Debunking the Myths about Hair Growth

July 30, 2015 10:05 am

Ever since the very beginning of civilization, people have sought for ways to combat hair loss.  In fact, there are even documents detailing ancient hair loss remedies that date back to as far as 1550 B.C.E.  Unfortunately, over this long history, a large amount of inaccurate information has become accepted as fact and many people are following hair care advice that actually causes more harm than good.  At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we believe that educating our patients about proper hair care practices is one of the best ways to reduce hair loss and keep hair strong and healthy.  Here are the facts behind some of the most common hair growth myths.

hair-loss-myths debunkedMyth: Hair grows faster when it’s trimmed frequently.

Reality: It is actually the follicles in your scalp that determine how hair grows, and trimming the ends has absolutely no impact on this growth rate  However, since split ends lead to breakage of the hair, it will never grow as long if you do not regularly trim your hair. In addition, broken ends can lead to thinner appearing hair.

Myth: Brushing your hair with 100 strokes each day is important for hair health.

Reality: Gentle brushing helps distribute the healthy natural oils produced by the follicle, called sebum, throughout the hair, but excessive brushing can lead to cuticle damage and breakage that can make hair look frizzy.  Moreover, if you are already experiencing thinning, brushing can add more stress to the already fragile follicle and accelerate hair loss.

Myth: If you pluck gray hair, two more will grow in its place.

Reality: Each hair follicle functions independently, growing and shedding hair on a regular schedule.  While plucking a hair from an individual follicle may interrupt that growth cycle, it will not cause that follicle to start spontaneously producing more hair than it did previously, and it will have absolutely no effect on the follicles around it.  However, plucking may cause scarring that can damage the follicle, leading to eventual thinning or patches of hair loss.

Myth: The sun is the best way to lighten to your hair.

Reality: The sun naturally lightens hair color because ultraviolet radiation damages the outside cover of the hair strand just like it damages the skin.  While this process does discolor the hair, it also results in dry and brittle strands, broken or split ends, and even hair thinning.

Myth: Sleeping with your hair down will make it grow faster.

Reality: There is no evidence to show that sleeping with your hair down will make it grow faster.  However, certain tight hairstyles, like braids or pony-tails, worn for long periods can cause a condition called traction alopecia, where the tension at the root damages the hair follicle, contributing to hair loss.

If you have questions about your individual hair loss or any hair restoration treatments, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

How Pregnancy Affects Your Hair

July 22, 2015 10:03 am

Hair loss can be a complicated problem.  Both internal and external factors can affect the body in a variety of ways, often manifesting as changes in the hair’s growth pattern.  One of the most common of these factors is pregnancy.  The hormonal shifts that occur in the body both before and after the birth of a child cause a large number of women to experience drastic changes in the thickness and density of their hair.  At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we believe that educating people about the varying causes of hair loss can help them in their pursuit of the most effective treatment options and that understanding the impact that pregnancy can have on your hair may help prevent a great deal of unnecessary worry and concern.

how pregnancy effects hair and hair lossThe changes that typically occur in a woman’s hair during pregnancy are ultimately caused by fluctuations in the body’s hormones which, in turn, affect the hair growth cycle.  Ordinarily, hair follicles 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 typically lasts about three years, new hair is formed and gradually grows from the follicle.  At any given time, between 80% and 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 it loosens in the follicle and subsequently falls.  Only approximately 15% of the hair follicles are in the telogen stage at any given time, so a healthy scalp can shed anywhere from 50 to 125 hairs each day.  Newly growing hair in the anagen stage then replaces the strands that are lost.

However, during pregnancy this cycle is disrupted.  Shifts in the body’s hormones prevent the hair from completing the telogen phase, so that even though new hair continues to grow, old hair is not lost.  This, combined with the salutary effects of pre-natal vitamins, make the hair look both fuller and more vibrant than usual.  Many women notice that, during their pregnancy, their hair looks better than it ever has before.  Unfortunately this change does not last.  After the woman gives birth, the body’s hormones shift yet again.  The hair follicles resume their ordinary growth cycle and the excess hair is shed.  In fact, since other hair follicles have had a chance to “catch up,” many more follicles are in the telogen stage than is normally typical.  Ultimately, this results in a brief period of telogen effluvium, where a large amount of hair is shed all at once.

