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hair loss guide singapore

According to a poll performed among women in Singapore in 2019, over 53% of respondents aged 35 to 44 years reported hair loss as their primary hair concern. Also, hair loss affects four out of every five men. With such alarming statistics, it’s no wonder that the number of patients seeking hair loss treatment in Singapore is growing annually. However, with so many treatment options available, how does one know what to look out for when searching for the right hair fall and hair regrowth treatment? 

With over 40 years of rich experience in medical and aesthetic practice, our doctors are pleased to offer answers to frequently asked questions about hair loss treatments in Singapore that work for our patients.

Because our fundamental values are honesty, ethics, and patient well-being, we share all of the information you need to treat your hair problems. Continue reading to find out how to treat hair fall and finally experience hair regrowth.

What are the common symptoms of hair loss?

Hair loss typically presents itself as hair thinning which can be generalised or specific to a focused affected area. You may also observe more hair on the floor after hair washing or more hair loss after combing or drying your hair. Other signs to watch out for would be an increase in hair fall on your pillow in the morning or the floor. If you accidentally tug or pull your hair, you may find that your hair gets pulled off more easily. 

Some of us may even experience one or two isolated bald spots, which your hairstylist may happen to notice when you visit your hair salon. 

What are the common factors which contribute to hair loss in both men and women?

Hair loss is caused by shrinkage of the hair follicle due to a decrease in blood flow to the follicle. It can happen to anyone regardless of gender. However, there are a few factors that will accelerate hair loss: 

Androgenic alopecia is a genetic condition that can affect both men and women. Known as male or female pattern baldness, it is the most common type of hair loss. 

  • Genetics

Hair loss is frequently genetically inherited. When you start losing hair is also determined by your family history.

  • Physical and emotional stress

Hair loss may happen after significant events such as childbirth, major surgery, or recovery from a major illness.

  • Poor diet or dieting(nutritional deficiency)

We need nutrients to grow a shiny, thick and full crown of hair. 

  • Medical conditions 

Conditions such as thyroid disease or heavy menstrual flow may result in low iron levels, thus causing hair fall. Iron promotes hair growth by carrying oxygen through the bloodstream. Lupus(SLE – Systemic lupus erythematosus) or any chronic medical condition that weakens your health will also cause your hair to thin. 

  • Medications

If you are on medications such as Isotretinoin, chemotherapy, or steroids, you may suffer some side effects such as hair loss. 

  • Lack of specific minerals

Due to nutritional or environmental influences, you may be suffering from low iron, Vitamin D, zinc, or folate levels, resulting in poor hair health. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in creating new hair follicles. Zinc deficiency can cause the protein structure that makes up the hair follicle to deteriorate. Without enough folate, new hair is not produced rapidly enough to replace the hair that has come out, resulting in hair loosening and gradual thinning. Together with vitamin B12, Folate promotes the formation of melanin, the pigment that gives hair colour.

  • Ageing

Hair loss is a part of the normal ageing process. Usually, adults over 50years old will start to feel that their crown of hair is not as thick as before. 

  • Poor hair care

Excessive hairstyling or chemical treatments may cause your hair follicles to become damaged. 

  • Poor scalp health

An unbalanced scalp such as an oily scalp or overly dry scalp may cause dandruff, hair fall, or bald spots. 

  • Autoimmune hair condition

Alopecia areata is a skin condition that causes hair loss in patches, most commonly on the scalp. Typically, bald patches emerge rapidly and affect only a small area. Alopecia areata is most likely caused by an autoimmune response, meaning that the body’s immune system assaults its cells erroneously. The attacked cells are those in the hair follicles (structures that create hair), particularly those in the scalp. 

How does androgenetic hair loss present in males? 

Male pattern genetic hair loss can start as early as the 20s, especially if you have a strong family history of hair loss.

The Norwood scale (or Hamilton-Norwood scale) is the most commonly used classification method for determining the extent of male pattern baldness. Over many decades, men’s hair normally falls out in patterns. 

The Norwood scale consists of seven levels. Each stage assesses the extent and pattern of hair loss.

Stage 1: There is no substantial hair loss or receding hairline.

Stage 2: The hairline around the temples is receding slightly. This is often referred to as a mature or adult hairline.

