For nearly four decades, The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research has been dedicated to studying the many different causes of and treatments for hair loss. This has made us something of an expert in all things hair-related. Over the years, many of our patients have asked interesting questions about their hair on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Here are answers to some of the ones we hear most frequently.
Is it true that Hair grows faster when it’s trimmed frequently?
Contrary to popular belief, trimming the ends of individual hair strands has absolutely no impact on the hair’s growth rate. Hair grows from follicles located deep underneath the scalp, and the strands on the surface are actually no longer growing at all. However, regularly trimming the hair can help alleviate split ends, which tend to make hair look thinner and can lead to hair breakage. So although regularly trimming the hair does not actually affect the hair growth cycle, it can make the hair appear fuller.
What causes hair to turn grey?
Initially, when hair is first forming underneath the surface of the scalp, it is completely colorless. As the hair grows up and through the skin, it passes specialized cells called melanocytes that inject two pigments, eumelanin (which is black or dark brown) and phaeomelanin (which is reddish-yellow). These two pigments combine in varying proportions to produce the wide range of possible hair colors. However, as we grow older, melanocytes gradually become less active and deposit less pigment into the hair, making it appear lighter in color. Eventually, as the graying process progresses, the melanocytes die off and future hairs no longer contain the pigment that they once had. Although in some rare cases hormonal imbalances may contribute to premature greying, the process is usually a natural, and harmless, result of genetics.
Why did my hair look so great when I was pregnant, and why did it stop?
Many women experience this phenomenon, which is ultimately caused by fluctuations in the body’s hormones that affect the hair growth cycle. Ordinarily, hair follicles progress through a regular pattern of growth where old hairs are shed only to be replaced by new, growing hairs. This is why a healthy scalp can shed anywhere from 50 to 125 hairs each day. However, during pregnancy, 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 makes the hair appear much thicker and fuller. Unfortunately this change does not last. After the woman gives birth, the body’s hormones shift yet again and the hair follicles resume their ordinary growth cycle. This results in a brief period of telogen effluvium, where a large amount of hair is shed all at once, before the hair returns to its customary pattern of growth.
If you have any questions about your hair, or if you are suffering from hair loss and interested in what we can do for you, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration to schedule a consultation with Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis so that you can get a full diagnostic assessment of your hair loss and learn what treatment options may be right for you.