Does Microneedling Enhance the Effects of Minoxidil on Hair Growth?
If you’re experiencing hair loss and wish to combine the benefits of microneedling with those of minoxidil for hair growth, you’re in the right place.
This article discusses what microneedling and minoxidil are and how using them together can aid in hair regrowth.
What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling with a dermaroller involves creating punctures or tiny holes in the outer layer of your skin called the stratum corneum. It boosts the production of collagen, elastin, and other proteins essential for skin health.
Beauty experts often tout this procedure because of its amazing skin benefits. But scientific research suggests it may also slow hair loss and stimulate growth.
Microneedling also improves blood flow to the hair follicles, which is crucial for hair growth.
What Is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved topical medication used to treat androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. You can buy it in the form of a liquid or foam and apply it directly to the affected areas of the scalp.
This medication is a vasodilator that widens the blood vessels to boost the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the hair follicles. This increases their size, allowing the hair to grow thicker and stronger.
Applying minoxidil also reduces the telogen or resting phase of hair growth and increases the anagen or growth phase. This further encourages hair growth and reduces hair loss.
Does Using a Microneedle and Minoxidil Together Boost Hair Growth?
Microneedling and minoxidil are widely popular and highly effective treatments for hair loss. And studies have shown that using the two treatments together further improves their effects. This combination is a promising treatment for those experiencing thinning hair and baldness.
A 2018 study looked into the combined effects of minoxidil and microneedling with a dermaroller as treatments for hair loss in men. Those who used them together experienced a higher increase in hair count than the group that only used minoxidil.
Note that the researchers could not establish microneedling with minoxidil as an effective treatment for androgenetic alopecia. This is likely due to the study's small sample size of 60 men.
Another study found that a combination of microneedling and 5% topical minoxidil helped increase hair growth in people with androgenetic alopecia. They also found the combined treatments to be safe, cost-effective, and yield much better results than the topical solution of 5% minoxidil alone.
Simply put, you can use topical minoxidil and microneedling at the same time to improve growth results and get a fuller head of hair.
Though these treatments seem effective at boosting hair growth, they don’t inhibit dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness.
Using Minoxidil With Microneedling
If you plan to use minoxidil with microneedling, two routes are open for you. One is to visit a clinic and get a professional to perform the treatment. This is the best option for those who have never used a dermaroller before and want to do it safely.
Getting a professional to conduct the procedure yields better results than doing it at home. The dermaroller that professionals use penetrates deeper into the skin. This may have greater efficacy for stimulating hair growth.
One explanation for this is that most studies of microneedling as a hair loss treatment use a 1.5mm device. But this length is limited to clinical devices operated by experienced doctors and dermatologists. In contrast, most home-use dermarollers have a length of only 0.25 or 0.5mm, which makes them much less effective.
That said, a professional microneedling session can be quite expensive, which may deter many from this treatment option. Depending on the area to be treated and where you live, a session costs anywhere between $100 and several hundred dollars. Over time, it adds up to a pretty hefty amount.
The second option is to use a dermaroller at home. You can easily buy one online from a range of retailers. These home-use dermarollers are available with different heads and needles of varying lengths. They cost as little as $12.
When microneedling at home, make sure to follow the instructions on the package of your dermaroller. Most devices are designed for slow and gentle use on the affected areas.
When using the dermaroller on your scalp, you may experience a mild pricking or tingling sensation in the targeted area.
Do not overuse dermarollers for microneedling. While you can safely use minoxidil up to two times a day, most hair growth studies that showed positive results involved using a dermaroller only once every week.