Why You Should Never Try Micro-Needling for Hair Loss at Home

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Why You Should Never Try Micro-Needling for Hair Loss at Home

Micro-needling, also known as derma-rolling, is an increasingly popular procedure. Proponents believe that applying light pressure to damaged skin via a derma roller coated with small needles can help minimize scar tissue, wrinkles or enlarged pores by encouraging collagen production. Micro-needling procedures are a minimally invasive, relatively low-cost way to address these issues without invasive plastic surgery, which makes them popular with doctors and patients.

But what about DIY micro-needling for thinning hair? To find out if it's worthwhile, VEGAMOUR took a closer look at using micro-needling for hair loss. You'll want to read this before spending your time or money micro-needling — plus learn what products you should actually be using to combat thinning hair.

What Is Micro-Needling for Hair Loss?

Micro-needling for hair loss is performed in the same way that it is for skin issues: A practitioner uses a derma roller or a similar tool, equipped with rows of tiny needles, to create invisible microscopic puncture wounds in the skin. Some believe that microneedling can trigger the factors that promote hair growth.

Does Micro-Needling for Hair Loss Work?

Most of the research on micro-needling for hair loss relates to people suffering from genetic hair loss conditions, such as female pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, androgenic alopecia and male pattern baldness, rather than micro-needling for hair loss in general. However, there's some evidence that the treatments may work to support hair growth for those suffering from other causes of hair loss.

As cosmetologist Ghanima Abdullah puts it, "micro-needling can help produce more hair because both collagen and stem cell production is stimulated by micro-needling."

For example, while hair loss caused by genetic conditions is different from the other causes of thinning hair, such as ageing, hormone shifts and stress, the solution to all kinds of hair loss is the same — stimulating hair follicles to increase blood flow to the skin of the scalp. So if derma rolling can help treat alopecia areata, it stands to reason that general hair loss micro-needling might also be effective in encouraging the growth of healthier hair.

"Microneedling is effective in much the same way that the procedure is effective in anti-aging treatments,"said esthetician and makeup artist Essie Button. "Much like the tiny punctures stimulate and increase collagen production, thus erasing wrinkles, age spots, scars and so on, the process stimulates the hair follicles in your scalp, encouraging stronger — and even new — growth. micro-needling is used to counteract medical hair loss conditions and premature balding, so why not for cosmetic purposes too?"

So while there's not a conclusive answer to the question of whether micro-needling is a comprehensive solution for hair loss in general, it may be worth a shot.

Why You Should Never Do Micro-Needling Yourself

It may seem appealing to try DIY micro-needling in the privacy of your own bathroom. Tools are deceptively cheap, and the procedure may seem as simple. But both Abdullah and Button say at-home micro-needling is too risky and can paradoxically result in increased hair loss, rather than the hair growth you hope for.

Why You Should See a Professional for Micro-Needling

To prevent infection and ensure you're achieving the correct needle depth to encourage new hair growth, you should see an expert with experience using micro-needling for hair regeneration. While it will cost more than doing it at home (sessions generally start from £150, depending on location), the potential damage of DIY micro-needling at home is far too risky.

Here's why you should go ahead and book an appointment with a dermatologist or esthetician for micro-needling:

You Need the Right Equipment

"Please see a professional for this procedure," said Abdullah. "To avoid injury to the scalp, it’s critical to use the right size device and needles. Some micro-needling devices use long needles that can injure the scalp, while others have very short ones that might not be sufficient for the purpose."

Using the wrong size needle for an at-home micro-needling treatment means that, at best, you won't actually be encouraging hair growth, and at worse, may further damage your stressed hair follicles.

It's Difficult to Perform Microneedling on Your Own Scalp

Abdullah also said that even if you use the appropriate needle length, it can be hard to use a micro-needling device on yourself to successfully reactivate dormant hair follicles without causing damage. "You need to pass the device over areas of the scalp that are losing hair a certain number of times," she explained. "This can be difficult if there is hair still present as it is very easy to get it tangled in the micro-needling device. Additionally, it can be very damaging if the device is not sufficiently sharp to make the passes without injury."

