Yes, hair loss is a natural part of aging for most people, but it isn’t necessarily a welcome one. If you are unhappy with your head of hair and aren’t interested in Rogaine or other topical treatments, there’s another option. It’s called micro-needling, and people who have tried it have seen follicle regeneration, new hair growth, and the thickening of hair.
If you are unhappy with your head of hair and aren’t interested in Rogaine or other topical treatments, there’s another option. It’s called micro-needling, and people who have tried it have seen follicle regeneration, new hair growth, and the thickening of hair.
So just what is micro-needling?
Micro-needling is best known as a cosmetic treatment used on the face to regenerate skin cells and brighten the skin’s overall appearance. It has been used to address various signs of aging because it helps to increase collagen production in the skin.
Collagen is what keeps the skin elastic and full. And it turns out our scalp is just like the skin on our face. It loses collagen over time, which results in slow hair growth and dormant hair follicles, so it makes sense that practitioners have turned to using micro-needling on the scalp as well.
What happens when you get a micro-needling treatment?
About 45 minutes before treatment, your doctor or licensed skincare practitioner will apply a topical anesthetic to your scalp to reduce any pain you may feel.
When the skin is numb, the practitioner will roll a skin roller with small needles over targeted areas of your scalp. These needles range between 0.25 and 3 millimeters long.
The needles go deeper than other treatments, which only target the skin’s surface. They extend into the middle layer of skin.
The small needles cause minor skin injuries, which cause minor inflammation. The body’s natural response is to stimulate collagen production. The micro-injuries also bring blood flow and nutrients to the scalp and grow new stem cells that support hair growth.
Depending on the size of the treatment area, the active portion of the treatment may take as little as 30 minutes. After the treatment is complete, the practitioner may apply a soothing balm or serum to the area to alleviate inflammation and discomfort of the micro-injuries.
What do I need to do after my scalp is micro-needled?
Micro-needling can cause your scalp to be more sensitive to the sun after treatment. To reduce reactions, wear sunscreen every day or wear a hat to protect your scalp when outdoors.
Your practitioner will provide you with aftercare instructions that may include how to keep the area clean and the use of antiseptics to reduce risk of infections. Follow them carefully.
What benefits can I expect from micro-needling to the scalp?
Micro-needling has been used as a scar treatment since the 1990s. More recently, it has been studied as an alternative treatment for thinning hair and hereditary hair loss. It has also been combined with hair growth products like minoxidil to promote absorption into the skin.
- Treat hair loss
- Help reduce hereditary hair loss (alopecia)
- Regenerate the health of the hair follicles
- Result in new hair growth
- Thicken thinning hair
- Be used with corticosteroids to reduce hair follicle inflammation from alopecia areata
A 2012 blind study on microneedling in alopecia patients found that “82 percent of patients reported more than 50 percent improvement” within 12 weeks.
There are always side effects. What are those associated with micro-needling?
Because of the nature of the treatment, you can expect some bruising, oozing from the wounds, and skin irritation. There is a risk that the wounds caused by the needles may cause scarring.
The treated area may be red and inflamed for a few days after the procedure. You can expect most side effects diminish within five days after your treatment.
What do I need to talk to my doctor about before I get micro-needling?
You will need to speak with your doctor if you:
- Have struggled with acne, eczema, or open wounds
- Have a condition that slows down healing
- Are taking blood thinners or other medications
- If you are pregnant (micro-needling is not recommended)
- If you are taking minoxidil (you could be at risk of burning, itching, and inflammation)
How much will this cost?
First, let’s talk about insurance. Insurance generally doesn’t cover microneedling because it’s considered a cosmetic treatment. However, if you’re getting the procedure done for medical purposes, your insurance company might cover some of the costs, so it’s worth checking with them.
If you are paying out of pocket, expect to spend between $200 and $700 per session. As you might expect, the larger the treatment area, the higher the cost. Also, note that you may need to schedule as many as six sessions to get the results that you want.
I have a derma roller…can I do this at home?
Yes, you can self-administer micron-needling treatments at home, but we wouldn’t recommend this for several reasons:
- You likely don’t know the right size needles to use to get the most out of your treatment.
- It’s difficult to see parts of your scalp, like the back of your head.
- A professional will be much better at targeting the desired treatment areas.
- A licensed micro-needling practitioner can better assess risks and knows how to help you minimize side effects.
How do I choose a practitioner?
Look for licensed professionals who specialize in skincare like dermatologists, aestheticians, and cosmetic surgeons. Since it isn’t a surgical procedure, there generally aren’t many risks involved. But as with any treatment that involves sided effects (like scarring), it’s always good to find an experienced professional.
Talk to friends, read reviews, choose a few prospective providers. Ask for a consultation with each one so that you can compare their experience, treatment costs, and portfolios. If micro-needling sounds like your solution to getting back to a thicker, healthier head of hair, then give us a call!
We’d be happy to talk with you about your situation and your treatment options. At DFW Wellness, we believe in treating the whole person and want to see you healthy and happy!