This period of rapid hair loss ordinarily occurs approximately three months after the child has been born, but is usually short lived.  After the excess hair has been lost the body returns to its normal rhythms and the hair goes back to growing the way it did before.  Only in rare cases, when hair loss is the sign of other postpartum issues, like hypothyroidism, will the shedding last longer than a few months.  In those cases, please contact Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis to schedule a consultation so we can fully diagnose the underlying cause and determine what treatment options are appropriate.  If you have additional questions about your own hair loss, or are interested in any of the hair restoration treatments we offer at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, be sure to visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Frequently Asked Questions about Alopecia Areata

July 18, 2015 2:50 pm

At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we are fundamentally concerned with the problem of “alopecia,” a medical term that refers to the partial or complete loss of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows.  While the most common form of alopecia in both men and women is inherited pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, there are actually a number of other forms of this condition.  One of the more common is alopecia areata, an auto-immune disorder that affects an estimated 6.5 million people in the United States.  Since alopecia areata is far less common than androgenetic alopecia, it is not as well understood.  Many of those suffering from this form of hair loss have questions about exactly how the condition progresses and what can be done to treat it.

What is Alopecia Areata?
In those affected by alopecia areata, the body’s own white blood cells attack the rapidly growing cells in the hair follicles, causing inflammation and subsequent hair loss.   In most cases of alopecia areata, hair begins to fall out in round patches leaving a small scattering of circular, hairless areas on the scalp.  In some very rare cases, however, the areas affected can expand considerably, progressing to total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis) or even the complete loss of all body hair (alopecia universalis).

What Causes Alopecia Areata?
Besides understanding that alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, with genetic similarities to other autoimmune conditions like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease, scientists still know little about this condition.  It is suspected that a combination of genes may predispose some people to the disease and that in those who are genetically predisposed some type of external trigger may be what initially stimulates the body to attack the hair follicles. There is an abundance of data being collected on this condition and its possible triggers through the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

Who Gets Alopecia Areata?
Men, women, and children can all develop alopecia areata, although the chances of having the condition are slightly greater in patients with a relative who either has the disease or has a history of other autoimmune disorders such as diabetes, lupus, or thyroid disease.  The disease also seems to present more often in the young.  Up to 66% of patients are younger than 30, while only 20% are older than 40.

Will My Hair Ever Grow Back?
Alopecia areata is highly unpredictable and progresses differently in each person.  Because the stem cells that supply the follicle with new cells do not seem to be targeted, the follicle retains its potential to regrow new hair no matter how widespread the hair loss.  Hair regrowth may occur even without treatment and as many as 75% of cases resolve spontaneously within a year.

How Can Alopecia Areata Be Treated?
While there is no cure for the underlying condition that causes alopecia areata, there are many treatment options that have been shown to help restore some hair growth.  Anti-inflammatory corticosteroids can help preserve the hair follicles while Rogaine® (minoxidil) has often proven successful in slowing hair loss and, in some cases, even re-growing hair.  Some success has also been achieved with advanced non-surgical treatments like excimer laser therapy as well.

At The Griffin Center, we understand that hair loss can result from a wide variety of different causes and believe that every individual cause should be treated differently.  That’s why every case of alopecia needs a diagnosis.  If you have any other questions about hair loss or any of the hair restoration treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Advanced Non-Surgical Hair Restoration Treatments

July 6, 2015 7:38 pm

For many men and women, hair restoration surgery is the most effective method for restoring thicker and fuller hair, but it is not the only option available.  Some patients, particularly those in the early stages of hair loss, may not require the time and expense of a surgical hair transplantation procedure.  Moreover, certain forms of hair loss may be easily correctable with various alternative forms of treatment. At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we are devoted to exploring all of the avenues for treating hair loss so that we can custom design a treatment plan that is best suited to each patient’s individual requirements.

