpful contacts:

Trendco (large selection of both Human hair and synthetic wigs) head office 0207 221 2646, www.trendco.co.uk .

Mandeville Wigs (High end Human hair wigs) 020 8741 5959, www.mandeville-wigs.co.uk

and of course ourselves
Lucinda Ellery Consultancy (Intralace System and more permanent hair loss solutions) head office 0208 741 8224, www.lucindaellery-hairloss.co.uk

What to expect on the day of your new Intralace System

So you’ve had your consultation and you’ve booked your new Intralace appointment. Of course you will wonder how it all works and probably be a little nervous. The first appointment is a long day and although we just need you to sit in the chair while we do all the work, you will be tired, exhausted almost, and we understand that comes from the anxiety often associated with the first appointment and the expectation of having beautiful hair again.

Be assured you are in safe hands! You are our guest for the day and we will guide you every step of the way. This is an outline of what to expect and what you need to know.

Arrival and Guests

London front door
Front door of our London studio

We need you to arrive bright and early at 9.30am. That allows the procedure to be relaxed and everything to run smoothly.

Can I bring a friend for support?

By all means bring a friend but they are only allowed in the waiting rooms. Our main Studio areas are for staff and clients only; guests are not permitted in the studios as we have to respect the privacy of our other clients. The exception to this would be where the client is under the age of 16 – they are welcome to have an adult sit with them in the main studio. Our studios are open plan but you can request screens if you would like more privacy.

Space in the waiting rooms is rather restricted at some of our premises, so you may want to mention to your guests that you will be with us for most of the day (usually around 8 hours!) so it’s often a good idea for them to go shopping, visit museums, etc. and return at intervals.

Who’ll be looking after you?

A team of two technicians will be looking after you for the day. At the beginning of your appointment a Studio Manager will come and see you and also a colour technician and stylist will consult with you. Some clients are clear about their colour choices for their new hair but others need some guidance so we can help you with that. If you want your own hair coloured then please contact us prior to your new Intralace appointments so that we can explain what needs to be done (there is a skin test which is compulsory).

Likewise, a stylist is on hand to help with what would suit you if you don’t have something specifically in mind (some people bring photos of styles that they like). There are numerous hair style magazines scattered throughout the studios so you may find inspiration from them, but if not don’t worry, we have experts on hand to help you decide!

Refreshments

We serve a selection of Teas, Coffee’s, Smoothies and soft drinks throughout the day, we also serve Red or White Wine (not available at all Studios) and these refreshments are all complimentary. We also have to hand a selection of menus from local restaurants so when it comes to lunch time you can let us know what you would like and we can organise that for you. The choices include luxury sandwiches, baked potatoes, pasta and salads. Your team will need to have their lunch so this is also the perfect time for you to eat.

Passing the time during your appointment

The daily papers, numerous magazines and a choice of DVD’s are available to you throughout the day but of course you may choose to bring a good book with you to help pass the time. Laptops are also available (not at all Studios) so just ask your team if you would like to check your email or access the internet etc.

What happens during your appointment?

Manchester studio
Manchester studio area

The initial application of the Intralace System takes many hours in order to achieve the best possible results. You’ll probably be very interested in it to begin with but as time passes you’ll probably find that the detail becomes less fascinating.

We start by shaping the mesh over the areas of concern. Your own hair is then gently retrieved through the material mesh. Once the mesh is in place we can then start to add the new hair to the mesh, building it up to achieve the intended effect.

Styling

The hair that we use is quite long (approx 16 inches unless you have requested Virgin Russian hair or specially ordered longer hair) so you may wonder about there seeming to be lots of it. However this is to allow plenty of scope for styling – it then needs to be cut and styled to suit you.

Your stylist will guide you on what is most suited to you. It can sometimes be difficult to envisage the possibilities if you’ve got used to having thin hair, but if you are still undecided about your finished style then remember we can tweak it when you return for your first wash and aftercare (normally 1 to 5 days later).

We use real hair for the Intralace system which means you can treat it like your own hair. We will talk you through how to care for your new hair and also demonstrate this in detail at your first wash appointment.

We understand this is a big day for you and some people may find it takes them a few days to adjust but be prepared to get lots of compliments on your new look!   You will be leaving the Studio with a fabulous new head of hair and remember we are here to advise and support you as much as possible.

Departure

Please allow lots of time to get to the train Station or airport as having to rush for a train or plane will really add pressure to your appointment. We recommend that you call us prior to arranging your travel so that we can give you a realistic finish time.

A final word before your first appointment

We really want you to enjoy your new hair and your overall experience with us. Please do not hesitate to contact us via phone or email if there is ever anything you need. We look forward to taking care of you and returning your hair to its full glory.

Hair extensions are more popular than ever thanks to celebrity users including Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Cole and Britney Spears. We would all love the naturally luscious locks of Kate Middleton but more and more of us are now using hair extensions to transform the way our hair looks.  As the name implies, you can use them to extend the length of your hair but, of more relevance to anyone suffering from thinning hair, you can also use them to add volume.

