August 27, 2015 12:52 pm
Hair loss is a problem that affects an estimated 56 million men and women in the United States. In the vast majority of those cases (approximately 90%) the loss can be attributed to a condition called genetically inherited pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia. However, hair loss can also be the result of a wide array of other factors, ranging from thyroid imbalance to workplace stress. One less common type of hair loss is cicatricial alopecia or scarring alopecia.
Scarring alopecia is actually an umbrella term that refers to a collection of rare disorders that destroy hair follicles, either by the body’s immune system attacking them directly or as a consequence of other conditions on the scalp. The dead hair follicles are replaced with scar tissue, resulting in permanent hair loss. There are certain types of cicatricial alopecia including central centrifugal scarring alopecia or CCSA a genetic scarring hair loss affecting mainly the top of the scalp. Other types include frontal fibrosing alopecia, lichen plano pilaris, lupus erythematosus, and folliculitis de calvans. These lead to scarring hair loss due to inflammation. Regardless of the direct cause, cicatricial alopecia is often characterized by redness, heat, pain, or swelling of the scalp. However, some patients do not experience any symptoms. When inflammation involves areas of the hair follicle near the sebaceous gland and stem cell region called the bulge, these vital components of the hair follicle are destroyed, the hair follicle cannot regrow, and its ability to produce hair is permanently lost.
Another form of hair loss caused by damage to the underlying follicles can occur not as a result of rare disease, but simply due to the stress we place on our hair due to everyday styling practices. When pulling and twisting forces are constantly applied to the hair in the form of particularly tight hairstyles like ponytails, pigtails, braids, and hair weaves, a condition known as traction alopecia can occur. This prolonged tension eventually pulls the hair strands from their follicular roots. Over time, damaged hair follicles are replaced with scar tissue, just as they are in other forms of scarring alopecia. Fortunately, this form of hair loss is often easily remedied as treatment simply involves the immediate removal of the traction on the hair and the temporary alteration of the facilitating hair care practices. Long-standing tension on the hair and failure to discontinue traction-producing hairstyles, however, can lead to irreversible hair loss.
At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we work closely with each individual patient in order to fully diagnose their specific form of hair loss, because we believe that only by fully diagnosing the causes of hair loss can the best possible treatment options be determined. If you have questions about your individual hair loss and what form of treatment would be best for you, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.
August 17, 2015 10:36 am
Here at The Griffin Center of hair Restoration and Research, we believe that every patient is unique and that every case of hair loss requires a customized solution. While we know that hair transplant surgery can produce exceptional, natural looking results, we also are constantly exploring new hair restoration treatments so that we can offer our patients solutions tailored to their individual needs. One of the most exciting new treatment methods is platelet rich plasma, or PRP, a therapy that has been used for more than two decades in helping wounds to heal more quickly and completely. Here are answers to some of the more common questions our patients ask about this revolutionary procedure.
What are Platelets?
Human blood is comprised of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The platelets are small, disk-shaped cell fragments in the plasma portion of the blood that work to facilitate clotting and tissue regeneration. They are known to secrete fundamental growth factors that initiate cell regrowth.
How is Platelet Rich Plasma Made?
A sample of the patient’s blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate the red blood cell portion from the platelets and plasma components. The separated “solid” portion of the blood, or platelet rich plasma, contains approximately five to seven times the number of platelets found in normal circulating blood along with concentrated bioactive proteins that aid in wound healing.
How Does Platelet Rich Plasma Treat Hair Loss?
Androgenetic alopecia, or pattern hair loss, causes the hair follicles to gradually shrink, so that they produce thinner and thinner hairs until, eventually, they stop producing hair altogether. Injecting platelet rich plasma into the dermis of the scalp can stimulate these shrinking hair follicles to become healthier and larger, reversing the thinning process and facilitating fuller, thicker hair growth.
How is Platelet Rich Plasma Used?
Because Platelet Rich Plasma works with the body’s natural healing process, it is particularly effective when used in conjunction with surgical hair transplant procedures to encourage newly grafted follicular units to take root and begin to grow. In addition to treating pattern hair loss, PRP has also been successful in treating traction alopecia, a condition that results when tight hair styles such as braiding, ponytails, and sew-in hair pieces produce constant tension that damages the hair follicles. It’s important to be evaluated by Dr. Curtis or Dr. Griffin to see if you are a candidate for PRP treatment.
What does Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment Entail?
Platelet rich plasma treatments can generally be performed at our office in less than an hour and do not require hospitalization. For most patients, we recommend a set of three initial treatments six weeks apart followed by a repeat treatment one year after the first in order to achieve the best results.
