Mesotherapy is a non-invasive and non-surgical cosmetic hair restoration procedure which has been steadily gaining in popularity.
Superficial microinjections are inserted just below the epidermal layer of the skin into the appropriate tissues to stimulate the mesoderm layer in the skin, which lies at a depth of about 1mm beneath the surface. This encourages the hair’s natural regeneration and proliferation process.
Mesotherapy treatment has now been used for decades to successfully restore luster and volume to thinning hair.
The technology at the root of the treatment is based on the understanding that most hair loss problems are a result of lack of proper nutrients, reduced blood circulation to the scalp, and hormone imbalances (DHT, in particular) around the hair follicle.
For hair restoration treatments, the mesotherapy solution injected into the scalp contains a special combination of specific chemicals, minerals, amino acids, vitamins, nucleic acids, and co-enzymes specifically tailored according to the patient’s unique requirements.
The treatment restores hormone balance at a gradual pace, which enables the steady growth of new, healthy hair strands.
The History Of Mesotherapy
Dr Michel Pistor (1924–2003) was the founder of mesotherapy, after a chance encounter with a patient in the village of Bray Et Lu in 1952 (1). Dr Pistor had encountered a local cobbler who was suffering from an asthma attack. He treated the patient by administering procaine.
The initial procaine treatment had little effect on the cobbler’s respiratory disease, however during a follow up session the patient revealed that after being deaf for many years he was able to hear the village bells ringing again following the administration of the procaine treatment.
Dr Pistor then decided to administer the procaine treatment directly next to the patient’s ear, which continued to provide positive results for the cobbler’s hearing.
Dr Pistor then began to successfully administer similar treatments to his subsequent patients in the same manner, with the intention of treating their disease from as close a point as possible. He became well-known for his motto, “A little, not very often, in the right spot.”
Dr Pistor’s continued work led to the founding of the French Society of Mesotherapy in Paris in 1964, and mesotherapy became officially recognized as a legitimate treatment modality within conventional medicine by the French Academy of Medicine in 1987.
Throughout Europe, South America, the United States of America and Asia, Mesotherapy has been successfully used to treat a variety of hair loss conditions and today it is known to be practiced by approximately 40,000 physicians worldwide.
When administered professionally the treatment is very safe and essentially painless, with no local anesthesia or dressing to the skin required.
The Chemical and Mechanical Action of Mesotherapy
Mesotherapy uses a dual-action process, which employs both chemical stimulation and mechanical stimulation to the affected area.
Mechanical Action: The needle used to administer the solution creates micro perforations in the affected tissue, which induces a healing process, in which collagen and elastin are produced. These substances are two building blocks within the tissue which are vital for the formation of healthy skin and hair.
As the perforations are so tiny, no significant damage is done to the existing collagen. This is also the method we use to stimulate hair growth in the scalp after removing DHT.
Chemical Action: The active ingredients administered via microinjection stimulate the appropriate response in the mesoderm, according to the condition being treated. The quality of the product is of the utmost importance.
Mesotherapy Chemical Solutions for Hair Loss
There isn’t a specific formulation of chemicals which are injected into the scalp. There are some which are more popular than others, though.
For the treatment of hair loss, one particular solution injected into the skin’s mesoderm layer contains the active ingredients Acetyl tetrapeptide-3 and Biochanin A which work together to stimulate natural hair growth.
The skin provides a time-release delivery system that administers the solution to the required area.
The active ingredients in the solution work together to quicken hair growth by improving blood circulation, neutralizing excess DHT, reducing inflammation, stimulating the production of collagen, and increasing the follicle size to halt hair loss.
Benefits of Acetyl tetrapeptide-3
- Reduces the inflammation response.
- Promotes hair growth (2).
- Modulates levels of DHT.
- Stimulates the extra cellular matrix and anchoring proteins.
- Stimulates tissue remodeling to increase the size of hair follicle for better hair vitality and anchoring.
Acetyl tetrapeptide-3 may even be an alternative to Minoxidil.
Benefits of Biochanin A
Biochanin A is a natural organic compound derived from red clover. In the class of phytochemicals called flavonoids, it is also a powerful Isoflavone. Biochanin A modulates the conversion of testosterone to DHT in people who suffer from hormone-related baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia.
This is a slightly different variation of mesotherapy treatment offered by the Garrett Clinic.