Stage 3: The first clinically significant signs of baldness develop. At both temples, the hairline becomes profoundly depressed, suggesting an M, U, or V form. The recessed areas are either entirely naked or sparsely haired.

Stage 3 vertex: The hairline remains at stage 2, but there is severe hair loss on the scalp’s top (the vertex).

Stage 5: The two areas of hair loss in stage 5 are more significant than in stage 4. They are still separated, but the ring of hair that separates them is narrower and sparser.

Stage 6: The balding patches at the temples connect to the balding area at the vertex. The hairband over the top of the head is missing or scant.

Stage 7 hair loss is the most severe, with only a strip of hair around the sides of the head remaining. This hair is usually fine and not thick.

How does androgenetic hair loss present in females? 

Androgenetic hair loss in females refers to female pattern genetic hair loss and usually occurs in ladies aged over 40.  

The Ludwig Classification uses three stages to describe female pattern genetic hair loss:

  • Type I (mild)

Early thinning that can be easily disguised with adequate grooming.

  • Type II (moderate)

Significant midline widening and considerably reduced hair volume.

  • Type III (extensive)

The top of the scalp has a thin, see-through appearance. This is frequently linked to widespread thinning.

How does the hair grow? 

Studying the normal hair growth cycle is essential for understanding how hair grows and preventing or reducing hair loss.

Anagen: growing phase

During the anagen phase, your hair follicles produce hairs that will grow until they are cut or reach the end of their lifespan and fall out. It is the most prolonged phase, lasting approximately 3 to 5 years for the hairs on your head, yet a single strand may continue to grow for 7 or more years in certain people. At any given time, approximately 90% of the hairs on your head are in the anagen phase.

Catagen: transition phase 

The catagen phase begins when the anagen phase ends. It lasts roughly 10 days. Hair follicles atrophy, and hair growth slow during this chapter. The hair separates from the bottom of the hair follicle and remains in place throughout its last days of growth. 

At any given time, only around 5% of the hairs on your head are in the catagen phase.

Telogen: resting phase

The telogen period usually lasts 3 months. This phase affects approximately 10% to 15% of the hairs on your scalp. Hair does not grow during the telogen phase, but it also does not fall off. In addition, new hairs begin to develop in follicles that have just produced hairs during the catagen phase.

Exogen: shedding phase 

The exogen phase of hair growth is essentially an extension or component of the telogen stage. Hair is shed from the scalp during the exogen phase, typically aided by washing and combing. It is common to lose 50 to 100 hairs every day throughout the exogen period. During the exogen phase, which can last between 2 and 5 months, new hairs grow in the follicles while old hairs fall out.

Subsequently, the cycle will repeat itself. Each hair follicle regenerates 20-25 times throughout your life. In the case of hair loss, if each anagen phase is exceedingly short, say 1 year instead of the customary 5 years, the hair follicle will no longer be able to generate hair after 20 years. As a result, irreversible hair loss occurs. 

Hair loss is caused by an interruption in the hair growth cycle. It could be brought about by androgenetic hair loss, shortened anagen phase, or a prolonged period between the shedding of hair and the start of a new anagen stage.

Are there OTC products that help hair loss? What ingredients would I look out for?

Some effective OTC products that help hair loss are Minoxidil, collagen-based products, and vitamin supplements (Vitamin D, iron, etc).  Look for collagen-containing shampoos, conditioners, ointments, or serums. Use them while bathing or rubbing them onto your scalp. It is also available as an injectable.

Taking excessive amounts of any supplement may put you at risk of complications. Before beginning a supplements regimen, consult with a licensed medical professional. If you have androgenetic alopecia, look for a shampoo that contains ingredients that inhibit Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Follicle shrinking is caused by dihydrotestosterone.

If you want an alternative to Minoxidil to help with hair loss, look for products that contain green tea extract and Rendensyl. Green tea extract prevents hair loss. Rendensyl is an active component that promotes hair growth by stimulating stem cells in your hair follicles, allowing them to develop stronger, healthier hair.

However, do take note that all of the above are meant for mild or reversible hair loss, and will hardly be effective as a standalone treatment for severe cases of hair loss. In addition, always consult a doctor so that you can make a more informed purchase. 

