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Common Diagnostic Trichology Tests Your Hair Specialist Will Perform
Paru Shukla
Medically reviewed by
Paru Shukla
Updated on May 5, 2024

If you’re looking to prevent further hair loss or are seeking treatment options to help regrow hair, chances are you will need to discuss your hair loss condition with a trichologist. A trichologist needs to conduct some routine trichology tests to establish the cause of your hair loss or hair thinning. This can then help them evaluate and apply the correct hair loss treatment.

Here, we take a look at some of the common questions and trichology tests you will go through with your trichologist, to leave you better prepared for your first appointment with a trichologist.

Table of Contents
What is a trichologist?

What is a trichologist?

A trichologist is a medically qualified professional who specialises in establishing and treating diseases that affect hair and scalp health. All reputable hair restoration clinics should work with experienced trichologists who can diagnose hair and scalp conditions and recommend the best course of action.

What causes hair loss?

The average individual has about 100,000 hair follicles on their head. These hair follicles are likely to be at different stages of the hair growth cycle. As a result, they will be growing and shedding at various times.

What causes hair shedding?

It is normal to expect to lose between 50-100 hairs per day. Any more hair shedding is considered to be excessive and therefore a form of hair loss. Hair loss can caused by a variety of reasons including:

Questions your trichologist will ask you about your medical history

Questions your trichologist will ask you about your medical history

It is essential you provide your trichologist with an overview of your medical history, as a previous medical condition may be contributing to your hair loss or scalp condition. Family history and genetics may also have a part to play, especially if you have a family history of androgenetic alopecia, a genetic hair loss condition also known as male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss.

The more information you are able to give regarding your medical history, the easier it will be for your trichologist to establish and treat the cause of your hair loss and discomfort.

Questions about diet

Not eating a well-balanced diet can often dramatically affect your hair growth as well as the condition of your hair. A lack of vitamins, iron, zinc, and folic acid will stunt hair growth. Your hair is the last point of your body to get nutrients, as your internal organs will receive the nutrients first. So ensuring you have a good amount in your system means your hair will get some too!

How stressed are you?

Stress is one of the most common causes of alopecia (dramatic or severe hair loss). This is especially true if your stress is due to a major life event or trauma. Letting your trichologist know of any major stressors you’ve recently been exposed to will help them evaluate why you are experiencing hair loss.

Lifestyle questions

This is a combination of your diet, sleep habits, and whether you consume alcohol and/or smoke. Like any health check, letting your trichologist know all the details means they can provide you with the correct treatment.

What’s your hair care routine?

Having a good hair care routine and treating your hair gently works wonders. Your trichologist needs to know how you currently care for your hair, including regular treatments or styling. This will enable them to advise you on ways to improve your hair quality and scalp condition at home, helping to prevent further hair damage.

Blood tests for hair loss

A blood test will give a lot of information regarding what is going on in your body. Crucial blood tests may determine what is causing your scalp condition and hair loss.

Hair loss blood tests look at your iron levels (including ferritin and iron stores), your white and red blood cells, mineral and vitamin levels, the amount of folic acid in your system, and your thyroid levels (thyroid disorders can cause hair loss). Blood tests will also be performed regularly throughout your course of treatment to ensure that the medication or other hair loss treatment prescribed is working effectively.

You can request blood tests from your GP. A GP will read the tests differently from a trichologist. What appears normal and healthy to a GP may not to a trichologist who is looking for specific hair loss-related markers. A trichologist can read into the results to find out what is causing your hair loss.

Hormone trichology tests

In addition to a full blood count, your trichologist will also occasionally run hormonal tests. Male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss (and some other types of hair loss) are caused by elevated levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). That means hormone tests can also establish a reason for your hair loss.

Examination of the hair and scalp

Your trichologist and their assistant will take time (usually around 40-50 minutes) to thoroughly examine your hair and scalp. This initial consultation helps your trichologist ascertain scalp conditions and possible irritations and analyse what may be causing your hair loss or scalp issues. Your hair can provide your trichologist with many tell-tell signs of underlying conditions contributing to hair loss.

Hair pull test

Your trichologist may perform a hair pull test to determine if you are shedding more hair than normal. This test involves the trichologist slightly pulling at a small section of hair (usually about 20-60 strands of hair) at various areas on the scalp. If more than 10% of the hairs are pulled loose, then you may be suffering from active shedding.

Scalp biopsy

To help determine the cause of your hair loss or scalp condition, your trichologist may perform a scalp biopsy. This test involves removing a small tissue sample from the scalp. After removal, this sample will then be sent off for a laboratory for diagnostic tests.

Find out the cause of your hair loss by booking a consultation today.

Find out the cause of your hair loss by booking a consultation today.

Booking a consultation to discuss your hair loss and scalp concerns can feel like a big step to take. If you’re considering a hair transplant, make sure you’re prepared for your consultation by finding out what to expect at your first hair transplant consultation.

Our trichologists and hair restoration surgeons are always ready to answer your questions regarding your hair loss or thinning hair, so make an appointment with our trichology team.

Common Diagnostic Trichology Tests Your Hair Specialist Will Perform, Wimpole Clinic

Paru Shukla
Medically reviewed by Paru ShuklaUpdated on May 5, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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