November 23, 2015 9:01 am
There are many different forms of hair loss and at The Griffin Center of Hair restoration and Research we make an effort to understand and treat them all. Some, like the various forms of cicatricial or scarring alopecia, can permanently damage the hair follicles and cause hair loss that can only be treated with follicular unit transplantation techniques. Others, however, may appear to be just as serious but are actually only temporary and easily treatable. One of these latter types of hair loss is telogen effluvium, the second most common form of hair loss that our dermatologists generally see.
Hair follicles on the scalp progress through a regular growth cycle consisting of three stages: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transition phase), and telogen (resting phase). At any given time, 80% to 90% of the hair is in the anagen phase, when new hair is formed and gradually grows from the follicle. The rest of the hairs are either in the transitional catagen phase, when growth stops, or the telogen stage, when the hair loosens in the follicle and subsequently falls out. This means that a healthy scalp naturally sheds anywhere from 50 to 100 telogen hairs each day. However this loss is typically replaced by newly growing hair and so generally goes unnoticed. Telogen effluvium occurs when external factors disrupt this natural cycle, forcing a disproportionately large number of hair follicles into the telogen phase all at once. Approximately six weeks to three months after the initial triggering event, these telogen hairs shed just as they normally would, but in much greater numbers. Patients suffering from full-blown telogen effluvium may potentially lose entire handfuls of hair at a time.
Unfortunately, the mechanisms that trigger telogen effluvium are poorly understood. Any physiological shock to the body, such as a traumatic injury, major surgery, or even a crash diet can precipitate an outbreak. Moreover, severe and prolonged psychological stress can often mirror the symptoms of physical shock, and many patients have experienced telogen effluvium after the death of a loved one or a particularly emotional divorce. Additionally, there are other forms of telogen effluvium that develop more slowly and last longer, seemingly in response to a more persistent triggering factor and still others that seem to develop as a side effect of another disease or even without any readily apparent cause whatsoever.
Patients do not go completely bald from telogen effluvium and the hair loss is usually temporary. If an external cause is discovered and dealt with, the follicles go right back to producing hair normally, and in most cases those affected recover as much as 90% of the hair lost. Where a specific causal factor cannot be determined, Extra-Strength Rogaine® (5% minoxidil) or one of our custom-formulated topical compounds can be prescribed to minimize further hair loss and help stimulate new hair growth until the underlying trigger can be addressed. Every patient is unique, and telogen effluvium is only one of the potential causes for temporary or permanent hair loss, so please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration to schedule a consultation with Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis in order to get a complete and comprehensive diagnosis of your individual alopecia so that we can determine exactly what treatment options will best suit your specific needs. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.
November 18, 2015 6:05 pm
Treating hair loss can be both difficult and complicated. Not only are there many different underlying health conditions that could potentially cause it, but there are also a number of environmental factors that can exacerbate the condition as well. Genetics, hormonal issues, workplace stress, nutritional imbalances, and even certain medications or psychological issues can all potentially play a role in many of the various forms of hair loss. Fortunately, hair’s susceptibility to external factors can, in some cases, be as much a blessing as a curse. Recent developments in hair restoration have resulted in treatments that rely on simple heat and cold to combat some types of hair loss.
Red Light Laser to Increase Hair Growth on the Scalp
Scientific experimentation has determined that a highly specific wavelength of red light helps reduce inflammation and accelerate tissue regeneration. When applied directly to the scalp, this same wavelength of light has been found to increase the energy production around the hair follicle cells, stimulating them from dormancy into an active growth phase and increasing the production of fuller, thicker, and healthier hair. In a 2014 study, it was determined that this form of low-level laser therapy, or LLLT, improved hair counts by an average of 37% higher than the control group in women with genetic pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, a rate similar to that observed in males using the same parameters. At The Griffin Center, we frequently use Red Light Therapy to supplement topical and oral hair loss medications, with extremely satisfactory results.
