Scalp Wounding for Hair Growth in Females

A new pilot study on wounding and hair growth just got released online yesterday. The authors found that wounding via Follica’s microneedling device causes new hair growth in women. This is worth reporting because prior research from Follica only entailed studying hair growth in men.

Wounding, Microneedling, Follica and Female Hair Growth
Before and after hair growth photo for wounding via Follica microneedling device in females. Source: International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. Publisher: Elsevier.

In fact, almost all past research on microneedling and hair growth has focused on male pattern hair loss. Balding men are often satisfied with new hair that grows just 1 inch high. Women, on the other hand, often need superior results in order to make for a natural appearance. I did not think that this would be possible via just wounding and intentional scalp injury.

Men are also more likely to  be ok with a shaved or thin appearance on the sides and rear of their heads. And of course many men can get away with just shaving their head entirely.

Scalp Wounding Causes Hair Growth in Women

This latest study was undertaken using Follica’s technology. See the company’s press release from today. The lead researchers were based at Harvard University and at Massachusetts General Hospital. The team was led by Dr. Maryanne Senna.

The study showed that wounding leads to at least some hair growth in all women. See discussion further below. All of the 11 females in the study suffered from mild to moderate female pattern hair loss (FPHL).

The main limitation of the study is obviously the small sample size. All 11 patients underwent six treatments with Follica’s Hair Follicle Neogenesis (HFN) device. Each treatment lasts for just a few minutes. The scalp skin wounding creates an “embryonic window” that allows new hair follicles to form from epithelial stem cells.

Two of the patients were also using Spironolactone for their hair loss during the trial.

Minoxidil Addition

The study summary initially states that on non-treatment days, participants applied a topical “on-market” drug.  However, later on in the study, it states the following:

“Subjects applied topical minoxidil 5% foam nightly to these areas for the duration of the trial. Topical minoxidil foam was not applied on treatment days.”

So I guess it is Minoxidil and nothing else in Follica’s topical? A lot of online discussion in the past centered around the addition of valproic acid, but this now seems unlikely.

100 Percent Success

  • 10 out of 11 patients reported perceived improvement in hair growth at the end of study.
  • All 11 patients demonstrated improvement in physician-graded Sinclair scores after 4 months. The average improvement in Sinclair grade was slightly more than 1 full integer reduction.

The Sinclair Scale for female pattern hair loss was developed by Dr. Rodney Sinclair of Australia. A more commonly used measure in women is the Ludwig Scale. For men, the most common way to classify degree of baldness is the Hamilton-Norwood Scale.

Also see Follica’s announcement of these findings on Twitter.

According to CEO Jason Bhardwaj, their product has the potential to address both male and female androgenetic alopecia. And this study makes clear that the device works well with both longer and shorter hair.

Follica plans to advance its lead program for male pattern hair loss into Phase 3 trials in 2021.

40 thoughts on “Scalp Wounding for Hair Growth in Females”

  1. Anyone who doubts that a) Follica works and b) it’s coming to market aren’t paying attention. Too bad about Covid – probably set back the III trail a good six months or more. It is conceivable the this will be available by ‘Q1 2022.

    And for you that demand NW6 to NW0 results, sorry, nothing in any trial will deliver that. But Follica will probably be able to provide people who are NW4< with one to two full NWs of growth, which for some will effectively result in NW0. And that's just with minoxidil; as new compounds hit the market, they will become part of the protocol.

    This site should be called "Hairlosscure 2030," because by then it will most certainly be actually cured (as in, a chronic condition that is completely controlled with maintenance).

    1. FMate, The study said: “11 females with mild to moderate FPHL (Sinclair scores 2 – 3.5) who had plateaued on stable FPHL treatment for 6 or more months were enrolled in this interventional pilot study.” The treatments tried before microneedling were topical minox, topical spironolactone, laser light treatment and PRP.

  2. if they start phase 3 this will take years….wasn’t follica supposed to deliver quickly due to existent drugs?

    1. I’m not impressed. And If you want to give the AGA community a really good treatment you have to start on the most severe Norwood 7!

      1. “And If you want to give the AGA community a really good treatment you have to start on the most severe Norwood 7”

        Utter nonsense. That’s like saying, “If you want to give the cancer(s) community a really good treatment you have to start at the most severe stage 4 cancers (ie, patients who are in hospice with a week or less to live).

        It has been shown time and time again that the earlier the intervention, the better the results. Anyone who is a slick-bald NW7 will never regain a significant amount of hair within the next 25 years – sorry, that’s just reality. But there are hundreds of millions of <NW3 who, with Follica's treatment, can effectively achieve a cosmetic full head of hair. Demanding the shelving of treatments that could help hundreds of millions of people just because they can't save NW7's is absurd and cruel.

        Follica will change the lives of so many young men who have been able control their loss to some degree, but still have noticeable and psychologically-damaging hair loss. It's the best thing to come to market since finasteride, which was 27 years ago. It's almost here!

