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Four common causes of hair loss in women

Around four in ten women will suffer hair loss at some point in their lives, which can be very distressing – especially if you don’t know exactly what’s causing it. Crown Clinic’s Dr Asim Shahmalak is here to talk you through four of the most common causes of female hair loss.

Dr Shahmalak explains: ”Thinning hair does happen in around 30% of women going through menopause. This typically happens between the ages of 40 and 55, with the most common ages between 45 and 50. The changes in a woman’s body lead to hormonal imbalances which result in hair loss for around a third of women.

The most effective way of treating this is HRT – hormone replacement therapy. This is effective in restoring the hair in around 50% of cases.

”Unfortunately, hair lost during menopause does not grow back in women for whom HRT was not effective. This can be very stressful for women who, like men, suffer a loss of self-esteem through having thinning hair. However, like men, they can treat this hair loss with a hair transplant which is effective is more than 90% of cases.

Around 10% of my hair transplant patients are women – and half of these are post-menopausal. It is wonderful to see women who have lost their hair during what is a vulnerable time of their lives anyway regaining their confidence through having their hair restored. It is one of the most rewarding parts of my work.

Traction alopecia 
Dr Shahmalak said: ”Traction alopecia through pulling hair too tightly is a fairly common problem, particularly among women of Afro-Caribbean origin. The most famous example is the supermodel Naomi Campbell who was pictured a few years ago with a significant bald patch at the front of her scalp.

”She obviously has access to the best hairdressers in the world and had covered this condition up quite effectively with hair extensions, but her bald patches were highly visible when she has pictured swimming. Naomi will have damaged her hair follicles permanently at the front of the scalp through pulling hair back too tightly.

”This condition doesn’t only affect women either. Calum Best, a hair transplant patient of mine at Crown Clinic, damaged his hair permanently by wearing his hair in the so-called ‘Croydon Ponytail’- tightly pulled back at the front – when he was in his early 20s. He believes this may have led to his early onset of hair loss, and I’m inclined to agree with his analysis. Most hair loss in men is hereditary, but there isn’t a history of hair loss in Calum’s family, so traction alopecia partly explains his early hair loss.

Dr Shahmalak said: ”Sometimes, random bald patches can happen to anyone for no particular reason – we call this condition alopecia areata. Thankfully, it is very rare, but we have seen people who lose their hair for no clear reason and remain bald.

”Unfortunately, there is very little doctors can do to treat this condition. It is not caused by stress or poor diet – it just happens. If it affects the whole scalp, it is called alopecia totalis, which is even more rare. However, the rarest type is alopecia Universalis, where there is no hair on the body at all. I have only seen one patient with this in almost 30 years of practice.

”One way of treating alopecia is the use of steroids but these aren’t always effective. Sadly, hair transplants tend not to be effective for alopecia sufferers because there is no guarantee that the transplanted hair will grow back.

Dr Shahmalak said: “Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome may experience thinning hair. This is quite a common condition, and it happens when multiple cysts on the ovary lead to a hormonal imbalance, which can trigger the loss of hair. Women with PCOS will often develop facial hair and new hair on their arms, chest and buttocks, yet they will recede on the scalp. It is an extremely unpleasant condition. It is estimated one in five women in the UK has polycystic ovaries, yet only half of these have any symptoms.”

If you are suddenly experiencing hair loss but are not sure what’s triggering it, make sure to visit your GP to give you peace of mind.

Our Surgeon

Dr. Asim Shahmalak

Dr Asim Shahmalak is a world-renowned hair transplant surgeon who performed the UK’s first eyelash transplant in 2009. He runs Crown Clinic – one of Britain’s most successful and best known hair transplant clinics. He has treated a number of high-profile industry leaders and celebrities including the medical broadcaster Dr Christian Jessen, best known for Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies.

Expert hair transplant surgery by Dr Shahmalak

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Hair transplants – where hair from the back of the scalp is extracted and transplanted in balding areas – may be a well-known or even commonplace procedure nowadays, but did you know that body hair transplants are also possible? 

Body hair transplants are certainly a lesser-known procedure, but still one that can be viable for the right candidate – here’s what you should know. 

How do body hair transplants work? 

Body hair transplants work in a very similar way to traditional hair transplants, except that hair is extracted from – you guessed it – donor sites on the body. Patients seeking this type of transplant have typically undergone several hair transplants already and exhausted their supply of donor hair on their scalp. However, for some patients, a body hair transplant is a preferable option if they have naturally thin, patchy hair or if they have acquired a scalp injury that impacts the typical donor areas.

Generally, donor areas for body hair transplants are the abdomen, chest and back. Hair follicles on the arms and legs may be in abundant supply, but the hairs tend to be too fine to use on the scalp. 

The body hair transplant process itself closely mirrors traditional hair transplants. The donor area is shaved before the surgery, and during the procedure the hairs are extracted from the donor area under local anaesthetic, before being transplanted into the thinning areas of the scalp. The length of the procedure depends on how many grafts are needed and the recovery process is comparable to standard hair transplants. 

