Proper aftercare after a hair loss microneedling treatment is just as important as the procedure itself. Microneedling for hair loss is based on the science of the body’s natural healing process — strategically placed “pricks” or micro-injuries are made on the scalp to encourage collagen production and stimulate dormant hair follicles.
How soon can you resume outdoor activity, should you undergo additional hair treatments, and is it safe to resume your regular hair wash schedule? In this article, we’ll look at 9 things you should avoid after a hair loss microneedling treatment.
What happens to the scalp after a microneedling treatment?
After your treatment, the micro-injuries created during your procedure will need time and the right conditions to heal. Think of the treatment as several minute open wounds on the scalp. Here’s what happens to your scalp as these wounds heal:
Increased Blood Flow: Microneedling stimulates blood circulation to the scalp. This increased blood flow can promote the delivery of essential nutrients to hair follicles, which can encourage hair growth and improve the health of existing hair.
Healing Response: The tiny micro-injuries created by the needles during microneedling trigger the body’s natural healing response. This can stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which are important for maintaining healthy skin and hair.
Enhanced Absorption of Topical Products: Microneedling can increase the absorption of topical products applied to the scalp, such as minoxidil or specialised hair growth serums. The micro-channels created by the needles allow these products to penetrate the skin more effectively.
Hair Regrowth: Microneedling is often used in conjunction with other hair restoration treatments. When used regularly and in combination with appropriate products, it may help promote hair regrowth and improve hair thickness and texture.
Because of the wounds that are created to trigger the healing process, it’s essential to consult with a qualified profession for microneedling.
1. Sun exposure
The sun is the largest source of skin damage, and the scalp is no exception. Prolonged and excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can damage your skin and compromise your scalp’s healing process. It can also cause hyperpigmentation, or dark spots and patches on the skin.
When out and about under the sun, remember to wear a hat and protect your scalp! It also helps to apply broad-spectrum sunscreen, with at least SPF 30, and reapply every 2 hours. Mist and powder sunscreen formulations for the scalp are available for those who may find creams too uncomfortable for the scalp.
If you already have a sun-damaged scalp, undergoing a UV scalp treatment prior will help.
2. Chemical treatments
Avoid chemical treatments such as dyeing and bleaching your hair for at least a week before and after your hair loss microneedling treatment. These harsh chemical treatments can further aggravate the scalp, prolonging redness and swelling.
If you plan on heading to the salon, be sure to schedule your appointment a week after your treatment to give your scalp time to heal, and pick an establishment that can dye your hair safely without causing breakage.
3. Excessive scratching
As your scalp undergoes its natural healing process, it is natural to experience itching and flaking. However, it is important to refrain from scratching because it could cause trauma to the micro-channels created during your microneedling treatment, and lead to the following complications:
- Introduces dirt and bacteria to the scalp, putting you at risk of infection.
- Leads to uneven healing, raised bumps and scars.
- Hinders your hair growth or causes uneven hair growth.
- Delays the scalp’s natural healing process.
- Causes hyperpigmentation and scalp discolouration.
Self-control is crucial in preventing yourself from scratching your scalp as it heals. That being said, following other aftercare instructions, such as using a gentle moisturising cleanser, can help alleviate the discomfort.
4. Excessive heat
Avoid exposing your scalp to excessive heat, such as hot showers, saunas and physically strenuous exercises for at least 48 hours after your treatment as this can irritate the skin. Furthermore, warm and moist environments are a breeding ground for bacteria, putting you at risk of infections or serious complications.
Instead, use lukewarm water during your showers, and opt for gentle cleansers. When you do take your first shower, make sure it’s 24 hours after your procedure, giving the micro-channels ample time to close up.
Sweating immediately after your microneedling treatment can irritate the scalp and cause further inflammation. Sometimes, it may even predispose your scalp to bacterial infections.
Excessive sweat may also wash away the serums and other topical products applied after your treatment, minimising their effectiveness. This, in turn, leads to less significant hair loss microneedling results.
Swimming in the pool, or any bodies of water, should be avoided at least 48 hours post-treatment. The chlorinated water and other harmful chemicals could be easily absorbed through the scalp’s microchannels aggravate the skin and potentially lead to complications. Furthermore, it exposes you to harmful bacteria that could lead to infections.
7. Harsh hair products
It is important to note that right after your hair loss microneedling treatment, you may experience more skin sensitivity. This means that certain products that may not have irritated your scalp before may cause irritation and aggravate your scalp during this healing period.
Avoid harsh hair products that may cause damage or inflame the scap, and opt for gentle cleansers with moisturising properties, instead.
8. Vigorous scalp massage
Similar to scratching the scalp, going for a vigorous scalp massage can also cause irritation to the scalp and delay healing. Excessive pressure and rubbing of the scalp can also cause unnecessary pain and discomfort.
Going for a scalp massage too early after a hair loss microneedling treatment also runs the risk of introducing bacteria to the scalp. This can lead to infection or other complications, delaying your results.
9. Additional treatments
Sometimes, less is more — overloading the scalp with other additional treatments shortly after you’ve had your hair loss microneedling treatment could do you more harm than good. Certain substances may counteract the treatment’s effects, or even lead to adverse reactions and complications.
Before undergoing other treatments, inform your microneedling therapist so they could better advise you on suitable procedures that can be done to optimise your results. You may also consider scheduling your additional treatments after you give your scalp some time to heal.
Microneedling for hair loss in Singapore
Undergoing a proper microneedling procedure is already the halfway mark to getting thick, healthy hair — the following aftercare steps are for you to follow through with. Hopefully, this quick guide has helped you better understand what not to do right after your treatment.
TrichoLab is a hair and scalp specialist centre, dedicated to providing holistic care and science-based solutions for your hair restoration needs. Our Signature Microneedling Hair Growth Treatment in Singapore is specially designed to help neutralise hair loss and stimulate dormant hair follicles, complete with a thorough scalp analysis and patented hair growth formula.