Hair loss or scalp related ailments affect men and women alike and can cause great emotional distress. Usually, the underlying cause is an unhealthy lifestyle, which leads to a vitamin deficiency.
However, autoimmune diseases and a genetic predisposition to hair loss can also lead to thinning hair tops and receding hairlines. The medical professional that can help deal with these issues is called a trichologist.
What is a Trichologist?
Trichologists are medical professionals who specialize in the treatment of diseases that afflict the hair and the scalp. A trichologist is essentially a “hair doctor” and the medical field that studies diseases of the human hair and scalp is called trichology.
Conditions Treated by Trichologists
Conditions related to the health of the scalp treated by a trichologist include:
- Inflammatory scalp diseases like seborrheic eczema, folliculitis;
- Irritations of the scalp such as irritant dermatitis and allergic dermatitis;
- Fungal infections of the scalp such as ringworm;
- Conditions of the scalp linked to autoimmune diseases such as alopecia or psoriasis.
Trichologists also treat conditions related to hair loss and hair shedding including:
- Male pattern hair loss;
- Female pattern hair loss;
- Excess hair loss (acute and chronic telogen effluvium);
- Traumatic hair loss or breakage (as a result of self-inflicted physical trauma).
When Should You Go See a Trichologist?
You should consult a hair specialist whenever you notice the following symptoms:
- Thinning hair, receding hairline, excessive hair loss, patchy hair loss;
- Dandruff that doesn’t go away with anti-dandruff shampoos;
- Itchy scalp, excessively greasy hair and scalp;
- Scaling of the scalp, irritation of the scalp, inflammation of the scalp.
Sometimes, a simple blood test can reveal the underlying cause of your hair loss, and your trichologist may consult with your general practitioner if the underlying cause is a variation in the metabolism of your body.
It’s important to take a holistic approach to the treatment of hair and scalp related problems.
Usually, during a visit to a trichologist, you will be asked about your medical history, family history, or medication you are currently on.
Your doctor will ask you about your diet, lifestyle, stress levels and other external factors that may be relevant to your condition, and then, he will carry out a thorough examination of your hair and scalp.
Depending on the hair or scalp condition you’re diagnosed with, your trichologist will recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
- Vitamin supplements if hair loss is caused by a vitamin deficiency;
- Prescription shampoos for dandruff or greasy hair;
- Topical creams for scalp irritations, scalp inflammation, fungal infections;
- Prescription drugs or hormonal treatments for hair loss or balding (e.g. minoxidil);
- Hair transplant surgery.
Hair transplants are performed by hair surgeons and your trichologist can refer you to a hair surgeon if supplements and prescription drugs don’t take care of your hair loss issues.
As its name suggests, hair transplant is a surgical procedure whereby healthy hair follicles are transplanted from the back of the scalp to balding areas of the scalp, where hair follicles continue to grow naturally.
Hair transplant can be efficient in replacing not only hair loss that is caused by pattern baldness, but also in replacing hair lost due to injury or burns. It’s a long-term and advanced solution to hair loss problems.
If you’re struggling with hair and scalp issues, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a trichologist!