The Hair Restoration Alternative: Red Light Therapy for Hair Regrowth

With upwards of 30 years of hair restoration experience, the board-certified dermatologists of The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research are continuously seeking new options for hair loss patients that, most importantly, produce results. Surgical hair restoration options, such as FUE (follicular unit extractions) as well as the standard FUG (follicular unit grafts) grafting are very popular among patients because of their natural source—the patient’s own hair. While these methods, prescription medications, and various non-surgical treatments can be effective in many cases, an increasing number of people are choosing alternative, supplementary treatments such as red light therapy in addition to PRP with ECM.

the griffin center of hair loss and restorationFor hair thinning and loss, direct visible red light to the scalp increases the energy production around the hair follicles waking cells within the hair follicle from dormancy into an active growth phase.  Red light therapy can be used in combination with hair transplantation to improve the survival rate of transplanted grafts after hair restoration surgery. The red light wavelength inhibits inflammation and speeds recovery while decreasing redness and swelling. Directing low level red light onto damaged tissue or for lower limb ulcertions can induce a chain of physiological reactions to improve wound healing and tissue regeneration, as well as reduce inflammation, according to a report by the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.  Many more studies are needed to assess the usefulness of red light in treatments of all forms of alopecia including the scarring ones.

We offer two red light machines within The Griffin Center. For optimal results, most patients require 15-30 minutes of laser light exposure two to three times per week. The length of treatment is based on the specific type of hair loss present.   In some cases, we recommend red light laser hair loss treatments to be performed as an accompanying technique along with more traditional methods known to be effective such as topical and/or oral Finasteride (Propecia®), topical and/or oral Avodart and Minoxidil (Rogaine®)with RetinA topical treatments.

Another form of red light therapy is the LaserCap™, an innovative hair restoration method which uses low level laser therapy to initiate hair growth through a portable cap. The LaserCap™ emits the red wavelengths through 224 LED lights which stimulates the hair follicles. Conveniently, the LaserCap™ features a battery pack and is disguisable under any normal ball cap. Additionally, it can be used during regular activity such as working, walking or relaxing. This option is better for patients who will need longer treatment intervals and do not want to travel to the office for their treatments.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of red light therapy, please contact our office today to set-up a consultation. Be sure to connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for the latest hair restoration information and news.

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Monday, April 14th, 2014 Blog, Educational, Hair Loss, Women's Hair Loss

Fun Facts about Hair

Drs. Edmond Griffin and Ashley Curtis are experts in the field of hair restoration and it is their goal to ensure that every patient concerned with hair loss, man or woman, is fully informed about his or her hair loss prevention and hair restoration options. Patients typically ask us many serious questions about hair loss, but instead we’ve decided to share some interesting trivia about your locks. Below we’ve rounded up a list of fun facts about hair:

  • Healthy hair can be stretched up to 30 percent of its length when it is wet. Hair is lacking protein if it doesn’t stretch back to its original state.

PRP for Natural Hair Growth StimulationHair is approximately 91% protein. It is composed of long chains of amino acids called polypeptide chains, which are linked by peptide bonds. Polypeptide chains are intertwined around each other in a helix shape. The chemical composition of hair is 45.2% carbon, 27.9% oxygen, 15.1% nitrogen, 6.6% hydrogen, and 5.2% sulphur. Most important is that the shaft may be easily fractured or frayed or even broken which occurs more easily when it is wet.  Using a hard black plastic comb to pull out the tangles is most damaging to the “dead” hair shafts.  Thinning of the hair can occur when breakage is the primary problem. The hair is more easily damaged if the patient has been on a very low calorie diet, low protein diet, or has anemia or thyroid problems. Certainly, chemical immune suppressants lead to weakened follicles and results in loss due to increased breakage.

  • On average, blondes have the highest amount of hair strands with 146,000 and redheads have the lowest amount of hair strands with 86,000.

Most healthy individuals have about 80,000-140,000 scalp hairs according to the color, size of the scalp, and hair density. Blondes generally have higher numbers of hairs with redheads having the fewest number of hairs. Hair that looks the thinnest with minimal loss is fine very black hair in a fair complexion person.  This is also one of the hardest patients to transplant and usually requires two or three sessions to be happy.

  • On average, women spend about two hours a week styling their hair.

The Griffin Center understands the desire to have a healthy-looking head of hair. Many people put in extensive effort to get frizz-free, voluminous hair, stocking their cabinets with products and contributing to the tens of billions of dollars spent by Americans each year on beauty products. All aspects of hair care are important:  coloring including bleaching and dyeing, perming, combing, curling, straightening, braiding and hair extensions add additional problems when caring for the hair.

