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.

The Incredible Phenomenon that is Dr. Nigam

I have been suffering from hair loss for around 15 years (with some years of modest regrowth or maintenance in there due to medication). During that time, I have followed all the major hair loss forums on a relatively regular basis (barring a few lengthy breaks), and read numerous news articles related to hair loss.  Every year, there have always been a few new discoveries and technological breakthroughs that have caused excessive levels of excitement on the message boards. To date, every single instance of these instances of hope have led to nowhere. The cure has always been five years away.

In 2013, a person by the name of Dr. Vivek Nigam from Mumbai, India has taken over hair loss message board discussions unlike anything that I have ever witnessed. In the past, Dr. Ray Woods (who popularized the follicular unit extraction — or FUE — method of hair transplants) and Dr. Coen Gho (who has been working on hair stem cell transplants) became incredibly popular in online message boards, but the speed with which Dr. Nigam has taken over the online world makes Dr. Woods and Dr. Gho seem like tortoises! The most incredible thing is that Dr. Nigam seems to have very limited experience in the hair loss world, whether as a surgeon or as a researcher. In the past, Dr. Nigam was focusing on helping people lose weight.

I was debating on whether or not to devote my second ever blog post to Dr. Nigam. In my opinion, there is a very good chance that Dr. Nigam is yet another conman/shill/charlatan in the hair loss world.  There is no shortage of such characters in this industry, and I will describe some of the major ones from the past in future posts.

However, I have been impressed with Dr. Nigam’s persistence and totally out of the box approach to helping us balding people. In the western world, there have been many hair loss researchers who have been excellent presenters of their ideas and who have managed to raise millions of dollars for start-ups, but who have then disappointed us.

Perhaps it is now time to hope for a cure from the eastern world? Whether from China, India, Japan, South Korea or elsewhere. Hair loss is much less acceptable in those places than in the US, and men in those countries suffer from hair loss to a lesser extent than their western counterparts. This makes hair loss sufferers in these eastern countries even more distressed, and I am certain there will be increasing funding for hair loss research in those countries as they get wealthier (especially the world’s two most populated countries: China and India). The best part is that testing and approval procedures in those countries are far less stringent, meaning that phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials can proceed at a faster pace.