Tweak of the Week is Citizen Femme’s in-depth beauty treatment and tweakment review series. From high-tech facials and device-driven bodycare to needling and injectables, these are the tried-and-tested services that the CF team deem worth the investment.
This week, beauty editor Becki Murray was on a mission to banish bad hair days, with a trip to The Hair Growth Clinic. Offering the very latest haircare treatments, including Hair ‘Botox’, Hair ‘Facials’ and PRP injections, it’s run by one of London’s best hair loss trichologists, Hannah Gaboardi, who is in residency at the Nobu Hotel London, Portman Square.
What is the Hair Growth Clinic?
The Hair Growth Clinic is a central London-based hair clinic founded by trichologist, Hannah Gaboardi. Trichologists are highly trained experts in hair and scalp function and health, which is why, colloquially, you’ll often hear them referred to as ‘hair doctors’ (although the training involved does not require a medical degree). After an appointment it can certainly feel like your hair has gone through a full health MOT.
In particular, Gaboardi is a specialist in hair loss and thinning, for both women and men, with a flair for offering the very latest treatments including injectables such as Hair Botox to boost volume, as well as vitamin infusions and the blood-based therapy ‘PRP’ to effectively tackle hair concerns. These science-backed solutions are supported by a thorough consultation, focusing on identifying and addressing both the medical and cosmetic causes behind scalp and hair issues. The aim, if you’ll pardon the pun, is to tackle the root cause of your concerns.
How does seeing a hair loss trichologist work?
Whether or not you’ve managed to find a hairdresser who really understands your hair (which can be a lot of hard work in itself), seeing a trichologist takes you to the next level.
The first step is always a DNA & Scalp Analysis Consultation, which allows your trichologist to examine and make an accurate diagnosis of your hair. This includes analysing your medical history, lifestyle and diet, plus the suggestion to get your blood and hormones tested. With this information, your trichologist can address any hormonal imbalances or nutrimental deficits that could be contributing to your hair concerns. For example, if you have anemia or telogen effluvium, also known as postpartum hair loss.
Then, your trichologist will examine your hair and, in the case of Gaboardi, that doesn’t just mean with the naked eye. She uses a special hand-held scanning machine called a digital trichoscope to capture close-up imagery of the hair follicles all over your scalp. During the process, she’ll check for areas affected by product build-up, dandruff, thinning and balding, alongside the indications behind why such conditions may be occurring.
With this information to hand, you’ll be advised a treatment plan; likely one or more of the latest and leading solutions for boosting hair growth and condition which include Hair Growth Plasma Injections (PRP) – where your own blood is used to help stimulate hair growth – and Hair Rehab, a four session-based treatment plan that combines a series of scalp and hair boosting therapies.
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Why should you be excited?
When we have concerns about our skin it’s becoming quite normal to book in for a results-driven facial treatment or to speak to a dermatologist. Yet, when it comes to our hair, whether it be a lack of volume, dye-damage or hair thinning, the tendency is towards inaction until the problem becomes especially distressing.
With her Nobu Hotel London, Portman Square residency, Gaboardi makes booking in with a hair loss trichologist have the same luxurious feeling as a high-end hair salon: the space is more akin to a relaxing spa treatment room than a clinical doctor’s office and her friendly yet extremely knowledgeable manner will make you feel at ease. Whether you have serious hair thinning concerns or just one too many “bad hair days”, the advice and high-tech treatments you’ll receive will help you get the most out of your next hair cut too.
Tried and tested : what is it like to visit a hair loss trichologist?
Visiting a hair loss trichologist to discuss your hair concerns could feel like a slightly overwhelming experience, but Gaboardi takes every care to make it as relaxing as possible – especially in her new hotel space. The Hair Growth Clinic has taken over one of the beautifully snug rooms in Nobu’s Wellness Centre so, when you arrive, you immediately step into a soothing spa atmosphere and then sink onto a remarkably comfortable massage bed.