        1. “Follica’s for real” ok person I’ve never even seen on here. you don’t know what I’m talking about, they always test on low Norwoods if you really want to see a dramatic transformation you have to start on the most severe! Plain and simple. And if it doesn’t regrow a full head of hair on a nw 5 to Norwood 7 then it should be put on the shelf and forgotten about or else we will never have a JAK inhibitor like treatment for a AGA!

          1. Wha does it matter whether you’ve “never seen me on here before?” First, you can’t “see” me – we’re writing. Second, well you’re “seeing me” now.

            Science advances in increments. It’s juvenile to expect that a complete and total cure will developed without a long period of small progress. I’m sorry you’re slick bald, but a lot of hair loss sufferers aren’t, and anything that can help them is of value and should be – and is – pursued.

            Sucks to be you – get a wig.

            1. “Wha does it matter whether you’ve “never seen me on here before?” First, you can’t “see” me – we’re writing. Second, well you’re “seeing me” now.“ if you were actually smart you would understand what I mean. I haven’t SEEN your name on here before. Must be slow. And I glad I’m not slick bald but I kinda find it disgusting that you seem to not want to help higher Norwoods must not want to help higher level cancer patients too. You’re a sleaze person.

        2. And last thing before you give me a silly reply. Take your .. for Follica somewhere else. Follica is a company that has taken like 50 years to get to where we are right now and is still in trials… and they like to release 1 before and after with crap results. it literally looks like she just combed her hair.

  3. It kindof looks like that woman pictured simply parted her hair more neatly in the second photo. I’m not saying this to be negative, but seeing the before photo, I wouldn’t have thought there was anything off about her hair.

  4. Her hairloss is in the front but it’s so minimal. It could well be combed differently. I think follica is using another compound along with minox. At least their website states this. Maybe the female trial is just basic and focusing just on the wounding? I dont know. But this result is very minimal. I don’t see a 1 to 2 norwood regrowth from this particular study.

  5. I agree with you Daniel. I see a 1% improvement on her hair part. I’m a NW 4 and want my hair back to where it was when I was in high school. I have a super young face and hate that my hair makes me look older.

  6. Recently a friend of mine-who needed treatment to remove a skin cancer from his head, said its common knowledge in the Aust Derm community that Rodney Sinclair is a butcher-in regards to removing skin cancers, etc. (according to his mate’s doc anyway. This guy apparently had a a botched skin cancer removal op done by Sinclair himself). Alas, my friend got spooked and went somewhere else. He also said reception were rude to him-which sealed the deal for him. Initially I had a good experience with my doc at Sinclair Derm years ago, but more recently however, I was really put off by another doc there. She was arrogant, dismissive and unprofessional (health check was a joke). Not to mention expensive-in terms of trying to lock you in on a seemingly never-ending loop of AUD $270 three monthly appointments, including their own 90 day only compounded prescription meds on top of that. My local doc also said he stopped referring patients directly to Rodney Sinclair himself, as he was rude and condecending to them. This is all hearsay I know, but given my own recent personal experience, I wouldn’t recommend Sinclair Derm anymore like I used to. ‘The Sinclair Scale’ is more likely to do with generating income or rudeness than a hair loss chart for women.

  7. The female in the pic has AGA. But it is in the very beginning. Her pattern thinning matches up with my initial pattern. Minox alone can help her, or most females, keep their hair for years if its caught that early… at least slow it down significantly….I can’t tolerate minox because I’m allergic to it. Sucks to be me. I just cant believe follica has been studying abrasion and treatments for many many years and its main weapon is stone age, skin bloating, heart damaging (for some, not most) minoxidil. Makes me upset. The microneedling is like a 10% boost..kind of like turbo. I honestly get sad as I’ve been waiting two decades for Cots to help us and I wont even be able to use the minoxidil boosting treatment. Guees it’s time for me to bail.

  8. Have any of Follica’s next generation compounds entered any FDA trials? So at least 5 years away before seeing any of those?

  9. Drew I’ve been curious to know as well….and if you factor in that follica and cots has more delays then the airport, your looking at double the wait.

  10. I really get the feeling that cots really is in no rush to help us. He has a very laid back approach/demeanor. Too bad he doesnt groom a younger science whiz with gusto/drive to take over the programs.

    1. Jan hair cloning will never ever happen! The best were going to get is follica and histogen.. Anybody who thinks hair cloning is possible is delusional and watches way too much sci fi movies

      1. Marc I disagree. The only reason you’re saying that is because you’re judging the past with failed companies. Stemson is going to begin human trials using “specials” path in the U.K., They got a multi million dollar investment and they have come up with the scaffold method. And I’m sure they are continuing to work to overcome more problems but I believe they are the real deal.

        1. When are they going to start human trails in 3 to 4 years ,give me a break they haven’t cloned a hair on a rat yet . Hair cloning is impossible!

    1. Rodri must be a new troll I’ve never seen you on here before and same with that Follica fan boy person. The trolls are coming to your site admin.

      1. Woofy, I’m just being sarcastic with someone who contradicts themselves over and over again. I’ve been posting here longer than you, just take a good look.

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