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It’s almost 2022. Why are we still misled by hair loss treatments?

November 16, 2021

The pandemic stress has impacted us in more ways than one — financially, mentally and even physically. While reports of burnout and strained relationships are on the rise, there’s an unspoken and serious side effect that’s clearly underreported — hair loss. 

In a recent report by CNA1, doctors around the world are seeing a rise in stress-related hair loss. Yet, it’s not taken seriously because it’s not a life-threatening condition — though it can cause crippling psychological distress. 

When people seek hair loss treatments in Singapore, they tend to follow this route: beauty salons, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), over-the-counter hair sprays and oral medication — basically anything to avoid spending a lot of money. Does this sound like you? 

Don’t be misled. In this article, allow me to explain why most ‘affordable’ hair loss treatments don’t work, and why I personally recommend Secret RF microneedling for hair loss. 

Why does hair loss happen?

The most common form of hair loss is telogen effluvium, hair loss that’s usually caused by: 

  • Childbirth, or postpartum hair loss. This either resolves on its own or transitions into female pattern alopecia
  • Stress 
  • A diet low in protein and iron 
  • Side effects from medication 
  • Acute or chronic illness 

Fortunately, telogen effluvium is temporary and should not persist over 6 months or once its root cause is eliminated. What’s more worrying, however, is androgenic alopecia, a common hair loss condition that develops due to hormones and genetics. 

Androgenic alopecia is more severe and is usually more prevalent in men as the condition onsets earlier and progresses faster. 95%2 of hair loss in men is caused by androgenic alopecia. We refer to androgenic alopecia in men and women respectively as: 

Male pattern hair loss 

  • Balding occurs in a well-defined M shape 
  • Hair loss starts from the front of the head and recedes to the back 
  • Complete baldness is possible 

Female pattern hair loss 

  • Hair is lost from all over the head, starting at the temples and frontal scalp with retention of the frontal hairline
  • Generalised thinning instead of going bald 

We often think alopecia only affects older individuals, but make no mistake — youths are not spared as well. In fact, because it is a genetic condition, male pattern hair loss usually already starts from adolescence and worsens as boys grow older. In women, while female pattern hair loss begins in midlife, it can start as early as when a woman is in her 20s3. 

When should I seek hair growth treatment in Singapore?

Rate of hair loss 

How many strands of hair are you losing? If you lose an excess of 80-100 strands a day and the rate seems to be getting worse, that’s a warning sign. 

Reason behind hair loss

If the reason for your hair fall is situational and easily fixed (e.g. once the stressful situation blows over or once you get on diet on track), I wouldn’t be too worried. However, if the cause is something like genetics, I highly recommend you see a doctor. 

Hair loss from male and female pattern baldness is permanent; the earlier you take action and seek treatment, the more hair you can keep. 

Many lose faith in hair loss treatments and think this condition is a lost cause due to previous failed treatments. Well, that’s because most conventional hair loss treatments marketed on TV or in beauty salons do not even treat the condition in the first place! 

Types of hair loss treatments in Singapore: Chinese vs Western 

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)

In TCM, it is believed that the main cause of hair loss is blood deficiency, so treatment usually revolves around restoring the patient’s blood, kidney ‘qi’ and essence4. While more research needs to be done on its efficacy, studies5 show that TCM works best as a complementary therapy. 

Oral and topical medications 

These include finasteride (oral) and minoxidil (topical). They are commonly prescribed at clinics but merely control instead of treat the condition; hair loss will eventually recur once the medications are stopped. In addition, oral medications for hair loss often come with side effects like decreased sex drive, erection problems and rashes. 

Salon hair treatments 

These only nourish the hair and do nothing for hair loss. 

Low-level laser light therapy (LLLT)

LLLT uses laser light to stimulate hair follicles and encourage hair growth, but efficacy of results are poor and might not be enough for moderate to severe hair loss. 

Hair transplant

A hair transplant actually provides very distinct results, provided the transplant is done well by a skilful surgeon. It’s one of those high risk, high rewards procedures; if anything goes wrong, complications include scarring folliculitis which causes permanent loss of hair. A hair transplant is also extremely expensive. 

Secret RF microneedling

Radiofrequency microneedling is a scientific, proven treatment that’s been shown to work for androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata. 

How does Secret RF treat alopecia?

Microneedling RF itself is a therapy that uses tiny needles and radiofrequency waves to create controlled damage on the treatment area. This damage stimulates collagen growth and growth factor production. When used on the scalp, microneedling triggers stem cells in hair follicles, encouraging hair growth. 

Multiple studies have proven microneedling to be effective5 in promoting hair growth. It also promotes the absorption6 of products used to treat hair loss, hence it’s fantastic either as a main or complementary therapy. 

In my practice, I prefer using Secret RF due to its gold-plated tips which have made a world of difference for clients in terms of comfort and downtime. It is also a microneedling RF technology - which is superior to micro needling alone in hair stimulation because of the additional radiofrequency effect. The depth and energy with Secret RF is also more accurate, whereas with regular microneedling the penetration depth can be inconsistent. 

This article will tell you more why I use Secret RF to treat not just hair loss but skin conditions like stubborn acne scars. 

Due to regulations by MOH, I cannot show before/after photos here, but please feel free to drop me a line and I’ll be more than happy to show you results from satisfied patients! 

To sum up, alopecia is very treatable — but be wise in choosing the right treatment, and don’t procrastinate any longer as the more you wait, the more hair lost and the more money spent.


  1. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/commentary/stress-related-more-hair-loss-covid-19-coronavirus-solutions-622636
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-men-go-bald#main-cause-of-balding
  3. Dinh, Q. Q., & Sinclair, R. (2007). Female pattern hair loss: current treatment concepts. Clinical interventions in aging, 2(2), 189–199.
  4. https://www.euyansang.com.sg/en/restoring-your-crowning-glory/eysgwhaircare1.html
  5. Tan, M. G., Jo, C. E., Chapas, A., Khetarpal, S., & Dover, J. S. (2021). Radiofrequency Microneedling: A Comprehensive and Critical Review. Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.], 47(6), 755–761. https://doi.org/10.1097/DSS.0000000000002972
  6. Chandrashekar, B., Yepuri, V., & Mysore, V. (2014). Alopecia areata-successful outcome with microneedling and triamcinolone acetonide. Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery, 7(1), 63–64. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2077.129989 
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