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Derma Roller for Hair Growth – does it help? (what studies say)

Would you believe me if I said stabbing yourself with tiny knives hundreds of times could help you have a fuller head of hair?

Although it’s not that dramatic, that’s what a derma roller basically does!

But the device’s effectiveness, or its significance, is often debated, and the studies vary.

In this article, I will explain how a derma roller can help you with hair loss and how best to use it:

Let’s start by understanding what it is:

What Is a Derma Roller?

Derma rollers, or microneedles, are portable tools that you roll over your skin to inflict micro-injuries that trigger the formation of the proteins collagen and elastin, which are crucial for maintaining the health and youthfulness of your skin.

It maintains the health and youth by accomplishing some vital tasks:

What Does a Derma Roller Do?

Derma rollers are either proven or claimed to help your body recover and improve in appearance in a few different areas, which are:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles: collagen increases through derma rolling and can help give your skin a tight look.
  • Hyperpigmentation: The skincare products you use can have different effects on your skin tone. Derma rollers can give your skin a uniform appearance by helping with the absorption of topical products.
  • Acne scars: the micro-trauma caused by the derma roller signals your body to send healing and growth factors to the area, which can help heal acne scars (along with bigger scars).
  • Stretch marks and cellulite: collagen production caused by derma rolling can help with cellulite and stretch marks.
  • Hair growth: although it is debated, derma rolling is claimed to promote hair growth by improving blood flow to the scalp…

… so let’s take a look at whether this is accurate:

what is a derma roller

Is the Derma Roller Effective for Hair Growth?

Derma rolling can be effective, especially when combined with other hair regrowth treatments such as Finasteride, Minoxidil, or PRP.

However, let’s take a quick look at the studies first before coming up with a conclusion:

What do the studies say?

The existing studies on the effectiveness of derma rolling short and mid-term all point to positive results:

*️⃣ A 2013 randomized and blinded study conducted on a hundred men with progressed male pattern baldness concluded that derma rolling was more effective than Minoxidil in a span of 12 weeks with 4 times more reported increase in hair count.

*️⃣ And a 2022 review of 22 clinical studies featuring more than 1127 subjects, derma rolling (or micro-needling) was found to be effective in hair growth in androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.

Yet, there are still more questions to answer and placebo to consider.

In my professional opinion as a dermatosurgeon, the clinical studies are not conclusive and the method is still fairly new. So, we’ll have to take a look at more data to make conclusions.

That is why, currently, the best way to try its effectiveness would be combining it with other more prominent hair restoration treatments:

How Is a Derma Roller Used for Hair Regrowth?

I can’t suggest using derma rollers alone since combined with topical solutions such as Minoxidil or other hair loss therapies, such as PRP, it can yield more long-term results.

💡 Make sure you consult a dermatologist and find out the best approach for your condition.

Here are some general guidelines for using derma rollers for hair growth:

how to apply derma roller for hair growth

How to use a derma roller?

Here’s how to safely use a derma roller on your scalp for hair growth in 8 simple steps:

1️⃣ Clean your scalp and hair thoroughly with soap/shampoo and water.

2️⃣ Disinfect the derma roller by soaking it in alcohol for at least 10 minutes to ensure nothing harmful that can cause complications or infections stays on it.

3️⃣You can’t do all of your scalp work in one go, so divide your hair into sections to expose the scalp.

4️⃣ Roll the derma roller gently and slowly over the section you’ve chosen in different directions.

5️⃣ Apply pressure but not too much to avoid pain or injury.

6️⃣ Repeat the process several times, covering the different sections.

7️⃣ Rinse the scalp with water and apply a hair growth product; we suggest Minoxidil.

8️⃣ Clean the derma roller with alcohol again and store it in a safe place.

You should also pay attention to the rules of regular use:

When and how often should you use a derma roller?

⚠️ Overusing a derma roller can cause irritation, skin injury, and even infections, so it is essential to give your scalp time to heal.

You can use it every two to four weeks, anytime during the day.

Which derma roller size should you use?

The derma roller size that is best for hair growth is usually between 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm.

A needle length of 0.5 mm to 1.0 mm is usually recommended for at-home use, and longer needles may require professional guidance to avoid injury.

However, I must remind you what derma rollers can and cannot do:

Derma Rollers Won’t Bring Back Lost Hair Follicles

The blood flow promoted by derma rollers can only help support your existing and healthy hair follicles, NOT the ones you’ve lost.

Derma rollers are NOT a one-time solution that will magically bring back your lost hair follicles overnight.

They are simply a supportive tool for boosting your scalp’s natural hair regrowth and healing.

👉 So, it isn’t possible for derma-rolling, even combined with drugs such as Minoxidil and Finasteride, to reverse your hair loss.

Restoring your hair is only possible through hair transplant surgeries, which are direct solutions to hair loss and are long-lasting since the donor’s hair is harvested from safe areas of your scalp and is supported by bio enhancements and advanced hair transplant technology here at UnitedCare:

The clinic working on a patient

At UnitedCare, we begin your hair restoration process by offering you a free one-on-one consultation with our expert doctors to determine your suitability for getting a transplant. 

💊 If suitable, our holistic approach provides advanced technologies and bio-enhancements to ensure you do not need more than a single hair transplant.

Once we have decided on a method together, we begin the treatment with the utmost attention. 💉

But most importantly, we stay in contact with our patients even long after the surgery, ensuring that your transplant becomes permanent. 🍀

Affordable hair transplant costs, a holistic approach, and experienced dermatologists on-site are here to provide you with the right solution.

Click now to find out more during our FREE consultation:

Reversing your hair loss is now possible; start today before it is too late.

Restore your natural look with a Dermatosurgeon:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Derma Rollers Help With Male Pattern Baldness?

According to this 2013 study, derma-rolling can help improve hair count in androgenetic alopecia in as short as 12 weeks. So, using derma rollers with Minoxidil and Finasteride can stop the progression of male pattern baldness and even promote hair thickness and growth in thinning areas.

Can I Use a Derma Roller Daily for My Hair?

It is not recommended to use a derma roller daily for hair growth since overuse of the derma roller can cause skin irritation, injury, or infection and may not necessarily result in improved hair growth. Ideally, you can use it every two to four weeks, anytime during the day.

Which Size Derma Roller Is Best for Hair Growth?

For hair growth, you can safely use 0.5mm to 1.0mm derma rollers at home. 1.5mm derma rollers can yield better results but are strongly advised to be used with the supervision of medical professionals to avoid injuries and micro-trauma.

Dr. Utkan Kiziltac

Utkan Kızıltaç, MD

Chief Physician and Dermatologist Hair Transplant Surgeon of UnitedCare, a dermatology clinic helping patients become the best version of themselves.

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