Question: I’ve heard that mesotherapy hair loss treatment can be good for thinning hair – can you tell me what it involves and does mesotherapy work well for regrowing hair?
Answer: Hi, Ali. Mesotherapy for hair loss is a popular topic at the moment thanks to the technique becoming more widely available, though there appears to be little evidence regarding the scalp injections’ supposed benefits.
The practice was initially used in 1976 to treat asthma and hearing loss but has since been co-opted into ‘treating’ a number of other issues. It has not been sanctioned in any way, for the treatment of any condition, by the UK or USA’s medical regulatory boards the MHRA and FDA. The American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) has recommended: “providers should adhere to recommend standard precautions, follow safe-injection practices with appropriate aseptic techniques, and inject only FDA approved products that are prepared following guidelines to ensure sterility as described in the FDA’s good manufacturing practices.”*
Going by a number of names – including biomimetic mesotherapy and nanopeptide mesotherapy – this cosmetic procedure involves a solution, usually featuring ingredients thought to boost blood circulation, being injected into various locations in the scalp. Ingredients used in this mixture tend to include vitamins such as biotin, amino acids and growth factors though the precise components depend on the brand and practitioner.
The aims of this are widely stated as being promoting hair growth, treating hairloss in cases of thinning, and preventing baldness – though we are unaware of mesotherapy being recommended in cases of autoimmune disorders such as alopecia areata.
Generally it is used on men and women with androgenetic alopecia – more commonly known as male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss. These hereditary conditions cause thinning hair in the area of the scalp affected by follicular miniaturisation caused by a genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is the vertex area from the hairline to the crown, inclusive.
In men, hair thinning locations tend to be more well defined – for instance, they may develop a receding hairline or a thinning crown. Conversely, women’s hairloss tends to be more diffuse, causing shedding all along the top of the scalp, frequently noted by an increasing widening of the parting. The reason this is important is that mesotherapy involves scalp injections in the affected areas. So, the larger these are, the more injections will be required and, in some cases at least, the more you will pay.
Although it is a quick day-patient procedure, taking around half an hour to perform each session, after-effects can include bruising, swelling and itching. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Conservative politician and TV personality Nadine Dorries admitted applying a hot water bottle to her head after undergoing nanopeptide mesotherapy for her hair thinning.
The most recent clinical trial information regarding this elective procedure comes from the University of Egypt, whose December 2017 study was published in the respected Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. The findings showed there were associated ‘late onset’ side effects of mesotherapy for alopecia – including scarring and, ironically, hair loss.
When it comes to thinning hair caused by male and female pattern baldness, there are already two MHRA licensed and FDA approved hair loss treatments. One, for men aged 18 or over only, comes as an oral tablet, and one unisex option, a topical solution which is applied directly to the scalp. At Belgravia, patients are offered tailored courses using the most appropriate components their dedicated specialists recommend, based on their pattern and level of shedding, as well as their medical profile. This may include non-medicinal hair growth supporting products being used alongside established drugs.
Two of these – Hair Vitalics for Men and Hair Vitalics for Women – are premium food supplements which contain a number of highly-targeted vitamins, minerals, botanical extracts and amino acids, including selenium, biotin and zinc to promote healthy hair growth.
Mesotherapy is not a clinically-proven hair loss treatment and it is hard for us to comment on its efficacy given the lack of credible data available and the fact that, due to this, it is not a service Belgravia provides. Of the medical studies that have been carried out, the general consensus is that it is a ‘controversial practice’** for which ‘proper regulation’*** is needed. Given a quick Google search of UK mesotherapy practitioners returns a number of entries claiming – highly dubiously given the natural timeline of the hair growth cycle – that results can be seen in as little as two days, we would certainly agree with these statements.
* Source: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery; Mesotherapy and phosphatidylcholine injections: historical clarification and review – DOI: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2006.32100.x
** Source: International Journal of Trichology; Mesotherapy in the Management of Hair Loss – DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.66914
*** Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology; Hair Loss at Injection Sites of Mesotherapy for Alopecia – DOI: 10.1111/jocd.12320
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. 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 UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.