As the world’s most fatigued country (according to sleep experts at Sleepseeker), Singapore is home to hundreds of thousands of overworked individuals who have very little time for self-care and relaxation — thank you Covid-19.
Being under pressure all the time — coupled with lack of sleep and a bad diet — can trigger a change in the production of certain hormones. This can take a toll on different parts of your body, including your scalp. An excessively oily and itchy scalp, for example, could lead to sensitivity and unexpected hair fall.
Lucky for you, these reversible issues can be quickly remedied with a change in lifestyle and proper hair loss treatments. For example, Organic Hair Regrowth Solutions’ signature Advanced Hair Growth (AHG) treatment ($248 for 60 minutes), delivers results through a customisable seven-step treatment using 100% organic and natural products.
Organic Hair Regrowth Solutions, launched in 2009, is the first organic salon to open in Singapore offering certified-organic ingredients in its treatments and products, due in part to co-founder Amy Ngo’s concern for her staff.
In her early days as a fledgling hairstylist, Ngo was exposed to many harsh chemicals found in the hair dyes, treatments and other products. She became concerned for those who experienced skin allergies and health conditions such as respiratory issues and the possibility of cancer. Wanting to create a safe space for both employee and customer, Ngo chose to carry only natural products in her salons even if they came at a higher cost.
Today, when you walk into any of Ngo’s nine outlets you will be able to not only experience a total organic scalp and hair care solution but also in a safe and comfortable environment where the products are all certified organic by Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS).
To assess the efficacy of its treatments, I tried out the AHG treatment at its newest and prettiest outlet at Suntec City decked with numerous Instagrammable walls. Like all scalp treatments, the session begins with a thorough scalp analysis viewed from my own mirror which is built with a large internal touchscreen monitor that saves all the data of my scalp health report pre- and post-treatment.
I learned through the analysis that my thinning hair is a result of build-up from oil and toxic enzymes (from irregular hair washing) causing the follicles to clog up and preventing them from absorbing essential nutrients.
The scalp has a higher number of sebaceous and sweat glands, and a lower barrier function as compared to the skin on the rest of the body. It is important to wash our hair daily and hydrate the scalp with a moisturising scalp-compatible mask at least thrice a week. A visit to the hair salon for a deep cleansing once a fortnight is also vital in maintaining thick, healthy tresses.
Before applying any products onto my scalp, the hair technician takes a hairbrush-looking device with metal bristles and massages my scalp. Supposedly, it emits high-frequency vibrations to kill bacteria and improve blood circulation for better absorption.
After that, a chilly Exfo Peel cream is massaged in to gently hydrate and purify the scalp, control sebum, soothe inflammation and irritation. It follows with a thorough wash at the basin area where I enjoy a relaxing video of natural landscapes projected onto a large wall in front of me.
In the next step, I was given an ampoule for my particular condition which contains scalp rebalancing ingredients including ginseng to nourish and strengthen the follicles and roots to prevent breakage. It is administered with a cooling nano-air brush that diffuses the concentrate evenly onto my scalp without any rubbing required.
The last step before a wash and blow is the Bio-Light — a handheld device which radiates infrared light — to promote rejuvenation and ensure that all the products used previously penetrate into the deeper layers of the scalp. Unlike many other hair treatments I have tried, this one does not leave you to bake under a steamer or oxygen cap, so there’s hardly any waiting time in-between steps which was great for an impatient person like me!
My scalp really felt extremely clean and calm by the end of it, and the lengths of my hair were also noticeably softer and glossier. Perhaps it is the organic formulations that worked their magic, or I really was in dire need of a treatment. Supposedly, if I kept doing this treatment for six months, my hair would be restored to its full glory.
Happy scalp, healthy hair
Daily maintenance products to restore fuller, thicker, shinier hair
Ryo Hair Loss Expert Care Scalp Scaling Cleanser, $26.90 from Guardian
Fans of K-beauty would know of Korean hair loss expert care brand, Ryo Scalp Bio Lab, which addresses nine kinds of scalp and hair concerns with nine kinds of ingredients, including whole ginseng, green tea, sesame seeds and rice. Try this pre-shampoo exfoliator on wet scalps once or twice a week to deep cleanse, soothe, and regulate oily imbalances.
Shiseido Professional Sublimic Adenovital Scalp Power-Shot, $100 from selected hair salons
Good scalp should be complemented by great hair. That is why Shiseido Professional has created a specific haircare line that addresses both hair and scalp with Sublimic Adenovital, enriched with Adenosine, known for its ability to repair our cellular building blocks. Together with other plant extracts and vitamin B3, this reparative hair care line is ideal for those who wish to rebalance their scalps and achieve voluminous, lustrous hair. This tonic is a great last-step to your daily regimen which helps to strengthen the scalp to produce thicker, stronger hair.
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub, $52 from Sephora
This pre-shampoo scrub can be used dry before your hair wash, and even on the body, once or twice a week. Infused with a supercharged AHA/BHA acid blend to rapidly break down and dissolve dead skin cells, you spread this evenly onto the dry scalp and leave it on for 10 minutes before massaging in the exfoliating cellulose beads. Other ingredients like antioxidant-rich marula, mongongo, baobab and maracuja help nourish and calm the skin.
Leonica K Juniperus Shampoo, $58 from leonicak.com
Homegrown trichology centre, Leonica K offers a range of take-home items to complement its luxurious scalp treatments. A daily product for scalp inflammation and irritation, this shampoo contains juniper oil which has excellent healing, calming and antiseptic properties. We love the relaxing natural aromatic woody scent, too.
MODEL PHOTO: UNSPLASH/AVERIE WOODARD