  • Women’s hair is identical to men’s hair in terms of structure and growth cycle.

The most common cause of hair loss for both men and women is heredity. Either or both parents can pass on the gene that causes hair loss. Typically, men are more prone to hereditary loss of hair because of testosterone. Both men and women are susceptible to this condition, which has been labeled as androgenetic alopecia due to the influence of testosterone which breaks down to DHT(messenger of baldness). Blockage of this pathway is the job of finasteride and dutasteride (Propecia and Avodart).  The degree of loss is not directly proportional to the level of testosterone or DHT present, but each sex demonstrates a different sensitivity to the hormone.  Therefore if testosterone did not exist, neither would DHT and no baldness would occur.

For more information on hair restoration, please contact us today. Be sure to follow The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration & Research on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for the latest hair restoration news and information.

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Monday, April 7th, 2014 Blog, Educational

Men’s Hair Loss

For men, losing their hair can be one of the first signs of aging. Hair loss can have a negative effect on your self-image and can be mostly attributed to genetics and occasionally to thyroid gland problem.  The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research offers various surgical, non-surgical, and cosmetic treatments for hair replacement including:

hair-loss-atlanta-georgiaCosmetics: Colored sprays, or rub-on dyes are an alternative to surgical procedures. Certain shampoos can give the hair a thicker look and texture, or researching specific styling techniques can give you tips on creating the appearance of thicker hair.

Hair Transplantation by Microscope-Assisted Follicular Grafting: During this treatment, donor hair follicles are gathered from the side or back of the head (non-balding areas) and are genetically coded to remain intact and avoid further genetic pattern loss.

Follicular Unit Extraction with NeoGraft™: The procedure is minimally invasive and removes follicular units (bundles containing one to four hairs) in tiny circular punches from a selected donor area. The hair is generally taken from donor sites located at the back and sides of the scalp.

Rogaine®: Rogaine slows down the balding process and by continuing regular application day-to-day; you’ll begin to see results with limited side effects.

Finasteride: Treats male pattern baldness and has proven successful for certain hair loss patients who experienced 30-40 percent re-growth of hair. Additionally studies showed an increased percentage of patients who saw a decrease in hair loss.

For over 35 years, hair restoration experts Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis work with each patient to provide the most effective and natural-looking hair loss solution for your unique needs. If you are experiencing hair loss, please contact us today. For more hair news and updates, follow The Griffin Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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Monday, March 31st, 2014 Blog, Hair Loss

Follicular Unit Extraction: Fact vs. Fiction

One method of hair transplantation surgery used by the providers of The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research is follicular unit extraction (FUE), a process that consists of one follicular unit extracted at a time. Follicular unit extraction is a minimally-invasive procedure that removes naturally occurring groups of hairs, called follicular units, usually between one and four hairs, from the back and sides of the scalp and transplants them into areas of hair loss. While the procedure is highly common, there are some misconceptions regarding the factors that accompany it. Below, we set the record straight.

Follicular Unit Extraction Fact vs. FictionFICTION: Follicular unit extraction leaves no scars.

FACT:  While follicular unit extraction (FUE) leaves no linear scars in the donor area, there will be small round scars which are barely noticeable unless the hair is cut short.  With repeated sessions the entire donor area may be thinner according to its original density.  The denser it initially was, the lesser likelihood for a thinned look after the session(s). However, when numerous sessions are needed, the donor site can be quickly depleted using the FUE technique. For those who wish to cut their hair the shortest, this technique may be preferred, but for those who plan to keep the hair at a normal length this technique would not offer an advantage.  For the person who is known to scar easily, this newer technique should always be considered.  Another ideal person for the FUE technique would be one who has a very small area to be covered.  For those who may need several sessions or who need large numbers of grafts this new technique may be less preferable.

FICTION: Follicular unit extraction with NeoGraft™ is more dangerous than other methods of FUE because of its “one step” technology.

FACT: Exactly the opposite! One of the main benefits of NeoGraft™ is that it has the potential to decrease mechanical injury to the grafts because it doesn’t require forceps during extraction like other forms of FUE. A patented suction for removing each unit as it is cut is utilized for the extraction. There is no harsh pulling or compression of the delicate follicles.  NeoGraft™ also uses a saline solution to temporarily store the grafts preventing them from drying out.

