In trichology we refer to taking a holistic approach to hair care. The reason being is that we examine the various factors involved in hair care from grooming to genetics to physiology. This approach allows us to reach a diagnosis and determine how to best treat and manage hair and scalp conditions.
However, as a patient how do you know if you should see a trichologist? In fact, how do you identify when to see any specialist pertaining to the body but particularly hair? Not sure - let us help you manoeuvre through the minefield:
Your GP provides primary and ongoing care to a community. They are equipped to treat common medical conditions but will refer you to a hospital or specialist when required. GP’s will diagnose and treat illness, disease and infection which includes the scalp and are able to prescribe strong topical or oral medicines to cure a problem or counteract complication where needed.
“An endo what!” i hear you say. The endocrine systems is made up of glands that secret hormones into the bloodstream and surrounding tissues. Endocrine glands include but are not limited to the ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, pituitary gland, pancreas and pineal gland. These are some of the major glands in the endocrine system. However, endocrine disrupters which, are chemicals that can imbalance the hormonal system, can interfere and cause the body to malfunction. This can also interfere with hair growth. If you are experiencing hair loss that may be related to the endocrine system. Your trichologist may recommend that you see an endocrinologist for appropriate treatment.
Dermatologists are concerned with diagnosing problems of the skin and its appendages including the hair and nails. The speciality often incorporates both a medical and surgical approach to treatment. Many dermatologists often take a particular interest in a specific area such as the nails or hair.
Well you’re here so you know the answer to this don’t you? A trichologist is primarily focused on all aspects of the hair and scalp. Trichology encompasses chemistry, anatomy & physiology, genetics, physics and biology, and how those elements affect the hair and scalp. Although medically trained trichologists are not medics (i.e. doctors).
Hairdressers specialise in cutting and styling hair. This may include chemically treating hair with colour, chemical straighteners or perms. Although a hairdresser is focused on shaping and caring for hair they are often equipped to provide guidance around porosity levels and elasticity. These tests are often taken into account before applying a chemical to ensure that the strands are able to withstand the process.
So there you have it. A better insight into the specialists that can potentially help with your hair. All of the above are trained to understand the hair to some degree either wholly or as an appendage of the skin. You can use this as your guide when choosing your next professional.