Microneedling at Home for Hair Loss

A man microneedling his scalp with a dermaroller

Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that’s typically used to rejuvenate skin, reduce scarring and wrinkles, and improve hair growth. This technique involves creating controlled micro-injuries in the scalp to stimulate natural healing processes that positively affect both skin and hair follicles. (1)

Most people have microneedling procedures performed on them by a doctor or aesthetician at a clinic. These professionals have access to high-grade microneedling devices with features such as customizable needle lengths or the ability to emit radiofrequency.

However, some people – particularly individuals who are using only over-the-counter, home-use treatments – want to try microneedling without the hassle of going into a medical or aesthetic practice. In these cases, microneedling at home can be an option – but only if you’re able to use the right tools and follow best practices for a safe and successful home treatment. 

How Microneedling for Hair Loss Works

Microneedling causes micro-wounds by applying devices like a dermaroller or dermapen to create tiny, controlled punctures in the scalp. These micro-injuries stimulate the body’s natural wound-healing process. This helps promote hair loss by: (1-4)

Increasing Blood Flow to the Scalp

The tiny wounds created during microneedling trigger enhanced blood circulation, which helps deliver an increased amount of nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles. This, in turn, encourages healthier hair growth. 

Activating Stem Cells

Microneedling is believed to stimulate the stem cells found within hair follicles, which play a crucial role in hair growth and regeneration.

Stimulating the Release of Growth Factors 

Microneedling-induced micro-wounds stimulate the release of growth factors, such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which contribute to skin repair and the growth of new hair.

Creating Microchannels

The tiny skin punctures microneedling causes can result in tiny channels in the scalp, which can increase the absorption of topical products like vitamin serums, minoxidil, or topical finasteride. However, you should be careful when applying any products soon after microneedling as this can also be negative, increasing the concentration of the active ingredient that reaches your system and resulting in an increased risk of side effects. This combined method should be done under the supervision of a knowledgeable physician.

Performing Microneedling for Hair Loss at Home

Microneedling for hair loss can be performed at home, but it’s essential to proceed with caution and follow proper techniques to maximize its benefits while minimizing risks. In order to microneedle at home safely, you’ll need:

  • A microneedling device, which can be a dermaroller or dermapen. The needle length should be appropriate for hair loss (typically 0.5 to 2 millimeters).
  • Disinfectant solution (such as isopropyl alcohol)
  • A small dish or cup for your disinfectant
  • Gentle shampoo
  • A comb or tool to part your hair (if it’s more than a few inches long)
  • Clean towels
  • Nitrile or other protective gloves (optional)

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

  1. Make sure you have all of the necessary items.
  2. Ensure your hands and the workspace are clean. 
  3. Disinfect the comb and any components of the microneedling device that will make direct contact with your skin by allowing that component of the device to sit in alcohol for about 20 minutes. Allow the comb and device to air dry before using them.

Step 2: Prepare Your Scalp

  1. Wash your scalp and hair with a mild shampoo to remove oils and dirt.
  2. Pat your hair and scalp dry with a clean towel.
  3. If you have hair longer than a few inches, use a comb to divide your scalp into sections for easier microneedling.

Step 3: Apply the Microneedling Device

  1. Hold the microneedling device, applying only gentle pressure.
  2. Starting with the first section, either roll your dermaroller vertically over your scalp, continuing to apply mild pressure, or glide your dermapen over the section of skin.
  3. Roll or glide horizontally, then diagonally in both directions as well, creating a criss-cross pattern.
  4. Avoid pressing too hard or going over the same spot too many times. The goal is to create micro-injuries, not cause damage or discomfort.
  5. Repeat this process for each section of your scalp.

Step 4. Cleaning and Disinfecting the Device

  1. After each use, clean the microneedling device thoroughly by wiping it with a sterile wipe and rinsing any components that make direct contact with skin in soapy water.
  2. If you intend to reuse any components that make direct skin contact, disinfect these parts of the device by soaking them in alcohol for about 20 minutes.
  3. Allow the device to air dry completely before storing it.

