Microneedling for Hair Growth - Proven 4x More Effective Hair Re-Growth!
Male Pattern Baldness (MPB), also known as androgenetic alopecia, results in nearly 95% of hair loss in men. Studies show that by the age of 35, nearly two-thirds of American men will suffer from some degree of hair loss, and by the age of 55, nearly 85% of men will have significant thinning. As a result, we have a variety of options to treat hair loss using conventional methods - minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia) - but not everyone is a good candidate to hair loss medication. A growing number of people also avoid taking minoxidil and/or finasteride due to the possible side effects it can inflict. As a result, some people have sought different unconventional methods, one of which is microneedling.
In this post, I will explain the benefits of microneedling and how you can incorporate it into your weekly hair treatment regimen to stimulate hair growth!
I will also cover various research studies which show that microneedling for hair loss treatment is effective – especially one study that proves that microneedling in conjunction with minoxidil 5% results in 4x more effective hair re-growth! Towards the end, I will also explain the importance of microneedling your scalp properly to avoid and prevent any damage that might happen to the scalp.
What exactly is Microneedling?
Simply put, microneedling is a dermatological procedure involves the insertion of tiny needles with varying sizes to create wounds into the skin for the purposes of rejuvenation. Some common usages include treating scarring, acne, wrinkles, skin discoloration, and even stretch marks.
According to this study, hair growth induced by microneedling the scalp involves the following mechanism:
1. Release of platelet derive growth factor, epidermal growth factors are increased through platelet activation and skin wound regeneration mechanism.
2. Activation of stem cells in the hair bulge area under wound healing conditions which is caused by a derma roller.
3. Overexpression of hair growth related genes vascular endothelial growth factor, B catenin, Wnt3a, and Wnt10 b.
Microneedling: An Effective Treatment Method for Male Pattern Baldness
Many studies have been performed to confirm the efficacy of microneedling the scalp for hair re-growth. Let’s examine a couple studies done.
A Randomized Evaluator Blinded Study of Effect of Microneedling in Androgenetic Alopecia: A Pilot Study
A 2013 study was done on 100 men suffering from androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and were recruited to take part in a study which tested the effects of microneedling to promote hair growth.
The study was broken down into 2 groups: The first group was offered weekly microneedling treatment with topical application of 5% minoxidil twice a day (1mL per application).
The second group was offered only 5% minoxidil twice a day (1mL per application).
Both groups applied minoxidil 5% twice a day (total of 2mL), but the microneedling group would also receive a weekly treatment of microneedling using a 1.5mm derma roller. The participants microneedling on a weekly basis were advised not to apply minoxidil on the day of microneedling treatment, but resume application 24 hours after the procedure. This was to help avoid possible side effects with minoxidil.
Participants from both groups had their scalps shaved at the beginning of the study to ensure equal length of hair shaft in all, and hair count was done in 1 square centimeter targeted fix area on the scalp at baseline and at end of the treatment (week 12).
3 primary efficacy parameters assessed included: change from baseline hair count at 12 weeks, patient assessment of hair growth at 12 weeks, and investigator assessment of hair growth at 12 weeks. The response was assessed using a 7-point scale.
Here are the results of the 12 week study:
The thing to note is that both groups had used minoxidil 5% twice a day for 12 weeks, but the group that used minoxidil 5% in conjunction with microneedling saw significantly more hair growth in the same period than the minoxidil 5% - only group.
In fact, microneedling with minoxidil 5% saw this much more hair growth:
Baseline comparison in mean hair group in the microneedling group was relatively insignificant compared to the mean hair count in the minoxidil group, but a HUGE increase in mean hair count (+91) was seen at the end of 12 weeks for the microneedling + minoxidil 5% group.
In fact, the microneedling treated group had more than 4x mean hair count than the minoxidil treated group!
Does Microneedling ALONE Help With Hair Loss?
Now, some of you might be wondering if microneedling is effective without the use of any topicals such as minoxidil 5%, and the answer is YES! There actually is a study that was done to confirm that microneedling alone is still effective in hair regrowth. Let's take a look!
Randomized trial of electrodynamic microneedle combined with 5% minoxidil topical solution for the treatment of Chinese male Androgenetic alopecia. (2017)
In this 24 week study, a total of 60 men were broken down into 3 equal groups (n=20) to evaluate the efficacy of treating Chinese male androgenetic alopecia using microneedling combined with 5% topical minoxidil solution.
Group 1 (20 subjects) received topical 5% minoxidil twice a day;
Group 2 (20 subjects) received microneedling treatments every 2 weeks (total of 12 microneedling treatments);
Group 3 (20 subjects) received microneedling treatments (every 2 weeks) with 5% minoxidil twice a day.
The results were stunning.....
The improvement in total hair density from baseline to 24 weeks resulted in the following:
Group 1 (topical 5% minoxidil): 18.8 cm2
Group 2 (microneedling only every 2 weeks): 23.4 cm2
Group 3 (microneedling + minoxidil 5%): 38.3 cm2
It clear to see that microneedling with topical minoxidil 5% resulted in the best hair growth, but this study also confirms that microneedling by itself is more effective in regrowing hair than a standalone treatment of topical minoxidil 5%.
How to Use Microneedling for Hair Growth
If you want to being microneedling for hair growth, you have a couple options: a derma roller or a derma pen.
The derma roller is one of the most affordable and commonly microneedling devices to promote hair growth. It contains a needle-laden rolling pin attached to a handle that can be easily maneuvered on the scalp.
The other option is a derma pen, which is a motorized device that provides more consistent results than a derma roller. It also allows for faster oscillation to glide effortlessly across the skin and scalp, without causing any damage.
You can watch my YouTube videos below on how to use the derma roller as well as the derma pen.
Microneedling Before/After Transformations
Microneedling is a proven method to stimulate hair growth in men and women suffering from androgenetic alopecia by stimulating blood circulation throughout the scalp, inducing hair stem cell growth factors to promote hair growth, and increasing the proliferation of collagen.
Whether you use microneedling in conjunction with other hair loss medications such as minoxidil or finasteride, it will definitely provide a big boost you need in halting and possibly reversing hair loss.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on microneedling!