Can hair be transplanted from the head to the body? 

Body hair transplants can work the other way around, where hairs from the scalp are transplanted in other areas of the body. A common example of this is eyebrow transplants, but head hair can be transplanted in other areas such as the chest or pubic region. Although a less common form of surgery, it can be an option for people who have lost body hair through genetic or external factors such as chemotherapy or injury. 

What are the results of body hair transplants? 

It’s worth noting that often body hair transplants do have a lower success rate than typical hair transplants, partially due to the lower levels of compatibility between the hairs on the head and the hairs on the body and the different structures of the hairs. However, during your consultation you will be able to discuss any potential issues with your surgeon. 

To find out more about body hair transplants and to find out if you may be a suitable candidate for the surgery, get in touch with Crown Clinic. 


For many men, the inability to grow a beard is something that they feel particularly self-conscious of. For those who can grow a beard, they often find that it doesn’t always grow in a uniform fashion, resulting in patchy facial hair.

Beard transplants are a permanent way to create a natural-looking, full beard. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge, here’s what you need to know if you’re considering undergoing beard transplant surgery.

What happens during a beard transplant

Beard transplants are carried out through either follicular unit extraction (FUE) or follicular unit transplantation (FUT). FUE is the most common transplantation technique for beard transplants, which involves individual hair follicles being removed from the donor area and transplanted in the sparse areas of the beard.

The surgeon will determine the direction that the hair should grow in to make sure the new hairs blend in seamlessly with the existing beard hair and to create the desired look.

If you’re a good candidate for beard transplantation

To be eligible for a beard transplant, prospective patients must have an adequate supply of donor hair – this is typically hair from the back of the head, as it tends to be one of the last areas to go bald.

However, beard to beard transplants are also sometimes an option for disguising smaller areas of hair loss. This technique involves follicles being taken from the area below the jawline and transplanted in the sparse areas.

When having your beard transplant consultation, your surgeon should give you a thorough examination to determine if you are a suitable candidate for surgery and discuss your options with you.

What the potential side effects are

Although beard transplants are a generally safe procedure, it’s important to follow the aftercare instructions provided to reduce the risk of infection. Your face and scalp may experience minor swelling and irritation in the days after the surgery, but this will be eased by sticking to the aftercare routine.

FUE surgery does often cause some scarring in the donor area, but the scars are so small that the natural hair growth will disguise them.

How much a beard transplant costs

The price of the beard transplant depends on several different factors, such as the number of hair grafts required. During your consultation, your surgeon will be able to give you an accurate quote for the surgery.

Booking a beard transplant consultation

Crown Clinic is one of the UK’s most reputable hair transplant clinics, offering state-of-the-art facilities and procedures under the care of Dr Asim Shahmalak, a world-renowned hair transplant surgeon. If you’d like to find out more about beard transplants, get in touch or book a consultation.

Whether you’ve had a disastrous haircut that you’re desperately trying to grow out or are simply bored of your current hairstyle, there’s a good chance you will have searched for ways to grow your hair faster – but is that actually possible?

It’s worth noting that even the healthiest hair only grows around an average of half an inch per month, or six inches over the course of a year. Understandably, this can make people feel as if their hair is growing at a glacial pace – especially when you consider that we also lose up to 100 hairs per day.

How does the hair grow?

Hair grows from the follicle – or root – that is underneath the skin. The blood vessels in the scalp around the base of the follicles supply the roots with oxygen and nutrients, which will help the hairs to grow.

Does scalp massage help the hair grow?

Scalp massagers – brushes with soft, silicone bristles designed to be used when washing the hair – are currently proving popular, but are they actually worth the money?

Although scalp massage can increase blood flow to the scalp, and therefore bring more nutrients to the follicle, there is no evidence that massage will stimulate hair growth. However, scalp massagers can help to remove product buildup and excess oil from the scalp, which will improve the overall health of the hair.

Does cutting hair make it grow faster?

One of the biggest hair myths around is that getting regular hair trims can make the hair grow faster. This is, of course, completely false. Hair grows from the follicles, which are unaffected when the ends are cut off the hair.

Getting a trim can get rid of split ends, which occur when the ends of the hair become dry and damaged. Split ends can gradually progress up the length of the hair, meaning that hair is more prone to breakage – so if you feel as if your hair has been the same length for months, it could be due to split ends. Keep on top of them with regular trims to keep your hair looking healthy.

Will hair vitamins help my hair grow?

Although you will have undoubtedly seen countless influencers pushing pastel-coloured supplements on their Instagram feeds, claiming they have transformed their hair, this unfortunately isn’t true in most cases.

If you are suffering from hair loss due to a nutritional deficiency, then supplements may boost your hair growth, but you will need to consult with a GP to make sure that you are getting everything you need. If you have no deficiencies, hair growth supplements are unlikely to have any impact on the hair.

There may not be any quick fixes to hurry along your hair growth, but the best thing you can do for the health of your hair is to look after your overall health – take a look at Crown Clinic’s expert advice to find out how to keep your hair looking its best.