By: Merilyn E. Ulrich,
Contributing Editor/Senior Staff Writer
The Hair Society
Speaking to Dr. Kingsley, with his charming English accent and his amazing ability to educate was a true learning experience. Dr. Kingsley is a natural born teacher and an esteemed member of the Hair Loss Profession. Dr. Kingsley is not only a member of many prestigious organizations but the first and only adjunct member of the American Academy of Dermatologists. As if that weren’t enough to make him stand out in his profession, he is the only Trichologist with a PhD in Hair Loss in North America.
On a chilly New York morning, Dr. Kingsley took the time to sit down with The Hair Society to answer our questions and to enlighten our membership about the field of Trichology and it’s importance to the Hair Loss Industry. He is President of the WTS (World Trichology Society), a member of the North American Hair Research Society, International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, among several other boards and organizations.
H.S.: Where you born?
D.K.: I was born in England but have been in the United States since 1982.
H.S.: Tell us about your education.
D.K.: I attended The University of Portsmouth and obtained a PhD in the Psychology of Hair Loss. My goal is to never stop the educational process so I am continually expanding my knowledge in my field of Trichology as well as teaching others via lectures, publications in various medical journals, media articles and various courses through the WTS (World Trichology Society). I have also written a book called “The Hair Loss Cure” which can be purchased on Amazon.com and it is also available on Kindle.
H.S.: What is your book “The Hair Loss Cure” about?
D.K.: It is a self help book to help individuals understand the reasons and causes for hair loss and to improve their lifestyles. As a Trichologist I look at the whole picture when it comes to hair and scalp treatment. There is a link on my website where the book can be purchased.
H.S.: When did you open your own practice?
D.K.: Although I worked in the Hair Loss Industry after completing my education my wife and I began our first Family practice in 1994 in the basement of our home in New York. In time it grew and we now operate two centers. One is in Staten Island and one in Manhattan.
H.S.: Tell us about your Staff.
D.K.: I have a total of ten Staff members which consists of Treatment Technicians (Licensed Cosmetologists,) Trichologists and Receptionists.
H.S.: How do you make sure that they all work as a team?
D.K.: Ongoing education, awareness of patients lifestyle, current methods of hair restoration and a hands on, positive approach to our patients is key. We always work as a unit and approach everything in an extremely positive manner giving the patient hope, encouragement and knowledge. My wife and I try to lead by example.
H.S.: Where have you lectured on the subject of Trichology?
D.K.: I have traveled to the Middle East; (Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates), Europe and throughout North America.
H.S.: How many people have you educated regarding the field of Trichology?
D.K.: Thousands and still counting!
H.S.: Before I ask you to explain why Trichology is important to the Hair Loss Profession can you explain what it means and what it entails?
D.K.: Trikhos is Greek for hair, hence the word Trichology. It is the study of the hair and scalp but goes way beyond that and encompasses a person’s entire lifestyle where it relates to the care of the hair and scalp and hair loss treatment. It examines the causes for hair and scalp problems.
H.S.: What does a certified Trichologist do and how does it relate to the rest of the hair loss industry?
D.K.: A Trichologist builds a bridge between cosmetology and dermatology and searches for the causes of hair loss. We also treat the symptoms of hair loss as well as restoring hair. A Trichologist incorporates the patients entire lifestyle into the treatment. We look at diet, stress, and health factors and we delve deeply into these living conditions with a holistic approach to improve and treat the issues causing the loss of hair. We go beyond just fixing the problem with various treatments to try and prevent further hair loss and maintaining a healthy scalp as well as working with medical doctors to get necessary prescriptions, and provide other treatments and products to suit the needs of our patients. Trichology is an in-depth approach to hair loss.
H.S.: Why is it important for other members of the hair loss field to become Certified Trichologists and how will it benefit them and their clients?
D.K.: In my opinion there is a huge advantage for every individual working in the hair loss profession to become a certified Trichologist. Stylists and Surgeons would benefit greatly from this knowledge and certification because it will help them better understand the individual client’s lifestyle and possible reasons for not only hair loss but damaged hair and scalp issues. It will allow them to better inform their clients of the issues that they have, how to help improve them and to care for their hair and scalp and inform them of what types of treatments and/or products to use. It’s all about finding the cause for hair loss as well as the treatments. Also, ongoing education prevents professionals from becoming stagnant.
You will discover much deeper issues regarding client problems and be able to go beyond mere hair replacement and products. It’s important to treat the REASON for hair loss and compensate with other factors to slow down hair loss. The goal is to educate the client about maintaining a healthy scalp and it’s paramount that trichology be a part of every hair loss professionals approach to treatment. It would improve the entire industry and would certainly be of great benefit to clients.
H.S.: What types of courses can hair loss industry professionals take to become certified trichologists and where can they find them?
D.K.: The World Trichology Society offers the following courses (which I teach and can be obtained online):
- Associates Course (to further educate cosmetologists)
- Full Certification Course (upon completion you receive full certification as a Trichologist)
- Doctoral Program (Trichology courses run by Dr. Kingsley through Huntington College of Health Sciences). Also available online.
- Fellow Course (advanced) which will be available by the end of 2015.
H.S.: What changes have you observed in the Hair Loss Industry in the 30 plus years that you have been practicing?
D.K.: I think that one of the most profound changes is that prior to the year 2000 the percentage of males hair loss patients stood at 90% and women were only treated 10% of the time. After 2000 women became aware of loosing hair due to stress and diet because many of them joined the work force and had to manage both family and jobs so the statistic changed to 90% of women being treated to only 10% of men. Men tend to use the easy access route of products like Rogaine, etc.
H.S.: What treatments do you use the most in your practice?
D.K.: Being a Trichologist I first look for the cause of the problem (lifestyle, health issues). A common form of treatment is the Laser Comb which allows for a much more up close and personal approach to our patients. We always try to be as involved with our patients as possible and in the most positive way. We also manufacture our own hair care products and have a lab on the premises. We manufacture in small batches and sell these products to our patients as well as to the public…even as far away as Singapore! These are Trichology specific treatments and are used in spas and salons around the world as well as our own centers.
H.S.: What do you think about clients using over-the-counter shampoos and conditioners and do you think that they are safe?
D.K.: If a patient buys an over-the-counter product and likes the way their hair looks and feels after using them they are ok as far as I am concerned. If it looks and feels good it’s ok.
H.S.: Are there any important upcoming events where hair loss professionals can learn more about Trichology and certification?
D.K.: Yes, the World Trichology Society is having a Conference in Miami, Fl on the 16th and 17th of November, 2015 . This is highly recommended and there will be speakers from all over the world. Visit the official page for the World Trichology Society Conference.
H.S.: How do you view competition in the hair loss industry?
D.K.: I welcome it. I look forward to seeing more and more hair loss professionals becoming Certified Trichologists. It benefits the entire industry and if I can help too educate them than I see it as a good reflection of me. Competition is healthy.
H.S.: What Challenges you about the industry?
D.K.: Some individuals who work in the industry claim to be Trichologists but they are not trained or certified. That does a great disservice to all of us and to our patients/clients. It is always wise to go to the WTS or other trichology organization’s websites and look up the name of anyone claiming to be a Trichologist and see if they are listed. If their name isn’t there…they are NOT a Trichologist and should not make claims that they are. There is no overseeing by any Governmental Agency to regulate this so fact checking is necessary.
H.S.: Any final words before we conclude this interview?
D.K.: Never approach people in a negative manner. From their first contact and throughout the entire hair loss treatment process always be positive. Educating patients, Staff and other hair loss professionals should always be done with a positive mindset and never stop seeking continuing education.
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