|💉 Procedure: Minimally invasive
|⭐Results: After 6 weeks
|📅 Session frequency: Depends on needle size
|📈 Success rate: 80%
|💰 Cost: $200-$700
|💤Anesthesia: No need
Also known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) or skin needling, microneedling is a treatment for hair loss that triggers the healing process in the scalp. With this treatment, small punctures are made in the scalp to stimulate the production of stem cells and collagen.
With microneedling, the natural cycle of hair growth is supported. Thanks to numerous studies, its effectiveness in reducing hair loss, increasing hair density, and improving hair fiber diameter is recognized.
Let’s dive right in and uncover the key elements of microneedling:
- IT CAN BE PERFORMED BOTH IN A CLINIC OR AT HOME
- DERMAPEN AND DERMAROLLER ARE THE TWO TYPES OF MICRONEEDLING DEVICES
- SCALP MICRONEEDLING CAN BE COMBINED WITH MINOXIDIL, FINASTERIDE, AND PRP
What Is Microneedling for Hair Loss?
Microneedling is a procedure that encourages hair growth by triggering a healing response on the scalp. This is done by making small punctures on the scalp, tricking the body into thinking it’s injured.
As a result, the body produces more stem cells and collagen, supporting the cycle of hair growth.
Is Microneedling Effective?
Yes, microneedling has proven to be effective in eliminating hair loss. The following are just two of the many studies that support this argument.
🖋️ The first study from 2019 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology focuses on scalp microneedling for androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium, and suggests that this treatment not only reduces hair loss but also increases hair density and the diameter of hair strands.
🖋️ Another study by Dr. Robert S. in 2021 further supports the efficacy of microneedling as a useful complementary treatment for androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.
Can Microneedling Damage Hair Follicles?
Potentially, yes. Using the wrong needle length or applying excessive pressure during microneedling can cause damage to hair follicles by penetrating beyond the bulge, where stem cells are concentrated.
This can lead to scalp irritation, bleeding, and further harm to the hair follicles with repeated use.
Is Microneedling Safe?
Yes, microneedling is generally safe.
It’s important to choose a certified clinic instead of attempting microneedling at home to reduce potential risks, such as infection. Certified clinics ensure that a healthcare professional uses the correct needle length, and follows proper techniques and effective sterilization methods. This way, the risk of infection is minimal.
However, if you prefer at-home microneedling with a derma-roller, check if the needles are the right length. Make sure to clean both the tool and your scalp really well.
Does Microneedling Hurt?
Microneedling treatment for hair loss is generally tolerable and relatively painless. Some people might experience mild discomfort or a slight sunburn or scratch-like sensation during and after the procedure. However, the level of pain can differ depending on your pain tolerance, the specific device used, and the depth of the needles.
For patients with low pain tolerance, a numbing cream can be applied to make the procedure more comfortable. There are also some micro-needling devices with adjustable needle depth, allowing the treatment to be customized according to individual needs.
Is Microneedling Permanent?
No, microneedling is temporary, and you’ll likely need several sessions to see and maintain results. So, it’s not a one-time fix for hair loss—it’s more like a boost that needs upkeep. Think of it as a process where regular sessions help stimulate stem cells and encourage collagen production on your scalp. So, while it’s not a forever solution, consistent sessions can be beneficial for promoting hair health.
2 Types of Microneedling
There are two main types of microneedles:
⚠️ Dermapen is an automated microneedling device. It not only reduces trauma by allowing for greater precision but is also ideal for targeting hard-to-reach areas.
For best results and safety, it is recommended that Dermapen treatment is done in a professional setting, which is, why dermatologists are usually the ones who perform this procedure.
⚠️ Dermarollers are designed for home use. Unlike dermapen, it may not reach tricky areas effectively. Using the wrong needle size, applying too much pressure, or rolling at the wrong angle can cause damage.
Therefore, if you choose to use a dermaroller at home, it’s very important to follow your dermatologist’s instructions carefully to ensure safe and effective results.
Steps of Microneedling Procedure
How microneedling is done depends on the type of tool used.
