Understanding Telogen Effluvium

January 15, 2015 9:36 pm

While genetically linked pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is by far the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women, it is certainly not the only one.  Many patients who suffer from sudden and apparently inexplicable hair loss are actually experiencing a less common condition known as telogen effluvium.  In order to understand how telogen effluvium functions, it is necessary to understand hair’s natural growth process and how that process can be disrupted.

Hair follicles on the scalp do not continuously produce hair.  Instead, they progress through a regular growth cycle consisting of three stages: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transition phase), and telogen (resting phase).  During the anagen phase, which can last up to two years, new hair is formed and gradually grows from the follicle.  At any given time, anywhere from 80% to 90% of the hair follicles in a healthy scalp are in this stage.  Eventually, the hair moves to the transitional catagen phase and growth stops.  From there, the hair finally progresses into the telogen stage, when the hair loosens in the follicle and subsequently falls out over the course of 3 to 5 months.  Because approximately 15% of the hair follicles are in the telogen stage at any given time, a healthy scalp sheds anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs each day.  However this loss is typically replaced by newly growing hair and so generally goes unnoticed.

Telogen effluvium occurs when external factors disrupt this natural cycle.  During extremely stressful situations, the body can trigger a disproportionately large number of hairs to move into the telogen phase all at once.  About 3 months later, this hair begins to fall out as it would normally during this point in the telogen phase, but in significantly larger amounts than usual, causing diffuse thinning over the entire scalp.  To someone experiencing this sudden hair loss, it can seem as though hair is falling out in clumps for no particular reason whatsoever, but it is, in fact, just a result of a physiological stress that may have occurred months earlier.  Anything that can cause some form of shock to the body can potentially cause telogen effluvium, from physical trauma, such as being in a car crash or undergoing major surgery, to crash dieting that starves the body of necessary proteins.  Even significant emotional stress, like the death of a loved one or a divorce, can prompt changes in eating and sleep patterns that the body can interpret as dangerous stress, resulting in the same symptoms.  A similar condition can occur when a woman has a newborn child.  In this case, temporary hair loss may reach its peak at six months, but will typically regrow over the next year.

Fortunately, the hair loss from telogen effluvium is usually temporary.  The hair follicles are not permanently or irreversibly damaged; there are just more hair follicles in a resting state than there should normally be.  If the particular external cause that triggered the condition is short lived, the hair follicles should return to their growing state and start producing new hair fibers within six months.  In cases where a specific causal factor cannot be identified, Extra-Strength Rogaine® (5% minoxidil) or one of our custom formulated topical prescription compounds can be prescribed to minimize further hair loss and help stimulate new hair growth until the underlying trigger can be addressed.  Unfortunately, there are cases when, despite all treatment, it still takes a long time for the scalp to completely recover all the hair that was lost.  Red LED Laser Treatment with the LaserCap™ may be an additional way to help stimulate new hair growth.

If you have questions about the causes of hair loss and treatments offered by The Griffin Center, please visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ .  If you are interested in discussing hair loss or hair restoration options, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Getting to the Root of Hair Loss Myths

January 5, 2015 4:17 am

Despite the fact that more than eighty million men and woman in America are currently experiencing some form of hair loss, many misconceptions still exist about how this medical condition actually works.  At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we believe that understanding the underlying causes of hair loss is the essential first step to treating it.  So here are several of the most common myths about hair loss, along with explanations of the truth behind them.

Myth: Genes for hair loss come only from the mother’s side of the family.
For generations people believed that you could tell whether or not you were going to lose your hair simply by looking at the scalp of your mother’s father.  However, today we understand that the causes of hair loss are a great deal more complicated.  There are approximately 200 different genes that regulate hair growth, and genes from both sides of the family can play a role in its loss.  Although the inheritance from the mother’s side is slightly stronger, androgenetic hair loss (or common pattern baldness) can be inherited from the mother’s side of the family, the father’s side, or both.

Myth: Genetic hair loss is an old man’s problem.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, genetic pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, affects more than 40% of women, causing them to experience significant thinning throughout their lifetimes.  Although it occurs much more commonly as we age, hair loss frequently affects men and women in their 20’s and 30’s, and can even strike teenagers.  The earlier hair loss begins, the more severe it will likely become.

Myth: Men who are bald have high levels of testosterone.
While this may be a comforting thing for men to believe, it is unfortunately not the case.  Genetic pattern hair loss occurs when the hair follicles in some parts of the scalp have a greater than normal sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a byproduct of testosterone breakdown that causes the hair follicles to shrink and eventually disappear.  Both men and women with this genetic sensitivity can eventually experience pattern hair loss even with low testosterone levels.

