For most women and many men their hair is an important part of their identity. But what happens when it starts to fall out? There are products on the market to help, but the root of the problem could actually be the scalp.
Emmanuel Paul is a Trichology specialist at Jeffrey Paul Hair Restoration Center in Fairview Park. For the the last two years, he's seen dozens of clients with scalp problems.
"Hair thinning, hair loss, itchy, extreme itch in some cases on their scalp, dandruff, oily scalps," Paul says.
The solution he says is a combination of things. First is to determine the cause of the problem and that starts with a $75 scalp check.
The analysis includes a thorough history of heredity, diet, stress and hair products used. Then he uses meters to check various levels of PH, oil and dehydration on the scalp.
A camera is used to visually show whether someone's scalp is oily or dry. Then a black light is used to determine the levels of bacteria present. A cluster of red dots are often signals of hair thinning and loss.
However, a little oil is okay. In fact, it's important.
"It fights bacteria and infection on the scalp. When we see too much oil, that's where we see people experiencing hair thinning and hair loss," Paul says.
Paul says many clients mistake what's really going on with their scalp.
"A lot of times, people associate if my hair or scalp is dry, that's why I'm itching, but the opposite more the case. Usually when they have a high level of oil, that's what's actually causing the itch," Paul says.
He also checks the pliability of the scalp and yes, stress can have a big impact on your hair.
"When the scalp is super tense it doesn't allow for those follicles to go back down so it gets less and less nutrients the hairs get finer and finer and finer until eventually they can go away,"
His solution is a customized treatment plan by CR Lab. It can target oil, dandruff or hair loss.
Paul says he sees common problems among clients who often see him as a last resort.
Most people use the wrong products for their hair. For example, shampoos and conditioners for dry hair when the hair is actually oily. Many products have detergents that are too harsh for hair. They don't emulsify the shampoo in their hands before applying it. They don't massage the shampoo into their scalp to increase blood flow. Then they rub it dry when they should be gently squeezing water out of it.
Paul says the scalp needs the same type of treatment as the face.
"Exfoliate, cleanse, treat," he says.
The treatment protocol varies by individual needs and once the client is taught how to use the products they repeat the process twice a week at home for two months. So clients must be committed to the process.
The cost can be expensive. It costs $75 for the scalp check, but the treatment can start from $500 on up.
The recommended shampoos and conditioners are priced the same as other salon brands. Jeffrey Paul Salon has been doing Trichology for the past two years and is one of two salons in Ohio that use CR Lab products.
The other is in Cincinnati.There are 29 cities in the U.S. where the treatment is available.
If you're having issues, talk to your hair care provider about your options. If your issues are serious consider talking to your dermatologist or a certified trichologist for help.