Post-Microneedling Scalp and Hair Care

It’s normal for the treated area of your scalp to have some redness, swelling, and sensitivity after microneedling. However, during this time, you need to treat your scalp with care, avoid exposing it to heat and sun, and be proactive in preventing infection. (4)

Expect Irritation and Inflammation

Most people experience at least mild redness and swelling following microneedling. Fortunately, these usually subside within a day or two.

Wait Before Applying Topicals

If you typically use a topical hair loss product on your scalp, you should wait 24-48 hours after microneedling before applying this product again. And don’t worry — the synergistic effect between microneedling and your topical hair loss product will still be achievable. The waiting time simply helps reduce your risk of side effects.

If you apply a topical immediately before or after microneedling, you may increase your risk of the product’s side effects, like irritation. You may also increase the potential for systemic side effects if an increased amount of the medication enters your body.

Avoid Direct Sun Exposure

It’s best to avoid direct sun exposure on the day on which microneedling is performed. In the days following your microneedling treatments, wear a head covering or  apply a  sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher,  to help protect your skin.

Prevent Infection

To protect your skin from infection, you’ll want to avoid heavy sweating (whether that’s at a sauna or through exercise) and entering bodies of water (such as hot tubs, pools, and the ocean) for the first two days after microneedling. Sweating can cause pores to clog, resulting in inflammation and infection. Similarly, bodies of water tend to contain bacteria, which has the potential to infect your skin more easily following microneedling. 

You should also be aware that microneedling should never be performed on active acne, open wounds, or infected skin. It has the potential to worsen acne and cause  skin infections to spread.

How Effective is Microneedling at Home for Hair Loss?

Microneedling’s effectiveness in treating hair loss can significantly vary from person to person. Effectiveness typically depends on both the person’s underlying cause of hair loss and how long they’ve been experiencing symptoms.  

Hair loss can be due to many different causes, such as stress, immune system responses, and hormonal changes. The most common form, androgenetic alopecia (also known as male and female pattern baldness), is due to a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. Most microneedling for hair loss studies have explored the use dermapens and dermarollers on people with this type of alopecia – typically in conjunction with another hair loss treatment. (2,4-8)  

There currently aren’t any cures for androgenetic alopecia or treatments that can reverse the genetic component of this condition. However, there are quite a few hormonal hair loss medications, such as oral and topical dutasteride and finasteride, as well as experimental drugs like pyrilutamide (KX-826), which is still in clinical trials.  

Since microneedling doesn’t address the genetic or hormonal components of hair loss, it can only be used to help slow the progression of androgenetic alopecia. Although it can be used as a stand-alone treatment, it’s considered to be most beneficial as an adjunct treatment, particularly when used alongside FDA-approved solutions like minoxidil, or clinic-based hair loss treatments like platelet-rich plasma therapy. (5-9) 

Another factor that can influence microneedling’s effectiveness is the consistency of treatment. Like all other hair loss treatments, microneedling needs to be applied to the scalp on a regular basis to counteract the progression of androgenetic alopecia. However, unlike other hair loss treatments that need to be applied on a daily basis, microneedling can be applied as little as every few weeks.

Microneedling is a promising method to treat hair loss, particularly when used to complement the effects of other topical and oral hair loss treatments. If you’re considering microneedling at home to treat your hair loss, just be sure to manage expectations. Hair regrowth is a gradual process that’s regulated by the hair growth cycle. Your hair can only grow at a certain rate, which means it can take several months for any improvements from hair loss treatments to become noticeable.

Microneedling at Home vs. Microneedling at a Clinic

While microneedling at home for hair loss can be effective and much more affordable than having microneedling treatments performed by a trained professional, there are several advantages to having microneedling performed in a clinic. 

You’ll Reduce Your Risk of Infection

Microneedling involves creating micro-injuries on the scalp. This means that the procedure always has a risk of introducing bacteria or other pathogens into the micro-wounds that can cause an infection. Professionals use sterilized equipment and adhere to strict hygiene protocols in their clinics to reduce the risk of this occurring. 