Cold Cap to Prevent Hair Loss from Cancer Treatments
Sadly, 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 also affect other, rapidly-dividing cells like hair follicles. This often causes severe damage to the follicles, resulting in significant hair loss. Doctors have discovered that this form of hair loss can often be reduced by simply lowering the temperature of the scalp with a “cold cap” device. Lowering the body temperature slows blood flow, and when the blood flow to the scalp is reduced during chemotherapy treatment a lower concentration of the chemotherapy drugs reaches the follicles. In one study, cold cap treatment reduced the amount of hair lost during chemotherapy in approximately 50% of women. While not suitable for use in all cases, the potential benefits of this form of therapy are highly encouraging.
At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, Drs. Edmond Griffin and Ashley Curtis work to stay on the cutting edge of hair restoration treatments and technology for both men and women. If you have questions about your individual hair loss or would like to find out what form of treatment might be best for you, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule an appointment. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news or ask questions about hair restoration and research.
November 9, 2015 2:10 pm
As many as 65% of men and 80% of women can expect to experience a noticeable degree of hair loss by the age of 60, but despite its prevalence most suffering from this extremely common condition want only to find a way to reverse it. According to a survey conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, 60% of hair loss sufferers said they would rather have more hair than either money or friends, and 47% even said that they would gladly spend their entire life savings to regain a full head of hair. Unfortunately, there is no simple “one-size-fits-all” treatment for hair loss. A specific case could potentially be caused by a number of different conditions, ranging from simple androgenetic alopecia, or genetic pattern baldness, to complex autoimmune disorders. Correctly deducing an effective treatment for any of the various forms of hair loss requires a detailed analysis of the underlying causes. This is why we conduct a full medical examination consisting of a detailed patient history and extensive diagnostic tests before initiating any treatment plan at The Griffin Center.
Because so many underlying conditions can contribute to hair loss, a detailed analysis of the patient’s medical history can often be extremely revelatory. This can be particularly true in cases of women’s hair loss, where the number of potential causes is greater. Questions asked during this interview will typically concern the specific characteristics of your hair loss (whether it is merely thinning or noticeably falling out, for example) as well as how long the hair loss has been occurring. Measurements and photographs may be taken in order to precisely quantify the degree of hair loss present and magnification may be used to check for miniaturization of the hair shafts. A family history of hair loss or specific hair styling habits can also play a significant role, so questions about these are common. Finally our specialists will always ask about recent illnesses, medications you may be taking, and even your diet, as these details may reveal specific, and very different, environmental factors or diseases that may be a factor in your hair loss.
A number of diagnostic medical tests can also help determine the causes of hair loss. At the most basic level, this starts with a simple pull test, where several dozen hairs are pulled from the scalp to see how many come out. This helps determine the stage of the shedding process. From there, the investigation may include a detailed blood test, including hormone and iron levels, to uncover any medical conditions related to hair loss, such as thyroid disease. A scalp biopsy may also be performed and light microscopy can be used to examine the individual hairs to reveal possible disorders of the hair shaft. These are just a few of the many different diagnostic tests that we can perform in order to determine the best way to address your specific hair loss.
Every patient is unique and every case of hair loss is different, so only a detailed examination can effectively determine what hair restoration treatment is right for you. If you have any questions about your individual hair loss, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a comprehensive diagnostic consultation. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.
October 26, 2015 11:53 pm
At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research we have helped thousands of men and women suffering from hair loss using both surgical and non-surgical treatment methods. Often patients planning to undergo surgical hair transplantation have questions about the scars that such procedures can sometimes leave behind. Many have heard stories about how follicular unit grafting (or FUG) can result in a long, linear scar that extends across the entire back of the head. While the FUG technique used by Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis does require the removal of a strip of hair follicles from the back or sides of the scalp, their surgical skill, experience, and specialized techniques make it possible to greatly reduce the appearance of any scars that are left behind and consistently achieve exceptional hair transplantation results.
Over the course of the nearly forty years that we have been performing hair transplantation procedures, we have incorporated a number of specific techniques into the process to help significantly minimize the appearance of scars. Our highly experienced technicians carefully dissect the section of donor scalp into individual follicular units under powerful binocular microscopes, and so are able to produce a higher number of viable grafts from a much smaller section of scalp. This makes it possible for Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis to remove a narrower strip of hair follicles than might otherwise be necessary, and this smaller wound, in turn, leaves behind a much less pronounced scar. After the donor follicles have been removed, our surgeons use a highly specialized type of closure that allows the hairs to grow through the scar line, making the resulting scar line virtually undetectable. Regardless of which harvesting method is used, the remaining hair on the back of the head will grow to completely cover the faint scars that may be left behind after the procedure.