Myth: Frequent shampooing causes hair to fall out.
Healthy hair follicles are continually shedding old hairs and regrowing new ones, so that, on average, we lose approximately 50 to 100 hairs each day to the hair’s natural growth cycle.  Most commonly, these hairs are shed when the scalp is rubbed vigorously, prompting many to think that shampooing causes hair loss.  In fact, hereditary baldness is the result of shrinking hair follicles producing progressively finer, thinner hairs, not natural shedding.  Failure to wash the hair regularly can leave dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the scalp longer, actually accelerating the process of hair thinning.  While excessive washing of hair that is already dry may result in breakage, washing the hair in and of itself does not cause hair loss.  In one study where patients who shampooed daily were compared to those who shampooed only twice per week, the ones who lost the fewest number of hairs at the end of 4 weeks were the ones who shampooed daily.

If you have questions about caring for your hair or any of the treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ .

Happy New Year from The Griffin Center!

January 2, 2015 8:57 am

Happy New Year!  It has been an extremely exciting year at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research.  While we have been committed to bringing our patients the most advanced and effective hair loss treatment options for almost forty years, never before has there been such a wide variety of promising approaches available.  Thrilling new innovations in hair restoration have given Dr. Edmond Griffin, Dr. Ashley Curtis, and our experienced and dedicated staff the opportunity to help men and women from around the world avert the effects of many forms of hair loss.  Remember your topical or preventative programs which work in 95% of patients to STOP hair loss.  If you do feel that despite your regular preventative program that your hair loss is progressive, please promptly make an appointment for a reevaluation.

griffin centerWe are all excited to have had the opportunity to offer exciting new innovations in hair restoration, such as the use of extracellular matrices and platelet rich plasma therapy, as well as to further refine our surgical hair restoration techniques here at our office.  Being able to offer patients the choice of our established follicular unit grafting technique alongside follicular unit extraction with NeoGraft® has made it possible to more closely accommodate each individual patient’s style to achieve personal, natural looking hair restoration results.

So all of us at The Griffin Center would like to say thank you to all of our patients and their families for supporting The Griffin Center’s team throughout the year!  We are grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know our patients and look forward to meeting many more.  Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest news on hair restoration.  We are so thankful for each one of you and wish you a spectacular New Year!

Using the Extracellular Matrix in Hair Restoration

December 30, 2014 4:08 pm

shutterstock_143500546Here at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we are interested in pursuing all the latest, most technologically advanced treatments for hair loss. One of the most exciting and innovative potential advancements in hair restoration surgery involves the use of the human body’s natural healing factors to stimulate transplanted hair growth through the harvesting and application of an extracellular matrix.

The extracellular matrix, or ECM, is a sort of flexible scaffolding that fills the spaces between the cells that make up the various tissues of the body.  It is made up of proteins that interlink to form “ground substances” like collagen, the “padding” between tissues, along with a wide range of the tissue growth factors.  These growth factors play a vital role in the production of new cells, allowing the extracellular matrix to act as a foundation for cells that eventually grow into specialized tissues like kidneys, intestine, heart, or skin.  ECM is found in all animal tissue and causes no allergy or other immunologic response when transferred from one species to another, allowing ECM harvested from other animals to be used in the treatment of human wounds and surgical incisions.

It is the healing applications of ECM that make it so potentially advantageous in hair restoration surgery.   When ECM is applied to injuries, it not only significantly increases the healing rate, but also prevents or mitigates the formation of scar tissue at the surgical site.  Originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in cardiovascular surgery, ECM was quickly adopted for use in other situations, including the treatment of injuries sustained in military combat.  Eventually, ACell MatriStem®, a commercial version of ECM derived from the urinary bladders of pigs, was FDA approved for the management of topical wounds, including surgical incisions, war injuries and other traumatic injuries.  When hair follicles are surgically removed from the scalp as a prelude to transplant, ECM can be used to aid healing at the donor areas, either by injecting it along the scar line left by the strip grafting technique or placing it into each of the holes left by follicular unit extraction.  We feel that this helps leave a softer, smaller scar and speed the healing of all sites.

