The most important step to solve hair problems is to make the proper diagnosis. For that, a complete medical evaluation should be performed, including hair tests.
Diagnosis of hair loss conditions
There are some stages during the investigation of the causes of hair loss.
In general, they include:
- Medical evaluation with an anamnesis and a physical exam
- Image section: examination of hair and scalp through specific medical microscopic technologies.
- Blood tests
The first step of investigating hair loss causes is the medical anamnesis.
The doctor must be prepared to listen carefully to the patient’s hair loss complaints and to ask for important related details.
Some essential points to be questioned are, for instance, hair and scalp washing routine, common hair salon procedures, lifestyle habits and personal health issues.
After a complete medical anamnesis, it is time for the hair and scalp evaluation.
Hair and scalp evaluation
It includes the overall examination of hair and scalp aspects such as skin lesions, hair texture, resistance and color.
Depending on the patient’s history and the dermatological evaluation, other parts of the body may need to be checked.
Only after finishing the dermatological evaluation, images of hair and scalp should be taken.
Trichoscopy: diagnostic images
One of the most important tests to diagnose hair loss causes is the trichoscopy (Trichoscan).
It allows the doctor to get a detailed analysis of the hair and scalp.
Trichoscopy is a hair evaluation method based on the image amplification of scalp areas by specific optic cameras.
Structures which can be visualized by trichoscopy include hair features such as thickness, length, hair structure and shaft deformities.
Moreover, it allows a better evaluation of scalp characteristics such as color, inflammatory signs and abnormalities.
Thus, trichoscopy can contribute to the accurate diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, trichotillomania, tinea capitis, cicatricial alopecia and hair shaft dystrophies.