Gone are the days when women are told to brush their hair 100 strokes a day for beautiful shiny locks. At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, our board-certified dermatologists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis can recommend ways to minimize breakage, damage, and the hair loss that often follows by helping you to identify the cause(s) and solutions of traumatic and traction alopecia.
Traumatic and traction alopecia are the result of repeated external damage to the hair shafts. Traumatic alopecia occurs not only on the scalp but also the eyebrows and even eyelashes. It is the result of repeated manipulation of the hairs either by repeated brushing, by chemical treatments, scarves or hats that constantly rub the frontal hairline, excessive heat styling, and plucking. Traction alopecia, on the other hand, involves constant tension placed on the hair follicles by tight hair styles such as braiding, ponytails, and sew-in hair pieces. In this type of loss, the hair is coming out by the roots (the white keratin bulb) leaving behind areas of obvious thinning most commonly along the front and sides of the scalp. Most often traction is seen after long term braiding of the hair into tight braids for months at a time.
With traumatic alopecia, hair breaks off from the remainder of the hair strand, leaving hair in various lengths with damaged broken ends and dry brittle hair shafts. Unlike other forms of alopecia, traumatic alopecia is directly related to the stress we place on our hair many times from every day styling. Gone are the days when women are told to brush their hair 100 strokes a day for beautiful shiny locks.
Many people may experience both traction and traumatic hair loss. The best way to combat traumatic hair loss with breakage is to analyze potentially damaging actions to your hair like those listed above. As mentioned, using relaxers, chemicals and heat too often can weaken the hair and should be used to touch up intermittently rather than regular use. Hair moisturizers and natural oils are an effective way to make treatments last and can reduce continuation of damage. African American hair tends to be more fragile with less elasticity. Replacing your fine tooth comb with a wide tooth variation or using the fingers can minimize breakage, as well as avoiding frequently combining chemical over-processing and heat styling. Traction hair loss is treated differently with both medications and change in hair styling. While surgical hair replacement is an option for those with traction hair loss, it is not an option for those with breakage from multiple causes.
If you are experiencing hair breakage, damage, or loss and need help, please contact us today. To learn more about African American hair loss, be sure to connect with The Griffin Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, our providers work diligently to stay on top of the latest hair restoration technology. In recent news widely covered by New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other prominent publications, reports have been released that researchers have developed a new method to promote new hair growth, a method that could potentially evolve into a better, more effective way of hair transplantation.
Within the study, which is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, hair cells were clustered together in a lab by researchers and then transplanted in human skin grafted into mice. Subsequently, hair grew. Going into more detail, investigators took papilla cells from seven men undergoing hair transplants, cultured them in hanging drops and injected them into human skin grafts (made from the completely hairless foreskins of circumcised infants) placed onto mice. New hair follicles grew in five of the seven grafts.
DNA analysis confirms that new hair follicles genetically matched the human donors. However, the experiment’s results were not perfect: the hair follicles were not “normal.” In fact, they were missing the important sebaceous glands to keep the skin of the scalp moist.
Despite this, the discovery is a step in the right direction for hair restoration drug development. Current methods of hair restoration do not stimulate the growth of new hair—rather, hair transplants take hair follicles with their sebaceous glands from one part of the head, also known as the donor site, and place it in the thinning areas. Most importantly lasting, normal hair growth is also a requirement of successful hair transplantations. In addition, it is unknown whether the same results would be successful in humans. Additional research is needed for this technique since the study was very small and involved mice.
If you are interested in a hair transplant procedure, please contact The Griffin Center. Be sure to follow The Griffin Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest hair restoration news and information.
When patients come in for a consultation at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, our hair loss specialists Drs. Edmond Griffin and Ashley R. Curtis hear various beliefs from patients as to why they are losing their hair. While some of their ideas are based on fact, many misconceptions are presented. Below, we discuss the common myths. We like to remind hair loss sufferers that seeing a hair loss specialist in person is the only way to properly diagnose and effectively treat your hair loss.
Myth: When you wash your hair, you promote hair loss.
Fact: While you may notice strands of hair rolling down the drain while rinsing out your hair, this is a natural part of the cycle of hair growth. Each day, we shed an average of 80 to 100 hairs. These hair follicles are later replaced when new hair follicles enter the anagen (growth) phase. Unless hair begins falling out in clumps, there is normally nothing to be concerned about. Therefore, if the hair is washed only once in five days, the “500″ strands look like “too much” is lost. Shampooing daily is recommended, in fact, studies which document hair loss show less total loss if daily shampooing. According to some sources, washing out the testosterone in the oils of the scalp is the cause for this increased loss in the person not shampooing daily.
Myth: Only men suffer from hair loss.
Fact: It is estimated by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery that 80% of women will have noticeable hair loss by the age of 60. According to the American Hair Loss Council, one out of four women suffers from some form of hair loss. There are many causes for women’s hair loss, including female pattern hair loss, hormonal changes, birth control and rapid weight loss, to name a few. At The Griffin Center, Dr. Ashley Curtis has a special interest in treating hair loss for women and educates them on the variety of surgical and non-surgical treatment options for their unique hair loss case.
Myth: Only older people start balding.
