Category Archives: Microneedling

Yet More Indian Studies Involving Microneedling

Dr. Rachita Dhurat

Follica recently 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. This 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 on Dr. Gordon Sasaki

One of Follica’s other newly added advisers (Dr. Gordon Sasaki) has several videos on youtube discussing microneedling. See Dermapen review and this video on PRP and Microneedling.

Microneedling via a Dermaroller and Minoxidil

Update: June 2020 — A new study found the microneedling (via a dermaroller) and Minoxidil combination to be very effective in treating a 70-year old man’s hair loss. Also make sure to read my post on at-home microneedling for hair loss.

There is increasing evidence that dermarolling benefits hair growth. Microneedling via the use of a dermaroller is often being conducted to enhance the absorption of topical hair loss products such as Minoxidil (Rogaine).

Creative and intelligent hair loss forum members are also experimenting with the addition of prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) inhibitors and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) to this mix. The logic behind these experiments is related to the wounding and resulting hair regrowth that a company named Follica is attempting.

Microneedling via Dermaroller Enhances Effectiveness of Minoxidil

Moreover, a recent study concluded an enhanced positive effect of Minoxidil when used in combination with microneedling. The wounding was conducted via the use of a dermaroller device.

Microneedling and Minoxidil Hair Growth Before After.
Microneedling (via Dermaroller) and Minoxidil Hair Growth Before and After.

The dermaroller had 1.5 mm sized needles and was rolled over scalps. Before and after microneedling photos are shown on the right and below.

This study provides further impetus towards the excitement surrounding this unique concept of wounding and hair growth.

I myself have seen decent results from applying Minoxidil to my scalp for a number of years. I may try dermarolling in the future, although I will have to conduct significant research regarding needle depth and equipment recommendations.

Dermarolling for Hair Growth Experiments

Dermaroller 1.5 mm for Hair Growth.
Dermaroller 1.5 mm for Hair Growth.

A number of blog readers are experimenting with dermarolling their scalps for hair growth. I will elaborate on this subject in more detail in future posts.

Dermarolling and Minoxidil Threads

For now, I encourage readers to go through the following massive threads on some of the main hair loss forums out there in order to gauge the excitement around this issue.

Wounding and Hair Regeneration

Over the years, wounding has garnered a solid reputation in both medical and cosmetic fields. Research on wounding and hair regeneration is progressing rapidly.

For example, a 2018 study found wounding induced hair follicle neogenesis in an elderly patient. Hopefully this can be replicated on a larger scale across balding scalps.