Atlanta hair loss specialist

Handling Hair Loss from Cancer Treatments

Hair loss is one of the most well known side effects of cancer treatment.  When chemotherapy drugs travel throughout the body to kill cancer cells, they specifically target rapidly dividing cells, including the hair follicles. This leads to damage of the follicles, making hair fall out. This specific type of hair loss is called anagen effluvium and is normally not permanent.   Depending on the types of drugs that are used, the dose, and an individual’s specific sensitivity, many of these drugs may cause anything from a mild thinning of the hair on the scalp to complete loss of hair all over the body.  Not all treatments cause hair loss, but if hair loss does occur, it usually begins within 2 to 3 weeks after treatment starts.  Additionally, radiation therapy to the head can also cause scalp hair loss and sometimes, depending on the dose of radiation to the head, the hair does not grow back due to scarring.

Griffin Center women hair lossMany patients undergoing chemotherapy cancer treatment have managed to reduce the amount of their hair loss by using something called a cold cap.  This device lowers the temperature of the scalp, reducing the blood flow to the area.  Less blood flow means that there is a reduced amount of chemotherapy drug that reaches the hair follicles on the head during treatment.  In two small European studies, cold caps proved effective in reducing the amount of hair lost in about 50% of the women that used them, and several U.S. studies are currently underway to examine the safety and effectiveness of this treatment.  Cold caps, however, only block certain drugs and are not suitable for use in all types of cancer.  Recent hair loss research has determined that vasoconstrictors, drugs that restrict blood flow to the skin, can achieve an effect similar to a cold cap when applied topically to the scalp.  These drugs, which have long been used in conjunction with Novocain and similar numbing agents to keep the injected anesthetic in a particular spot, could temporarily cut off the cells in the scalp from the body’s blood supply and prevent the hair follicles from being damaged by chemotherapy.  Unfortunately, since both of these treatments would work by isolating the scalp from the cancer treatment, they are not useful in cases where there is a risk that cancer cells could be present in the scalp blood vessels themselves.

Unless you have had very high doses of particular chemotherapy drugs, hair lost as a result of treatment will generally grow back once the course of treatment is over.  However, this may take several months and the hair that grows back may be softer and thinner or even a different color or curl than it was previously.  At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we have had a great deal of success stimulating regrowth by applying direct visible red light to the scalp.  Red light therapy can increase the energy production around the individual hair follicles, waking the cells from dormancy into an active growth phase.   We have been using these red light wavelengths for years to improve the survival rate of transplanted grafts after hair restoration surgery, as they have been shown to inhibit inflammation and speed recovery while decreasing redness and swelling.  For optimal results, most patients require 20-30 minutes of laser light exposure two to three times per week, either administered through one of our two red light machines within The Griffin Center or with a portable red light cap like the LaserCap™ or igrow helmet. Both of these light sources emit 655 nm red visible light to the scalp either through a combination of LED lights and or laser diode lights. In addition, the application of certain topical medications along with prescribed vitamins and minerals may boost hair growth in patients with have experienced anagen effluvium.

If you have questions about 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 FacebookTwitter, and Google+ .

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Monday, October 13th, 2014 Blog, Educational, Hair Loss No Comments

The Rising Popularity of Beard Transplants

From the large, unkempt beards modeled on the TV show “Duck Dynasty” to the trim, neatly-styled beards sported by the bohemian artists strolling through Brooklyn, facial hair is here to stay!  Popular celebrities have turned what was once a minor affectation into a powerful fashion statement.  Unfortunately, many forms of alopecia (hair loss) can affect the facial hair just as readily as they do the hair on the scalp, and some men have difficulty growing and maintaining a full beard.  At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we study all forms of hair loss and any potential hair restoration technology and techniques, so we are uniquely qualified to discuss both the loss and restoration of facial hair.

the rising popularity of beard transplantsAccording to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, just over 7 percent of hair restoration procedures performed in 2012 targeted non-scalp areas of the body – including, but not limited to, the eyebrows, face/moustache/beard, and sideburn areas.  However, in the past year, the popularity of beard and moustache transplants has skyrocketed, with several specialists reporting that the popularity of the procedure has increased five or even six-fold.  Most frequently, the men seeking the procedure have a beard already, but have uneven coverage and hairless patches that they are interested in filling in.

The procedure for a beard transplant is very similar to what a patient might undergo for regular genetic pattern baldness.  The hair follicles are typically taken from the back of the patient’s scalp, as this hair most closely resembles the hair grown around the chin.  It is then transplanted through micro-incisions on a bare patch of face.  At The Griffin Center, our extensive experience performing follicular unit grafting helps us orient each individual follicle with the natural angle of the existing hair, a particularly meticulous part of the procedure which is necessary in order to prevent the transplanted hair from sticking out in random directions.  Once it’s fully healed, the new beard can be shaved regularly and will grow back just as it does during natural 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+ .

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Monday, October 6th, 2014 Blog, Hair Restoration, In the news No Comments

Women’s Hair Loss: The Hormone Connection

When it comes to the treatment of hair loss one of the most significant hurdles is determining its cause.  Hair loss can be the result of many different underlying conditions and effective treatment requires knowing what specific causes need to be addressed.  This difficulty can be particularly pronounced in cases of women’s hair loss; while 95% of male hair loss is the result of inherited pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, the causes of women’s hair loss can be much more varied.  In some cases, the problem is related to an imbalance in hormones.  Men’s hormone levels follow relatively predictable patterns, but a number of distinct disorders, as well as several common life events, like pregnancy or menopause, can cause a significant fluctuation in female hormone levels that can result in hair loss. Additionally, the hormone changes caused by the stress of an operation or severe trauma may cause hair loss in either sex.

