By: Shea Lenniger
Contributing Writer for The Hair Society
Trichology refers to the study and assessment of the human scalp and hair. By specializing in both the cause and treatment of scalp issues, trichologists can often help general physicians and dermatologists to better understand these problems for their patients. They utilize a holistic approach to address cosmetic and medical aspects of the hair and scalp. Since trichologists emphasize a genuine understanding of the root of the problem, patients’ hair loss concerns are evaluated by studying their lifestyle, genetics, history, and environment. Based off of that information, the trichologist can then provide individualized treatments for their patients. This includes suggestions like dietary advice and various lifestyle changes that can potentially help the appearance and health of the client’s scalp.
When people are concerned about hair issues, they tend to think the hair itself is the problem, not the scalp. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Scalp health and functionality play a huge role in your hair strength, growth, and appearance. Trichology emphasizes scalp health, with an understanding that treating the foundation of the problem is the best way to ensure strong and healthy hair.
When should you seek out a trichologist? If you suffer from hair loss, have dandruff, an irritated scalp, or experience dry and brittle hair, you should seek consultation. These types of conditions can indicate temporary or permanent issues concerning your hair health. The trichologist can then provide you with necessary creams, shampoos, supplements, or lifestyle changes to help various issues. However, if the issues are related to genetic factors, treatments may be limited or not as beneficial.
Trichologists often examine a patient’s hair through a non-invasive visual inspection to identify the problem. In other cases, they utilize microscopic technology to analyze the hair follicles and scalp to better understand the cause, how extreme the hair loss is, and whether or not the condition is permanent. Then the trichologist can determine the proper type of treatment, which usually requires fixing imbalances in the scalp. If the examinations described above are linked to more serious medical issues, a trichologist will work closely with a medical doctor to determine if blood tests or other measures are needed. These later concerns might fall beyond the realm of the trichologists’ expertise, in which it becomes important to involve a medical doctor.
For those who enjoy planning ahead, trichologists can also aid in preventative measures to ensure better scalp and hair health down the road. By examining and understanding the current status of your hair, trichologists can develop an individualized plan to dramatically reduce the inevitable effects of aging on your hair and scalp.
If you have questions about sudden hair changes, hair loss, increased oiliness or dryness, or anything that seems unusual for your hair, trichologists can provide an answer. The issue could be due to a genetic issue, health-related, or something as simple as an overproduction of sebum or a dry, flaky scalp. Whatever the reason, a trichologist can provide an expert opinion on both the cause as well as the perfect individualized treatment. Scalp health can be indicative of issues related to overall health, so if something doesn’t seem right with your hair, make sure to seek out a trichologist for answers.