- THOROUGHLY STERILIZING THE SCALP
- NUMBING SOLUTION, TOPICAL LOTION, OR SERUM APPLICATION
GENTLY MOVE THE PEN ACROSS THE AREAS WHERE YOU’RE EXPERIENCING HAIR THINNING.
- CLEAN THE SCALP PROPERLY
STERILIZE THE DERMAROLLER WITH ALCOHOL TO GET RID OF BACTERIA
IF YOU’RE USING A TOPICAL HAIR LOSS SERUM, APPLY IT TO YOUR SCALP BEFORE USING THE DERMAROLLER; OTHERWISE, MOVE ON TO THE NEXT STEP
ROLL THE DERMA ROLLER OVER BALDING AREAS IN THREE DIRECTIONS: FORWARD, BACKWARD, AND DIAGONALLY
- PRESS GENTLY
⚠️ Use dermaroller as often as your dermatologist suggests.
How Long Does Microneedling Last?
You can expect microneedling results to last around for about 6 months. This is because the body won’t stop producing stem cells and collagen. But, depending on your condition, just one session may not be enough. However, if you use a topical hair loss medication along with microneedling, the effects can last even longer.
🖋️ In fact, a 2015 study from the Department of Dermatology at LTM Medical School and General Hospital shows that patients who combined finasteride and 5% minoxidil with 6 months of microneedling maintained their results for 18 months.
How Often Should You Do Microneedling?
How often you should do microneedling depends on the size of the needles. If you’re using small needles, it’s okay to do it once a week. However, if you’re using larger needles, it’s recommended to wait 3-4 weeks between sessions.
Check the table below for the suggested microneedling frequency based on the needle size.
|1-3 TIMES A WEEK
|EVERY 2 WEEKS
|EVERY 3-4 WEEKS
⚠️ Keep in mind that these are just averages. So, be sure to talk to your dermatologist to find the most suitable option for you.
How to Decide the "mm" of the Needles' Size
You should decide on the needle size for hair microneedling to fit your own preferences:
- If you’re using a topical solution with microneedling, use 0.25mm to 0.5mm needles.
- If you believe hair follicle stimulation is suitable for you, try using 1.5mm.
As for the type of microneedle, use 1.0-1.5mm for microneedling rollers, and 0.6-0.8mm for microneedling pens. And remember, if you use shorter needles, it’ll speed up healing, making microneedling more often possible. So, more needles mean more inflammation and shorter sessions.
How Many Pins for Hair Loss?
Using 24-36 pin cartridge microneedles is likely to give better results for hair loss. Microneedles with this number of pins are quite dense, so they are suitable for the scalp and effective in stimulating the healing process.
Is It Safe to Do It At Home?
Trying microneedling at home can be risky, so it is important to be careful.
One of the main concerns is the possibility of infection. For example, a dirty roller can cause dirt to enter the hair follicles through the tiny holes made, leading to infection.
Pressing too hard during application or using the microneedling device too often can cause irritation, redness or even bleeding. These conditions can potentially damage your hair follicles and make it difficult to achieve the desired hair growth.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Microneedling
To decide whether microneedling meets your needs, it can come in handy to know its benefits and disadvantages. So, let’s talk about them briefly.
|BENEFITS OF SCALP
|INCREASES COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
|IMPROVES HAIR DIAMETER
|PROMOTES HAIR GROWTH
|REDUCES HAIR LOSS
|ENHANCES TOPICAL PRODUCT ABSORPTION
⚠️ Disadvantages are given according to the FDA.
Who Is A Good Candidate for Scalp Microneedling?
Scalp microneedling is a good option for people who experience:
- HAIR LOSS/THINNING
- ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA
- ALOPECIA AREATA
- TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM
- HAIR TRANSPLANT PATIENTS (NOT IMMEDIATELY AFTER SURGERY)
It may be difficult to decide on your own whether this procedure is suitable for you. For this, consulting a dermatologist will help you make a more precise decision.
Can You Do Microneedling While Pregnant?
Yes, you can benefit from microneedling even if you are pregnant, but it’s not very advisable as there is a risk of infection.
