Microneedling (dermarolling) is a dermaroller cosmetic procedure that has been around for a long time. Initially, microneedling (dermarolling) was used to treat scars and other skin conditions. However, there have been some clinical studies that showed some promising results for the treatment of androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). In this article, we will go over microneedling (dermarolling) as a potential treatment for hair loss.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling also known as dermarolling is a cosmetic procedure that involves repeatedly puncturing the skin with with the use of a dermaroller. The purpose of the treatment was to initially generate new collagen and make skin tissue smoother and firmer. In the beginning, microneedling (dermarolling) was used to treat acne scars, stretch marks and other unsightly skin conditions. The treatment is thought generate collagen production and induce different healing properties that reduce scarring and visible skin marks.
How Does Microneedling Apply To Hair Loss
While microneedling (dermarolling) is widely used as an anti-aging skin or scar treatment, it has gained popularity for the treatment of genetic hair loss. Theoritically, the collagen and healing properties that is induced by creating tiny wounds in the skin is thought to also regnerate miniaturizing hair follicles. Additionally, it is believed that microneedling (dermarolling) may induce stem cells in the scalp, which can lead to hair re-growth and regeneration. In addition, the use of microneedling (dermarolling) may also promote the absorption of FDA approved topical hair loss solution Rogaine (minoxidil). There have been some studies that also suggest microneedling (dermarolling) may reduce hair follicle inflammation usually associated with alopecia areata an auto-immune condition.
How Is Microneedling Used For Hair Loss?
Generally, dermarollers come in needle sizes ranging from 0.25 and 3 millimeters (mm) long. However, for hair loss purposes most use a 0.5mm dermaroller. The dermarolling device is rolled along the thinning/balding area, creating tiny punctures. As the micropunctures heal, the skin produces more collagen and healing properities, this is what is thought to strengthen and reinvigorate the hair follicles. The treatment time varies from individual to individual and is based on the size of the area being treated. However, most hair loss sufferers use the dermaroller for 15-30 minutes per session with low to medium pressure.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Microneedling (dermarolling) itself can cause bruises and some minor scabbing depending on the force applied to the dermaroller. There is also a risk of infection if the dermaroller is not being sterilized prior to use. Additionally, because of the micro-trauma to the scalp, there is a risk of telogen effluvium (shock loss). Telogen effluvium (shock loss) is a short-term form of hair loss that is induced by stress, trauma or a surigcal procedure. Generally, telogen effluvium (shock loss) subsides and resolves on it's own. However, telogen effluvium (shock loss) can cause an appearance of temporary baldness/thinning. Therefore, individuals who are unfamiliar with the microneedling (dermarolling) process should limit the amount of time and pressure they use the dermaroller on their scalp for the treatment of hair loss.