Singapore’s Popular Solutions for Combating Hair Loss

by | Mar 4, 2024

Hair loss, a prevalent issue affecting individuals globally regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, extends beyond cosmetic concerns, impacting mental well-being and life quality. In Singapore, a variety of treatments cater to the diverse causes of hair loss, including genetics, lifestyle, hormonal shifts, stress, nutritional gaps, and environmental factors. Understanding these causes is crucial in selecting the appropriate treatment, which may involve lifestyle adjustments, medications, or clinical interventions.

 

Hair Loss in Singapore

 

Hair loss is a significant concern in Singapore, reflecting global patterns. About half of men experience some hair loss by the time they turn 50, often due to a condition called male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia.

Women in Singapore are not exempt from this concern, with up to 30% experiencing hair thinning and shedding due to factors like female pattern hair loss, hormonal fluctuations, and stress.

Pollution, poor diet, and stress in cities can worsen hair loss. Although it’s a common problem, some people delay getting help because of stigma or not knowing about effective treatments. Recently, more people have started to seek professional advice for hair loss, showing that awareness and acceptance of treatment options are increasing.

Singapore provides a wide variety of advanced treatments for hair loss, including medications, creams, and modern therapies like PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy and laser treatments. Beyond physical, the psychological impact of hair loss on mental health and overall quality of life is profound, making emotional and psychological support an essential component of holistic hair loss management.

Pollution, poor diet, and stress in cities can worsen hair loss. Although it’s a common problem, some people delay getting help because of stigma or not knowing about effective treatments. Recently, more people have started to seek professional advice for hair loss, showing that awareness and acceptance of treatment options are increasing.

Singapore provides a wide variety of advanced treatments for hair loss, including medications, creams, and modern therapies like PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy and laser treatments. Beyond physical, the psychological impact of hair loss on mental health and overall quality of life is profound, making emotional and psychological support an essential component of holistic hair loss management. 

At Home Treatments

Accessible home treatments for hair loss range from over-the-counter medicines to non-invasive, topical solutions applied directly to the scalp, including:

  • Hair Growth Shampoos and Conditioners: Widely available in supermarkets and pharmacies, these products contain ingredients to strengthen and promote hair growth. They easily integrate into daily routines.
  • Serums, Ampoules, and Lotions: Applied after hair washing, these contain higher concentrations of active ingredients for hair growth and loss prevention, offering more potency due to their prolonged skin contact.
  • Minoxidil: A widely used topical drug for androgenic alopecia since 1996, it supports hair follicles and encourages regrowth.
  • Oral Medications: Finasteride and dutasteride, prescribed for pattern baldness, inhibit the enzyme converting testosterone to DHT, thus reducing scalp DHT levels to prevent hair loss and potentially regrow hair.
  • Herbal and Nutritional Supplements: Traditional remedies like He Shou Wu and Ginkgo Biloba, along with essential oils such as rosemary and peppermint, are believed to nourish and strengthen hair. Biotin’s popularity in hair care is rising, although scientific backing is limited.

While these treatments are generally safe, some may cause contact dermatitis, leading to itchiness and scaling. Finasteride and dutasteride can also have side effects like decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and breast tenderness, which are usually mild and reversible upon discontinuation.

 

Dr Tyng Tan Blog - Lifestyle Changes Against Hair Loss

Traditional Chinese Medicine

In Singapore, it’s common to explore alternative approaches to treat hair loss, especially those based on ancient Chinese practices and philosophies. These entail:

  • Herbal Remedies involve using natural herbs and concoctions to restore balance in the body. Herbs like He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum) and Ginkgo Biloba are believed to nourish the scalp, strengthen hair roots, and stimulate growth.

     

  • Acupuncture, on the other hand, involves inserting fine needles at specific points on the body to redirect and balance the flow of Qi (energy). For hair loss, acupuncture targets areas to improve blood circulation to the scalp, promoting hair growth and reducing hair thinning.
  • Dietary Changes can also help improve hair health. By incorporating specific foods and avoiding others, one can harness the nourishing properties of the diet. Foods rich in blood-nourishing properties, like black sesame seeds and goji berries, are often recommended.

