Business Spotlight SEries
Kindred Hair & Skin Center- Cutting Edge Treatment for Hair Loss, Specializing in Natural Hair Care and Styling for Persons of Color
Hair loss happens to many and it can be very disheartening. How we look in the mirror directly affects our self-image, and ultimately our quality of life. For persons of color or African descent, there is increasing medical evidence that chemically relaxing your hair to straighten is related to breast cancer and fibroids. In this case, you may have the challenge of styling your hair without the need for strong harsh chemicals or processes that may harm your health in the long term.
Dr. Chesahna Kindred of Kindred Hair & Skin Center, has been providing solutions and positive results for such clients since December of 2017. After completing her residency in dermatology at Howard University in 2012 and gaining valuable experience in a group practice, Dr. Kindred opened her own clinic specializing in hair loss. Prior to her opening her doors, natural hair stylist and natural hair industry expert Susan Peterkin approached Dr. Kindred and proposed opening her clinic with an in-house natural hair salon. Without hesitation, Dr. Kindred said yes. In fact, Kindred Hair & Skin Center is the only dermatology practice in the world that has an in-house natural hair salon. Together with Susan Peterkin, they founded the PeterKINdred Hair and Scalp Wellness Center. Peterkin and Kindred run the salon, lead hair loss discussion groups, and host public speaking engagements in person and via online webinars, where they educate the general public as well as hair stylists about the medical aspects of hair loss and safe natural hair care.
Dr. Kindred’s passion, needless to say, is empowering patients with hair loss. Thanks to her training at Howard University, she is also fully equipped and adept at treating patients with melanin-rich skin. “A lot of times with darker skin tones, you have to be very careful, or certain treatments may backfire. We’re well versed in all types of skin care, and we get results in a safe way.”
Many of us think of male pattern baldness when we think of hair loss, however, hair loss affects both men and women. “There are more than 15 types of hair loss,” Dr. Kindred explains, “and almost all of them are a disease that has to be respected. If you treat it nonchalantly, the patient can lose hair forever.” The most common form of hair loss is female and male pattern baldness, where the body’s own testosterone shrinks the hair follicles. The most common form in blacks is a scarring inflammatory form called Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia, or CCCA. Treatment for hair loss can include topical, oral, and procedural approaches like laser and platelet rich plasma. Generally, there is a targeted treatment phase, followed by an ongoing maintenance program. In the case of male pattern baldness, “if you stop treatment, the body will continue to do what it wants to do, and our body’s testosterone will shrink the hair follicles and cause hair loss again.”
When asked what are some of the most rewarding aspects of having her own practice, Dr. Kindred shares, ”seeing in 6 to12 months after a hair loss patient first walks in the door, how much we’re able to accomplish with their hair and to see the patient’s confidence come back.” Also rewarding, Dr. Kindred says, is “allowing young women who want to become physicians to shadow me in the office. There is always either a high school student, a college student, a medical student, even hair stylists that are shadowing me in my office, and learning from us so they can take it back to their careers.”
Dr. Kindred explains some cultural trends that are influencing her practice’s growth. “There’s a lot of pressure in society for black women to straighten their hair, but now there is more data showing that relaxers may be related to breast cancer and fibroids.” There is the CROWN Act in California (CROWN stands for Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), that is taking foot across the US. It prohibits discrimination based on hair style and hair texture. “We have generations of women that always straightened their hair, who are now trying to figure out how to care for their own natural hair,” Dr. Kindred explains. Here is where Dr. Kindred and her team provide tremendous value, by educating and empowering women on how to care for their natural hair, and providing effective treatments to safely address their hair loss.
Another plus, Dr. Kindred explains, is “it has allowed me more flexibility and ability to do more for my patients. I’ve had hair loss patients whose stylists didn’t know exactly how to care for their hair because of the hair loss, so by having the salon in my office and being able to train the natural hair stylists here, we’re able to help coach the patients and their stylist through the disease process and teach them how to adjust. I would never have been able to do that if I didn’t open this practice.”
Hair loss clients make up about 50% of Dr. Kindred’s case load, while the remaining half is medical dermatology conditions like eczema, psoriasis, hidradenitis, and cosmetic procedures like laser treatments for dark spots, and anti aging treatments like chemical peels. Dr. Kindred performs about 97% of procedures, while others are performed by her qualified aesthetician. “When a patient comes in, they can rest assured they are being seen by a board-certified dermatologist.”
What are some goals for Dr. Kindred this year? A few include adding hair transplantation and scalp micropigmentation. “Some patients don’t come early enough to save the hair because the follicle is already destroyed. Some require hair transplantation, but some may not want to go that far, so we can tattoo the area (scalp micropigmentation), to make it look fuller.” This can help those that want an alternative to using products like Toppik, a pigmented filament you can sprinkle on your scalp to make your hair look fuller, but can lead to feelings of self consciousness about it rubbing off unexpectedly.
Dr. Kindred sees patients Monday through Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays you can find her taking part in one of many volunteer organizations. She recently founded the Onyx Medical Society for black doctors that live and work in Howard County. She is a deacon at her church Celebration Church at Columbia. She chairs the Dermatology Section of the National Medical association and she heads the health committee for the African American Community Round Table of Howard County. She enjoys spending time with her husband, kids, and mother.
Be sure to check her out live Monday on Facebook @kindredhairandskin and Instagram @kindrederm, where she hosts “Derm Myth Monday” and debunks common myths about hair skin and nails.
To make an appointment with Dr. Kindred, book online at https://kindredhairandskin.com/ or call 443-424-7754. She is located at 8900 Columbia 100 Parkway, Suite F, Columbia, MD 21045