Trichology is a sophisticated field of dermatology that has its roots in 19th century England. From the earliest interests in trichology as a paramedical science to the official practice, trichology has seen many advancements to make its way to the US as a mainstream medical practice for hair transplant surgery and hair restoration. If you’ve ever been curious about the emergence of trichology in the US, take a closer look at this overview from the team at MAXIM Hair Restoration.
What Is Trichology?
Trichology is the study and analysis of hair, hair loss, and scalp conditions, including the causes, effects, and treatments for hair restoration and diseases of the scalp. The word “trichology” comes from the Greek word “trikhos” meaning “hair.” Trichology combines medical principles from dermatology and cosmetological applications to treat and beautify areas of the scalp.
Professionals in trichology study advancements and practices concerning hair regrowth, hair loss, and scalp problems better understand the causes of thinning hair and balding. Because hair loss involves both the hair and skin and can be due to medical or cosmetic issues, trichology combines the two fields to achieve hair restoration. This field of medicine has seen many developments and contributions to its advancement, where its early beginnings in the United Kingdom served as a foundation for trichology practices in the US.
What’s a Trichologist?
Trichologists specialize in and treat conditions of the hair and scalp. They most often specialize in hair restoration, where they focus on the causes and treatment techniques for regaining hair growth and minimizing additional hair loss. Many trichologists work with hair restoration doctors and surgeons to develop personalized treatments for your needs, including hair transplant surgery, non-invasive techniques, and innovative solutions that stimulate follicular growth.
Where Did Trichology Originate?
Trichology first emerged in Britain during the 1800s as a specialty branch of medical and dermatological study. During the 1860s, the interest in hair loss and rejuvenation arose in London, when a self-appointed professor, Wheeler, popularized the scientific study and interest in hair and scalp conditions. By the early 1900s, this interest in the scalp, hair, and related conditions causing hair loss became the focus of the trichology field. As developments were made and interest in scalp studies grew, the Institute of Trichologists took shape in California during the 1970s from the efforts of trichologist David Salinger.
Trichology in the US for Hair Restoration
After about 60 years, the Institute of Trichologists had an influence on practices in the US. In 1974, David Jerome Salinger of the University of Southern Golden State in California developed a primary trichology course that paved the way for further studies in the field. Salinger served as former vice president of the Institute of Trichologists and also acted as the administrator of the newly formed International Association of Trichologists (IAT) of the time.
Trichology vs. Dermatology
Trichology might apply principles of dermatology, but the two fields differ a bit. While dermatology focuses on disorders and ailments of the skin, hair, and nails, the field of trichology specializes in hair and scalp conditions. Because trichology focuses on the scalp, hair, and conditions affecting hair growth and health, it branched out and became its own specialized field of dermatology. If you consult with a dermatologist, you have the benefit of addressing various skin conditions, but dermatology doesn’t focus on the complexities of hair loss, scalp conditions, and the restoration of the follicles for hair regrowth.
What Do Trichologists Treat?
Trichologists help treat a wide range of scalp and hair conditions. From female and male pattern hair loss to autoimmune alopecia symptoms, here are some of the issues and causes of hair loss trichology has begun to address in the US:
Hair loss and thinning can be attributed to a few causes, including androgenetic hair loss. Both females and males can experience androgenetic hair loss, and trichology specializes in understanding and treating the underlying causes of this condition.
In many cases, the condition starts with a receding hairline extending from the temples or the thinning of the hair on the crown. With the emergence of trichological procedures over time — like hair transplants — androgenetic hair loss has a range of surgical and non-surgical solutions for regaining natural hair growth.
Trichology also looks closely at the condition of alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disorder that affects both men and women and can cause significant hair loss. Typically, trichologists treating alopecia notice completely bald, circular areas where hair loss is present, usually the size of a quarter or smaller. The condition can occur in temporary flare-ups or it can be a permanent hair loss condition. In some cases, individuals who suffer from alopecia experience severe hair loss only to have it grow back and thin again.
This hair loss and intermittent regrowth can repeat in a cycle for some, indicating the symptoms can vary between individuals. There are several types of alopecia that trichology now addresses. With alopecia areata totalis, patients have total hair loss of the scalp. Alopecia areata universalis causes hair loss all over the body, and diffuse alopecia areata is sudden hair thinning rather than an entire loss of hair. Ophiasis alopecia areata causes hair loss to appear in banded shapes around the sides and back of the head.
Traumatic Hair Loss or Thinning
In some cases, trichologists treat patients suffering from severe hair loss or thinning due to traumatic physical causes. Trichotillomania is one such disorder in which an individual suffers hair loss due to self-inflicted trauma, like scalp picking, obsessive hair pulling, or excessive styling. While trichology can be an effective medical application for treating cases of trichotillomania, the compulsive habit behind the condition often requires additional psychological treatment for successful results.
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At MAXIM Hair Restoration, our team of professionals makes your hair and scalp care our number one priority. Schedule your free consultation today and discover what MAXIM Hair Restoration can do for you. We specialize in hair transplant surgery and non-surgical alternatives to give you the very best results for long-lasting, natural hair growth.