If you’ve been putting serious effort into growing your hair (or stopping hair loss) and are frustrated with the sparse results, it might be worth visiting a trichologist, a specialist who specifically focuses on hair and scalp health. It can be a total game-changer for your strands.
But before you visit, it’s essential to arm yourself with the right questions. If the trichologist is thorough, you probably won’t have to ask all these questions, but it’s best to be prepared so you can make the most of your visit.
First, What Exactly Is a Trichologist?
Trichologists specialize in the scalp and hair, but are not medical doctors (so they cannot legally prescribe medicine). They take a more holistic approach to solving hair-related issues, including exploring diet and lifestyle factors. A trichologist may receive a certification from the International Association of Trichologists, which supports the legitimate practice of treating the scalp and hair.
Also: What Is a Hair Pull Test?
How do you know if you should see a trichologist vs. dermatologist?
Dermatologists are qualified to address scalp and hair-related issues as well. While trichologists solely focus on the hair and scalp, dermatologists can focus on the skin and other issues surrounding it. However, if you’re looking to get an actual scalp evaluation, you might not always get that after a dermatologist listens to your symptoms. Dermatology consultations are typically a lot shorter than trichology visits. A trichologist will perform a thorough scalp examination and determine if supplements, laser therapy, products, or over-the-counter treatments are necessary. But a dermatology consultation is your best bet if you suspect that you will need a medical prescription for your condition.
8 Questions to Make Sure to Ask Your Trichologist
Come prepared with questions only a trichologist can answer, both generally and specific to your situation. Here are some questions you can ask your trichologist:
1. Could there be multiple causes behind my hair loss?
Finding the root of the problem (no pun intended!) is where you’ll want to start. Once you’ve noticed a change in your hair growth pattern, it’s easy to conclude there’s a singular cause but perhaps there are multiple factors are play. Hair loss can be the result of many different things. This might sound overwhelming, but that’s why a trichologist’s expertise comes in handy!
2. Is my scalp hydrated enough?
Hair growth starts with a healthy scalp. A lot of people don’t know that when our scalps are too dry or flaky, a scalp evaluation might be in order. Have your trichologist take a closer look at your scalp and determine if the moisture levels are considered normal and balanced.
3. Are my hairstyles and techniques causing issues?
Be very upfront and detailed about how you handle your hair, from your daily high ponytail and post-shower bun to your infrequent blowouts or updos. Your trichologist will be able to tell you if your styles and accessories are aggravating hair loss or preventing growth.
4. How often should I wash my hair?
After your trichologist deep-dives into your hair and scalp, they might be able to tell you what your ideal hair-wash schedule should be. Perhaps your routine is somehow messing with the optimal balance, which you need to help grow healthy locks.
5. Am I using the wrong tools and products?
The same way that each hair type requires different shampoo frequencies, each requires different tools and products. We’re positive that you know not to use the same lineup as a friend with the polar opposite hair type, but it could still be time to switch things up. Have you recently colored your hair? Have you noticed more oil production? Ask and confirm you’re using what’s best for you.
6. Is my go-to lunch messing with my hair?
Most of the time what you see is what you get. Other times, what you eat is what you get. Nutrient deficiency  has been shown to cause hair loss, and your diet can have a serious impact on the state of your tresses. Sharing your current diet and supplement regimen with a trichologist can be very helpful in determining what you’re doing right and what you could do better. Don’t leave anything out!
7. Is my condition temporary or long term?
This is a loaded question because the answer might not be what you want to hear. Unfortunately, not all hair loss is reversible and you have the right to know if yours is forever. The good news is, in many cases, it’s short-term and can be fixed with some lifestyle changes. Either way, you’ll want to know.
8. What are my sustainable treatment options?
There are some cases where more intensive treatments may be necessary but the time and monetary investment might not be feasible. Work with your trichologist to develop a plan that you not only can afford, but also will actually stick to for results.
If you’re considering a trichology consultation, you’re one of many. Be ready to learn more about your hair and the condition you’re concerned about. Ask the right questions and you’ll be on your way to a healthier mane in no time. You’ll be happy you did your homework!
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