hair loss experts atlanta ga (1)One alternative treatment method that has proven effective is Red Light Laser Therapy.  By exposing the patient’s scalp to a specific frequency of focused, red-spectrum light we are able to reduce inflammation and increase the energy production around the individual hair follicles, waking cells from dormancy into an active growth phase.  Red light treatment is most frequently used to maintain the hair on the head and prevent further thinning, but many patients have also experienced notable regrowth as well.  In many cases this is used as an adjunct therapy to complement our custom formulated topical compound medications in order to help them achieve optimal results.  Red light therapy can be administered with a hood type device (similar to the commercial hair dryers you might find at a hair salon), with the portable, in-home iGrow® hair growth system, or with the LaserCap®, a discreet, portable device that can be worn underneath an ordinary baseball cap.

Another exciting development in hair loss treatment is the use of platelet rich plasma as a means of stimulating hair growth in both deteriorating and newly implanted hair follicles. By spinning the patient’s own blood in a centrifuge and separating it into its component parts, we can distill a highly concentrated solution of platelets suspended in a small volume of plasma. This concentrate of platelet rich plasma, when re-injected into the dermis of the scalp, can cause shrinking hair follicles to become healthier and larger, producing thicker and fuller hair growth. Moreover, platelet rich plasma also speeds up the transition of the hair follicle from the dormant telogen state back to the actively growing anagen state, reducing the necessary recovery time after hair restoration surgery.  This makes platelet rich plasma ideal for use in conjunction with hair transplant procedures and as a stand-alone treatment in men and women with specific types of hair loss.

If you have additional questions about your own hair loss, or are interested in any of the hair restoration treatments we offer at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, please contact Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

The Obstacles to Treating Women’s Hair Loss

June 29, 2015 8:29 pm

Most know that hair loss affects a significant proportion of people around the world, as many as 56 million according to statistics published by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.  However, many are unaware that nearly 40% of those people are women.  In fact, it is believed that as many as 80% of all women will experience a noticeable degree of hair loss by the time they reach 60, but embarrassment and social stigma have historically caused the issue to be trivialized and ignored.  At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we have studied women’s hair loss extensively in order to understand and properly address the specific obstacles to its treatment.

treating womens hairloss in atlanta gaWhile the most common cause of hair loss in either gender is androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as pattern baldness, the condition progresses differently in women than in men.  Men lose hair beginning at the front and progressing to the temples and crown, but generally maintain thick coverage across the back of the scalp.  Surgical hair restoration procedures are able to transplant healthy, growing follicles from the dense areas into areas that are thinning.  In women, however, hair loss generally progresses in a pattern over the vertex scalp that is more diffuse and evenly distributed.  This means that women experience gradual thinning across the entire scalp rather than a single area of marked baldness.  As a result, by the time the hair loss is significant enough to benefit from hair transplantation, there is often insufficient density in any one spot to provide a suitable area from which donor follicles can be removed.

Non-surgical treatments for hair loss such as finasteride work extremely well for male pattern loss, but there are conflicting studies on the efficacy of this medicine in females. There are likely different pathways involving dihydrotestosterone production in males and females. Moreover, finasteride (sold under the name Propecia®) should be avoided by women who are or who may become pregnant because of the risk of birth defects in a male fetus.  Fortunately, studies have shown that minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine® and currently the only medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female pattern baldness) actually seems to be more effective for women than men in treating certain forms of hair loss.