This process triggers the body’s healing process, which means an extra need for vitamins and minerals. Since these nutrients are essential for the baby’s development, it is safer to avoid microneedling during pregnancy.
How Much Is Microneedling?
The cost of microneedling ranges from $200 to $700 per session, with an average of around $500. However, it’s important to note that treatment prices can vary based on the location.
Consider countries like Turkey, where exchange rates can make things more affordable. In Turkey, a microneedling session costs around $250, offering a budget-friendly alternative.
Aftercare Routine for Microneedling
To get the desired results from microneedling sessions, you need to perform proper aftercare. This not only promotes optimal healing but also improves results and minimizes potential side effects.
- WAIT AT LEAST 4 HOURS TO WASH HAIR
- AVOID HAIR AND SCALP PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN HARSH CHEMICALS
- DON’T PUT ANY KIND OF PRESSURE ON THE AREA
- AVOID DIRECT SUNLIGHT
- AVOID INTENSE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
- DON’T TRY TO PEEL OFF THE SCALP SKIN IF IT STARTS TO PEEL, IT’S NORMAL
- SLEEP ON A CLEAN PILLOWCASE
- BE AWARE OF INFECTIONS
Is It Okay If It Bleeds During Microneedling?
Yes, a little bleeding during microneedling is considered okay. However, if it bleeds like a cut, then something may be wrong.
This may indicate that the needle size is not optimal, the pressure is not gentle enough or not enough time has passed between sessions.
Can I Wash My Hair After?
After a microneedling session, you should wait at least 8 hours to wash your hair. It’s actually even better if you wait more than 8 hours.
This is the time it takes for the scalp to heal after the procedure and for the scabs to form. When washing your hair, you should choose a mild shampoo and warm water for rinsing. This way you will reduce the risk of any irritation or infection.
Which Treatment Can Be Combined with Microneedling?
Microneedling has been proven to significantly increase hair growth when combined with other treatments such as topical minoxidil, topical finasteride, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
Researchers from the International Journal of Trichology conducted a study on how well microneedling and minoxidil work together to treat hair loss. The study showed that 80% of the participants noticed their hair growth increase by 50%. This suggests that combining microneedling with minoxidil seems to be a promising treatment for early cases of androgenetic alopecia.
 Dhurat R, Mathapati S. Response to microneedling treatment in men with androgenetic alopecia who failed to respond to conventional therapy. Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2015;60(3):260. doi:https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5154.156361
 English RS, Ruiz S, DoAmaral P. Microneedling and Its Use in Hair Loss Disorders: A Systematic Review. Dermatology and Therapy. 2021;12(1):41-60. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s13555-021-00653-2
 Gupta AK, Quinlan EM, Venkataraman M, Bamimore MA. Microneedling for Hair Loss. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2021;21(1):108-117. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.14525
 JOULAI VEIJOUYE S, YARI A, HEIDARI F, SAJEDI N, GHOROGHI MOGHANI F, NOBAKHT M. Bulge Region as a Putative Hair Follicle Stem Cells Niche: A Brief Review. Iranian Journal of Public Health. 2017;46(9):1167-1175. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5632317/
 Starace M, Alessandrini A, Brandi N, Piraccini BM. Preliminary results of the use of scalp microneedling in different types of alopecia. Journal of cosmetic dermatology. Published online 2019:10.1111/jocd.13061. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.13061
 Dhurat R, Sukesh M, Avhad G, Dandale A, Pal A, Pund P. A randomized evaluator blinded study of effect of microneedling in androgenetic alopecia: A pilot study. International Journal of Trichology. 2013;5(1):6. doi:https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-7753.114700
 Bazzano GS, Terezakis N, Galen W. Topical tretinoin for hair growth promotion. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 1986;15(4 Pt 2):880-883, 890-893. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/s0190-9622(86)80024-x
 Tran PT, Evron E, Goh C. Characteristics of Patients with Hair Loss after Isotretinoin Treatment: A Retrospective Review Study. International Journal of Trichology. 2022;14(4):125-127. doi:https://doi.org/10.4103/ijt.ijt_80_20