Latest Research on Treating Alopecia - May 2017

Beautiful Girl with Alopecia


A Study of 90 Patients:  Tofacitinib for the Treatment of Severe Alopecia Areata and Variants

Some time ago there was a buzz and excitement in the Alopecian community about exciting results from a new treatment for Alopecia that evidently helped grow hair back completely.  The photos of before and after the treatment were astounding.  However, number of people treated was extremely small. 

Since then there has been wider testing of the drug Tofacitinib and Janu Kinase (JAK) inhibitors, but still only on a small number of people. The recent study of Tofacitinib for the treatment of severe alopecia has yielded some important results.  But is this treatment the saviour that the Alopecian community has been hoping for?

Let's take a look.

Study Summary – New Treatment for Alopecia related Hair Loss

Liu and colleagues conducted an open-label, retrospective study of 90 adults.  This group of adults consisted of:

Median age: 34.5 years
55.6% female
Alopecia Areata 14.4%
Alopecia Universalis 83.3%
Alopecia Totalis 2.2%
Note: this trial excluded patients with AA, AU, or AT of greater than 10 years' duration

Of this initial group, 65 trial-eligible patients received monotherapy with tofacitinib 5 mg twice daily for the first 2-3 months of treatment. After this induction phase, 29% of patients received a higher tofacitinib dose (up to 10 mg orally twice daily), and 28% of patients started adjuvant therapy with pulsed prednisone.

The primary endpoint was the percentage change in the Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) score between the first and last visits. Treatment safety was assessed with laboratory studies, examination, and review of systems.

Snapshot of Results for the latest clinical trial for Alopecia

77% of patients achieved a clinical response,  after 4-18 months of tofacitinib therapy
58% of patients achieved at least a 50% improvement in SALT scores,
20% showed a complete response (full hair regrowth) after a median of 15 months of treatment.
Patients with Alopecia Areata (AA) (13 people) were better responders than those with Alopecia Totalis (AT) or Alopecia Universalis (AT) (52 people).  AA showed 81.9% improvement in SALT scores vs AT or AU 59.0% improvement, respectively
No serious adverse events or laboratory abnormalities were observed after a mean of 1 year of treatment.
The most common adverse events were upper respiratory infections (28.9%), headache (14.4%), and acne (7.8%).

Discussion of Results from Alopecia research study

In this small but statistically significant study, the oral JAK 1/3 inhibitor tofacitinib showed impressive efficacy in the treatment of AA, AT, and AU. Of note, this trial excluded patients with AA, AU, or AT of greater than 10 years' duration, because prior studies had showed poor tofacitinib efficacy in this group with chronic disease.

One point to be noted is their trial lacked a control group, even  though the nature of Alopecia is unpredictable with hair able to grow back without any rhyme or reason, this is important for scientific purposes.  Approximately 28% of patients went on to receive adjuvant therapy (i.e. an immunological agent that modifies the effects of other agents) with pulsed corticosteroids during the trial period. There was a low spontaneous relapse rate of 7.7%; however, the duration of treatment ranged from 4 to 18 months (median, 12 months). Hence, we do not know whether tofacitinib therapy can induce long-term disease remission, or whether the disease process will resume after drug cessation.  This is a curious point that we look forward to seeing if there is additional testing and the commensurate results.

This study showed tofacitinib efficacy in adult patients, but oral JAK 1/3 inhibitors also shows promise in adolescents with AA, AU, and AT. A small study (13 patients) showed a median change in SALT score of 93% after a mean of 6.5 months of tofacitinib therapy, and topical JAK inhibitors can induce significant hair regrowth in localized AA.[7]

Salient comments about possible new Alopecia treatment

Although tofacitinib therapy was not associated with significant adverse events in this study group, oral JAK inhibitors used to treat rheumatoid arthritis have been associated with significant adverse events, including rare cancers (soft tissue and lymphoma) and serious infections. Whether these risks are unique to patients with rheumatoid arthritis because of comorbidities and concurrent medications, remains to be determined. This is not something to be glossed over. Hair is very important but not at the expense of your overall health and even your life.  Certainly this is something to be investigated further.

