Addressing hair loss can be tricky due to its multifaceted nature. It can be caused by a myriad of reasons — from not washing your hair enough to washing your hair too much, and other complex underlying conditions.
In this article, we’ll be answering commonly asked hair loss treatment questions to help you get back on track to having full, voluminous hair.
What causes hair loss?
Although baldness or hair thinning is most commonly associated with ageing, several other factors play a huge role in hair loss as well. These include:
- Androgenetic alopecia (Genetic predisposition) — Hair loss can be genetically inherited, and having a family history of hair loss puts you at higher risk of early hair thinning too. This is often referred to as female pattern baldness or male pattern baldness.
- Alopecia areata — Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks healthy hair follicles, causing hair loss. This typically presents as hair that falls out in patches.
- Cancer treatment — Chemotherapy is a common cancer treatment that works by targeting rapidly growing cells. Unfortunately, this procedure also deals damage to hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. For the same reasons, another common cancer treatment that can cause hair thinning is radiation therapy. In general, hair can grow back within 3-6 months after the treatment is over.
- Hormonal imbalance — An imbalance between hormones androgen and oestrogen can lead to thinning hair. This is why underlying conditions, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid issues can lead to hair thinning as well.
- Using the wrong hair products — Using harsh hair products can cause scalp irritation, inflammation, excessive dryness and, sometimes, even allergic reactions. These side effects are precursors to follicle damage and hair loss.
- Psoriasis — Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition where one experiences inflamed, dry, and cracked skin that may bleed. This leads to thick and scaly patches on the skin that lead to hair loss and damage.
- Stress — Constant psychological stress can also take a toll on hair health and trigger telogen effluvium, which refers to a condition where the hair follicles enter a resting state, causing hair to shed.
- Bad hairstyling habits — Traction alopecia refers to hair loss that results from constant tension on the hair follicles. This causes damage that eventually leads to hair loss. Excessive exposure to heat styling could also result in hair breakage and damage.
As the efficacy of treatment for hair loss largely depends on the underlying problem causing it, getting to the root cause of hair thinning is the first step to mitigating it and regaining a healthy scalp with thick hair.
Is hair loss hereditary?
Yes, the most common cause of hair loss is due to androgenetic alopecia, a genetic condition that gets worse with ageing.
Androgenetic alopecia is referred to as male or female pattern baldness because of the well-defined patterns that occur when one experiences loss of hair. Male pattern baldness is characterised by a receding hairline, whereas female-pattern baldness can be seen as hair thinning along the crown of the scalp, widened part lines and reduced hair volume.
Age of onset also differs, with male-pattern baldness occurring earlier in life compared to female pattern baldness.
Can young people suffer from hair loss?
Although rare, it is possible to suffer from hair loss in your teenage years. This could be caused by anything from high levels of stress to genetic predisposition. Sometimes, these factors are modifiable, such as poor dietary choices or the hair care products you use.
If you experience hair loss in your adolescent and teen years, consult a doctor or hair and scalp specialist for a thorough diagnosis. Early intervention gives you the highest chance of effectively managing and potentially reversing your hair loss.
Is there a way to prevent hair loss?
Barring genetics and medical conditions, most hair loss can be prevented. It starts with simple lifestyle tweaks such as:
- Avoid sleeping with wet hair — Compared to dry hair, wet hair is more fragile and prone to damage. Sleeping with wet hair can cause friction and tangling, causing hair breakage and hair loss over time. It also creates a humid scalp environment that can promote skin infections.
- Get the right nutrients — Our hair health is often an extension of our whole-body health. Getting the right nutrients, such as vitamins B, vitamin C, iron, zinc and biotin can improve scalp health and prevent hair loss.
- Wash your hair regularly — Washing your hair regularly helps remove dirt and debris from your scalp, ultimately creating optimal conditions for scalp health and hence, hair growth.
- Don’t overwash your hair — Overwashing your hair could strip your scalp off its natural oils, which are essential for keeping the hair follicles healthy and the scalp moisturised.
- Try new hairstyles — The average person loses 50-100 strands of hair a day and this number increases when too much stress is put on the hair. Avoid styles that create tension in the hair follicles, such as high ponytails and buns, and opt for loose braids or simply let your hair down to give your scalp some rest.
Besides changing your habits, though, you should consider hair treatment for a long term solution. A hair growth specialist can recommend treatments tailored to your hair type and condition.
