Trichology is the study of the scalp and hair. A trichologist is a person who has been trained to recognize and advise on some common hair and scalp issues. A trichologist does not replace the client's physician. Only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe. Rather a well trained Trichologist is like a hair detective sorting through all sorts of information as there can be multiple reasons why a client may be experiencing hair loss. Under Dr. David Kingsley I was taught the 7 H's of Hair loss. They are as follows:
Hereditary: Do you have any relatives with hair loss? Father , Mother, siblings, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles? Often hair loss runs in families and a relative with similar texture and color hair may suffer from the same condition as you.
Hormones: Are your thyroid levels normal? Are you menstruating? Is it heavy? Irregular, normal? Are you in menopause? Are you diabetic? Believe it or not when your hormones are not balanced that can affect your hair. Hair is basically a non essential tissue and when the body is not in balance it can be one of the first areas to suffer.
Health: When was the last time you had a physical? What were the results? Iron levels normal? Any auto immune disorders like lupus, or psoriasis?
Healing: Are you taking any medication, what type, supplements, did you recently have surgery? Are you on the pill or hormone replacement therapy?
Hassle: What is your stress level like? When did you notice the hair thinning?
If you experience a sudden increase in shedding, as a trichologist I will help you back track to 3 or even 6 months prior to the shedding. The reason for this is that every hair on your head goes through a cycle which is roughly broken down into 3 phases: Anagen phase- this is the growing phase and lasts anywhere from 2 to 7 years and is genetically determined but stress, lack of proper nutrition, hormone imbalance etc can push a growing hair into The Catagen or transitional phase. This is when the hair stops growing and starts to retract away from the hair follicle. This phase lasts about 10 days to 2 weeks. After the Catagen Phase the hair then goes into the Telogen Phase which lasts 3 months! So normally about 80% of your hair is in the growing phase when life is good, properly nourished, and no stress. The remaining 20% is starting to transition then lies dormant and 3 months later sheds. If you have any type of upset more of your hair may possibly be nudged into that Telogen stage then normal thus resulting in an uptick in shedding 3 months later.
Hunger: What is your diet like? How much protein do you consume, what type? Hair is primarily made up of protein. Inadequate calories and or protein intake will effect the quality and thickness of your hair. Over the years anecdotally I have had clients complain of increased shedding during the summer months. Now after taking Dr. Kingsley's training I see that a possible culprit could be dieting prior to the summer months.
Hairdressing: What exactly are you and your hairdresser doing to your lovely locks? Color, straightening, Hot tools, how often do you wash your hair? Hair extensions? Carefully planned procedures can cosmetically enhance your hair and give you piece of mind.
So as you can see, a lot can affect the health of your hair. It can seem overwhelming at times and stress you out and that's the last thing you need as that can cause even more shedding. The good news is with an experienced hair detective at your side; a certified Trichologist, she can get to the root of your hair concerns and address them correctly.