Can these TikTok trends really reverse hairfall? A scalp specialist shares his thoughts and reveals what you can do to prevent more hair loss

PHOTO: 123rf

If you've spent any amount of time on TikTok, you've probably scrolled past a video or two about hair care and hairstyling from the side of the app affectionately called HairTok.

Of the many different inexpensive yet seemingly effective hair hacks HairTok has heralded, rice water has pretty much gained a cult status for its apparent ability to reduce hair loss by preventing hair breakage.

Other hair loss reversal methods include using onion juice as a hair mask, or exfoliating the scalp by adding sugar or salt to shampoo to create a DIY scrub.

They sound good and all, but do they really work?

READ ALSO: I tried a viral video hair hack and gave myself a salon-worthy haircut in less than 5 minutes

We gave up after a day of attempting the rice water hack, simply because it was too much effort, so we asked Allan Tang, brand manager at Papilla Haircare, what he thought instead.

"There aren't a lot of studies that support the efficacy of many home remedies such as rice water," he says. "Some types of remedies, like salt scrubs, may do more harm to the scalp than good."

Yikes.

Identifying hair loss and its different causes

The first step to treating hair loss is to first realise that you indeed suffer from hair loss and identify the root of the problem.

Some of the most obvious signs of hair loss include a receding hairline, a noticeably wider gap in hair partings, a clearly visible scalp, or clumps of hair in the shower or on the pillow. This could occur from as early as teenhood.

For most, hair fall is a natural occurrence that, over time, increases from several strands to several clumps of hair, as the hair follicles in the scalp lose their ability to produce new hair at the same rate as it sheds old hair, resulting in balding sports or wider gaps between hair parting.

The common causes for such hair loss include androgenic alopecia - hereditary hair loss, whereby one's genes cause their hair follicles to shrink over time - and telogen effluvium - temporary hair loss following a stressful event.

Another type of hair loss is chemically induced, where hair follicles are damaged due to lifestyle habits.

Excessive perming, dyeing and bleaches causes damage to the hair follicles. Once permanently damaged, hair cannot grow from them anymore.

Is it too late to reverse hair loss?

It probably comes as a relief to know that it's never too late to treat hair loss!

According to the Norwood scale, hair loss can be categorised into seven different grades, with grade one being the least severe and grade seven being the most severe.

Like skincare treatments, scalp treatments are tweaked depending on the different conditions an individual presents.

Most can be treated with a variety of invasive and non-invasive treatments, even those with extremely severe cases of hair loss can opt for hair transplantation. In such cases, hair follicles are harvested from a donor site and inserted into small incisions on the site of hair loss.

What kind of treatments are out there?

Non-surgical treatments can be loosely classified into minimally invasive and non-invasive methods.

Microneedling, platelet-rich plasma and injections are some examples of minimally invasive procedures. These methods involve the penetration of the epidermal layer using needles to stimulate hair growth.

For those particularly afraid of pain and/or of needles, they can opt for non-invasive methods, which use radiofrequency waves, light therapy, or low electrical pulses to reach deep within the scalp.

Apart from being pain-free, non-invasive hair loss treatments boast minimal to no side effects and low downtime.

Treatment at Papilla Haircare

If your hair isn't what it used to be, why not make a trip down to Papilla Haircare at Ngee Ann City?

Papilla Haircare is a medically backed hair regrowth centre that specialises in providing solutions for hair loss concerns for both men and women, and is known for its award-winning non-invasive protocols.

Clients' conditions are assessed by their team of professional hair and scalp care specialists using their scalp scanning technology before they are prescribed with the appropriate hair loss solutions.

PHOTO: Papilla Haircare

For those in the early stages of hair loss, they can opt for the DNA Activator for Hair Thinning which uses a combination of electrically charged processes, iontophoresis and ionization to effectively deliver key actives into the hair follicles without the use of needles.

In other words, healthy growth cells are delivered into the scalp to activate dormant and weakened hair follicles, which encourages it to produce longer, thicker hair over time. This method further enhances the hair growth cycle by stimulating blood circulation in the scalp, and clients can expect to achieve healthy, thicker hair at the end of their treatment.

Meanwhile, those with bad bouts of hair loss can opt for the award-winning S.E.P. Activator for Hair Loss, which uses a patented, FDA-approved delivery mechanism - ScalpElectroporation (S.E.P.) to deliver key actives into the deepest dermal layer.

Some clients might experience slight discomfort during the treatment, as the pulse energy used creates tiny, pulsating vibrations on the scalp. The feeling, however, would go away in about one to two days.

Even after they've been treated, clients may be advised to continue with their treatments as maintenance, though the frequency of their appointment depends on the condition of their hair loss, as well as their overall scalp condition.

What else can I do?

Hair loss is as inevitable as any other signs of ageing and cannot be completely stopped. However, steps can be taken to prevent it from becoming more severe.

As stress is one of the biggest non-genetic contributing factors to hair loss, stress-management is crucial. Lifestyle changes, such as getting enough sleep and adopting an active lifestyle, works most effectively when paired with proper nutrition, thus ensuring one's overall health and, in the same vein, their scalp health too.

Scalp treatments can also help to maintain the scalp's vitality, even before hair loss sets in.

To complement the effects of Papilla's hair loss treatments, clients can bring home a variety of hair care products, such as the Scalp Regeneration Mask and Tonic, which contain hair-boosting ingredients.

PHOTO: Papilla Haircare

All of Papilla Haircare's products are sulfate-free, paraben-free and silicone-free, and contain no artificial colours, toxic chemicals and fragrances to help promote a healthy scalp.

Address: 391 Orchard Road, Ngee Ann City, Tower B #05-25AB, Singapore 238873

Tel: 6465 4565

This article is brought to you in partnership with Papilla Haircare.