Do you remember life before the Internet? What did you do when you had a question about a recipe, or if you wanted to research a new vacation destination? It seems today the first place we all look for information is the internet. And with the explosion of smart phones, access to information is literally at our fingertips 24 hrs a day 7 days a week. This fundamental shift in our culture has created a much more ‘informed’, and demanding consumer. It has also created a more competitive market. But is the internet really our friend or foe? That depends entirely on the person doing the research.
The ability for anyone to instantly post or publish information from anywhere at any time is an incredible concept. It has given people the power to be experts, even if they have little or no credentials. Sure, reading a local moms blog about how she manages to juggle work and home life can really help, but that same mom can also be posing as a hair loss expert insisting that sleeping with olive oil and egg yolk on your scalp will strengthen and even grow your hair (I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had make that claim)
So how can you really tell if someone knows what they are talking about? Here’s a few tips:
1. Authority: Who are you?
Who is the author? What are their credentials? If they are not advertised is that information accessible?
2. Objectivity: Is the information biased?
A true professional will offer objective information; especially on topics that we know have no easy answer i.e. hair loss. If someone writes an article about a magic cream that grows hair, and then directs you to their website where you can buy the cream, you will likely want to check the viability of their claim. Use your common sense. Something that sounds like it’s too good to be true probably is.
3. Authenticity: What is the source of the information?
Where does the information originate from and is it from an established organization or business or company?
4. Time: Is the information current?
Technology has come a long way and is changing daily. Keep that in mind when researching remedies or solutions to hair and scalp health.
Thanks to Google Alerts I, like many, have the pleasure of reading a lot of great articles on hair loss…as well as a significant amount of nonsense. Lets examine a couple links I came across and some of the misleading information they contain.
This article comes to us from the Chicago Tribune and is written by the editors of Harvard Womens Health watch. Viable source and author but the information provided is limited. How do they recommend you treat your hair loss?: like any other medical condition, talk to your doctor. No mention of seeking the advice of a Trichologist, or a nutritionist. Certain medical/ blood tests are important- but they can only take you so far, and often don’t explain your full hair loss story. We see clients daily that have spoken to numerous doctors and dermatologists. Their visits were short, and they left feeling frustrated with the lack of information they were given. By speaking to a Trichologist first you will have the tools you need to approach your doctor, ask the right questions, and request the correct testing.
So let’s say I’m a menopausal woman who just read the above article that directed me to speak to my doctor. Being a modern and tech savvy woman, I decide to see what a doctor online says first. In the link below the doctors answer to what causes hair loss in menopausal women is: “The most common cause of loss of hair in women is traction alopecia from braiding and tying their hair back. Most women can correct the problem by letting their hair hang without braiding it.” Well a doctor said it so it must be true! Right? So I stop wearing my hair up and insist too much styling damage is the culprit. Yes the good doctor acknowledges a few other possible causes, but stating that the most common one is traction alopecia is simply false.
As you can see its not difficult to be lead astray when researching online. There is so much information it can be overwhelming, this is true. Start with a local search, there may be experts right in your area! Follow the simple rules listed above, and if possible do things the ‘old school’ way and just pick up the phone and speak to a professional about what their clinic has to offer, and your specific concerns. At Capilia Truly You we are happy to answer all your questions, and guide you to a solution that suits you….seriously call us anytime, we’ll prove it 😉