#Dermatology Archives | Dr Anastasia Therianou

Why You Need A Dermatologist For Hair Loss – Not A Trichologist

Why You Need A Dermatologist For Hair Loss – Not A Trichologist

If you are looking for the right person to treat your hair loss it’s important to know the facts so that you get the very best treatment available. Hair loss can be caused by a whole range of conditions, such as alopecia areata, many different autoimmune diseases, anemia, thyroid disorders, traction, and baldness. As well as potentially being caused by one of these disorders, female hair loss can also occur as a result of polycystic ovary syndrome, after pregnancy and during menopause.

With so many possible causes of hair loss, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis and this is why a dermatologist is the best option. Dermatologists have medical training, unlike trichologists who are qualified by and registered with the Institute of Trichologists.

A trichologist is an expert in human hair, from making it look its best through to treating problems with your hair and scalp. A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in skin, hair, and nails – and has the training and expertise to conduct a full examination and any necessary tests to give an accurate diagnosis.

This training and depth of knowledge are vital. Typically a trichologist will train for up to four years. My training to become a dermatologist included six years of medical school, two of core medical training, four years specializing in dermatology, then another year on my special interest areas. That’s 13 years of medical training to specialize in skin and hair, giving a depth of knowledge that enables the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of hair loss conditions. I am one of the few dermatologists in the UK who specialize in hair loss.

A trichologist can of course help in some cases but can only give patients topical treatment for hair loss, as they are not medically trained. Unlike a dermatologist, they cannot perform tests that help with the diagnosis and evaluation of the condition and inform the best course of treatment; these require special training.

For example, a dermatologist can perform a trichoscopy with a video dermatoscopy, a non-invasive technique that allows a rapid and magnified observation of the skin’s surface enabling the evaluation of hair thickness, presence of regrowing hairs and scalp inflammation. We can also perform a trigonometry, which involves an instrument that provides a numeric value of the hair quality. All vital to in-depth diagnosis.


Dermatologists can also carry out a scalp biopsy, where a sample from the scalp is taken under local anaesthetic and tested under the microscope by a histopathologist. These tests are often necessary to evaluate cases of hair loss.

Only a dermatologist is qualified to carry out these tests, without which a full and thorough evaluation and diagnosis is not possible. Getting to the cause of your condition leads to better treatment. Furthermore, there are a variety of oral treatments available for hair disorders which a trichologist cannot prescribe – but a dermatologist can so these are some reasons why You need A Dermatologist for Hair Loss and not  a Trichologist.

Why You Need A Dermatologist For Hair Loss – Not A Trichologist

A trichologist can only give you topical treatments for hair loss, such as minoxidil of various strengths. While dermatologists may prescribe this, they can also administer oral minoxidil, injections in the scalp, other tablets such as spironolactone or finasteride, or a combination of the above with other oral treatments. In this way a dermatologist has a far greater range and depth of diagnostic tools and techniques to help them evaluate your hair loss and its causes, and is far more likely to get you good regrowth results.

So if you are concerned about hair loss and want the most thorough and effective treatment and advice, please get in touch. The sooner you find out what’s causing your hair loss and get treatment and advice, the better your results. To arrange a consultation with me, Dr. Anastasia Therianou, an expert in dermatological care for hair loss and mole problems, call 0203 464 4884.

Is Your Hairstyle Causing Hair Loss?

 Is your Hairstyle Causing Hair Loss ?

A tight ponytail, cornrows or braids can look great. But did you know that wearing your hair tightly pulled back can eventually lead to hair loss? Hairstyles that constantly pull on your hair include cornrows, dreadlocks, hair extensions, braids, buns, ponytails and up-do’s that are tightly pulled. Even wearing hair rollers while sleeping can be a cause of female baldness. Medically known as traction alopecia, here is how to avoid permanent hair loss.

Look for early signs
If you do often wear your hair pulled back, the first signs of the problem may be broken hairs around the hairline or patches of hair loss where it is pulled tightly, for example thinning of hair between the braids. If you spot any of these signs change your style to one that doesn’t pull so your hair can regrow.

Loosen up your hairstyle
This is especially important around the hairline. Opt for thicker braids and dreadlocks and make sure you wear braids for no longer than two months. Changing hairstyles can also help to reduce the way your hair is being pulled and give it a chance to recover.

Weave wearers beware
Weaves and extensions are great way to add volume and length to your hair. To prevent them from causing hair loss, dermatologists recommend that you wear them for short periods of time, as pulling can increase your risk of developing traction alopecia. So remove weaves and extensions immediately if they cause pain or irritate your scalp and opt for sewn-in weaves rather than any that use glue.

girl in braids

Have your hair relaxed
A hairstylist who has training in using chemical relaxers can choose the product that will achieve the results you want while minimising the damage to your hair. To find out whether your stylist has this training, ask a few questions and be prepared to walk away if you’re not satisfied with the answers. You should also ask what your stylist will do to help maintain the health of your hair.

Don’t ignore these symptoms
Change your hairstyle immediately if you notice any of the following problems or you could experience hair loss:

  • Pain from tightly pulled hair
  • Stinging on your scalp
  • Crusts on your scalp
  • Tenting (sections of your scalp are being pulled up like a tent).

When the pulling continues, most people eventually notice that their hair stops growing. Where you once had hair, you’ll see shiny, bald skin. When traction alopecia advances to this stage, your hair cannot grow back. Many women come to me with hair loss problems, seemingly unaware that their hair style may be at fault.

For more information on traction alopecia you can visit the British Association of Dermatologists link http://www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=6323&itemtype=document

If you have hair loss, it’s never too early to see a dermatologist with a special interest in hair disorders. People develop hair loss for many reasons and your hairstyle may be the cause. It’s also possible that it’s due to something else. The sooner you find out what’s causing your hair loss and take steps to stop it, the better your results. To arrange a consultation with Dr Anastasia Therianou, expert in dermatological care for hair loss and mole problems, call 0203 464 4884.

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