The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research is one of eight specialty centers at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, focusing specifically on hair restoration and research. When it comes to hair loss, The Griffin Center has put utmost effort into restoring your hair back to full health while maintaining your desires, goals, and comfort at the forefront for over 36 years. The Griffin Center offers several options for different hair transplantation techniques. The oldest and still favorite uses microscope-assisted follicular unit grafting (FUG) by the strip excision technique and the newer follicular unit extraction (FUE) using cutting-edge extractors like NeoGraft™ (which was the first of the automated extractors) and more recently our newer, more advanced technology, which uses oscillating rotation rather than continuous rotation cutting technology. In addition to these techniques, we combine platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy with and without ECM (extracellular matrix) which encourages new growth, decreases inflammation, and speeds healing.
Our providers present a full array of options, including the 633 red light led laser equipped laser cap, PRP scalp injections with ECM, and unique topical solutions to stimulate hair growth. Whether a surgical, cosmetic, or medical option such as Propecia® or Rogaine® is the right solution for you, the ultimate goal of The Griffin Center team is to achieve the most natural looking results possible for all patients.
For over 36 years, The Griffin Center’s founder Dr. Edmond Griffin has specialized in hair replacement surgery, devoting time and resources to the continued contribution to hair loss research and hair transplant advancements. He is a board-certified dermatologist by the American Board of Dermatology who has dedicated his expansive career to practicing and improving his specialty. Dr. Griffin completed his B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Georgia subsequently earning his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia before completing his residency in dermatology at the Mary Hitchcock Hospital at Dartmouth College.
Dr. Griffin is an active member of many organizations, including the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, and the American Society of Laser and Medicine.
Notably, Dr. Griffin is a member of the prestigious International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons, indicative of his leadership and expertise in the hair restoration field.
Dr. Ashley Curtis is a board-certified dermatologist passionate about hair restoration and educating patients about hair loss prevention and hair restoration treatments. Dr. Curtis completed her B.S. in Industrial Engineering with honors at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and then followed her passion for dermatology by getting her doctorate at Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Curtis spent time at Wake Forest University Department of Dermatology as Chief Resident, where she volunteered time performing skin cancer screenings at community care clinics. She is an active member of numerous societies, including the American Academy of Dermatology, International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, Women’s Dermatologic Society, and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.
Dr. Curtis has special interest in women’s hair restoration, providing complete care for existing conditions and prevention for future conditions. She works extensively with Dr. Griffin to provide the best hair loss prevention plan for patients.
Hair grows according to location on the body, genetic background, age, and hormonal influences. Hair is approximately 91% protein with at least 85% of the hairs on the scalp growing at one time, culminating to about one half inch per month. Normal daily hair shedding of 50-100 hairs per day is common and expected; while that may seem excessive, it is rather modest considering there is an average of 80,000 to 140,000 scalp hairs on a healthy individual.
While baldness is progressive and unpredictable, at The Griffin Center early diagnosis for the cause of hair loss and prevention of further loss is the most important factor to slowing down the progression of hair loss. Several treatment options are available for thinning hair based on the patient’s extent of hair loss, goals, age, and gender. With proven records for hair growth and FDA-approved, oral medication Propecia® and topical Rogaine® are notable options to prevent hair loss. When used in conjunction, they help to prevent further progression of androgenic loss. While highly variable, reports exist of people who have grown cosmetically acceptable hair where balding had previously occurred while using these treatments. Other prescription compounds and technologies such as the laser cap are also effective hair loss management options.
At The Griffin Center, you will be evaluated by Dr. Griffin or Dr. Curtis in order to determine and discuss possible causes of your hair loss. Once the issue is pinpointed and diagnosed, a customized treatment plan is created for you and medical and/or surgical options are discussed. The most common cause of hair is heredity and genetics (androgenetic alopecia). However, there is more specificity when we look at the causes for men, women, and children separately. For all people, diet is a factor in healthy hair growth and damage prevention. Eating a very low protein diet can cause hair to become fragile and thin. Over treatment with chemical straighteners, dyes, and products, problems with the thyroid gland, and aging also contribute to hair loss. Alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition in which the body mistakenly forms antibodies against its own hair follicles, results in sudden loss of hair in smooth, circular patches of the scalp, eyebrows, or beard. Women, particularly those of color, may suffer from scarring scalp conditions resulting in long-term hair loss. Among these problems, traction alopecia may occur in women due to the tight braiding of hair begun early in life.
Male pattern baldness (MPD) is the most common type of hair loss in men caused by genetic predisposition to lose hair at the front, central, and crown portions of the head. It is usually progressive in nature. Men with MPD inherit hair follicles with a genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). These hair follicles miniaturize and have shorter lifespans, until the follicles stop producing hair all together. As noted, the most common pattern of balding for men is receding hairline or thinning crown, areas most commonly sensitive to DHT. Other reasons for men’s hair loss include reaction to medication, serious illness or disease, or stressful events. Sometimes, men choose to ignore their baldness and accept their genetics. However, there are many ways The Griffin Center can help, whether by prescription, laser treatment or surgery.
