Causes, Costs, and Solutions for Bald Patches in Singapore

by | Jun 26, 2024

Hair loss can be a stressful experience, especially when it appears in noticeable areas. Bald patches, medically known as alopecia, can appear anywhere on the body, but the scalp is the most common area. These patches can be small and round, or larger and more irregular. While alopecia areata is not life-threatening, it can significantly impact a person’s self-image.

The exact cause of alopecia areata remains unknown, but it’s believed to be an autoimmune disorder. This means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles, disrupting hair growth. Potential triggers include genetics (that is, family history), stress, and medical conditions such as thyroid disorders or vitamin deficiencies, or even certain medications.

This blog post delves into the reasons behind bald patches and explores treatment options available in Singapore, along with their estimated costs.

Overview of Bald Patches and Common Types

There are several types of alopecia that can cause bald patches, each with different characteristics and causes, as follows:

  • Alopecia Areata: As mentioned earlier, this is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks hair follicles, causing hair loss in patches. It can be patchy, affecting one or more areas, or totalis (complete scalp hair loss) or universalis (complete body hair loss) 
  • Androgenetic Alopecia (Male/Female Pattern Baldness): This is the most common cause of hair loss, affecting both men and women. It’s caused by a combination of genetics and hormones, leading to a gradual thinning of hair on the scalp, often in a predictable pattern (receding hairline in men, widening part in women).
  • Scarring Alopecia (Cicatricial Alopecia): This type of alopecia occurs when scar tissue forms on the scalp, permanently damaging hair follicles and preventing hair growth in those areas. It can be caused by injuries, burns, infections (like fungal infections), or certain medical conditions.
  • Traction Alopecia: This is caused by repeated pulling or tension on the hair, often due to hairstyles like tight braids, cornrows, or ponytails. Over time, this constant pulling can damage hair follicles and lead to bald patches along the hairline or wherever the tension is focused.
  • Telogen Effluvium: This is a temporary form of hair loss that can occur due to various factors like stress, illness, hormonal changes (pregnancy, childbirth,menopause), surgery, or certain medications. The hair loss is usually diffuse (thinning all over the scalp) rather than patchy.

Hair Transplant: A Lasting Solution

Hair transplant is regarded as a permanent solution that looks natural, because it is actually your own hair. It is a surgical procedure that can be a successful treatment option for bald patches caused by certain types of alopecia. 

Hair transplantation involves moving healthy hair follicles from a donor area on the scalp (typically the back or sides of the head) to the bald patches, where hair growth is no longer occurring. These transplanted follicles are genetically resistant to balding and continue to grow hair in their new location. 

There are two main techniques used in hair transplantation. In Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), a strip of scalp containing healthy hair follicles is removed from the donor area, dissected into individual follicular units (groups of 1-4 hairs), and then transplanted to the bald patches. 

On the other hand, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a minimally invasive technique that involves extracting individual follicular units directly from the donor area using a small punch tool. The extracted follicles are then implanted in the recipient area.

Cost of Hair Transplants in Singapore

Considering hair transplantation to address your bald patches in Singapore? The cost can vary depending on the chosen technique and other factors. The difference in complexity and surgical time between FUT and FUE is reflected in the pricing. 

FUT is generally less expensive, ranging from $6,000 to $12,000, while FUE typically costs more ($8,000 to $15,000) due to the more precise extraction process.  These price ranges typically cover transplanting 1,500 to 3,000 hair grafts, suitable for standard bald areas.  

However, the total cost can be influenced by additional factors. The extent of hair loss you want to address will determine the number of grafts needed, potentially increasing the price. 

Similarly, achieving a natural look may require more expertise if your hair colour significantly contrasts with your scalp pigment. Surgeons with a proven track record and extensive experience may also command a higher fee.

Finally, the clinic’s location and the amenities they offer can influence the overall cost.  For the most accurate estimate, consult with a qualified hair transplant surgeon in Singapore. They can assess your specific needs and provide a personalised cost breakdown based on your unique situation.

Financing and Insurance Considerations

While hair transplants can be an investment, there are financing options available to help you manage the cost and achieve your desired outcome. Personal loans specifically designed for medical procedures, including cosmetic surgeries like hair transplants, are offered by many banks and financial institutions in Singapore. These loans often come with competitive interest rates and flexible repayment plans, allowing you to spread out the cost over time. 

Additionally, medical financing companies specialise in loans for medical expenses, including elective surgeries. They frequently offer quick approval processes and convenient repayment options.  

However, it’s important to note that most standard health insurance policies don’t cover elective cosmetic procedures. Exceptions may exist if hair loss is deemed medically necessary due to underlying conditions.  It’s always advisable to check with your insurance provider about their coverage for hair transplants.

Choosing the Right Doctor for Hair Problems

Finding the right doctor for your hair problems is crucial. Here’s how to navigate your search: 

  • Qualifications Matter: Ensure the doctor is board-certified in dermatology or a relevant specialty, like plastic surgery for hair transplants. Look for experience in diagnosing and treating hair loss, especially if they showcase a focus on hair restoration on their website or profile.

  • Do Your Research: Patient reviews on reputable platforms can reveal the doctor’s bedside manner, communication style, and treatment success rates. Explore the clinic website for the doctor’s background, experience, and hair loss treatment specialties. Additionally, check if they’re members of professional associations related to dermatology or hair restoration.
  • Treatment Options and Consultation: Choose a doctor offering a variety of hair loss solutions to create a personalised plan for your specific needs and the cause of your hair loss. A thorough consultation is key – look for a doctor who listens attentively to your concerns, examines your scalp, and clearly explains potential causes and treatment options. Remember, a good doctor sets realistic expectations about results and discusses potential side effects.

  • Beyond Qualifications: Consider factors like location, clinic hours, and cost.Understand consultation and treatment costs, and inquire about insurance coverage. Most importantly, choose a doctor who makes you feel comfortable discussing your hair loss openly and asking questions. Your confidence in their expertise and approach is vital for a successful treatment journey. 

Preparing for a Hair Transplant Consultation

Hair transplants may seem like a big step, but advancements have made them minimally invasive and well-tolerated. Plus, there’s a team of experts here to support you. By being proactive and seeking expert advice, you can tackle stress-related hair loss and regain your full, confident head of hair.

Dr. Tyng Tan, a leading hair restoration specialist in Singapore, can help you explore your options and achieve natural-looking results. Schedule a consultation today to discuss personalised solutions for your hair loss concerns.

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.