Hair Loss is a subject of such concern, and confusion that we were excited to check in with the incomparable Dr. Lian to get some much needed clarifications on the topic. Enjoy!
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a Nigerian Canadian Family Physician, trained in the United States, with a passion for cosmetic medicine and a committed interest in all things related to women’s health. The nature of my profession means I am constantly learning new things. In my free time I enjoy physical fitness and discussing current events.
Where do you practice, and what are some of the services you offer?
My Family practice is in Limoges (right outside of Ottawa) where I care for a population of 1400 patients from infancy to old age. Which means I care for all age groups. Outside of my regular hours, I offer cosmetic injectable procedures such as botulinum toxin, dermal fillers, platelet rich plasma and microneedling.
What's the most exciting part of your work today?
Each day I have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Whether through health education or by making an accurate diagnosis. Also as a Family Doctor, every day brings in a variety cases, so I am always being challenged.
What led you to this work?
Becoming a doctor was a seed that my father planted in my head as a young child. As I grew older, I developed a genuine interest in Medicine and helping others. However, since childhood, I have also had an appreciation for aesthetics and fashion. So it was a natural transition for me to go from standard medicine to incorporating cosmetic medicine into my practice.
As a physician, what are some common misconceptions you hear about hair loss or aging?
The main one would be that nothing can be done about it. Medical research continues to discover potential treatments. One shouldn’t struggle in silence. A good place to start is to seek out advice from a healthcare professional.
As of today, is it actually possible to grow hair back using topical applications?
Depending on the type of hair loss, and the extent of that hair loss, topical treatments such Women’s Rogaine can make enough of a difference for some.
What advanced treatments do you recommend for hair growth?
The most advanced treatment for hair loss is the transplantation of terminal hairs from unaffected areas. As is the case with any medical procedure, the transplant may fail. Before investing so much time and money, most people first try other therapies.
These Therapies include:
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) aka red light therapy: Some women with Female Pattern Hair Loss may benefit from (LLLT)
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): Your own blood is drawn, spun and then the platelet rich plasma is then injected into the areas of concern. Placebo- controlled randomized trials have demonstrated increase in hair density.
You have some great posts about Hair Loss, is there a difference in the way Hair Loss occurs between Male and Female?
There are many reasons why someone may be experiencing hair loss. Generally speaking the image we all have in our mind of male and female hair loss pertains to Androgenetic Alopecia.
Female Pattern Hair loss: presents as hair thinning over the crown. The temples are sometimes involved. Unlike with men, it usually spares the frontal hairline.
Male Pattern Hair Loss: presents as a slow progressive more global pattern. The back of the hairline is usually spared.
Do the treatments you offer vary based on your patients’ hair type? In other words, would you treat someone with curly hair the same way you would treat someone with straight hair?
The hair type or curl pattern is not of importance. The condition of your scalp is what will vary treatment.
In your experience, what role does hair play in how we see ourselves? Any stories you could share?
Hair plays a major role in a person’s identity, confidence and impacts other people’s perception of us. It is no wonder that when one suffers from hair loss, it can be a very emotionally disturbing event.
I see it in my own patients. Specifically cancer survivors going through treatment. Their hair loss is a daily reminder of their ailment and adds to an already difficult situation.
We're also here to learn, what are you favorite styling tips & techniques? Is there anything we could do to avoid early hair loss?
In black women, the most common cause of hair loss is Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA). This results in scarring and permanent hair loss. We are still not sure why this happens but agree there is an inflammatory process that leads to the destruction of the follicles. Although an association between CCCA and hair care practices have not been proven, expert opinion advises to minimize practices that can be damaging to the hair and scalp. Avoid styles that lead to prolonged traction, pain or pressure (ponytail weaves). Also avoid chemical burning of the scalp that can happen with relaxers.
Any advice for our readers who are considering these treatments? What should they look for in a service provider?
They have nothing to lose but more hair! If you have already started to see signs of hair loss then consider over the counter Rogaine 5% foam with or without the use of vitamins.
If that fails, then seek medical advice. It helps to find someone who understands your hair care practices so that treatments can be tailored to you. Find someone who is knowledgeable and who is forthright.
Where could people learn more about you?
They can check out my social media platforms:
Facebook: Dr. Lian Beauty
Thanks so much for your time! It's great to know that there are in fact solutions to a problems that for a long time we thought could not be solved. I have a feeling we will have more questions on these fascinating topics!