However there are plenty of stories in the press about damage caused by extensions, often with dramatic pictures of celebrities showing bald patches. And particularly anyone who is already suffering from hair loss may be worried by these stories. So what’s the truth of the situation? Lets take it from the beginning.

What are hair extensions? How are they applied?

Hair extensions are lengths of real or synthetic hair that are attached to a person’s own hair to add volume or both volume and length.  The new hair is attached to your own natural strands quite close to the scalp.  There are a number of different systems for attaching them, with varying claims made for each, but the most popular tends to be bonded extensions and that is our preference too – though we use an  adhesive which is softer than most.

Roxanne Pallatt before her extensions
Roxanne Pallatt before her extensions
Roxanne Pallatt after getting extensions
Roxanne Pallatt after getting extensions

 

Will my own hair be safe?

Due largely to the occasional negative press articles, some of which are doubtless caused by journalists trying to drum up celebrity drama stories, some people are cynical how about safe extensions are. There’s no doubt that if they are not applied by a professional who is experienced in using them, and if they are not looked after properly by the wearer, then they can look terrible and sometimes cause damage. But with expertise and if reasonable care is taken then they should be both safe and attractive.

Careful application and maintenance

If you have naturally fine hair then it’s important that your extensions are a suitable weight so that your own hair can support them and so that everything looks natural. A good hair studio should also give you after-care advice on how to look after your new extensions and ensure your own hair stays in good condition. Any hair that is not growing from the root needs some extra tender loving care, so extensions need to be looked after too – using the right shampoo and the right conditioner.

When extensions are applied properly there is virtually no reason why they would damage your hair – many women use extensions to achieve a desired length with no adverse effects whatsoever. Ladies with fine or thinning hair often choose to use extensions to add volume to their hair and this is a useful part of our range of techniques for helping them look their best.

Removal is as important as application

It is just as important that the removal of your extensions is carried out by a professional so that they are carefully and painlessly removed without causing any damage to your own hair. Don’t be afraid to ask about the procedures used for the particular attachment system being recommended.

Where is the best place to go for hair extensions?

It is important to visit a reputable salon and you should be offered a consultation as the vital first step.

In recent years the demand has been mostly for real or human hair as opposed to synthetic. There are different types of real hair that can be offered so it is important to have the opportunity to both see the hair and also to ask questions about the source of it. You will also need to know about costs and the colour options available to you.

Ensure that both you and the salon are aware of the main purpose of the extensions – volume or volume and length – the consultation should confirm how many extensions you would need to add volume to your existing hair style, or how many to add both volume and length.

Enquire about having some “test extensions” applied. The market leaders in hair extensions will normally do this as part of the initial consultation – it is where some (2 or 3) extensions are added to assess if your hair is suitable. This will also allow you to experience how the attachment method feels to you. Do they feel as if they would be comfortable to sleep in? If not then that method may not be suitable for you and you should find an alternative salon.

Be Realistic

There’s no doubt that well-applied and styled extensions can transform your looks, but particularly when using them for the first time it’s advisable to be realistic, or you may be tempted to use too much weight or find that they require too much care. Once you’re comfortable with them and sure of the expertise of the salon applying them then you can start to experiment with more ambitious changes of style.

Perhaps some of the Disney Princesses gave us unrealistic expectations about our hair but having professionally applied extensions does give us more options for looking good!

 

Trichotillomania is a body-focused, impulse control disorder which inevitable leads to some degree of hair loss for the sufferer.

Due to its psychological origins, however, the impact of trichotillomania is far more than just physical. It can be extremely distressing for the person with the condition, as well as making them feel so ashamed and embarrassed of their behaviour that they are afraid to tell anyone what is happening. This can lead to problems in getting a formal diagnosis of the condition.

Once trichotillomania has finally been accurately diagnosed, it is then time to think about treatment. Trichotillomania in children tends to resolve itself given time, but a doctor should be consulted if it persists.
For adults, there are a few options available, although the sufferer will need to be patient and cooperative to see results.

The following approaches have shown limited effectiveness in improving symptoms of trichotillomania, but it is important to remember that there is no ‘magic’ cure. You can try:

• Habit reversal training (HRT)
• Cognitive behavioural therapy
• Hypnosis
• Medication such as Acetylcysteine and Inositol

For an increased chance of successful treatment of trichotillomania, it is recommended to try combining medication-based treatment with behavioural therapy methods.

There are many more solutions and options available for women with hair loss than ever before, including medication, hair replacement systems and human hair wigs. However, some people choose to take the surgical route.

The most commonly used surgical procedures for hair loss include:

Hair transplantation

This is where tiny ‘punch-holes’ of skin containing hair follicles are taken from donor areas such as the back of the head. These follicles are then implanted into areas where hair has fallen out or is thinning. This technique is mainly used for men with receding hairlines or women with bald patches, but it is not believed to be very effective on women with diffuse hair loss all over the scalp.

Scalp reduction

This procedure is mainly used to treat men with a receding hairline, but it can be used for female patients. It works by stretching areas of the scalp where hair is still present and removing bald areas of skin.

Whilst these techniques have improved a huge amount in recent years and are now quicker, more convenient and less painful, you should still carefully consider your options before choosing surgery.