What do you consider to be some of your best physical features? According to a recent study conducted by Nielsen, most Singaporean women regard their eyes to be their pride and joy – not for me, however, because I have slit eyes and eyelids with irregular creases that always interfered with my eye makeup application. For me, apart from my 瓜子脸 (oval-shaped face), I’d say my hair comes second and I believe many people share the same sentiment about their mane, which made the top 4 in the research. Countless advertisements for hair products (shampoo, hair dye, hair supplements, hair loss clinics and whatnots) flash across our TV and computer screens every day in between shows and video clips, sometimes even on our movie screens, proving the great emphasis we place on our hair in our daily lives.
It’s understandable. I mean, we all know that hair plays an essential part in our social lives. It’s your hair (other than your face) that matters most to first impressions and it’s also what completes your appearance (that’s why we have “bad hair days” and not “bad eyes days” or whatsoever.. right?). Hence, it’s not surprising when the study revealed that most Singaporean women think that looking ugly is the greatest concern related to hair loss. A staggering 9 in 10 Singaporean women also felt that hair loss affects their self-confidence and mood tremendously and out of these respondents, 58% and 51% of them felt helpless and depressed respectively.
My struggle with hair loss
In fact, even though I consider my hair to be one of my best assets, I’ve too got my fair share of hair woes. Just five months shy of turning 25 and already I’m experiencing thinning hair at my crown. It’s a perpetual problem. My hair has always been under constant strain and tension from regular braiding and having tight ponytail (it’s part of the rules in all Singapore schools to have the hair tied up at all times if it extends beyond the uniform collar) since my primary school days because I absolutely detest wearing my hair back loosely and needing to retie over and over again. This habit had caused me to lose a substantial amount of hair along my frontal hairline (became more visible when I was in Secondary 3 and was even taunted in class for that. Humiliating much ) and sometimes even my scalp would hurt when I let it down.
May 2014 – before the cat fight
Like the 7 in 10 women who responded to the survey, I also wish I had naturally full hair so that I wouldn’t have to rely on artificial fixes. I’ve always felt ashamed of my brittle and lifeless locks. In recent years, I’ve rebonded and dyed my hair and treated my scalp a few times, as well as tried various volumising and hair setting products – which ironically cause more damage than good to my hair (and wallet) – just to “revive” it or conceal my flaws. Not wanting to spend more unnecessary money, I’ve now resorted to bunning up my hair whenever I’m heading outdoors (no thanks to the hot weather). My condition became worse last year when I got into a cat fight with my sister (lolz) and a couple of hundred strands of hair fell out as a result of all the hair-pulling, leaving a 3cm bald patch on my head on top of my existing ones. I attempted to cover them up by combing my hair around but most of the time it just reverted to its normal position unknowingly.
Also May 2014 but after the cat fight 😡
Following my uncle’s advice, I hang my head over the edge of my bed while I blow-dry my hair every night for up to 5 minutes to “stimulate blood flow to the head and encourage hair growth” and have also reduced my salt and oil intake. Although I did see improvement in my hair by the second month, the central part of my crown is still noticeably widened especially in pictures where I am facing downwards and my scalp in full view. So embarrassing 😥
Another advice given involves massaging the scalp with honey (or aloe vera). I haven’t personally tried it because I cannot stand the thought of putting sticky substance on my hair. Ewwwww…
But how credible is my uncle’s advice?
Plantur Talk at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
I had the opportunity to clarify my hair loss doubts with some experts in that field – Dr Pirkko Brusila, a specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics from Germany, and Dr Alvin Wong, an aesthetic doctor from SKN MediaAesthetics at a talk about female hair loss for Plantur last week. I asked if there’s any scientific basis to the advice given by my uncle and apparently both doctors agreed that they’re baseless. Therefore I cannot explain how hanging my head upside down helped me to regrow some of my lost hair (could be due to other factors like my higher magnesium and iron diet which are great for overcoming Alopecia). But both doctors were on the same page about letting the hair down (and not tie it/bun it all the time like me) to let the scalp breathe. This will help to reduce hair fall.
Did you know?
It is perfectly normal to lose up to 150 strands of hair a day.
In addition, speaking to the doctors also helped to debunk some common hair misconceptions I had, including the correlation between high salt (sodium) intake and hair loss. There is absolutely no medical evidence that eating too much salty food would cause your hair to fall (but of course too much salt is bad for your health la). Similarly, hair cream marketed to prevent hair loss do not have any scientific evidence behind their claims. However, what may actually promote hair growth is scalp massage using combs, hairbrush or anything that is not too harsh on your scalp.
Did you know?
Natural ageing, bad genes, medical conditions (e.g. irregular periods, acne, thyroid disorders, eczema & dandruff), pregnancy, menopause, stress, poor diet (e.g. anorexia) and external environment (humidity, heat & pollution) are some reasons why women lose hair.