In-Clinic Treatments

Many clinics in Singapore offer specialised hair loss treatments conducted by professionals, often complementing home treatments for comprehensive care, such as:

  • Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): A non-invasive method using red light to stimulate hair follicle growth, shown to improve hair density in androgenetic alopecia patients over months. However, the credibility of some supporting studies, often sponsored by LLLT device manufacturers, may require scrutiny.
  • Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP): A tattoo technique that mimics the appearance of hair follicles with tiny dots, creating depth and shadow. While SMP involves some discomfort, it’s generally less demanding in maintenance compared to hair systems but requires multiple sessions.
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: Involves injecting a concentration of the patient’s own platelets, obtained from their blood, into the scalp to promote hair growth. PRP is recognized for its safety and efficacy in healing and regenerating tissues, including treating pattern hair loss.
  • Acupuncture: Enhances blood flow and circulation, using fine needles at specific body points. This traditional Chinese method may stimulate hair follicles, promoting regrowth, and potentially offering additional wellness benefits, though results may take time.
  • Moxibustion: Involves burning mugwort (moxa) near the skin, often alongside acupuncture, to foster hair regrowth. Both practices are considered safe with minimal side effects when performed by skilled practitioners.

Why Hair Transplant

If conventional hair loss treatments such as medications, topical solutions, and lifestyle modifications fall short, a hair transplant could be a viable alternative. However, it’s imperative to consult with a healthcare professional prior to opting for this surgical solution, to ensure it aligns with individual health conditions and hair loss patterns. This step is crucial for assessing suitability and discussing potential outcomes of the procedure.

A hair transplant is a surgical procedure designed to address hair loss and thinning by relocating healthy hair follicles from one part of the body (typically the back or sides of the scalp, known as the donor area) to areas with thinning or no hair (the recipient area). This procedure aims to restore a natural-looking hairline and overall hair density, providing a long-lasting solution for individuals experiencing hair loss.

There are two primary methods of hair transplant — Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). In FUT, a strip of scalp containing hair follicles is surgically removed from the donor area and dissected into individual follicular units for transplantation. In FUE, hair follicles are extracted directly from the donor area using specialised tools and then transplanted into the recipient area. Nevertheless, FUE is often preferred over FUT due to its minimally invasive nature, lack of visible linear scar, ability to create natural-looking results, and suitability for short hairstyles.

 

 

Matrix of Hair Loss Solutions

 TREATMENT  TYPE  DESCRIPTION  KEY POINTS/EXAMPLES 
Topical Solutions  Non-invasive treatments applied to the scalp
  • Minoxidil 
  • Hair Growth Shampoos/Conditioner
  • Hair Growth Serums/Ampoules 
Oral Medications Tablets, capsules, or liquids addressing hair loss causes
  • Finasteride: to inhibit DHT (prescription)
  • Nutritional Supplements
Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)  Non-invasive red light treatment to stimulate hair follicles Available in salons, clinics, and home-use devices like Laser Combs
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)  Uses patient’s blood to stimulate hair growth Concentrated plasma with growth factors is injected into the scalp
Scalp Micro-Pigmentation (SMP)  Cosmetic procedure creating an appearance of fuller hair Ideal for those preferring a shaved head look (scalp tattoo)
Hair Systems or Hair Replacement Systems (HRS) Non-surgical hairpieces Looks natural; different from just wearing a wig
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)  Ancient Chinese practices for hair loss
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Acupuncture
  • Dietary Changes
Hair Transplant Surgery Surgical procedure relocating hair follicles
  • Permanent solution with natural-looking hairline
  • FUE more popular in Singapore 

*Consult a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment. Results can vary based on individual circumstances.

Hair Transplant Procedure: A Step-by-Step Guide

Undergoing a hair transplant is a comprehensive process that requires multiple consultations with a doctor before and after the surgery to achieve the desired hair growth. This guide outlines the essential steps involved in the process. 

Before the Surgery

It’s crucial to conduct thorough research and select a skilled surgeon with extensive experience in hair transplantation. The initial step involves a consultation where the surgeon assesses your hair loss and discusses the procedure goals. A medical evaluation follows to ensure you’re a suitable candidate, which may include blood tests and a review of your medical history. The surgeon will also discuss the cost, financing options, and pre-operative instructions, such as avoiding certain medications and preparing your hair according to specific guidelines.

