Fasted Microneedling Protocol (FMP)

hypetraintime

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For the sake of the brevity, I will refer to this protocol as FMP (Fasted Microneedling Protocol).
Also, I have no idea what I’m talking about so read the links and watch the videos I post to form your own opinions.


Background

So, we know that standard microneedling works on some people, but we don't yet know the best way to do it. We don't know how deep / long it needs to be, we don't know how frequently it needs to be done, we don't know why it works well on some and not others, and there's even speculation around how it even works (does it increase absorption of topicals or induce growth via wound induced follicle neogenesis).

I wanted to know if there might be some other contributing factors that could influence someones success with microneedling. Perhaps the most effective microneedling results might not only depend on how it's done (the current focus), but the state your body is in when you do it.

Investigation

At the beginning of 2019, I was listening to some podcasts about fasting, what it does to the body and the best way to do it. During this time, I found a guy named Volter Longo, who is extremely well known for his fasting research.

In summary, in the few podcasts I listened to, he mentioned that your body accumulates a lot of cells that it doesn’t really need. When you start a prolonged fast (not eating for 36-48+ hours), your body goes though autophagy and apoptosis. Basically, your body kills off and clears these bad/weak cells.

Here is a 3 minute clip with Volter summarizing what happens during fasting.

However, during the re-feeding stage (when you start eating again after the fast), the cells that have been killed off (via autophagy and apoptosis) are regenerated and replaced with brand new cells. And that consuming protein during re-feeding will further help your body rebuild these cells.

Here is a 1 minute clip with Volter summarizing why protein is important in re-feeding the stage.

In summary (if you don’t watch either clips), he basically says that prolonged fasting is the most powerful (that we have discovered so far) regenerative system you can activate since birth.

The research

Okay, cool, but what does it have to do with hair loss? Well, I hadn’t thought much about it until I came upon this paper published this year titled "Fasting before or after wound injury accelerates wound healing through the activation of pro-angiogenic SMOC1 and SCG2”. Basically, they wounded some mice and “determined whether fasting prior to or after wound injury for a certain period of time can promote angiogenesis and speed up the process of wound healing”.

What does promote angiogenesis mean? Basically, angiogenesis is the process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels. Interesting. It might be possible to create a protocol involving fasting, re-feeding and microneedling to significantly increase the amount of blood vessels to the hair follicles by exploiting the regeneration period your body goes through after a fast. Could be a game changer.

Here’s what they found that got me excited. “Our study provided the first evidence that two times of 24-h fasting in a week before (FASTING 1) or after (FASTING 2) wound injury was sufficient to induce faster wound closure, enhance re-epithelialization and dermal regeneration, and reduce scar formation in mice with diabetic or burn wounds. The promotion of angiogenic responses of adjacent resident endothelial cells in the wound bed might be an important factor contributing to the beneficial effects of these fasting regimens on wound healing, as the mice receiving fasting treatment showed a marked increase of neovascularization in the wound sites and the cultured endothelial cells possessed increased proliferative, migratory and vessel-like structure formation abilities after fasting/refeeding treatment. Our findings suggest an alluring prospect of fasting as a new strategy to induce therapeutic angiogenesis for wound therapy.”.

If this doesn’t make sense, here’s some pictures to show you how fasting before wounding increases angiogenesis in the wounded areas.

Also, notice how low the blood vessels created without fasting (control). That is microneedling right now.

KadkXSq.jpg


What this could mean:

It could mean that the key to a successful microneedling protocol involves in a very specific staged fasting protocol which exploits your body's ability to regenerate cells.

The idea is that when your body is coming out of a fasted state (not being in a fasted state), it begins rejuvenating cells all over your body. We might be able to exploit this process by fasting first, then both wounding your scalp and eating protein DURING the re-feeding stage. The outcome? Possibly much better results from microneedling, accelerating wound healing, minimising damage, triggering angiogenesis (new vessels) and ultimately triggering hair growth and possibly follicle neogensis.

Also, according to the paper, the damage left behind after fasting is significantly decreased compared to wounding without fasting. So even if this doesn’t have a significant impact on hair growth, this may be a way to reduce damage to your scalp since we don't yet fully understand the long term consequences of microneedling. See below for wound size difference with and without fasting.

Again, notice had bad the wound closure without fasting (control). That is microneedling now.

GS8MkqJ.jpg


FMP Protocol:

Check this with your doctor before trying anything in this post.

Step 1
Once every 10 - 14 days (guess), do a prolonged water fast (36-48 hours). You can experiment with this, but I probably wouldn't take finasteride or minoxidil during the fast. Your body is going through some pretty significant changes and I don't know how these medications might influence it (possibly negatively).

Step 2
After the fast, on the same day you begin to re-feed, a few hours after your first meal (protein rich), microneedle your scalp with the highest settings / depth (within reason ~ 1 - 1.5 mm) you can tolerate. Again, I wouldn't apply any topicals, at all until 24 hours after wounding.

Step 3
Throughout the re-feeding day include a decent serving of protein with each meal you have.

