A commonly asked question regarding adjunct therapies that can be used alongside the primary hair loss treatments involves microneedling.
Microneedling is the practice of using a dermaroller device – similar in looks to a small, narrow paint roller covered in small needles – to create tiny holes in the skin by rolling it over the relevant area.
Men in particular seem to be keen to know if using a dermaroller on their scalp prior to applying topical hair loss solutions, will make it work more effectively.
Whilst little reliable research data on this exists, it is an area that is constantly being explored so, hopefully, soon there will be enough to form a conclusive picture and answer such questions. At present it is not something Belgravia hair specialists advise given its unproven nature.
For now, the latest study into microneedling and Male Pattern Baldness is due to take place in Taiwan, and involves exploring its efficacy when a dermaroller is used prior to low level laser therapy (LLLT) being administered.
Microneedling and low level laser therapy for hair loss
A clinical trial conducted by the Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital in Taipei will study 30 male volunteers, aged between 20 and 60 years, who have Male Pattern Hair Loss.
Each volunteer will use a dermaroller on their scalp before LLLT is administered over a 12 week period. The precise devices used for each type of therapy are not currently stated in the trial registration documentation.
Their hair growth will be measured at the 12 week point and compared to their base level before the trial began. A 7-point scale will be used to grade each participant’s 12 week outcome: -3 = greatly decreased, -2 = moderately decreased, -1 = slightly decreased, 0 = no change, +1 = slightly increased, +2 = moderately increased, +3 = greatly increased.
Whilst exclusion criteria for the men taking part includes autoimmune disease, infection and dermatosis in the scalp area, there is nothing mentioned regarding whether or not they may or may not use either or both of the two MHRA licensed and FDA approved male hair loss treatments during or prior to the study. This could potentially have a significant impact upon the trial results so it would be interesting to have this point clarified.
Supporting hair growth
Both low-level laser therapy and – potentially, if its effects are proven – microneedling are ancillary methods of supporting hair growth and the clinically-proven medications established for androgenetic alopecia.
There are a number of FDA-cleared LLLT devices, such as the HairMax LaserComb and LaserBands, which have patented teeth included in their designs to help part the hair in order for the high-grade lasers to get straight to the scalp. Whilst trials have shown these devices to show promise for promoting hair growth and strengthening the hair, when it comes to genetic hair loss – which is a permanent condition which requires on-going management given there is not currently a cure – Belgravia specialists often recommend using the devices alongside proven treatments.
The reason for this is to tackle the underlying hereditary hormonal sensitivity to DHT which is present in cases of Male Pattern Baldness. Using an oral DHT blocker can help to prevent thinning hair at its root, whilst topical solutions may accelerate hair growth; additional hair growth supporting products can then offer a further boost, whether it be by means of LLLT, or targeted food supplements designed to help promote the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth via key ingredients including zinc, biotin and selenium.
We look forward to the results of this clinical trial, due in May 2019, and will publish the findings – and their implications – on the Belgravia hair loss blog once these are made available.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.