Because the treatment of women’s hair loss can be a complicated process, every woman’s case should be evaluated individually in order to arrive at a customized solution that best meets their personal needs and lifestyle.  If you have additional questions about your own hair loss, or are interested in any of the hair restoration treatments we offer at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, please contact Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Women’s Hair Loss Pioneer, Dr. Ashley Curtis

June 22, 2015 2:42 am

For generations, some women have suffered in silence.  While it has always been considered acceptable, and even expected, for men to go through the hair loss process, some in the medical community have treated the issue of women’s hair loss as if it were nonexistent.  However, women actually make up approximately forty percent of American hair loss sufferers and, for them, the effects of hair loss on their self-image and emotional well-being can be absolutely devastating.  Unfortunately, because it can be the result of so many different causes, and because the issue has gone unexamined for so long, women’s hair loss can also be extremely difficult to accurately diagnose or effectively treat.  That’s why, at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we are so glad to have board certified dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon, and expert in the field of women’s hair loss, Dr. Ashley Curtis.

ashley-curtisBorn in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Curtis graduated with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering.  From there, she went on to receive her medical doctorate from the Medical College of Georgia and then completed her residency at the Wake Forest University Department of Dermatology, where she was named chief resident and received the coveted Women’s Dermatologic Society Mentorship Award.  During that time she volunteered extensively, working at the Wake Forest Dermatology Department Community Care Clinic and helping to conduct annual skin cancer screenings.

Today, with board certification from the American Board of Dermatology, Dr. Curtis has focused her passion on the study of hair loss.  She has spent four years treating hair loss and perfecting hair restoration surgery techniques under the tutelage of world-renowned hair restoration expert Dr. Edmond I. Griffin.  An active member of the American Academy of Dermatology, Women’s Dermatologic Society, American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, Dr. Curtis has continued to contribute to the advance of medical research, by publishing almost two dozen scholarly articles and presentations and producing regular instructional videos on a wide array of hair and skin related topics.

As Dr. Curtis explains in one of her many instructional YouTube videos, “Women are very different from men: we lose hair differently, our hair grows in differently, and we deal with different color and texture. So it’s important that you visit a specialist who has experience in treating women as well as men.  The good news is that we do have treatment options for females, so we don’t have to be scared and hide this hair loss anymore.”  If you are experiencing thinning or hair loss, or would like to know more about any of the various hair restoration treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Dr. Edmond Griffin: A Lifetime of Hair Restoration Experience

June 18, 2015 2:32 am

One of the most difficult things about treating hair loss in women is that it can be the result of so many different causes.  While genetic pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is the most common culprit, thinning hair may be a symptom of an underlying hormonal imbalance, the product of rare auto-immune conditions, the consequence of physical trauma or stress, or any of a number of other underlying causes.  Formulating an effective treatment plan requires, first and foremost, an understanding of what exactly needs to be addressed.  That’s why, here at The Griffin Center, we always say that every case of alopecia must have a diagnosis.  However, making that diagnosis requires a level of experience that can only be gained from a lifetime of devotion to the study of hair loss, experience like that of Dr. Edmond Griffin. Confirmation by biopsy may also be needed to know how to best direct the treatment program.

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Dr. Griffin has lived in Georgia for most his life, growing up in Albany, completing his B.S. in chemistry at the University of Georgia, and then going on to earn his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia in 1971.  Upon completing his internship at the Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital in pediatrics, Dr. Griffin was commissioned in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was assigned to a pediatric clinic. He then completed his residency in dermatology at the Mary Hitchcock Hospital at Dartmouth College, where he was named chief resident.

Upon receiving board certification from the American Board of Dermatology, Dr. Griffin founded Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, which eventually grew to incorporate eight different dermatologic specialty centers, and devoted his resources and time to improving his mastery of his primary specialty, hair replacement surgery.  Dr. Griffin eventually came to be recognized around the world as an expert in the field and has worked individually with innovators like Dadour of Paris, the Ungers of Toronto, Alt of Minnesota, Mayer and Fleming of Beverly Hills, Pitanguy of Rio de Janeiro, and Yarborough of New Orleans.  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, and surgeons regularly visit from across North America and overseas to observe Dr. Griffin’s hair restoration techniques.  Since 1993, Dr. Griffin has also been an esteemed member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, a nonprofit group of over 750 licensed physicians specializing in hair-loss and dedicated to furthering hair restoration practices.

