Over 80 million American men and women suffer from hereditary hair loss. While it’s nice to know you’re not alone, that doesn’t make it any less distressing. And you’ve probably tried just about everything you can think of. But don’t give up! Have you ever heard of microneedling for hair loss?
If not, we’ve put together a guide to help you better understand what this process is and if it might just be the treatment you’ve been searching for!
Here is everything you need to know about microneedling for hair loss:
So…what is microneedling for hair loss?
Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that involves making pin-pricks on the skin with tiny sterilized needles. The tiny wounds inflicted stimulate your body’s collagen and elastin production. This heals your skin and can help make it look younger.
Microneedling got its start in the 1990s as a scar treatment. Because of its effects on the appearance of the skin, this technique began to be applied as an anti-aging skin treatment.
But over time, healthcare professionals began to realize its effectiveness could also be applied towards the problem of hair loss. There is even some evidence of this method being successfully used to treat the specific type of hair loss called alopecia areata, which has previously been understood to be irreversible.
In the same way that small wounds are made in the skin to stimulate healing and improvement in the treatment area, microneedling is also believed to cause regeneration in the health of hair follicles in the scalp. It is believed that the reactivation of these regenerative properties in the hair follicles can stimulate new hair growth and perhaps even thicken thinning hair due to male pattern baldness.
It is also believed that using the process of microneedling in conjunction with the application of minoxidil (Rogaine) afterward increases the absorption and, therefore, the effectiveness of the minoxidil. This can further enhance and hasten the desired regenerative effects.
How does microneedling for hair loss work, and what can you expect?
Microneedling is a very simple and quick procedure. The time it takes depends on the size of the area being treated. But most treatments average only about ten minutes or less!
Afraid of needles? It’s not as bad as you might think. There are no scary syringes here. A tool called a derma roller is used. A derma roller is a handheld roller that has tons of teeny tiny needles on it that are only around 1mm in length.
Your healthcare professional will first sterilize the needles, and then use this tool to roll the needles over the target area. The tiny pricks create the small wounds that activate the regenerative properties of your scalp and hair follicles.
In some instances, your healthcare professional may topically apply a mild local anesthetic about 45 minutes before the procedure to numb the area to prevent any pain. But this is not always necessary, as the procedure is not generally perceived to be too painful.
As with any medical or cosmetic procedure, some possible side effects need to be addressed when considering microneedling for hair loss.
First of all, always consult with a healthcare professional before considering any type of medical or cosmetic procedure, even only a mildly invasive one such as microneedling.
Since there are actually tiny wounds being made, some of the possible side effects of the microneedling procedure itself at the treatment site could include:
And anytime a needle is used, there is always the risk of infection at the site if proper sterilization techniques are not used for the procedure.
Some things to also keep in mind and share with your healthcare provider is whether you might have a preexisting condition that slows healing such as diabetes. You also need to disclose if you are taking any medications, but especially any that are blood thinners.
Since the procedure initiates your body’s inflammatory response, you can possibly expect the treatment area to be a little red and inflamed for just a few days. But these side effects will usually diminish within no more than 5 days from the procedure.
So here’s the big question. How effective is microneedling for hair loss, really?
The truth is that effectiveness of the treatment is difficult to predict because each person’s body and preexisting conditions respond differently to microneedling.
However, a study in 2012 did show that 82% of patients reported more than 50% improvement within 12 weeks. With such significant numbers, the effectiveness of microneedling for hair loss is very promising.
Curious to learn more about trying out microneedling for hair loss yourself? Give us a call today to schedule a visit and talk to one of our dedicated professionals about how we can help you say goodbye to thinning hair!