Fact: Balding knows no age. Hair loss can begin in the teens and is not uncommon to occur in the 20- and 30-year old demographic. One thing that is decipherable about the age balding begins is how severe it may become in the future. Often, the earlier balding begins, the more hair loss will occur later in life. This is why preventative hair loss methods are so important to minimize further loss. Additionally, children and young adults can be affected by alopecia areata, which can result in complete baldness when not properly addressed.
Myth: Every time you wear a hat, you lose more hair.
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, hats do not cause harm. In fact, hair loss specialists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis utilize a special red light laser cap treatment, which resembles a ball cap, to stimulates hair growth. The special red light is similar to a laser and has provides one wave length of light, which is 633 nanometers and red in color. While hats do not cause hair loss, they can however, lead to a scalp infection that can speed up hair loss when unclean. Clean hats regularly to avoid hair loss associated with scalp infections. Additionally, excessive sun exposure is associated with increased hair loss, which hat usage can protect against.
Myth: Baldness has no cure.
Fact: While it can sometimes be a challenge to find proper treatment, the highly trained providers at The Griffin Center work with each patient’s individual concerns to develop a customized treatment plan. Plans can include FDA-approved drugs, laser therapy, hair transplant methods such as the time-tested strip grafting method and NeoGraft® with follicular unit extraction (FUE), and compounded topical medications. The most difficult patients to treat are those with scarring alopecia, which results in permanent hair loss. Sometimes a biopsy of the scalp is necessary to prove this unwanted diagnosis. With the right plan of action, hair restoration is possible. Excluding surgeries, stoppage of further loss is expected with medical management of 80-90% of all patients.
For more on hair loss treatments offered by The Griffin Center as well as the latest hair restoration news and information, 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.
In a recent study, researchers from Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the University of Southern California, and the University of California Irvine discovered the hair of mice has a circadian clock: a 24 hour cycle of growth followed by restorative repair. They worked out the precise timing of the hairs’ circadian clock, uncovering the biology behind it in the molecules that tells hair when to grow and repair damage. This information was then studied to reveal the hair loss effects from medical treatments like targeted radiation.
The researchers tested the circadian clock using radiotherapy on two groups of mice: one group received the therapy in the morning and the other at night. The mice who received the therapy in the morning lost 85 percent of their hair. However, the mice who received radiation therapy in the evening only lost 17 percent.
The reason for this drastic disparity in the percentage of hair loss in nighttime radiation treatment mice and those treated in the daytime begins by understanding the process of radiation itself. Radiotherapy damages DNA in cells that divide rapidly, such as cancer cells. The mice’s hair loss was caused because DNA damage to hair cells from radiotherapy occurred during a time when the hair was in a non-repair portion of the circadian cycle (i.e., the radiation delivered in the mornings was not repaired until the evening; however, the hair on the mice treated at night was already mid-repair. )
The study’s evidence makes researchers suspect that human hair loss from chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be minimized if treatments are administered late in the day. However, scientists have not yet tested the theory on human models. Researchers have made the preliminary comparison of the mouse hair circadian clock to the male “5 o’clock shadow,” which only grows in the day. There is no 5 AM shadow if you shave at night.
Investigative research on the circadian rhythms of the body indicate that they are present in body organs and tissues—which could mean they could be utilized to time drug therapy for maximum benefit. Notably, researchers found that cancer cells do not have circadian clocks because they are constantly dividing. The study and continuing research has potential to change the way therapy is given and diminish the drastic hair loss effects that often accompany it.
If you are concerned with hair loss and are interested in more hair loss news and research, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. If currently affected by hair loss, please contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis.
With many popular entertainment figures being photographed with long, full beards recently, the amount of men seeking facial hair transplant surgery has taken an upward turn. At the Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, our board certified dermatologists and hair restoration surgeons Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis can restore or create fuller facial hair with hair transplantation.
Hair transplantation is often associated with hair loss on the head called male pattern baldness. The surgery for facial hair transplant is very similar, typically using donor hair from the back of the scalp placed at an angle to mimic the natural growth patterns of facial hair. The transplant will enable follicles moved to grow in the new areas they are placed. It is important to note that because the donor hair is retrieved from the scalp, the new facial hair will have similar growth characteristics to the donor follicles. It will not be as coarse as typical facial hair, may grey at a later time, and may grow at a faster rate.
Facial hair dissatisfaction has many causes. It can be a looming concern throughout a patient’s life, the product of a genetic predisposition, or a consequence of acne scarring or scarring from an accident or a burn. In addition to facial hair transplantation, Dr. Griffin and Dr. Curtis can also transplant hair to thicken hair on the eyebrows, beard, and moustache. In a facial hair transplant consultation, Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis will consider your aesthetic goals and characteristics of your facial hair and skin. Additionally, they will discuss the density of hair in the donor area, your family history of hair loss, and age-specific considerations.
If you are on the other end of the spectrum and want to permanently rid yourself of unwanted facial hair, the Griffin Center also offers facial hair removal. The Griffin Center offers electrolysis, the EpiLight® Hair Removal System, and GentleLASE® laser hair removal.
If you are experiencing facial hair loss or dissatisfaction with your facial or chest hair, please contact us today. Be sure to follow The Griffin Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest hair restoration news and information.