It involves the use of micro-droplet injections which contain a mixture of peptides each having a unique function. Let’s take a look at just a few of these peptides (3):
- Decapeptide – Stimulates hair follicles to create strong hair shafts.
- Oligopeptide – Stimulates hair cell propagation.
- Acetyl Decapeptide – Revitalizes hair follicles by regenerating hair cells.
- Copper Tripeptide – Stimulates hair follicles to produce strong hair shafts and increases blood circulation to the scalp.
The Mesotherapy Treatment Protocol
The treatment procedure for hair loss can vary from patient to patient, however a session usually takes between approximately 10 and 30 minutes, depending upon the size of the area requiring treatment.
Generally, a minimum of 10 sessions is required in order to create the conditions in the scalp required to stimulate hair growth, beginning with an intensive course of treatments every 2 weeks for the first 2-3 months, after which it is possible to then decrease the frequency of treatments to once every 3 months or less.
How Quickly Do Patients Experience Results?
Some people can experience positive results within the first few weeks of treatment, however it can vary depending upon the severity of the hair loss and how the individual responds to the treatment.
Patients should expect to expect to see significant results within the first 2-3 months of treatment, but the full effect of the treatment may take up to 6 months.
Effectiveness of Mesotherapy for Hair Restoration
Mesotherapy has been shown to be just as effective and sometimes more effective than oral tablets for hair restoration and rejuvenation. Learn more about restoring the hairline in particular here.
Orally administered treatments must first pass through the gastrointestinal tract and be metabolized by the liver before they are released into the bloodstream.
This digestive process significantly reduces the amount of medication that reaches the affected area.
In contrast, mesotherapy is able to deliver a much smaller dose of treatment direct to the affected area. In the case of hair loss, the hair follicle, where it is directly required and can be immediately assimilated.
While there are no current studies on mesotherapy, there are a few on the efficacy of microneedling.
Microneedling is a procedure that involves making small wounds on the scalp with tiny needles (4). These wounds trigger a healing process, which induces the release of collagen.
This is one part of the mesotherapy process, while the other involves the actual injection of a substance such as Acetyl tetrapeptide-3.
Microneedling has been shown in a clinical trial to be more effective than topical application of Minoxidil for successful hair growth in men with AGA (5).
Since microneedling is one part of the mesotherapy process, these results may suggest that mesotherapy can be an effective treatment for hair loss. But further studies are needed.
Mesotherapy Is Growing In Popularity
Mesotherapy has made the headlines in the UK, with many people having reporting very successful results following treatment.
Journalist Andrew Pierce shares his success story in the Daily Mail Online where he professes that his treatment “worked wonders” to relieve him of his inherited male pattern baldness.
However, it’s not only men who have been eager to praise the treatment.
A female patient, Ms Aahana Kumra, who works as a TV, stage & film actor has also shared her story via video testimonial following her successful Mesotherapy treatment in Mumbai.
Alternative Opinions About Mesotherapy
Mesotherapy has not been shown to be an effective hair restoration procedure for everyone.
There are some claims from patients that it did not work for them despite undergoing several treatments.
And some doctors have purported that there is not enough clinical evidence to show that mesotherapy is a reliable solution for the effective restoration of hair. This is simply because it has not been studied enough on a long term basis (6).
Mesotherapy Side Effects
Although mesotherapy is mostly painless, some patients have complained of pain following the therapy.
Side effects that may occur following mesotherapy treatment are predominantly as a result of the needle insertion into the skin. Therefore some people may experience pain, swelling, bruising, inflammation, or possibly infection following a mesotherapy treatment.
A new take on the traditional form of mesotherapy has been developed for people who are adverse to needles.
Using high frequency ultrasound technology along with traditional mesotherapy solutions, this system offers a completely non-invasive, non-painful solution for people who may be sensitive to the treatment.
The ultrasonic apparatus delivers the active ingredients into the skin without the requirement of a needle. It also allows the cell membranes to become temporarily permeable so the cell can absorb the nutrients within the solution.
Combining Mesotherapy With Other Treatments
Mesotherapy has also been used successfully as an adjunct to other topical and oral treatments without any side effects. It has been used in conjunction with Botilinum Toxin to successfully treat cases of alopecia.
Are you looking for ways to combine natural therapies with mesotherapy? Let’s take a look at a few ways you can do so!
