A dermatologist is a specialist in skin conditions, including conditions affecting hair and nails. A dermatologist should have more extensive knowledge about types of alopecia than a GP. They should be able to provide you with a diagnosis (if there is any doubt) and explain more about the condition and explain any treatment options available to you.

It is likely the dermatologist will examine your scalp (and/or other areas of hair loss) and ask you questions about your hair loss to make a diagnosis. A biopsy (a medical procedure that involves taking a small sample of body tissue from the affected area) is occasionally needed to make a diagnosis. Your dermatologist will tell you if this is required. In the majority of cases of hair loss, a diagnosis is possible without the need for a biopsy.

Top Tip: Take a pen and paper to any appointment so you can make notes. It is easy to forget what is discussed. Or consider taking a friend or family member with you if you are struggling emotionally; it can be hard to take information in when we’re feeling upset.
Please note, not all dermatologists have a good understanding of hair loss conditions. Dermatology covers a huge number of skin conditions and some dermatologists specialise on particular conditions e.g. psoriasis or skin cancer. It can be helpful to find a dermatologist who specialises in hair loss.