Any form of hair restoration surgery, whether accomplished through follicular unit grafting for follicular unit extraction with NeoGraft®, requires that hair follicles removed from the scalp for transplantation spend some time “in transit” before they are placed into a recipient area.  During this in-transit time, they may be exposed to any number of damaging conditions, including lack of moisture, lack of nutrient supply, and temperature variation.  Despite the fact that our experienced hair restoration specialists take every precaution to limit this in-transit damage, any one of these conditions can potentially affect the viability of the follicles and inhibit their ability to thrive and produce new hair at the recipient site.  However, preliminary studies suggest that coating the in-transit follicles with ACell Matristem® significantly improves the survival rate and ultimate viability of the hair follicles, allowing more complete and efficient coverage from a single transplantation procedure.

If you have questions about this or any of the other treatments we offer at The Griffin Center, please contact Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

What to Expect from Hair Restoration Surgery?

December 22, 2014 7:49 am

For nearly forty years, Dr. Edmond Griffin and the specialized team at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research have helped both men and women obtain healthy, natural-looking hair growth by using a wide array of the latest hair restoration techniques, including microscopic follicular unit grafting and follicular unit extraction (FUE). Understanding what to expect before, during, and after these procedures can help you establish realistic expectations and minimize the risk of any complications that may arise. Luckily, risks are minimal with all hair restorations today, and being a patient can be easy and safe if you are in the right hands.
The first steps to achieving optimal hair restoration results happen during the initial pre-surgery consultations. After reviewing your available treatment options, Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis will propose a hair replacement plan specifically designed to meet your individual needs. It is extremely important to ask questions at this stage and make sure you understand and are comfortable with the treatment plan that has been chosen. Discuss your hair restoration surgery expectations and post surgical plans with us in detail in order to make sure that you understand what is being done. At this time we can discuss potential problems and explore the best ways to avoid them. Experience of the doctors is the key to an uncomplicated surgery and excellent outcome.

With all the preliminary work taken care of beforehand, you have nothing to do on the day of the surgery except come in and relax. Your scalp will be numbed with a local anesthetic as you lay on a comfortable bed listening to music, sleeping, or even enjoying an occasional juice or snack. After the removal of the donor follicles, which is completed either through the traditional “single strip harvesting” method or with the automated NeoGraft® system, our experienced technicians will carefully dissect them under a microscope into individual follicular units in order to keep as many of the follicles intact as possible. Then your doctor will carefully inspect the grafts, selecting for implantation only those that pass the test for 100% take. Custom incisions will be made into the scalp by hand, all specifically angled and sized for your individual grafts. Then each follicular unit will be individually placed into the correctly sized opening, ensuring full and natural looking coverage. This procedure is time consuming, so the numbing will be repeated as required in order to alleviate any possible discomfort, and a long-lasting local anesthetic will be administered at the end of the procedure to keep you comfortable at home.

After the procedure, our nursing staff will carefully review your post-operative care plan with your caregiver and provide you with an assortment of aftercare products to help with your hair transplant recovery. The next day, you will return for your first post-operative appointment and, during this visit, your hair will be shampooed and you will be examined by one of our doctors, usually your surgeon. They will also review all after-care instructions with you. Most of our patients can return to work within two to four days. If forehead swelling occurs, it will be within 3 to 5 days after your surgery, but will usually resolve within 48 hours. One week later, we’ll remove the staples/sutures from the donor site and answer any questions that you might have regarding post-operative care or the re-growth of your new hair.

Be prepared to be patient. Hair transplant surgery places healthy, fully functioning follicles into the balding region, but the grafted hairs in those follicles may shed following the procedure. New hair begins to grow back within two to four months. Because hair grows in cycles, all the new grafts will not all start growing at the same time and it may take as up to eight to twelve months before all the new grafts are showing new hair growth. Once the hair grows out, the new hair follicles look completely natural even under careful examination. If you have questions about the causes of hair loss and treatments offered by The Griffin Center, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ . If you are interested in discussing hair loss or hair restoration options, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Hair Restoration Treatments that Work

December 1, 2014 3:50 pm

Many hair care products claim to be able to give you thicker and fuller hair, implying that their new topical solutions are some sort of hitherto undiscovered cure for hair loss.  Unfortunately, they seldom live up to their claims.  While some of these products may, in some cases, be able to create the appearance of thicker hair, they can seldom do anything to address the underlying causes of hair loss and can frequently even dry-out or damage the hair to such a degree that breakage and thinning become worse.