FICTION:  Post surgery the FUE technique is less visible

FACT:  Because the donor area covers a larger area (especially if a large number of grafts are necessary), the donor area for the FUE procedure is shaved.  This can be quite obvious for at least 2 weeks while the hair re-grows.  For the commonly used linear incision donor technique, the excised area is then completely closed with either sutures or staples leaving no shaven area at the donor site.  Due to sufficient coverage, the remaining hair of the donor site looks normal without signs of surgery.

FICTION: It doesn’t matter who performs my hair transplant. All results will be the same.

FACT: Achieving a natural look with hair restoration requires artistic talents as well as meticulous, advanced surgical skills. Hair restoration surgeons Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis have a combined four decades of advanced training and hair restoration experience. The key to finding a surgeon who meets your needs is taking the time to research his/her experience and the experience of the surgeon’s technicians.  Once a FUE graft has been obtained, the final grafts do not have the same protective covering as does those produced from the strips:  there is also not as much fat protecting the bulb of the graft.  This results in the need for different placement techniques and handling of the grafts.  Mastering this component of the FUE to produce the best final results and the best “take” does take a special touch and technique which is uniquely used here at our center.

Interested in trying follicular unit extraction for hair restoration? Contact our office today for a consultation.  Be sure to follow The Griffin Center on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for the latest hair restoration news and information.

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Monday, February 17th, 2014 Blog, Educational

Ask Our Doctors: Can I Use Body Hair for Hair Transplantation?

As leaders in the hair restoration industry, The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration & Research views researching and improving hair loss techniques as our responsibility. When patients have hair loss severe enough that it leaves no hair left on the head to harvest for traditional surgical hair transplant procedures, some ask if hair transplants from other parts of the body, such as the legs, is possible.

Ask Our Doctors: Can I Use Body Hair for Hair Transplantation?Hair along the hairline is usually finer than hair toward the middle of the head, which is often thicker and denser. When male pattern baldness occurs, also known as androgenetic alopecia, it most commonly begins above the temples, creating a receding hairline.  Because leg hair is fine on most people, transplanting the hair from this area may provide a natural-looking hairline for patients, but may not have enough density to accomplish the task.  Additionally, it may provide hair transplant patients with an alternative solution; however, there several problems that arise. Firstly, it is much harder to harvest, even when using the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique of surgical hair replacement.  Secondly, normally the hair density on the legs and other parts of the body is very sparse. Lastly, the growth rate once transplanted is not as successful as from other areas of the body.  Another area of hair growth which could be reasonably harvested is the underarms, and again, similar problems exist.

For body hair transplants, the most success is often seen with the hair from the beard (under the jawline), which provides a coarse, sturdy form of hair that grows long like scalp hair. Recently, Dr. Griffin exclusively used beard hair for a male patient to help improve the scars from the back of the scalp and to in general place the hair over the scalp wherever needed.  This beard hair was coarse and served as excellent filler for the areas of loss.  It was also greying very much like the rest of the scalp and fit into place in the scars and over the head.  Another male patient was treated that same week with multiple FUE’s from the middle of the back of the scalp which was then placed in the scars which were caused by an automobile wreck.  The first patient was white and the second was black:  both produced excellent follicles which were taken by the FUE technique with placement in scars and bald areas.  This technique worked well for the very curly hair of the black patient and the number of follicles per graft from both patients was about the same:  mainly 2 hairs/follicular bundle with 3 per bundle in many.

For eyebrow replacement, underarm or nape of the neck hair tends to be shorter and more delicate than mid-scalp hair. If one eyebrow remains bushy, the follicles can be extracted from that side and placed on the one that is lacking.  Arm hairs have been tried but do not seem to grow well.  The hairs placed in the eyebrow continue to grow in the same pattern and length as the donor site. Therefore, most patients must cut the transplanted hairs which grow longer than the naturally shorter eyebrow hairs.

Hair specialists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Ashley Curtis work with each patient to devise the most effective plan for their unique hair restoration needs, whether through the surgical or non-surgical hair restoration route.  It is important to note that body hair will never replace all the hair needed on the scalp unless that need is small as with the above cases. As each hair loss case is unique, the decision for using donor hair from other parts of the body for hair transplantation on the head must be discussed thoroughly during the consultation. Outcomes vary by each patient, however, the goal for natural-looking results remain a constant goal for all patients.

If you are interested in learning more about hair loss procedures and preventives please call to set up a consultation. Don’t forget to follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Google+ for the latest hair restoration techniques.

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Thursday, February 6th, 2014 Blog, Educational, Hair Restoration, In the news

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