One way to increase the efficacy of mesotherapy is with the addition of essential oils. These are commonly applied after (at least 8 hours) the treatment, and can penetrate the skin and permeate the hair follicles more thoroughly. Always mix essential oils with a carrier oil before applying to the skin.
Some of the oils I recommend include:
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin Seed Oil (PSO) is obtained from the hulls of the pumpkin seed, and it can be applied topically or taken orally. It’s a rich source of antioxidants and fatty acids, both of which contribute to scalp and hair health (7, 8).
This oil has many health benefits, and it contains numerous other properties, including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial (9). These can both improve the health of your scalp, by reducing the incidence of infections (such as fungal and bacterial) and scalp conditions (such as dandruff).
PSO has even been proven to reverse hair loss.
A 2014 study involved 76 male subjects, and it studied the effects of PSO over a 24-week period (10).
The treatment was shown to increase hair count significantly over that of the placebo treatment, but it didn’t have much effect on hair thickness.
So, how can you use PSO in conjunction with mesotherapy?
You can either apply it directly to the scalp, or take it as an oral supplement.
Another beneficial oil on the list is rosemary. This pine-scented oil is commonly used in aromatherapy blends, but it can also be applied topically (alongside a carrier oil) with numerous hair and scalp benefits.
One particular study, performed in 2013 (on mice), showed that topical administration can induce hair growth even after growth had been interrupted due to testosterone treatment (11).
Even further, the researchers found that rosemary oil displayed antiandrogenetic activity, which would be beneficial in the treatment of AGA.
Just as with PSO, rosemary can be applied directly to the scalp. You can do this as part of your normal hair care routine, or 8 hours after a mesotherapy treatment.
There are dozens of carrier oils to choose from, and magnesium oil is one of the best. It moisturizes and cleanses the scalp and hair, while also combatting calcification.
In short, calcification occurs when excess calcium accumulates in different areas of the body. This can occur on the scalp, which thickens the skin and makes hair regrowth difficult (if not impossible).
When applied to the scalp, magnesium oil can break down calcium deposits while also moisturizing and hydrating.
As a carrier oil, magnesium oil can be applied alone. You can also combine it with other oils (such as pumpkin seed and rosemary mentioned above).
NOTE: Before applying any of the above oils to your scalp, speak with your doctor. They may interact with the chemicals used in your Mesotherapy treatment, so it’s best to clear their use first.
Scalp Massage and Exercises
Mesotherapy is a great way to increase blood flow to the scalp, but it’s not the only way to do so. In fact, you can add scalp massage and exercises to your routine on a daily basis.
How to Perform Scalp Massages
For best results, I recommend you perform these massages upon waking or before bed. This will increase the odds of you remembering to perform the massages, which is key in seeing improvements.
Here’s a basic rundown of the process:
- Place your thumb, index, and middle fingers on either side of your head (just above the ears). Begin to massage in a circular motion, and apply varying levels of pressure as you do so.
- From the sides of the head, move up to the crown. Continue your circular motions, and backtrack to previous places as you do.
- From the crown, slowly move to the middle of the hairline and temples. Continue applying varying levels of pressure, and moving in circular motions.
- Finally, bring your fingers from the hairline to the crown, and finally to the base of the scalp.
This entire process should take about 10 minutes, though you can extend it if you’d like.
How to Perform Scalp Exercises
You can further increase blood circulation by using facial muscles to ‘exercise’ the scalp. Here’s how to do so:
- Lift your eyebrows as high as possible, and hold in place for 2 minutes. Return your eyebrows to the resting position.
- Furrow your eyebrows as deep as possible, and hold in place for 2 minutes. Return your eyebrows to the resting position.
- Lift your eyebrows as high as possible and hold for 3 minutes. Then furrow your eyebrows as deep as possible and hold for 2 minutes. Return to the resting position.
You can also use your fingertips to ‘stretch’ the skin of the scalp, by placing two fingertips on the scalp and pushing and pulling them away from each other.
Is mesotherapy the right hair treatment option for you? Only you and your doctor can decide if this is the best treatment for your hair loss woes.
There’s no doubt that the effects of mesotherapy – including an increase in blood circulation and removal of DHT from the scalp – can be beneficial. And when combined with other natural therapies, it can lead to positive results. However, you may want to consider other options if you’re wary of needles.
*This article was reviewed by Dr. Debra Rose Wilson.