dr. ashley curtis
Many patients believe that thinning hair is a part of life that cannot be treated. “It’s just something I’ll have to live with,” is a common refrain among men who begin to notice signs of hair loss. The biggest myth surrounding hair loss is that nothing can be done. However, this is not the case. Drs. Edmond Griffin and Ashley Curtis explain the truth behind this and some of the other big hair loss and hair restoration myths in this blog.
MYTH: Frequent use of hats or helmets cause or speed up hair loss.
TRUTH: This notion is merely folklore. Wearing a hat or helmet will not speed up or cause hair loss.
MYTH: Male pattern baldness is inherited from the maternal grandfather.
TRUTH: This is both true and false. Just like with any genetic trait, pattern baldness can be inherited from both the mother’s and the father’s side of the family. Though there are tests to determine the presence of the balding gene, these tests don’t confirm which side of the family gave you the gene or even whether the gene will be expressed in the future. Just because you have the gene doesn’t mean you’ll lose hair more than normal, though it does greatly increase your chances.
MYTH: Using conditioner can prevent baldness.
TRUTH: Because the hair is not a living structure, conditioners merely coat the dead hair shaft making it less prone to breakage. Conditioners have no influence on balding, though. If enough breakage occurs the hair looks thinner.
MYTH: Shampooing daily causes increased shedding.
TRUTH: In general, shampoos clean the hair and do not affect hair growth or loss. To some degree, daily shampooing has been found to show slightly less hair loss by total count than shampooing once weekly. Research shows that shampoos that contains anti-yeast medications seem to slow total monthly hair loss even more (example: Nizoral and DHS with Zinc).
MYTH: Undergoing hair transplant surgery means I no longer need to take preventative measures.
TRUTH: Transplanted hair comes from a donor area that is not affected by genetic hair loss symptoms. This means that it is not affected by the cause of pattern baldness (dihydrotestosterone) and remains in place permanently (pending other factors like chemotherapy and trauma) after transplantation. However, the hair in the balding area that was there before the transplant is still susceptible to pattern baldness. Therefore, preventative measures still need to be taken to maintain those follicles which were not transplanted and are genetically programmed to be lost at some time in the future.
Hair loss is a complicated condition. While pattern baldness is most often the cause of hair loss in men, there are many factors that could be the reason for your thinning. If you suspect your hair may be thinning, visit a dermatologist specializing in hair loss and restoration like those at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research to determine the cause of your hair loss. With a proper diagnosis, our providers can help you find the best methods of treatment for your situation.
You’re invited to what’s sure to be one of the most exciting Halloween events around! Dermatology Associates of Atlanta‘s Skin Medics Medical Spa is hosting a Spooktacular Cosmetic Day on Monday, October 31, 2011.
Our specials on facial fillers, dermal injectables, spa products, and cosmetic laser treatments are sure to be a scream! You must take advantage of these offers on Monday, October 31 or schedule your treatment on that day to receive the special prices, so make sure to mark your calendar!
Did you know that the American Hair Loss Council states that one out of every four women will encounter some degree of hair loss during their lifetime? According to a spring People Magazine article, Lady Gaga is one of them. In her May interview, Gaga cites repeated chemical dye application as the primary reason she is losing her famously dramatic hair.
If you’ve read our blog series on female hair loss treatment and female hair loss prevention, you know that the causes of hair loss are numerous. Just as skin conditions like rosacea and acne can flare with environmental and emotional triggers, so can hair loss. While identifying the cause of your hair loss is an important part of determining an appropriate treatment, it’s also important to realize that there are two types of treatment for most hair loss: restorative and preventative.
More recent reports regarding the pop diva’s hair loss condition speculate that she has begun using Rogaine® (minoxidil) to prevent further loss. While the exact cause of hair loss cannot be diagnosed without a proper hair restoration consultation, it would seem that stress related hair loss might be the culprit of Gaga’s condition. Besides topical minoxidil treatment, oral Propecia may also prove an effective treatment for female hair loss patients who do not plan to become pregnant as exposure to the drug, even handling it, has been linked to increased birth defects. › Continue reading
A.) Caused by genetic predisposition to the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the hair follicle, male patterned baldness (MPB) is the most common type of hair loss for men, and yes, women can have hereditary hair loss as well. However, the pattern in female pattern baldness (FPB) differs from MPB due to the fact that the areas of hair loss and rate at which hair is lost differ. The most significant difference between MPB and FPB is that women rarely progress to total baldness whereas men do frequently. Under the microscope, a biopsy of an MPB sample is indistinguishable from FPB.
Q.) What causes a woman’s hair to fall out?
A.) There are numerous possible causes of women’s hair loss as you can read in our previous blog series on women’s hair loss. By far the most common cause of hair loss in women is female patterned baldness. Other causes of hair loss in women include hormonal changes (e.g. menopause, birth control, and thyroid conditions), childbirth, surgery, chemotherapy, stress, ongoing illness, anemia, rapid weight loss, and certain medications.
Q.) How is the type of women’s hair loss determined?
A.) The first step in determining the cause of hair loss is finding the right doctor. With experience treating conditions of the skin, hair, and nails, a dermatologist is a good place to start. Dedicating his life to researching hair loss and hair restoration, Dr. Edmond Griffin can usually determine the cause of hair loss after a thorough consultation with examination of the scalp. Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s Dr. Ashley R. Curtis specializes in women’s hair loss specifically, and works with Dr. Griffin to effectively diagnosis and treat female hair loss patients. Many clues become obvious to their experienced eyes. Occasionally, additional tests like a skin biopsy may be needed to make an accurate diagnosis. Part 2 of our women’s hair loss series highlights the components of tests that determine hair loss.
Q.) Can women undergo hair restoration surgery?
A.) As long as there is an adequate donor region from which follicular grafts can be harvested, women can benefit from hair restoration surgery. Women experiencing androgenetic alopecia or hair loss caused by scars from accidents, burns or cosmetic procedures often make good candidates for hair transplant surgery as long as they have an ample donor region.
Q.) Is there any way to prevent women’s hair loss?
A.) Yes, although there are many hair loss medications on the market that promise to prevent further loss and regrow hair, oral Propecia® (finasteride) and topical Rogaine® (minoxidil) are the two main proven hair loss prevention medications. Women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant should not take or even handle oral Propecia®, but may use topical custom prescriptions. In Dr. Griffin’s experience, 80-90% of those patients who combine both topical and oral medications see a halt in hair loss with 25% showing substantial hair regrowth. Your hair loss specialist my also suggest certain shampoos, vitamins, or the use of anti-androgens such as Flutamide, Spironalactone, estrogens or birth control pills to prevent further loss.
Dr. Ashley Curtis, of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, provides patients with dermatological care as well as complete skin care solutions for the entire family. Pick up a copy of Around About Magazine to find a complete profile of Dr. Curtis.