Age-related hair loss is an extremely common problem (for both men and women), and it can have a significant effect on your self-confidence. Until relatively recently, there have been only two ways of treating this issue: topical/oral over-the-counter medications, or painful and costly hair transplants — neither of which guarantee results.
However, new research shows that microneedling — which we offer here at MedBeautyLA — is an effective, minimally-invasive approach to hair loss and can work significantly better than the traditional “go-tos.”
What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a procedure most-commonly associated with anti-aging and skin care. It involves using small needles to create tiny “micro-injuries” to the face, which stimulates collagen during the healing process — resulting in a plumper, more youthful appearance (if you want to learn more about microneedling as an anti-aging tool, you can read about it here).
However, the latest research has found that applying this same method to the scalp works as a treatment for hair loss. This is because microneedling helps traditional over-the-counter treatments be better absorbed by the scalp while also stimulating blood circulation and cell production.
A study shared by the National Institute of Health showed that the hair count on men who were treated with both microneedling and a 5% minoxidil lotion (the active ingredient in most over-the-counter hair-loss creams) over a 12-week period was “significantly greater” than the hair count on men who used only 5% minoxidil in that same time. What’s more, 82% of the microneedling + minoxidil group experienced more than 50% improvement in hair growth, compared to only 4.5% in the minoxidil-only group. Furthermore, this was an evaluator-blind study, meaning that the researchers assessing the “before and after” results did not know which group they were evaluating.
To put these results into context, the average hair transplant does not guarantee that any of the hair you transplant will continue to regrow post-op (you can hopefully expect a 60% regrowth rate at best), and the procedure can cost well over $10,000 (not to mention entails a lot of pain, discomfort, and recovery time).
What You Can Expect When You Get Microneedling to Treat Hair Loss
Many clients are (understandably!) nervous when they hear the words “needles” and “skin” in the same sentence. In reality, microneedling the scalp is a minimally-invasive procedure and most people experience only mild discomfort. You’ll likely experience some redness and tenderness for several days after your session, but can otherwise resume all normal activities as soon as you leave the office. We recommend that clients book a minimum of six treatments over an eight-week period, with full protocol being 15 sessions over 24 weeks. You can expect results in as early as eight weeks.
Still nervous? Check out our blog entry on Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Microneedling.