10 Questions on Hair Loss Dermatologist Singapore Tips

Are you searching for a hair loss dermatologist in Singapore to treat your hair fall condition? Do you have a sensitive, itchy scalp?

Dr. Teo Wan Lin is a hair loss dermatologist in Singapore, providing teleconsultation services and expertly formulated scalp care products. She is a key opinion leader on hair loss treatments and is widely interviewed by the media. Dr. Teo is the author of the Haircare Bible: Dermatologist’s Tips on Cosmeceutical Haircare, available in bookstores islandwide, via the Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals Education/Bookstore and on Amazon Kindle.

In this article we’ll answer 10 of the most common questions on hair loss. Including excerpts from Haircare Bible: A Dermatologist’s Tips on Haircare and Hair Loss by Dr. Teo Wan Lin, Dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre.

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Hair loss Dermatologist Singapore Expert Explains What Causes Hair Loss 

In this chapter, I shall share some of the commonest presenting complaints of hair loss patients in my practice. I’ll also share some pearls which I hope will help you.

I have just moved to a different country and I think my hair loss started only after that. I suspect it is the water that I use to shampoo my hair with!

Potable water compliant with international guidelines for drinking water will not influence hair growth. It is sometimes a red herring, as a major move to a different country can cause a certain amount of emotional stress. This will manifest 2-3 months after the move, as a form of hair loss known as telogen effluvium. It could also be the change in the climate, for example from a temperate climate to tropical weather, that causes the scalp to get inflammed. A common scenario is a flare up of the condition seborrheic dermatitis, known to laypersons as dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis is worsened by humid weather. Additionally, can also cause some hair shedding to occur as it triggers scalp inflammation.

PEARL: If you have just moved to a different country and are suffering hair loss symptoms, what this hair loss dermatologist in Singapore is saying is this. The move can be a form of stress that triggers hair loss, known as telogen effluvium. It is not likely due to water changes, as widely believed by laypersons. However, it can also be due to concomitant changes in your scalp microbiome, which can benefit from treatment with medicated shampoos. 

I just changed my shampoo before having hair loss, could this be the culprit?

The answer is no, there is usually no impact of change in shampoo on hair fall. However, if you suffer from dandruff you should start to use an over the counter anti-dandruff shampoo to improve your condition. Look out for active ingredients such as selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione and salicylic acid.

Hair loss dermatologist recommendation: Copper Peptide Shampoo

The Copper Peptide Hair Regrowth Shampoo is formulated for hair loss and sensitive scalps. It has degreasing, soothing, and anti-hair loss functions. It contains actives such as Zinc Pyrithione for anti-dandruff functions, and copper peptide for healthy hair growth.

Since developing hair fall, I switched to an organic mild shampoo, that should help?

There is no such thing as an organic shampoo, by way of classification via the FDA or Singapore’s HSA. Organic refers to food produce grown without pesticides, and as shampoo is not ingested, it does not apply. From my point of view, an effective shampoo has to perform the following functions. First, remove oil, dirt and hair products from the scalp and hair shaft. Then, be gentle enough on the scalp so as not to trigger off dryness and sensitivity. Lastly, contain active ingredients that can help stimulate hair growth, such as copper peptide. The differences between the lathering abilities of different types of shampoos can be traced back to the type of surfactant used. Specifically, a shampoo that lathers strongly is likely to be high in laureth sulfates – this can cause scalp dryness.

PEARL: If you have changed shampoos and developed hair loss before, during or after that, Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an expert hair loss dermatologist in Singapore shares that this is not likely the cause. There are certain urgent causes of hair loss such as autoimmune disorders and alopecia areata that can cause sudden and severe hair fall. It is advisable to seek a hair loss dermatologist in Singapore for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

I feel so scared and depressed when I see my hair on the floor and on my pillow. I don’t dare to look at the mirror anymore and hardly want to socialise as I feel others are looking at my hair loss too!

Hair loss especially for women can be devastating. Approximately half of the patients I see for hair loss concerns experience some symptoms of depression and anxiety due to the hair loss itself. The commonest symptoms include – lack of motivation, loss of enjoyment of favourite pastimes and hobbies, no desire to socialise and having excessive obsessive thoughts about the condition of one’s hair. Hair loss can severely damage one’s self esteem.

As my patients embark on their journey aspect of hair fall, as it can spiral into clinical anxiety or depression. One tip I have is this, having carpets and dark coloured pillowcases (for dark hair) can help relieve the stress of seeing one’s hair fall during the time it takes to recovery. It is unhealthy to keep obsessing over the number of strands of hair fall once you have started on treatment. Use some form of cosmetic camouflage, such as the Dr.TWL Kerabuilt follicle hair fibres, so that one does not draw attention to the bald spots. Perhaps it is an unkind or insensitive colleague — one is not able to control the behaviour or attitudes of others, however, one way to cope is camouflage. This also helps to divert one’s attention away during the healing journey from unhealthy obsessive worries.