Red Light Therapy for Hair LossWhile many different factors and conditions can contribute to hair loss, the vast majority of cases, as many as 95%, can be attributed to dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a natural by-product that occurs in the body when the enzyme 5 alpha reductase combines with the hormone testosterone.  In patients who are genetically sensitive to DHT, rising DHT levels in the scalp can cause hair follicles to begin to fall out faster and regrow as small miniaturized hairs.  The result is gradually thinning of the hair shafts and eventual hair loss.  Contrary to widespread opinion, this process can occur in both men and women, causing the condition known as androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness.

There are, to date, only two non-surgical remedies that have been clinically proven to treat androgenetic alopecia and reduce hair loss or regrow hair: finasteride, the active ingredient in Propecia®, and minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine®.   Propecia® works by inhibiting the enzyme 5 alpha reductase to decrease DHT production, while Rogaine® seems to swell the follicle’s tiny microvascular structures, counteracting the shrinking that DHT can cause.  Other cosmetic, over-the-counter treatments without these ingredients can provide, at best, temporary relief of the most superficial symptoms.  For example, concealers, whether in powder, spray, or sprinkle form, work by coloring the skin of the scalp to match your hair color, camouflaging balding areas.  The most effective also add chemicals that bond to the hair shaft, making the hair appear thicker and fuller.  Several commercial shampoos and conditioners also use these same thickening compounds to achieve a similar effect, but these products do not address the underlying problem occurring in the hair follicle underneath the surface of the scalp.  Moreover, many of these hair care products can damage hair, as the complex silicones and polymers used to coat the hair can strip the hair of its natural oils and lipids, leaving it dull, dry, and prone to substantial breakage.

The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research is constantly exploring the latest developments in the field of hair restoration so that we can pass along the most effective treatments to our patients.  We have achieved a great deal of early success with recent innovations like LaserCapâ„¢ Red Light Therapy, or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments with and without Acell, and offer the most advanced options in hair transplant surgery as well.  If you have questions about the causes of hair loss and treatments offered by The Griffin Center, please visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ . If you are interested in discussing hair loss or hair restoration options, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Experience Makes the Difference at The Griffin Center

November 21, 2014 4:07 am

There are many different options available to those seeking hair restoration treatment, and nearly as many medical providers willing to supply them.  What makes The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research different is our skill, experience, and teamwork.  The Griffin Center has been a leader in the field of hair restoration since its inception in 1976 and those years of experience have allowed us to develop the skills and techniques to provide our patients with exceptional, natural-looking results time and time again.

logo_griffinThe Griffin Center is led by its founder, world-renowned board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Dr. Edmond I. Griffin.  For nearly forty years, Dr. Griffin has specialized in hair restoration surgery and has long been considered a leading expert in the field.  When other hair transplant surgeons from across North America were surveyed as to who they would want to perform their own hair restoration surgery, Dr. Griffin was among the top five surgeons selected.  Surgeons regularly visit from across North America and overseas to observe Dr. Griffin’s hair restoration techniques.  In addition to training others, Dr. Griffin has lectured at international meetings and conferences and has worked individually with many of the most distinguished hair restoration experts from around the world.

Joining the Griffin Center three years ago, Dr. Ashley R. Curtis is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon specializing in the complex intricacies of women’s hair loss.  Dr. Curtis has had the opportunity to refine and perfect her surgical technique while working directly under Dr. Griffin, and has been published extensively in a number of peer reviewed medical journals.  Her talent and dedication are matched only by her commitment to the ideals of education and community outreach.  She has volunteered extensively at both Northside Hospital and the Wake Forest Dermatology Department conducting public skin cancer screenings and been invited to contribute to several on line message boards, where she makes her extensive knowledge available to the general public.

But one of the greatest strengths of The Griffin Center is its highly trained and experienced staff of medical technicians.  During follicular unit grafting, the sample of donor tissue taken from the back of the scalp needs to be dissected into individual follicular units before these units can be transplanted onto thinning areas.  Many hair restoration treatment centers leave this task in the hands of inexperienced technicians, who risk damaging many of the harvested hair follicles during the dissection process.  Our technicians at The Griffin Center have been operating under the direct supervision of Dr. Griffin for nearly twenty years, and in some cases even longer.  They carefully dissect the individual follicular units under microscopic magnification, following the natural cell divisions and preserving a far greater number of hair follicles.  This means that more viable grafts can be created from a smaller amount of tissue or, simply put, that we can achieve greater, more natural-looking coverage with significantly less visual scarring.

