What is Trichology?
Trichology is the science of the structure, function and diseases of the human hair. Clinical trichology is the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the human hair and scalp.
The term ‘Trichology’ is derived from the Greek word ‘trichos’, meaning ‘hair’ and the suffix ‘ology’, which means ‘the study of’. Trichologists adapt a holistic approach to treatment, ensuring to take into account many different factors, such as lifestyle, diet and wellbeing as a whole, as well as the signs and symptoms present.
Reasons To Consult A Trichologist
Trichologists can help clients with everything from female and male pattern hair loss to symptoms of alopecia areata. There are many hair and scalp conditions that are commonly seen in Trichology Clinics.
Hair loss can cause great anxiety and distress, there are many misunderstandings about its causes and treatments, with few clinical practioners who specialise in the hair and scalp, a Trichologists is unique in the fact that their entire specialism focuses just on the hair and scalp.
Alopecia is the clinical term for any type of hair loss, especially on the scalp, it can be diffuse, (throughout the scalp) it can be in a pattern, it can be temporary and it can be permanent, it is important to understand what type of Alopecia you may have so that you can treat it correctly to achieve the best outcomes possible.
Probably the most common type of hair loss is Androgenetic Alopecia, this is often called Male Pattern or Female Pattern loss. There are a number of treatment options available as well as therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma, (PRP), Cosmetic Options such as hair fibres and added hair solutions and of course Hair Transplant Surgery. A Trichologist will advise on all of the available options to enable you to decide what is the best course of action for your individual needs.
Excessive Hair Shedding can be a very frightening condition to experience, it can make you very anxious and unsure about what to do, in many cases of excessive shedding there are a number of underlying causative factors, once identified and treated the outcome can be life changing and hair changing too.
Problems of the scalp
Problems of the scalp range from dandruff to more inflammatory conditions such as seborrhoeic dermatitis and Psoriasis. A Trichologist will not only accurately diagnose your condition but is well placed to advise on treatment shampoos and Trichological treatments that will help you to manage the condition very effectively. There are a number of factors such as stress, diet, allergies, family inheritance and medications that can lead to scalp problems and a Trichologist is well placed to identify the triggers and causes to provide holistic advice to you.
As with the hair, these problems can be symptomatic of some other metabolic variation. Stress, poor diet, or even some allergies to certain foods, can be responsible for the build up and shedding of dead skin cells.
The management of hair and scalp that are excessively greasy is another area in which the advice of a qualified trichologist is often sought. Here, guidance on the right type of shampoo for any particular individual, and on its frequency of use, might be particularly relevant.
Hair texture problems
Problems with hair texture can be caused by over exposure to heat or strong chemicals, or by many of the other stresses and strains to which we subject our hair.
In such cases, co-operation with the hairdresser is obviously important, and it indicates that trichologists’ training overlaps both the medical and the cosmetic in areas not normally covered by either doctors or hairdressers.
Hair texture problems usually respond very well to appropriate advice and treatment, as the cause(s), once discovered, can often be reduced or eliminated altogether.
In cases of scalp disorders in particular, it is possible that your trichologist will prescribe treatment creams and shampoos for use either in the clinic or at home. These will either be manufactured by the trichologist (if he or she holds a Medicines Control Agency licence) or by other licensed trichologists who specialise in manufacturing such preparations. These products should always be used in strict accordance with instructions.