Thinning hair stems from many reasons, and it can be distressing. Patients who come to me are eager to seek ways to reverse thinning hair.
However, many Singapore patients are not keen on trying traditional hair growth methods. Hair growth medicines come with a number of undesirable side effects, while hair transplant surgery is costly, and carries some risks.
Thus, I wrote this 1500-word article to share my knowledge of a recent treatment that uses autologous micrografts to restore hair growth. Here's how it works.
What is Regenera Activa?
Regenera Active is an all-natural hair growth treatment. With this treatment, patients will only experience minimal side effects and no social downtime. It uses “micro-grafts” that are harvested from your own healthy hair.
Although it was only introduced in Singapore in 2018, it is a well-established hair loss treatment. It has been approved by major health regulatory authorities internationally. i.e. the FDA (US), CE (Europe), and HSA (Singapore).
With Regenera Activa treatments in Singapore, I see satisfying results on my patients. I believe this minimally invasive treatment bridges the gap between medicine and surgery.
How does Regenera Activa work?
Regenera Activa is a three-step procedure:
Step 1: Harvest of micrografts
Step 2: Extraction of regenerative cells from micrografts using patented Regenera Activa device
Step 3: Injection of regenerative cells to areas of hair loss
Who is suitable for Regenera Activa treatment?
Both men and women with hair thinning, early hair loss, and decrease in hair volume due to Androgenetic Alopecia or Pattern Hair Loss are suitable.
What is androgenetic alopecia?
Androgenetic alopecia is also known as pattern hair loss. This is the most common form of hair loss in both men and women. However, it is important to note that the pattern of hair loss in women differs from male pattern baldness.
What is alopecia in men like?
In men, this condition is also known as male pattern hair loss. Hair is lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples. Over time, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic "M" shape.
Hair also thins at the crown (near the top of the head), often progressing to partial or complete baldness.
Based on the Hamilton Scale, male patients with Grade I to III hair loss are suitable for the treatment. Reason being, Regenera method is based on the recovery of still-alive, hypo-functioning hair follicles.
Unfortunately, Regenera Activa is unable to help with large areas of hair follicles that are non-functioning (Grade IV onwards). The recommendation is to undergo a hair transplant.
What is alopecia in women like?
In women, the hair becomes thinner all over the head. A woman's hairline typically doesn't recede.
Based on the Ludwig scale, female patients with Grade I (mild) hair loss are most suitable for the treatment. It is still possible to treat Grade II (moderate) hair loss.
Who is not suitable for Regenera Activa treatment?
1. People with scarring alopecia
Scarring alopecia is a type of hair loss condition that is accompanied by scarring. With this condition, a patient's hair follicles are destroyed by a collection of rare hair disorders. They then get replaced with scar tissues, thus causing permanent hair loss.
2. People with Telogen Effluvium
This is a type of hair condition is a form of temporary hair loss. It usually happens after stress or trauma. It is a reversible condition that will improve over time. Your hair will typically return to its normal state within one year.
Who would benefit the most from Regenera Activa?
Healthy men and women with mild or early hair loss will benefit the most. So far, better results are generally seen in those with dark, curly, and wavy hair as compared to straight hair.
How does Regenera Activa compare to other treatments?
Regenera Activa versus hair loss medicines (finasteride & minoxidil)
Medicines can have negative side effects.
Two examples of the side effects of medication are:
- Finasteride is associated with sexual dysfunction
- Minoxidil hair sprays can cause scalp irritation
Regenera Activa uses autologous micro-grafts which are cells extracted from your own scalp. Hence, there is no risk of allergy or tissue rejection.
Finasteride and Minoxidil can also take more than six months to take effect, whereas you are able to see slight results in one month for Regenera Activa.
Regenera Activa versus Hair Transplant Surgery (Follicular Unit Extraction/Follicular Unit Transplant)
Hair transplant or restoration surgery is an effective permanent solution for hair loss, especially for those with severe hair loss.
However, hair transplant surgery has social downtime of up to one week due to post-surgery recovery and variable success rates. Shaving of hair is generally necessary.
