What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a treatment used for both skin problems and hair loss. A microneedling procedure is performed with a special tool – a device with a small handle connected to a rotating cylinder. The microneedling tool’s cylinder is covered with tiny needles, which roll over the surface of the skin on the face or scalp during the procedure. These needles create minuscule tears, prompting the skin to start healing itself. Microneedling is intended to strengthen the skin by increasing the production of the proteins collagen and elastin.
Who Is Microneedling For?
This treatment can be beneficial if you struggle with any of the following issues:
- Acne scars. By increasing your skin’s cellular turnover rate and boosting the production of collagen and elastin, microneedling can help to minimize the appearance of scarring left behind by breakouts. Post-breakout scarring can be stubborn and severe, and topical treatments like non-prescription creams and gels may not be enough to get rid of your scars completely. If you are dealing with severe acne scarring, your dermatologist may recommend that you undergo multiple microneedling sessions in their office.
- Wrinkles. These telltale signs of aging appear on your skin as the production of collagen and elastin slow down over the years. As you get older, the decrease in the production of these proteins can make your skin less firm and cause it to start sagging. This decrease can lead to wrinkles, but microneedling can help your skin get back to a healthy rate of collagen and elastin production. Dermatologists often use microneedling sessions to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging.
- Hair Loss. Microneedling is a procedure that is often performed on the face, but you can also get your scalp microneedled to treat hair loss. The treatment can be especially effective against androgenic alopecia, also known as pattern hair loss. The parts of your head that are affected by androgenic alopecia can be treated with microneedling sessions to stimulate hair growth and make your scalp more responsive to treatment with other topical hair loss prevention treatments.
Can You Microneedle at Home?
Microneedling is commonly performed by a skincare professional. However, you can alternatively purchase your own microneedling tool and treat hair loss at home. At-home and professional microneedling both have pros and cons, and it’s worth knowing what to expect before you decide on either.
- At-home microneedling is cheaper, but may not be as safe. The cost of a microneedling tool is a fraction of the price of one professional microneedling session. If you opt to buy your own microneedling tool, you can save hundreds of dollars over time. However, at-home microneedling may not be as safe or sanitary as professional sessions from a dermatologist. If you choose to perform microneedling treatments at home, make sure to keep the process as sanitary and safe as possible.
- Microneedling at home may not be as effective. A dermatologist is professionally trained to administer microneedling treatments. They know exactly what to do to treat your scalp with a microneedling tool without causing injuries or putting you at risk of infection. In contrast, microneedling at home is not only less safe, but potentially less effective as well. If you are willing to make the investment, professional microneedling sessions may yield better results.
- Professional microneedling can cost hundreds of dollars, and you may need follow-up treatments. If you are dealing with severe hair loss, your dermatologist may ask you to show up for multiple microneedling treatments before their work is done. Follow-up microneedling sessions are typically four to six weeks apart, and they tend to cost as much as your initial treatment. You can end up spending several thousand dollars on microneedling treatments from your dermatologist once the cost of initial and follow-up treatments are added up. While the treatment can be highly effective, you’ll need to decide whether the cost of professional microneedling is feasible for you.
Microneedling: Before and After
The results of professional microneedling treatments can vary depending on multiple factors.
- If your hair loss is more severe, it may take longer to see results from microneedling. Hair loss that has progressed significantly can require multiple microneedling treatments before new growth starts appearing. If you are not satisfied with the results from an initial microneedling treatment, talk to your dermatologist. They may recommend that you undergo follow-up treatments to continue stimulating hair growth.
- Microneedling for hair loss can be more effective when used alongside minoxidil. Minoxidil is an FDA-approved topical hair loss treatment that can be used in conjunction with microneedling to combat androgenic alopecia. The tiny cuts created by microneedling can make your hair follicles more receptive to treatment with minoxidil, potentially making your hair loss prevention regimen even more effective. However, the combination of minoxidil and microneedling can also sometimes lead to side effects. Minoxidil has been known to cause dryness and irritation of the scalp, and microneedling can sometimes make these side effects worse. Make sure to nourish and hydrate your hair while using these two hair loss prevention treatments together. You can provide your hair and scalp with soothing hydration by using GroMD’s shampoo and conditioner.
- Your results may vary depending on whether you undergo professional microneedling or perform the treatment yourself. As we’ve already discussed, microneedling at home is not necessarily the same as getting treated professionally by a dermatologist. Chances are, you do not have the same level of experience and expertise that your dermatologist does when it comes to microneedling. Instead of relying on your own limited ability to perform microneedling treatments, it may be better to get treatments from your dermatologist instead to maximize the effectiveness of microneedling for hair loss prevention.
- Microneedling can take several months to produce results. Studies have shown that microneedling treatments can be effective against hair loss. However, the results of trials with microneedling and other topical hair loss prevention treatments are often measured several months after initial treatments are administered. As is the case with any form of hair loss prevention treatment, patience is key with microneedling. You may need to undergo several months of treatments before you start noticing new growth appearing in the thinned-out parts of your hair.
Hair Care While Microneedling
To take the best possible care of your hair while microneedling, follow these simple tips.
- Shampoo and condition your hair daily. GroMD’s hydrating, nourishing shampoo and conditioner combo can help keep your hair healthy while you undergo microneedling treatments. The growth-boosting, DHT-blocking ingredients in our proprietary formula can also help to offset any dryness or irritation that you may experience from minoxidil and microneedling. You can use GroMD shampoo and conditioner the same way you’d use any other daily wash – simply lather up, let the mixture sit in your hair for a few minutes, rinse out, and you’re done.
- Manage your stress. High levels of stress can have a negative impact on hair growth. If you are undergoing microneedling treatments and taking other proactive steps to prevent hair loss, make sure to do whatever you can to keep stress in your life to a minimum.
You can find GroMD’s hair care products, including our shampoo and conditioner, on our website. In addition, you can visit our blog to learn more about minoxidil, microneedling, and other hair loss prevention treatments covered in this article. If you have any questions about preventing and reversing hair loss, we’re here to help.
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.