What is a Trichologist?

Trichologists are Hair and Scalp Specialists who are able to diagnose and treat many conditions of the hair and scalp in both health and disease. Trichologists can take many courses to improve their practice, and a truly legitimate Trichologist should be a member of a Governing body such as the Institute of Trichologists (There is also the Trichological Society). The Institute of Trichologists is the professional association for Trichologists throughout the world and has been established for over 100 years. Registered members indicate this with the letters AIT, MIT or FIT after their names.

For the protection of patients, the Institute of Trichologists publishes a code of Ethics by which all practicing Trichologists are expected to abide by. Within the Institute of Trichologists the opinions, treatment approach and support via alternative medicines will vary. It is important for each individual patient to find a Practitioner who best suits their needs.

Institute of Trichologists

How to become a Trichologist?

Please find below a direct quote from the Institute of Trichologists on how to qualify:

The Institute of Trichologists was founded in 1902 and is the foremost professional association for trichologists. The Institute is the independent, self-governed, self financed, private awarding education body for aspiring professional trichologists in the United Kingdom, and the longest established

Institute of its type in the world. The main route of entry to the register of qualified members of The Institute of Trichologists is by successful completion of the Institute’s two year training course in trichology. In the majority of cases, the Institute’s course is the only route to membership of The Institute of Trichologists. On successful completion of the Institute’s course you may wish to apply for admission as an Associate Member of the Institute of Trichologists. If your application is approved, you will be entitled to use the letters ‘AIT’ after your name subject to payment of an annual subscription.


What conditions can a Trichologist treat?

Trichologist - Hair Loss TreatmentA Trichologist can treat any type of hair (fine, medium, course or afro hair) and some of these conditions of the hair and scalp are mentioned below:

Hair Loss in Men, Women and Children

These may include; hair loss, hair thinning in both men and women, patches of hair loss (Alopecia Areata), scarring conditions (including Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia), traction hair loss, and hair that is manually pulled (Trichotillomania).

Scalp Conditions

Trichologist - Scalp Conditions TreatmentScalp conditions regularly treated by a Trichologist may include; eczema, psoriasis, folliculitis, dermatitis, allergic reactions, dandruff and head lice as well as cradle cap. Patients may complain of an itchy scalp, a scalp that has become more oily or greasy, and the presence of dandruff or pieces of scale observed in the hair and on the shoulders or even felt on the scalp as “lumps”.

Damaged Hair

Hair that is damaged externally is known as “weathering”. This may be caused by the use of hair straighteners and other heated hair equipment and bleaching (and high lift tints). Aggressive hair grooming and lack of conditioning treatments are other factors that can cause split ends and hair that is generally weaker and more porous. Damaged hair can be treated well by a Trichologist with a combination of clinic and home treatments.

What happens when you first see a Trichologist?

Trichologist - Shuna HammocksWhen attending a Consultation with a Trichologist you may be asked many questions including; your medical health, nutritional information, lifestyle choices, allergies, Doctors details, medications prescribed, family history and then a thorough hair and scalp examination. In most cases a diagnosis will be given and discussed at length and a bespoke treatment regime will be offered.

If a clinic treatment were advised you may be asked to attend for an appointment where a combination of various creams, ointments and cleansing products may be applied to your hair and scalp. The products used will completely depend on the factors discussed in your consultation and the findings during the hair and scalp examination.

If it is prudent for the treatment to be continued at home, full written instructions and a demonstration shall be given to you on how to carry out the treatment.

Shuna Hammocks – The Trichologist

Shuna Hammocks - Sussex TrichologyShuna Hammocks is a Consultant Trichologist who has been a hair and scalp specialist for 15 years, beginning her career in 1999 working alongside Philip Kingsley.

Shuna became aware that the South-East did not have a Trichologist covering the region and felt the timing was right personally to open her own practice Sussex Trichology . She wanted to provide the same high standard of practice she carried out in London, therefore in 2011 Sussex Trichology opened its doors.

I am striving to differentiate myself from those working within my profession who may not be adequately qualified. It is so difficult for the public to know who to turn to, and the first result on an internet search may not be the best choice. Checking that a Trichologist is a member of the Institute of Trichologists is a good starting point.

Shuna adds:

I am so passionate about my profession, hence being in the business for over 15 years, that I would like to raise awareness about trichology so that it’s the first port of call when an individual experiences changes in their hair. I completely understand how the negative appearance of one’s “crowning glory” can destroy a person’s confidence and sexual identity.


Please see below Shuna’s qualifications and professional memberships: