Hair can be found in all areas of the skin except for the palm of our hands and the soles of our feet. Most of our hairs are so fine that it can be difficult to see with the naked eyes.
Hair Changes with Age
As we age, our skin and hair begin to change. Some changes to our hair include:
Our hair color is due to the presence of melanin, which hair follicles produce. Melanin is a pigment produced within the skin in cells called melanocytes. The more melanin our skin has, the darker our skin. With aging, the hair follicles produce less melanin, and this causes the hair to become gray or even white.
Hair is made of protein. The typical lifecycle of our hair is about 4 years. Our hair falls out and is replaced with new ones. Hair production slows down as we age. Nearly everyone has some form of hair loss with aging.
Hair Loss in Men and Women
Our bodily functions start to decline when we reach our 30s. In men, first signs of aging may manifest itself through hair thinning and receding hairline by the time they are 30 years old. By the time they are 60, some men can be completely bald. Such baldness is called male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness usually begins at the temples or the crown of the head. Most people see their hairlines receding upwards to form an ‘M’ shape. If the problem is not addressed in its early stages, the hairline will continue to recede until all the hair is gone.
Causes of Hair Loss in Men
Look at your grandparents and parents. If they are bald, you are probably predisposed to genetic hair loss. Research has shown that male pattern baldness is associated with dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a potent form of testosterone. DHT is known to weaken hair follicles.
We take medicine when we are ill or to relieve undesirable symptoms we may face to achieve a therapeutic effect. Like it or not, most medicines often have unwanted side effects. Some medicines can contribute to hair loss.
Some drugs that can cause hair loss are:
- Acne medicine containing vitamin A
- Birth control pills
- Drugs that suppress immune system
- Drugs that treat cancer
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Thyroid medication
A major life event that affects you negatively may trigger noticeable hair loss. Such major life events may include a death of a closed one, loss of a job, or divorce. Stress can push hair follicles into a resting phase for an extended period of time, causing little or no new hair growth.
Hair Loss Treatments Available in Singapore
Minoxidil is one of the most effective and popular topical treatment that is applied directly to the scalp. If used daily, it can retard hair loss or even stimulate hair growth in some people. It requires daily application for at least 4 months to see some results. Hair loss may occur as soon as you stop using it.
It comes in two concentrations: 2 percent and 5 percent. 2 percent Minoxidil is designed for women and 5 percent is designed for men.
Side effects of Minoxidil include skin irritation, burning sensation and dryness of the scalp.
Finasteride, or commonly known as Propecia is an oral medication that reduces the production of the male hormones responsible for hair loss. Patients see a higher success rate when they consume Finasteride as compared to a topical application. It requires at least 3 months of consumption before you see visible results.
Side effects of Finasteride include rash, hives, breast tenderness, breast growth, painful testicles, difficulty in getting an erection, painful ejaculation.
It is the most invasive and expensive treatment to address hair loss. It works by removing healthy hair from the back of your head and transplant to thinning areas at the front of the scalp.
As it is considered a relatively invasive treatment, there are side effects associated with it. In the hands of an inexperienced doctor, there is a risk of scarring and infection.
A typical hair transplant surgery needs to harvest between 1,500 and 2,500 grafts, with each graft priced at about $7. The average cost of hair transplant surgery in Singapore is between S$10,500 and $17,500.
It is a minimally-invasive treatment that repairs and deeply rejuvenates the scalp from the inside. Unlike many other treatments that provide symptomatic relief, PDRN strengthens the scalp by providing a healthier foundation for hair to grow.
Side effects of PDRN Therapy are minimal. You may experience some mild swelling and discomfort for the first few hours post-treatment.
LASEMD is a relatively new concept in hair growth laser treatment. Cosmeceutical Delivery System (CDS) is a method that allows doctors to deliver cosmeceutical compound deep into the scalp to increase the absorption of the hair regrowth serum.
Topical applications are usually not effective because of its low absorption rate. The CDS concept significantly increases the penetration rate of hair growth serum.
Regenera Activa is a new technology that uses autologous micrograft. Simply put, it uses your own body’s own ability to use healthy hair follicles to stimulate growth of hair follicles in inactive areas of the scalp.
Samples of healthy skin are harvested from the back of the scalp. The doctor proceeds to prepare the harvested graft and divide them into micrograft. The doctor dissolves them into a saline solution and reintroduces the regenerative fluid into inactive areas.
Regenera Activa is an FDA-approved, CE-marked, and HSA-approved device for the purpose of stimulating hair growth on the scalp.
As Regenera Activa does not introduce any foreign compound into your body, it makes the treatment very safe with no reported adverse side effects.
This treatment is a one-time treatment which may opt to repeat the treatment every 10 to 12 months.
Price of Regenera Activa is fairly standard at around $3,800 per session.
Radium Medical Aesthetics offers a wide range of hair loss treatment to address thinning hair and unhealthy scalp that inhibits hair growth.