Surgeons who exclusively practice follicular unit extraction (FUE) techniques, like those that use the NeoGraft® automated hair transplant device, often claim that this form of hair transplantation is superior because it does not leave behind a long, linear scar. However, such statements can often be misleading. During an FUE procedure, an instrument is used to make a small, circular incision in the skin around each follicular unit, separating it from the surrounding tissue. Although this approach does not use a single linear incision, it does create hundreds of tiny circular wounds, each approximately 1-mm in size, that can potentially leave behind tiny white scars buried in the hair in the back and sides of the scalp. Every case of hair loss is different, and so at The Griffin Center we use a variety of approaches to hair transplantation, including FUE with NeoGraft®. While this may be a perfectly viable option for many patients, it is not appropriate for use in all cases. Any time the skin is cut a scar of some sort will be formed, regardless of what technique is used, but the extent to which this scar will be noticeable is ultimately determined by the skill and experience of the surgeon and their team.
The choice of whether to undergo an FUG or FUE procedure should ultimately be determined by the personal preferences of the patient and their individual hair restoration needs. Our forty years of experience and attention to detail allow us to recommend the specific course of treatment that will help you achieve the best possible results. If you have any questions about your individual hair loss or what form of treatment might be best for your specific concerns, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration to schedule a consultation with Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.
October 16, 2015 12:35 pm
People have always struggled against hair loss. There are even references to hair restoration treatments in writings that date back to ancient Egypt and Greece. But for much of that time hair loss was regarded as fundamentally a man’s problem; little attention was ever given to the women who also suffered from the condition. Today we understand that as many as 80% of all women will experience a noticeable degree of hair loss by the time they reach 60, but as many as a third of those suffering have done nothing to address the problem. Fortunately, as the stigma surrounding women’s hair loss begins to fade, more and more women are seeking treatment. As more research into this area is done, we have come to understand that even though men’s and women’s hair loss may share some similarities, the two are actually quite different and taking a close look at those differences is the first step towards finding ways to effectively treat it. Specifically, there are three distinctive characteristics that make women’s hair loss unique.
Hair Loss Progresses Differently in Women
In most cases, men tend to lose hair in a highly predictable pattern, beginning at the front and then progressing to the temples and crown. The fact that hair follicles at the back of the scalp tend to continue producing hair far longer than those in the front, even if they are moved from the back to the front, is what makes follicular unit transplantation procedures possible. However, in women hair loss does not progress this way, instead usually starting with widening of the midline part and affecting the scalp in a more diffuse and evenly distributed pattern. Oftentimes, hair loss in women can go unnoticed until as much as 15% of the total volume has been lost, meaning that the process is already well underway and more difficult to treat.
Women’s Hair Loss Has Different Potential Causes
While more than 95% of hair loss cases in men are the result of androgenetic alopecia, or inherited male pattern baldness, diagnosing hair loss in women can be significantly more complicated. While women can also suffer from androgenetic alopecia, women’s hair loss can also be triggered by many different medical conditions, as well as several lifestyle factors, ranging from thyroid problems to autoimmune disorders to a woman’s choice of birth control. Board-certified dermatologists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis combine their years of experience treating all forms of hair loss with an array of comprehensive diagnostic tests to determine the specific cause of each patient’s hair loss. They can then offer specialized treatment packages custom-designed to individually address those causes and achieve optimal results.
Women’s Hair Loss Requires Different Treatments
Hair restoration surgery is often problematic for female patients, as the different progression pattern of women’s hair loss can potentially leave a smaller concentration of healthy hair follicles available for transplantation. Moreover, even though certain non-surgical hair loss treatments like finasteride (Propecia®) work extremely well for male pattern loss, there are conflicting studies regarding how well they work for women. Not only are underlying hair loss processes in males and females different, but finasteride should generally 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®) actually seems to be even more effective for women than men in treating certain forms of hair loss. Every day we are making great strides towards finding new treatments that specifically target women’s hair loss and now women have a variety of options to choose from that extend above and beyond a traditional Rogaine® prescription.
