What is a Trichologist? - Hair Loss & Hair Transplant Surgery Guide

Hair loss can really affect the lives of both men and women. It may result from various factors such as stress or genetics, but regardless as to what is the cause behind the hair loss many sufferers are affected in a similar way. Self-consciousness and lack of self-esteem are common with many who have lose their hair, especially if they were not expecting it – a common case for women and very young men.

It is difficult to know whom to turn to if you wish to try and prevent losing any more hair. An immediate thought is that your GP would be the first port of call, however, it is generally quite infrequent that they will be able to offer much help, as often it is not a true medical problem. Despite this, it may still be recommended that if you are really affected by your hair loss that you do in fact visit your GP for general advice as to the next steps to take. These steps may include certain topical solutions, tablets, herbal remedies or even hair transplant surgery. Alternatively, they may suggest you approach a trichologist who is an individual who specializes in a practice known as trichology.

What actually is trichology?

Trichology is the science surrounding hair and scalp issues. A trichologist who practices in this area understands about the various types of hair loss and scalp problems such as persistent dandruff. Their methods of dealing with such problems are not medical, as a trichologist has not been trained in an official medically specialized environment.

A trichologist is most likely to have completed an educational teaching course at either the Institute of Trichologists, which is located in London, or at the International Association of Trichology in Australia. Regardless of which institute they attended for their training, they will have been educated in areas such as physiology and anatomy of the body and skin, nutrition, chemistry and of course scalp and hair complaints.

When to approach a trichologist

If you have any hair or scalp complaints then a trichologist may be able to help you. There are, however, more common tribulations that trichologists are contacted to try and resolve. The most prevalent problem seen by many trichologists is significant hair loss resulting in bald areas and a thin appearance. They are also often questioned about scaling issues, such as dandruff, which may affect the entire scalp or just specific locations. Another problem that trichologists often treat is excessive oil in the scalp that can often give hair a greasy appearance.

What does a trichologist do?

The first step performed by a trichologist is a consultation. During this time the trichologist will examine your hair and scalp as well as ask you some questions in order to determine the problem and decide what the best next step will be. During this consultation, the trichologist is able to practice the majority of their training as they analyse your hair and scalp in great detail to discover the underlying issues. Once the problems and potential causes have been identified, the trichologist will then take some time to think over a number of key points:

  • Is the problem you have approached them with more suited to being dealt with by a medical professional?
  • Does the problem require treatment and if so, exactly what type and style of treatment would benefit you the most?
  • Is surgery potentially needed? If so, the trichologist will explain the options and recommend suitable clinics, surgeons and methods that may benefit you.

How to choose a trichologist

As trichology is not technically a medical practice, anyone who wishes can refer to themselves as a trichologist with their own business. They are not required by law to undergo training or obtain certain qualifications and so finding a trichologist that actually does have appropriate experience is vital if you are serious about getting your hair loss issues addressed appropriately. To ensure that your trichologist has sufficient training and knowledge, you should check that they are registered with the Institute of Tricology.

Members of the Institute of Trichology must practice by certain guidelines. Primarily, they must be qualified from an appropriate educational institute. Once qualified, the next step towards their registration is by agreeing to follow the Code of Professional Practice and Ethics, which is strictly upheld and must be abided by. It is easy to tell if your trichologist is registered with the Institute of Trichology, as they will have either AIT, MIT or FIT located at the end of their names. However, if someone has just graduated they will not yet have such lettering, although they will have been issued a certificate, which you can ask to see.