What is Trichology?

Have you ever found yourself facing hair loss or scalp problems, and feeling pretty devastated as you tried to cope alone? I know I have, and in this situation the fear of the unknown can cause so much worry. Sometimes it’s difficult to know which way to turn. Luckily there are people that specialise in hair and scalp problems, otherwise known as Trichologists. In health and disease, Trichology issues can range from the loss or thinning of hair, oily or flaky scalps, to hair that is in a poor condition. Whatever your individual needs, these can be treated, and an experienced Trichologist will listen, be totally empathetic, and make sure they work with you to help alleviate your fears.
What is Trichology
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It’s really important that you exercise caution with who you consult though. Ideally they should be a member of The Institute of Trichologists and Royal Society of Medicine. That way you can guarantee you’re getting advice and guidance from a qualified professional, such as Shuna Hammocks from Sussex Trichology. After 14 years of experience in Trichology, Shuna knows how crucial it is that treatments are as individual and unique as the patient themselves. It’s essential that all care and advice is tailored with the persons condition, medical history and lifestyle in mind.

So once you’ve found a great Trichologist, and you know they’re professionally trained and approved, what happens next? Well, firstly you would probably have a meeting with your Trichologist, which would involve a consultation, that typically lasts around an hour. During this time, topics such as diet, lifestyle, medication taken, hair care, stress levels, and your general health will be discussed. Following that the hair and scalp will be examined to make sure that the condition is diagnosed correctly. Once you have your diagnosis, further treatment can be given in the clinic, which might include the use of a steamer or therapy lamps, a scalp and neck massage and the application of creams. You’ll also be instructed on how to self-treat at home, and you might be prescribed products specifically for your condition too. Sometimes a blood test might be required, which will be analysed in a laboratory. For patients visiting Sussex Trichology this isn’t a problem, as Shuna is also a qualified Phlebotomist, and results are usually back within a few days.

Although hair loss and scalp problems really can seem like the end of the world, it’s comforting to know that most can be treated. If you are someone that’s suffering with hair loss, or a scalp problem, I hope this post has helped.

 
Please feel free to leave your comments in the box below. Shuna has kindly agreed to answer any questions you have. You can also find out more information on the Sussex Trichology website here, and their Facebook page and Twitter account.

Carly x

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  • Hey! This sounds interesting! Do you know if there's a way of protecting your hair at night? Like a way of styling or pillows? Xx

  • My sister and I both have recently had our hair start seriously thinning in the front. We both have under active Thyroids and we are on the same medication for it. One of the side effects of the drug is hair loss and hair thinning. Since this is being caused by a drug that we have to take, is there anything we can do to slow it down, or maybe help re grow our hair faster? We take multi vitamins and Biotin everyday but it doesn't seem to be helping. And we use only shampoos and conditioners that are good for our hair (no sulphates, parabens, etc.) any tips on what we should try is greatly appreciated! Our doctors act like this is no big deal but when your the one loosing your hair it IS a big deal to u!

    • Good Morning Julie,
      I totally appreciate your thoughts on Doctors opinions that are far too often dismissive surrounding hair loss. Unfortunately there aren't any trichologists on the NHS but I will guide you a little here.
      There are many reasons for hair loss and thinning of the hair in the way you describe, while an underactive thyroid directly effects diffuse hair density and growth, it doesn't cause anterior changes as I think you are experiencing.
      As a rule, I encourage patients of mine to eat a well balanced diet with regular proteins and iron rich foods (as a deficiency of iron store, Ferritin is a major element in the speed of growth). Your doctor may carry out a blood tests for these things, certainly I could arrange for patients of mine.
      Multi vitamins are good, but the absorption factor is what a blood test will clarify, I'm sure you are aware that you can overdose on vitamins and minerals too?

    • I am aware that you can overdose on vitamins and minerals. Thank you for the information!!! 🙂

    • Dear Julie,
      I just want to add, Thyroxine itself does not cause hair loss. If the dosage is not managed well or yet to balance if new to you this could mean that your thyroid is still in the "underactive state". I just wanted to make this very clear for other readers.

  • Interesting post, and I am going to show this to a friend who I think would find it v.helpful!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

    • Thank you Annabel, hasn't Carly written it well! You and your friend are most welcome to contact me direct or even text my work mobile 07860 387 332

  • Really helpful post Carly, I bet there are so many women out there suffering with hair loss and not knowing that there are experts available. Hopefully posts like this will show people that there is help and treatment out there for them x

    • Hello Stacey J,
      Yes this is exactly the aim, awareness is certainly the way to go. What I hope to deliver (along with an accurate diagnosis and bespoke treatment plan) is support and reassurance also, I make myself available to patients after their consultation to answer and sometimes reitterate the cause and prognosis where appropriate of each condition.
      When the fear of the unknown goes, the positive and calm approach is often then well received.