Griffin Center women hair lossEvery hair follicle goes through a natural cycle of hair growth and shedding.  In fact, at any given time, as many as 15% of the hairs on the scalp are in a dormant state, and anywhere from 50 to 125 hairs are shed daily.  However, during pregnancy, the cycle is interrupted and the hair follicles do not go dormant.  This is why many women experience thicker, more luxurious hair during pregnancy.  However, after the child is born and the body’s hormones begin to return to normal, this shift in hormone levels can cause many hair follicles to enter the dormant stage and shed simultaneously.  While this mimics the appearance of massive sudden hair loss, it is actually only the body’s return to its normal state and so is seldom cause for concern.  Moreover, just as the shift in hormone levels caused by pregnancy can result in loss of hair, so can the artificial shift in hormone levels caused by birth control pills.  Switching or going off or on birth control pills can be enough of a shock to the body’s endocrine system to cause telogen effluvium, a condition typically associated with increased physical or emotional stress.  The change in the hormonal balance that occurs at menopause can also have much the same result.

The thyroid, a small gland located in your neck, produces many of the hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, and development.  Any abnormality in the function of this gland, particularly declining levels of thyroid hormone production, can contribute to hair loss.  It is estimated that forty percent of American women are suffering from significant hair loss related to low thyroid hormones, or hypothyroidism, with redheads particularly at risk.  Similarly, polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition wherein an excess of male hormones (androgens) leads to ovarian cysts, weight gain, and hair thinning.  In both cases, bringing the hormone levels back into balance by treating the underlying condition is the best way to restore hair to normal.

If you have questions about hair loss causes and the treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ .

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Friday, September 12th, 2014 Blog, Women's Hair Loss No Comments

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy for Non-Surgical Hair Restoration

With over 36 years devoted to staying on the forefront of the latest hair restoration and replacement treatment, hair loss specialist and board certified dermatologist Dr. Edmond Griffin utilizes innovative techniques to provide patients with safe and effective hair loss solutions.  Most recently, scientific research in the field of stem cells has led to a breakthrough in hair loss restoration showing benefits of using platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy to treat various hair loss conditions.  PRP therapy has proven to be a safe and effective non-surgical hair restoration option for patients at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research in stimulating hair growth and natural-looking results.atlanta-non-surgical-hair-restoration

Platelet rich plasma therapy is an outpatient non-surgical procedure that requires minimal to no downtime.  Dr. Griffin begins the PRP therapy by drawing blood in-office from his patients, similarly to the manner in which a general practitioner’s office would draw blood to be tested.  The collected blood is then put into a centrifuge that spins the blood cells down to a high concentration, separating and removing the platelet rich plasma from the rest of the blood.  Under a topical anesthesia and using a micro needling, the platelet rich plasma is then injected into the dermis of the scalp through hundreds of miniscule injections.  The micro needling causes micro-trauma to the dermis and prompts the cells to engage in the natural healing process of the damaged cells.  The injected PRP containing the valuable growth factors are released into the infected areas and stimulate that healing process while simultaneously accelerating the speed and degree of regeneration of the damaged tissue.

Since PRP is derived from each patient’s own blood, PRP therapy is a safe and natural treatment and has shown benefits for both women and men who are in the beginning stages of hair loss, thinning or who suffer from alopecia areata. PRP therapy’s ability to stimulate inactive or newly implanted hair follicles into active growth makes it a desirable treatment to restore the hair to its original size and improve hair thinning.  Treatments generally last less than an hour from the time the blood is drawn, and results can last up to 12 months per treatment.  Dr. Griffin evaluates each patient and recommends treatment options, whether surgical or non-surgical, to advise the most natural hair loss solution.  In general repeat treatments are recommended at 3 and 12 months after the first.  These have been helpful in patients who do not tolerate finesteride.

If you’re interested in learning about platelet rich plasma therapy or other surgical and non-surgical hair restoration treatments, please contact us today to schedule your consultation.  Be sure to connect with Dr. Griffin on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for all the latest news and updates on hair loss and restoration.

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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 Blog, Hair Restoration No Comments

Is Hair Loss Linked to Heart Disease Risk?

Male Hair Restoration

Although many of our patients lose hair when they are young, hair loss is commonly associated with aging.  There are also many other causes for hair loss including hormonal changes  and medication use.  However, if looking older wasn’t discouraging enough, new research suggests baldness and other visible signs of aging may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Researchers analyzed data on 10,885 men and women over the age of 40 participating in the Copenhagen Heart Study. Throughout the study, medical professionals examined participants and looked for signs of aging including the quantity of gray hair, type and extent of baldness.  7,537 of the participants had receding hair lines while 3,938 had baldness on the top of the crown. In conclusion, over 35 years of follow-up, 3,401 individuals had developed heart disease and 1,708 had heart attacks.  Two common signs of aging, wrinkles and gray hair, were not linked to increased heart risks. Despite these findings, it’s important to note that this research is still preliminary and further review is needed to appropriately suggest these risks.  It is doubtful that prevention of baldness or restoration of hair by transplants will alter this increased risk of heart disease.  Exercise and diet are still the most important life changes which will alter these risks.  Both are under the patients control at least in part.  How much other genetic factors play a role is not easily studied.The study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012 found that individuals with three to four signs of aging such as baldness, receding hairline, earlobe crease, and yellow fatty deposits around the eyelids had a significantly higher risk for heart attack and heart disease.

Dr. Edmond Griffin, as a board certified dermatologist with over 30 years of hair restoration experience, always thoroughly discusses a patient’s overall health and family history to determine the cause of hair loss. If you are interested in hair restoration, please contact our office to schedule an appointment. Be sure to connect with the Griffin Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + for the latest hair loss news and information.

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Friday, November 16th, 2012 Blog, Hair Loss No Comments

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