Why see a Trichologist?

Because trichologists are trained specially in the area of hair and scalp disorders and will have more experience than any other health care professional in their diagnosis and treatment You will have up an hour one to one consultation. An NHS dermatologist in is unlikely to see you for longer than 10-15 minutes.

How are trichologists and dermatologists different?

A dermatologist treats all areas of skin on the body but a trichologist focuses only on the hair and scalp. This means that they have by far the most experience of seeing and treating related conditions. To find someone reputable always choose someone from the Institute of Trichologist (IOT) with letters AIT or MIT. The IOT is the oldest institute and work closely with dermatologists. AIT members are newly qualified and those with MIT have 3 or more year’s clinical experience.

Dermatologists within the NHS are under pressure of targets to see all suspected skin cancer patients within a short time. Therefore, if you wish to consult an NHS dermatologist about your scalp problem, you are likely to have a long wait indeed. Also, to consult a dermatologist under the NHS you will need a referral from your GP, whereas you may consult a trichologist immediately and you do not need a referral (although some GPs will refer patients to a trichologist.

Are trichologists just glorified hairdressers?

No. Trichology and hairdressing are very different. The only thing they have in common is hair. Hairdressing of course, is cosmetic and to do with fashion and grooming whereas clinical trichology is diagnostic and therapeutic, based on medical and scientific knowledge. Not surprisingly though, some trichologists do come from a hairdressing background, but many do not.

Why is afro hair fragile?

Afro hair is fragile because when you look at a cross section of the hair it has an elliptical shape (oval) which means that it does not hold moisture very well.

What are the common hair problem what are their causes?

Common problems are often related to mechanical and chemical trauma. However, hair loss through hormone related changes and scaly conditions are also regularly seen.

Do you treat all hair types?

Yes I treat all hair types – Asian, Afro and Caucasian my patients come from different backgrounds.

What mistakes should we avoid when dealing with children's hair?

The youngest has been 2 years. As parents some of the common mistakes we should be avoiding when dealing with our children’s hair are tight braids or plaits.

What are some the misconceptions about trichologists?

That we are all quacks – and not to be trusted. To find someone reputable always choose someone from the Institute of Trichologist (IOT) with letters AIT or MIT. The IOT is the oldest institute and work closely with trichologists.

How important is our diet in growing healthy hair?

Very important but start with water and essential fatty acids. If hair is dry and brittle then you may be vitamin B deficient. If you have poor hair growth improve your essential fatty acid intake finally, a loss of colour can be zinc deficiency.

Do hair growth supplements work? If so how?

If there is a deficiency as in the case of iron then yes. They provide the nutrients that are key to normal healthy hair growth and good scalp condition.

What hair product ingredients should be avoided?

Parabens are widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including body moisturisers and hair care products). The Food and Drugs Agency (FDA) considers the amount of parabens used in cosmetics to be safe, however, some people can still develop allergic reactions on the skin or scalp.

Sulphates – Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a “nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen.

Many black hair products contain Mineral oil and Petrolatum. One of the main reasons they are cheap to sell and give an elusive shine. These ingredients have proven to be damaging in the long run as they coat the skin like plastic, clogging the pores and creating a build up of toxins.

Do head massages increase hair growth?

Many of us live quiet stressful lives, so head massages are a good way of relieving stress and a way of increasing hair growth. They do so by increasing  the blood to the area but be mindful if your hair loss is genetic or hormone related, you could be increasing the level of testosterone in the blood.

What causes premature greying and how can it be reduced?

Grey hair is caused by the gradual reduction of melanin production over time within the affected hair follicle. The melanocytes in the hair follicles produce less and less melanin, and the result is a loss of hair fibre colour strength. There’s nothing that we can do except keep our levels of stress low to avoid premature grey but if you’re genetically predisposed then there’s nothing you can do to reverse it.