Regenera Activa has negligible social downtime as the micro-graft harvest sites and injection sites are well-concealed.
What can I expect during Regenera Activa treatment?
Regenera Activa acts almost immediately to activate dormant hair follicles. Early visible results can be seen within one month.
Numerous clinical studies have shown the following improvements in 14 days:
- hair density
- hair count
- scalp coverage
Typically, patients will start noticing reduced hair loss. After which, there will be an improved thickness and density of their existing hair. New hair will then gradually grow over the next twelve months.
Can Regenera Activa be combined with other hair loss treatments?
Yes, Regenera Activa can be combined with other hair loss treatments. For example, the iGrow home device. It uses low-level laser light therapy (LLLT) to help with hair growth. You can also ingest hair growth supplements and use anti-hair loss shampoos.
From my experience, it is common for patients to reduce their dosage of DHT-blockers (finasteride) after their Regenera Activa treatment.
How much does medical hair loss treatment cost in Singapore?
Here is a rough guide on how much you can expect to fork out for hair loss treatments.
- Doctor's consultation: $60 - $120
- Finasteride cost in Singapore: $60 - $80/month
- Low-level laser therapy cost in Singapore: $1,000 - $1,200
- Autologous Micrograft Regenera Activa cost in Singapore: $3,700 - $6,000
- Hair Transplant cost in Singapore: from $10,000. Average price at $5/graft for 2,000 grafts
Insider tip: Always check if there are consultation charges for subsequent treatment or review sessions.
Is Regenera Activa treatment cost-effective?
Personally, I believe that Regenera Activa can be considered as more effective at treating hair loss and less expensive. If you think about it, hair loss treatment packages at hair spas can cost $3,000 to $8,000 a year!
When should I seek treatment for hair loss?
You should seek treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to recover hair that has already been lost. This is because hair follicles undergo miniaturization.
This is when the hair follicle’s diameter shrinks and reduces to the point where new hair no longer grows.
When should I seek treatment using Regenera Activa?
Your number of hair follicles are finite. Once your follicles are gone, hair cannot grow back. Not even with Regenera Activa.
Regenera Activa works more effectively for mild to moderate hair loss. Therefore, it is best to seek treatment early to get optimal results.
How do I find the best doctor for Regenera Activa treatment in Singapore?
As your follicles are finite, you need to make the most of every hair loss treatment that you undergo.
1. Find a doctor who is focused on hair loss treatments
For doctors who do not see hair loss conditions on a daily basis, it might be hard to diagnose.
If you consult a doctor who focuses on hair loss, he or she will have in-depth expertise in a wide range of hair loss solutions.
This is very important! Regenera Activa or hair transplants are not the only treatments for hair loss in Singapore. Often, a combination of synergistic hair loss treatments is necessary for good results.
2. Cost is not everything! (Results are.)
Slowing down hair loss and maintaining a healthy hairline is a long-term financial commitment. Do not spend your hard-earned money on expensive non-medical treatments that may not work.
This being said, the cheapest option may not always be the best option too. Find a reasonably priced hair loss doctor so that you get results at a reasonable and sustainable price.
3. Location, location, location
Always seek customised treatments. The location and pattern of everyone’s hair loss is unique.
This is especially important for procedural hair loss treatments like Regenera Activa and Hair transplant surgery.
An expert hair doctor will customise injection sites so that you get the best results, especially at regions of greatest hair loss.
Hair loss is treatable. Choose your treatments wisely!
Dr Justin Boey’s practice of aesthetic medicine centres around the busy modern individual. He is experienced in Facial Aesthetics (lasers and injections) and hair loss treatments. Learn more about him here.
1. Phillips TG, Slomiany WP, Allison R. Hair Loss: Common Causes and Treatment. American family physician. 2017;96(6):371-378. Accessed May 9, 2019.
2. Sadick NS. New-Generation Therapies for the Treatment of Hair Loss in Men. Dermatologic clinics. 2018;36(1):63-67. doi:10.1016/j.det.2017.08.003