We all know that hair loss is common, affecting some 50 million men in the U.S. Most of us associate thinning hair or baldness with older men. But did you know that androgenic alopecia (or AGA) hair loss is also very common among women? 30 million women in the U.S. must deal with this condition as well! More than 60% of all adult women will have to deal with thinning hair or major hair loss at some point in their lives.
Rogaine® is the only FDA approved topical medication for treating hair loss in both men and women. It comes as a 5% solution which is recommended for use by men, and as a 2% solution which is recommended for use by women. About 40% of Rogaine® users will see some regrowth of their hair after 3 – 6 months of use. While it is true that only a small percent of users will see minimal regrowth, it is also true that only a small percent of users will see major significant regrowth. Long term results for the maintenance of any regrowth appear to depend on continued regular use of Rogaine®.
In July 2013, The International Journal of Trichology (the study and science of hair) reported on the results of a fascinating study suggesting that microneedling could be of great help in generating significantly greater hair regrowth for both men and women when combined with standard Rogaine® treatments.
100 men entered a 3 month treatment protocol. Half used 5% Minoxidil (Rogaine®) as directed. The other half did this too, but with the addition of weekly microneedling treatments to the scalp as well. After 12 weeks there were some major differences!
Of the Rogaine® + microneedling group, 82% felt that they had more than a 50% improvement in hair regrowth. In the Rogaine® only group, just 4% thought that they had this degree of improvement!
Microscopic measurements of the scalp hair density after the treatment period demonstrated that the Rogaine® + microneedling group had an average of 91 hairs per square centimeter of the scalp. In the Rogaine only group, density was only 22 hairs per square centimeter of scalp. That means that the treatment protocol combining Rogaine® + microneedling resulted in over 4x the number of growing hairs as was obtained by using Rogaine® alone!
But why would microneedling – the legendary office procedure for smoothing facial skin – have any effect on scalp hair growth? Microneedling treatments effectuate many rejuvenating and positive changes in the skin, among these includes growth factor stimulation. Growth factor has some very powerful effects upon hair follicles, and directly stimulates hair growth. Microneedling also creates tiny temporary microchannels into the skin that allows for more direct access by the Rogaine® to the hair follicles, further and more effectively stimulating hair growth!
If you have considered taking steps to treat thinning of your hair or actual areas of baldness, Rogaine® therapy combined with microneedling would seem a very promising option! Consult with your local board certified plastic surgeon and his certified aesthetician to learn more.