THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO HAIR TRANSPLANT IN SINGAPORE — here’s everything you need to know!
Hair Loss In Men and Women in Singapore
A study in the Annals of Dermatology says that up to 73% of Asian men and women commonly experience some type of hair loss or baldness known as androgenetic alopecia.
Also known as androgenic alopecia, pattern hair loss is caused by hormonal changes and affects specific areas of the scalp. It is different from alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disorder that can affect hair on any part of the body and occurs suddenly in patches.
In Singapore, 3.8% of people have alopecia areata and of those, 79% are Chinese, 16% are Indians, and 5% are Malays. It is estimated that 52.28 percent of women ages 35 to 44 in Singapore cite hair loss as their leading hair concern. Meanwhile, 63% of men in Singapore are affected by male pattern baldness, with the prevalence increasing with age.
Common Causes of Hair Loss
A widespread concern impacting individuals across the globe, hair loss has varied causes, each contributing differently to the onset and progression of hair thinning or baldness. In most cases, recognising triggers can help in prevention and treatment strategies.
- Heredity: Androgenetic alopecia is a genetic condition causing pattern hair loss due to the hormone DHT shrinking hair follicles.
- Age: Hair loss with ageing is universal, with hair growth slowing and some follicles ceasing to produce hair. Various treatments can help manage this.
- Hormonal Imbalance: Sudden shifts in hormones, like after childbirth or stopping birth control, can cause hair loss. Conditions like PCOS can also affect hair health. Usually, hair growth returns to normal as hormone levels stabilise.
- Alopecia Areata: This autoimmune condition causes hair to fall out in patches. There’s no cure, but some treatments can help regrow hair or prevent further loss.
- Cancer Treatments: Chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapies often lead to hair loss. While this is typically temporary, hair may grow back differently.
- Medications: Some drugs, including blood thinners and antidepressants, can cause temporary hair loss.
- Stress: Chronic stress can trigger hair loss, typically temporary, by disrupting hair growth cycles.
- Hair Products and Hairstyles: Certain hair treatments and tight hairstyles can lead to hair loss. Damage to hair follicles can even result in permanent bald spots.
- Scalp Infections: Conditions like ringworm or folliculitis can lead to temporary or permanent hair loss.
- Scalp Psoriasis: Overgrowth of skin cells leads to scaling and potential hair loss, but hair usually regrows once the condition is managed.
- Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania): This mental disorder causes a person to pull out their hair, leading to bald spots.
- Scarring Alopecia: Certain conditions or injuries can destroy hair follicles, preventing hair regeneration.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections: Untreated STIs like syphilis can cause hair loss. Treatment usually allows hair to regrow.
- Thyroid Disease: Both hyper- and hypothyroidism can lead to hair thinning and loss. Proper treatment generally results in hair regrowth.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Lack of certain nutrients like protein, zinc, and iron can result in hair loss. Correcting the deficiency through diet can reverse the hair loss.
Proven Hair Loss Solutions
Hair loss can be distressing but take heart, there are ways to counteract this. However, the effectiveness of these treatments can vary based on individual circumstances and the underlying cause of hair loss. As such, a consultation with a healthcare professional is a must to determine the most suitable treatment strategy for each individual.
- Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive method that uses light to stimulate hair growth by increasing blood flow and cell metabolism. Effective for both men and women, it treats different types of hair loss.
- Hair transplant, especially the non-shave Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), transfers hair follicles from denser to thinning areas. It’s popular among women as it doesn’t require shaving the entire head. The suitability of this procedure depends on the degree of hair loss and donor area density.
- Minoxidil, a topical medication, widens blood vessels in the scalp, enhancing blood flow to follicles, stimulating hair growth. It’s FDA-approved but may not work for everyone, and requires regular use to maintain results. Side effects may include scalp irritation or unwanted facial hair.
- Nutritional supplements can support healthy hair growth by providing necessary nutrients like biotin, vitamins C and E, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Consulting a healthcare professional before starting a supplement regimen is crucial. Addressing underlying causes of hair loss can be more effective.
Why People Opt For Hair Transplant
Most of the time, people opt for hair transplants as a last resort to address issues of hair loss or thinning — in relation to improving appearance and boosting confidence. But while hair transplants have many benefits, they’re not suitable for everyone, depending on factors like the availability of adequate donor hair and the individual’s general health.
- Long-lasting Results: Unlike some treatments that require ongoing use, a hair transplant offers more permanent results. Once the transplanted hair follicles establish themselves, they continue to grow hair naturally.
- Natural Look: Hair transplant techniques, such as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), aim to replicate your natural hair growth patterns, leading to an end result that blends seamlessly with your existing hair.
- High Success Rate: With modern techniques and experienced surgeons, hair transplants often have a high success rate.
- Cost-effectiveness: While the upfront cost of a hair transplant can seem high, many people find it cost-effective in the long term compared to continuous expenditure on other treatments that may be less effective.
- Addressing Extensive Hair Loss: In cases of significant or extensive hair loss, hair transplants might be the most effective or the only solution to restore a full head of hair.
What Is Hair Transplant
The follicles are typically removed using a punch tool that extracts tiny tissue grafts containing individual hair follicles. These grafts are then implanted into the recipient area, where they grow and produce hair.
Getting a hair transplant is a step-by-step process requiring several consultations and follow-ups. Here’s a simplified guide:
- Before Surgery: Begin by selecting a skilled and experienced hair surgeon. Once chosen, schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns, goals, and medical history. A medical evaluation will be performed to ensure you’re a suitable candidate. The cost and potential financing options will be discussed. You’ll receive instructions on what to avoid pre-surgery (like certain medications) and how to prepare your hair.