Rather than simply talking to a hair stylist, it is important for women who believe they are experiencing hair loss to see a doctor and determine the actual cause by physical examination, possible biopsy and lab tests. According to Dr. Griffin and Dr. Curtis, female hair loss patients at The Griffin Center have tripled in the past decade. For women, reasons for hair loss also include hormonal changes, ongoing illness, anemia sometimes due to low iron, rapid weight loss, and certain medications including birth control pills. Topical medications can now be used with women who are child bearing age, but must be discontinued if they become pregnant. Women who are past child bearing years can use Propecia® by mouth, which is considered off label. Some women respond to this medication due to it decreasing levels of DHT within the blood. Older women are sometimes placed on testosterone replacement therapy and note a sudden onset of hair loss. Many of these patients do well with the oral form of Propecia®, while some achieve hair restoration with simply the topical form of this medication. Blood tests can help to determine if other hormones, such as thyroid hormones, are causing a problem with regrowth that needs to be treated.
Just like the causes of hair loss for men and women, causes for children are difficult to immediately identify as well. Possible reasons for children’s hair loss include accident trauma, birth defects, scarring because of surgery to remedy birth defects, and alopecia areata. Most characteristic of alopecia areata are the rapid onset of round bald patches, which are responsive to medications and have a good prognosis overall. Sometimes, this form of alopecia reappears at puberty; but, may appear in any future time. Lice infestation may occur in a young child but usually does not cause hair loss, while the infection with a fungus may cause hair loss that can sometimes last forever.
Just as the causes for hair loss vary greatly, so do the treatments. In order to effectively target your specific hair loss cause and problem, seeing a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in hair loss is your first step to restoration.
For men and women alike, The Griffin Center offers solutions in the form of medical, surgical, and cosmetic options. According to the latest by MERCK, for male pattern baldness sufferers and women past the age of child bearing, orally taken Propecia® or Proscar® has led to a 30-40% re-growth of hair and even higher percentage of patients who experience decreased hair loss. Therefore, the most important use of Propecia® is to limit the effects of DHT and bring the constant, excess loss to a halt. This stoppage of the hair loss is common in 80% of patients. The effects are increased when these medications are combined with Extra Strength 5% Rogaine® solution (Sometimes, Retin-A® is added to topical solutions to increase their absorption). One problem with Rogaine® is that, along with desired areas on the head, it can produce hair growth alongside the face and forehead. Fortunately, this excessive hair growth fades away with a decrease of the strength of Rogaine. When using Extra Strength 5% Rogaine® alone, some prevention and slight re-growth can be expected with consistent daily usage. It has greatest effectiveness in those who are just beginning to lose their hair because of its slowing effect on the balding process.
Another non-surgical option is using a hairpiece, which covers baldness instantly, densely, and effectively. While costly, no hair restoration method will bring you instantaneous results. For women, a hair weave is an option to have thicker, fuller hair. Cosmetics can also be used to give “peach fuzz” a fuller look in the form of colored sprays, rub on dyes, powder-like colorants, or long lasting scalp tattoos. Lately, more information is now available about red light lasers for treatment, which can be delivered as an in-office treatment or at home with a laser cap. While results are not rapid, this device can speed along healing after a transplant, as well as work for thinning patients with baldness. Thickening is common after several months of use, three times per week for 20 minutes each session. The cost of the laser cap which has over 200 LED’s of laser lights can be expensive. Another potential option is an oral supplement called Viviscal® Professional, which contains a unique blend of nutrients to improve the health of the follicles, allowing for fuller and thicker hair growth.
Genetic hair loss is by far the most frequent reason to seek surgical hair transplantation by microscope-assisted follicular unit grafting, platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, or NeoGraft™ with follicular unit extraction. However, an increasing number of patients with hair loss from other causes, such as scars from accidents, burns, or cosmetic procedures—particularly facelifts–are also pursuing hair transplantation procedures as a solution to their hair loss concerns.
Children’s hair loss treatments include cortisone injections, topical treatments such as Rogaine®, and UVA light therapy combined with a topical photosensitizing medicine. A surgical route should not be taken for children experiencing hair loss.
As we age, our hair naturally begins to thin. For both men and women, the most common cause of hair loss (alopecia) is heredity, as your likelihood of experiencing hair loss increases if your relatives have experienced hair loss. Other contributing factors may include underlying medical or hormonal problems, medications, excessive weight loss, stress, chemotherapy or radiation. Signs of hair loss vary by each person and symptoms can include sudden loss of patches of hair, noticeable thinning on the scalp or crown, a receding hair line or excessive shedding.
Board-certified dermatologists and hair loss specialists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis believe the key to successful prevention and treatment of hair loss is to first understand the type of hair loss you are experiencing and its cause. In general, as soon as you are suspicious that you have androgenic balding (male or female pattern baldness), you should begin preventative treatment. As there is no “one-size-fits-all” technique for every patient, a consultation is important so you can be educated on your available options. Drs. Griffin and Curtis will spend time discussing preventative medications as well as the best possible surgical approach to formulate a medical/surgical plan designed specifically for you to help achieve your goals.
The key to properly treating hair loss is having a board-certified dermatologist who is experienced in hair loss diagnose your cause of hair loss. Many people purchase topical medications without proper consultation, expecting overnight success. Re-growth is a slow process that can take up to a year, in some cases, of consistent daily usage to see any results. Rogaine® has found its greatest effectiveness with those who are just beginning to lose their hair because it actually slows down the balding process. As Rogaine® helps to hold on to existing hair, it is most effective as a preventative hair loss treatment and not a solution for hair regrowth. Once it is determined that Rogaine® is not enough to slow down your hair loss progression, Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis will discuss other preventative options as well as the latest surgical techniques for hair restoration. With over 35 years of commitment to improving hair restoration and hair transplant surgery, The Griffin Center utilizes the latest hair restoration techniques including microscopic follicular unit grafting and follicular unit extraction (FUE) with NeoGraft™ to provide their patients with the most natural-looking results.