I have tried OTC shampoos, tonics, sought help from a hair salon; however, they are ineffective. What should I do?

Please visit a doctor or a qualified hair loss medical clinic as soon as possible to receive medically backed hair loss treatment. You should seek professional medical help for your hair loss as soon as possible. 

The longer you wait to begin therapy, the less likely it is that you will be able to regain hair that you have already lost. When you suffer hair loss, your hair follicles undergo a process known as shrinking, which causes the diameter of your hair to shrink and make it appear thinner. Another side effect of miniaturization is that your hair will be shorter than it was previously. Finally, if you wait too long, your hair follicles will contract to such a small size that hair will cease to grow totally.

There might also be other underlying medical conditions causing your hair loss, which only a doctor can identify. Thus, to avoid further complications from major illnesses, please consult a medical professional. 

Why should I seek help? 

Hair loss in men or women has a negative psychological or social impact. Humans are innately sociable beings, and the need to be noticed and acknowledged by our peers is buried deep within. Unfortunately, one unintended consequence of this need is the desire to assess other individuals based on their physical appearance. According to scientific evidence, hair loss causes low self-esteem because people believe their attractiveness has declined.

Hair loss does not have to be a permanent condition that you must accept. Numerous remedies to hair loss have been discovered as a result of scientific and medical progress. You do not have to suffer from low self-esteem in silence. Reach out to a licensed medical professional who can guide you on your hair regrowth journey. 

When should I seek a doctor regarding my hair loss? 

Many people in the early stages of hair loss believe it is temporary. So they begin with an over-the-counter (OTC) shampoo for hair loss from the pharmacy. If they think it is ineffective, they may switch to an over-the-counter hair tonic or low-dose minoxidil. They subsequently recognise that their condition cannot be controlled and go to a hair salon.

They do not see any progress after undergoing several procedures and spending a significant amount of money. Finally, they see a doctor, but by then, their hair loss has increased. 

Many people believe that their treatment options are restricted to pharmaceuticals with potentially harmful side effects or hair transplants when they visit a doctor, which is expensive and challenging. They believe that their problem is not severe enough to warrant them.

Here are some signs that it’s time to see a doctor before it’s too late: 

  1. When you observe early thinning, especially if you have hereditary hair loss
  2. Men and women observe early signs of hair thinning (androgenetic) even if you don’t have a clear family history.
  3. Ladies who experience hair loss after delivery/pregnancy (postpartum hair loss) would benefit from non-invasive hair loss treatment since the stress of caring for a newborn and roles as a mother, wife, and worker may postpone or extend hair loss.
  4. Older men and women over the age of 50 may not notice hair thinning but wish to maintain hair volume and strength to avoid hair loss due to ageing.

Starting hair loss treatment early aids in extending the active life cycle of hair follicles. It aids in the retention and stimulation of hair growth for as long as possible. Finally, it prevents or postpones the need for more invasive treatments such as hair transplantation. Hair transplantation to bald areas is the only option if the hair follicles are no longer active.

Are there medications for hair loss treatment? What are the side effects?

Here are some of the most common prescriptions for hair loss that you should know about, categorised by condition: 

  1. Medication for treating hair loss
  • Minoxidil 5% 

This requires a doctor’s prescription and falls under the brands of Regro or Regaine in Singapore. Side effects include an overly sensitive scalp and unwanted hair growth elsewhere.

  • Anti-androgens 

Androgens, which include testosterone and other “male” hormones, can hasten hair loss in women. To treat androgenic alopecia, some women who do not respond to minoxidil may benefit from the inclusion of the anti-androgen medication spironolactone. 

  • Finaseride (Propecia)

This is used to treat male pattern baldness. 

  1. Medications for the treatment of medical conditions indirectly causing hair loss

Your doctor may urge you to eat more iron-rich foods and may prescribe supplements if you are deficient in nutrients due to a medical condition.

  1. Steroid injection into bald areas for alopecia areata

What can I expect from my 1st consultation with Eeva?

During the most critical first consultation with our doctors for hair loss, we would first like to share the outcomes achieved by Eeva Biosignal PDRN Follicle Therapy for Hair Loss. This is a doctor-designed Korean-Israeli BioSignal PDRN follicle therapy backed by many years of R&D. 

Aims of Eeva Biosignal PDRN Follicle Therapy for Hair Loss

  1. Treatment of hair loss in men and women should begin as soon as possible.
  2. To initiate biosignal activation to awaken, enhance, and enhance the potential of hair follicles and prolong their lifecycle as long as possible.
  3. Increase hair thickness, prevent hair breakage and make hair stronger
  4. To lessen or eliminate the need for medications such as Propecia, finasteride, and spironolactone.
  5. To postpone the need for a hair transplant.
  6. To treat scalp disorders that may interfere with hair growth and achieve a clean, healthy scalp free of dandruff, itch, and clogs.
  7. Biosignal Hair Therapy can improve results after a hair transplant or regeneraActiva.

Next, we will carry out the following steps to ensure we have a complete understanding of your hair condition: 

  1. A detailed history is taken because the medical history usually determines the reason for hair loss. 
  2. Examination of the scalp to look for 
  • The condition of the scalp ( oily, dandruff, areas of redness, scalp infection)
  • Determine the locations with less dense hair
  1. A hair-pull test and objective hair analysis using a hair analyser
  • Examine hair density, strand thickness, scalp condition, and hair follicle condition.
  1. Blood tests for male/female hormones, thyroid, iron, ferritin, zinc, vitamin D, and so on.
  2. Recommend a tailored, appropriate hair treatment plan.
  3. Provide advice regarding the significance of consistent use of home care and supplements regularly.
  4. We will work with you to schedule In-clinic treatment regularly. 

We do have patients asking about how oily, unhealthy scalp affects hair loss. We also field questions from patients about how ferritin/folate/Vitamin D/ zinc affect hair loss during the consultation. Their doctors may have told them their haemoglobin is normal and if they need to check their ferritin levels. For answers to all these, please check our articles here. 

What are the non-surgical treatments available for hair loss if I do not want regeneraActiva and I am not ready for a hair transplant? 

There are many non-surgical treatments available for hair loss. Here are just some of the most effective treatments: 

  1. Oral medications and supplements 

This includes supplements like Viviscal Pro, anti-androgens, supplementation for deficiencies, finasteride/ Propecia for males. Such medications can be taken by women in their 40-60s and are in perimenopausal or menopausal age.

  1. In-clinic: 
  • Lower Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Healite 655nm wavelength
  • Korean Medical Grade Ballvic System

This consists of in-clinic medical-grade solutions for scalp issues and imbalance. It is effective for more robust scalp health as a good foundation for hair growth.

  • Biosignal PDRN Follicle Therapy RF from Korea (multiple growth factors, PDRN, He Shou Wu) 

This is backed by clinical research and is widely used by medical Korean hair loss clinics and hair transplant clinics. It consists of clinical-grade formulations. 

  1. Home care

Home care is critical in maintaining your hair growth results. A home care system typically consists of shampoo, scalp peel, tonic, and mask. The medical team may also suggest home LED helmets or combs such as iGrow to help accelerate your hair growth. 

As an aside, we’d like to point out that the treatment necessitates patience, perseverance, rigorous daily application, and consistent clinic follow-ups. Hair growth treatment takes time to produce reduced hair fall, greater hair density, and more robust hair quality.

Check out our other articles on: 

  1. What are the benefits of Viviscal Pro?
  2. What is the Eeva Israeli-Korean biosignal hair regrowth therapy?
  3. What is Eeva Home Regrowth Hair System? Can I also use it to prevent hair loss due to ageing? 

How often do I need to come in for treatment sessions, how long do I require treatment?

This would depend on which category your hair loss condition falls into. 

Mild hair loss

  • 1st 6 sessions bimonthly
  • Next 4 sessions monthly
  • Maintenance monthly
  • Reversible hair loss treatment period – 6 months 

Moderate to severe hair loss

  • 1st 6 sessions weekly
  • Next, 4 sessions bimonthly
  • Lastly, monthly treatment for 6 sessions.
  • Once the condition has stabilised, maintenance treatment is required once every 3 months for the long run to override genetic influence and chronic disease. 

How much improvement can I expect?

Improvement in hair density/ hair thickness/ scalp health/ less breakage/ stronger hair will depend on the condition:

Temporary hair loss due to physical/emotional stresses: 

Usually 4-6 months for good hair volume restoration.

Chronic long term medical conditions or androgenetic hair loss requiring long term medication: 

We will aim for enhanced hair growth over 6-12 months. Subsequently, this is followed by long-term home therapy and in-clinic therapy to maintain hair density and condition. and extend the hair growth cycle. When the chemotherapy treatments are finished, the hair will gradually regrow.

What is Regenera Activa? 

Regenera Activa is an AMT FDA, CE, and HSA approved treatment. It is designed to target androgenetic alopecia. 

The Regenera Activa treatment uses your tissue, which contains stem cells that help activate the hair follicles around the area of hair thinning and hair loss. It has the power to grow new hair by encouraging regenerative hair processes.

A local anaesthetic is administered to the back of the scalp to collect three tiny samples (2.5mm diameter per sample). The samples are then placed inside the cartridge of the Regenera Activa device to collect the stem cell-containing fluid. The solution is then injected into the scalp area experiencing hair loss and thinning to commence and stimulate the hair follicle regeneration process.

Hair transplant (FUT/ FUE)

In a hair transplant, active hair follicles are extracted from the donor site and transplanted into bald parts of the scalp to thicken the hair in the new area. Permanent hair growth will occur in approximately 80% of hair follicles. 

There are two primary procedures for removing hair from the back of the head. Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) is the older approach, whereas Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is the newer one (FUE).

FUT involves removing a large strip of scalp from the rear of the head, leaving a long linear scar. This scalp strip is then split into individual follicles, which are subsequently re-implanted in the balding area. FUT is seldom done nowadays due to the high risk of complications and also scarring. 

On the other hand, FUE entails extracting groups of healthy hair follicles, or “grafts,” from the back of the head and transplanting them into the bald or thinning area. The reduced appearance of scars is the most notable advantage of FUE over conventional hair transplant techniques. It is a proven, minimally invasive outpatient process. 

Do refer to the table below for a summary of all hair loss treatments to help you make a more informed decision: 

Eeva Biosignal PDRN Follicle TherapyRegenera ActivaHair transplant
Suitable for Men and womenMen and womenMen and women
What stage of hair lossBest early

Mild to moderate

Ludwig I-IV

Norwood I-II

Moderate-severe

Ludwig I-IV

Norwood I-II

Severe

Ludwig VI

Ludwig III

Pain levelNone

No numb cream

Some pain, local anaesthesia required. Injection of stem cells into hair loss area requiredSome discomfort, local anaesthesia required. Injection required
Duration of procedure20-30min1-1.5 hr8-10 hours
DowntimeNoneminimal2-5 days, swelling, bruising, pain, may require painkillers

 

Cause scarsnoneTiny scars on the donor area as 3 punch biopsy madeTiny scars where the follicles from the donor site are harvested
Post-treatment care 

After procedure

nonenoneScalp and hair care required to ensure recipient site does not get infected, hair follicles remain stable
Cost $250+ / session upwards$3000-5000/ sessionVery expensive 8-10k depending on the number of hair follicles transplanted.
Need functioning hair folliclesYesYesno

 

What’s next? 

Always keep in mind that you must be accurately diagnosed to make the necessary arrangements for your treatment. Avoid being influenced by hair loss product marketing and instead seek the advice of a registered medical practitioner.

Some hair loss problems are severe, while others are modest or in their early stages, yet both can create significant stress or concern in our patients. In extreme cases, patients may choose hair transplantation or Regenera Activa, although many are either not at that level or are not mentally prepared for hair transplantation or other invasive procedures.

To be on the safe side, visit the Eeva Hair Loss Treatment Clinic now. We provide cost-effective and result-oriented hair growth treatment options that are personally monitored by our lady doctors, who will diagnose and propose the best hair treatments for you!

Article references: 

  1. “Androgenetic Alopecia.” Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/9269/androgenetic-alopecia. 
  2. Olsen EA;Dunlap FE;Funicella T;Koperski JA;Swinehart JM;Tschen EH;Trancik RJ; “A Randomized Clinical Trial of 5% Topical Minoxidil versus 2% Topical Minoxidil and Placebo in the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia in Men.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12196747/. 

 

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