Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.



Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.



Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…


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Today, thanks to improved technology, women can have custom designed prostheses prepared to fit them perfectly. Some of the replacement pieces are made with synthetics while others are made of human hair that can be styled. These products look and feel realistic.

“We make our own line that is 100 percent hand knotted,” Johnson said. “So not only do they weigh less than an ounce, but when you have them on they’re very light and they make it look like the hair is coming right out of the scalp.

They’re unbelievable, they’re so natural looking.”

The difference these prostheses make for the patient is astounding. The hair is color matched to the style and look the woman had before she began to lose her hair.

“These pieces give them their dignity back,” Johnson said. “It makes them feel comfortable and confident about themselves.”

Most of Johnson’s clients come to Hair Institute before they begin their cancer treatments. This gives him the chance to examine their hair and see if they have features such as a left or right part or a crisscross. “We can look at their hair and match it identically,” he said.

Although cancer patients make up a significant part of Hair Institute’s clientele, the company also helps women who lose their hair due to genetics and the “big three”: stress, hormones and medications. “Those three really fast track women’s hair loss,” Johnson said. Men, women and children who suffer from alopecia also benefit from Hair Institute’s expertise.

“Barbara Walters always said no matter how sick you are, no matter how bad you feel, if you get up and your hair looks good and your make-up looks good, you always immediately feel better about yourself,” Johnson said.

For more information, visit Hair Institute’s Web site at www.hairinstitutelexington.com or call (859) 263-9811.

For many women facing cancer, the most devastating aspect is learning they may lose their hair due to chemotherapy.

“Most women tell me that as soon as they hear the oncologist say, ‘You’re going to lose your hair,’ that’s the last thing they remember hearing,” said Eric Johnson, co-owner, with his wife, Jeletta, of Hair Institute in Lexington. “They can deal with the sickness; they can deal with the treatments; but it’s the hair loss that gets them the most.

”Women can find hope and help at Hair Institute, a full-service hair restoration clinic the Johnsons began 23 years ago.

“We saw a need for hair loss in general, other than traditional wig and toupee shops,” said Johnson, a former pilot. “My wife had been doing hair for years and we just saw a big void in the area of hair restoration. We were going to give it a year and now we’re in our 23rd year.

”Hair Institute specializes in the latest advancements in the areas of both surgical and non-surgical hair restoration, low-level laser hair therapy, hair prostheses, hair additions and extensions. It has become a worldwide leader in the field of hair replacement and restoration procedures. Its staff are all fully licensed and undergo extensive hair replacement training, including yearly continuing education classes.  


“We bring every technology together, from surgical options to nonsurgical restoration,” Johnson said. “We do laser therapy for stop-page and reversal of hair loss if people are candidates. We deal with prostheses for long-term hair loss. We have a large inventory for people who are undergoing chemotherapy.”

Chemotherapy, Johnson explained, dissolves the hair at the root bulb. “The chemo drugs attack the fastest growing cells of your body, which are typically cancer cells, but it also attacks the hair cells because they’re very fast growing,” he said.

Women may not realize after all their treatments are complete and regrowth begins, hair only comes back at a quarter to a half an inch per month. So just to get 6 inches of growth will take about a year. Women come to Hair Institute to find options to conceal their hair loss. Johnson said wearing a wig was formerly the only choice they had.

“But people hated conventional wigs,” he said. “They were too hot, they were scratchy, they weighed too much. They were machine injected so it looked fake. People want something that looks natural and is comfortable, too.”


Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler

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