I have been running my own business for upwards of 10 years now. My career started in the sub-sahara as a hairdresser almost 20 years ago. But now that has all changed, read on.
It was a few years later after moving to the UK that my first salon opened. The salon eventually began to attract people from as far as London which was more than 250 miles away and I think the reason was, not only did we create a wonderful community but we always strived to raise the standards of salons catering for ethnic men and women! We wanted to give people the best, from the styles, the brands, the extensions, the conversation, the venue and more. But what I came to realise was, there was nowhere further to go without furthering education. I saw how people were struggling with real conditions of the hair and scalp that as an ordinary hairdresser, I couldn’t comment or give real solutions to. I had to get to know the many causes of hair loss and hair thinning, the diseases of the scalp and how they can be treated, as well as the causes. I wanted to do away with bad practice and useless ‘miracle’ products; to offer the foremost expertise so my clients can maintain good hair for as long as they want it. And more than the aesthetic side, I saw people with infections I couldn’t understand, and different kinds of skin irritations and breakouts that were mostly on their scalp. I saw people balding in many different ways, in particular shapes, patterns and speeds. Some recovered, some did not, but almost all were deeply affected by their conditions in terms of their self-esteem. Some could no longer face themselves without experiencing anxiety. I wondered if I could do something about this.
I started with a 2 year course with City & Guilds and achieved a diploma in Hair. This was not quite enough for me; it did not satisfy my intellectual curiosity. The module I completed in colouring got me to start thinking about hair chemistry and because of this I knew there had to be more to know about in this field. That is when I found an rigourous four year Trichology course, the pure science of hair and scalp at the level of post-graduate degree. It goes from the superficial, such as wig making to the medical and even surgical aspects involved.
So what is trichology and what does a trichologist do? Trichology is a specialist branch of dermatology that deals with the research, medical diagnosis, treatment and management of conditions that effect the hair and scalp. Even in law, trichologists have been used as expert witnesses due to their deep understanding of hair in forensic toxicology.
A trichologist is a lesser known healthcare professional that can provide answers for hair and scalp related disorders, and they can oftentimes help resolve these issues using evidence based medicine, medical technologies, surgery as well as non-surgical cosmetic tools. An example might be hair transplant surgery. I didn’t know that trichologists can save lives too! For example, skin cancers appearing as moles on the scalp, or abnormal hair growth on the body denoting eating disorders such as anorexia. There are many underlying causes for which hair loss or skin problems is only a symptom and it is the job of a trichologist to investigate the cause. I was hooked. I had to get on the course.
So my story so far is about relentless and unapologetic self-improvement. By the grace of God I got onto this course after having to make a real case for myself because I didn’t have the educational background they wanted. I went back to school after over 20 years, and yes, I was out of my depth at first, because I was on a post-graduate level course were over 80% of people held a medical degree or science degree and sometimes I was being taught by surgeons. This is why I would like to encourage people about going back to school, career changes and reinventing themselves, because I know it can be so scary that people don’t want to try and so hard that people quit easily. Particularly if you didn’t give education the best chance the first time round. I would also like to spread the awareness for trichology and health warnings that manifest on the head and skin. This blog tracks my journey of discovery and also is a chance for me to help those who are anxious about the top of their heads.
By the way, having discovered this incredible and stimulating niche, I turned my hair salon into a specialist microsalon and opened a private clinic for clinical trichology (Leeds Private Trichology Clinic.) We help diagnose and treat hair loss and scalp disorders as well as skin disorders, and we’re taking over the city!