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.