- During Surgery: The procedure, performed under local anaesthesia, involves the removal of hair follicles from the donor site, followed by their transplantation into small incisions made in the recipient site. The direction and angle of transplanted follicles are matched to your natural hair growth. The surgery’s length depends on the number of grafts needed, and post-operative instructions are provided.
- After Surgery: Post-surgery, expect some swelling, redness, and scabbing around the surgical area, resolving within a week or two. Mild pain, discomfort, and numbness are common, managed with prescribed pain relievers. Initial hair shedding is normal as new growth begins. Recovery times vary, but most return to normal activities within a week. Regular follow-up appointments will track progress and confirm satisfactory growth.
FUE Hair Transplant Procedure & Benefits
There were a staggering 3.4 million hair transplant procedures worldwide in 2021, with follicular unit extraction (FUE) being the most popular. FUE is quickly gaining popularity in Singapore as the preferred long-term solution for hair loss.
FUE hair transplant is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves the individual extraction of hair follicles from a donor area, typically the back or sides of the scalp, followed by their implantation into the recipient area affected by hair loss.
This type of hair transplant is a generally low-risk process that uses a micro-tool to move individual hair follicles, promoting quick healing without major incisions or stitches. It provides lasting results by moving healthy follicles that resist hormones causing hair loss. Post-procedure, minor side effects resolve quickly, allowing a return to normal activities within days.
Natural-looking outcomes are achieved by replicating natural hair patterns and direction. Hair from the patient ensures genetic compatibility for organic growth and undetectable results. Unlike traditional methods, FUE doesn’t require shaving the entire head and offers more discretion during recovery.
The procedure may need multiple sessions, taking about 4 hours each. The number depends on hair loss pattern, donor hair availability, and desired outcome. Though discomfort may be present during recovery, local anaesthesia ensures a mostly pain-free procedure.
Both men and women can benefit from FUE hair transplants. Costs vary but are considered a worthy investment due to their less invasive nature, shorter recovery time, and natural-looking results. While FUE avoids linear scarring common in traditional procedures, small, hard-to-spot scars may still appear at extraction sites.
Evaluating The Outcome Of A Hair Transplant
There are several indicators of a successful hair transplant but ultimately, the end result everyone aims for is one that looks natural and makes the patient happy.
Look for new hair growth in the transplant area after 3-4 months, signifying successful follicle transplantation. Check the density of the transplanted hair; an increase implies the transplant’s success.
The texture of the new hair should match your existing hair. Differences could indicate issues with growth or graft placement.
A natural-looking hairline, designed considering your forehead shape, hair growth angle, and age, is crucial. Unnatural transitions might suggest an unsuccessful transplant. Scarring should be minimal, especially with techniques like FUE, which leave less visible scars.
Coverage should be even in the transplanted area. Unevenness can depend on transplant density, surgeon skill, and hair quality. The new hair should match your existing hair’s colour, achieved by carefully selecting grafts.
Post-procedure discomfort should not be severe or prolonged. If it is, contact your surgeon immediately. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial for tracking progress and discussing concerns.
Hair Transplant Price in Singapore
Hair transplant cost in Singapore varies based on factors like hair loss degree, technique, and graft count, typically charging SGD 6 to SGD 10.8 per graft. Total cost includes surgeon’s fee, necessary work extent, and incidental charges. The shaving method — fully, partially, or not shaved — also affects the price, adding an extra surgical fee. The price covers postoperative hair wash, scab removal after two weeks, and a one-month follow-up review.
Choosing a qualified hair transplant surgeon involves considering their medical qualifications, practical skills, aesthetic judgement, and ethical conduct.
First, ensure the doctor is a licensed medical practitioner, registered with the Singapore Medical Council and possessing a Practising Certificate. Checking their affiliation with the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery is a plus. The surgeon should preferably have a background in dermatology or reconstructive surgery.
Training and certification are also key. The surgeon should have undergone specialised training in hair transplant procedures, preferably having certifications from renowned hair restoration societies or centres.
Look for a surgeon with a proven track record and relevant experience. This includes not just years in practice, but also their continuous learning efforts like attending seminars and workshops. The surgeon’s past procedures and patient outcomes can often be found on their website or social media pages.
Lastly, the doctor’s ethical conduct is critical. A good surgeon should be compassionate, understanding, and capable of making decisions for the patient’s best interest, even if it means not performing a procedure. Their conduct should reflect respect and kindness towards their patients.
When to Consult a Hair Loss Specialist
Several treatments are available to combat hair loss, but their effectiveness can vary depending on the individual and the specific cause of hair loss. To explore further on halting the progression of hair loss, it’s best to schedule a consultation with a medical expert.
At Dr Tyng Tan Aesthetics and Hair Clinic, we value informed decision-making. We strive to provide detailed information through blogs like this, encouraging you to ask questions and fully understand any procedure you’re considering. If you’re interested in learning more about hair transplant surgery and our personalised treatment plans, don’t hesitate to contact +65 6235 0010 today to book a consultation with Dr Tyng Tan.
Ultherapy and Thermage are two names in the field of aesthetics that are widely known for its skin tightening action. Find out which is suitable for you.
Coolsculpting is an accepted body contouring treatment in Singapore, but before you try it out, here are 14 questions you should be asking.
Between Ultherapy and HiFu, is there really a real winner between the two when it comes to skin tightening? The answer may shock you!