31 . January . 2020 BY Dr. Sharmishtha Deshpande

Hair grows. Hair falls. Hair breaks. Hair greys. And goes through a great deal more!
Much depends on how you take care of it, from within and the outside. And much of it may be beyond your control. And every single one of us frets and fumes over our hair, every day, at some point or the other.

In earlier times, one had grandmothers passing on age-old wisdom on hair care, some myths – some relevant tips, some outdated thanks to the changes in society. The concept of hair care has afterall evolved much over time.

Typically, when you want to try anything new with your hair, or when you are facing a hair and scalp problem, you get busy googling for quick solutions, special diets, DIY tips or you check out the grocery store for a new oil, shampoo or some magical serum to bail you out!

But as with all problems, you need to get to the root of it, truly diagnose it, and then tackle it appropriately. Any other approach may douse the fire just temporarily. And let us remind you, hair is science, not fiction/fantasy/magic! Hair is an integral part of your anatomy. And any concern with it needs to be addressed scientifically, with the help of a professional. Isn’t that what you do when you get hurt anywhere on your body otherwise?!

Now, we have been trying to raise awareness about the importance of visiting a trichologist regularly, and how it can create a huge impact – in various conversations inside and beyond our clinics. Most people come to us when it’s fairly a later stage of a problem, thereby limiting their own options. And we get asked questions about why a person needs to visit a trichologist anyway!

So, today, on our Ask the Hair Experts series we are going to answer some of your questions on the need for a visit to a trichologist, and explain to you the benefits you can derive from it.

You asked: ‘Why should I visit a Trichologist? How can a Trichologist help? Can a Trichologist solve all my hair and scalp problems?’

Here’s the answer from the Hair Experts.
Yes. You SHOULD visit a trichologist periodically irrespective of your hair and scalp condition!
The trichologist can solve your existing hair concerns, if any, and keep any such worries away forever.
Get to the root (quite literally!) of all your hair and scalp with the help of a Trichologist!

Let’s first understand who a Trichologist is and then move on to speak on how a periodic visit to the clinic can help change your hair game.

Who is a Trichologist?

Before we define a Trichologist, let’s understand what Trichology is.

Trichology can be defined as the science of the structure, function and diseases of the human hair. Clinical trichology is defined as the diagnosis and treatment of diseases or disorders of the human hair and scalp.

Simply put, this vast subject of Trichology, covers everything on hair, right from hair loss and hair fall to finding the reasons for your hair thinning or treating your scalp condition. It encompasses common conditions like hair fall and dandruff, as well as studies and deciphers complex ones like Trichotillomania or Alopecia. You will be mind-boggled with the sheer number of problems that you could face with your hair and scalp!

Your Trichologist, as the name indicates, is a master of this very science of Trichology – the true hair expert – a hair doctor. He /she is THE person to go to for anything to do with your hair and scalp. Yes, it’s not just ‘hair care’…scalp care is supremely important as well.

Trichology, as a diagnostic science, was practically unknown in India, before Trichologists Sonal and Apoorva Shah, founders of RichFeel, pioneered it in the country. Over time limited awareness has been built, but the remarkable solutions that this field offers haven’t been quite tapped to its full advantage by people. There is still limited understanding of the topic and unfortunately, more misconceptions than clarity.

Hair is not just about the cosmetic appeal. Our hair is our body’s barometer. It reacts to every internal imbalance, small or big. And it signals you steadily on your bodily changes. A change in diet, days of not drinking enough water, a bout of illness, a pregnancy, a health condition – each one of it affects the hair. It’s a signal that works even when others don’t! For instance, Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis can tell you a lot more about what’s going on insideyour body than a blood test!

There are times when you know what your hair is trying to tell you and there are times when you don’t. You cannot decipher most hair concerns on your own and you certainly can’t treat it without quite knowing what’s causing it, can you? The number of hair concerns that have overlapping symptoms alone can put you in a spin!

So, here’s where a trichologist plays a key role – to help you understand your own hair and scalp better, to solve your concerns the rigth way, to keep it healthy, day in and day out.

How can a Trichologist help?

We will take the example of hair loss to answer this question in a simple manner.

Hair loss. It could be due to some nutritional deficiencies, genetics, hormonal imbalance, certain autoimmune problems or physiological or psychological stress. Or even a combination of two or more in some cases. Now, unless you know what’s causing the hair loss, you cannot treat it.

When you visit a trichologist, your hair and scalp will be physically checked, for various parameters, and you will ask questions on your lifestyle, your family (to understand the genetic angle), your diet and medical case history.