The consultation period also feels more like a conversation with a good friend, which not only makes the experience less formal for the person booking in; it also allows Gaboardi to more easily and gently tease out all the concerns and signs associated with your hair problems too (hair can be an emotive topic after all).
From the fascinating close-up images you’ll get to see of your hair, to the insights the blood and hormones tests can provide, your Hair Growth Clinic consultation is also like a back-to-school session for hair health. Interesting and helpful in equal measure, you’ll emerge not only on the path to better hair but with a greater understanding of the products and lifestyle habits you can adopt to keep your tresses healthy for longer.
That’s the perfect foundation to have as you then embark on the next step of your haircare journey – your treatment. Importantly here, a lot (but not all) of them do require injections – but even the slightly blood or needle-averse shouldn’t shy away, especially if hair thinning is your biggest concern.
All the injections are done with ‘children’s needles’ meaning they are much smaller than traditional ones. This makes the sensation on your scalp akin to the smallest of scratches and there’s no numbing cream required. The treatment time is no more than 30 minutes including prep, depending on the severity of your hair thinning, so any slight discomfort is short and sweet.
The potentially “scariest” of the treatments on the menu are the PRP injections – available either on their own or as part of the highly recommended Super Boost hair growth treatment. For full disclosure, this requires your own blood to be drawn like you are having a blood test. This is then treated in a special spinning machine that separates the plasma in your blood for reinjection into your scalp.
The concept may not sound appealing, but with Gaboardi you’re in safe hands (literally). It also really works. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is thought to promote healing and encourage hair growth, and has been proven to work – time and time again. A trip to a hair loss trichologist really can make all the difference for true hair transformations, just withstanding a few small needles.
How long does it take to see results?
Depending on the severity of your hair’s condition, the best results do take time and multiple sessions, meaning this is a long-term solution, not a ‘quick fix’. Hair thinning occurs when the multi-year-long hair growth cycle (which also involves hair formation and shedding) is disrupted. Treatments need to work hard to rebalance this process and encourage new growth to start.
The quickest results are from the hair conditioning treatments such as the Hair Facial which instantly boosts hydration, and the Hair Vitamin treatment that noticeably improves hair condition within three weeks. More intensive treatments involve the longest wait, but arguably the biggest reward. For example, the trio of plasma, hair vitamin and peptide injections offered in The Super Boost requires three sessions over 12 months, but with instantly visible results that last for two to three months. And, you should see hair regrowth approximately two months after PRP treatment, which will continue for up to ten months to visibly improve long-term hair appearance.
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What is the aftercare advice?
The vast majority of the treatments offered at the Hair Growth Clinic require zero downtime, meaning that you can continue your day quite normally after your session. You’ll also walk away with a fully customised diet plan, designed to enrich your current meals with hair-loving vitamins and minerals, plus a three month’s supply of bespoke hair products to keep your hair in tip-top condition.
If you’ve had any injections, you may experience some mild tenderness or sensations around your scalp for one to two days after treatment and it’s recommended you don’t overly touch or wash your hair for up to 24 hours to avoid the rare chance of infection. It’s also suggested that you avoid any high intensity exercise for up to a day after your session, for the same reason.
Who is it suitable for?
As each consultation and treatment is completely bespoke, anyone can benefit from the haircare advice and technologies offered by Gaboardi. You’ll see the best results if you are struggling with a specific concern, for example hair thinning. She also has particularly impressive before-and-afters for both male and female pattern hair loss, and is a safe pair of hands for anyone who is noticing increasingly sparser hair after giving birth.
Why is it Tweak of the Week worthy?
Facial and body treatments have long held the limelight when it comes to new, innovative technologies for treating our beauty concerns. The Hair Growth Clinic brings some of that excitement, luxury and, of course, a results-driven approach, to the haircare space. That’s especially good news considering that your hair (or any perceived lack of it) can arguably be one of the most emotive parts of our appearance.