Microneedling therapy - derma rolling

Microneedling therapy - derma rolling

The first "derma rollers"

Microneedle therapy (derma rolling/microneedling) is nothing new. It is actually acupuncture therapy. The ancient practice of acupuncture began in China about 3,000 years ago. The first documentation about acupuncture that describes it as an organized system of diagnosis and treatment is found in the classic of internal medicine of the Yellow Emperor, which dates from 100 BC.

Earlier, instead of needles, sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used around 6000 BC for acupuncture treatment. These instruments could also be used for simple surgical procedures.

In more recent times, Microneedling was used commercially as early as the 1900s in Germany to treat acne and skin scars.

In 1905, we have the first known microneedle with an electric motor, used by dermatologist Ernst Kromayer. He used this technique to treat moles, hyperpigmentation and scars.

Regarding the use for the purpose of stopping hair loss or the growth of new hair, the first studies appeared only in the early 2000s. 

How does microneedle therapy work?

Definition: Microneedling is a dermatological procedure that involves puncturing the skin with tiny needles to stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, thereby treating a variety of skin problems (eg, reducing the appearance of scars, fine lines, wrinkles, etc.) — and even hair loss.

Specifically, we use tiny needles that are pushed vertically into the dermis which causes a healing reaction in the skin. Growth factors are released that promote healing and these same growth factors can promote hair growth. The trauma of microneedling can also stimulate the growth of stem cells that are useful for new hair growth.

Effectiveness of microneedling/derma roller therapy?

In the last few years, dozens of studies have been done that confirmed the effectiveness of the therapy. In fact, microneedling/derma rolling therapy has been shown to be better than some classic hair growth therapies such as minoxidil. The best results, however, were obtained with a combination of derma roller and minoxidil, where hair loss was stopped and the growth of new and healthy hair was stimulated.

Conclusion from one of the studies: The Dermaroller together with the minoxidil treatment group was statistically superior to the minoxidil treatment group in promoting hair growth in men with AGA for all 3 primary measures of hair growth efficacy. Microneedling is a safe and promising tool for hair stimulation and is also useful for the treatment of hair loss resistant to minoxidil therapy.
(A Randomized Evaluator Blinded Study of Effect of Microneedling in Androgenetic Alopecia: A Pilot Study, Jan-Mar 2013, Rachita Dhurat, MS Sukesh, Ganesh Avhad, Ameet Dandale, Anjali Pal, and Poonam Pund)

Study Two: Microneedling monotherapy significantly increased total hair count more than topical minoxidil 5% (β = 12.29; p < 0.001). Combined microneedling treatment with topical 5% minoxidil significantly increased the total number of hairs compared to microneedling monotherapy.

( Microneedling for Hair Loss, Jan 2022, Aditya K Gupta, Emma M Quinlan, Maanasa Venkataraman, Mary A Bamimore )

Photos of study results:

Figure 1. Results of using derma roller + minoxidil after one week (on the left) and only minoxidil (on the right).

derma roller and minoxidil results

Figure 2. The graph shows the number of new hairs for both test groups.
The green color is the group that used minoxidil + dermaroller, while the red group used only minoxidil.

minoxidil vs. derma roller results

In both studies, derma rollers with a needle size of 1.5 mm were used!

Microneedling therapy is thus much more effective than minoxidil therapy, while the most effective approach is the joint use of both products.

For this reason, we can safely conclude that in the case of natural products such as MAVI shampoo for hair growth, the therapy is much more effective when a derma roller is used in addition to the shampoo or serum.

It is important to note that it does not matter what size needles are used and that 1.5 mm needles are recommended for hair growth, while shorter needles of 0.5 mm are used for beard growth. 

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