Trichologists and trichology
What is a trichologist?
A trichologist is someone who specialises in hair and scalp health. They are experts in trichology, which is the science and structure of all hair types, as well as hair and scalp conditions. Trichologists can help clients with everything from female and male pattern hair loss to symptoms of alopecia areata. If you are looking for hair loss guidance online, you may find the LloydsPharmacy hair loss advice helpful.
Is a trichologist a doctor?
Trichologists are not medically qualified, but are specialists in human hair, the same way that chiropodists are not medically trained but specialise in feet. They take a holistic approach to the study of hair and scalp, offering advice based on your lifestyle, diet and hair health. On the other hand, dermatologists are medical doctors who specialise in skin around the entire human body, not just the scalp.
There are no rules and no registration system of who can call themselves a trichologist in the UK and they are not NHS registered. If you are looking to see a private trichologist, it is advisable to check for qualifications such as being on The Institute of Trichologists register, which has its own Code of Practice.
Can I be prescribed hair loss treatment by a trichologist?
No, a trichologist is not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medicine or courses of prescription treatments.
If you are living with male or female pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia), there are over the counter treatments such as minoxidil scalp lotion (branded as Regaine) which do not require a prescription. For this, you can talk to your LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist in store to see if this treatment is right for you or buy online at LloydsPharmacy. Finasteride (branded as Propecia) is a male hair loss medication that cannot be prescribed by a trichologist; instead you will need to see a medical doctor for a consultation. You can also use the LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor service to be assessed to purchase this.
If you have concerns for your scalp health, you can make an appointment with your GP who may refer you to a dermatologist.
Who else can help me with hair loss advice?
If you are looking for hair loss advice, a Pharmacist will be happy to help you in the first instance. If you are looking for medical treatment for hair loss which requires a prescription, you can take a free online assessment with a LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor, where there are specialists in hair loss who will help to find the best solution for you. For other resources, you can read through our hair loss advice, which features helpful information for both men and women.
I think I have female/male pattern baldness - is there a cure?
There is currently only treatment for female or male pattern baldness, rather than a cure. These differ from person to person, but men can use finasteride and minoxidil, whilst females can use a smaller dose of minoxidil. Find out more about hair loss treatment options from the LloydsPharmacy hair loss advice.
What are the best products for thinning hair and hair regrowth?
There are many other reasons why you may be noticing thinning hair, so if you are concerned it is best to speak to a medical professional who can carry out any necessary tests and also recommend a product for you. Generally, minoxidil is an over-the-counter product widely used for thinning hair in men and women. In some cases, it can also promote hair regrowth.
The branded version of minoxidil, Regaine works by increasing blood flow to the scalp and consequently:
- Reverses shrinkage of hair follicles
- Increases blood flow to follicles
- Stimulates follicles grow hair
- Extends the life span of hair follicles
Always read the label and consult your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any allergies or scalp conditions.
What supplements can be taken for hair loss?
Deficiencies in Vitamin B3, Vitamin C, Zinc and Iron can cause hair loss and thinning; if you suspect that your hair loss is due to vitamin or mineral deficiency you should see your GP for a blood test. After the deficiency has been confirmed, you will be recommended treatment or supplements. Supplements may help to maintain a healthy scalp as well as a healthy, balanced diet. If you are experiencing male pattern balding this is likely to be hereditary and not related to a lack of vitamins.