From Stupid to Stupendous
How continuing my education
helped me become a world renowned trichologist
…and how I am helping others achieve the same.
By Dr. David Kingsley
President of the World Trichology Society
Many children take longer to develop their intellectual potential. I was one of them. Nowadays I would be diagnosed with ADHD; in those days I was just called a ‘stupid kid’. Some adults should really know better.
I went to college but left before graduating. After thinking about becoming a farmer (I worked on a farm for a few months), I decided to move into trichology. Living in London, I attended the London College of Fashion and, lo and behold, got top prize in my class.
Then, after I qualified as a certified trichologist, a colleague of mine suggested I go back to college to finish my degree. By this time, I had moved to the USA with my wife, Yvonne, and so attended a local University part-time. I started doing well; very well. In fact, I had a 4.0 GPA when I graduated six years later.
I’d now got the education bug, and so enrolled in a PhD program at Portsmouth University in England (I had to travel back to the UK a few times a year). Wow, it was tough…and exciting! I was learning things I didn’t realize were there to learn. Encouraged by Yvonne, I sank my teeth into my dissertation at every possible free moment. Seven years on, I received my doctorate degree, the proudest moment of my life.
Dr. David H. Kingsley, PhD. Not bad for a ‘stupid kid’.
While studying for my doctorate, Yvonne and I started our own trichology business. We called it British Science Corporation, named after the science of trichology being established as a specialty in Britain.
Initially, we rented a small room at a local hairdresser. After quickly out growing the room, we expanded to our own small trichology clinic, which rapidly mushroomed into two larger New York City centers.
At that time, there were few trichology-specific products out there, so I formulated the British Science Formulations® line to use in my centers. This line has evolved from shampoos and scalp therapies to scalp masks and hair strengtheners.
As I worked on my product line and consulted with patients, I continued my education. You have to if you want to progress. I carried on doing research, and presented my findings at medical conferences. These included presentations at some of the world’s leading hair research symposia: including ones hosted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons, the American Academy of Dermatology, and the North American Hair Research Society.
My standing in the hair-loss community was growing rapidly and culminated in my becoming the first and only trichologist to join all of these distinguished organizations. It is unprecedented for them to grant membership to a trichologist.
Trichology is a niche hair-science. I call it the ‘bridge between cosmetology and dermatology’. Over time, I realized that to be better recognized, the science needed to move along this bridge from the cosmetic area, towards the para-medical region. Yes, we needed to help the client cosmetically, but we also needed to be “hair-detectives" and help find out the origin(s) of the hair loss condition.
This meant working with other specialists who could complement our specialism, for instance, physicians to perform blood tests. It also meant putting together a simple to follow consultation procedure that helped appraise the lifestyle factors that may have influenced the hair loss. I came up with the "7 H's of Hair Loss©" and wrote about them in my award winning book, "The Hair Loss Cure: A Self-Help Guide". The 7 H's are: Heredity, Hormones, general Health, Healing (medications), Hassle (stress), Hunger (diet), and Hairdressing mistakes.
For trichologists to move along the bridge’s span, they needed to be better educated. Students needed to become certified with a higher knowledge base. Certified trichologists, in turn, needed to continue to develop after qualification. As more education helped me, so it should help others. They needed to be able to analyze a hair or scalp condition and then recognize and treat the potential cause(s). A multi-treatment approach is all well and good, but if you are not getting to the ‘root’ of the problem, then the results will be diminished.
This led to the founding of the World Trichology Society (WTS), an organization dedicated to “educating, supporting and promoting trichologists worldwide”. It was set up for people who wanted to get better educated, who wanted support from their Society and their peers, as both a student and a graduate.
As president of the WTS, I have worked diligently to achieve these goals by promoting the science of trichology and educating future trichologists to exacting standards. Other organizations have taken notice. The Society was recognized at the 2015 World Congress for Hair Research and will be co-hosting the Congress in 2021.
For students, the WTS has different courses depending on the level of knowledge they are striving to achieve:
- Associate’s Diploma: a basic course for those who want to learn more about common hair loss and scalp conditions but do not want to practice trichology as a profession. This course is perfect for people in the hair care, hair replacement, and health industries.
- Trichology Certification: an in-depth course for professionals who wish to become certified trichologists.
- Advanced Fellow Certification: for certified trichologists to help take their knowledge to an even higher level (coming soon).
- With the Huntington College of Health Sciences, an accredited doctoral degree of Doctor of Health Science (D.H.S.) in Integrative Healthcare, with a personalized concentration in trichology. The first of its kind offered by any trichological organization.
- Additionally, we offer a shortened Trichology Certification course for physicians.
All these courses were authored and are personally overseen by me, including the clinical training which takes place twice a year at my New York City trichology centers.
Yes, the courses are challenging. But what satisfaction would you derive from taking an ‘easy’ one? Let alone not learning to an adequate standard to be a successful trichologist. The World Trichology Society is North American-based but has a world-wide membership and student enrolment. Our members include trichologists, researchers, dermatologists, and other physicians. It is the go-to Society that offers the best courses for people who want to be better educated.
Furthermore, it supports its members by helping them stay up-to-date with the latest research with regular newsletters and conferences (the next taking place in Trinidad & Tobago 11/12 September 2016), and so enhancing the care of people who suffer from hair loss. The WTS has a ‘World Trichology Society Connect’ private membership page on Facebook for all our students and members to talk with their peers, discuss a particular client’s hair, ask advise, or find out what other trichologists/students are doing. In addition, we offer telephone tutorials to all our students and offer advice and trichology-specific products at a discounted rate for students and members.
For hair-loss professionals, we have membership levels for people in different areas of the hair specialist spectrum:
- Associate Member: individuals who successfully complete the WTS associate trichologist course (or other WTS accredited course). These individuals are not certified trichologists.
- Adjunct Member: for dermatologists, researchers, or other specialists with degrees or certifications in related trichological fields.
- Full Member: individuals certified in trichology by the World Trichology Society or other reputable trichological institutes, associations or societies.
- Fellow: successful completion of an advanced course in the trichological sciences.
Take a course the World Trichology Society offers. Join the Society at the membership level best for you. Continue to educate yourself.
It will be a stupendous decision.
For more information about the World Trichology Society, please visit www.WorldTrichologySociety.org.
©2016 World Trichology Society