Trichology is a branch of dermatology that deals with scalp disorders. The term trichology comes from the Greek word “trichos” meaning “hair”. A pioneer in trichology was Enzo Formentini – a professor and lecturer at the University of Bologna.
A trychologist analyzes the scalp and hair bulb condition in detail as well as finds the cause of hair loss. He/she can also diagnose a patient with scalp diseases and choose optimal hair care solutions. A trychologist does not consult skin disorders on other parts of the body as a dermatologist does and is educated in the field of cosmetics and not medicine. Trichology covers the knowledge areas of cosmetology, cosmetics, hairdressing or human nutrition.
What does a trychologist do? A trychologist specializes in:
- hair growth problems
- the scalp inflammation
- alopecia and excessive hair loss
- greasy hair
- hair growth inhibition
- as well as mechanical and chemical hair damage
The most important trichology test is a trichoscopy which evaluates the hair and scalp using a micro-camera with a 20 times zoom. During this test a trychologist is able to evaluate the condition of the scalp, follicle and blood vessels type. An accurate diagnosis allows choosing appropriate treatment and medicines helpful in particular hair problems.
Trichoscopy is a digital method of hair evaluation. It uses a device – dermatoscope with a computer software and digital camera called a video dermatoscope. Trichoscopy is a method of hair examination developed by prof. L. Rudnicka. She is a distinguished, and world-famous chairman of the Department of Dermatology and Venereology .
One of the most important developments in trichoscopy is the non-invasive assessment of shaft structure. It means it is not necessary to pull hairs to perform the test.
Trichoscopy analysis allows observing and evaluating hair structure in the epidermis, dermal epidermal junction, and upper layers of the dermis and hair. In addition, this technique assesses hair shaft vessels and scalp structures, in particular hair follicles ostia, being an upper part of hair stem, skin surrounding follicle and microcirculation vessels. Quantity and hair thickness are also evaluated. It is recommended not to dye nor do a perm a few days before examination. Hair should be washed 24 hours before a test. Additionally, it is not recommended to use hairstyling cosmetics such as hair mousse, conditioner, gel or hairspray. A trichoscopy examination is also very helpful to assess scarring and non-scarring alopecia.