Hey there, people! Since the other thread is becoming very long and we repeat ourselves a lot, I thought about opening this thread with what I consider the FAQs, procedures, studies, etc., so that we can point newcomers to this thread. Comment with something you think is important that's not on the list. Since I'm pretty active, I'll answer requests rather fast. WHAT YOU NEED 1.- A cheap dermaroller or a manual stamp might suffice. However, we suggest you get an electric dermapen, since it wounds more effectively and most users report it's less painful than a roller. Dermaroller vs Dermapen: Most popular pens: If you think you can spend $200, the Derminator 2 is the best pen out there. It appears that you can get a refund if you send them pictures showing clear results: EUROPEAN PLUG: https://owndoc.shop/Dermaneedling/Derminator digital needling device/Derminator 2/DERMINATOR 2 digi-needler (European plug) US PLUG: https://owndoc.shop/Dermaneedling/Derminator digital needling device/Derminator 2/DERMINATOR 2 digi-needler (US plug)/ UK PLUG: https://owndoc.shop/Dermaneedling/Derminator digital needling device/Derminator 2/DERMINATOR 2 digi-needler (UK plug)/ AUSTRALIAN PLUG: https://owndoc.shop/Dermaneedling/Derminator digital needling device/Derminator 2/DERMINATOR 2 digi-needler (Australian plug)/ Derminator cartridges are not compatible with Derminator 2. BEWARE: The costumer service is made out of people in the spectrum. Some users who've asked a question have reported rude replies and the refusal to do business. I personally didn't have a problem when I asked, but tread carefully. If your budget is tighter, you can just get a Dr. Pen off of Amazon. Titanium needles are advised. If you settle for a dermaroller, be careful: 2.- A disinfectant such as 70% alcohol, to sanitize the roller/stamp or cartridges (using the same cartridge twice with proper hygiene won't cause problems, but it is recommended to change them after one use to be extra safe) and Betadine to sanitize your scalp (users report this is not necessary and that rinsing your head profusely is enough if you use a pen and change cartridges). Note: Make sure you don't soak the silicone cover of the cartridges with alcohol, as it will destroy it. Further instructions here: https://dermaroller.owndoc.com/dermaroller-instructions.pdf 3.- Numbing cream such as 4%-5% lidocaine. Beware: to prevent allergic reactions, apply it on a 3x3 cm section of your skin and wait for half an hour. If nothing happens, you're good to go! 4.- Microneedling by itself has proved to give results. However, to get the best out of it, combining it with 5% Minoxidil is the way to go. PROCEDURE 1.- Wash your scalp with shampoo. 2.- If you're using it, apply numbing cream about half an hour before needling, then wash it off thoroughly before you begin needling. 3.- You can do this however you feel most comfortable with. Derminator people recommend doing small circles. The Chinese study did 3-4 passes on all the subjects. The visual example we have is this: needle each area doing 2 horizontal passes, 2 vertical passes and 2 diagonal passes, for a total of 6 passes. Redness and small blood spots are the goal here. If you don't see blood at first this does not mean you didn't wound properly, as redness is the what the studies went for and blood spots can appear the more sessions you do. Video by @74775446: 4.- Make sure you sanitize your roller/stamp or cartridge, if you're reusing it. STUDIES There are several studies about dermarolling, but the most popular ones are the Indian study carried out in 2013 and the Chinese study carried out in 2017: Indian study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746236/ Key points: - Microneedling with a 1.5 mm dermaroller once a week. - If you're using it; apply 1 ml 5% Minoxidil twice a day. Chinese study: https://www.docdroid.net/Q4cnC2V/101080-at-1476417220171376094.pdf Key points: - Microneedling with a 1.5-2.5 mm needle using an electric pen twice a month. - If you're using it; apply Minoxidil right after needling. Plenty of people have seen results with different frequencies and lengths, but if you want to follow something with clinical evidence, here it is. Also, keep in mind that the goal here is to wound, and that is achieved with a >1.5 mm depth. It should be noted that a very important part of being able to stick to something on the long run is by setting yourself up for success. If you think you'll get lazy by doing weekly sessions, then you can do them every 2 weeks or even monthly. There are many variables and there's no such thing as a single "best length and frequency", so choose what you think is best for you and your hair. Oh, and you wanna have this picture in mind: The longer you wait between session, the better your scalp will recover. You can actually do, say, 2 mm once every 2 weeks and then switch to once a month as soon as you're happy with your results. This frequency serves as maintenance. Do not go into the sun for 7 days after a session. Wear a hat during that time. You can stop rolling during the summer if you wish to do so. Results appear to stay for some months after you stop rolling. Other studies: Microneedling in non-responders to finasteride or Minoxidil: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458936/ Small study doing monthly microneedling sessions with 1.5 mm needles on 2 patients who previously responded poorly to Minoxidil (broken link): http://www.surgicalcosmetic.org.br/...ica-de-microinfusao-de-medicamentos-pela-pele BENEFITS Apart from the potential regrowth or thickening of your hair, needling has proved to make the scalp feel alive, healthy and more sensitive to the touch. It also reduces sebum and the chronic itching considerably. HOW