Although response rates were not as dramatic for AU and AT, the efficacy in these more severe forms of autoimmune alopecia is especially impressive, given the lack of therapeutic alternatives Future studies should adopt a randomized, prospective, placebo-controlled design and include long-term follow-up, both with and without maintenance tofacitinib therapy.  Certainly, JAK 1/3 inhibitors, such as tofacitinib, are a promising new treatment for AA, AU, and AT.

According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, clinical studies of topical treatments, psychological interventions, and additional JAK inhibitor strategies are under way. Until then, we watch and wait.

If you have Alopecia Universalis or Totalis and are looking for a wonderful solution, we highly recommend the Follea Gripper Wigs.  They are simply the most beautiful and natural wigs in the world, there is nothing that compares to them.  They have been created for people with AT and AU, we love them we are sure you will too!  Take a closer look on our information page about these beautiful hair creations.

For further information please see the original research:

Liu LY, Craiglow BG, Dai F, King BA
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;76:22-28

All information given should be considered as general advice and not a medical directive.  Please see your doctor or dermatologist for further information.

If you don't know what to do, get in touch either fill out a contact us form and we will reach out to you as soon as we can, or call us direct on the numbers below. 

If you are have alopecia and a looking for a good cosmetic solution, look no further.  We have the world’s most beautiful and effective solutions available.  Call us today.

Transitions Hair loss clinic - Sydney Studio: (02) 9212 4950

Transitions Hair Representative, New Zealand (click here)

Did You Know Hair Loss Can Be Stress-Related?

Most of us experience stress in our lives, and it can have uncomfortable physical effects. A dry mouth, shaky legs and upset tummy before public speaking may come to mind. But high stress levels can have a more serious impact – including hair loss.

What can cause stress?

Certain situations can cause short-term stress, including sitting an exam, a job interview or driving in unfamiliar territory. More serious issues such as illness, financial worries, job pressures, failing relationships or traumatic events such as the loss of a loved one can lead to higher stress levels and ongoing stress.

Stress and hair

According to the Mayo Clinic, high stress levels can be associated with three types of hair loss:

  • Alopecia areata – severe stress may cause your immune system to attack your hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
  • Trichotillomania – it might seem normal to twirl your hair while texting or watching your favourite TV show, but stress and tension can actually cause an irresistible urge to pull out hair.
  • Telogen effluvium – stress can cause the hair follicles to become inactive, which results in hair falling out weeks or months later when you are just shampooing or brushing.

The good news is that, according to the clinic, hair loss associated with stress is not always permanent – your hair may grow back once your stress levels are back under control.

Emotional effects of hair loss

Whether you are male or female, hair loss of any type can be upsetting. Stress and anxiety are enough to cope with in themselves, but when you notice friends or colleagues looking at your thinning hair or a ‘cover-up style’, your already shaky self-esteem can do a nose dive. This may exacerbate your anxiety and unhappiness even more, and the spiral goes on.

What can you do?

At Transitions, we can help you get back on track to a happier and more confident you. We present you with the correct facts about hair loss and solutions, enabling you to make informed decisions about your next important step.

We pride ourselves on the skill of our experienced team and the modern techniques we use, and give you lots of support in how to best care for your hair during and after your hair loss treatments. Contact us for more information on how we can help you find the right solution for your needs, whether that’s a human hair wig, laser treatment or even a hair transplant.

Wigs and Hairpieces: Your Practical Guide

Wigs are not what they used to be, and that’s a great thing. Far removed from artificial wigs of old, today’s versions are crafted from quality synthetic or human hair and available in a huge range of styles, so that they look and feel perfectly natural. Hairpieces have also developed in recent years with a huge range now accessible.

Here’s our guide to wigs and hairpieces, including which to choose and when to wear them.

Wigs and hairpieces: an introduction

There are plenty of reasons people might look for a wig or hairpiece. Medical conditions that have resulted in hair loss, naturally thinning hair or even the urge for a new look are all valid reasons for choosing a wig or hairpiece. To differentiate, a wig refers to a full head of hair, while a hairpiece might refer to extensions for length or volume, or a sectional piece such as a ponytail, bangs or a crown cover.