Step 4
Then 24 hours later (the day after you re-feed), continue medication and diet as normal until the next fast. Make sure you are getting adequate nutrition when you're not fasting. Don't starve yourself.

Protocol FAQ:

How do you water fast?
First and obviously, talk to your doctor. Then just look up ‘water fasting’ on YouTube and visit /r/fasting on reddit.

Why do I need to eat protein with each meal on the day I re-feed?
Refer back to the videos above I posted to know why protein is important when re-feeding after a fast.

Why would you wound a few hours after your first meal?
According to the study, the best results occurred were when the wounding was done DURING the re-feeding stage. As showed below FASTING-1 which had the best results. FASTING-2 was when they wounded first then did the fast and re-feed. It worked, but not as well as FASTING-1.

vWdThmw.jpg


Devil's Advocate

Why are there still bald people in areas of the world where fasting is a significant part of their culture?
It could be that fasting might only be the first stage of this process, but without re-feeding and wounding together, you miss the regeneration window because you’re not signalling to your body where it needs regenerate. Wounding after fasting may be specifically what is needed to exploit this process.

What about the DHT, does this replace finasteride?
This protocol doesn't address DHT levels. It’s not a replacement for finasteride and/or minoxidil, it should be used with none, one or both of them.

Final Words

This is just another tool. It might work, it might not, and I don't see the harm in trying it. Even if it doesn't work, you will all end up looking like Master Roshi Max Power (google it) and live to 150 because periodic prolonged fasting is really good for you.

Post how you will use this protocol below and we’ll see which way works the best.
 

carsonjz

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Long time lurker, first time poster: I've actually been following a protocal very close to what you outline above for the past 3 months or so. It was inspired by the very study you discussed. I have serious misgivings, however, whether a mice wounding study is applicable to humans. I've detailed my regimen below:

1) fasting for 48-72 hours every two weeks;
2) refeeding with protein at the end of the fast, generally in the afternoon;
3) microneedling 6-8 hours after refeeding, using the follica patent protocal;
4) applying copper peptides immedeatly after microneedling;

My personal belief is that this is only part of the puzzle. I think you also need to optimize nutrition to encourage mitochondrial health and autophagy (user Squeegee 2.0 does a good job arguing this point). I personally use AAKG, COQ10, PPQ, and Glucosomine, although the evidence is mediocre at best for them providing a substantial difference. For those curious as to why I beleive that autophagy is important, I find the hair growth results of rapamycin compelling.

So far, I've seen decent progress, although I also used minoxidil, finasteride, sandalore, and the ordinary's hair serum (and their Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum). As such, its impossible to isolate how much this has helped. I also am (and this is where I'll lose anyone still interested), considering having an exosome treatment. Really just a scorched earth approach. As to how much this is working, I'll try to get pictures where my face is blurred, but its nothing miraculous.

TLDR: I completely agree with you that this is worth considering as an adjunt to microneedling. The science is shaky, however.
 
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Poppyburner

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2012:

'Conclusion and future perspectives

On the basis of recent insights into the physiological function of autophagy, it has been hypothesized that (a) defective autophagy at basal levels and (b) stress‐induced increases in autophagy are equally important in promoting several human diseases. We report here several insights suggesting that either defective or increased autophagy could also be of importance in fibrotic disorders. Concerning defective autophagy, it has been demonstrated that TGFβ, one of the key actors in the onset and progression of fibrotic diseases, also impairs autophagic processes. We can suggest: (a) that study of the TGFβ pathway, its activation or intracellular signalling could provide useful clues to understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms of fibrotic diseases; and (b) that TGFβ‐mediated autophagy could represent a new therapeutic target for these diseases. In addition, we also suggest a reappraisal of the role of the immune system in orchestrating the fibrotic response via the modulation of TGFβ, which in turn might affect autophagic molecular mechanisms of fibrogenic cells. Accordingly, it has been demonstrated that treatment with rapamycin, a powerful inducer of autophagy, improved clinical outcome in patients with SSc (a severe fibrotic disease). Concerning stress‐induced increase of autophagy occurring in certain fibrotic diseases, eg in tumour stroma, it can be suggested that the inhibition of autophagy (rather than its stimulation) might be beneficial. Indeed, under stress, fibrotic cells can undergo a dramatic increase of autophagy to support cell survival, particularly when apoptosis is disabled. Finally, therapeutic modulation of autophagy could be a double‐edge sword: it could be beneficial or detrimental depending on the context, eg the microenvironment, and the stage of the disease. How to decide what to do from a clinical point of view? There is still much to be learned about the biology of autophagy and many questions need to be answered before autophagy modulators could routinely be used in the clinical treatment of fibrosis. Learning to manipulate autophagy apparently represents an exciting new challenge in the search for new successful therapies in the management of fibrotic disease.'

