Archive | January, 2012

Fill Me UP!

25 Jan

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Go ahead, give me some lip!

There are many options these days for those of us who would like to, ahem, fight the good fight where visible aging is concerned. Most have heard of Botox for relaxing frown lines, particularly those between the eyebrows. But did you know that dermal fillers like Juvederm can be used in areas where there has been loss of volume? Think hollowed out cheeks, marionette lines, and lips that have lost their fullness.

Some doctors and nurse-injectors are now using a cannula to administer fillers, rather than a traditional needle, which allows for greater comfort and less bruising. That’s good news!

It’s nice to know that there are subtle but remarkable, non-surgical options for battling signs of aging and for enhancing what you’ve got. To this I say, “Fill me UP!!!”

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Brow-za!

19 Jan

With multiple surgical and non-surgical hair restoration options nowadays, there is no longer any reason to remain a hopeless thinner. Hair loss on the scalp has gotten a lot of attention, and with the help of lash growth serums, such as Latisse, there are plenty of people batting longer and thicker lashes! How about help for the waning eyebrow? Where is their savior?

When brow fashion has run the gamut between Jean Harlowe and Frieda Kahlo (okay, I exaggerate), it’s no wonder people end up too thick or too thin. Too thick is an easy fix, thankfully! But sometimes folks are inclined to over groom their brows during a thin-is-in trend and end up with permanently diminished brows. Other times with age, people will experience thinning brows as well. Since the brows frame the eyes and can really impact one’s overall appearance, for better or worse, it’s good to give them a little attention.

Does it really matter if the brows are too thin? Well, not in an end-of-the-world kind of way, no. But a slightly fuller, well-groomed brow lends a more youthful, healthy appearance. Not just for women, either. Eyebrow trimming and grooming is universal, people!

Even if your brows are thinning, it is still important to have them trimmed and shaped. If you have decided to pursue thicker brows, having them shaped still makes a nice difference, as can brow tinting and makeup.

If you are already using Latisse or another lash growth serum, swipe it across your brows, too. It works! The results are noticeable after several weeks of nightly use, and the results may be enough to satisfy your brow wishes. You will have to keep it up though, or your lashes and brows will just return to whatever they were doing before.

Brow replacement surgery is an option that some may consider. Hair replacement surgery, in the proper hands, has become a very refined technique with favorable outcome. Dr. Robert Niedbalski has done beautiful brow replacement for men and women, recreating fuller, healthier, more attractive looking brows for his patients.

More recently, after Dr. Niedbalski began seeing great results regrowing scalp hair using a combination of ACell, a stem cell activator, and the patient’s own platelet-rich plasma (PRP), he began a brow study using ACell and PRP. The results have been positive and offer an effective and worthy addition to the list of treatment options for thinning brows.

Between your esthetician/makeup artist and the right doctor, there are some great choices out there for making your brows temporarily or permanently better than ever!

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Can You Hair Me Now?

11 Jan

Thinning hair is not super wonderful when it begins happening on your head. Men usually do not appreciate it when they begin losing their hair, and women certainly don’t care for it at all when they see their own locks thinning! If you are experiencing thinning hair on your head, what are your options? Must you contend with it?

My own hair has always been on the fine side. And by fine, I don’t mean lusciously fine, I mean kinda scrawny. In the last decade my hair was gradually thinning, which became visibly noticeable in the last year or so. Sigh, like some of the other women in my family, my hairline had become visibly diminished. I tried clip-in hair and even got a weave one time! These options were okay in the short-term, but really weren’t all that practical for me. I came to accept that I would likely never have hair like a 1970s Farrah Fawcett or a present day Sophia Vergara.

I never knew of any real options for my type of hair loss, besides maybe a specialty shampoo, until I started working for Dr. Robert Niedbalski at Northwest Hair Restoration in Tacoma, Washington. While I knew my husband was a candidate for surgery, my situation didn’t seem to warrant the surgical route. When Dr. Niedbalski began educating me on non-surgical options, including oral medication (Propecia), topical medication (Rogaine), laser combs, and ACell with Platelet Rich Plasma(PRP), I found that there are options for people like me.

The non-surgical options are good for those who are not candidates for surgery, who are not ready for surgery, and for those who are both preparing for surgery and looking to enhance their surgical outcome. Doctor Niedbalski generally recommends using two or more non-surgical options simultaneously for optimal results. I was getting ready to purchase a laser comb, and probably still will, when the doctor recomended treating my hairline with ACell with Platelet Rich Plasma. He has been using ACell in conjunction with surgery, and as a stand-alone treatment, and the results have been pretty darn exciting!

ACell is a tissue regenerator that has many amazing uses in the medical and veterinary worlds. Dr. Niedbalski mixes it with the patient’s own platelet rich plasma and introduces it to the scalp (or other treatment areas, such as thinning brows), both in conjunction with surgery and as a stand-alone service. When used in conjunction with surgery, the patient will experience an even better survival rate of the grafted hair, improvement in the health and quality of existing hair, and, also significant, when the surgery scar heals it is almost imperceptable! When used as a stand-alone treatment, ACell with PRP stimulates the existing hair to grow in thicker and healthier. In other words, it rocks!

In July, I had Dr. Niedbalski treat my hairline with ACell with PRP. Initially, I noticed I was shedding less hair. Six to eight weeks later we could see under a scope that there was more hair growing in the treatment area than before. Now that it has been a little over five months, the new hairs have had the opportunity to grow a couple of inches, and I can see that my hairline has visibly filled in. Yes. Yes. Yesssss!!!

Dr. Niedbalski is also seeing significant improvement when using ACell with PRP in patients with extensive thinning, which is quite exciting. My husband is definitely a candidate for the surgery, but with the results we are seeing from the ACell with PRP, he will first undergo ACell treatment (approximately 90 minutes) and see how he likes the results. It may be that he is happy enough with the ACell results that he will either delay surgery or forgo surgery altogether.

It is possible that I may achieve that 1970s Farrah Fawcett hairdo after all! And my husband may just reclaim the look he had going in his college football pictures. By the end of 2012, we may see our dreams of luxurious hair being fulfilled. What would your hair wish be?

2012, Do I Hear An Amen?

3 Jan

Congratulations! You have survived 2011! Maybe 2011 was a wonderful one for you, I hope it was. And maybe it was a year of much change for you, like it was for me.

I am happy, in this moment, to be seeing the sunlight come in my window on this January morning, on this anniversary of the day I was born. (My son did not believe me when I said I was turning 35, ha!). The winter holidays have passed, and a challenging year has ended. Even as I am still feeling discombobulated from all the changes and upheaval, all the heartbreak and fear, I truly am beginning to see how I have been blessed through it all and despite it all.

How do we proceed into a new year when we are still reeling from the last? Well, we really don’t have much choice now, do we?!! Sometimes things happen that are outside of our control, and hopefully we can embrace and accept the love of God and the comfort of those who graciously offer it. I have seen people become bitter after experiencing difficulty in their lives, even when their own choices and actions have led to those difficulties. I have listened to people who say that nothing is ever good in their lives. Ever hear of self-fulfilling prophecy?!! I refuse to go down that route, even though there ARE days where I literally have to pray for an improved mood and attitude. I have chosen to be one of those who accepts God’s love and the comfort of those who offer it.

So I made it through 2011. I made it to my, uh, yeah, 41st birthday. Everything has been broken, scrambled, and changed in such a way that my life is practically unrecognizable. I look at all the pieces scattered around me, and with the Tri Cities sun shining on the shards of things that were, I see a different, better, more richly blessed picture forming.

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