Trichology is the scientific study of the hair and scalp, covering all possible maladies and their appropriate treatments. It’s a branch of dermatology that focuses specifically on hair and scalp.
It’s worth noting here that unlike dermatologists, trichologists are not medical professionals. They can’t prescribe medication or conduct medical procedures. What they can do – and what they’re the best at – is recognizing underlying causes behind scalp issues and resolving them effectively. The rest of this article will explain how they can do that with a consistently high success rate.
What Sets Trichologists Apart?
Trichologists are para-medicals that focus on holistic health, they work with clients to restore their hair and resolve the ailment causing their symptoms. Holistic health is important in restoring hair because it considers the body as a whole, and focuses on healing the entire body instead of focusing on a specific body system. An important part of this includes knowing how well your body functions internally, this requires blood tests that can only be done by a medical professional.
Working with the medical community is important for Trichologists as they cannot diagnose illnesses or order tests themselves. In order to get a comprehensive view of the client, labs and other medical analysis is important. Western medicine describes a healthy person as one who isn’t “sick”, as in presenting symptoms of an illness. However, true health is when your body is functioning optimally, and this is what Trichologists seek to do for their clients – at AAHSD it’s referred to as “Functional Trichology”. When given an in-depth look at the state of the client, the Trichologist will understand where the symptoms are and create a protocol to balance the body naturally, allowing the body to function with little to no medication.
It is an unfortunate reality that most of the population today relies on synthetic drugs in order to remain “healthy”. Holistic health gets the body to function at its peak and may even be able to correct bodily functions so the client no longer needs medication.
What Kind of Issues Can Trichologists Treat?
There are many conditions that can affect your clients’ hair and scalp, and mastering trichology would allow you to treat them all effectively. Some of the most common hair and scalp maladies you might encounter behind the chair include:
- Male and female pattern baldness: These are the most common types of hair loss, caused by genetics and hormones. In men baldness typically presents as a receding hairline and thinning crown, while in women it tends to appear as diffuse thinning over the entire scalp.
- Alopecia areata: This is an autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss. It’s most commonly seen on the scalp, but it can affect any part of the body.
- Telogen effluvium: With this condition hair goes into the resting phase (telogen) and falls out prematurely. It’s commonly caused by stress, hormonal changes, or certain medications.
- Dandruff: Flaky skin scalp is usually caused by a fungal infection or an overproduction of oil.
- Psoriasis: a chronic skin condition that causes red, scaly patches on the skin. Usually appears on elbows, knees, trunk and scalp, causing flakiness and itching.
These are common maladies, but trichologists’ expertise goes even deeper and can recognize issues that might look like one of these conditions on the surface, but are in fact a consequence of a larger issue.
Elements of a Successful Trichology Consultation
Trichologists use various techniques to identify and resolve hair and scalp conditions. A successful consultation begins with a thorough questionnaire, gathering all relevant information about the client’s terrain – their physical condition, psychological state, environment they live in, chronic illnesses, etc.
Then they might perform a physical examination of the hair and scalp, looking for signs of damage, inflammation, or infection. The disocvery phase can also request diagnostic tests such as a scalp biopsy, blood tests or microscopic analysis of the hair shaft and scalp.
Once a discovery has been made, a Trichologist will develop a strategy for recovery to address the underlying cause behind the malady. This may include procedures that a trichologist can perform in the salon, such as topical concoctions, low level light therapy, oxygen treatments, etc., accompanied by recommended lifestyle changes and at-home hair care products.
It’s worth mentioning that Trichologists are also skilled in providing preventive care for the hair and scalp. This may include recommending specific hair care products, or providing hair care tips to prevent further damage or hair loss.
Trichologists: Restoring Hair From Inside Out
Trichologists understand that hair loss goes deeper than the hair and is a symptom of a greater issue. With their extensive knowledge of the physiology of the hair and scalp, nutrition, and body systems they are able to make suggestions to realign the body and restore the hair naturally.
It’s clear that adding trichology to your list of services can advance your beauty practice to a whole new level. To do that, you’ll need to get certified with a reputable institution, such as the American Academy for Hair and Scalp Diseases. For more information about becoming a certified Trichologist yourself, download our free guide below.