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Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Heat treatment for baldness
Male pattern baldness could be helped, it is claimed
Male pattern baldness could be helped, it is claimed
Baldness could be treated by heat treatment, a UK doctor has claimed.

Dr Krishna Nullia's treatment is based on the theory that hair grows faster in hot countries.

He claims to have a success rate of up to 85% for the technique, which involves heating hair follicles with electricity to improve blood flow.

The "capillary regenerator" treatment involves placing a probe against the back of the head and passing an electric current through it.


It stops hair falling out, makes it grow thicker, and to some extent will stimulate new growth

Dr Krishna Nullia
The electrical energy is then converted into heat energy deep inside the underlying hair cells around the scalp, making the capillaries widen.

Dr Nullia said the 20 minute treatment flushed away harmful acids and excess amounts of the hormone-based chemical responsible for baldness in men.

He said the treatment also improved the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the head - and warned just warming up the outside of the head would not have the same effect.

No 'magic cure'

Dr Nullia, a former plastic surgeon in the RAF, who has set up Britain's first clinic offering the treatment in Bath, said: "Not many people realise that in hot countries hair grows faster and thicker, and in summer your hair grows faster too.

"That's because heat causes the blood capillaries to dilate and you get better blood flow bringing oxygen and nourishment to the follicles."

He said his treatment was no "magic cure", but that controlled studies in Spain and Korea had demonstrated an 85% success rate.

"It stops hair falling out, makes it grow thicker, and to some extent will stimulate new growth even in cases of male pattern baldness.


We would always encourage people seeking treatment for baldness to see their own doctor

Elizabeth Steel, Hairline International
"It would need intensive treatment two or three times a week for two or three weeks, before gradually reducing it to once a week.

"But every case is different. What you can expect to see is a reduction in hair loss, a thickening of hair, and a regeneration of hair.

"Over two or three months bald areas will start sprouting hair if the follicles are dormant.

"Of course if the follicles are dead it won't work, but they can stay dormant for many years."

The treatment costs between 25 and 40 per session.

Regrowth

Elizabeth Steel, director of Hairline International - a charity for patients with alopecia - said other ways of treating baldness had proved more successful than heat treatments.

"For years and years people have been using electric shocks to the scalp to try to encourage the hair to regrow.

"But they are not used now because we have better treatments. There are several medical treatments which really help."

She added: "We would always encourage people seeking treatment for baldness to see their own doctor."

Dr Marilyn Sherlock, chairman of the Institute of Trichologists, said such treatments would only work in a patient whose baldness was linked to circulation problems.

"But it has to be a circulatory problem in the first place. When you consider most baldness in women is linked to hormonal problems, you could increase the circulation until you're blue in the face, it won't do anything."

She said baldness could also be due to a range of other reasons which would not be helped by treatment to boost circulation, such as a thyroid condition or a serotonin deficiency.

See also:

04 Mar 02 | Health
15 Oct 01 | Science/Nature
25 Jan 00 | Health
04 Mar 99 | Health
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