Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by TrichoKare and omy.sg. Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed are not influenced in any form of monetary compensation, in-kind products, and/or complimentary services. For more information, please take a look at my Ethics Statement. Pictures are courtesy of omy.sg and TrichoKare.
I have always maintained a high level of curiosity towards hair care centres. Posters and advertisements are plastered everywhere across the island, and with high-profile celebrities jumping on board as their brand ambassadors, they have morphed into a lucrative and ever-growing industry in recent years. What exactly do people do there? Do their treatments really work? Or is it all just a big scam targeted at insecure and gullible folks – like your low-fat, low-calories diet? These are questions I’ve harbored for many years now, so when TrichoKare (TK), a multi-award winning hair care salon, invited me down for an exclusive workshop, I immediately snapped at the opportunity.
Iarrived at their Orchard Gateway outlet at 1245 and was brought into their VIP room about ten minutes later. The interior design of the entire place was pretty decent. Being a graphic designer myself, I do appreciate a good aesthetic, but I didn’t really read much into it. Empty barrels always make the most noise, and many businesses spent a lot of money sprucing up their place to compensate for their subpar services.
Alysha, the Senior Hair and Scalp Advisor, opened the workshop with an introduction to herbs after all the participants have arrived.
She talked about the benefits of natural remedies (herbs) and recommended them over synthetic solutions.
|Easily expelled and absorbed by the body.||Doesn’t get expelled easily.|
|Various components, work according to body’s
synergy and treats what your body needs.
|Only one purpose; targeted treatment.|
She also advised against DIY-ing our own herbal treatments as we run the risk of contamination and bacteria transmission without proper supervision. Poor optimisation of the herbs also compromises their nutritional value and subsequent effectiveness.
All about the presentation.
A good hairstyle inspires confidence, showcases one’s personality, and even complement outfits. It’s a subtle, yet striking, part of how we present ourselves to the world. Alex, a Hair and Scalp Advisor, introduced a couple of hairdos Singaporean males swore by back in the days, before helping us find the right styles based on our hair shapes. He also recommends changing one’s hair parting (it’s possible, gasp) to prevent hair loss.
The science of hair growth and hair loss.
Jane Ang, their in-house trichologist, then delivered a lesson on the science behind hair growth and hair loss.
The most common type of hair loss (for males) is Male Pattern Baldness, scientifically known as Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA). It’s pretty scary to think that it could start as early as adolescence and begin as late as our 60s. It also doesn’t discriminate particularly well; people from all races, genders, and walks of life are at risk of AGA.
Jane also talked about how stress, chemical processed hair (rebonding, perming, coloring etc.), overuse of styling products, improper ways of shampooing, and an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, extreme dieting etc.) can all lead to an inadvertent loss of hair. Even using our fingernails to scratch our scalps while showering can result in that too.
I’ve noticed a lot more hair dropping since I decided to grow out my mane, so I raised my concerns asked if she had any hair care tips for me. Jane told me to shampoo my hair and use conditioner daily, and ensure I dry my hair fully before retiring for the night.
We then went for a short break, and they kindly offered us a bento meal for lunch. I felt a little annoyed at myself for spending eight bucks on a plate of pasta earlier – the email stated only “light refreshments will be served” – but it was a (good) sign of things to come.
Applied learning: DIY session.
While waiting for the consultants to get ready, we had a hands-on session to create our own DIY bath bags and natural lifting creams.
Unknown to me before, Alysha explained that bath bags are actually versatile miracle workers. They can be used as a warm or cool compress and applied to your neck, temple or other pulse points. It can also be employed in your laundry, placed in a foot soak, or simply as a loofah. Different herbs also have different properties. A combination of Lavender, Chamomile, and Vebena helps you sleep better, while a mixture of Rosella and Lavender smoothens your skin.
Reality check: scalp analysis.
