Being a pharmacist, I know all that I need to know about treating hair loss using western medications. They are on the pricey side but I trust these drug therapies simply because they are backed by clinical evidence, a fundamental in the development of pharmaceutics.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), however, is an entirely new realm for me. More often than not, TCM explains diseases in physiological concepts that are wholly different from western medications. Unlike the latter, TCM is based on a long history of successful practices. I once took a TCM module back when I was in university and even as I was totally confounded by the abstract theories, I had to admit that I was impressed by how holistic the treatments are.
Hence, when an opportunity arises that I could learn more about the TCM’s way of treating hair loss, I decided to go for it. The place that I would be visiting is none other than Beijing 101, a centre whose advertisements I often come across, featuring Pang Ling Ling, Zheng Ge Ping, as well as AB Shaik from Warna 94.2.
Arriving at Beijing 101’s newest outlet at Century Square, we were immediately greeting by friendly staff who were effectively bilingual. Before long, we were ushered promptly into one of their counselling rooms and given a short introduction to Beijing 101’s history and latest products.
For 41 years, Beijing 101 has been solving hair problems using premium grade Chinese herbs that are specially grown and harvested under highly regulated conditions. It is currently sold in over 60 countries including USA, England, Japan and more. Chinese herbs are supposedly gentle but effective in treating the root of hair problems.
I listened on eagerly, for while skincare has always been my forte, I never quite understood haircare.
We were introduced to two of their latest therapies – the Herbal Scalp Treatment and the Advance Growth System. I was taken aback at how similar these scalp therapies are to the more ubiquitous skincare theories.
For instance, the Herbal Scalp Treatment claims to soothe and eliminate itchiness on scalp by cleanse deep within hair follicles to unclog impurities, much alike to the weekly exfoliation I do to my face and body. This is because, like our skin, the scalp builds up dead skin cells, causing flakiness and oiliness. Sloughing off these dead skin cells this help to reduce dandruff problems and balance the oil secretion.
The Advance Growth System is a treatment for hair problems like balding, hair thinning and various stages of hair loss. It uses micro needles that penetrate deep into the surface of the skin without hurting the skin cells within, which is reminiscent of micro-needling facial I read about years ago.
Micro needles are extremely fine and considered minimally invasive. On the scalp, it causes virtually no pain but aid exponentially in the absorption of the active ingredients present in the serums by increasing tiny blood vessels to enhance cell regeneration. This, in turn, stimulates the production of collagen, strengthens the elasticity of the scalp and stimulates the hair follicles to promote hair growth.
After the brief session, we were brought to another room and given a free scalp analysis (the highlight of my day!).
The hair consultants at Beijing 101 have the necessary expertise to solve any hair and scalp problems for both men and women. Through detailed hair and scalp analysis, the hair consultants are able to customize hair treatments for each customer.
Using a specialized machine that magnifies your scalp, the hair consultant shifted and pressed the device lightly against my head.
Now, I have been pretty nasty to my hair for the past years, bleaching them umpteen times, then rebonding, then dyeing them. In view of these, I did not harbor any hopes of possessing a commendable scalp. To my pleasant surprise, my scalp was revealed to be pretty healthy… except for a few raw, sensitive spots here and there.
This is how my scalp looked like on the screen, with minimal flakiness at the root of the hair. Apparently, I have a normal scalp (I thought my scalp was oily all along) and the hair consultant recommended me to avoid shampoos meant for dry or oily scalp.
At this point, I asked if K could be granted a consultation too since he so thoughtfully accompanied me there and she kindly obliged! It turned out that K’s scalp looked even better than any of the ladies’ but he definitely had more red, sensitive areas. The lady explained that this is one of the reasons for his itchy scalp. This statement got both K and I nodding our heads in unison.
Now, K and I sometimes joke about how his hairline is receding, as his hairstylist once warned him. Curious, we requested to take a look at his hairline.
If you look closely, you can see a few red circles. Apparently, these are his hair follicles but they are not growing any hair. The consultant went on to say that when hair follicles die, they degenerate and close up, which is why people who are bald for extended periods of time often end up with a very shiny head!
All in all, it has definitely been an eye-opening and insightful session, learning about scalp health and hair care. I would like to thank Sample Store and Beijing101 for this opportunity, as well as K for his patience on a Sunday morning.
P.S. Beijing 101 has also kindly sponsored a treatment voucher worth $188 to be given out to one of you! Hop over to my Instagram to find out how you can win it!