Derma Roller for Hair Loss
If you are a male or a female experiencing baldness, thinning hair or alopecia (hair loss), the derma roller can help. It is used to stimulate hair growth, and can be used in two different ways to help repair hair loss. Read on to find out how to use the derma roller for hair loss…
Method 1. Using the derma roller with minoxidil (or other hair loss treatment)
Minoxidil is a topical product that revives inactive hair follicles, stopping hair loss and stimulating new hair growth. The derma roller significantly enhances the absorption of any products applied to the skin immediately before or after rolling (in fact dermarolling is proven to increase absorption of products through the skin by up to 1000%).
Using a derma roller immediately before or after applying minoxidil or other hair loss treatment massively boosts its absorption rate, making it much more effective at treating hair loss than if it was used without a derma roller.
Method 2. Using the derma roller without minoxidil
The derma roller can also promote new hair growth without the use of minoxidil/other hair loss treatment. For this method a derma roller is used to increase blood flow to the hair follicles and activate the skin’s natural regeneration process.
The derma roller causes micro-injury to the skin, which triggers a wound-healing response. It is thought that this process stimulates the production of a protein that leads to hair generation, whilst inhibiting a protein that causes hair loss.
How to use the derma roller for hair loss
(If using Method 2, simply follow the instructions below without using minoxidil).
The most effective way to use minoxidil or other hair loss treatment with a derma roller is to first roll the scalp with the derma roller, then apply minoxidil or hair loss treatment to the rolled area (although if you prefer you can apply minoxidil/hair loss treatment first, then use your derma roller to roll it in).
The derma roller creates temporary channels in the skin. These channels close within 30 minutes to an hour, so it is essential to apply the minoxidil/hair loss treatment as soon as possible after rolling for maximum effect.
Start with 2% minoxidil and apply it with a derma roller every other day. If you do not experience any irritation or other side effects, you can start applying it every day and/or start using 5% minoxidil.
Derma roller for hair loss instructions
1. Wet your hair before using the derma roller on your scalp. This will help prevent your hair from getting tangled in the roller.
2. Begin using the derma roller at the front of the scalp on or near the hairline and work your way down the back of the head (treating only the areas where hair loss has occurred).
3. Focussing on one section of the scalp at a time, roll each area 10-15 times. You can do this by rolling horizontally, vertically and diagonally, three or four times each way, like this:
Roll in one direction only when the needles are in contact with the scalp (don’t go backwards and forwards) and try to roll from the hair roots to the ends. This will prevent any hair getting caught in the needles.
5. Repeat this process until you have covered all areas needing the treatment.
6. Apply minoxidil/hair loss treatment to the treated area and massage gently into the scalp
You only need to apply a moderate amount of pressure. Rolling too aggressively won’t give you better results and can cause skin irritation, scratches and/or needle marks.
Which size derma roller for hair loss?
Which needle length you need depends on whether you are using Method 1 (using derma roller with minoxidil or other hair loss treatment) or Method 2 (derma roller only).
Method 1. Use a needle length between 0.2mm and 0.5mm (never use a needle length longer than 0.5mm with minoxidil because the active ingredients in the minoxidil can absorb too deeply into the scalp, causing side effects).
Method 2. Use a needle length between 0.5mm and 1.0mm.
How often to use derma roller for hair loss?
A 0.2mm or 0.3mm derma roller can be used with minoxidil/hair loss treatment every day or every other day (start by using every other day and see how your skin reacts to the minoxidil/hair loss treatment; if you do not experience any side effects you can increase to using every day).
A 0.5mm derma roller can be used with or without minoxidil/hair loss treatment 2-3 times a week.
A 1.0mm derma roller used without minoxidil/hair loss treatment can be used once a week to once a fortnight.
Which method of using derma roller for hair loss is best?
To achieve the best results in treating hair loss, you can combine Method 1 (derma roller plus minoxidil or other hair loss treatment) and Method 2 (derma roller only).
Use a shorter needle length derma roller (0.2mm-0.5mm) several times a week to enhance absorption of minoxidil/hair loss treatment.
Use a longer length derma roller (0.5mm-1.0mm) once a week to once a fortnight, to promote regeneration of the hair follicles.
For example, you could use the following treatment schedule as a guideline (alternate Week 1/Week 2):
Monday 1.0mm derma roller
Tuesday No treatment
Wednesday 0.2mm derma roller + minoxidil/hair loss treatment
Thursday No treatment
Friday 0.2mm derma roller + minoxidil/hair loss treatment
Saturday No treatment
Sunday 0.2mm derma roller + minoxidil/hair loss treatment
Monday No treatment
Tuesday 0.2mm derma roller + minoxidil/hair loss treatment
Wednesday No treatment
Thursday 0.2mm derma roller + minoxidil/hair loss treatment
Friday No treatment
Saturday 0.2mm derma roller + minoxidil/hair loss treatment
Sunday No treatment
Warnings and precautions
Please note: Minoxidil can produce serious side effects if an overdose occurs and can cause irritation if too much is used or you start with too high a concentration.
Before using minoxidil, it is important to read the instructions carefully and be aware of the possible side effects. Most people will not experience any side effects at all, but if you do you may have to switch to a lower concentration or stop using it.
When you start using minoxidil with your derma roller, be careful to only apply a small amount to your scalp. If no irritation/side effects occur, then you can gradually increase the amount of minoxidil used.
Most preparations of minoxidil contain alcohol, which can dry the scalp, causing dryness, itchiness and/or irritation. Starting treatment with a small amount of 2% minoxidil and very gradually increasing the amount used and/or the concentration to 5% should minimise these side effects.
Do not use a needle length longer than 0.5mm with minoxidil because the active ingredients in the minoxidil can absorb too deeply into the scalp causing side effects. If using a longer needle length derma roller to treat hair loss, always wait at least 24 hours before applying minoxidil to the treated area.
If you are female, be aware that minoxidil can thicken facial hair if it comes into contact with facial skin. Therefore be careful when applying it to ensure that it doesn’t run down your face.
Clinical research on using the derma roller for hair loss
Research has shown that the derma roller is effective in helping to repair hair loss, both with and without minoxidil.
A pilot research study published in July 2013 in the International Journal of Trichology compared the use of derma roller plus minoxidil versus minoxidil only in promoting hair growth in 100 men.
Results showed that men who used the derma roller with minoxidil had significantly more hair growth than the men who used minoxidil on its own.
Click the link below to read the study report:
The derma roller causes micro-injury to the skin, which triggers a wound-healing response. Research has also shown that wound healing can stimulate the production of a protein that leads to hair generation, whilst inhibiting a protein that causes hair loss:
“The latest research by Intercytex, performed with Dr. Bessam Farjo as principal investigator, has shown that patients receiving superficial injections grow new hair, which may solely be a result of the controlled skin wounding itself. This surprising result is correlated by the pioneering work published by Dr. George Cotsarelis of Pennsylvania University, who found that stimulation of the Wnt protein by wounding leads to hair regeneration. Wounding by microneedles would potentially start this Wnt protein mediated growth stimulation, and prevent synthesis of TGF-?2, a protein known to induce hair loss.”
Derma roller tips for hair loss
Women who wish to use the derma roller for thinning hair when the rest of your hair is long – consider using a derma stamp instead of a derma roller. A derma stamp is much less likely to get caught in long hair than a derma roller. However a derma stamp does take more time to use than a derma roller, so try to ensure that you have stamped each section of the scalp sufficiently before moving on to the next area.
Please be aware that it will take several months to see the effects of using the derma roller for hair loss, so you will need to be patient!
Minoxidil has a temporary effect on hair growth only. When you stop using it, it is likely that your hair will return to its original state. Therefore you should keep using it regularly to maintain results and prevent future hair loss.
Most of the treatments reported in the research were carried out by a professional. Individual results will vary and will be influenced by genetics, age, sex and health conditions.