Today, Dr. Griffin continues to work with men and women suffering from hair loss, and has incorporated many of the latest technological innovations, like NeoGraft® automated follicular unit extraction, LaserCap™ Red Light Therapy, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments, into his practice.  If you are experiencing thinning or hair loss, or would like to know more about any of the various hair restoration treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

What To Do When You’re Losing Your Hair

June 3, 2015 12:21 pm

So you’ve started to lose your hair.  Perhaps you have noticed a few extra strands on your pillow or around the shower drain, or maybe it has just become clear that there are parts of your scalp that are much more noticeable than they once were.  First, it’s important to realize that you are not alone.  Sudden or gradual hair loss affects more than 50 million people world-wide and more than 60% of men and women can be expected to experience some form of noticeable hair loss by the time they are sixty years old. Hair loss can affect anyone – men, women, and even children.  Effectively treating the many different forms of hair loss is the reason that The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research was founded almost forty years ago and it is our goal to make sure that our patients understand all of the options that are available.
hair loss treatments atlanta ga

Although the majority of hair loss, or alopecia, is the result of pattern baldness, a genetic trait that causes the follicles to shrink and eventually stop producing hair, this is certainly not its only cause.  Hair loss can also be the result of a number of different factors, including trauma, certain medications, or even an underlying medical condition.  Finding the most effective treatment for your specific form of hair loss requires a thorough understanding of its underlying causes, which is why, at The Griffin Center, we firmly believe that every case of alopecia requires its own diagnosis.  There is no “one size fits all” treatment for hair loss, so your first step should entail a thorough examination by Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis, our highly experienced hair restoration specialists.

Once the cause of your hair loss has been established, we can move on to determining what course of treatment is best for you.  In cases where the hair loss is only beginning to manifest and has not progressed too far, various non-surgical hair loss treatments can be extremely effective in slowing or even stopping hair loss, helping you hold on to the hair you already have.  The oral medication finasteride has been shown to stop the progression of hair loss in 86% of men during clinical trials, and 65% of those taking the medication have reported a “substantial” increase in hair growth.  The topical medication minoxidil has also achieved impressive results in 30% to 60% of cases.  After performing a careful evaluation, we are often able to formulate custom blends of topical prescription medications to meet specific patient needs.  Additionally, technologically advanced treatment methods like Red Light Therapy can inhibit inflammation and increase the metabolic activity within the skin cells of the scalp, helping to maintain the hair on the head and prevent further thinning.

For those whose hair loss is more advanced, hair restoration surgery can often restore significant coverage and provide permanent, natural looking results.  During the procedure, clusters of growing hair follicles, called follicular units, are taken from healthy areas of the patient’s scalp and transplanted by hand into tiny, custom sized incisions in bald or thinning areas.  When properly placed and angled by our experienced surgeons, these miniature follicular grafts work together to create a soft, organic hair line that grows just like the rest of your natural hair.  Whether the follicular units are collected using a traditional incision at the back of the scalp, or through follicular unit extraction with the NeoGraft® device, patients who have benefited from this procedure agree that the natural-looking results are worth it.

If you have additional questions about your own hair loss, or are interested in any of the hair restoration treatments we offer at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, please contact Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?

May 28, 2015 5:35 pm

For generations, people have accepted the belief that stress can cause hair loss.  However, the reality is actually significantly more complicated.  While there does seem to be some correlation between increased stress levels and accelerated hair loss in certain individuals, the actual mechanisms that cause this phenomenon can vary from case to case.  For nearly forty years, The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research has been dedicated to the study of hair loss in all its forms, and it is our belief that hair loss can be best treated only once we understand precisely what is causing it.

Simply put, approximately 90% of all hair loss is the result of androgenetic alopecia, or common pattern baldness, which is genetically inherited and not related to stress at all.  However, this does not quite tell the whole story.  Because the body’s different processes are all interconnected, chronic, low-level emotional stress can, over time, result in changes in your health and alter physiological processes like hair growth.  For example, even though stress cannot actually make you sick, it can cause you to lose sleep and alter your appetite.  These factors can then impact your immune system and make you more susceptible to disease. Emotional stress has been shown to lead to release of certain pro-inflammatory mediators in the body negatively affecting hair follicle growth.

