Originally used for treating acne scars, derma rollers or micro-needling are now used for treating hair loss as well. It’s not anything new, though. In fact, dermal rollers for hair growth have been around for quite a few years now.
On social media, you are likely to have seen many videos of people using derma rollers to treat acne scars. It’s quite popular in the skincare community. It is also true, however, that many people end up damaging their skins by using derma rollers the wrong way.
It’s because they don’t quite understand how it works. If you puncture deeper holes with more pressure, you won’t see more results, only more harm.
It will also be bad news for your hair, which is literally attached to your skin. So, if you are considering using a derma roller for hair growth, you should know if it is truly worth it.
What Is A Derma Roller?
Derma rollers are drum-shaped roller devices with microneedles on them that create controlled and superficial puncture holes in the skin.
The length of the needles on a derma roller can be anywhere from 0.25 mm to 3 mm. However, usually, the shorter end of the range is utilised to avoid excessive bleeding.
It’s handheld and rolled onto the skin to create “micropores” for various reasons, such as healing scars (from things like acne, burns, or even surgery), stretch marks, wrinkles, and/or (re)growing hair.
What Does A Derma Roller Do?
Essentially, a derma roller device is used to perform “microneedling,” which is considered a minimally invasive cosmetic treatment.
It’s also known as collagen-induction therapy since the skin injuries, it creates triggers the body’s natural healing response.
And the result is the production of collagen and elastin to improve the appearance of the skin.
Research published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery also reported that it can induce the formation of new blood vessels (neovascularization). This may help improve blood flow in the area.
Additionally, it’s also used to allow for better penetration of topical drugs because of the puncture holes.
Many regards micro needling as a cheap, safe and well-tolerated treatment for skin rejuvenation.
How To Use A Derma Roller?
To use a derma roller, you first need to clean and disinfect it with alcohol. After that, wash it in warm water. And before using the device, you should thoroughly cleanse your face as well.
Once the roller has air-dried and your skin is clean, make sure to put some hydrating serum on it.
Following that, take the derma roller, and roll it twice in all directions over the chin, cheeks and forehead.
If you’re going over the area under the eyes or even your lips, you need to be very careful and gentle because the skin there is very delicate. In any case, do not apply a lot of pressure.
If you’re doing it at home using a derma roller with small needles, you’re not likely to feel pain because of the size of the needles.
However, because in-office derma rollers can use larger needles, you’ll be given topical anaesthesia before the procedure.
Anyway, once you’re done, wash your face with water and disinfect your derma roller again with a 10-minute soak in 70% isopropyl alcohol.
How To Use A Derma Roller For Hair?
There are derma rollers for hair that can be used at home as well as in a private office or clinic setting.
If you’re getting it at a clinic, you may or may not be given anaesthesia, depending on the length of the needles.
And it may not always be rolled. Your practitioner may also stamp it onto your skin. In addition, they might do radiofrequency (RF) therapy to improve the results.
However, if you’re using a hair derma roller at home, be very careful. Make sure to clean and disinfect the device and use it on a clean and dry scalp.
After that, you can section your hair to easily run the roller in multiple directions. But don’t puncture the same area too many times.
When doing it at home, keep the following things in mind:
- Try and find a derma roller with a curved handle that offers a more comfortable grip and greater control.
- You should not try and apply more than gentle pressure as it can damage your skin.
- Do not ever share your derma roller with anyone else.
- Before and after using the derma roller, clean it thoroughly.
- If the blade of the derma roller has dulled, get a new derma roller, as it will only tear the skin.
- Do not apply any hair care product like sprays, serums, dry shampoos, or oils on your scalp without consulting your derm.
There are many different sizes, shapes, styles, and materials of derma rollers. Titanium needle derma roller for hair loss is more durable, but stainless steel is more sterile.
This does make stainless steel the better choice, even though there’s a problem that its needles will blunt quickly.
Do Derma Rollers Work?
There’s some promising research that derma rollers can rejuvenate the skin and help improve hair growth.
According to a 2020 review published in Biomedical Microdevices, microneedling (which is done by derma rollers) can help with:
- Acne scars
- Surgical injury
- Stretch marks
- Hair loss and regrowth
It does that by stimulating the production of collagen. And the puncture holes might also make it possible for topical products to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Do Derma Rollers for Hair Growth Work?
They just might because of the following derma roller benefits:
Stimulates Collagen Production
The micro-wounds that the pinpricks of derma rollers create end up stimulating the production of collagen in the skin. Collagen is the protein that gives your skin elasticity while keeping it hydrated.
Now you might wonder what collagen has to do with your hair and how it can promote hair growth. Collagen essentially holds the hair follicles together, which ensures their strength.
Moreover, keratin protein, which primarily makes up your hair, is made up of amino acids, some of which come from collagen itself. Needless to say, its presence can help you if you’re experiencing hair loss.
One study published in the International Journal of Trichology found that when people with androgenetic alopecia were treated with derma rollers along with minoxidil, they showed more hair growth than the group that was only treated with minoxidil.
It’s speculated that derma rollers would help stimulate stem cells in the target area, which further activates growth factors and helps in the production of collagen.
Improved Blood Circulation
Derma roller for hair will also increase blood circulation to the area.
