A Microscopic View of Alopecia

Aug 30, 2010
September is Alopecia Awareness Month. What is Alopecia? It is the medical term for hair loss, and a very broad umbrella for over 75 types. I would like to educate many of you who may have never heard about the field of Trichology. Trichology is the scientific study of Alopecia and scalp disorder maladies, which began in 1902 in London, England. A board certified Trichologist is a person who has enrolled and completed the required intense curriculum from a Trichology Institution. Some consumers have been reading about a Trichologist from National Magazine Publications, Youtube, Internet, Newspaper, Radio, and Television Advertisements. Not to exclude word of mouth has been a powerful tool in advertising Trichology.

What does a board certified Trichologist do? A board certified trichologist will access internal and external factors to determine the root cause(s) of the onset of Alopecia and/or scalp malady during a Consultation. Compared to a Cosmetologist who will only mask the problem with hair extensions, hairstyles, etc. In addition, a board certified Trichologist will incorporate two microscopes during the Consultation, a Polarized Microscope and Tricholscope is used.

A Polarized Microscope will reveal the following:
•   Clogged hair follicle
•   Product buildup
•   Nutritional Absorption
•   Water Absorption
•   Chemical Damage
•   Nutritional deficiencies
•   Hair Shaft Defects (38 types)
•   Hair Shaft Swelling
•   If your Gray hair has a copper deficiency.
•   Just to name a few.

A Tricholoscope will reveal the following:
•   Scaly Scalp Condition (5 types)
•   Poor Scalp Circulation
•   Erythema
•   Inflammation
•   Folliculitis and Scalp Lesions
•   Cicatricial Alopecia
•   Alopecia Marginalis
•   Sodium buildup
•   Hyperpigmentation and Discoloration
•   And the list goes on.

The degree of severity may vary from very mild cases to very severe cases per individual. Therefore, treatment therapies are given in a Clinical setting.

Signs and symptoms are also important indicators of a Scalp Crisis.
Symptoms could include:
•   If the scalp is tender when touched.
•   If the client complains of Pruritus (an excessively itchy scalp).
•   If the client complains about burning or tingling sensations.
•   When there may be crawling sensations on the scalp.
•   If the scalp itches immediately after application of bonding glue.
•   Just to name a few.

Signs could include:
•   If there are black dots on it.
•   If there are abrasions of any kind.
•   If the scalp looks dry or oily
•   If there is patchy Alopecia or other Alopecia.
•   If there is flaking on the scalp.
•   And on goes the list.

Trichology is considered a paramedical field including the growth, anatomy and physiology of the hair shaft, follicle, and scalp maladies. Put simply, a board certified Trichologist puts emphasis on maladies of the hair and scalp. This field is actually above Cosmetology and below Dermatology. Since this is the case, a board certified Trichologist works closely with other professionals. Such as family practitioners, medical doctors, internal specialist, endocrinologists, dentists, nutritionists, psychiatrists, dermatologists, cosmetologists, and other trichologists. The basis for the proper treatment of clients lies in correct identification of the malady. This begins with an accurate Consultation.

In closing, seek the professional expertise of a board certified Trichologist when you observe any sudden or unusual changes with your hair and/or scalp. Stop wasting your money on every new product on the market, when you may have an internal cause or deficiency. Avoid home remedies and concoctions from friends. Knowledge of the onset of your Alopecia and scalp malady is vital to resolving it. Out of the 75 types of maladies, some are reversible, while others are irreversible.

For additional information contact Dr. Linda Amerson at LA’s Hair & Scalp Clinic
(817) 265-8854 or dramerson@hairandscalpessentials.com or www.hairandscalpessentials.com