 

Equal Rights

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I think you also need to optimize nutrition to encourage mitochondrial health and autophagy (user Squeegee 2.0 does a good job arguing this point). I personally use AAKG, COQ10, PPQ, and Glucosomine, although the evidence is mediocre at best for them providing a substantial difference. For those curious as to why I beleive that autophagy is important, I find the hair growth results of rapamycin compelling.
Hey do you think taking rapamycin sometime before microneedling could potentially to some extent replace the need for fasting. Your body will essentially believe it is in a calorie deficit and promote autophagy like fasting would, I am just unsure of the timing where mTOR is inhibited the most and how long before the microneedling session would be most beneficial to take it. I am interested in rapamycin for other reasons than just hairloss as it seems to have tremendous benefits all around. What do you think? Have you thought of adding it to your regimen?
 

Photon

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I have read some good things about fasting, so I believe it will work. However, the experts in the field of longevity don't recommend you doing prolonged water fasting more than 4 times a year. If I remember correctly - the body needs a lot more time to heal. Doing it too often may have negative side effects.
 

carsonjz

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Hey do you think taking rapamycin sometime before microneedling could potentially to some extent replace the need for fasting. Your body will essentially believe it is in a calorie deficit and promote autophagy like fasting would, I am just unsure of the timing where mTOR is inhibited the most and how long before the microneedling session would be most beneficial to take it. I am interested in rapamycin for other reasons than just hairloss as it seems to have tremendous benefits all around. What do you think? Have you thought of adding it to your regimen?
I think its impossible to say at the moment. The evidence regarding fasting and autophagy is murcky at best when it comes to human studies, so we're shooting in the dark regarding how much mTOR inhibition is created by 48 hour fasting compared to rapamycin. I fast for numerous reasons besides, hairloss, so for me I'm happy with the set-up. That being said, I don't see why it couldn't be supplemented/replaced by Rapamycin.

As for Photon's comments regarding prolonged water fasting, my understanding is that this is for fasts of 5+ days. Again though, fasting protocals are, at best, speculation at this point. So far, I've very much enjoyed bi-weekly fasting, but I can't imagine it would be good for everyone.
 

Photon

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Fasting daily also yields healthful effects. Regenerative markers in rats are upregulated. I doubt fasting daily would induce any damage as you'll be getting nutrients whereas you'll be deprived from nutrients with a prolonged fast. These probably yield beneficial effects too but not without the downside of being nutritionally deprived.
Yeah, fasting is amazing for your health. The harm can come with prolonged fasting (3+ days with only water.) Prolonged fasting is very specific in the medical community from what I remember - it means means doing it for days with only water.

I will be doing a prolonged fast next month. I have been able to do five days, but this time I will go for seven days. I will also do needling soon after.
 

hypetraintime

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because I'm afraid of Telogen Effluvium.
You really need to optimize your nutritional intake before starting periodic prolonged fasting. Starting this type of protocol when you're malnourished can make things a whole lot worse. And even when you do start, you really need to focus on getting all your nutritional requirements when you're not fasting to avoid depleting anything. If you're really concerned, I would find a pathology lab that can test AND give you a comprehensive report of the how to correct any potential deficiencies.

I haven't done this, but one example would be to get a NutrEval test done by Genova Diagnostics. Here is a sample report you would get back. It is really expensive though.
 
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pegasus2

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You really need to optimize your nutritional intake before starting periodic prolonged fasting. Starting this type of protocol when you're malnourished can make things a whole lot worse. If you're really concerned, I would find a pathology lab that can test AND give you a comprehensive report of the how to correct any potential deficiencies.

I haven't done this, but one example would be to get a NutrEval test done by Genova Diagnostics. Here is a sample report you would get back. It is really expensive though.

I'm in excellent health, and don't think nutritional deficiencies will be an issue. I have done many 72hr fasts before and never noticed a shed from it, but there's always a first time. Fasting is stressful to the body no matter how well prepared you are. Rapamycin probably works just as well without that potential shed.
 

5minutesbeforemiracle

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Bumping this thread because I think the OP idea is great. Here's more supporting evidence for autophagy and hair growth:

And if you scroll down on this website, it has a very informative timeline of fasting which explains approximately when autophagy starts.
 

waynakyo

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Long time lurker, first time poster: I've actually been following a protocal very close to what you outline above for the past 3 months or so. It was inspired by the very study you discussed. I have serious misgivings, however, whether a mice wounding study is applicable to humans. I've detailed my regimen below:

1) fasting for 48-72 hours every two weeks;
2) refeeding with protein at the end of the fast, generally in the afternoon;
3) microneedling 6-8 hours after refeeding, using the follica patent protocal;
4) applying copper peptides immedeatly after microneedling;
@carsonjz : I am interested in the copper peptides. Which/Where do you get them from? It is theoretically useful and no known side effects.
 

baldlygoing

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@carsonjz : I am interested in the copper peptides. Which/Where do you get them from? It is theoretically useful and no known side effects.
I was taking GHK-cu subcutaneously, along with BPC-157, and a day after needling my skin looked almost the same as it did prior to the needling. Not sure how well it works topically but I can say it definitely had healing properties for me taking it SQ.
 

5minutesbeforemiracle

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I was taking GHK-cu subcutaneously, along with BPC-157, and a day after needling my skin looked almost the same as it did prior to the needling. Not sure how well it works topically but I can say it definitely had healing properties for me taking it SQ.
How do you administer it subcutaneously?
 
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