Hair loss, medically known as alopecia, is a condition where individuals experience a disruption in their hair growth cycle, resulting in gradual or sudden hair loss. While ageing is commonly associated with hair loss, it can also be caused by hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, or underlying medical conditions.
According to a 2022 survey, 44% of Singaporeans consider hair loss as the top concern among hair-related concerns. Baldness or thinning hair can greatly affect a person’s self-confidence and quality of life. What do you do when taking supplements, hair tonics, and switching shampoos do not suffice?
Thankfully, there are minimally invasive treatments to neutralise hair loss without surgery and virtually no downtime. One such treatment is microneedling for hair loss, a hair regrowth treatment that leverages on the body’s natural healing mechanisms for thicker and fuller hair. In this blog post, you’ll find out what microneedling is and how it helps tackle hair loss. But, first, let’s look at the symptoms of hair loss, so you can identify the warning signs.
Signs and symptoms of hair loss
- A thinner ponytail
- Bald spots or patches of hair on your head
- Loose hair
- Gradually thinning hair that starts from the top of your head
- A painful or itchy scalp
- Excessive hair shedding
- Changes in hair texture
How microneedling works
Microneedling, or collagen induction therapy, is based on the science of wound healing and the body’s natural regenerative processes. By leveraging on the skin’s healing response, skin quality and appearance can be improved.
This minimally invasive procedure involves the use of very thin, sterile microneedles attached to a derma pen or derma roller. The device is then gently rolled or stamped over the targeted areas at a consistent pressure and needle depth, creating strategically placed “pricks” or micro-injuries on the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis).
- These micro-injuries trigger the body’s natural healing mechanisms, encouraging the production of collagen and elastin, which are essential for maintaining the skin’s strength and elasticity.
- Blood circulation is increased, transporting blood rich in oxygen, nutrients and growth factors to the target area. This nourishes the hair follicles and promotes healing and rejuvenation.
- Topical skincare products, such as serums and moisturisers, are better absorbed through the micro-injuries (microchannels), increasing their efficacy. This is why, during some microneedling therapies, a serum is applied to complement the treatment and improve results.
When microneedling is done on the scalp, the wound healing process can lead to hair regrowth by regenerating the hair follicles. Microneedling triggers the release of various growth factors and cytokines, which promote the growth of healthy hair, and optimal results are often experienced within 4-6 weeks.
Benefits of microneedling for hair loss
Microneedling is recommended for anyone experiencing hair loss, or for those who simply want to achieve thicker and fuller hair. Some benefits of microneedling include:
- Minimal to no downtime — This minimally invasive treatment is non-surgical and generally well-tolerated. You may resume your daily activities right after your 90-minute treatment, making it a convenient treatment.
- Stronger, thicker hair — Microneedling triggers the release of various growth factors and cytokines, which promote tissue healing and revitalise dormant follicles in your scalp. Over time, this improves hair thickness and density.
- Stimulates collagen and elastin production — As your body’s natural healing process is triggered, collagen and elastin are produced, which are essential proteins that play a crucial role in the structure and function of the skin and hair follicles.
- Increases topical product absorption — Microneedling creates microchannels that allow for increased absorption of topical products like creams or serums. This allows topical hair growth treatments to penetrate deeper layers of the scalp and hair follicles, enhancing their effects.
- Boosts scalp oxygenation — As blood flow to the treated area increases during microneedling, the flow of oxygen and nutrients is also increased. Oxygen and nutrients are important for follicle health and create healthier conditions for your follicles to thrive.
- Non-surgical and minimally invasive — Not everyone likes the idea of going under the knife. Microneedling is an incisionless option for those seeking hair restoration without undergoing surgery.
The microneedling procedure
Microneedling procedures differ depending on the type of condition that needs to be treated. Here at TrichoLab, we have a signature microneedling hair growth treatment, specially designed to stimulate hair growth and neutralise hair loss. This clinically proven treatment takes 90 minutes and has no downtime, allowing you to resume your daily activities right after. Here’s what to expect:
- Scalp analysis
The treatment starts with a detailed scalp analysis to get a better understanding of your current condition for a more tailored treatment. This is followed by a welcome head massage, scalp stimulation and hair brushing to prepare your hair and scalp for the procedure.
- Nourishing anti-hair loss mask with steam
Scalp circulation is stimulated and your hair will be conditioned using a special anti-hair loss shampoo and shampoo.
- Microneedling with patented hair growth formula
The microneedling treatment is performed by a trained professional, and is performed with a patented hair growth formula developed with botanicals, peptides and growth factors. A numbing cream may be used to keep you as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.
- Multivitamin serum or LED light therapy
You may choose to include additional treatments such as a multivitamin serum (a cocktail of vitamins and minerals) or LED light therapy (to soothe the skin and improve blood circulation) to maximise your results.
- Post-treatment analysis
After blow-drying your hair, a thorough post-treatment analysis will be conducted. You will also be briefed on proper care and maintenance of your scalp.
The best results are achieved after a series of sessions scheduled a few weeks apart, depending on your current skin condition and the intensity of the treatment.
Microneedling at home vs professional treatment
Microneedling can be performed at home but this can be dangerous without professional oversight. We recommend that you contact a professional for all dermaroller hair treatments in Singapore.
- Needle length and device quality — Do-it-yourself microneedles are typically 1mm in length, while professional-grade microneedling devices generally have needle lengths that range between 1mm – 3mm. This allows for more controlled wounding and precision when it comes to treatment, which, in turn, can lead to more effective results.
