January Blog, A Trichologist’s Opinion!

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I bet you are tired and bored of reading about what month it is and plans for the New Year. Panic not- this post is certainly a step in a different direction!

As a hair and scalp specialist, I was recently asked “is this a quieter month for you also?” My answer as many who have experienced hair loss or felt the irritating itch of a scalp condition will appreciate is a baffled “No!” There are certain scalp conditions such as Psoriasis, which respond positively to sunlight and vitamin D (if only January could bring on Spring- happy days!). However, when it comes to patches of hair loss, thinning conditions and an increase in number of hairs falling- the change of the calendar year is quite irrelevant.

Throughout the years of involvement in the profession of trichology, I have observed, been tutored by, read about and in certain ways grown by the approach of other colleagues within The Institute of Trichologists. It intrigues me that in a subject which promotes such high emotion in the sufferer, many practitioners still consult without the level of empathy needed to approach such patients. It is annoying to see that companies that asks you to “fill in this form and we will send you…” still exist. My code of ethics certainly does not allow this.

I must mention here few of the most amusing and sometimes shocking ideas that pass off as facts regarding hair care.

As you can imagine many patients who contact me have most often tried many other approaches or ‘potions’ before consulting me.

For example laser treatment for genetic thinning- this irritates me. First of all those who specialise in the area of hair removal should NOT attempt to delve into the world of retaining hair. Secondly, the claim is that laser can be of benefit in improving the circulation to the scalp (so what!) and if applied at least weekly results MAY show after a year!!! Who has the time and money to ‘see if it helps’?

The understanding of these practitioners is that the condition (whatever it is) is due to lack of adequate blood supply (in all ages of men and women). See my point? If this were in any way true, why would circulation simply slow/stop to a specific region of the scalp, when it has been proven as irrelevant and that it is the pre disposed follicles that are at fault?!

Another example (boy this is good to get it off my Trichological chest!)

Green tea, Saw Palmetto, black cohosh – these are all great alternative examples of plant derived anti androgens. However, there is no harm in taking these things to entertain your taste buds BUT there is no medical proof available that these things are any different from the placebo based drugs they were compared to.

I feel there is a time and a place for the use of stimulants such as Minoxodil but not alone! With the exception of those who are not able to offer anti-androgen treatment, why would anyone decide to apply M for perhaps 2 years, perhaps grow a little extra hair and with cessation of the liquid lose all ( and more ) they gained? I think the company and it’s claims should consider the ethics behind how they market and the return rate of custom once their little secret (of one size fits all) doesn’t work.

But I think the worst by far, in my experience, one that takes the biscuit- is the case of a prominent “hairloss and baldness company” which does not have a single formally qualified trichologist in their team, and buys products from overseas pharmacies that are NOT licensed to be sold in the UK. Now that’s hard to beat.

Coming back to what we offer- Truly Holistic treatment

The emotions, perception of self, ability to handle anxious situations and ways to prevent ill health to me are equally important in diagnosing and treating my patients as my training.

At Shuna Hammocks Trichology, we manage to provide a long-term supportive service that enables each patient to learn to look after their regrowth and attend as a maintenance check-up in order to arrest their condition, where possible, once and for all. The true meaning of holistic I feel.

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