A head of distinctively thick, black hair symbolises strength and virility. In ancient Greece, men with long hair are often associated with wealth and power, while a shaven head was worn by slaves.

Even in today's context, losing your hair at any age can be distressing. Many people assume that hair loss is a problem that primarily affects older men. Although it may be true, premature hair loss can also affect men and women in their 30s or 40s.

We talk to Dr. Siew Tuck Wah, Medical Director of Radium Medical Aesthetics, as he tells us more about hair loss and some effective treatments.


Hair is actually a collection of dead cells that have been pushed out by the new ones. Hair growth begins inside the follicle and that is the only living and active portion of the air. Hair is made up of protein which originates in the hair follicle.

Keratin is an important protective and structural protein in the hair. It is produced in hair follicles in the outer layers of the skin. As new hair cells grow, old cells are pushed out through the surface of the skin. These cells lose their nucleus and die as they travel up the hair follicle.

There are various elements found in the hair such as carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur. These are used to make amino acids, keratin, melanin, and protein – which are the main compounds in the hair.


It is perfectly normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day. It may sound like a lot but it represents only 0.07% of the total number of hairs on your head.

Dr. Siew lists some useful tips to maintain a healthy head of hair:

• Subjecting your head to chemical treatments will risk the health of your hair, causing breakage and fall out. Refrain from chemical treatments unless you really have to.
Diet rich in iron, zinc, and biotin can help improve hair health.
• Washing your hair daily can dry out your hair. Natural oils are good to maintain and protect the hair. Contrary to popular belief, wash your hair only when you need to.


Hair loss can be quite distressing and embarrassing for some people. Since our hair has a lot to do with how we look, losing it may cause us to have lower self-esteem. This is especially true in younger people and women.

Our bodies go through a lot of changes through our entire course of life. Sometimes, these changes can be a contributing factor in hair loss. In order to treat hair loss, we first need to figure out the root cause of it.

Some of the most common problems are listed below:

• Hair loss, in most cases are hereditary. It could be passed down from one or both of your parents. This is called male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss.
• Poor diet, especially when you are not getting enough iron, zinc, and protein in your food.
• Stress is one of the leading causes of hair loss. Subjecting yourself to physical stress such as surgery and illnesses can also lead to hair loss.
• Damage to your hair from pulling it back too tightly can potentially cause the hair roots to weaken and hair will weaken over time.
• Unhealthy scalp that may lead to scalp folliculitis can obstruct the growth of hair causing localized baldness.

In some cases, if hair loss is caused by something that won’t last or can be treated, your hair will likely grow back. Identifying the root cause and addressing them can be easy to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, if hair loss is inherited, it can be challenging to make it grow back. Undergoing treatment can help some hair grow back and even prevent more from falling out, but it may not difficult to get all your hair back.


“As we age, overall hair density changes and individual strands become finer.” says dermatologist Doris J. Day. Here are some solutions you can consider to help you keep your crowning glory:

• Hair Products. Be discerning and know what you use on your hair. The shampoo and styling products you use on your hair can cause you to involuntarily shed your hair. Hair products can also irritate your scalp and prevent healthy growth of your hair.

People who shampoo often should choose a milder formula to avoid washing out the natural oils that are for protecting the hair and scalp. Look out for shampoos with vitamin B5. Vitamin B5 is a strengthener and prevents your hair from breakage.

• Natural Remedy. Rubbing a teaspoon of rum, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice, or in combination will get rid of all the natural build-up on your scalp. Leave it on your scalp for five minutes and rinse it out with warm water.

• Improve Your Diet: A well-balanced diet can give your hair all the nutrients it needs for thicker, fuller and healthier hair. Hair and nails are mainly protein fibers. You need protein in your food for your hair to grow. If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, it is time to include some meats, milk, eggs and soy in your diet.

You also need iron, vitamin E to keep your hair strong. Not getting enough iron can cause hair loss. The best source of iron is meat. For non-meat eaters, you can get iron from fortified cereals, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, white beans, lentils, and spinach.

• Medication: There are some medications available to treat pattern baldness. There are two medications approved by the FDA for hair loss treatment.

Minoxidil is a solution that you rub into your scalp twice a day to prevent further hair loss. Hair growth can happen if you use Minoxidil religiously. You need to apply consistently for at least 16 weeks to see results. Continuous use is important to retain benefits. You may experience hair loss once you stop using it. You may experience scalp redness and irritation and rapid heart rate.

Finasteride is a prescriptive drug only available to men. It has to be taken daily. Benefits include slowing of hair loss and some may enjoy new hair growth. You need to take this daily in order to retain benefits. Just like minoxidil, you may experience hair loss once you stop taking it. Side effects include diminished sex drive and increased risk of prostate cancer.

• Non-invasive Medical Treatments: The latest technology in hair loss treatment is the use of laser machine combined with a cosmeceutical delivery system (CDS). The laser machine makes micro-channels in your scalp, to allow hair growth serum penetrate deep into the scalp and follicles to nourish the roots. At the same time, the micro wounds stimulate the hair follicles to work harder to produce stronger, thicker hair. Benefits include enhanced penetration of active ingredients of hair serum, stimulate hair follicles to produce thicker hair.

LED Red Light therapy has been shown to effectively delay hair loss and even cause hair to regrow. At Low Level Light at 633nm wavelength, red light has been shown to be the optimum wavelength for hair regrowth and to increase blood flow to the follicles. With increased blood flow to the follicles, the roots will receive the nourishment to produce thicker and stronger hair. Benefits include: no adverse effects have been reported, the procedure is clean and painless, and it is relatively inexpensive. Improvements have been reported between 12 and 26 weeks of use, with reduced hair fall and noticeable hair growth.

PDRN scalp treatment is an intense healing treatment that repairs and deeply rejuvenates the scalp from the inside. PDRN treatment is administered by injecting the content directly into the superficial layer of the scalp using micro-needles.

Not all hair treatments work for everyone. Please consult your doctor if you need medical advice on what treatment suits you best.

Author's Bio: 

Radium Medical Aesthetics is a medical aesthetic clinic in Singapore that offers customised treatments for every client. The doctors and nurses of Radium Medical Aesthetic share the same principles that every skin is different and thus should be treated differently.