The individual hair follicles on the scalp do not continuously produce hair, instead progressing through a regular growth cycle consisting of three distinct stages: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transition phase), and telogen (resting phase).  At any given time, approximately 15% of the hair follicles are in the telogen stage, where the hair is shed over a period of three to five months in order to make room for new growth.  However, an extreme physical or mental stressor, like traumatic injury, major surgery, or extreme weight loss, can cause the body to trigger a disproportionately large number of hairs to move into the telogen phase all at once.  About three months later, this hair begins to fall out, causing diffuse thinning over the entire scalp.  Fortunately, however, this form of hair loss, called telogen effluvium, is only temporary, and the removal of the physical stress allows the hair to return to its normal growth cycle over the course of the next six to twelve months.

Other, less common forms of hair loss can suffer from the effects of stress as well.  Alopecia areata, an auto-immune disorder that causes the body to form antibodies that attack the hair follicles, is not directly caused by stress, but may be exacerbated by it.  Stress has been shown, in some cases, to affect the immune system, compromising the body’s ability to defend itself against infection.  Although stress can mimic the symptoms of more serious forms of hair loss, or even stimulate and worsen previous conditions, it does not cause the hair to fall out permanently.

If you have questions about your individual hair loss or any hair restoration treatments, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Historical Hair Loss Remedies

May 11, 2015 7:56 am

Hair loss has plagued both men and women for countless ages, and the attempts to cure it can be dated back to the very dawn of recorded civilization.  While most of these early attempts have met with failure, some have provided the basis for hair restoration treatments that are used today.  At the Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research we investigate hair loss in all of its forms in order to better understand exactly what causes it as well as how it can best be treated.  Here is a look at some of the hair loss remedies that have been tried throughout the ages.

The Ebers Papyrus, a medical text that dates back to 1550 B.C., suggests several potential cures for hair loss, including a mixture of fats from a hippopotamus, crocodile, tomcat, snake and ibex; porcupine hair boiled in water and applied to the scalp for four days; or the leg of a female greyhound sautéed in oil with the hoof of a donkey.  Apparently these remedies were less than effective, however, since the royalty of ancient Egypt is also known to have commonly worn wigs and fake beards.  More than a thousand years later, the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed a topical concoction of opium, horseradish, pigeon droppings, beetroot and spices for his own hair loss. He also famously noted that eunuchs never seemed to suffer from thinning hair and theorized that castration might prevent hair loss. Since the most common form of hair loss, known as genetic pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia, does result from an inherited sensitivity to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone, this particular remedy, while obviously drastic, may not be quite as ridiculous as it sounds.

More recently, many have attempted to solve the hair loss problem with technology.  In the 1920’s, the Allied Merke Institute manufactured the Thermocap device, which used heat and blue light to stimulate dormant hair bulbs. Although simply heating the scalp failed to produce any real results, recent research has found that specific frequencies of red light actually can increase the energy production around the hair follicles, waking cells from dormancy into an active growth phase. Red Light Therapy with the new LaserCap® device is used today to maintain the hair on the head and prevent further thinning.  Many patients even see some regrowth of hair as well.  Finally, in 1939, a Japanese dermatologist pioneered a procedure for grafting hair from one part of the scalp (or from other parts of the body) onto bald spots. Two decades later, the New York doctor Norman Orentreich popularized hair transplants, which implanted small tufts of growing hair in regular rows to create an effect reminiscent of doll’s hair.  This same technique was improved and refined over the years, eventually becoming the basis for modern surgical hair transplantation procedures which use much smaller individual follicular units, dissected under microscopes, to achieve significantly more natural looking results.

While these historical hair loss remedies have long since been disproven by scientific research, they have served as a basis for many of the most exciting developments in modern hair restoration treatments.  If you have any other questions about hair loss or any of the hair restoration treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.