What is Trichology?
Trichology The study and treatment of disorders of the Hair and Scalp.
Trichology is a branch of medicine that deals specifically with the study of hair and the scalp. Qualified trichologists have extensive knowledge of the structure and functioning of human hair and the scalp and the the diseases and disorders they can be affected by.
Hair is a Reflection of Lifestyle
Most people are aware that one of the first signs of ill health is dull and lifeless hair. The condition of our hair is a very important indicator of our state of health and general well being. In addition, in the modern world we are inundated with all kinds of products and services to apply to our hair and scalp to achieve the kind of look we may be trying to achieve. Put these elements together and problems may begin to arise, from simple dandruff to hair thinning and baldness!
Any form of hair loss or scalp disorder may leave us feeling extremely self-conscious and embarrassed. It is the job of a Trichologist to diagnose these conditions, offer advice or treatment for the identified hair and scalp condition, including some forms of alopecia or scaly, dry or greasy scalps. When necessary it may be appropriate to liaise with a client’s GP for medication, refer them to a dermatologist or advise a blood test when an underlying medical problem is suspected.
What is Hair?
Hair is an appendage of the skin, consisting of a fibrous material known as keratin, a protein-derived substance that is actually dead when exposed through the scalp’s surface. An average human scalp consists of approximately 100,000 to 150,000 embryological determined hair follicles and it is our genetics that determine how long each single strand will grow for.
The time span for an average single strand is roughly two to seven years, and each hair will grow around 30 times per lifetime. Hair goes through a natural cycle, with the Anagen phase being the longest, actively growing stage. It is followed by the relatively short Catagen period, a transitional phase of the hair cycle between growth and resting of the hair follicle, which leads on to the final Telogen phase, the stage of the cycle where hair naturally falls out and can be seen in the shower or on our hairbrushes or combs.
We Understand Your Hair Problems
Trichologists possess a comprehensive knowledge of this hair growth cycle due to hair loss conditions may alter the ratios levels of the hair cycle. Medication, surgery, diet, illness, pregnancy, stress and hormone problems are all but a few factors detrimental to the normal functioning of the hair growth cycle.
A trichologist is a good listener; we ensure confidentiality and offer support to patients. We may determine underlying medical conditions from a hair or scalp disorder through a combination of our extensive knowledge and by conducting a thorough consultation incorporating a full medical history.
The Institute of Trichologists
The Institute of Trichologists is the foremost professional association for trichologists in the World,
the largest provider of trichology training in Europe and the longest established body of its type.
For the protection of patients, the Institute of Trichologists publishes a Code of Professional Practice and Ethics by which all practicing trichologists who are registered members of the Institute are expected to abide by.
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.
A trichologist will deal with numerous conditions of the hair and scalp - some are not curable but can be controlled. Other conditions may need to be referred to a medical practitioner or hospital consultant (trichologists are not medically qualified but are medically trained in areas pertaining to the hair and scalp. The exceptions are those members who enter the profession of trichology with existing medical qualifications or those who decide to pursue medical training after being inspired by trichology).
There are however, many hair and scalp conditions, which can be successfully treated by a trichologist.
There are many reasons why treatment can be so successful
Generally a trichologist in a busy practice will see far more patients with scalp and hair problems than does the average GP - plus a greater spectrum of conditions including many that will rarely be seen at all by a doctor.
The trichologist has a highly specialist training in the subject and is encouraged to continue with professional development seminars throughout each year.
Knowledge of hair processing procedures
Many instances of hair loss and hair breakage are the consequence of careless or inappropriate hairdressing procedures. The trichologist has special training and experience in such matters.
A trichologist will often take up to one hour over the initial consultation and in deriving a diagnosis. This enables a detailed history to be taken.
The trichologist tends to adopt a more holistic approach. Attention is given to lifestyle, diet, hair care and other factors which may contribute to the patient’s condition. Counseling of the patient is taken very seriously.
Often treatments will be carried out by the trichologist or their staff and this is invariably more effective than home performed treatments.
The case is continually seen and the treatment reviewed with greater frequency than would normally by the case in a busy hospital clinic or GP practice.