The Griffin Center is dedicated to helping every patient determine which procedure is best suited to their individual needs and lifestyle.  That’s why we use the latest technological innovations, like NeoGraft® automated follicular unit extraction, LaserCap™ Red Light Therapy, or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments with and without Acell, and work with our patients to prevent hair loss by formulating custom designed prescription compounds.  Every consultation always begins with accessing your hair loss prevention program.   If you have questions about the causes of hair loss and treatments offered by The Griffin Center, please visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ . If you are interested in discussing hair loss or hair restoration options, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Which Hair Restoration Procedure is Best for You?

November 18, 2014 4:25 pm

Here at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we offer two different methods of surgical hair restoration: traditional follicular unit grafting and the newer follicular unit extraction with NeoGraft®.  While both can achieve excellent, natural-looking hair restoration results, they each offer different distinctive advantages that can be matched to specific patient needs.

the griffin centerDuring follicular unit grafting, a long, thin strip of hair follicles is surgically removed from the back of the scalp.  This strip is then carefully dissected under a microscope into discrete follicular units (which naturally consist of one to four hair follicles) that can then be transplanted to thinning or balding areas of the scalp.  While this linear scar can be covered by the hair on the back of the head, patients who prefer to wear their hair extremely short often seek a different option.  However, nearly forty years of practical experience has allowed Dr. Edmond Griffin to significantly refine this technique.  Our highly skilled technicians are exceptionally efficient in dissecting the strip, so that more viable follicular units can be harvested from a much thinner section of scalp.  Removing a thinner section of scalp allows us to keep scars far neater, thinner, and less noticeable.

Follicular Unit Extraction attempts to avoid the scarring issue by removing the follicular units one by one rather than in a single, long strip.  While this does not leave a single linear scar, it does create numerous tiny round scars dispersed throughout the donor area, but these are more easily concealed with shorter hairstyles.  Removing the individual follicular units by hand, however, can be an extremely tedious and labor intensive process, requiring long hours of extremely fine work.  Moreover, individual manual extraction has a much higher chance of damaging the delicate hair follicles, either through transection or trauma caused by the forceps used during the procedure.  The NeoGraft® automated system assists our surgeon, speeding the process so that it can be done in roughly the same amount of time as a traditional “strip” hair transplant.  In addition, NeoGraft® uses pneumatic pressure to extract the follicles and precisely implant them, eliminating the need for forceps and leaving the follicles in a more robust state.  However, regardless of the method used to harvest the individual follicular units, these follicles must still be implanted into the thinning areas of the scalp by hand, and it is the skill and experience of our surgeons that allows us to achieve the best, most natural looking results.

Every patient is unique, and so it is important that you consult with an experienced specialist in hair restoration, like Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis, in order to determine which procedure is best suited to your particular needs and lifestyle.  If you have questions about the causes of hair loss and treatments offered by The Griffin Center, please visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ . If you are interested in discussing hair loss or hair restoration options, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

The Five Most Irritating Things about Hair

November 3, 2014 4:52 pm

At The Griffin Center for Hair Restoration and Research, we specialize in providing natural-looking hair restoration solutions to our patients, but we are also keenly interested in educating people about how to keep hair healthy.   Here is a list of some of the most common complaints people have about their hair, along with a few tips to avoid them.

The Five Most Irritating Things about HairNumber One: Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled around and grown back into the skin, irritating it and producing a raised, red bump that looks like a little pimple.  While they are generally not serious, they can, in some cases, form a painful, boil-like sore or even become infected.  Ingrown hairs tend to occur after hair removal, as new hair has a sharper edge and can more easily poke back through the skin and become trapped under the surface.  This is more of a recurring problem in certain ethnicities who have coarse curly hairs and with certain hair removal techniques, such as waxing.  Laser hair removal is a great solution for patients who get ingrown hairs in the bikini area, underarms, and/or beard area.  In addition, gentle exfoliation a few times per week can be helpful and topical antibiotics or alpha/beta hydroxy acid washes can be prescribed to help combat the problem.

Number Two: Cowlicks

A cowlick is a section of hair that stands straight up or grows in a different direction than the hair around it.  They occur when hair grows in a spiral pattern and are most apparent in the crown, although they can show up anywhere, in both men and women.  Cowlicks are often more obvious in straight, thick hair as the scalp may be visible in the center of the whorl.  For most people, a combination of the right hairstyle, length, styling products, and styling technique can minimize the problem. We specifically recommend allowing the cowlick to grow long so that it can more easily be pulled over or jelled into control using a styling gel like Redken’s Contour 8.