Because women’s hair loss is unique, and requires specific methods of diagnosis and approaches to treatment, we are pleased to announce the formation of The Griffin Center for Women’s Hair Loss, the first center in Georgia exclusively devoted to addressing the unique issues associated with women’s hair restoration. At this new, state of the art facility we can devote the time and attention necessary to diagnose fully the specific causes of each patient’s hair loss and formulate a customized treatment plan that satisfies their individual hair restoration needs. If you have any questions about your individual hair loss and what form of treatment or procedure might 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.
October 12, 2015 2:43 pm
In the United States, an estimated 56 million men and women are currently experiencing some degree of hair loss. While many find relief through various non-surgical hair restoration options, a large number try to improve their appearance through hair transplantation surgery. However, not all hair transplants are equal, and some patients find that the results they achieve are woefully inadequate. At the Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we have fortunately had the opportunity to correct many of these botched hair transplants with hair transplant revision surgery. In our experience, we have found that poor results from hair transplantation are best avoided through a combination of experience and expertise.
It is often difficult to achieve long-lasting, natural-looking results from hair restoration surgery because hair loss is progressive, so the pattern of hair on the scalp can change dramatically over time. In order to achieve the best effect, a surgeon needs to take into consideration not only how the hair looks now, but how it will look ten or even twenty years from now. Inexperienced doctors may fill in the receding frontal hairline with follicular grafts, only to have the hair behind the grafts recede further, leaving an unsightly ridge of hair along the front of the forehead. They may establish a low hairline that looks good on an 18-year-old, but which looks completely unnatural on a man in his 50’s. At The Griffin Center, we have been performing hair restoration surgery for nearly 40 years, and have been there to assist patients years and even decades after their initial hair transplant procedure. That level of experience gives us a perspective that few other practices can match.
The majority of mistakes made during surgical hair restoration procedures result from a lack of technical expertise. Coverage can often be incomplete when a large number of grafts are lost due to poor graft preparation, the results can appear unnatural when the grafts are not angled properly, and unsightly scars can be left behind when donor site closure is poorly handled. Our highly-skilled hair transplant technicians carefully dissect each follicular unit under a sophisticated binocular microscope in a meticulous procedure that allows them to preserve a greater percentage of viable grafts. Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis personally angle the incisions for each follicular unit, using instruments custom designed for that purpose and taking care to ensure the grafts are not too crowded to over-tax the available blood supply in order to yield a higher survival rate. Finally, we also use a special type of closure that allows the hairs to grow through the scar line, making the already small scar even less visible. It is this expert attention to even the tiniest details that allows us to consistently achieve optimal hair transplantation results.
If you would like to know more about your individual hair loss or what form of treatment or procedure might be best for you, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule an appointment for a consultation at (404) 256-4369. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news or ask questions about hair restoration and research.
October 7, 2015 10:06 am
For nearly 40 years The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research has been treating hair loss. In that time, we have consulted with thousands of men and women and have heard one specific question repeated over and over again: “Can I get my hair back without surgery?” Although surgical hair transplantation techniques are widely regarded as the most effective means of restoring natural, growing hair to regions of the scalp that have begun to thin, Drs. Edmond Griffin and Ashley Curtis also understand that this approach is not for everyone. Some patients may be uncomfortable with undergoing a surgical procedure while others may be suffering from a form of hair loss for which such treatment is unnecessary or not an option. Every patient is unique and every case of hair loss requires an individual diagnosis to determine which course of treatment will be most effective. That’s why, at The Griffin Center, we are constantly exploring the latest developments in non-surgical hair loss treatments. Here are some of the treatments we have found to be most effective:
Marketed under the trade names Rogaine® and Extra-Strength Rogaine®, the FDA-approved treatment minoxidil increases the size of shrunken hair follicles, keeping them in the growth phase longer and slowing down the progression of hair loss. As many as 60% of the patients tested in clinical trials experienced decreased hair loss and even some amount of regrowth when using minoxidil regularly. The hair restoration specialists at The Griffin Center will often formulate custom blends of topical prescription medications with minoxidil in order to meet specific patient needs.
