For years, we've heard of top scalp treatment centres using cold lasers, radiofrequency and iontophoresis, with impressive names and equally impressive effects on hair growth. Recently however, a revolutionary new technology has emerged, which seems to have pushed the boundaries for effectiveness of hair and scalp treatments even further, while also being almost pain-free: Scalp Electroporation (SEP).
Here's why this new technology is currently even more effective than the abovementioned alternatives for promoting hair growth:
We often hear hair treatment centres promoting the use of high quality ingredients or even stem cells to nourish your scalp. While all this is well and good, the sad reality is that most of these ingredients have little effect. The reason is that once they are applied, they sit uselessly within the superficial layers of the skin, instead of being absorbed deep into your scalp where they need to go to cause a perceptible difference.
Scalpelectroporation, on the other hand, makes the skin tissues permeable to macromolecules, by utilizing the skin's water-based channels to allow ingredients to transdermally penetrate. It then uses varying pulse energy to deliver serum into the subcutaneous layer of the skin to stimulate hair restoration, deeper than even Radiofrequency and Mesotherapy.
According to Papilla Haircare - a homegrown hair care and hair beauty centre that works with labs in Korea to harvest EV-cytokines - SEP has been clinically shown to be highly effective in producing 38% more hair cell growth in 28 days, complete cell restoration in 55 days, and ultimately, 600 per cent improvement in hair thickness when used together with the correct treatment ingredients. You can see the effects from the moment you shower after the first treatment: You'll notice the hair-fall during the shower will be substantially substantially less than before, if not even zero.
This is largely because of the ingredients we mentioned, which in Papilla's case, are cultured EV-Cytokines which are proven to have bio-signalling effects. They kickstart existing hair cells into action to reverse aging, improve blood circulation and promote hair growth. By delivering the EV-Cytokines to the subcutaneous level where the papilla is found, hair can then be activated to grow in the most efficient way.
Unlike Mesotherapy (a sort of micro-needling) which is minimally invasive (micro-needles are, after all, still needles), SEP is absolutely non-ablative and non-invasive. This means that it's extremely safe, with no trauma caused to our already delicate scalps. Furthermore, Papilla Haircare’s SEP treatment is an FDA approved procedure that is a true alternative to injections.
You may experience a tingling sensation but as most customers would report, the pain is much less than other effective treatments out there - on a pain scale of 10, SEP rates at 1 (compared to 2 for Radiofrequency and 3 for Mesotherapy.)
As Agent G has a high pain threshold, she can actually go for the highest penetration level without even flinching.
First timers like poor Agent JT (pictured above) may however still find the prickling a touch uncomfortable.
The SEP procedure isn't just great at reducing hair loss, it helps to alleviate early to advanced stage Alopecia (Level 1 to 6) as well as specific conditions such as Involutional Alopecia, Androgenic Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, Telogen Effluvium and Scarring Alopecia. As long as the pore remains to deliver treatment ingredients through, hair follicles can be targeted using SEP treatment.
Even those who have gone for hair transplants will find Scalp Electroporation useful for post-transplant recovery. Chances of follicle transplants falling out can be high if they aren't properly taken care of. However, Papilla’s EV-cytokine therapy helps to strengthen and nurture the transplant's growth.
Since the SEP Activator for hair loss treatment delivers serums on a subcutaneous level instead of to the bloodstream, it's perfectly safe for breastfeeding moms, as compared to other treatments.
Of course, we wouldn't get you to just take our word for it. So last month, we dispatched Agent JT to experience SEP at Papilla Haircare, possibly one of Singapore's most advanced hair growth centres.
Hi, I'm Agent JT, and I'm a freelance performer. My job means my hair is constantly changing - big ringlets, flat-ironed sheets, streaks, no-nonsense buns - all have once made their happy homes on my head. It's hard to get attached to any one style when your look is not your own. The only idea I'm really attached to is the one where I keep having hair.
My hair was twisted into all these different shapes within the same week!
So I was a little concerned to see more and more of it leaving me for the shower drain since last year. But not that concerned, since stylists were always complaining my hair was too thick and hard to style. I figured my follicles were too tough to ever die off completely. All the same, when Agent G asked if I wanted to try out a Treatment Centre which offered high-tech, award-winning treatments for a celebrity clientele, I was immediately intrigued. And when I googled it and saw it used patented cell culture recipes including unpronounceable growth factors, delivered into the scalp using different funky surgery-free, needle-free methods, and that it was endorsed by the beautiful Kim Lim, I thought: Scalp, this is your chance to taste the high life.
And off to Papilla Haircare - Hair Loss and Treatment Centre my scalp and I went.
With dove-grey velvet and subtle gold accents plus a shelf instagrammable installation made up of numerous sparkly lab flasks and pipes, Papilla's vibe was a surprising combination of swanky and scientific. And manning the counter were two gentlemen with full, funky hair and perhaps the most beautiful eyebrows I have ever seen. Apparently, while Papilla focuses on getting your hair growing, it has immediate fixes for where your hair is not growing quite how you want as well, such as your eyebrows, or even your eyeline, or your scalp. Master micro-pigmentation artist Cecilia Chng is in charge of these services for Singapore's celebrities, and these two gents, who were certainly convincing billboards.