Number Three: Dry, Brittle, and Frizzy Hair

When the hair becomes dry and brittle, it loses its sheen and can appear frizzy, lifeless, and dull.  Dry hair, which can affect men and women of any age, can be caused by a variety of factors, including environmental conditions (sun, wind, and excessively dry or humid air), chlorinated pools, and personal hair care habits (such as overdrying with hot tools, using drying shampoos, or over brushing with a hard plastic comb which frays the hair strands.  Additionally some health conditions, such as anorexia nervosa, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid imbalances, can cause dry, brittle hair.  Always protect your hair before going outdoors, particularly if you live in a dry, humidity-free climate.  Wear a hat to avoid long-term exposure to dry or windy air and wear a cap when swimming in the pool or ocean, since salt water and chlorine can easily damage your hair. Avoid excessive heat when styling, spread coloring and chemical relaxing treatments out by at least 6 weeks, use dimethicone containing serums on dry hair to protect the hair shaft, and avoid daily washing if your hair is extremely dry.

Number Four: Dandruff

Dandruff is a common chronic scalp condition marked by flaking of the skin on your scalp, persistent itching, and frequently redness.  Although dandruff is rarely serious, it can be embarrassing and sometimes difficult to treat.  Fortunately, mild cases of dandruff can usually be controlled with nothing more than daily shampooing with a gentle cleanser or over the counter anti-dandruff shampoos.  More stubborn cases of dandruff often respond to prescription topical medications or shampoos.

Number Five: Split ends

When hair becomes damaged by heat, chemicals or mechanical stress, the ends can split and fray, giving it a frizzy appearance.  The use of hot curling and straightening irons, excessive application of damaging hair products, or even the repeated forcing of a comb through tangled hair can all result in split ends.  While there is no remedy for split ends beyond trimming the affected hair, reducing or eliminating the causes will frequently eliminate the problem.  Start with detangling products after shampooing, and then separate the tangled locks using just your fingers or a wide tooth pick.  Finally, while drying, use a gentle brush with smooth filaments and tips protected by tiny plastic balls – like in a professional styling brush.

If you have questions about caring for your hair or any of the treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ .

The Building Blocks of Healthy Hair

October 22, 2014 2:40 pm

At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we are not merely interested in treating hair loss after it has already begun.  We are also on the forefront of research into preventing hair loss and helping the body hang onto the hair it already has.  While Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis use several effective hair loss prevention treatments at The Griffin Center, a great deal can also be accomplished with simple nutrition.  Experts agree that a healthy diet with the right mix of protein, iron, and other nutrients can help improve the health, look, and feel of your hair.

Protein
The Building Blocks of Healthy HairEvery strand of hair is primarily composed of protein, and so it naturally requires a steady supply of protein from the body in order to grow.  At any given time, about 90% of the hair on the head is in a growing phase, which, for each individual hair, can last from 2 to 3 years.  At the end of that time, hairs enter a resting phase that lasts about 3 months before they are shed and replaced by new hair.  However, if the hair fails to get enough protein to maintain active growth, a disproportionate number of hairs may go into the resting phase.  Ultimately these same hairs are then all shed at the same time, resulting in a condition called telogen effluvium and the appearance of sudden, major hair loss.  Fortunately, this condition can be easily remedied by returning to a protein rich diet, as the follicles have not been damaged but only prematurely pushed into a resting, dormant phase.

Iron and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Iron is one of the chief nutrients involved in the production of the various proteins that make up your hair, and is especially important because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles.  An abnormally low level of iron in the blood can result in iron-deficient anemia, a condition that has been linked to hair loss.  Likewise, omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in the cell membranes of the skin of your scalp and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated, are absolutely essential to the development of healthy, growing hair.  Since the body does not naturally produce them on its own, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon or walnuts, are an important part of any diet.

Other Nutrients
Some studies have suggested that vitamin D may play a role in the hair growth cycle, although research is still underway to determine exactly how that works.  Additionally, vitamin C is critical for circulation to the scalp and supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles, so too little vitamin C can lead to hair breakage.  Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid – an ingredient you’ll often see on hair care product labels) has also been shown to play a role in the growth of hair.  Finally, zinc and biotin are assumed to help with hair growth because people with metabolic disorders lacking them can have thin or brittle hair and nails, and saw palmetto, a plant rich in fatty acids and phytosterols best known for its use in decreasing the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, is also believed to have some effectiveness in promoting hair growth.

If you have questions about hair loss causes and treatments offered by The Griffin Center, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ .