Trichology is, essentially, the science of hair – its structure and the way it grows and functions. Clinical trichology is the diagnosis and treatment of hair and scalp problems, which can include hair loss, dandruff, greasy hair or damaged hair.
Why see a trichologist?
Whilst trichology is not currently a recognised medical specialty, it is not an ‘alternative’ therapy. Trichologists study the hair from a scientific standpoint and will usually have a much deeper understanding of hair and scalp-related problems than a GP.
If you are suffering from hair thinning, hair loss or other problems related to the hair or scalp, it is important to see your GP – particularly if the hair loss is sudden – as they can rule out some of the more serious problems that can lead to hair loss.
However, GPs tend to be more concerned about issues that affect your physical health, so if your hair loss is not linked to an underlying medical condition it is unlikely that your GP will help. A trichologist, on the other hand, dedicates themselves solely to the treatment of hair-related problems, so will not only take your issues seriously, but will be well placed to help resolve them.
What are the main problems a trichologist treats?
A trichologist can offer advice on any issue pertaining to the hair or scalp, but some of the most common reasons people visit a trichologist are:
Hair loss is probably the most common reason for patients to seek advice from a trichologist. Trichologists can treat conditions that cause both male and female hair loss, from androgenic alopecia (female or male pattern baldness) to alopecia areata, telogen effluvium or traction alopecia.
Losing your hair can be very distressing and attempts to treat the problem are not always met with sympathy and understanding by the medical profession.
Here at The Hair Ambulance, our resident qualified trichologist, Ranbir Rai Watson, has many years’ experience of studying and treating hair loss. This means she can not only treat your problem with the compassion it deserves but can also offer solutions that will help you to regain both your hair and your confidence.
Diseases of the scalp can range from dandruff and excessive oil production to more inflammatory conditions such as seborrhoeic eczema, contact dermatitis or psoriasis.
As with problems of the hair, many of these conditions are caused or inflamed by lifestyle factors such as poor diet, stress or the use of certain shampoos or hair products.
A trichologist can offer advice on treatments for these conditions as well as changes you could make to your diet or lifestyle that could help to alleviate the problem.
Hair texture problems
Another reason patients seek advice from a trichologist is for problems with the texture of the hair. These are often caused by over styling, particularly if exposure to heat or chemicals has been involved – chemical straightening or bleaching, for example, can lead to hair which is dry, damaged and brittle.
A trichologist can advise on products which can help to resolve these texture problems and, where necessary, work with your hair stylist to ensure the problem is kept at bay.