The trichologist diagnoses through hair analysis, using various methods and tech such as the FCT, capilloscopy, trichogram, densitometry, sebum analysis, hair pull test etc., also examines the hair shaft, growth window and many more such key metrics. Further, if need be, some important blood tests are also called for, to get greater insight of the hair and scalp problems. This, along with the answers to the questions above, helps a Trichologist clearly understand your condition, and guide you with the right solutions to your hair problems.

So, when should you visit a trichologist?

Just as you go for a dental check up every 4-6 months, you should make a visit to the trichologist every 6 months at the minimum. ‘Cos prevention is better than cure, right? Isn’t that something we have heard and learnt since we were kids? Do read our blog on how you can benefit from a periodic visit to your Trichologist and to understand what exactly when you do visit.

Here are some tell-tale situations that’s signalling you to go see a Trichologist right away!

There are some signs that warrant a trip to a qualified trichologist at the earliest.

  • Prolonged case of hair fall (over 3 months)
  • Excessive hair loss
  • Hair breakage
  • No hair growth
  • Extreme dry hair and recurring split ends
  • Extreme dandruff
  • Persistent itching and scaling of scalp
  • Patch of hair loss or bald patch
  • Loss of eyebrows or eyelashes
  • Hair thinning
  • Drastic reduction in hair volume
  • Excessive oiliness on the scalp
  • Excessive hair breakage, especially after a chemical treatment
  • Excessive body hair – men
  • Excessive facial and body hair – women
  • Loss of eyelashes or eyebrows
  • Postpartum hair loss that is persisting
  • Diagnosed with PCOD
  • Suffering from Thyroid disorders
  • Undergoing cancer treatment

Now, this list is not exhaustive. But it covers enough signs that are begging you to go see a hair doctor. Your hair needs someone who understands your hair and your medical history to truly get you out of the messy knot!

Your trichologist will follow a thorough diagnostic, consultation process and help you with the right course of treatment. Trichology is so advanced now that you have path breaking treatments that are absolutely safe and are result-oriented.

Solutions vary from surgical to non-surgical hair restoration techniques, to hair fertility treatments, tricho treatments to tackle hair thinning, hair fall and even hair colour damage (the need of the day with every second person colouring their hair with whatever hair colour gets to their hand!). Trichologists also suggest products that’s best suited to the individual, and advise on diet and lifestyle as well.
If you wish to attack a hair problem holistically once and for all, your trichologist is your superhero to the rescue!

Where can you find one? How to identify if it’s a qualified hair expert?
Your hair expert should be one who has studied Trichology and licensed as a Trichologist. And no, we doubt your salon hair stylist and your parlour didi fit the description as much as they claim to know the best for your hair!

Your best bet, in terms of professional expertise, quality of advice, choice of solutions, quality of treatment, service and best of technology in use, is to reach out to a reputed trichology centre or clinic.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your trichologist’s visit, to help you know if he/she is the right one for you:

  • Did the clinic look hygienic and safe?
  • Is the clinic a trustworthy name? Time tested?
  • Were the staff friendly and approachable?
  • Did the trichologist examine your hair and scalp thoroughly?
  • Did he/she take hair samples, with your permission, for further study?
  • Did he/she explain the FCT and conduct it for you?
  • Did he/she discuss your medical history, diet, lifestyle and daily routines as much in detail as possible?
  • Did he/she spend time listening to what you had to say and answer your queries without apprehension or interruptions?
  • Did he/she explain to you in detail the treatment or product being prescribed?
  • Very importantly, were you personally comfortable discussing your concerns with the hair doctor? Did he/she give you confidence?

We are sure you may have some more personal questions to add to this. Our’s is just to get you started!

Let us assure you, that in matters of your hair and scalp, there is no one who knows your hair better than your trichologist. There is just no second thought on this.

So, do not hesitate or question the need for a visit. IF you care for your hair, well then, about time you start showing it the care it deserves!

Trust we have answered your questions and clarified your apprehensions on the need for a Trichologist! If you wish for any further details or clarifications, you know where to reach us! Our experts are just a call away.

Remember, each individual’s hair and scalp condition is different from the other. One solution doesn’t fit all! While one remedy may work for your friend, it may not quite do the needful for you! Hence, a gentle reminder – If you ever notice worrying changes in your hair, contact a trichologist immediately. Don’t postpone or hesitate. The sooner you attend to it, the more hair on your head!

For more on hair & scalp concerns, and for all things ‘Hair’, do follow our blogs on hair loss, hair care, treatments and solutions and interesting hair trivia!

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