Originally used for treating acne scars, the way derma rollers or micro-needling works, its application has extended to treating hair loss. Derma roller for hair growth might seem like a fairly new treatment, but it has been around for quite many years.
You might’ve seen many videos of people on different social media platforms using derma rollers to treat their acne scars. It’s quite popular in the skincare community. Although it is also true that many people end up causing more damage to their skin using derma rollers.
That’s because they don’t exactly understand the way it works. They might think that puncturing deeper holes with greater pressure can produce more visible results, but that’s only causing more harm. So, if you’re thinking of using a derma roller for hair, you should know if it’s truly worth it.
Does Derma Roller for Hair Growth Work?
It just might be because of the following reasons.
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 help 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 (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. Some medical conditions can make use of derma rollers dangerous.
How To Use Derma Roller For Hair Growth?
There are tiny needles on the derma rollers that penetrate the skin. The length of the needles can affect the depth of the penetration. You can use derma rollers at home or opt for the help of a medical practitioner for giving you this treatment. If you’re getting the treatment at a clinic, the practitioner will inform you about the number of sessions needed.
Since this procedure involves very tiny cuts, it’s considered a painless treatment, so there is no local anaesthesia needed. The treatment time will depend on the areas that need to be treated. It can either be stamped or rolled onto the surface of the scalp. In addition to this treatment, your clinic might also do a radiofrequency (RF) therapy to further improve the results.
However, some people use at-home devices to perform the procedure. If you’re using derma rollers at home, be very careful. 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 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.
How Often to Use Derma Roller?
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 after every week or so and not daily (even if the medicine is to be used daily).
Is An At-Home Derma Roller for Hair Growth Safe?
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 results without much harm.
Worsen 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), no amount of derma rolling will promote hair growth. But this doesn’t mean that derma rollers don’t work. They work in some cases. In others, however, surgical intervention can do better.
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 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.