MANY NEEDLES DO PEOPLE USE? Generally speaking, people go for dermarollers with 192 needles, dermastamps with 80-140 needles and 12 needle cartridges for the pens. DID ANYONE GET GOOD RESULTS WITHOUT USING MINOXIDIL OR FINASTERIDE? Why yes. In this forum: 2young2retire restored 2 Norwoods with extreme wounding. Look up "2young2retire mastering the potential cure" to see his progress. MyThinningConfidence made excellent progress without them. Here's his story: https://www.hairlosstalk.com/intera...or-finasteride-mechanical-stimulation.116396/ Kitedude is another example (needling + scalp exercises for 5 years; used Minoxidil for 6 months in the beginning but then dropped it). Another user from the StopAGA days reported results without using Minoxidil or Finasteride (needling for 3 years using 2 mm needles + detumescence therapy and supplements like MSM and ecklonia cava) You want to combine needling with Minoxidil to get the best results. Just know that, if you can't tolerate it, you have the option of needling without it; it's just not as effective (proved to be better than Minoxidil alone) and results can take longer to show. HOW LONG UNTIL I SEE RESULTS? This varies from person to person. If you want to properly assess how good a responder you are, it is recommended that you give it a 12 month trial. However, if you think nothing's happening after, say; 6 months, no one's stopping you from dropping it. But keep in mind: the only user who stuck with it for over a year in the baldtruthtaIk "community" trial was PrettyFly83... And he didn't see progress (and what a nice ass progress it was... look up "prettyfly83 baldtruthtaIk" to see his results) until after 1.5 years. Recently, we have Me Vs Diffuse Thinning, who went on for 8 months until he saw results, so... Up to you. A summary of pics (not updated): https://m.imgur.com/a/9moOBwA HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT BEFORE I USE HAIR STYLING PRODUCTS? It is safe to use hair styling products 24-48 hours after a session. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T RESPOND TO MINOXIDIL? The original poster from Tressless, AKA @74775446, didn't respond to Minoxidil prior to starting microneedling and... Well. The rest is a success story. It's not gonna be 100% the same for everyone, but it's worth a shot. ARE THERE ANY SUBSTITUTES TO MINOXIDIL? I'm afraid that we don't have much of a choice. RU is the closest. Rosemary oil proved to be as effective as 2% Minoxidil, but nobody uses 2% Minoxidil. Sandalore is looking good, but it's too early to tell. Guess we'll find out with time! IS IT SAFE TO NEEDLE OVER BIRTHMARKS OR SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS? Yes, it is. Several dermarolling and RealSelf threads report that needling has proved to be effective at treating birthmarks and seborrheic dermatitis. However, I urge everyone concerned with this to talk to a dermatologist. WOULD NEEDLING RUIN MY SKIN FOR A TRANSPLANT? WHAT IF I HAD A TRANSPLANT, IS IT OKAY TO NEEDLE OVER THOSE AREAS? We don't know of anyone who's done this, so I don't wanna venture too far. But technically, the transplant can benefit from needling, as it has proved to make a better environment for the hair. There's a user needling after having a transplant (FUT), but he had it +8 years ago. So presumably, needling over those areas is safe but only after healing properly. How long is that, I am not sure. I strongly advise anyone concerned with this to talk both to a transplant surgeon and a dermatologist. HOW SAFE IS MICRONEEDLING? HOW PAINFUL IS IT? WHAT ARE ITS SIDE EFFECTS? Here's the general info: https://dermapen.com/2013/01/25/dermapen-side-effects-microneedling/ Concerning infection: unless swimming in shit is a hobby of yours, you'll be fine as long as you use basic hygiene. As an OCD person, I'll be sanitizing the hell out of everything. Pain varies from person to person. Some people say 2 mm is a no go for them and they stay at 1.5-1.75, unless they use numbing cream. Others find 2 mm almost relaxing. I'm part of the last group. As for side effects; the most common ones are headaches and peeling off the skin (flaking) for a couple of days. Swollen lymph nodes are also an honorable mention (it's been observed that going extra hard on the scalp causes it, but there's no reason for this, also by applying Minoxidil right after, but overall it's a rare occurrence). Some people will experience shedding. Others will experience the cease of their shedding. Shedding, for the most part, lasts for a month before seeing some improvement. But obviously this may not be the case for everyone. You might get a feeling of anxiety in your throat because of all the blood rushing to your head, too. All of these subside after some time. Bear in mind: although needling is safe, it increases the absorption of the topicals you're using; thus enhancing their potential side effects. Again, if you think I forgot about something, feel free to point it out. I will edit this and add it here. I'll be updating it whenever I think there's something worth adding, too. Other things to keep in mind: Recently, another user with great results has popped up. Goes by the name of @chen and he regrew hair on slick bald areas following a daily wounding regimen + conventional treatments. However, these type of regimens carry a larger risk of cancer according to these studies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21321207 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21321199 I am aware of the whole everything-giving-you-cancer these days, but I thought it was a good idea to let people know. There is a reason why dermarolling companies usually advise to needle once or twice a month. Peace and good luck!