Why wear a wig

Wigs are often the best option for women with major hair loss from either chemotherapy or conditions such as alopecia or lupus. The great thing about a wig is that it can give you a new look immediately. Many people still associate wigs with ill-fitted, synthetic types of old, but wigs these days look and feel natural and are available in a wider range of colours and lengths. Best of all, they are comfortable as they’re light, breathable and very easy to wear. Human hair wigs can also be washed, styled and blow-dried, so there’s plenty of versatility.

When to wear a hairpiece

Hairpieces are available for those looking to create a new style by adding length or a feature such as a chignon or fringe. Hairpieces may also be a lifesaver for those experiencing significant hair thinning or partial hair loss. One of the best options in these cases is a hairpiece for the crown (called a topper or toppette) as this is where thinning and bald patches tend to manifest. The best hairpieces will blend with your own hair to provide volume, and cover imperfections in the most natural way possible.

Tailored for you

Both wigs and hairpieces are available ready-made, or they can be custom-made. In both instances, they can be tailored so that they will be perfectly colour-matched and designed to suit your face, style preferences and lifestyle. Hair extensions are another consideration. These are bonded to existing hair and the latest bonding treatments even allow for activities such as swimming. Or clip-in hairpieces are a popular alternative, allowing you to remove the hairpiece when relaxing at home or sleeping.

Best options

In addition to human hair wigs, hairpieces and extensions, hair loss solutions include cosmetic hair thickeners, laser therapy and hair transplants. If you’re after hair extensions in Sydney or would like to discover other ways to improve the appearance of your hair, then we’d love to organise a confidential appointment to help you rediscover great hair and regain your confidence.

Follea Gripper Wig: A Review From One of Our Very Happy Clients

Happy with Follea Gripper Wig

A very happy client of ours – wearing the Follea Gripper Sport wig in a 12" colour c3045.

When a client of ours walks away completely satisfied with their new hair we know we’ve done our job right. When you feel good, you look good, and here at Transitions Hair we just love being a part of that! Here is a review of the Follea Gripper Wig from another happy customer.

“In the beauty industry I need to make sure my appearance is immaculate at all times, the Follea Gripper Wig makes my life that much quicker and easier.

I would have to say this is the best piece I have ever purchased. I have owned synthetic hair, human hair lace, virgin human hair silicone vacuum wigs and last but not least the Gripper Sport by Follea. The Gripper is truly my favourite out of them all. I’M FREAKEN IN LOVE!!!

It is by far the lightest most secure pieces I have (I can go under water and it holds up better than any of my suction vacuum pieces), it's the most comfortable piece I have had on my head . And the hair, (which I did have some concern hearing it was slightly processed) is just AMAZING, truly beautiful. It has complete movement, it’s soft, smooth and when comparing the actual hair with some of my "virgin hair unprocessed wigs" the only difference I had found was that I liked this hair better. Surely this "slightly processed" process I my eyes is a good thing.

Oh and how could I forget how natural it looks! Just look at it. It looks like it's growing from my scalp! I HAVE A HAIRLINE AGAIN!!”

More about the Follea Gripper Wig

The Follea Gripper Wig has been specifically designed for women who are suffering from alopecia and has been made with all the unique challenges that alopecia sufferers face in mind. As you may well tell from the above review, the Follea Gripper Wig is light, breathable, durable and comfortable! For more information about the gripper wig or to book a free consultation with one of our hair loss specialists, call 1300 427 778

Related: Follea Gripper Wig Review by Transitions Hair Sydney Owner

Note:  New Follea Gripper Wig Collection 2017

Since we posted this review, Follea have upgraded their range and made the Follea Gripper Wigs even better.  They have worked hard to give you the following:

  1. Hair line - An improved front hairline by lightening the colour of the knots so they blend in and become almost invisitble against your scalp.  They have also extended the lace front from Temple to temple to give you the most natural hairline possible.
  2. Scalp like appearance - they have improved the scalp appearance by adding a silk top so each hair appears it is growing out the scalp
  3. Fit - by popular demand the sizing has changed slightly to enchance the fit and comfort of every wig.
  4. New Colours - Follea have expanded their range of stunning colours.  More information about this soon.
  5. Name change - instead of 'cool' and 'sport', there will be new names to represent the new and improved wigs - Gripper 'lite' and Gripper 'actif'

Stay tuned for more information. 