The Kerabuilt Follicle Hair Fibres is made with plant-derived keratin and pure mineral colorants. It can be used to fill up bald patches or build up volume in areas or sparse, thin hair.

Is my hair fall serious enough that I have to see a dermatologist? How about a trichologist or an aesthetic doctor instead?

Hair loss can be indicative of medical conditions such as autoimmune disease, thyroid or anemia. These can be serious health conditions if ignored. A trichologist is not legally recognised as a medical practitioner, neither can they be held accountable in any way for your health. Aesthetic doctors are general practitioners with a medical license. They are not specialists in skin hair or scalp as recognised by the governing medical bodies. Only accredited dermatologists (check your doctor’s license at your local Ministry of Health or board accreditation facility – it should explicitly state specialist qualifications) are legally recognised as the correct specialist to treat your scalp and hair problem.

PEARL: If you are experiencing mental and emotional anxiety about your hair loss, it is important to reach out to an accredited dermatologist for proper evaluation and diagnosis, so that treatment for hair loss can be started. Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an expert hair loss dermatologist in Singapore, also the author of the Haircare Bible- Dermatologist’s Tips on Haircare and Hair Loss, will conduct a thorough examination. Laboratory tests may be required to rule out underlying health problems.

What can I do to prevent hair loss?

If you have a family history of hair loss, get started at least on a home based hair diode laser/radiofrequency device. If you have already experienced hair loss and a dermatologist has ruled out underlying medical conditions, in-clinic treatments such as red and yellow light can help stimulate hair growth. Using over the counter hair tonics such as those containing the following active ingredients – minoxidil, copper peptide and botanical antioxidants can promote hair growth. Avoid tight hairstyles or use silicone elastics, instead of traditional elastics which tug and pull at the hair causing traction hair loss.

The Copper Peptide Hair Regrowth Serum contains copper tripeptide, a novel molecule that stimulates hair growth. Copper tripeptide is a potent antioxidant with minimal to zero risk of scalp irritation. It helps to maintain healthy, immunological function of the scalp, promoting beneficial scalp microbiome.

How do hair laser treatments work?

Hair laser (diode laser)  treatments work via photobiostimulation, delivering low level laser light to your scalp. The diode laser works at the cell level to stimulate growth factors that help the scalp regenerate faster, helping your hair to grow fuller.

How urgent is it to get treatment for hair loss?

By the time some patients come to me, they would have lost up to 30-50% of their natural hair. This refers to the group where the hair loss is insidious over several years, rather than the acute hair loss type. In my opinion, this is too late.

Especially for genetic causes of hair loss which occurs over such a long period of time, hair follicles would have undergone miniaturisation, which is irreversible. The goal then would realistically shift to maintenance of the remaining hair over regrowing hair that has been lost.

PEARL: A specialised hair loss dermatologist in Singapore is experienced in treatments that stimulate hair regrowth. These treatments are evidence-based, meaning that studies have been performed to ensure that they are effective. Examples of effective treatments include laser diode, red light, yellow light and fractional radio frequency.

Hair loss dermatologist recommendation: Raser radiofrequency comb

Dr. TWL Dermaceuticals has a RASER Radiofrequency Comb for hair regrowth that combines the function of laser diode, radiofrequency for hair growth stimulation and ozone for the scalp microbiome.

I think my scalp is sensitive, every time I touch it I feel there is a burning sensation?  

Patients with sensitive scalp can feel itch, pain or stinging over their scalp. The underlying cause of the sensitivity could be related to true conditions of the scalp such as scalp flaking (dermatitis) and pimples (folliculitis) or could be a psychosomatic condition known as scalp dysaesthesia.

Do herbal scalp treatments for unclogging scalp pores work?

Here’s the deal, those machines used by trichologists to scan your scalp? These are all marketing gimmicks and are not used in dermatologists’ offices as they offer no clue to diagnosis. When clinical examination is insufficient, dermatologists will order scalp biopsies to rule out rare causes of hair loss which are scarring, such as frontal fibrosing alopecia. The scalp does not have “clogged pores” per se. If you notice bumps on your scalp, this is not a sign of clogging. It is an inflammatory condition known as scalp folliculitis, which can be due to bacteria or a yeast infection. These will not respond to herbal or deep cleansing treatments and will require oral medication in combination with a medicated shampoo for effective treatment.

Are you looking for an experienced hair loss dermatologist in Singapore? Book for a consultation with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist with our online booking tool here. 

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