If you have questions about your individual hair loss and what form of treatment would be best for you, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.
August 12, 2015 12:29 pm
At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we understand that every case of hair loss is unique. That’s why we offer a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical hair restoration treatments to accommodate each patient’s individual needs. While many patients can achieve excellent results from prescription medication or advanced technological treatments like red light laser therapy, others may benefit more from hair transplantation surgery, using either the traditional follicular unit grafting (FUG) method or a newer follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique. These two approaches may differ in the means by which they collect hair follicles to be transplanted, but both use the same fundamental principles to restore the patient’s own growing hair to thinning areas and achieve full, natural looking results.
All forms of hair restoration surgery work by taking advantage of one basic fact: pattern baldness does not affect all hair follicles equally. As anyone who has suffered from androgenetic alopecia, or genetic pattern baldness, can attest, hair generally begins to thin at the temples and crown in men, and behind the frontal hairline in women. The hair follicles at the lower back of the head, however, remain largely unaffected. Even when those healthy follicles are removed from their original location and transplanted to areas of the scalp that are thinning, they continue to produce thick and healthy hair strands. At The Griffin Center, Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis individually graft each one of these natural clusters of hair follicles, called follicular units, into custom-created incisions, while carefully angling them so that they grow in the same pattern as the original hairs. It is this exacting attention to detail that allows us to achieve consistently exceptional hair transplant results.
Follicular unit grafting (FUG) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) differ only in the method by which the healthy hair follicles are removed for transplantation. The FUG technique surgically removes a narrow strip of donor scalp from the back or sides of the head that is then carefully dissected under a sophisticated binocular microscope into natural follicular units. Our surgeons use a special type of closure that allows the hairs to grow through the healing incision, making the already faint scar even less visible. During an FUE procedure, on the other hand, our surgeons use the NeoGraft® automated hair transplant device to slide the follicular units from the donor area one by one, leaving behind tiny circular wounds approximately 1-mm in size scattered throughout the donor area. Because the NeoGraft® device uses pneumatic pressure instead of forceps to extract the hair follicles, it carries a lower risk of causing mechanical injury to the grafts than older FUE techniques.
Regardless of which harvesting method is used, FUG or FUE, the remaining hair on the back of the head will grow to completely cover the nearly invisible linear or tiny circular scars that are left behind after the procedure. If you have any questions about hair transplant surgery or about any of the other 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+.
August 10, 2015 6:56 am
For nearly forty years, the specialists at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research have been dedicated to providing the most effective treatments for hair loss. Decades of experience have given Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis the opportunity to refine and perfect their treatment methods and to determine exactly what factors contribute to achieving the best possible hair transplantation results. Here are some of the key elements that we believe are essential to making sure that your hair restoration procedure is a complete success.
Even though genetic pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, may be responsible for as much as 95% of all hair loss cases, every single case of alopecia still requires its own diagnosis. No two patients are ever exactly alike, and formulating the most effective treatment plan requires understanding the underlying causes of each patient’s hair loss. Only by examining a patient carefully and evaluating their individual medical issues can we reach a conclusive diagnosis and choose the right procedures for their specific needs.
In any follicular unit grafting procedure, individual follicular units can be damaged during dissection, making them useless for re-implantation and, most importantly, re-growth. Our experienced surgical technicians, many of whom have worked and trained directly under Dr. Griffin for more than twenty years, have the exacting skill necessary to preserve a greater percentage of follicular units during the dissection process. This higher survival rate means that we can produce more viable grafts from a smaller area of scalp and achieve better overall results.
Natural-looking coverage during hair transplantation requires an experienced hair restoration surgeon that can carefully angle each individual follicular unit to mirror the hair’s original growth pattern. Care also needs to be taken to ensure that the grafts are not so crowded that they over tax the available blood supply in one area. Our surgeons, Dr. Griffin and Dr. Curtis, not only have the experience to maximize the number of follicular grafts that “take” during a surgical session, but also use a special technique and type of closure that allows the hairs to grow through the scar line, making the surgical scar at the donor site even less visible.
By maintaining our high standards and keeping these fundamental elements in mind, our team at The Griffin Center is able to consistently achieve exceptional natural-looking hair transplant results. If you have additional questions about your individual hair loss treatment, please contact us to schedule a consultation. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.
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.
Myth: 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+.
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.
The 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+.
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+.
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.
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+.
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.
While 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+.
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.
Born 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. Griffin specializes in several areas, but he is best known for his ability to treat patients with hair loss. I have been seeing him for nearly 3 years and have seen