Premature balding and hair loss on men and women: A top Singaporean trichologist on causes, symptoms, and treatment options

Premature balding and hair loss on men and women: A top Singaporean trichologist on causes, symptoms, and treatment options

The mane event

Text: Emily Heng

Image: Instagram | @anyaholdstock

We hate to break it to you, but ageing brings about a whole host of issues you probably didn't see coming. Not only are you more susceptible to bodily aches and pains, you are also more likely to experience cavities, bronchitis, and the most prevailing whammy of 'em all: hair loss.

For some, it shapes up to be a concern much earlier than expected. The American Hair Loss Association reports that both men and women deal with some degree of pattern hair loss as early as in their twenties. Singaporeans are no exception to this. Be that as it may, there are a lot that remains unsaid about this follicular complication. And that's where we come in. Below, a top Singaporean trichologist details everything to know about a plummeting hair count — including tips on how to salvage your crowning glory. Let's hair hear all about it.

How much hair loss is normal in a day?

It's normal to lose anywhere between 50 to 100 strands on a daily basis.

How can you tell if you're experiencing premature hair loss?

"Early onset balding essentially refers to balding or hair thinning at a young age," Leonica Kei, trichology specialist and founder of Leonica K Trichology, elaborates. "Under normal circumstances, experiencing some form of hair thinning or hair loss after your 40s is expected. It's an entirely different story when it's occurring in your 20s or 30s, however."

What causes accelerated hair loss?

Leonica maintains that it has to do with internal factors. "Ill health, medication, sudden change in diet, stress, and hormonal changes are usually responsible for hastened hair loss," she points out. "People claim that relocating to countries with extreme climates may contribute to thinning, too, but in my experience, it causes scalp irritation and even inflammation, but not premature balding." She adds that those undergoing puberty may also experience increased hair loss thanks to a fluctuation of hormones brought about by menstruation and the like.

Are there any symptoms of premature hair loss?

A few early signs include:

  • Increased hair fall
  • A noticeably visible scalp
  • A receding hairline
  • A thin, limp ponytail
  • Lots of "baby hair"
  • Too flat hair

Are there risk factors increasing the likelihood of early hair loss?

Family history, health conditions, lifestyle habits, and dietary restrictions are some of the factors that may increase the likelihood for hair loss. "It is a side effect of health conditions like diabetes, anaemia, thyroid, and polycystic ovarian syndrome as well," Leonica says. "If you are vegan, you may experience hair thinning, too, as your hair requires essential amino acids that are found abundantly in animal sources. Lifestyle habits as well as highly stressful jobs — take professional dancers, who are required to tie or style hair in a scraped-back, tight manner — are also more susceptible."

Can you prevent premature hair loss?

It is highly recommended to start taking care of one's hair and scalp early. Leonica advises that users start on a hair-strengthening routine should they notice symptoms. "Don't underestimate the power of a good shampoo. I recommend the Leonica K Mint Shampoo, which comes infused with a high concentration of menthol, rosemary oil and peppermint. These are antioxidants which help improve blood circulation, strengthen the hair roots, and promote hair growth. The Leonica K Anti-Hair Loss Scalp Tonic, on the other hand, protects hair follicles from circulating hormonal imbalances, making it perfect for anyone experiencing hair fall from puberty.

Can premature balding be treated?

The general consensus is to make a visit to a trusted trichologist to craft up a treatment plan. "At Leonica K Trichology, we adopt a holistic approach towards treatment for hair loss. Important aspects such as one's general health, family history, diet, and lifestyle habits are assessed before customizing the treatment," Leonica explains. "All products used are plant and botanic based that are gentle and kind for the scalp, yet effective when it comes to combating hair loss."