Pain Management Is Available

A micro-needling professional can also numb your scalp to minimize the pain, if necessary, providing a more pleasant experience and consistent results. And the procedure won't take up your whole afternoon either. Experts can complete a round of treatment in as little as 10 minutes, but it may take longer based on the size of the treatment area.

Shop: Best Selling Products for Thinning Hair

Proper Sanitizing Is Extremely Important

Button agrees with Abdullah about the potential dangers of at-home micro-needling and the damage it can cause to sensitive skin. "I would strongly recommend AGAINST micro-needling at home!" she said. "The process involves puncturing your skin — or in the case of hair treatment use — your scalp with hundreds of tiny needles. The tools and environment need to be super-sterile and the process is carried out by a trained professional. This is NOT something you should do for yourself at home! I strongly recommend professional supervision NOT DIY!"

Proper sanitizing is extremely important because of the dangers unsanitized derma rolling equipment can pose to your scalp and sensitive skin. If the needles that the derma roller uses to break the skin are dirty, there's a risk of bacterial infection. Unsanitized or improperly handled derma rollers can carry harmful bacteria, causing infections and breakouts, and even triggering skin conditions such as eczema, itchy inflammation, and discolouration including redness, bumps, or dark patches.

How To Boost Your Micro-Needling Experience

So, about those serums. While it's not unheard of to do micro-needling without an additional product applied to the treated skin, it can be beneficial. "Much like in skin care usage, the punctures facilitate the absorption of creams and serums to the scalp," said Button. "So any anti-hair loss serums or creams that the 'patient' may be using will be more effective."

Immediately after your appointment, work a daily hair serum, like GRO Hair Serum, deep into the roots. Applying a hair growth serum to scalp skin before treatment means that our powerful vegan phyto-active ingredients, including red clover, mung bean and curcumin, will penetrate much more deeply into your hair follicles to combat thinning hair. These active ingredients work together with the natural factors your body produces in response to micro-needling treatments to increase the visible hair density.

Other Solutions for Thinning Hair

Between micro-needling appointments, there are many steps you can take to help encourage hair regrowth. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you're taking the best care of your hair:

Load Up on Micronutrients

There are lots of specific foods you can eat to help encourage thicker, fuller hair. Why not try out our biotin gummies with some essential vitamins and minerals including Zinc that contributes to the maintenance of normal hair, skin and nails (1).  When it comes to regrowing your hair, the most important thing is having a well balanced diet. If you're not getting the micronutrients your body needs, you won't be able to regrow hair, even after undergoing a course of micro-needling. Maintain balance by "eating the rainbow," introducing fruits and veggies of all colours into your daily diet.

  1. Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal hair, skin and nails.

Lower Your Stress Levels

There's evidence that stress and hair loss are linked, so if you're experiencing hair loss, you might want to consider the sources of your stress. Incorporating meditation, a quick afternoon walk, or a little stretching into your daily routine are proven ways to reduce overall stress. When your body doesn't have to maintain a constant state of fight or flight, it's able to focus on the important things, like hair regrowth.

Follow a Holistic Hair Care Routine

Combat stress from all sides with VEGAMOUR's groundbreaking collection of hair wellness products designed specifically to target stress at the source. A scalp detox serum, replenishing shampoo and conditioner, and our delicious and convenient biotin gummies which contain zinc and biotin to contribute to the maintenance of normal hair as well as skin (1, 2).

  1. Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal hair, skin and nails.
  2. Biotin contributes to the maintenance of normal hair and skin.

Talk to Your Dermatologist or GP

It's always useful to get a professional perspective on your hair growth challenges. If you're concerned about maintaining your healthy hair and scalp, checking in with your dermatologist or GP can be a useful way to make sure there are no areas of wellness you're overlooking.

Micro-Needling for Hair Loss Takeaways

Micro-needling has been proven to help with genetic conditions and may also help with general hair loss. Before you undergo micro-needling, make sure you have a hair wellness routine in place that includes products to promote hair that appears thicker and fuller. Establishing this routine can help boost your results — from your first micro-needling appointment and beyond.

Photo credit: Alexandra Turkina/iStock

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