Note: Even if your hair loss is caused by genetics or underlying medical conditions, there are still treatment options available. You may need to consider other options such as FUE hair transplant with a doctor.
Will I become bald if my hair loss is untreated?
Yes, your hair loss may worsen if it is caused by something that’s progressive e.g. an underlying medical condition. Although hair loss is not noticeable in its early stages, it is important to be mindful of your scalp health and look out for early signs, such as:
- A receding hairline
- Bald patches
- A widening hair parting
- A sensitive scalp
- Excessive hair on your pillow
If you experience any of the above, please consult a professional to mitigate hair loss and prevent any further damage to your scalp.
Do hair loss shampoos work?
Hair loss shampoos alone usually cannot cure thinning hair — they can, however, be used as part of a combination of therapies to combat hair loss.
If you are currently on a hair loss treatment plan, you are particularly encouraged to use a hair loss shampoo to enhance your results. Keep a lookout for these ingredients:
- Ketoconazole — Ketoconazole is an active ingredient that helps fight dandruff (Malassezia) and creates a healthier scalp environment to mitigate hair loss.
- Caffeine — Caffeine stimulates blood circulation, which, in turn, encourages the growth of hair follicles and hair growth.
- Biotin — Also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, biotin plays a huge role in increasing hair density and improving scalp health. It also promotes the production of keratin, which is a vital protein found in hair, skin and nails.
- Saw palmetto — Saw palmetto is a plant extract associated with DHT (dihydrotestosterone) inhibition, a hormone associated with male and female pattern baldness by minimising hair follicles and shortening the hair growth cycle.
- Zinc pyrithione — Zinc pyrithione actively combats Malassezia, a type of yeast responsible for dandruff. Controlling dandruff allows for a balanced scalp environment that is conducive for hair growth.
Can TCM help with hair loss?
In Singapore, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is widely accepted for treatment of various ailments using herbal remedies and traditional techniques, and hair loss is no exception.
However, its efficacy is to be argued. Hair loss is a medical condition that requires a thorough diagnosis and clinically proven solutions – for most people, herbs and scalp massages won’t do.
If you are experiencing temporary hair loss due to, say, a dirty scalp, TCM might help. Otherwise, proper hair loss treatment with a specialist is still recommended.
When should I see a doctor for hair loss?
Consult a doctor for hair loss if you experience the following:
- Sudden or severe hair loss — Noticeable hair shedding or bald patches could indicate an underlying medical condition that warrants a visit to the doctor and a proper diagnosis.
- Persistent hair loss — If you’ve exhausted all home remedies and over-the-counter solutions, your doctor may be able to provide medical-grade recommendations for your hair loss.
- Hair loss with skin inflammation — If your hair loss is accompanied by a painful, reddened or flaking scalp, it may be a sign of a scalp disorder such as scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, which will require medical treatment.
Of course, simply wanting to have thicker, more voluminous hair is reason enough to seek professional advice for a treatment plan and guidance in reaching your hair growth goals.
Is hair regrowth possible?
Contrary to popular belief, hair regrowth is possible with the right hair growth treatment plan. In general, if the hair follicles in the scalp are still intact, and not closed or damaged, it is still possible to regrow the hair.
It is also important to note that the efficacy of hair loss treatments vary for each individual’s condition because treating hair loss is not a one-size-fits-all approach. An experienced professional can help determine the cause of your hair loss and recommend the right treatment plan tailored to your scalp and hair condition.
Hair loss treatment options at TrichoLab
TrichoLab is a hair and scalp specialist centre that offers holistic and well-researched solutions for all your scalp concerns, including hair loss. TrichoLab’s Signature Microneedling Hair Growth treatment in Singapore is a 90-minute treatment tailored for advanced hair loss. It is minimally invasive and has no downtime.
This comprehensive treatment utilises microneedling therapy, and a patented hair growth formula made of herbal and peptide complex growth factors, to improve scalp health and stimulate hair growth.
Optimal results are achieved after a series of sessions scheduled a few weeks apart, depending on your current skin condition and the intensity of the treatment.
Hair loss treatment in Singapore
It is important to remember that timely intervention is crucial in reversing hair loss, and the first step to effectively mitigating the condition is to determine its cause to discover the most suitable solution for your condition.
TrichoLab is dedicated to providing effective solutions for all hair loss and scalp needs. Schedule an appointment for a thorough consultation and personalised treatment plan, including medications and hair restoration procedures.