Skip to content

In to Out: What is Trichology?

September 28, 2011

This subject hits close to home, for years I struggled with this area of my life. And although I’ve never been one to obsess over such trivial things, nor am I extremely vain, but who doesn’t want to look presentable? What woman doesn’t want to be admired for this particular trait at least sometimes?

One day while vacuuming my bedroom floor, I decided I would be more thorough and go under my bed. (I was feeling pretty energetic that day) So I stooped down to make sure there were no stray objects hiding there. And to my utter surprise, I saw what looked like a dark shadow hovering over beige carpet on my side of the bed. My initial thought was ‘surely my home is not THAT dusty’. On my knees looking and wondering what in the world that stuff was, I got up the nerve to touch it. I picked it up, looked at it with horror, embarrassment and a myriad of other emotions when I discovered that it was my hair.

I had already known that my hair was not thriving, but until that moment I was ignorant to the magnitude of my issues. To see my hair sitting there in the floor like that did something to me, actually it did several things to me. First I cried, then I got angry, I got up, and I got educated. My research took me on a course that lead me to The Philip Kingsley Clinic. I did not literally go there as they are located in London and New York, but I read and studied those basic concepts shared on the site. I also dropped traditional television for YouTube to discover how other women were caring for their hair in its natural state – meaning no chemicals.

While planning the In to Out Series, my desire was to share as much as I could about what I’ve learned on this journey. As a culmination of this first series of educational interviews, I thought it would be fun to explore this unusual word that’s not spoken of in common everyday language, yet we ALL deal with it. Read on to learn a little bit from one of Philip Kingsley’s 22-year veterans in the area of Trichology, Liz Cunnane Phillips.

Inquiring minds want to know, please define trichology for us.
Trichology is concerned with the structure and function of human hair. This includes the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the human hair and scalp.

How long does it take to become a trichologist? 
It takes about two to three years.

Who benefits most from seeing a trichologist?
Those who suffer from scalp problems or hair loss.

What should be expected on the first visit to a trichologist?
A first visit to the Philip Kingsley Clinic lasts about 2 hours and consists of a consultation and an initial hair treatment.

Our Consultations include a thorough examination of your scalp and hair with a detailed history taken. This will be followed with a hair treatment. We adopt a holistic approach to all problems, investigating general health, family history, nutrition, lifestyle, medication and other relevant factors.

A clinical treatment can include the application of scalp and hair creams, steam, scalp massage, infra-red, radiant heat or ultra violet light therapy. All treatments are individually prescribed, depending upon what is required. It may be that the cosmetic appearance only needs to be improved.

What is the price range of a first visit?

How often should you visit your trichologist?
It depends on the individual. For those who cannot attend regularly, the continued use of our clinical prescription products can treat most scalp and hair complaints.

Are trichologists hair stylists as well?
No, we only provide consultations and treatments for our clients.

What is the most prevalent scalp/hair condition you see in your salon?
We see a wide variety of hair and scalp problems. Some of the most common are Dandruff, Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Pityriasis Amiantacea, Pustular Conditions, Head Lice, Anagen and Telogen Effluvium, Traumatic or Traction Alopecia, and Androgenetic Alopecia.

Is it true that one ‘adapts’ to a particular product such that it stops working over a period of time?
This is a very common hair myth. The same shampoo, used on the same hair under the same circumstances, always gives the same result. Shampoo buyers are noted for their disloyalty, and manufacturers frequently take advantage of consumer dissatisfaction with other competitors. Very few people are truly happy with their hair’s performance so they try to improve it by switching products.

Remaining within a brand can lead to one product building on one another, this for example is very true of our moisture extreme line, but the variables are infinite with hair so playing with solutions can also be fine. Find the combination that works best for your hair and stick with it. That might include products within the same brand but different categories.

For example within the Philip Kingsley line the body building shampoo paired with the moisture balancing conditioner may be the perfect choice. Changing products for the sake of change “because the hair gets used to it” is not necessary but very frequently done. Change if the requirements change, more processing, shorter hair…etc

How does diet effect the condition of the hair and scalp?
The significance of diet and the way it can affect your hair should not be underestimated. Numerous problems can arise from either a deficiency or an excess of nutrients, and in some cases nutrition alone can be the cause of a hair loss problem. Often a simple change in diet will have a beneficial effect on the hair. Hair consists of protein, so eating sufficient protein is vital to strong, healthy hair. It takes a long time for any diet changes to become beneficial. It would take over two months for the hair follicles to begin to benefit. As hair grows only half an inch a month, it would take six months before you would begin to notice any appreciable changes. But your perseverance will pay off.

What are some things we can do at home to help in the overall care of our hair?Besides maintaining a healthy diet, frequent shampooing and conditioning is most important for healthy looking hair.

Everybody washes their face once a day, so why not the hair? You take your hair to the same places and it gets just as dirty!

Trichology does not seem to be a popular service YET; but how does a customer determine that they are seeing a legitimate trichologist?
If they are a registered member of the Institute of Trichologists.

What would cause one’s hair to not grow at all (non-growth over the entire head)?
In these cases, it is important to bear in mind that hair length can only be improved to a certain point (through care for the hair, and diet), since there is a finite length to which everyone’s hair reaches, though this varies between individual due to the hair growth cycles.

Are trichologists trained to work on all hair types?
Yes, we treat all types of hair.

For more information on the Philip Kingsley Clinic, visit

Through my period of discovery, I have inadvertently chronicled the process by way of photography. These I will share this weekend; it’s rather telling. I will also share how I have learned to master my hair. In the meantime…

~Live Healthy. Look Healthy.

Please remember:
1) ***Our intention, through this series, is to help others to live a whole life in a healthy manner – not to treat any condition. **
2) All features are accessible throughout the feature series.
3) All material within this blog may used for educational purposes only, providing you retain this copyright notice and use an appropriate citation including the record URL of the information. We would like to know how you are using the material, please send notification to

~Live Healthy. Look Healthy
©2011, HqO Skincare LLC. All rights reserved


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: