You have a medical background. What drew you to trichology in particular?
I first started out at the age of 15 yrs as a Saturday girl washing hair in a prestigious London salon. After training with various companies including Alan International, Robert Fielding and Vidal Sassoon I went on to open my first hair salon just before my 22nd birthday. From here I expanded to several salons which I found kept me busy working very long and late hours, I continued to study and eventually attained my teaching qualifications.
Whilst I continued to run my salons I also taught at various colleges giving lectures and demonstrations to trainee students. A module that I really enjoyed teaching was consultation and diagnostics in hair. I covered various topics including when not to carry out chemical processes due to the client having hair or scalp problems. This is when I really began to think about the everyday challenges that many people are faced with. We all want to walk in to a salon and bounce back out feeling on top of the world, but for a percentage of people with hair and scalp maladies this is not the case.
Keen to broaden my hair and scalp science knowledge I went on to study with The Institute of Trichologist at the Hair and Scalp Hospital in Brixton. This deepened my desire to investigate and search for answers to how the human body works in a scientific way. Particularly I wanted to study disease, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, microbiology and immunology. I needed to arm myself with this knowledge as this would be the only way I could really make a difference in people’s lives. To achieve this, I went on to study a medical degree in Biomedical science with honors. Currently I run my own Medical Trichology practice in Dartford and I am linked with some of the best hair surgeons in the world.
What is the most popular treatment you currently offer?
The clinic scalp peeling treatment is the most popular service we offer. The peel breaks down excessive hyperkeratosis (excessive skin tissue debris), sebum, bacteria, fungus that result in scalp congestion.
What are the most common misconceptions about trichology, and how do you combat these?
Understanding the differences between medical and non-medical Trichologist and Dermatologist.
Depending on the client/patient needs each specialist has a professional service to offer in their own field of knowledge. Deciding which specialist to see can be a difficult decision to make. A non-medical Trichologist is someone armed with knowledge that can treat various common hair and scalp problems. These are professional people that will advise when a condition is of a more serious nature and will refer you to see a medically trained Trichologist or Dermatologist when required.
Are there any secrets to luscious locks?
Whilst genetics play a major role in the quality of the hair produced, I constantly see many problem cases that are due to health and external factors.
As hair is a great barometer of the internal health this is a good place to start. It is important to ensure a well-balanced diet of essential nutrients including protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and mineral to promote a healthy scalp and hair. Especially during times of dieting or un-wellness, consider adding vitamins and mineral supplements to support the hair during this time. For example, vitamin B-12, B-6 and minerals such as selenium are great for the hair. For cell growth and repair omega-3 fatty acids are a great supplement to take and can also aid blood circulation.
Once you are growing beautiful hair then what you do to it is just as important. Whilst we cannot control environmental factors such as the sun and harsh winter weather, it is possible to reduce its damaging effects by protecting the hair and scalp.
It is also very important not to add to the problem, avoid using excessive heat, over brushing, harsh products and bleaching as these will soon turn your luscious hair to dull lifeless and broken hair. Use gentle products and avoid removing too much sebum, the oil that is produced by the sebaceous glands to lubricate the hair. Add moisture by using shampoos that contain humectants such as glycerin that attract and hold ambient water molecules from the air. Always condition the hair to protect, smooth cuticles and add shine and luster. Once a week give the hair a deep intense treatment conditioner. If the hair is damaged dry or stressed hair add two tablespoons of olive oil and a single spoon of vinegar for dark hair or lemon juice for blonde hair. Apply a warm damp towel around the scalp and leave on for 30 minutes.
With the treatments you offer, both men and women gain confidence, but the initial process can be daunting. What advice would you give for clients to consider when choosing a practitioner?
To ensure they are a registered member of the Institute of Trichologist, The Trichological Society or other recognised professional educational bodies. When a patient is nervous about visiting our clinic, we suggest they pop in to meet the staff and view the premises before booking an appointment.
Having done so well yourself in the industry, do you have any advice to fellow practitioners?
Keep an open mind, change with the times and ensure your professional skills and knowledge is up to date. Make a difference and be proud of your achievements.