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What is trichology?

Trichology is the science and study of the hair and scalp. (from the Greek ‘trikhos’ meaning hair.) clinical trichology refers to practicing members who are registered to practice and is the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases and disorders of the human scalp.

So what is a ‘qualified trichologist’?

A qualified trichologist has undertaken a recognised qualification and therefore had to study a plethora of subjects pertaining to the hair and a scalp with a large focus on the sciences, and including clinical training.

They are not medically qualified but have studied all matters pertaining to the hair and scalp and therefore can be considered a hair and scalp specialist. Similar to chiropodists who are also not medically qualified but specialise in feet.

There are currently only a few trichology education providers in the UK. Dawn trained with the Prestigious institute of trichologist in London who have been established since 1902 and still remain the most established and largest supplier of trichology training in the UK today.

Any qualified trichologist from the institute will have the following letters AIT/MIT/ FIT which means they have completed the course with the institute including the clinical practice element of the course with the frequent clinical training days in London. Once qualified with the institute there are a further 2 years study required, including submitting cases under the guidance of a mentor. An AIT is under this further 2 years study and once complete the can apply to become a MIT.

Registered members of the institute are bound by a strict code of Professional practice and Ethics and have to undertake continual professional development to ensure best and safest practice at all times.

When choosing your trichologist please ensure they have the relevant qualifications and are still active members with their professional bodies, therefore they will be following a strict code of professional conduct and will have the necessary insurances in order to practice.

Is trichology an extension of hairdressing?

No. Trichology and hairdressing are very different, although it is not unusual for a trichologist to have come from a hairdressing background, many have not. The common denominator is of course hair, a hairdresser is more involved in cosmetic styling of the hair, including latest styles and techniques. A trichologists interest lies the interactions of the human body and how that reflects upon the hair and scalp. Hair is a barometer of our health, and we can identify factors that may be creating one of the many diseases and disorders of the hair and scalp. Hairdressing and trichology can sit harmoniously together and a lot of referrals come to trichologists via hair stylists as they are often the first to notice that their client is experiencing problems outside of their usual remit and seek the help of a trichologist.

What happens in a consultation?

Your hair and scalp will be fully examined with a visual exam and a trichoscopy examination so we can look at your scalp in close detail.

A consultation can be daunting especially if this is the first time the patient has experienced any problems but rest assured a trichologist always works under the strictest confidence and as well as their professional skills you will find them compassionate, with a desire to help.

During a consultation, your trichologist will look at any health problems you may have, any medications you may be on, diet and lifestyle. We ask that you do not wash your hair on the morning of the consultation so that we can see the hair and scalp in its natural condition. If you have had any blood tests bring along a copy of your results, a list of any medications you are on and a list of products you are currently using.

After the consultation, if the trichologist deems it necessary to have any further tests they will recommend which tests you need, the trichologist will diagnose and recommend treatments that can be carried out at the clinic or recommend a home care regime.

What are the consultation costs?

Please see costs for pricing information

Do I need a referral from a GP to visit a trichologist?

No not at all! If you are at all worried about a hair and scalp complaint you can self-refer and contact a trichologist direct for an appointment, please just remember to check their credentials.

What do the letters ‘AIT’,
‘MIT’ and ‘FIT’ mean?

They all indicate that the person is a fully qualified and registered member of The Institute of Trichologists. AIT is an Associate Member of the Institute, MIT is a full member and FIT is a Fellow of the Institute.

An AIT is likely to be recently qualified and undertaking their 2-year mentorship period towards full membership.  An MIT is a full member who has been approved by the Board for full membership after their mentoring and been qualified for at least 2 years. An FIT is a Fellow of the Institute who has been awarded and recognised for his or her outstanding contribution to the Institute or undertaking research in the profession.

Trichologist or dermatologist –
what is the difference?

Trichologists have solely studied subjects relating to the hair and scalp, although they are specialised in this area, they are not medically qualified. A dermatologist is a medical doctor that specialises in the skin throughout the body and not just the scalp.

Dermatologists within the NHS are under pressure of targets to see all suspected skin cancer patients within a short time. Therefore, if you wish to consult an NHS dermatologist about your scalp problem, you are likely to have a long wait indeed. Also, to consult a dermatologist under the NHS you will need a referral from your GP, whereas you may consult a trichologist immediately and you do not need a referral (although some GPs will refer patients to a trichologist).

We are very lucky that the institute has a vast number of its members that are dermatologists and the CPD events organised by the IOT have world renound speakers from the world of dermatology and surrounding subjects.