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Old 24th March 2010, 01:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tackling the problem head-on

Tackling the problem head-on



by Melissa Lwee


WITH more Asian men suffering from hair loss problems than ever before, there is now greater demand for hair transplants in the region. Or so believes the Japan- based hair transplant specialist company Toshka Holdings that has recently expanded its operations into Singapore.

'Asian men are suffering,' comments Kim Jae Yong, COO of Toshka. 'There is definitely a growing market for hair loss solutions.'

Indeed, according to research figures, Japan's hair loss industry is projected to grow to a whopping $7.23 billion by 2012 from $6.58 billion in 2007, while its Korean counterpart is expected to be worth $4.34 billion from $1.61 billion. At present, roughly 30-40 per cent of males in Singapore suffer from hair loss and Toshka believes that number will rise as well.

As a result, with an aim to become one of the leading groups for hair loss in the world, Toshka entered into a joint-venture agreement with ASG to run a hair transplant clinic at Paragon Medical Tower, targeting hair loss patients in the South-east Asian region. This will be the third country it has a presence in, following clinics in Japan (since 2003) and Korea (2007).

Given the proliferation of places in Singapore that claim to offer treatments for hair loss such as Yun Nam Haircare and Beijing 101, Toshka is not without competition. But Mr Kim explains that they have every faith that their patented hair transplant technology - Quick Hair Restoration System (QHR System) - will give them an edge.

'Some hair loss solution providers offer treatments that can prevent hair loss using medication such as Propecia, the consumption of which reduces DHT, a key cause of hair loss and Minoxidil, a topical liquid that helps to stimulate hair growth or slow balding but they don't offer a cure for hair loss,' points out Matsamitsu Onda, a surgical doctor with experience in almost 1,000 hair transplants.

'The only real cure for hair loss is a hair transplant. Medication should mainly be used either as a preventive measure or for transplant after-care purposes.'

At present, there are two main types of transplant methods available. The more conventional is Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS), which involves stripping off a clamp of skin at the back of your head and then dicing it before placing it into the affected bald area.

A newer method, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), employs no surgical knives; rather it uses a special piece of equipment to extract individual hair follicles from the back of one's head before transferring it to the bald area.

Toshka's QHR System is an upgrade on the latter method using an automated system to harvest the individual hair follicles before planting them in the bald section using a hand piece with tube punches. Mr Kim goes on to claim that it is less time consuming, less painful and more effective than the conventional methods.

QHR also provides higher implantation densities, resulting in more natural hairline results. There have been 13,000 successful cases in Japan and Korea, and is now available in Singapore at the Toshka- ASG clinic located at Paragon Medical Tower. At roughly $6,000 per transplant however, the cure doesn't come cheap. But Mr Kim remains confident that people will soon learn it is more cost-effective than visiting hair treatment centres in the long run.

'Non-medical treatments such as wigs are expensive, in that they have a lifespan of only one year so you have to keep replacing them,' Mr Kim points out. 'As for medications, while they do help to prevent hair loss, they can't help you if you already have a bald patch, not to mention the fact that they're expensive and the effects aren't permanent so you have to constantly use them.

'Hair transplant on the other hand is a permanent cure and solution. So if you think about it using a long-term perspective, it really makes more economic sense in the long run.'

Source: http://www.divaasia.com/article/8142

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