There seems to be an expert for every ailment, sickness and body part, but some specialists are so specialized that we don’t often know about their existence until we need them desperately. One specialist that isn’t commonly known is a trichologist — someone who studies scalp and hair health. A hairstylist is your go-to for cut, color and style, but most hairstylists aren’t able to tell you the science behind your strands. When hairstylists and trichologists work together, the results are much more powerful. Here’s how to know when it’s time to visit a trichologist.
Hair Loss and Hair Density
Whether you’re a millennial with thinning hair or a woman experiencing hair loss due to menopause, any type of excessive shedding or thinning of hair is a great time to visit a trichologist. “If a client has an appointment for a type of hair loss, we are specially trained to recognize scalp disorders, lack of vitamins and minerals, lifestyle choices and grooming practices that can contribute to this concern,” shares Michelle Blaisure, Bosley Professional Strength certified trichologist and director of education.
These concerns can range from general hair loss to balding in one or two areas to changes in density or thickness of hair. While our stylist may recommend a specific hair care product or treatment, if you want to understand the core of the cause, a specialist is best.
Scalp Sensitivity or Foul Odor
We don’t often realize that the scalp is skin and needs to be treated as such. If our faces were itchy, flaky, red or dry, we’d immediately find a moisturizer or ointment to soothe and hydrate our complexions, but we are often not careful to nourish our scalps. After all, you can’t have healthy hair without a healthy scalp. “While many believe that dandruff remedies are the solution to extreme itching, flakiness and sensitivity on the scalp, they are not the cure for these concerns,” shares Susan Roberts-Cooper, trichologist for Évolis Professional and co-founder of Colour Collective. She suggests making an appointment if any of these conditions persist.
Another scalp concern that should be addressed by a trichologist is any foul smell or odor coming from the scalp. While they may find that this requires additional testing of hormones by a doctor or a deeper dive with a dermatologist, they are likely able to pinpoint the cause of the unwanted smell.
When we hear hair texture, we think wavy, curly, straight, but within each of those hair categories, it is not uncommon for women to experience a texture change due to the hormones of aging. “Texture changes can include a change from smooth, manageable strands to wire-like and dull,” shares Roberts-Cooper. This isn’t to be mistaken for when you’ve spent a day at the pool and your hair feels dry or wiry, this type of change is typically consistent and usually happens over time.
Though our stylists are often our best friends and know how to transform us from drab to fab in minutes, if you want healthy, flourishing locks, visiting a trichologist can help you meet your hair goals from the inside out.