Microneedling is a popular treatment option which was first introduced for scar reduction treatment in the 1990s. Since its introduction, the number of uses for microneedling has grown as more and more professionals and patients use the treatment. At Cerulean Medical Institute, our team is on the cutting-edge of cosmetic treatments, with advanced training in cosmetic dermatology procedures such as microneedling, etc. Dr. Chetty and our skincare experts understand the multiple complexities and benefits of these treatment option, including its potential as a hair loss solution. Microneedling can be a good treatment option for patients dealing with adrogenetic alopecia, more commonly known as male-pattern or female-pattern baldness. Continue reading to learn more about microneedling for hair loss.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a process of creating tiny micro-channels in the skin using a series of ultra-fine needles. Through this process, the body’s natural healing response is stimulated. This means that new, healthy cells are created in response to the micro-channels created during the microneedling procedure. For this reason, microneedling has many applications when it comes to improving the skin’s appearance or growing healthier hair. The treatment triggers growth factors and stem cells for new, healthy tissue growth in the treatment area. In the skin, this means that new collagen is created, resulting in a more youthful appearance and improved elasticity. When used on the scalp, microneedling can help create thicker and healthier hair.
What is Androgenetic Alopecia?
Androgenetic alopecia is simply hair loss in men or women, typically as a result of genetics and the natural aging process. It is more commonly known as male-pattern or female-pattern baldness. This type of alopecia is known to have a genetic component. In men, the hair will typically begin thinning and receding at the crown or along the front of the hairline. In women, hair loss usually begins with the parting gradually widening due to overall thinning, though the front of the hairline typically remains unaffected. For both men and women, you may notice the hair shedding more than usual, especially when showering or brushing the hair, as androgenetic alopecia evolves. Androgenetic alopecia is very common but can be slowed with medication or treatments like microneedling.
How Microneedling Works to Improve Androgenetic Alopecia
Microneedling is more widely known for its benefits to the skin, working to generate new collagen for a smoother surface, improved elasticity, and reduced scarring or hyperpigmentation. However, the treatment stimulates new stem cell production in the hair follicles. This results in new hair growth for fuller, thicker, and healthier hair, helping to resolve thinning and hair loss in the treatment area.
Microneedling is also known to increase blood flow in the treatment area. When used on the scalp, this can help to speed hair growth, thicken the hair follicles, and repair damaged or traumatized cells.
In addition, the micro-channels created during the microneedling procedure allow for deeper absorption of topical treatments. This is widely used in skin treatments but can also be an added benefit to your existing hair loss treatments. Many patients choose to pair their microneedling with topical treatments such as minoxidil (Rogaine), serums, or shampoos to improve overall efficacy.
The Microneedling for Hair Loss Procedure
The first step of the microneedling for hair loss procedure is to ensure that you are a suitable candidate through a thorough consultation with Dr. Chetty. In order to be considered a good candidate for microneedling, you must be free from issues such as skin infections or eczema. In addition, while microneedling is effective in areas where the hair is thinning, it cannot create new hair follicles. This means that the area must have some degree of hair growth present, even if the hair is very fine or thin. Areas that are completely bald will not regrow hair due to microneedling. Dr. Chetty will evaluate the overall health of your scalp before selecting microneedling as your best treatment option.
Before the microneedling process begins, a topical numbing cream can be applied to the treatment area to keep you comfortable. This should be done at least 45 minutes before the treatment begins, so you may be asked to apply the numbing cream at home before you arrive to your appointment. The microneedles will then be administered by carefully stamping a handheld, medical grade pen-like tool along the treatment area. On average, this only takes about thirty minutes to complete. Total treatment time can vary depending on the size of the area. Once the microneedling has been completed, topical treatments are applied and the session is complete.
Most patients will require multiple microneedling sessions to achieve the best possible results. These can be scheduled about four weeks apart. While each patient’s needs will vary, a typical initial treatment plan includes 4-6 sessions total with maintenance treatment thereafter.
What to Expect After Microneedling for Hair Loss
After your microneedling treatment, you can expect the treatment area to be red or pink and mildly sensitive. Some topical treatments, including minoxidil, may also result in some itching or irritation. Your scalp will be photosensitive after microneedling for androgenetic alopecia, so you will be advised to apply SPF or wear a hat outdoors. Dr. Chetty will also give you directions to keep the treatment area clean and prevent infection or poor healing. Overall, the microchannels will quickly heal after your treatment session. You can expect most side effects to subside within a few days.
Results will be gradually noticeable as the microchannels heal and the hair follicles slowly grow new, healthy thicker hair. You can expect final results within about 4-6 weeks after your final treatment session. During your consultation, Dr. Chetty will explain reasonable expectations for your microneedling results.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are experiencing hair loss and curious to know if microneedling may be a good treatment option, schedule a consultation at Cerulean Medical Institute. Our skincare experts can evaluate your hair loss and recommend the best treatment for you. To schedule your appointment, call our Kelowna, BC office at (778) 402-3696 or contact us online.