“Understanding root causes such as genetics, lifestyle, diet, styling habits, and health and medical histories is the most necessary step to address any scalp and hair concerns,” says trichologist Bridgette Hill.
Hill, who trained and certified as a trichologist with the renowned David Kingsley, says her connection to treating hair-loss concerns is a personal one. “I suffer from central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, which is something prominent that a lot of women of color suffer from, as did my mother. I only know this because when I was in my 20s, I was getting these random spots and I had a series of cortisone injections and knew that this was not okay. At the same time, my mother was going through the exact same thing. Hers was being triggered as a result of her thyroid and her being perimenopausal, and so with me starting to find ways to heal myself I was like, well, ‘What’s Grandma’s hair like?’”
Hill soon realized that she had not seen her grandmother’s hair before because she was always wearing a wig. “That brought the connection of genetics to me,” says Hill. “My mother has the most amazing head of hair. You know, we have our episodes, but that’s what really led me to become a certified trichologist. Trichology means finding ways to really manage these conditions internally, and then the industry grew to find topical ways to address them as well.”
Wanting to make healthy hair more accessible, Hill created a digital platform with mobile-app capabilities called Root Cause Scalp Analysis that allows users to get a one-on-one diagnosis and treatment plan to target issues like hair loss, eczema, psoriasis, plaque seborrheic dermatitis and lichen planopilaris.
Users begin with a thorough questionnaire to determine their lifestyle, concerns, hair habits and more, followed by an opportunity to upload photos of their scalp and hair concerns. “It is important to recognize how the practices and behaviors we choose for our bodies, minds and spirits are equally important as the type of hair products, styles and techniques we use,” notes Hill.
“The analysis begins by collecting an information profile card,” explains Hill. “There are certain conditions with scalp and hair that are pervasive in certain ethnicities, so it is essential that I have that information, gender, date of birth and environmental factors of where you live the kind of environment you live in.”
After filling out pertinent profile information, strategically taken images of the head and scalp are also uploaded to allow for a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plant. “It’s important for us to make a connection to where the actual scalp condition or hair condition exists based on just the location and area on the head and scalp. That is a logical trigger to help us streamline on what a condition may or may not be,” she says. “People are sometimes so emotionally distraught by their condition that it just feels like it’s everywhere, but if you take a less emotional assessment of it, you can identify if it feels more tender in one area or the loss feels heavier around another specific part of the head.”
“That’s the beauty of this platform,” adds Hill. “It helps take the emotion out it and really put thought behind it, allowing me to create a clear understanding of what the condition may be.”