Microneedling Treatments Can Be Tailored to Your Goals

Choosing the correct length of microneedles is crucial for both a safe and effective treatment. Using needle lengths that are too short can result in ineffective treatments, while needles that are excessively long can damage the scalp which can lead to scarring. Professional microneedling devices have adjustable needle lengths to suit different treatment areas and conditions, which helps ensure precise, safe treatments. 

Professional microneedling devices, such as electrodynamic microneedling or radiofrequency microneedling devices, may also have specialized functions and additional features. It’s rare for the same tools to be sold to the general public, so it can be challenging to replicate the positive reports you see in scientific studies by applying at home. 

You’ll Have Professional Guidance

A dermatologist or hair loss specialist can assess your specific issues, recommend the most suitable treatment plan, and monitor your progress. They can often even quantify your results, measuring the thickness of your hair strands and your overall hair density. 

Specialists can also provide personalized guidance on the frequency and technique used for your microneedling treatments, ensuring that it aligns with your specific needs and goals. This helps minimize issues such as treatment overuse or using too much pressure when applying the device, which can cause skin damage and exacerbate your issues. It also means that they are readily available if you ever experience any side effects or issues that require further care. 

You’ll Have Access to Other Treatments

When you go into a hair loss clinic, you’ll have access to a number of alternative hair loss products and treatments that you can’t usually buy over the counter or with a typical doctor’s prescription. Some of these treatments, like PRP therapy, can only be administered in a clinical setting. Combining some of these treatments – such as PRP and microneedling – has been shown to effectively produce better hair regrowth results. (5-8)

Should You Try Microneedling at Home for Hair Loss?

Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic treatment that has recently been shown to help improve hair growth. It’s particularly effective when combined with other hair loss treatments such as minoxidil and platelet-rich plasma therapy. (5-9)

While microneedling is a potential treatment for hair loss, it’s likely to be most effective when performed under the supervision of a qualified professional or dermatologist. They can ensure the procedure is conducted safely, using the correct equipment and technique, and formulate a comprehensive treatment plan that’s tailored to your specific needs.  

If you’re set on attempting microneedling at home for hair loss, be aware that DIY microneedling can carry an increased risk of infection and other side effects. It may not provide the desired results if you use a tool with the wrong needle length or apply the device improperly, so be sure to do your research before attempting this treatment at home.


  1. Ramaut, L., Hoeksema, H., Pirayesh, A., Stillaert, F., & Monstrey, S. (2018). Microneedling: Where do we stand now? A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, 71(1), 1–14.
  2. Hou, A., Cohen, B., Haimovic, A., & Elbuluk, N. (2017). Microneedling: A Comprehensive Review. Dermatologic Surgery, 43(3), 321–339.
  3. Aust, M. C., Fernandes, D., Kolokythas, P., Kaplan, H. M., & Vogt, P. M. (2008). Percutaneous Collagen 
  4. Induction Therapy: An Alternative Treatment for Scars, Wrinkles, and Skin Laxity. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 121(4), 1421–1429.
  5. Yadav, S., & Singh, A. (2016). Microneedling: Advances and widening horizons. Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 7(4), 244.
  6. Jha, A. K., Vinay, K., Zeeshan, M., Roy, P. K., Chaudhary, R. K. P., & Priya, A. (2019). Platelet‐rich plasma and microneedling improves hair growth in patients of androgenetic alopecia when used as an adjuvant to minoxidil. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 18(5), 1330–1335.
  7. Bao, L., Zong, H., Fang, S., Zheng, L., & Li, Y. (2020). Randomized trial of electrodynamic microneedling combined with 5% minoxidil topical solution for treating androgenetic alopecia in Chinese males and molecular mechanistic study of the involvement of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 1-11. 
  8. Starace, M., Alessandrini, A., Brandi, N., & Piraccini, B. M. (2020). Preliminary results of the use of scalp microneedling in different types of alopecia. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 19(3), 646-650. 
  9. Sohng, C., Lee, E. H., Woo, S. K., Kim, J. Y., Park, K. D., Lee, S. J., & Lee, W. J. (2021). Usefulness of home‐use microneedle devices in the treatment of pattern hair loss. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 20(2), 591-596.
Published on March 1, 2024

Last updated March 2024

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