Approved by the FDA for the treatment of male pattern baldness, Finasteride works by inhibiting the production of an enzyme believed to be responsible for triggering androgenetic alopecia, or pattern hair loss. Finasteride is available in two concentrations, Propecia® (a 1mg daily dose) and Proscar® (a 5mg dose). In clinical trials, finasteride slowed or stopped the progression of hair loss in 86% of men, and 65% had a “substantial” increase in hair growth. Oral finasteride should not be used by women who are or who may become pregnant and is used off-label for treatment of pattern hair loss in females.
Red Light Therapy
Red Light Therapy uses specific wavelengths of red-spectrum light, focused on the scalp, to increase the energy production around the hair follicles, waking cells from dormancy into an active growth phase. Primarily used to supplement other topical and oral hair loss treatments, red light treatment generally helps to prevent further thinning, but many patients see some regrowth as well. Red light therapy can be administered with either a hood type device (similar to the commercial hair dryers you might find at a hair salon) or the LaserCap® that can be worn under an ordinary baseball cap.
Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, uses the natural healing power of the patient’s own blood platelets to stimulate hair growth. Injecting PRP into the dermis of the scalp stimulates shrinking hair follicles to become healthier and larger, reversing the thinning process and facilitating fuller, thicker hair growth. Because Platelet Rich Plasma works with the body’s natural healing process, it is particularly effective when used to encourage newly grafted follicular units to take root and begin to grow.
If you have any questions about your individual hair loss or what form of treatment might be best for your specific concerns, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation with Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.
September 22, 2015 11:20 am
At the Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we have been helping men and women from around the world overcome hair loss for nearly 40 years. Board certified dermatologists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis are widely acknowledged as some of the world’s leading experts in the field of hair restoration surgery. In fact, 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 selected surgeons selected. Simply put, when you want to know the facts about hair loss, you go to The Griffin Center.
So it was no surprise when FOX 5 Atlanta’s medical reporter, Beth Galvin, recently came to our own Dr. Ashley Curtis to glean some insight into the many myths surrounding hair loss. Dr. Curtis has always made it a top priority to educate patients about hair loss prevention and hair restoration treatments, and regularly conducts informational interviews on a variety of hair loss topics on our YouTube channel. Watch as Dr. Curtis addresses some of the most common myths about hair loss in this recent footage.
Every patient’s situation is unique, and every case of hair loss needs to be diagnosed before a real treatment plan can be formulated. If you have any questions about your individual hair loss and what form of treatment or procedure might 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.
September 16, 2015 7:23 am
In the nearly 40 years that The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research has been performing surgical hair restoration procedures, Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis have helped literally hundreds of men and women to achieve full and natural looking hair restoration results. During that time, many of our patients have been understandably apprehensive prior to undergoing their procedures. We have found that one of the best ways to alleviate this anxiety is to give them a step by step break down of exactly what happens on the day of their surgery so that they can fully understand just how comfortable it can be. Here is an outline of what you can expect during hair transplantation surgery at The Griffin Center.
Depending on the needs of the patient and the size of the session, a hair restoration procedure may take anywhere from 4 to 5 hours for the smallest cases to as much as 8 to 10 hours for the largest, so be prepared to get started early in the day. On the morning of the procedure, before you receive any sedation, you and Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis will go over the plan for your surgery. During this discussion, your scalp will be marked to denote exactly where individual follicular units will be placed. Then, you will be taken to a private surgical suite, where you can rest comfortably and listen to music while a combination of oral and intramuscular medications are administered to relax you and numb the scalp. Throughout the procedure, your safety and comfort are our main concerns, so juice and snacks as well as a restroom will be available for your convenience.
