Tag Archive: Atlanta hair loss specialist

Handling Hair Loss from Cancer Treatments

October 13, 2014 9:33 am

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.

Handling Hair Loss from Cancer TreatmentsMany 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+.

The Rising Popularity of Beard Transplants

October 6, 2014 3:58 am

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+ .

Women’s Hair Loss: The Hormone Connection

September 12, 2014 2:11 am

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.

hairloss treatments atlantaEvery 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+ .

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy for Non-Surgical Hair Restoration

June 26, 2013 7:57 pm

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.

Is Hair Loss Linked to Heart Disease Risk?

November 16, 2012 10:36 am

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.

Do Hair Loss Drugs Cause Side Effects?

October 30, 2012 11:25 am

atlanta hair loss treatmentsMany patients at the Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research often ask about non-surgical treatments when they first begin to experience hair loss. There are currently two FDA approved medications that we recommend to patients – Propecia® (finasteride) and Rogaine® (minoxidil).

Dr. Edmond Griffin, hair restoration specialist of 35 years, knows educating patients about hair loss and restoration is an important part of their treatment plan. Although both medications are proven effective and can be very helpful for individuals experiencing hair loss, Dr. Griffin always discusses the potential side effects that may occur. Continuation of hair loss is expected in both men and women and therefore Dr. Griffin recommends prevention to all, just like you brush your teeth daily to keep teeth healthy.

Propecia® is a prescribed oral medication that’s FDA approved for treatment of male pattern baldness. In previous tests, the use of finasteride has stopped the progression of hair loss in a high percentage of patients, and has actually led to re-growth of hair in some patients while exhibiting a high safety margin. Although uncommon (less than 2% of patients showing signs of side effects for hair loss prevention drugs), they may still occur and are mostly sexual in nature. In addition to sexual side effects, patients considering Propecia® should also be aware that depression has been a reported problem.  However, some formulations of this treatment can be topical and provide hair loss prevention without sexual or depressive systemic side effects. It’s important to have an experienced hair loss specialist who is skilled in compounding when considering this option.

If a patient presents sexual side effects with the use of oral finasteride, that patient should have the testosterone levels in their blood checked. Years ago many doctors considered a total testosterone level of 300 to be a normal range for men; however the range of healthy testosterone levels can vary depending on the person.  According to an article from Life Extension June 2012 issue, thanks to better testing techniques a more accurate assessment of testosterone blood levels has been developed.  In a recent study, researchers identified 2,416 men (aged 69-81) who did not take any kind testosterone treatment and were followed for an average of 5.1 years. Men who had a testosterone level less than 550 had an increased risk of cardiovascular events.   Patients with testosterone levels below 550 may also be experiencing sexual symptoms although their testosterone levels are considered normal.

While finasteride does not lower testosterone levels, it does block dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This breakdown product (DHT), which causes male patterned baldness, may also play an unknown role in sexual function. At the present, most doctors view that lack of or decrease of DHT does not affect sexual function. During a hair restoration consultation, Dr. Griffin thoroughly discusses all options available to the patient and any concerns they may have to determine an appropriate treatment plan based on their unique needs.

If you are interested in finding more information about hair loss treatments please call us today to schedule a consultation. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google + for the latest hair restoration news and technology.

LaserCap™ for Hair Loss

September 14, 2012 9:48 am

At the Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research many patients just starting to notice hair thinning first seek non-surgical hair loss treatment methods before considering hair transplants. Treating hair loss at the first sign of thinning is helpful in helping to maximize the amount of donor hair available at the time of hair transplant.  Non-surgical treatment options proven effective for thinning hair include oral Propecia® (finasteride), topical Rogaine®(minoxidil), compound prescriptions, and red light therapies.

With over 30 years experience in hair restoration, Dr. Edmond Griffin stays as the forefront of available hair loss technology. For instance, Dr. Griffin now uses NeoGraft, an automated technology, to assist the surgeon in the follicular unit extracting technique for hair transplantation.  Staying abreast of hair loss advancements, the Griffin Center is now offering patients LaserCap™, the newest laser hair treatment product.

The LaserCap™ provides full scalp treatment by using over 224 lasers, emitting low level laser light to cover the entire affected scalp. This technology is different than previous laser comb devices (9 lasers) and in-office red light laser devices (160) as it’s more discreet and convenient for the patient while providing a high level of energy which produces results.  The LaserCap™ can be worn under a baseball cap or any other hat and uses a rechargeable battery pack so the patient is free to continue their daily activities. Many patients may opt for the inpatient treatment using the red light technology of the 160 lasers for 20 minutes which is inexpensive ($25/treatment). Once you see how effective the red lights are for hair loss you could take the LaserCap leap ($3000) for the unit. In the long run it will save money and time and those who have used it love it. It does fit the niche for those need treatment, don’t have the time for office visits, and who are apprehension about oral medications and want to supplement the topical ones.

After evaluating and determining the cause of your hair loss, Dr. Griffin can provide you with a tailored treatment plan. If you are interested in finding out your hair loss treatment options, please call our office to set up a consultation.  Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google + for the latest hair restoration news and information.

Have You Had Your Flu Shot? H1N1 Linked to Baldness in Some

April 10, 2012 2:00 pm

In a recent study published in the Journal of Dermatology, researchers linked an infection with the H1N1 virus (swine flu) to some patients losing hair. The report from Japan shows that seven patients who were diagnosed with H1N1 experienced alopecia areata. Characterized by a sudden loss of hair, the cause of alopecia areata is unknown but causes the body to form antibodies that attack hair follicles.

Between 2009 and 2010, scientists followed the seven patients’ hair loss after the swine flu caused high fevers and their hair to fall out. In four patients, this instance was a reoccurrence of hair loss. For the other three, this was the first time they’d ever experienced this type of alopecia. All of the patients were under 30, and four were under the age of 10.

Researchers suggest that because more than half of the patients were experiencing a reoccurrence of alopecia areata that these individuals might be genetically predisposed to the hair loss condition and should probably receive a flu shot for prevention.

While most cases of hair loss are caused by pattern baldness, there are rare cases in which parts or all of their hair on the scalp or body can fall out as a result of a unique autoimmune condition in which the body’s stress response is to attack the hair follicles. Unpredictable in nature, hair lost from alopecia areata can grow back and then fall out again for some, and grow back and stay for others.

The condition cannot be cured, though treatment can help regrow hair. Certain anti-inflammatory medications prescribed to those with autoimmune diseases can help to curb the body’s attack response, while topical drugs like Rogaine® can help regrow hair in adults. A recent study performed by Columbia University Medical Center researchers uncovered the genes that could cause alopecia areata, which could lead to better treatments for those who suffer from the hair loss condition.

For more information on hair loss conditions, make sure to connect with Dr. Edmond Griffin and The Griffin Center Hair Restoration and Research on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also contact our office to schedule a consultation.