Hair Loss Blog on Skull Expansion by the Belgravia Center

Several years ago, I found a hair loss blog about skull expansion that had been written by the Belgravia Center (one of the UK's leading hair loss clinics).

This article reveals the communication that subsequently took place between myself and the Belgravia Center.

Both their blog and my response were quite lengthy, so only the main points have been included below.

Make of it what you will…...


Dear Sir,

My name is Paul Taylor, the subject of your hair loss blog. First of all, I welcome debate, so I am pleased that you have decided to bring attention to my work (albeit with a negative bias). However, I would appreciate the opportunity to respond to the criticisms you make. I would like to address the following areas from your page:

Human Skeletal Growth

1. Extract from Belgravia Center hair loss blog:

"Paul Taylor claims that men and women whose skull bones keep growing during adulthood are far more likely to develop male and female pattern baldness."

And:

"His statement is flawed on the basis of simple growth facts - the human skeleton stops growing in our early 20s."

My response:

This is not true. The following article from Duke University School of Medicine states:

"Using CT scans of 100 men and women, the researchers discovered that the bones in the human skull continue to grow as people age."

Reference: M.J. Richard, Clues To Wrinkles May Be Found In Facial Bone Structure, Duke University School of Medicine, Nov. 9, 2007

Furthermore, bone resorption and remodeling are two biological processes that continue during adulthood and have been completely accepted as scientific fact. They are referred to in a multitude of biology texts, journals, articles, etc, (so much so in fact, that they are now regarded as common knowledge by scientists and doctors). Skull expansion can be considered as an exaggeration of this bone remodeling process.

Note: Some people believe that no further bone growth can occur because the skull bones fuse (at the suture lines) as you mature. But, growth can still take place near the center of these bones (i.e., away from the edges/suture lines).

2. Extract from Belgravia Center hair loss blog:

"If the skull expanded, thinning would occur all over and not just at the crown or temples, says Dr Elena Dimitrova of the Belgravia Center."

My response:

My article in the Medical Hypotheses journal clearly states that the skull expansion process develops from the frontal and parietal bones which then causes hair loss to develop in the overlying tissue (i.e., the male pattern baldness region). I get the impression from your comment that you haven't fully read (or perhaps understood) my article, and haven't examined all the references I used. If you had, you would realize that my article does address this area. Given that your website states: "Belgravia Center is the leading clinic of its kind in the UK" with "one of the world's leading hair loss websites", I would hope you agree that it's important to conduct thorough research before you publish something.

3. Extract from Belgravia Center hair loss blog:

"…(Dr Elena Dimitrova) also explains that Acromegaly syndrome is the only instance where the skeleton would continue to grow in adulthood."

My response:

Whilst a doctor within your own staff has provided this statement, it does not necessarily follow that her statement is correct.

Note: Acromegaly syndrome is a disorder in which the pituitary gland (located at the base of the brain) produces excess growth hormone (hGH).


DHT Activity in Human Bone

1. Extract from Belgravia Center hair loss blog:

"scientists have proven that DHT does not increase bone formation."

My response:

Bone formation is a complex process with many hormones, enzymes, etc, being involved. I think it is important to make it clear to people reading your page that the article you cite as proof that DHT does not increase bone formation involves a short (11 day) study of transgenic mice with pro-alpha 1 (I) collagen promoter being the sole marker for the expression observed in a transgene (which is involved in bioluminescence activity).

Proof of androgen involvement in bone formation (i.e., in humans, not mice) can be found from many sources. The following journal article states:

"dihydrotestosterone rather than testosterone is the active intracellular androgen in human bone."

Reference: Testosterone Metabolism in Human Bone. H.U. Schweikert, W. Rulf, N. Niederle, et al., Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1980 Oct;95(2):258-64.

The following journal article similarly confirms DHT activity in human bone. It also confirms the presence of 5-alpha reductase and androgen receptors (both of which are also associated with the hair loss process).

Reference: The Localization of Androgen Receptors in Human Bone. E.O. Abu, A. Horner, V. Kusec, et al., J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1997 82: 3493-3497.

2. Extract from Belgravia Center hair loss blog:

"Each hair follicle has a predetermined number of sites to which DHT can attach. There are generally a larger number of DHT receptor sites on the crown and at the temples of the scalp which means these are the sites where hereditary hair loss occurs."

My response:

My article in the Medical Hypotheses journal suggests that the increased number of DHT receptor sites results from the body's attempt to grow hair and combat the hair loss process. This process is known scientifically as hyperandrogenicity (or upregulation).

3. Extract from Belgravia Center hair loss blog:

"In his theory of skull expansion, Mr Taylor attempted to answer some questions he couldn't find the answer to such as: How is DHT linked to the loss of hair and its growth as well? However there are already scientific answers to these questions."

And:

"As far as the relationship of DHT to hair loss as well as growth, it remains one of life's great paradoxes."

My response:

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that when I contacted various trichologists and asked them my questions, they did not know the answers (or else, simply brushed them aside). You also mention:

"…and, how is DHT linked to the loss of hair and its growth as well? However there are already scientific answers to these questions."

And then later you state:

"As far as the relationship of DHT to hair loss as well as growth, it remains one of life's great paradoxes."

Clearly these two statements contradict each other.

Medical Hypotheses Journal

Extract from Belgravia Center hair loss blog:

"His report is documented in the Medical Hypotheses journal…"

Big head? Bald head! Skull expansion - alternative model for the primary mechanism of AGA, Medical Hypotheses (Volume 72, January 2009, Issue 1, Pages 23-28).

My response:

...As for the title of my article: "Big Head? Bald Head!", it's important to clarify that this was suggested to me by the editor of the Medical Hypotheses journal - it should not be interpreted as meaning that someone with a big skull will lose hair and someone with a small skull won't. Skull expansion simply means that, for those with certain skull shapes, their skull bones will grow and, in consequence, change shape (becoming slightly larger in the process). Please do not get confused about this.

The Medical Hypotheses journal editor has already recognized that my work has merit. It is a shame that so many other professionals, journals, websites, etc. are so slow to follow. Simply because the current medical and scientifically accepted theory is based upon "genetically predisposed hair follicles", it doesn't necessary follow that this theory is correct. I find it extremely frustrating that so few people within the hair loss industry or the scientific community are open-minded enough to research this area further and help me confirm my findings definitively.

However, I can assure you that skull expansion does cause androgenetic alopecia, and I will continue to inform visitors to my website that the mainstream consensus about this type of hair loss is wrong.

I thank you for the opportunity to respond to your comments and publishing my reply.

Paul Taylor
13 Jul 2010

The Belgravia Center decided not to publish my reply, but did remove the article they wrote.


And Finally

Some people occasionally ask me:

"If skull expansion is the real reason behind androgenetic alopecia, why have they never heard of it before?"

Well, clearly it takes time for new ideas to be accepted. And, until such time, they are often considered inaccurate and simply dismissed without much (if any) consideration. Darwin's "The Origin of Species" and theory of evolution was largely dismissed initially (and Darwin himself ridiculed) before scientists finally realized he was right.

In time, I am confident that skull expansion will be acknowledged as the true cause of androgenetic alopecia.

It is unfortunate that the mainstream hair loss industry is so reluctant to take note of new research and information presented to it. And, in my opinion, it is even more unfortunate that the majority of those affected by hair loss only seem to follow the mainstream hair loss industry when they choose which hair loss products and treatments to use.


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