The tiny holes created in the skin from the derma rollers are considered wounds by the body. Thus, it increases blood flow to the area for healing.
A boost in blood circulation can help supply more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles on your scalp, helping them grow.
Increased Absorption of Medication
Derma rollers can be used with topical steroids and PRP injections (platelet-rich plasma) other than minoxidil, among other treatments.
They can help with better penetration of the product that you’re applying.
However, before you apply anything on your scalp or even use derma rollers, consult with a doctor on how to properly use it or if you even should be using it in the first place if you’re on another active treatment (or have a skin condition).
Otherwise, it might not be entirely safe for you to use.
How Often to Use Derma Roller For Hair Growth?
It’s advised that you don’t use a derma roller on your scalp more than once a week. Some doctors even recommend using it after 1 month to allow your skin to heal.
Some people ask, “Can we use a derma roller daily for hair growth?” The answer to that is absolutely not. There’s a very high risk of you causing harm to your skin.
Even if you’re using it for increased penetration of medicine, talk to your doctor about it.
You’ll most likely be recommended its use every week or so and not daily (even if the medicine is to be used daily).
Are Derma Rollers Safe For At-Home Use?
Many doctors advise against the use of a derma roller at home because of the potential harm that it can cause. These are as follows:
- Skin Damage – Improper use of the device can result in pain, bleeding, bruising, infection, hyperpigmentation, and scarring.
- Poor Use – Poor control over the depth and speed of the device means that you won’t be able to achieve the same results as you would in the hands of a professional.
- Skin Thickness – The device won’t penetrate deeply enough in certain areas of the scalp because the skin thickness varies across the scalp (there are even variations depending on gender and ethnicity). Only a doctor has the best knowledge of it.
- Not the Right Treatment – The treatment might not address the kind of hair concern you have. If it’s a needle roller for hair loss due to an underlying health condition, micro-needling won’t help. You need a medical diagnosis from your dermatologist for this.
And if you’re just looking to boost hair growth, you can discuss other treatment options with your doctor that can provide better derma roller results without much harm.
- Worsened Health Problems – If you’re taking any blood thinners or other medications, they might not be suitable for you because of the risk of increased bleeding. Moreover, if you have a condition such as diabetes in which wounds heal slowly due to poor blood circulation, a derma roller is not recommended.
Lastly, if you struggle with acne, eczema, or open wounds, you shouldn’t use it for your hair loss without consulting a medical professional as it can worsen the problem.
Can Derma Rollers Damage Existing Hair?
Derma rollers don’t damage the existing hair if done right. However, poor technique can cause harm. You can snag some hair in the device and pull it out just from that.
But if a derma roller ends up causing infection, the hair loss will be worse. You can also end up with bald patches in areas where there’s permanent scarring.
Therefore, be very gentle and careful when using the device.
Is a Derma Roller an Alternative to Restoration Surgery?
For permanent hair loss, it’s better to have hair transplant surgery because a derma roller won’t work.
You can combine your derma roller treatment with other hair loss solutions to improve the results.
Still, you cannot expect it to work wonders in case of pattern baldness since it won’t be able to do anything about its root cause.
Similarly, if you’ve lost hair due to traction alopecia (permanently), derma rolling is again unlikely to help.
But this doesn’t mean that derma rollers don’t work. They work in some cases. In others, however, surgical intervention can do better.
And if you’re worried about the cost, you can save more than 50% on UK costs by getting a hair transplant in Turkey.
Can You Use Derma Rollers After Hair Transplant?
Your skin will be sensitive after your hair transplant surgery with lots of little cuts.
Using a derma roller to maximize your results can cause even more damage in this case.
You should wait for 6 months after your surgery to start using a derma roller on your hair transplant surgery areas.
Even then, it’s recommended that you don’t do it on your own. Instead, get it done by a medical professional.
Derma rollers have become quite popular on social media platforms, where many people are trying them out for different purposes, one of which is hair loss.
So, can a derma roller help with hair loss? It might. However, to see any results, choose the right derma roller and use it the right way.
It can potentially work to regrow your hair (although it won’t give any drastic results), but poor technique can result in more harm than good, which is why it’s best to get it done by a dermatologist.
Keep in mind it doesn’t work for every kind of hair loss. You need to get a diagnosis for it and then consider using treatments like a derma roller after consultation with your doctor.
Reviewed and Approved by Dr. Hassan Soueid.
Does derma roller work for hair regrowth?
Derma rollers may help with hair growth, not just on the scalp but also on the beard. There is even some evidence that microneedling can help with androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.
Does derma roller thicken hair?
It is believed that derma rollers can increase the thickness of the hair and improve its density. Research has shown improvement in hair thickness when microneedling is done with minoxidil.
Does derma roller work for hair?
Derma roller may be effective in promoting hair growth but you should be careful about using it at home.
How long does a derma roller take to grow hair?
It may take more than 1 month for you to start experiencing hair growth. Also, you’ll likely need multiple treatment sessions (once every 2 weeks or 1/month) for about 3-6 months (could be shorter or longer).
How to disinfect derma roller?
To disinfect a derma roller, you should soak it in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 10 minutes and then wash it in warm water.