Hair Thinning: a Q+A with Dr. Zion Ko

Meet Dr. Zion Ko: an immigrant from South Korea, a board-certified Internal Medicine physician now based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a beauty and skincare guru who loves sharing her tips and tricks with the world on Instagram and TikTok.

While holistic wellness is her passion, Dr. Ko’s healthy hair journey hasn’t been without its ups and downs. Here, she shares more about her experience with hair thinning and shedding from stress and pregnancy, why she now prioritizes scalp exfoliation, and how she rounds out her hair density routine with our new Destined for Density™ Megastrength+ Peptide Density Serum.

Q: Tell us a little about your experience with hair thinning or shedding.

A: It all started in the middle of medical school training, right around age 24. My hair thinning/shedding was most likely due to a combination of stress, lack of sleep, and nutrition deficiency. I noted thinning all throughout my head, but it was particularly noticeable at my hairline where I parted my hair. I would get spurts of aggressive shedding that would last a couple months before the loss would plateau. 

I'm currently pregnant and am once again experiencing hair shedding. I feel like I've lost half of my hair—it sometimes comes out in clumps!!

Q: What kind of treatments have you reached for in the past?

A: I've done it all, including compounding my own prescription serum, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), and minoxidil. I've been a little apprehensive about getting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, and have luckily not needed steroid injections because my hair loss (then and now) is non-scarring.

Q: What sets our Peptide Density Serum apart from other treatments that you tried?

A: I love this serum because it’s not irritating, non-greasy, and delivers the building blocks I need to build stronger hair follicles. After I exfoliate my scalp, the serum quickly absorbs, so it doesn’t go on feeling heavy or make my hair look oily. I also love that the formulation is powered only by natural ingredients, but it doesn’t forfeit clinical efficacy.

 Q: Tell us about your density routine now. 

A: Today, my hair is the thinnest it's ever been due to pregnancy—it’s the first time in my life my hairdresser didn't thin out my hairstyle! Because of this, I've been paying closer attention to my healthy hair routine. On top of the prenatal vitamins I continue to take by mouth, I try to eat a well-balanced diet every day (full, healthy hair starts from the inside out!). I avoid harsh products that strip my hair of its structure, and I provide my scalp with the components that help increase density, such as rice proteins/other amino acids, zinc, copper, biotin, and more.

 Q: Why is exfoliating your scalp (and scalp care in general) before applying a serum like this so important?

A: Think of hair products like makeup: would you ever perform an elaborate skincare routine before removing your makeup? Similarly with scalp care, it’s important to remember that the skin on your scalp is the extension of the skin on your face, just with more hair on it—and therefore, more sebaceous glands. These glands secrete sebum, which forms a protective barrier against water loss, but it also hinders the absorption of other products (like a serum) in your routine. Exfoliation is a great prep step, helping to lift away and remove excess sebum and buildup so your scalp can best absorb the healthy hair ingredients in your serum.

Q: Can you explain a bit about why consistency with a product like this is so important?

Consistency is key because hair growth doesn’t happen overnight—the average hair growth rate is only about half an inch a month! We really need to give any supplemental hair products 90 days before we start seeing results.  

With that being said, hair is still the fastest growing tissue in the human body, so it requires daily nutrition for healthy growth—no days off! Our bodies, however, don’t see hair growth as a priority; meaning, if your diet lacks the nutrition needed for all of the other functions of your body, it will divert the necessary ingredients needed to build strong hair (e.g., copper and biotin) away from your hair follicles to use for other purposes, which can lead to decreased hair growth. By consistently applying all the essential building blocks directly to your scalp each day, you ensure your hair follicles have everything they need to build healthy, strong hair.

 Q: Anything else you’d like to share about your density journey and how Briogeo fits into it?

A: While other companies use harsh ingredients in their products to be deemed effective, Briogeo only uses natural ingredients in their clean formulas while still being effective and giving me the great hair density results I want. From a safety perspective during my pregnancy, I feel comfortable using Briogeo to help me achieve my healthy hair goals!

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Destined For Density™ MegaStrength+ Caffeine + Biotin Peptide Density Serum
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