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Hair Loss
December 24, 2023
6 Mins

Male Hair Loss Guide: Types Of Hair Loss & Prescription Treatments Available in Singapore

The ultimate guide to hair loss? We've done it. Read on for the types and causes of hair loss, how to recognise male pattern baldness, and what the different hair loss treatment in Singapore are.

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Types Of Hair Loss And Their Causes

1. Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) 

There are actually many different types of hair loss, but the most common type in men is androgenetic alopecia - the infamous male pattern baldness. 

According to the National Skin Centre (NSC) of Singapore (2013), the 3 main causes of Androgenetic Alopecia are age (20 and above), testosterone, and genetic inheritance.  

2. Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to mistakenly target and attack the hair follicles - a 'friendly fire' of sorts. This leads to bald patches on the scalp and loss of hair in other areas of the body. In some severe cases, it can result in complete loss of hair, or even total loss of body hair (American Academy of Dermatology, n.d.).. 

Outside of the 2 types of alopecia, other reasons for hair loss include chronic illness, scalp diseases, side effects from medication and excessive pulling of hair from tightly bound hair styles (man buns - we’re looking at you).

The Signs Of Balding

A young man worried about balding while checking his hairline

1. Receding Hairline

Nobody wants to see their hairline recede like the sea during low-tide, but that’s usually the first and clearest evidence of balding. If your hairline goes from flat to more of an M-shape with hair thinning at the temples, this is a likely indication that you’re suffering from alopecia. 

If you suspect your hairline may be receding, it’s a good idea to document photos over the course of a year or so to help you determine the progression of your hair loss.

2. Thinning Hair

Balding doesn’t always start from your hairline. Some men experience balding beginning at the top of their head instead, with thinning of the hair on the crown of their head. This may be difficult to observe, because nobody usually takes selfies of the back of their head. 

The simplest way to get these photos to track your hair loss is to stand with your back facing a mirror and snap your reflection. You can do this every couple of months to compare if your hair thickness is decreasing.

3. Post-shower/brushing Hair Drop

A man holding a hairbrush full of fallen hair

It’s normal to lose up to 50 hairs every day (NSC, 2013), but once you start noticing an excessive amount (>100 hairs) of daily hair fall, it may indicate male pattern baldness. 

However, it’s important to note that unusual increased hair fall can also be temporary (lasting  a couple of weeks) due to stress, fevers or medication. You should only sound the alarm if you realise you have been losing excessive hair daily over a long time.

What Aren't Signs Of Balding

While it’s easy to be frightened at the drop of some hairs, don’t be too quick to assume that you’re going bald. These are some signs that are often misconceived as hair loss identifiers, but aren’t the most definitive proof to rely on:

• A widow’s peak hairline (just a genetic thing, not a balding thing)
• A bald relative (unfortunately we can’t always inherit everything from our family)
• Rogue hairs on your bed or shower floor (it’s normal to lose a bit of hair everyday, folks!)
• Itchy scalp (did you remember to shower this week...?) 
• Thin looking hair when wet (comparing photos of your hair for any changes - the only time when dry is better, boys)

The safest bet if you’re ever uncertain about hair loss symptoms you may be experiencing, is to consult a health professional.

At Noah, we provide evaluations from licensed doctors who will be able to tell you if you’re truly suffering from a hair loss condition and prescribe the right treatment for you.

Hair Loss Treatments Available In Singapore

1. Finasteride

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Finasteride (also known by brand names Propecia and Proscar) is a prescription medication used to treat androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as male pattern baldness.

Under the brand name Proscar, Finasteride was originally used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition where the prostate gland is enlarged but not cancerous.

It was later used to treat hair loss and sold under the brand name Propecia.

Traditionally, Finasteride came only in tablet form, taken as a daily dosage of 1mg. However, more recently, Finasteride has been formulated for topical use in liquid form, which is applied directly to the scalp. This topical formulation can be found in various forms such as spray, gel, droplets, and even foam.

2. Minoxidil

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Minoxidil is another widely used hair regrowth treatment for male pattern hair loss. It has an immediate effect but can take a few months to show noticeable changes, like other hair loss treatments. 

Minoxidil reduces elevated systolic and diastolic BP by decreasing peripheral vascular resistance via vasodilation. Applied topically, it stimulates hair growth secondary to vasodilation, increases cutaneous blood flow and stimulates resting hair follicles. 

Unlike finasteride, a DHT conversion blocker, minoxidil works by improving the environment for your existing hair follicles to facilitate hair growth (Goren et al., 2017). Minoxidil is thought to trigger and prolong the initial phase of hair growth called anagen, thereby causing your hair follicles to restart the hair growth process prematurely (Messenger and Rundegren, 2004). 

This may cause some hair shedding for some when first using minoxidil. However, although this process may make it seem like you’re dropping more hair, minoxidil is actually working to produce a rise in hair diameter and length.

3. Hair Growth Shampoos & Conditioners 

Specialised shampoos and conditioners formulated with ingredients like Ketoconazole and Redensyl aim to strengthen hair, reduce breakage, and stimulate growth. While they may not be as potent as prescription medications, these products can complement other treatments and contribute to overall hair health.

A. Ketoconazole

Ketoconazole is an antifungal medication that’s used as a treatment for nail and skin conditions such as ringworm, candidiasis and seborrhoeic dermatitis. Ketoconazole shampoo is also promoted for the treatment of male pattern baldness as well, used once a week. and also helps with dandruff since it’s used for seborrhoeic dermatitis.

However, its effectiveness is limited in comparison to finasteride and minoxidil - it's for dandruff, so it won't do much for male pattern baldness. Existing literature is limited in showing that ketoconazole is as effective as medication like minoxidil in stimulating hair follicles and finasteride is in preventing the testosterone to DHT conversion causing male pattern baldness. 

