Hair loss is a reality that most people have to deal with eventually. The most critical issue with thinning hair and hair loss is that people often obsess and worry about it but fail to seek a solution. Many people are only in denial and hope it will stop, while others are unaware of scientifically proven, FDA-approved treatments that can prevent hair loss and even help to regrow new hair.
While it is commonly considered an issue that affects men, hair loss does not discriminate and affects many women as well. Research suggests that as many as 85% of men and 40% of women experience hair loss or thinning hair by age 50.
For many individuals, hair loss is caused by a genetic component, which increases the likelihood of hair loss occurring with age. While genetics and hereditary conditions are a common cause of thinning hair and hair loss, there are several conditions and factors that affect hair and scalp health. Physical and mental health conditions, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal changes all contribute to hair loss.
It can be a challenge to determine the cause of thinning hair because of the many factors that can affect the health of the scalp and hair follicles. Detecting thinning hair and hair loss early offers the best opportunity to reverse the process. A consultation with a professional hair loss specialist can help determine the cause and contributing factors of thinning hair and help to recommend and develop solutions.
What is Trichology and a Trichologist?
Trichology is the field of dermatology that specializes in the study of the structure, function, and diseases of the human scalp, hair follicles, and hair. Clinical trichology involves the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and conditions that affect the human scalp and hair.
A clinical trichologist is a hair loss specialist trained in the clinical diagnosis and treatment of scalp and hair disorders and conditions. A trichologist is an expert at diagnosing and treating scalp and hair conditions, including scalp acne, hair texture problems, dry or oily scalp, and hair loss issues.
A trichologist typically begins their diagnosis with an initial consultation where they collect pertinent information about the client, such as health problems, diet, and lifestyle. They will consider recent blood tests, current prescriptions, and over the counter medications, as well as a list of hair care products used. The trichologist will thoroughly examine the scalp, hair follicles, and hair shafts and possibly order additional testing to aid in diagnosing the condition.
Maintaining a healthy head of hair requires a healthy scalp and hair follicles. A trichologist is trained to diagnose and recommend treatment options to improve scalp and hair follicle health, promoting the growth of strong, healthy hair. After completing an examination of the head and scalp and considering any contributing factors, the trichologist will diagnose and recommend treatment options.
Reasons to Consult a Trichologist
Thinning hair and hair loss are two of the most common reasons people consult with a trichologist, but a professional hair loss specialist can also diagnose and treat any scalp condition or hair issue.
Gradual Thinning of Hair
Progressive hair thinning is the most common hair issue experienced by both men and women. Men typically notice a receding hairline on their forehead, while women usually experience thinning in the part of their hair. While hair shedding is normal, with the average person losing between 50 and 100 hairs a day, a noticeable change in the amount of hair in a brush, the drain, or on a pillow or clothing could be a sign of early hair loss. Being proactive and scheduling a consultation with a trichologist early will help determine the cause of the issue and provide the greatest opportunity to provide an effective solution.
Sudden Hair Loss
The rate of hair loss individuals experience varies and is often determined by genetics, but rarely do large clumps of hair fall out. Sudden hair loss can leave patchy bald spots on the scalp, and in some instances, the skin may become inflamed, itchy, or painful before the hair falls out. Sudden hair loss may also cause hair to come out in clumps when washing or brushing, or from just a gentle tug of the hair.
Sudden hair loss can be caused by a variety of medical conditions as well as severe physical or mental trauma. Many medical treatments, such as chemotherapy and drugs that suppress the immune system, may trigger sudden hair loss. Hormone treatments, and some antibiotics, antidepressants, cholesterol drugs, and birth control pills, are also associated with sudden hair loss.
A bald spot that appears overnight, or large amounts of hair in your comb or brush, could be a symptom of an underlying issue such as high-stress levels, malnutrition, or other forms of alopecia. Sudden hair loss can be an indication of a severe health issue and should be immediately addressed.
Scalp problems include a wide range of conditions such as dandruff, scalp acne, and inflammatory conditions. Scalp issues are typically a symptom of an underlying issue. Excessive shedding of dead skin cells and inflammatory conditions are often caused by diet, stress, hair products, and even food allergies. A trichologist can determine whether a scalp condition is a result of using hair care products, other environmental factors, or whether it is a symptom of a serious medical condition.
Overexposure to harsh chemicals in hair products, excessive heat, and the many other stresses and strains placed on hair may cause issues with texture. The trichologist’s expertise is in the medical science of the hair and scalp, as well as the cosmetic area. A trichologist training overlaps fields that are not typically covered by either physicians or hairdressers, making them uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat hair texture problems. A professional diagnosis, along with guidance and treatment, can often reduce or eliminate changes in texture.
Our society places a premium on having a full head of healthy hair, and dealing with thinning hair and hair loss issues can be emotionally devastating. There are a variety of effective options and treatments that can help to stop and even reverse thinning hair and hair loss, but they require action. Seeking the guidance of a trichologist at the first appearance of symptoms can significantly increase the ability to maintain a full head of hair.
“Hair Loss.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 12 Feb. 2019. Web.”What Is Trichology – The Institute of Trichologists.” What Is Trichology – The Institute of Trichologists. Web.