Microneedling For Hair Loss

Microneedling For Hair Loss

  • Best Results6 months+
  • Treatment Recovery1-2 days
  • Procedure Time20 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistNurse
  • Duration of ResultsStudies still ongoing
  • AnaestheticLocal
  • Back to Work1 day
  • Cost$-$$

Microneedling For Hair Loss

Microneedling is a simple, cost effective treatment for male & female pattern hair loss. Combined with medical management, it can deliver fast results. This page will discuss the evidence behind microneedling for various hair loss conditions & guide you through how to DIY microneedle at home (safely).

FactsFacts on Microneedling For Hair Loss

  • Microneedling is an effective treatment for male & female pattern hair loss
  • It works by stimulation of growth factors, stem cells & increasing blood flow to the scalp
  • Clinical studies have shown that this treatment works best with medical management of hair loss
  • In-clinic treatment uses 1.5 to 2.0 mm needles
  • DIY home treatments should be 0.2 to 0.25 mm derma rollers or stampers
  • Guidelines for in-clinic use is monthly for 6 months
  • PRP or platelet rich plasma is a useful adjuvant therapy, in combination with clinical microneedling

What is Microneedling For Hair Loss?

Microneedling is an established treatment used by dermatologists to provide microchannels in the upper & middle layer of skin & scalp. Microneedles can be delivered using rollers (typically with 128 to 256 needles) or with stamping (typically with 64 to 128 needles). Typical lengths range from 0.2 mm (home use) to 2.5 +mm (clinic use).

Microneedling can also provide heating energy, delivered through radiofrequency. RF microneedling is currently being researched for hair loss conditions, the results to date have been limited. More studies will emerge in the near future.

How does microneedling work?

This treatment works by stimulating hair follicle cells, in addition to improving scalp microcirculation (blood flow) & enhancing the penetration of topicals such as growth factors, minoxidil & finasteride.

Over time, this results in arrest of hair shedding/loss, & conversely increases in hair count & hair shaft diameter in both male & female pattern hair loss.

What forms of hair loss respond best to microneedling?

The majority of research has been on the use of microneedling for male & female pattern hair loss.

Mild to moderate hair loss responds best to this treatment. Microneedling will not  regenerate enough hair to cover a bald scalp. In this situation, FUE transplants can be considered.

Scalp microneedling can also be used to treat telogen effluvium & in alopecia areata as it can potentially arrest the sleeping or telogen cycle of hair & stimulate the growth or anagen cycle. Microneedling should be used with extreme caution in lichenoid, inflammatory & scarring hair loss as it can theoretically worsen the disease.

What does the evidence show?

New evidence in 2020/21 has shown that clinical microneedling can –

  • Cessation of hair loss
  • Markedly increase hair counts for male & female baldness.
  • Increases in hair shaft diameter in both sexes
  • Females respond slightly better to males
  • Male pattern hair loss in the frontal areas respond better to vertex (this is unusual as with most other treatments the reverse applies). 25% inc. in density compared to 17%.
  • Females have better response in the vertex (35%) compared to frontal areas (32%).
  • In all cases microneedling is adjunctive to medical management of hair loss.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Microneedling

This basic treatment can be highly effective in the management of many skin disorders including scarring, rejuvenation & hair loss. Despite a plethora of high-tech laser devices, I find myself performing manual microneedling on a daily basis- most often in the context of scar remodelling.

Evidence of microneedling for hair loss disorders is relatively new, namely studies over the past decade. To date, this procedure is most useful for the management of male & female pattern baldness followed by telogen effluvium (incl. Chronic Telogen Effluvium) & alopecia areata.

Most of our combinations at Cutis involve the use of PRP (platelet rich plasma) with 1.5 to 2.0 mm microneedles. In most cases we add LLLT or low level laser therapy 24 hours post treatment as this accelerates healing from the day prior, as well as adds to stimulation of hair follicles. The majority of my colleagues combine medical therapy with these treatments as it has been shown in the literature that multimodality treatments are most useful.

With more studies over the next few years, we will have a better understanding of optimal combinations, timing, needle depth & intervals. For now, microneedling is a useful & safe modality for many dermatological conditions.

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