During the Surgery

The surgery, usually performed under local anaesthesia, involves minimal discomfort. The surgeon extracts hair follicles from the donor site, typically using the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method, and then transplants them to the recipient areas. The duration of the procedure varies based on the extent of the transplant needed but can last several hours. After the surgery, you’ll be monitored briefly before being given post-operative care instructions.

After the Surgery

Post-surgery, it’s common to experience some redness, swelling, and discomfort in the treated area, which can be managed with prescribed pain medication. Initial hair shedding within the first few weeks is normal, as it paves the way for new growth. Recovery times vary, but most patients resume their usual activities within a week. Follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor the progress and health of the transplanted hair.

By understanding these steps and setting realistic expectations, patients can navigate the hair transplant process more smoothly, leading to satisfactory outcomes.

Comparative Analysis of
FUE and FUT Hair Transplant Methods
  

 Feature/Criteria  FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)  FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) 
PROCEDURE Individual follicles extracted
one by one
A strip of skin with hair follicles
is removed then dissected
SCARRING Multiple tiny dot scars Linear scar
RECOVERY TIME Generally shorter Might be slightly longer
due to sutured area
GRAFT SURVIVAL RATE Potentially lower
if not handled properly
Typically high since follicles
are surrounded by protective tissue
SURGICAL TIME Might be longer
due to individual extraction
Generally quicker because a strip
is removed and then dissected
SUITABILITY Good for smaller sessions,
or when wearing short hair
Best for larger sessions
POST-SURGICAL PAIN Typically less pain
as there’s no large wound
More discomfort possible
due to sutured wound
HAIR DENSITY ACHIEVED Varies but can be spread out more evenly across scalp Can achieve higher density,
especially in fewer sessions
HAIRCUT AFTER PROCEDURE Can wear hair very short
without revealing much scarring
Might need longer hair
to hide linear scar
FLEXIBILITY Allows surgeon to pick
best hairs for extraction
Gives large number of grafts
from one extraction
COST Often more expensive
due to labour-intensive nature
Might be less expensive due to less time-consuming procedure
DONOR AREA Can potentially be from various parts of the body Typically limited to the back
and sides of the scalp

*Consult a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment. Results can vary based on individual circumstances.

Hair Transplant Cost in Singapore

The cost of a hair transplant in Singapore is influenced by the chosen procedure, the scope of hair restoration needed, the surgeon’s expertise, and the clinic’s location. Typically, Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) costs range from $6,000 to $12,000, whereas Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) prices span from $8,000 to $15,000. The price per graft approximately stands at $5 for 1,500 grafts, with potential increases for smaller quantities. Overall costs are determined by the extent of the treatment, including graft numbers and surgeon fees.

However, cost is just one aspect to consider when selecting a hair transplant provider. It’s crucial to inquire about pre-surgical consultations, the surgeon’s qualifications, and the clinic’s success rates to make an informed decision.

Given the significant investment, many clinics in Singapore offer financing options to alleviate the financial burden, such as payment plans or deferred payments. It’s advisable to discuss these options early in the consultation process to understand the terms and availability. 

Hair Transplant Specialist in Singapore

Dr Tyng Tan is one of the few doctors approved by the Singapore Medical Council to carry out both FUT and FUE hair transplants — including no-shave FUE, where donor hair length is preserved. Reduction in downtime after surgery is possible.

There are many ways to measure the success of a hair transplant, but at the end of the day, what matters most is achieving a result that looks completely natural and leaves the patient feeling happy and confident — and here at Dr Tyng Tan Aesthetics and Hair Clinic, that is our commitment. 

Do you need more information about your hair transplant options? Please get in touch with +65 6235 0010 today to book a consultation with Dr Tyng Tan.

Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan
BSc (Hons), MBBS (London), Grad. Dip. Dermatology (UK), Dip. AAAM (USA), Grad. Fellow in ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery)

About Dr Tyng Tan

Dr Tyng Tan has over ten years of experience treating male pattern baldness with the minimally invasive, non-strip method known as FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) Hair Transplantation.

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Hair loss seems like a losing battle for thousands of men in Singapore. Grow Your Hair Back To Normal With Our Safe & Minor Surgical Hair Transplant Procedure.