When it comes to thinning hair, women have several choices of doctors and specialists they can see, from an dermatologists to trichologists. Here’s a look at the type of experts who typically treat hair loss and what each offers.
General practitioner, nurse practitioner or internist. Since hair loss can have a number of underlying medical causes, the first place to start is with your regular doctor, whether that’s a GP, internist or even a nurse practitioner. Your health care provider should take your hair loss seriously, which means asking specific questions about when your hair loss began, how much hair you’re losing, and asking about your parents’ hair loss. The doctor should examine your scalp, and may even take a few hair samples for testing. If it’s not clear what’s causing your hair loss, the doctor may also perform a blood test to check vitamin levels and hormones.
Dermatologist: If your regular doctor is unable to help, or you suspect a skin condition is causing the hair loss, you may want to ask for a referral to a dermatologist. Dermatologists are medical doctors or doctors of osteopathy who specializing in treating skin conditions. Dermatologist may prescribe drug therapies to deal with female thinning hair. Other dermatologists specialize in surgery, which can be important if you’re interested in hair transplants. To find someone who specializes in female thinning hair, check the American Academy of Dermatology website to find a local specialist.
Endocrinologist. If your doctor suspects your hormones are off balance, you may be sent to an endocrinologist. Endocrinologists are medical doctors who specialize in hormones and the organs that create them, such as the pituitary gland, the thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, testes and pancreas. Hormone imbalances can trigger hair loss, so you may be sent to an endocrinologists, particularly if you’re going through menopause – which can affect hormone levels.
Endocrinologists also are seen for other conditions that impact hormone levels, including thyroid disease, cancers of the endocrine glands, metabolic disorders and diabetes.
Trichologist. A trichologist is someone who has studied hair and scalp health. While some doctors may take trichology courses, generally trichologists are not medical doctors, but someone who has attended a trichology programs. For example, someone who works at a salon may be a trichologists and trained to offer you advice about cosmetic options for treating thinning hair. Be careful when choosing a trichologist: There are certified programs, but there are people without formal training who claim to be trichologist.
No matter which specialist you choose to see for female hair thinning, know that it can take time and a team approach to determine what’s causing your hair loss and the best way to treat it. For more advice about how to address female hair thinning, read Vibrant Nation’s free report, Hairstyles for thin hair: Best Treatments, Products, and Haircuts for Fine Hair.