Do you have more questions?  Get in touch:  Ph: 1300 427 778 (Intl: +612 92124950).  Or send us your details via our contact page.

Sydney Studio: 02 9212 4950

New Zealand: 0276530462

Create thicker, more beautiful hair this year!


The New Year is here, what better time to shake up your hair habits and really make some positive steps towards achieving the hair that you want.

This time of year is the perfect opportunity to make the changes that you have always thought about:

1.  I will be brave

Whether you have been considering attempting to take control of your hair loss or simply a new hair colour, a different cut, promise yourself that this is your year! Even considering a major change is an important and brave step, and one that you do not have to do alone. We have all of the information and capabilities to guide you through a decision at your own pace. If you are considering working towards better hair then please, book a free consultation or give us a call on 1300 427 778.

2.  I will restock

One easy way to make yourself feel a lot better about your hair care routine is to cleanse yourself of all the products you do not use. Throw away those with expired dates, and pass along or swap the ones that aren’t working. Once you have purged yourself and have a clean slate (or bathroom cupboard) to work with, restock on all the items that need replacing. This will be so much better when you aren’t crowded with half finished bottles of shampoo that turned your hair to straw.

3.  I will deep condition

We have said it before but we will say it again, condition! There is no time like the present to make this an important part of your hair care routine. A regular deep conditioning treatment will lock in moisture, leaving you with healthy, luscious hair. Just keep up the good work and resolve to continue this for the rest of the year.

4.  I will wear accessories

Have fun with your hair this year! You don’t have to suddenly start rocking a sparkle headband, but why not try something a little different, such a small barrette or relive the 90’s with a scrunchie. One of our key accessories this season is our 100% virgin European Hair wrap. This will instantly change your look and add some volume and definition for season’s to come.

5.  I will take control

No matter what stage of hair loss you are in, this is the year for you to take control. It is time to get excited, and look gorgeous no matter what the relationship you presently have with your locks. Book an obligation and cost free consultation (valued at $250.00) today and speak with one of our trained hair loss consultants.  Alternatively, call on 1300 427 778 today. 

6.  I will accept compliments 

Now this is the hard one but it’s a MUST! You have worked for your gorgeous hair and you deserve the attention. So learn to say "thank you, you have made my day" with a big smile and don’t shy away.

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Alopecia Areata story - what it feels like to lose your hair!

For this young woman, losing her hair from Alopecia Areata was always unpredictable, but idea of shaving her head was a way to take control.

Alopecia areata is a condition in which your immune system attacks your own hair follicles. Whether it comes from lupus or just on its own, it causes your hair to fall out. And for Becky she will never forget the night before Christmas Eve.

Her, at the time, high school boyfriend was over. He ran his hands through her hair and a huge chunk of hair fell away. Understandably Becky became quite concerned and began to “freak out” and told the boyfriend to leave. Naturally, the young Becky runs to her mum, looking for answers. Her mother grabs a mirror, and with a worried expression on her face, shows Becky the back of her hair. There is a huge bald spot.

Becky truly felt her natural beauty and her femininity were at stake. For nine years she put her hair in styles to try and hide the bald spots.

After years of painful cortisone injection, Becky made the decision to shave her head. The above video shows Becky shaving her hair and reclaiming control and power over her condition.

Although shaving your hair is not a solution for everyone, it can be quite liberating. If you have any questions about other solutions, or about the Gripper wig, a wig for alopecians made by alopecians then please call 1300 427 778. Alternatively come in for a consultation and speak with one of our hair loss experts. 