If you’ve already been experiencing hair loss, it would be beneficial to speak to one of our doctors to see if your treatment should include medication to prevent further hair loss.

B. Redensyl

Redensyl is a patent-protected hair growth molecule. It is a blend of plant extracts and dihydroquercetin-glucoside, a molecule that helps in hair growth. Redensyl targets the hair follicle stem cells and helps in the regeneration of hair. 

It activates the stem cells to divide and produce new hair cells, which leads to the growth of new hair. It also prolongs the anagen/active phase of hair growth. This leads to longer and thicker hair.

Hair Transplants

Hair transplants involve taking healthy hair from your head and transplanting it to the areas which are thinning. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) are the two accepted methods to hair transplant surgeries to date. 

FUE is a more recently developed procedure which can involve less scarring than FUT due to the nature of the surgery, and is more commonly done in Singapore and Asia.

Said hair transplants in Singapore can cost upwards of $6,000 to $15,000. This can vary depending on the quantity of hair grafts you require, the cost of each graft and the surgeon’s fee. 

Apart from cost, there are other factors to consider when deciding whether to do this procedure. For example, recovery and post-surgical care are equally important stages in hair transplantation. You will need to properly keep your wound dressing clean and manage any medication that your doctor will prescribe

FUT procedures require a slightly longer recovery time of 2-3 weeks while FUE can take about 1-2 weeks to heal. There may also be potential complications to hair transplant surgery including swelling, pain, scarring, infection and anaesthesia complications, to name a few.

While hair transplants may be one route to take for hair loss, less invasive alternatives such as medication and shampoo treatment are also available and more affordable too.

4. Scalp Treatments

Scalp treatments play a pivotal role in maintaining a balanced and conducive environment for hair growth. They work by addressing underlying issues, promoting circulation, and ensuring that hair follicles receive the nutrients they need.

Here are 3 ways that scalp treatments might be able to help you with hair loss:

A. Improved Blood Circulation

Red blood cell models against a white background

Scalp treatments frequently incorporate massages or the application of topical products to stimulate blood circulation in the scalp. 

By improving the flow of blood, hair follicles are provided with a sufficient amount of oxygen and nutrients, which creates an ideal environment for optimal hair growth.

B. Nutrient Infusion

A person washing  bunch of citrus fruits

Specialised scalp treatments are developed using essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and proteins that are crucial for maintaining healthy hair. 

These treatments aim to specifically nourish your scalp, replenishing any deficiencies and strengthening the hair roots.

C. Reduction of Scalp Inflammation

Closeup shot of a man's scalp with thinning hair

Inflammation on the scalp can hinder hair growth. Scalp treatments often include anti-inflammatory ingredients that soothe and calm the scalp, creating a more favourable environment for hair regeneration.

5. Laser Therapy

Also known as red light therapy or low-level laser therapy (LLLT), laser therapy involves the use of low-level lasers or LEDs to deliver low-level light energy directly to the scalp. 

This stimulates the hair follicles, promoting increased blood flow and nutrient delivery to the hair roots. It also encourages the hair follicles to enter the anagen (growth phase), which leads to the growth of healthier and thicker hair. 

6. Aesthetic Clinics

Aesthetic clinics that specialise in hair loss treatments are equipped to treat the wide range of hair loss causes, including hormonal imbalances, genetics and lifestyle factors. 

They can conduct medical assessments to identify the root cause of hair loss and determine the best treatment plan based on individual needs.

In addition to focusing on hair regrowth, aesthetic clinics also prioritise scalp health. As healthy hair requires a healthy scalp, these clinics also offer scalp treatments and exfoliation procedures to bolster scalp health. 

Which Of These Treatments Are Non-Invasive? 

Looking for a non-invasive option? These treatments are what you'd want to consider: 

Finasteride: This is a hassle-free treatment option as it is non-invasive and only requires either a single daily pill or a topical solution. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals looking for a straightforward treatment regimen.
Minoxidil: Available over-the-counter, minoxidil is a non-invasive topical solution that is applied to the scalp to stimulate hair growth.
Hair Growth Shampoos and Conditioners: Non-invasive and easy to incorporate into a daily routine, these shampoos include ingredients to strengthen hair, reduce breakage, and stimulate growth
Scalp Treatments: These are non-invasive treatments that use topicals solutions and laser technology to stimulate hair growth.
Laser Treatments: These are a non-invasive treatment that utilises red light to stimulate hair follicles.

How Do I Get Hair Loss Medication (Like Finasteride & Minoxidil) In Singapore?

So how can you get prescription medication like finasteride and minoxidil to treat your hair loss in Singapore?

There are several ways you get prescribed medication: either by visiting a local GP clinic, a private clinic or an aesthetic clinic.

But all of them require you to physically head down to a clinic and wait in a line before being able to speak to a doctor.

With Noah, a zero-judgement digital health clinic for men in Singapore, you'll be able to get the hair loss medication you need from the comfort and privacy of your home.

Getting started with Noah couldn't be simpler - all you have to do is answer an online medication evaluation. Once complete, you will be able to book a teleconsultation session with a licensed doctor at your convenience. If prescribed, your medication will be delivered discreetly within 4 hours, at no additional cost.

You don't have to worry about the legitimacy and safety of the medication provided as Noah is recognized by the Ministry Of Health (MOH) as a direct telemedicine service provider.

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*Medical treatment may not be appropriate for you even if you have a high BMI
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*In a 56-week trial with 3,731 non-diabetic overweight (BMI ≥27) or obese (BMI ≥30) participants, those who finished (1,812 patients) lost an average of 9.2% body weight with Saxenda, alongside diet and exercise.
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Written by our Editorial Team
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Articles featured on Noah are for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. If you're looking for a healthcare provider, click here.