But I was here for the scalp treatment. So while I drank some hot green tea, I filled in a two-page form about my hair habits, any form of hair loss I might have noticed, and other quick questions like how often I washed my hair, what time I did, etc. Then I was escorted to a treatment room by the therapist Calvy, who thoughtfully made sure my unfinished green tea came along with me.
Calvy was extremely friendly and we had a good jokey chat about my hairwashing habits - apparently you are supposed to blowdry your hair especially when the roots are as thick as mine, even though it's late by the time I get to it and I'm lazy as anything. She laughed when I said I didn't use hair tonics, used very hot water to wash my head and often slept with my head still damp. She said she understands, though I might want to reconsider if I want to keep it as thick as it currently seems. She then scanned my scalp with a special device that also takes highly magnified photos, and that was when I got a little alarmed.
There was a thick layer of translucent gunk on my scalp surface. The hair strands that managed to poke their way through were also coated in it. And while in certain areas the hairs grew in twos and threes from each follicle, certain follicles produced only one strand, and these were thin and pale. Calvy told me that these had been nutrient starved because of the congestion of my scalp, which the trapped humidity from me not blow-drying my hair couldn't have helped. It wouldn't happen all at once, but the more congested my scalp got, the more hairs would continue to suffer: Growing out weak, turning prematurely white, and eventually falling off. And as my shower drain informed me, this process had already sneakily started.
So thank goodness for science and a difficult-to pronounce scalp treatment! Papilla Haircare has a range of effective hair regrowth treatments delivering medically proven, patented concoctions containing growth factors to the hair cells in your scalp. Because my scalp wasn't too sensitive or irritable, I was suitable for the one right at the top of the line, available nowhere else in Singapore - Scalp Electroporation or S.E.P Activator therapy.
Instead of surgical or invasive procedures to deliver the super serums into my scalp, this one used gentle electrical currents to affect the skin cells on my scalp and make them briefly more permeable to the magical macromolecules in their drugs - 17 times more permeable, to be specific. While Papilla's other hair-loss treatments were also relatively gentle - ranging from mesotherapy to Radiofrequency - this was the treatment that would allow the medicines to penetrate the deepest.
First, Calvy led me to a private room (again, the tea came along, topped up this time) and plonked me in a plush automated reclining leather chair, which whirred to the correct height for her to carefully apply a gentle exfoliator to my, well, scalp.
Then, she put on a showercap to let my head marinate in the goodness for awhile.
She then proceeded to wash my hair, with the thoroughness that I never manage at home.
Apparently, you're supposed to start off washing around your ears and then scrub upwards to the crown, whereas I'd always been doing it the other way round. Also, it was best to repeat the process at least once: meaning 2x (shampoo, lather, scrub, rinse off).
I never had, and I certainly do not give myself the deliciously firm neck massage Calvy thew into the washing process.
She had used some special Papilla concoctions both during and after the wash, and told me it might feel a little minty. It did. Then she went over my scalp with a special misting, oxygenating device to facilitate absorption, and it felt very very minty.
Then, it was time for the S.E.P Activation. She wheeled in the Scalpelectroporation machine which looked a bit like a touchscreen tablet connected to a barcode scanner, except the barcode was my head. Some beeping sounds ensued as she toggled the settings, and ran the scanner-looking thing over my head.
I'm not going to lie, it stung a little bit, as you can probably tell from my glamorous picture.
It felt and sounded like somebody drumming tiny prickly fingersnails firmly on my skin. But after I shamelessly said 'ow' a few times, Calvy asked if I wanted her to turn down the settings, and duly did. And then it was okay.
In a matter of about three minutes, my scalp - originally damp with special solution - was dry. It had been completely absorbed!
To complete the process, I was given sunglasses which not only made me look swag, but to protect my eyes as the automatic recliner was once again adjusted to place my head under a device emitting red LED light (to further encourage growth) and blue light (to calm existing irritation.)
Finally, Calvy gave my hair a quick, gently warm blow-dry, and in a matter of minutes my permed hair was perfect.
I couldn't tell for sure, but my scalp did feel cleaner, and the treatment did seem to make my hair less limp and more manageable if it so quickly fell into the shape that I hadn't managed to regain since I walked out of the salon just following the initial perm. Only one way to find out.
Returning to the consultation room, Calvy proceeded to scan my newly SEP-ed scalp.
I looked at the monitor and I asked if she had actually just replaced my scan with model scalp scans she had in her database. She reassured me she had not, which meant that the gunk previously coating my scalp - made up of oil and dead skin cells - had cleared, as had the same sebum previously slathered on the base of the hair strands. The follicles looked clearer and ready for new hair growth to emerge.
I got a better idea of why Papilla had over 4000 happy customers, plus a nice collection of awards, to date. And with that, Calvy released me into the world, but not before I stared too obviously at a socialite on her way in, and complimented the eyebrows of the gentlemen at the counter on my way out.
I am extremely lazy when it comes to my hair, becuase it hasn't presented me with any obvious problems so far. But a quick session at Papilla Haircare has shown me that there were some potentially serious ones about to sneak up on me, or that possibly already have. I was also reassured that they had scientific solutions to fix me if I was too far gone, and thought about some of my performer friends who had spent small fortunes on ineffectual treatments in the past trying to preserve their thinning hair so they wouldn't lose work.
I was confident that I would go home and recommend Papilla to them.
In the meantime, I was still thinking really hard about getting those micropigmented eyebrows.