What is trichology ? - A guide to Hair Loss

Trichology is the medical term for the study of the hair (and scalp) and all problems related to them. A ‘trichologist’ is someone who specialises in hair loss problems such as baldness, hair breakage and itchy/flaking scalp. He or she will also treat all forms of alopecia.

Think of a trichologist as a ‘hair doctor’: as someone you may wish to consult instead of visiting your GP. Many people choose to see a hair specialist rather than their GP as they are either too embarrassed or feel that they would be wasting his/her time.

If you choose to see a trichologist then you will have a thorough consultation – up to an hour long, which is not available at your local GP’s surgery. He or she will discuss all aspects of your lifestyle which includes your diet, stress and any other external factors as well as taking a full medical history.

And he/she will carry out an examination of your hair and/or scalp.

The condition of your hair is an indicator of your general health. Hair which is dull and lifeless can suggest a stressed, unhealthy lifestyle whereas hair which is full and shiny is a sign of being healthy. This is one of several factors considered by a trichologist when deciding upon suitable treatment. If he or she feels that there is an underlying medical cause then he/she will advise you to visit your GP.

You don’t have to have a hair problem to consult a trichologist: many people choose to do so because they want advice on keeping their hair and scalp in tip top condition and so reduce the risk of hair loss.

Prevention is better than cure and doing this can save time and money in the long term.

However, this service has to be paid for which means shopping around until you get the best deal for you. And make sure that your trichologist is a member of The Institute of Trichologists. He or she will have the following letters AIT, FIT or MIT after their name and has to abide by a professional Code of Ethics.

As with any business; most are reputable but there are a few charlatans out there so research this carefully. Draw up a shortlist of possible candidates and visit each of them in turn. Check that the clinic is a member of this institute and ask for a breakdown of the cost of your treatment. If the fees seem too high then obtain another quote.

Do not pay any fees before treatment has taken place.

If you don’t want to go down this route then visit your GP. Even though you will not get an hour long consultation, he/she will still examine your hair and suggest a course of treatment.

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