Category Archives: Follica

Brief Items of Interest, October 2017

— In August, I covered groundbreaking new research related to successful hair regeneration in mice. The work was led by scientists from USC (in particular, Dr. Mingxing Lei and Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong). For some reason, a new CNBC article on this now relatively old news appeared in October and became the most widely covered hair related story this month. Three different people posted the exact same CNBC link in the comments to the last post, and one person even responded with two different takes to the exact same link and story. To be fair, even people on Reddit Futurology (where a week old story is old news) seemed to think that this was a new development.

— Thanks to commentator “Karl” for posting a link to a new study from China regarding electrodynamic microneedling in the comments to my Indian microneedling post from August. Yet again, microneedling seems to lead to significantly increased hair growth when used in conjunction with Minoxidil versus when using just Minoxidil by itself. However, even more interesting, microneedling by itself led to more hair growth than Minoxidil by itself in this study (EDIT: per several commentators who read the full study, this is not accurate and at best you can only say that both resulted in equal new hair growth). Totally crazy that something like wounding works better than one of the only two ever FDA approved hair loss treatments out there. Of course more such results need to be emulated before this becomes believable.

Follica has for a long time claimed that skin disruption in and of itself leads to new de novo hair follicle growth. In the India microneedling post, “Karl” made an interesting lengthy comment related to the above study, and it is worth a read in its entirety. I will paste part of it related to needling depth here:

“Personal observation: that difference of 1.5mm to 2.5mm might seem small, but if you’ve ever done it, you know that it’s HUGE. 1.5mm hurts a lot already, and for some people is borderline unbearable. 2.5mm is getting into torture level lol. Pity they weren’t more specific about their procedure. The question of depth, wounding, and scarring seems an open question in research afaik and is discussed frequently on forums”.

— Samumed added a new page on its site regarding the status of each of its clinical trials. They just Tweeted that link.

— Seems like commentator “egghead” gave great advice regarding waiting to buy a newly public company after the initial turbulence is over. HAIR stock down drastically in the past 3 days.

PolarityTE latest press release and new video.

— Replicel’s hair loss work covered in Forbes magazine.

Fecal matter transplant regrows hair in two alopecia areata patients.

— Dr. David Saceda has been responding to questions by “Tim”. It looks like better ways of measuring DHT and other hormone levels during messotherapy with Dutasteride treatments might be necessary.

Yet More Indian Studies Involving Microneedling

Dr. Rachita Dhurat

In late July, user “Saleen” commented that Follica had updated their website yet again. This time, they added several clinical advisers on their “our team” section, including the well known Dr. Rachita Dhurat. The reason this Indian doctor is well known is because of her groundbreaking 2013 study (with extensive before and after photos) titled: “A randomized evaluator blinded study of effect of microneedling in androgenetic alopecia: A pilot study“. In that study, she used a dermaroller of 1.5 mm sized needles (plus minoxidil) on 50 patients, and 41 of those patients showed a very favorable outcome. In the minoxidil only comparison group, just 2 of 50 patients saw similar results.

Moreover, in 2015, Dr. Dhurat published a second related study (albeit with a much smaller sample size of 4 patients), that found that microneedling led to new hair follicle growth in all patients. Moreover, none of these patients responded well to conventional therapy in and of itself (i.e., finasteride and minoxidil).

A number of extremely renowned US based scientists such as Dr. George Cotsarelis (University of Pennsylvania), Dr. Luis Garza (Johns Hopkins University) and Dr. Maksim Plikus (University of California Irvine) have undertaken research on microneedling and/or wound-induced hair follicle neogenesis and published detailed reports that I have covered on this blog before. These scientists have received coverage in dozens of popular magazines in recent years. Nevertheless, for some reason, India based Dr. Dhurat is getting almost as much respect on this subject lately despite not having the same world leading university backing and related resources that the above scientists have (nor any popular magazine articles written about her). Hopefully, fewer resources does not mean weaker research.

More Microneedling and Hair Growth Studies from India

When excluding Follica related discussion (e.g., this from “noisette” on HLT), microneedling has not been getting much coverage on hair loss forums in recent years. It used to in the past, as evidenced by one of my earliest post on this blog related to the dermarolling fad.

On the other hand, several new studies related to microneedling and hair growth have been published in India this year.

  • In January 2017, Indian scientists published a report in which they found that patients being treated with microneedling plus minoxidil plus PRP saw superior results in comparison to patients being treated with minoxidil alone.
  • And last week, scientists in India published a study in which they found PRP plus microneedling led to very favorable results when it comes to hair growth. Blurry before and after photos are in here (click on “preview article”) in case you can not access the full study via other means such as Sci-Hub.

Obviously the above two studies cannot be compared to Dr. Dhurat’s earlier work in terms of importance. Nevertheless, I find it surprising that scientists in the western world and Japan have not been focusing on microneedling and hair growth at all lately.

Side Note

One of Follica’s other newly added advisers has several videos on youtube discussing microneedling. See Dermapen review and here.