Like millions of people in this pandemic, my wife, Fiqa, is now working from home, a space we’ve established early on as my office by default (I’m self-employed).
Now that we’re both “co-workers” in our modest 4-room BTO flat, we both have front-row seats to each other’s professional lives, and subtle aggressions we never discovered before.
I’m acutely aware that when your biggest complaint in the midst of a life-altering pandemic is that you get to spend more time with the people you love, you should be grateful. And I am.
But while my wife’s proximity is comforting, it’s also disconcerting.
One of Fiqa’s distinctive features is her long, thick, almost coarse, hair. Throughout the 10+ years that I’ve known her, I’ve seen her hair take shape in various styles and colours. From beachy waves to sleek rebonding and striking colours — I’ve seen it all.
What I’m not aware of — even after we’re married and moved in together — is the amount of hair she sheds daily. Sure, a few strands are to be expected, but now that she’s home more often, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that her hair loss is quite serious.
The build-up grows quickly — maybe two, three days into her working from home. The white tiles on our floor were the first to expose this sudden revelation, followed by hair clumps in the toilet, as well as trapped hairs on her brush.
It was not until our robo-vacuum choked on a mountain of hair that we agreed she needed to address the problem immediately.
Upon my suggestion, Fiqa agreed to visit Topp Care, a hair care centre in Eastpoint Mall. Understandably, Fiqa was apprehensive about hair and scalp treatments in general, but I assured her that Topp Care is legit.
Besides being certified by the US Trichology Institute, Topp Care is also a Member of the British Herbal Medicine Association which isn’t surprising as the products used are all made of high quality Western Botanicals i.e. natural plant-derived ingredients.
Upon reaching Topp Care, Fiqa was brought into a private consultation room where the branch manager, Helen, did a close-up analysis on her hair and scalp using a camera-mounted microscope.
What we saw next shocked us both. Let’s just say you don’t know your partner well until you’ve seen zoomed in shots of their scalp.
Fiqa’s hair follicles were visibly clogged with a white gel-like substance — “excessive sebum build-up,” Helen explained. In contrast, other parts of her scalp were dry and flaking, causing a slight occurrence of dandruff which I never noticed before.
While her hair is still generally healthy, the scalp buildup can cause hair loss if left untreated and the dead skin, oil, and sweat continue to clog the follicles, Helen advised.
Topp Care is able to customise their hair and scalp treatments based on individual’s hair and scalp conditions. Thus, there is no worries about not finding the appropriate treatment at Topp Care.
The hair treatment
With a better understanding of her scalp issues, Fiqa was then ushered to a privately enclosed area specifically for hijab-wearing clientele, for her customised treatment.
Step 1: The treatment began with a deep cleansing hair spray to prep the scalp for a thorough cleanse.
Step 2: Following that was the Detoxdren scalp mask. This treatment helps to regulate sebum production and removes blockages and residue around hair pores.
The hair specialist applied the pinkish mask with a subtle fruity scent, made from natural ingredients such as yeast extract and horse chestnut seed extract that helps improve blood circulation of the scalp, right at the roots of her hair. The mask was left on for 20 minutes to let all the oil, pollution particles and other residue loosen from the scalp.
Step 3: Fiqa was then whisked to the washing station to wash the dirt away with a botanical shampoo, made from ingredients such as Vitamin C-rich Mandarin Orange Extract and Horsetail Extract. “Hands down my favourite part,” Fiqa said as she received a thorough and sleep-inducing shampoo massage.
Step 4: Back at the armchair, a moisturising spray formulated with natural botanical ingredients was applied to the hair to keep it hydrated. This was followed by a lotion application to improve hair growth on every inch of the scalp.
Step 5: To allow for deep penetration of the botanical goodness in the location where it matters most, a stimulating head massage is employed next.
Step 6: Lastly, Fiqa’s hair was blow-dried with styling before a 10-minute session of Infra-Red Therapy was administered. This final step is crucial to aid in the absorption of nutrients into the follicles, as well as the regeneration of scalp cells and improved blood flow.
In all, the entire treatment was a well-spent 1.5 hours, from which Fiqa appeared visibly refreshed.
Back at the consultation room, Helen did another scan of Fiqa’s scalp for a follow-up assessment.
For the most part, her scalp looked much cleaner than before. Most, if not all, of the clogged follicles are clear of sebum and other debris. Helen pointed out that the hair roots are also much more apparent now, when before they were blocked by sebum. The icky dandruff was also visibly gone.
The before and after photos of Fiqa’s scalp below are indicative of how one session of hair treatment alone can deliver visible results. Of course, for sustainable results, subsequent treatments are more ideal.
At home, I noticed relatively less hair fall around the house for the next couple of days. The robo-vacuum also roamed about without a hitch, so all in all, I think the treatment has been a success.
To be frank, something as superficial as hair loss isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but I opine that a hair treatment can be a thoughtful gesture to help your partner cope with stress during COVID-19.
Just don’t do it on a first date 😉
If you’d like to try out a Topp Care treatment for yourself or even gift it to someone like I did, here’s a promotion for you.
Get a Customised Hair Treatment at S$40 (U.P S$309) + Free Hair/Scalp Analysis + Hair Care Kit.
Submit your interest here.
Photos taken by Izad Razi for The Halal Eater.