While I love all things healthy hair, I am the first one to tell you that I’m not an expert. I’m usually hesitant to give specific hair advice because I never studied the science hair. Thankfully, we have a few trained hair experts here in Nigeria. One of them is NatMane of DBK Tricho. She has a passion for Nigerian women growing their best hair possible. NatMane is a certified member of the International Association of Trichologists. Prior to this, she chronicled her natural hair journey on her blog, Deep Brown and Kinks. She graciously agreed to answer a few questions about trichology and healthy hair care.
What is trichology and what do trichologists do?
Trichology is the science of hair and scalp disorders. A certified trichologist helps a client understand the cause of their hair loss and proffer solutions
Who can be trained as a trichologist?
I think anyone who has the interest can study trichology.
Why did you decide to study trichology?
I decided to study trichology because there were just too many myths in the Nigerian market that did not seem to make much sense to me. Women were losing their hair, spending lots of money and not getting the results they needed. The annoying part was that every type of hair loss was treated like traction alopecia. Knowing about my interest in hair care a friend of mine recommended that I take the course and the rest they say is history.
When do you recommend going to see a trichologist?
The moment you observe a patch of hair loss, excess body hair growth, or flaking that you can’t seem to control then I advise you see someone that understands the science of hair and scalp. There are many people out there who claim to be trichologist so you want to be sure that they have actually done some book work and followed that up with clinical training.
What should a client expect during a consultation?
Expect a lot of questions. In practice, I find that one has to take the time to question clients in order to get to the root cause of their hair loss. You might also be asked to do some blood work if the trichologist thinks you should.
What questions should you ask a trichologist before and during a consultation?
It all depends on what your problem is and what you will like to know. A trichologist will probably take the time out to explain what is happening and give you reasonable expectations. There is no such thing as re-growth in in 1 week. If you hear anyone tell you that they can give you hair growth in 1-3 weeks, pack your bags and run. One should expect results within 3-4 months. A random individual walking up to you without invitation diagnosing your hair loss on sight and asking you to buy products should also be suspect. Don’t allow your frustration make you a victim of fraudsters (this happens real life). If you have any doubts about an individual’s qualification don’t hesitate to ask questions.
What should you look for when you are seeking help for your hair?
Seek for professional advise. Don’t go to our local stylists, no offense, but they only know what Mama Bashira taught them before send-forth. Some cannot read instructions on the labels of products so it surprises me when Nigerian women tell me that their stylists prescribed a hair supplement for them.
What are your top tips for Nigerian women to maintain healthy hair?
- Wash your hair frequently, not once in 3 months. All the dust and pollution settles on your hair scalp and you don’t want to leave that on until it causes problems.
- Take down any style that hurts. If you feel pain that won’t let you sleep, or see flaking and swelling, take down that style. Trust me when I say that the money lost can’t be as expensive as finding solutions when you have no hair.
- Take time off after each braided style. I recommend 2-3 months between styles like weaves , Ghana-braids, micro braids, box braids, flat braids, crotchet braids etc.
- And lastly, look at your hair not just as a covering or as something that attracts the opposite sex, but as an indicator of what is going on within. Stop taking pills you don’t need, eat a balanced diet and don’t suffer in silence when you notice any type of hair loss or excessive hair growth (especially on the body).
Hair loss due to tight braids
What are the top three myths you hear about hair loss?
Myth 1: Braiding hair tightly makes the hair grow longer and faster
Myth 2: Methylated spirit helps grow facial hair
Myth 3: Only African Americans can grow long afro hair.
IF I HEAR…. 🙂
Very well said! I did not know that people think methylated spirit grows out a beard. We learn something new every day. If you would like to contact NatMane or book a trichology consultation, you can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 08173205098.
Who do you consult for your hair issues?