The Bald Truth About Hair Loss

Women's hair loss myths debunked

We typically see advertisements and information about hair loss in men, however  women experience it too. According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), there are many factors that can result in hair loss in women, including illness, some medications and genetics. There are also a number of common myths surrounding hair loss in women.

We take a look at some of the myths, the causes and possible treatments.

Debunking the Myths about Women's Hair Loss

Some of the popular myths include:

•    Hair loss is inherited from the maternal line. In fact, according to the ISHRS, either parent's genes can factor in, and there’s no reliable way to predict how much hair you might lose, and in what pattern.
•    Women experience hair loss in the same way as men. Typically, rather than getting a noticeably receding hairline, women see a decreased density on the top of the head or a widening of the part.
•    All hair loss is permanent. There are treatments available, both surgical and non-surgical. The earlier the problem is identified and treated, the better.
•    Washing your hair can cause the condition. Generally, normal care doesn't result in hair loss, and it’s normal to lose a certain amount of hair naturally.

What causes hair loss in women?

There are many reasons why you might suffer hair loss. Genetics plays a part in some types of hair loss. And just like the condition of your skin and nails, your hair is subject to your general state of health. The normal cycle of hair growth can be interrupted by medications, illness, hormones and even extreme diets. Certain conditions can result in hair loss, including pregnancy and menopause. It's possible to lose hair during times of extreme stress, such as after a surgery or a physical or emotional trauma. Tight braiding or inappropriate hair extensions may also result in hair loss.

Early signs and hair loss treatment

Early treatment is the most effective way of dealing with hair loss. While it’s normal to lose some hair each day, pay attention if you notice a difference in the amount of hair in your brushes and combs, on your pillow in the morning, or on the floor. You might also notice that your part is wider then it was and that you can see your scalp, especially when your hair is pulled back in a ponytail or a bun.
There are a number of treatment options, depending on your particular circumstances. These include wigs for women, crown extensions, hair transplants, hair extensions, laser hair therapy and cosmetic hair thickener.

At the onset of hair loss, seek professional advice for the best chance of finding a suitable option to rescue your locks.

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Hair Extensions - How do they work?

Preparing for hair extensions


If you've ever wanted hair that's straight out of a glamour magazine, hair extensions can transform your mane from limp to luscious. They're also a fantastic solution for women experiencing hair loss or thinning, providing you receive a professional consultation with regard to the best option for your circumstances.

It's important to do your research and get professional advice, because some extensions can be too heavy for your hair, which may result in further damage or hair loss in women. Other than that, no matter if you have straight, curly, long, short, streaked or coloured hair, there's likely to be an option for you. For natural looking extensions, you can add volume and length with handcrafted, 100% human hair extensions.

The methods used to attach hair extensions are varied, and require an assessment of your hair to create the right look, while maintaining the integrity of your locks.

Here are four common methods of attaching hair extensions.

1.  Clip-ins

If you've ever looked into getting hair extensions, you'll know that the different processes used can get a tad confusing. The most temporary type of hair extensions are clip-ins, which you can apply and remove in minutes.

These won't damage your hair and you can use them for special occasions to instantly add volume. They don't look as natural as permanent applications and you need to be careful they don’t fall out, however they're an easy solution for fine hair.

2.  Weaves

You may have heard about weaves, whereby your natural hair is braided into cornrows and the extensions are sewn in with a needle and cotton. This is a popular option for women with curly or frizzy hair, however it can put strain on your scalp and further contribute to any existing damage.

3.  Micro-link

There's also the micro-link process, which involves looping hair extensions through natural hair, before binding the hair using pliers and metal beads. While they last for a long time, they may require frequent attention and can damage your natural hair.

4.  Cold fusion

By far the gentlest and most natural option is cold fusion. This process uses a keratin-based polymer to attach extensions to the root of your hair. This method doesn't require heat, so damage to the scalp is minimised and it results in natural-feeling hair.  It also allows for additional extensions around the front of your head, and you can wash, style and treat your hair as normal.

When you no longer want your extensions (though you may choose to keep them forever), they can be easily removed.

