Leonica Kei, founder of Leonica K Trichology, talks about hair loss prevention and lists some of the most common factors that lead to a higher risk of hair fall

Struggling with hair loss?

Before you reach for another helping of your favourite hawker dish or fast food snack, think again. Did you know that there is a direct correlation between consuming oily food and developing oily hair? And if oily hair is left untreated, it may clog the pores on your scalp and lead to an overproduction of sebum—which leads to a higher risk of hair loss.

Leading a stressful lifestyle, suffering from a lack of sleep and consuming a diet heavy in greasy or sugary food are all factors that may affect the rate of how fast hair falls. In fact, due to Covid-19, scalp health is often overlooked or neglected when it comes to hair care, since many are not aware of how much it actually affects their overall hair health and hair growth.

Singapore-based industry expert Leonica Kei noted these trends after having treated numerous hair loss patients here in the past 20 years. The owner and founder of Leonica K Trichology centre eventually came to realise that many Singaporeans actually struggle with hair loss and a lack of hair growth.

“Most people take great care of their face but neglect scalp care,” she said. “Many people do not have proper hair care routine [and] to have good hair, it is essential to maintain a healthy scalp.”

After studying at the Institute of Trichologists in the UK, Kei entered the hair industry as a technical adviser for over six years and is now considered as one of Singapore’s most renowned and expert trichology specialists. The veteran hair specialist recently relocated her centre to a brand new outlet at Hilton Singapore after 12 years at Palais Renaissance.

 

As the brand owner, Kei adopts a hands-on approach when meeting her clients. Prior to each session, she dedicates 15 minutes to have a consultation with customers and figures out their main issues and concerns before providing them with a diagnosis and recommending the most effective treatment option that would benefit their scalp and hair. This is followed by a 60- to 90-minute treatment to tackle the customer’s scalp issues and strengthen their follicles, as well as a thorough cleanse for their hair thereafter with a wash and blow.

Apart from diets, hair loss can also be caused by hereditary and medical conditions. However, hair loss may not be permanent and most forms of hair loss can still be restored with the right treatment and services, which Leonica K Trichology is skilled in.

“Hair is like our skin, so ageing is inevitable. Instead of waiting until the hair starts showing signs of deterioration, prevention is the better approach,” she advises. “The longer you wait, the longer the time you need to reverse your hair loss problem.”

Below, Kei answers some of Tatler’s burning questions about hair loss prevention and her best tips on how we should start taking care of our hair and scalp.

What are the factors that cause hair loss? Is it different for both men and women?

The factors that cause hair loss are stress, medication, health, diet, lifestyle and hereditary. 95 per cent of male hair loss condition is hereditary whereas female hair loss can be due to wider factors like iron deficiency, pregnancy, menopause, etc.

For hair loss prevention, what ingredients should you look out for when choosing shampoos and conditioners? 

There are many types of products and ingredients that may work to prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth. It is the combination and the final products that work rather than a particular ingredient on its own.  In our anti-hair loss shampoo, we use peppermint and menthol together with other ingredients to provide a deep cleansing effect on the scalp.  A clean and healthy scalp is the most important fundamental for good hair growth.

Is it possible to prevent split ends completely? 

Yes, it is possible. Use our Ultimate Hair Mask two days before undergoing any chemical process and three times a week after the chemical process.  Our Hair Mask is able to protect and repair dry or damaged hair, preventing split ends.

Some women with longer hair prefer to wash their hair once every two days or so for various reasons, what is your opinion on this?  

It is perfectly fine to wash your hair once every two days or so. In fact, it is a personal choice as to how often to wash your hair. We recommend daily hair wash for people suffering from heavy hair fall, flaky or itchy scalp and oily scalp to help improve their scalp condition. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with washing hair only once every two to three days.

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What are the most common mistakes made in hair care that contribute to hair fall?

Hair fall is due to internal health. It can be because of a change in diet, hormonal changes, digestion issues, stress, and more. Some people may think that using a conditioner causes their hair fall to be heavy and they stop using it. However, this may lead to tangles and weakened hair that cause breakages and greater hair fall.  Some people also stop washing their hair because they fear touching their hair and seeing their hair fall.  All these may result in scalp irritation and cause more hair fall.

What would you say is the most important step in hair care? 

Good hair care does not need to be complicated. It is important to use a shampoo, a conditioner and a scalp tonic. Most people do not have a habit of using a scalp tonic which is the most important part of caring for a healthy scalp. The active ingredients in the scalp tonic remain on the scalp to protect, balance and promote hair growth.

What are some easy steps you can recommend to take care of the scalp and hair?

Wash hair regularly. Make sure you give a good rub or massage using the fingertips rather than your nails. If your scalp tends to be greasy, wash your hair daily.  Always use a conditioner if your hair is longer than six inches or chemically processed. Finally, complete your routine with a scalp tonic. The final step will leave your scalp healthy and prevent scalp irritation. 

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