The procedure itself begins with the removal of the follicular units for transplantation, either in a single strip (via the Follicular Unit Grafting method) or individually with the NeoGraft® automated device. Our highly experienced technicians carefully dissect the section of scalp under a microscope, taking great care to maintain the integrity of the individual follicular units. This careful attention to detail allows us to produce a larger number of viable grafts from a smaller, narrower section of scalp. The incision is then closed using a special type of closure that allows the hairs to grow through the scar line, making the scar itself even less visible. 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.
After the follicular units are carefully sorted by the number of follicles they contain, they are then ready to be transplanted, one-by-one, into the thinning area. Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis will make individually customized incisions (using instruments specially designed by Dr. Griffin for the task) in the scalp and then personally place and angle each and every follicular unit to mirror the original growth pattern. Years of experience and skill are needed to ensure that the grafts are not too crowded to over tax the available blood supply in any one area and that they will eventually grow to provide full, natural-looking coverage.
Finally, once the procedure is complete, the scalp is numbed once again so that you will remain comfortable when you are sent home to rest overnight. The next morning you will return to have your hair washed by one of our technicians so that the transplant area can be thoroughly examined and evaluated. Within just two to four months after the procedure, the new follicles will begin to grow hair consistently with the same color, texture, curl, or straightness as the hair from which the donor follicles were harvested. The final density of the transplanted hair depends on the original density of the donor hair as well as the number of grafts placed in each session. You can expect to see more and more growth over the entire year after your procedure.
If you have any other questions about your individual hair loss and what form of treatment or procedure might 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.
September 9, 2015 7:53 am
At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we have been involved in the most advanced hair loss and hair restoration research for nearly 40 years. In our last hair loss blog, we discussed some of the lesser known causes of hair loss, specifically scarring, or cicatricial alopecia, a form of alopecia characterized by permanent damage to the hair follicles. There are several different forms of scarring alopecia that can result from a variety of different causes. One form which has been occurring with increasing regularity is frontal fibrosing alopecia, a condition that affects the frontal hair line and eyebrows.
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia, or FFA, is a rare form of hair loss that was only recently described when it was first identified in 1994 by Dr. Steven Kossard in six elderly Australian female patients. Since then, several other cases have been documented and, over the past decade, the number of patients with this challenging disease has markedly increased. Frontal fibrosing alopecia most commonly affects post-menopausal women between the ages of 40 and 80 years, with an average age of 67, but multiple cases of FFA in pre-menopausal women in their 30s and 40s have also been reported, as have a handful of cases where the condition occurs in men. Research into frontal fibrosing alopecia is still ongoing and its cause remains largely unknown.
This slowly progressive condition is characterized mainly by its distinctive clinical pattern, which includes a symmetrical band of hair loss on the front and sides of the scalp along with, in most cases, a progressive loss of the eyebrows. As the frontal hair line recedes, the edge may appear ragged or “moth-eaten” and single “lonely” hairs may persist in the bald areas. This particular form of alopecia is currently believed to be a variant of lichen planopilaris, a type of cicatricial or scarring alopecia that causes smooth, white patches of scalp hair loss. In both conditions, inflammation permanently destroys the sebaceous glands and the hair follicle, which is replaced with fibrotic scar tissue resulting in permanent hair loss. The skin in the affected area usually looks normal but may be pale, shiny or mildly scarred without visible follicular openings. At the margins of the bald areas, close inspection may show redness and scaling around hair follicles. The two conditions differ in that lichen planopilaris causes hair loss in roughly circular patches all over the scalp, while frontal fibrosing alopecia affects a relatively straight band at the frontal hair line and includes eyebrow loss.
Frontal fibrosing alopecia can often occur alongside a much more common condition called androgenetic alopecia, also known as genetic pattern baldness, or may superficially resemble traction alopecia, a condition where prolonged use of tight hairstyles damages the hair follicles. As a result, it is frequently misdiagnosed. However these other, more common forms of hair loss usually do not permanently destroy the hair follicles and failure to properly treat this condition early can result in significant and permanent hair loss. If caught early, however, the progression of this disease can be successfully slowed, which is just one of the reasons why, at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we believe that every case of alopecia requires a complete and comprehensive diagnosis.
If you have any questions about your individual hair loss or what form of treatment might be best for your specific concerns, 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.
"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