A woman who suffered from alopecia from the age of four claims her hair grew back in her 40s, thanks to a £12.95 shampoo.
Belinda Clarke, 44, from Swindon, Wiltshire was so stressed about her hair loss as a teenager she became suicidal and as the years went by she would only leave the house to attend family events.
In September 2016 she started using Watermans Grow Me shampoo and within a few weeks she noticed her hair returning.
‘This was amazing and my confidence was sky high and I didn’t have to wear my baseball cap any longer,’ she told Femail.
‘It felt so good to actually feel the wind through my hair and for my hair to get in my eyes. I laughed a lot and I’d become a different person.’
Belinda Clarke, 44, from Wiltshire has suffered from alopecia most of her life, going through phases where she’s been completely bald
Belinda, pictured on her mother’s wedding day, had a full head of hair within six months of starting to use the shampoo
Belinda first experienced hair loss when she was four-years-old after experiencing a traumatic event.
‘The shock made all my hair fall out,’ she explained. ‘My mum had taken me to doctor who referred me to a specialist.
‘I had bloods taken but in those days they didn’t really know or how help me. I didn’t know what was happening so I just got on with life until primary school where I was bullied and called “baldy”.’
Belinda had to wear a wig or put clips in her hair to cover her bald patches, causing her confidence to plummet.
Belinda used the shampoo and conditioner three times a week for six months, and saw her hair start to grow back
But things got even worse when she reached secondary school.
‘That was just awful,’ she recalled. ‘I had to leave in the 4th year. It just got too much and I was suicidal.
Can a shampoo really make your hair grow?
Watermans shampoo contains biotin, a water-soluble vitamin that acts as a coenzyme in the body to improve infrastructure of the keratin that makes up hair skin and nails
It also contains vitamins and antioxidants such as H, B7, B3, B6, C, E which are known to have beneficial and protective effects on the scalp and to strengthen the hair.
Hair growth shampoo stimulates hair follicles and improves scalp circulation, increases hair density, improves hair damage and is a natural DHT blocker for male and female pattern baldness.
DHT, an androgen sex hormone can shrink the hair follicles and prevent nutrients from being absorbed, causing hair to fall out.
‘The name calling and the stress of that made my hair fall out even more.
‘Again my mum took me to the doctors and they suggested a lotion called Regaine, which I used but took so long for my hair to actually start growing.’
When Belinda went out she wore a baseball cap to cover her head and rarely went further than the local shops.
‘I then started wearing wigs which give me a bit more confidence at parties,’ she said. ‘But I only ever went out if it was a family event.’
In 2016, while browsing on eBay, Belinda decided to search for hair loss treatments and came across Watermans products.
‘These had very good reviews so I thought I’d give the shampoo and conditioner a try,’ she said.
‘I started using on my bald head in September 2016 and within only three to four weeks I actually noticed tiny hair growth all over my head.
‘Feeling very positive I continued using these products three times a week and by 6 months of doing this I had a full head of hair.
‘My hair is a lot thicker and stronger than it’s ever been and I hardly loose any hair now.’
WHAT IS ALOPECIA?
Alopecia, which causes baldness, is thought to be an auto-immune disorder, with the immune system -the body’s defence system – turning on itself.
What are the symptoms?
‘Typically, one or more small bald patches, about the size of a 50p piece, appear on the scalp. The hair can start to regrow at one site, while another bald patch develops. Hair may also begin to thin all over the head,’ says Marilyn Sherlock, chairman of the Institute of Trichologists.
What causes it?
‘For some reason, the body’s immune system begins to attack its own hair follicles. Special white blood cells in the body, known as T-lymphocytes, cause the hair to stop growing,’ she adds.
Can worry make it worse?
Stress has been shown to prolong the problem.
Are there other symptoms apart from baldness?
‘Occassionally, the scalp may become sore or sensitive.
‘Some people complain that it feels as if their scalp is bruised,’ says Mrs Sherlock.
Is it an inherited condition?
There is strong evidence to suggest that alopecia, like other auto-immune diseases, runs in families. About 25 per cent of patients have a family history of the disorder.
Who gets it?
Alopecia areata usually affects teenagers and young adults, but it can affect people of any age. It is just as common among men as women.
Is there a cure?
There is no known cure, although there are various treatments which may be effective for some people.