- Pain management — Generally, in a professional setting, a topical numbing cream is applied to minimise pain and keep you as comfortable during your treatment.
- Lower risk of complications — Professional microneedling treatment at a reputable centre will ensure that the equipment used and the treatment area is properly sanitised to minimise your risk of infection. At-home microneedling carries a risk of potential infection if proper precautions are not taken.
- Expertise — Professional microneedling treatments are performed by trained therapists or licensed aestheticians who have experience and a thorough understanding of the procedure and techniques involved. Do-it-yourself microneedling may be tricky for users who do not have the same level of expertise.
- Tailored treatment — Microneedling in a professional setting ensures that the optimal needle length and techniques are used for your specific condition. It also allows for other complementary treatments for a more comprehensive treatment plan, which may not be available to at-home users.
- Treatment intensity and efficacy of results — As at-home microneedling is generally milder, more sessions may be required to achieve your desired results. On the other hand, microneedling done in a professional setting can be more intense as longer needles and other devices may be used, hence, creating more noticeable results within a shorter span of time.
Ultimately, undergoing a microneedling treatment in a professional setting allows for a more tailored treatment plan and lowers your risk of potential complications, such as infections. It is important to ensure that you are using the correct needle depth to encourage hair growth and prevent damage to your scalp.
Combining microneedling with other hair loss treatments
Microneedling can be combined with other treatments and techniques for better, more noticeable results:
- Minoxidil — Commonly known as Rogaine, this is a popular type of hair loss treatment that comes in the form of sprays, foams or liquids. It is a type of vasodilator that works by increasing blood flow to the scalp and stimulating hair follicles.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections — Platelet-rich plasma injections are commonly indicated for soft tissue and wound healing. In high concentrations, PRP injections administered to the scalp can prolong the growing phase of the hair cycle and promote hair growth. Microneedling can enhance the delivery and distribution of PRP to the scalp, boosting its effects.
- Topical corticosteroids — Certain corticosteroid creams can help treat hair loss caused by autoimmune diseases (alopecia areata, lichen planopilaris and discoid lupus erythematosus). Sometimes, autoimmune diseases may cause damage to healthy hair follicles, corticosteroids work by suppressing the immune system. This, in turn, promotes hair growth.
- Antiandrogens — Antiandrogens help with hormone-related hair loss. They work on female pattern baldness by inhibiting androgens that damage and destroy hair follicles. They often come in the form of prescription medication like spironolactone or oral contraceptives.
- Low-level laser therapy — Low-level laser therapy, or red light therapy, involves the use of a targeted low-dose laser to boost blood circulation and stimulation. This, in turn, encourages the hair follicles to grow hair.
- Scalp serums — Scalp serums with growth factors, vitamins and peptides can be combined with microneedling treatments to nourish the scalp, creating more noticeable results.
- Hair transplantation — Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure where grafts of healthy hair are surgically transplanted to areas with thinning or no hair. After a hair transplantation procedure, microneedling can be recommended to promote the growth of healthy hair follicles, supporting the scalp’s healing process and encouraging graft survival.
It is important to note that these combinations of treatments may be specific to the condition and needs of each individual. This makes a thorough assessment paramount in understanding your condition and determining the right combination of treatments to address your concerns.
Who is suitable for microneedling for hair loss?
Microneedling is generally safe for anyone. It is most recommended for those who experience alopecia areata, which is a condition where the immune system attacks hair follicles, causing hair to fall out in patches. Those who experience male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness or thinning hair are also suitable for the treatment.
Of course, results may vary depending on your current hair condition, type, and texture. This makes a thorough scalp analysis important in understanding what treatment would suit you best.
Post-treatment care and maintenance
Post-treatment care and maintenance are paramount in ensuring you maximise your results and get the most out of your procedure. You are advised to:
- Avoid washing your hair — Avoid washing your hair at least 4 hours after treatment, unless otherwise indicated by your specialist.
- Avoid heat and sun exposure — Protect your scalp from excessive heat or direct sun exposure for a few days following the treatment.
- Avoid strenuous exercise — Strenuous exercise may increase blood flow to the scalp and affect its healing process. Chlorine in swimming pools can also potentially irritate the scalp.
- Avoid excessive sweating — Bacteria thrives in sweat. Make sure to clean your scalp after a workout to prevent infections or other scalp issues.
- Avoid picking on your scalp — You may experience itching as your scalp heals. Resist the urge to scratch or pick at your scalp as this could irritate the treated area or hinder the healing process.
- Gentle cleansing — Avoid harsh shampoos or scalp creams that may irritate your scalp.
- Sleep with a clean pillowcase— As your scalp heals, sleep with clean pillow sheets to maintain a hygienic environment and prevent infections.
- Stick to your scalp care regime — Your therapist may recommend certain post-treatment products to promote skin healing and support hair growth. Follow their instructions to maximise your results.
You may also experience itching and slight redness on your scalp after the treatment, but this is completely normal and will subside within a day.
Microneedling for hair loss in Singapore
Hopefully this guide helped you better understand microneedling for hair loss and what to expect. If you experience hair loss or are looking to get a fuller, healthier-looking scalp, microneedling may be the right treatment for you! The first step is understanding the cause of your hair loss in order to determine the ideal solution for your condition.
TrichoLab is dedicated to providing effective hair loss and scalp solutions. Schedule an appointment for a thorough consultation and personalised treatment plan tailored to your concerns and desired results.