My friends can attest to how much I care about my hair. To me, it acts as a canvas for experimentation and provides a ‘platform’ to showcase my individualism. I change hairstyles about every two months, and I’ve pretty much experienced all the ‘styles’; from spikes, to fringes, to pompadours, and now, long, tied and buns. I have all sorts of hair products; wax, gels, clay, gum, glue, pomade, water gloss, hair mist, hairspray and volumising powders. I really love styling hair, both mine and others, and I do consider myself having great knowledge on the different products and how to apply them to achieve a certain look. However, I also know for a fact that they are damaging to your scalp if used in excess quantities. Considering I go through a bottle of hairspray in about three weeks and apply a whole chunk of one those aforementioned hair products on a daily basis (before I grew out my hair; now I only rely on a hair tie), I was reasonably petrified of what the scan will reveal.
I was brought to the consultation room, where a hair specialist asked me a series of questions to prepare me for my hair scan. After my profile had been established, they proceeded to invade my hair and capture snapshots from three major areas; the frontal area, the top, and the back.
Here are the ‘before’ results:
The most obvious issue to surface was the clogged pores (the white crystals, which are actually hardened oil, you see in the top right image), and adding to that, I was suffering from a little thinning problem at my frontal area (bottom right image). It’s not as dense as my frontal areas, and the strands were visibly thinner than the others. She explained to me that a healthy pore is supposed to hold three to five strands of hair, but it appears that I’m left with one. When that falls out, the follicle closes, and I’ll never have hair coming out from there ever again. Talk about beyond scared straight.
Somewhat comforting was the fact that 90% of the population are suffering from similar issues, so for those who are laughing, the joke’s likely on you pal.
I did recover from the unsettling news, just in time for a customised treatment based on my analysis. I was told TK’s approach to hair loss included the use of herbs, amino acids, and Vitamin B complex.
First, they formulated a scalp mask to treat my clogged pores.
Besides cleansing the scalp, the European herbal hair remedy helps to improve scalp, metabolism and renew scalp cell.
After about half an hour, they washed my hair and massaged my scalp to improve blood circulation. It was relaxing, and I felt compelled to doze off on multiple occasions.
To wrap up the treatment, I was placed in front of a tentacle-sque infrared red light machine to further improve circulation and to ensure the tonics and nutrients are digested fully.
I was whisked back into the consultation room to have my scalp scanned again. It was pretty exciting to find out how much my hair will change and how successful their remedies ultimately were.
Here are the ‘after’ photos:
As you can see, my pores were no longer clogged. There was definitely a significant difference compared to my initial scan, and that incentivised me enough to take better care of my hair to prevent it from reverting to its original state. Although I am thoroughly satisfied with the staff, the treatment, and the hospitality, I don’t like jumping to conclusions without an injection of objectivity. After all, this is a rehearsed setting and highly controlled environment – besides, they are (kind of) obliged to treat us exceptionally well – but if first impressions mean anything, I would say TK’s certainly worth a shot.
I shall let the results speak for themselves. Here are the ‘before’ and ‘after’ images for comparison:
Hair care is no longer a ‘taboo’ subject that will be met with accusations of vanity and narcissism. It is a legitimate, contemporary issue we should all start paying more attention to, regardless if you’re a male or female. Hair loss is a growing epidemic, and coupled with Singapore’s ridiculous pace of life and sweltering weather, we should all strive to place more emphasis on caring for our hair before unintentional damages become irreversible. There’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. In our day and age, hair care is an outright necessity.
I appreciate the fact that even after the end of this session, I still had no idea how much the services of TK cost. No one tried to upsell me anything, or ‘gently encourage’ me to sign on for one of their packages. Nothing screams “sleazy” and “unprofessional” more than a business trying way too hard with underhanded sales tactics. I genuinely enjoyed my time there; it felt more like a light-hearted lecture than a serious ‘all-work’ media session. I actually gained a huge chunk of practical knowledge and, without paying a single cent, manage to clarify my doubts with industry professionals. They seem interested in talking about their stories, processes, and philosophies more than anything else really, which is comforting to see. It’s a tiresome chore hearing people going “hey, we’re good, try us!”, and I’m glad TrichoKare managed to walk the talk on this occasion.
TK TrichoKare is the first ISO 9001 Trichological Centre that provides European herbal hair remedy validated by a certified Trichologists with products formulated by a professional herbalist. They have recently won the Harper’s BAZAAR’s Hair Awards 2015 for Best Anti-Hair Fall Therapy.
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