A few years back microneedling became all the rage for skin improvements including collagen rebuilding, acne scar fading, and general renewal.
But, as it turns out, these tiny needles may impart some benefits on your hairline as well.
Below, we will cover the basics of microneedling for hair loss, including what it is actually doing to help improve your hair, and what studies have shown about hair loss and microneedling.
The benefits to the hair from microneedling possibly come from a few different things:
Just as when microneedling is done on the face -- these tiny needles can stimulate more collagen production in the skin of your scalp. Why does your scalp need more collagen, you ask?
Well, collagen makes up 75-80% of your skin, making it a pretty important element for strength and structure, but it can start declining in your mid-20s to 30s. In your scalp, this helps provide a solid scaffolding for your follicles to reside and grow healthy hair. If collagen is lacking in your scalp you may deal with slowed hair growth or dormant follicles.
If you haven’t caught on yet, blood flow is so important to the health of everything in your body, including your hair follicles. More blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients being supplied -- which means the follicles are getting all the supplies they need to grow strong, healthy, and beautiful hair.
Microneedling provides an immediate surge of blood flow to the scalp, since the body is opening up vessels to rush blood in to those micro punctures you just created.
Studies have shown that microneedling the scalp can stimulate the stem cells deep inside the hair follicles, and these stem cells in turn then stimulate the production of growth factors. All of this may mean that healthy hair growth may receive a boost.
If you are already using a medicated topical hair loss treatment like Minoxidil or Finasteride gel (or a combination Minoxidil + Finasteride gel), you may get better penetration and results from your product by applying it after a microneedling session.
Your hair follicles are located about 1-2mm deep into your scalp, so it makes sense that using a microneedler can help the medication access the follicles more directly. This technique is commonly used in hair loss restoration clinics.
We still need more studies to see exactly how beneficial microneedling is for hair loss treatment, and which additional topical ingredients may be the most effective when used in conjunction. But, the information that we do have so far is promising.
One study had 100 participants dealing with hair loss apply 5% Minoxidil twice daily, or 5% Minoxidil twice daily plus a weekly microneedling session. After 12 weeks, the microneedling group displayed significantly more improvements on a visual scale than the group using Minoxidil alone. The mean positive change in hair count increased in 91.4% of the microneedling + Minoxidil group, while only 22.2% of the Minoxidil only group had a mean positive hair count increase. Also, 82% of the microneedling group had an over 50% visual scale improvement vs. only 4.5% reporting a more than 50% improvement in the Minoxidil-only group.
Here at Strut Health we offer a variety of topical prescription hair loss formulations containing ingredients like Minoxidil, Finasteride, Dutasteride, Spironolactone, and Tretinoin. You can have a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation in 10-15 minutes with our U.S. licensed doctors to see if a hair loss formula is a good fit for your hair goals. Our doctors can order a formulation specific to your needs and goals, using one or more prescription ingredients that are appropriate for you.
Your prescription hair loss formulation can then be shipped to you with our free shipping. Some of our patients combine their formulations with microneedling to help increase the permeation and potential effects of the medications. Ask our doctors if microneedling is appropriate for use with your custom topical formulation.