The diagnosis of alopecia is essentially clinical as it is a result of the reduction or complete loss of hair. The number of hair follicles is 200 per cm2 and the number of hair strands is between 80 – 150 000. The development of a hair follicle is cyclic, however, the phases are not synchronised and we lose about 30 - 150 hair strands per day.
The main purpose of mesotherapy for alopecia is to:
- Restore local microcirculation – vasodilator
- Provide nutritional input – polyvitamin cocktail
- Slow programmed process of follicular involution – different modes of mesotherapy
- Stimulate hair’s environment with needling effect
- Psychological effect
- Complement other treatments such as hair care, medication, etc.
- Adjunct to surgery, i.e. before, immediately after and later.
The Major Factors Contributing to Abnormal Hair Loss
Hormones, like oestrogen and thryoid hormones, are favourable to the growth of the hair follicles. The male hormones, particularly dihydrotestosterone, cause the hair to shrink. Endocrine conditions, namely: hypothyroidism and hyperandrogenism result in alopecia.
Androgenic alopecia involves several environmental factors that are also responsible for the aging the hair .The main two causes of which include intrinsic (genetic factors) and extrinsic (environmental factors).
Genetic factors: It is now understood that there is an increase in 5 alpha reductase activity, resulting in a local increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This inhibits cellular proliferation at the level of the dermal papilla as well as production of the VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) resulting in hair loss.
Environmental factors: Oxidative stress is triggered by several factors like UV rays, certain medicines, pollutants, tobacco, emotional stress, inflammation of the skin and perifollicular inflammation which result in decrease defence mechanism against ageing.
Mesotherapy can correct these problems, stimulating the body to naturally grow lost hair. The correct combination of pharmaceutical agents should be used to treat the contributing factors.
- Scalp condition
- Hair appearance
- Hair-pull test
- Degree of hair loss progression (Norwood-Hamilton or Ludwig scales)
It is advised that you do not undergo mesotherapy for hair rejuvenation/alopecia should you be affected by any of these contra-indications:
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers
- Brain tumours
- Acute inflammation
- Infectious diseases
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Uncontrolled hypertension
- Unstable and/or severe heart disease
- Unstable and/or severe kidney disease
- Unstable and/or severe liver disease.
Risks / Side Effects
Please find below a list of common side effects and risks, for a more comprehensive list and explanation, please refer to the consent form and discuss this with your NoviSkin doctor.
Less common side effects include: allergic reactions
“Mesotherapy is an excellent supplementary technique for the treatment of androgenic alopecia, but it is important to recognize the ideal indications for this treatment. It increases the local circulation and thereby nourishes the hair follicle bulbs.” - Dr Philippe Petit, expert mesotherapist for over 45 years, from Bordeaux, France. Dr Petit is also the founder of the World Society of Mesotherapy and the course developer of the International Course and Interuniversity Degree, Bordeaux, France.
Mesotherapy requires individually prepared injected solutions - depending on its purpose. It is administered directly to the desired area (unlike other medical treatments). This application of lower dosage medications applied directly to the treatment area limits side-effects, reduces the possibility of drug interactions, and allows for a substantial reduction in the amount of medicine utilized for each procedure.
Mesotherapy is a recognized medical treatment for various pathologies and also including aesthetic medicine. The concept of hair rejuvenation mesotherapy is based on nourishing and stimulating the hair follicle to slow hair loss.
Superficial Nappage - Superficial injections to the epidermal layer (1mm depth)
Superficial Intradermal - Multiple papules (2mm depth) made to the intrabasal
Deep intra Dermal - Point-by-Point injections (4 to 10mm depth)
Nappage is the most commonly used technique and is carried out with a multi-pricking technique. It is described as a technique where 2 to 4 injections are made per second, every 2 to 4mm apart at an angle between 30 and 60 degrees from the skin’s surface. The needle penetrates to a depth of 2 to 4mm while constant unchanging pressure is applied to the piston of the syringe. Nappage involves using a 30G 4 mm needle and a syringe of 3 – 10 ml.
Advantages include significant cutaneous stimulation and the ability to cover large surface areas. It is associated with minimal pain and it has a rapid action.
The pharmaceutical action is to enhance the microcirculation locally in the scalp and to nourish the hair follicles with direct introduction of vitamins, mineral salts and other nutrients necessary. Therefore, the involution process decreases for the hair follicles, and:
- Acts as nutritive solution to revitalise the scalp and hair roots.
- Stimulation of micro-circulation to increase penetration of active ingredients .
Ideal Candidates for Hair Mesotherapy
MALE: Androgenic alopecia until Hamilton stage IV
FEMALE: Androgenic alopecia until Ludwig stage II
Ludwig Classification – Women
Recommended Clinical Examination for Alopecia
- Onset and progression of hair loss
- Family history
- Alopecia etiology (medication, hair care routine and habits, infections, trauma, stress and other contributing factors)
- Efficacy of treatments tried
Post Care Instructions
It is important to note that it takes at least 6 sessions to notice a difference due to the cyclic changes of the hair follicle.
After care also includes a proper hair lotion and shampoo and most importantly a daily supplement rich in the micronutrients needed to sustain hair development.