The most important consideration with hair extensions is to start the process with a professional. That way, you can create the look you want without damaging your hair, and you'll receive guidance with regard to care and maintenance – meaning you get the most out of the gorgeous locks you deserve.

What are the Early Signs of Hair Loss?


Hair loss can be a distressing issue and it's much more common than you might think. The problem is, you might not notice thinning hair until long after the process has begun.

In order to put preventative measures in place, it pays to be aware of the early signs of hair loss. Here are four common ones to watch out for.

Four symptoms of hair loss

1. Thinning hair

Hair loss in women can be harder to detect than in men, because it often develops in a general, widespread area across the top of the head. You can check for symtoms of thinning by looking for changes in thickness throughout all areas of your scalp.

2. A wider part in the hair

This sign is easy to detect if you regularly part your hair to one side or the other, or you use parts as a way to style your hair. Take notice of the width of your part, whether it be at the side or in the middle. This way, you'll be aware of parts becoming wider, which is a sign of hair loss.

3. A visible scalp

As hair loss progresses, your scalp will become more visible. You can easily detect this when your hair is pulled back in a bun or a ponytail, as 'see-through' areas will be more prominent.

4. More hair strands

There's no need for concern when you see hair in your brush, in the shower after washing or on the floor, as it's normal for hair to fall out and accumulate on surfaces. However, if you are experiencing hair loss or thinning, the amount of hair will increase, so it pays to take ongoing notice of the amount. The best way to do this is to monitor your pillow, bathroom floor, brushes and combs.

What can you do about it?

As soon as you notice any of these signs, seek professional advice as to the next steps to take.

There are many options available, including hair transplants, which are permanent and undetectable. Crown extensions are designed to help women with androgenetic alopecia and thinning on the top, front and crown of the head. Laser hair therapy is used for early stage hair loss and thinning, to improve the volume, thickness and quality of hair.

You can also look at products such as cosmetic hair thickener, wigs and extensions, so you can rest assured in the knowledge that your hair loss doesn't have to affect your confidence or self-esteem.

With early detection, evaluation and a range of treatment options available, hair loss in women can be dealt with effectively.  Call us today for more information or a free hair consultation  to discover your options Ph: 1300 427 778

Hair consultations are avaible in hair loss clinic in Sydney.  We also offer Skype/Facetime consultations.

Illnesses and Lifestyle Factors that can Contribute to Hair Loss

Food and hair


Experiencing hair loss can be distressing and not knowing the cause serves to increase stress and anxiety. At the first signs of hair loss in women, it pays to seek medical advice to discover the underlying factors.

It’s also useful to look into hair loss solutions when you are about to embark on certain debilitating medications.

Let's take a look at some illnesses and lifestyle factors that can contribute to hair loss.


A poor diet is bad news for health in general, and your hair health is also affected. A diet high in junk food contains toxins which need to be eliminated from your body, including from the scalp, which results in greasy, limp hair.

Further to that, if you don't receive the full range of nutrition your body needs to function at maximum capacity, the follicles won't be able to produce as much hair, which leads to thinning and loss. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains to ensure you're filling up on vital vitamins and minerals.


In a fast-paced world it's easy to become stressed. However, if stress rules your life, the hormones released to put your body into 'flight or fight' mode, can take their toll on your health. With more hormones in your bloodstream, your hair cycle is disrupted and essential nutrients are depleted. Take steps to monitor and alleviate stress on a daily basis with exercise, relaxation and good sleeping habits.


We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but it also impacts the normal function of hair growth. The toxins released enter the hair follicles and blood circulation is reduced, which impedes new hair growth. Seek medical advice on giving up smoking to increase the health of your hair and overall wellbeing.

Illnesses and medications

Certain Illnesses, conditions and the medications associated with them are common causes of hair loss. Those associated with hair loss include:

Thyroid disorders

Once you understand how and why you're experiencing hair loss, you can get the ball rolling towards finding the perfect hair loss treatment for you.

Your solution could be found in wigs for women, extensions, hair transplants or even cosmetic hair thickener, so you can rest assured there is a suitable solution out there for you.