During the talk, the audience was also advised on how to combat hair loss, including having a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, reducing stress and anxiety, not smoking, avoiding tight ponytails and.. (you wouldn’t believe the last one)
Applying caffeine to your hair!
That’s right. It is scientifically proven that caffeine helps to halt hair loss!
However, it’s not the same as drinking coffee because not everything from there goes to your hair follicles. You’d have to apply the caffeine directly to your scalp for it to be effective as a hair loss treatment. But how?
The Plantur series
By using hair products with caffeine, of course! And Plantur is just about the right product for the purpose of preventing hair loss. Developed by Dr Wolff Research in collaboration with the dermatology department of university clinics, the products – Plantur 21 and Plantur 39 – contain the Nutri-Caffeine Complex and Phyto-Caffeine Complex respectively.
The Nutri-Caffeine Complex in Plantur 21 helps protect against an energy deficit in the hair roots and prevents degradation of the important energy carrier cAMP while Phyto-Caffeine Complex protects the hair roots from premature exhaustion of hair growth and at the same time, provides the hair roots with sufficient energy to grow.
From the above, you should be able to guess the distinction between the two ranges of products: Plantur21 is targeted at younger ladies between the age of 21 and 39 while Plantur39 is for women from the age of 40. Both of them are available in three formulae.
Products under Plantur 21: Nutri-Caffeine Elixir, Nutri-Caffeine Shampoo & Nutri Conditioner
Products under Plantur 39: Phyto-Caffeine Tonic (for massaging into the scalp), Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo & Conditioner
Since I fall in the targeted age group of Plantur 21, it’s only apt that I explain in more detail about it 😉
An additional effect of the Nutri-Caffeine Complex comes from the valuable micronutrients biotin, magnesium, calcium and zinc. All these were mentioned by the doctors as beneficial for healthy and vigorous hair growth.
Caffeine activates the hair roots and improves hair growth
Biotin regulates the hair roots’ energy levels and contributes to maintaining healthy hair growth
Zinc is the most important trace element in the hair and a growth factor for healthy hair roots. (Another source of zinc is dark chocolate yay great news for chocolate lovers!)
Calcium and magnesium improve the hair roots’ resistance
The Nutri-Caffeine Shampoo was developed for colour-treated and stressed hair and it also contains conditioning agents that repair the externally stressed hair. The Nutri-Caffeine Elixir, on the other hand, provides protection from an energy deficit in the hair roots, thereby preventing premature hair growth disruption. It is to be applied and massaged into the scalp once a day (daily) without rinsing it out.
Last but not least, the Nutri Conditioner is formulated especially for dull, colour-treated and stressed hair caused by frequent bleaching, colourations and heat treatments (e.g. blow-drying, straightening – argh, guilty as charged!) It contains micro-nutrients and caffeine (duh), which prevent the valuable ingredients absorbed during application of Plantur21 Shampoo from being rinsed out.
If you have poor hair growth and premature hair loss, it’s recommended that you use both the Nutri-Caffeine Shampoo AND the Nutri-Caffeine Elixir. The latter is more suitable for women who do not wash their hair every day (but omg, why wouldn’t anyone wash their hair every day in this hot and humid country? O_O).
Based on the description above, the order of application would first be the shampoo, followed by the conditioner and then the elixir. That was also the exact sequence used at my Plantur Hair Wash Experience after the talk ^_^ The lady who washed my hair spent a good 10 minutes massaging my scalp with the Elixir! *secretly beaming with joy inside*
Pre-hair wash. Smiling broadly even though I suffered from major food poisoning that morning v_v
Celebrity treatment hahahahah kidding. Blow-drying time!
Love my post-blow dry hair ❤
After applying the elixir and getting my hair styled (wavy) by the talented stylists at J’s Salon, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel (address below)!
My hair definitely felt a lot healthier and lighter after the wash!
And there you have it – the Plantur series 🙂
Plantur 21 and 39 hair care product range are available in selected Watsons, Guardian, Unity, NHG pharmacies and independent pharmacies as well as NTUC Fairprice, Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets islandwide. Prices are S$18.90 for a shampoo, S$12.90 for a conditioner and S$19.90 for the tonic/elixir. Pretty affordable eh? 🙂
Plantur is strictly only for the ladies, by the way! But fret not guys, there’s also another range of products formulated just for you! It’s the Alpecin series which also uses the special caffeine formula to prevent hair loss. Prices for that are also rather similar to Plantur – S$12.90 for Alpecin C1 Shampoo (hair loss shampoo), $15.90 for Alpecin Double Effect Shampoo (hair loss and dandruff) and $17.90 for Alpecin Liquid (hair loss tonic).
Thanks for the awesome experience, Plantur, Golin PR and J’s Salon! If you’re at J’s Salon, you’ve gotta try their specialty drink Longan with Red Dates! It’s SO GOOD, I tell ya!
Alright, hope this is informative for you ladies 🙂
Thanks for reading! ❤
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
392 Havelock Road Level 3