Derma rollers are handheld devices with microneedles that stimulate hair growth by triggering healing mechanisms, increasing collagen production, and improving blood flow. Rolling the device across the scalp creates micro-injuries, initiating a healing response and promoting nutrient and oxygen supply to hair follicles. This process of using derma roller for hair boosts collagen production and enhances the delivery of essential nutrients, potentially leading to improved hair growth.
Derma roller is just one type of scalp microneedling tool, variations exist such as derma pen and derma stamps – all of which can be used for hair growth with some advantages and disadvantages.
Frequently derma rollers are small rollers with a cylinder covered in small needles, normally varying between 0.5 and 3mm in length. A tool originally designed to help heal acne scars in dermatology: in the 1990s, scientists observed that causing micro-wounds in the outermost layer of skin induces the production of collagen – as the skin tries to repair itself. This extra collagen is thought to promote hair thickening and hair regrowth.
In more recent years, in 2015, clinical studies around androgenic alopecia showed impressive results after using derma roller for hair loss over a period of 12 weeks. In this article, we look at how the biology of scalp microneedling for hair growth works. And later we cover some techniques on how to use a derma roller.
Importance of collagen in hair growth
To understand the benefits of microneedling and derma roller for hair growth in general, you need to know the importance of collagen and its role in hair follicles first.
As the main component of your connective tissues, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, making up 30% of the whole-body protein content. The name collagen comes from the Greek κόλλα (kólla), meaning “glue”, and suffix -γέν(-gen) denotes “producing”. Therefore making collagen – “producing glue”. It is mostly found in fibrous tissues, such as tendons, ligaments and skin.
Collagen is important in your body and, specifically, important in hair growth. Although your hair shaft itself doesn’t have a lot of it, collagen is present around your hair root. Collagen thickens around the hair follicle bulb during anagen, the hair growth stage, supporting growth of new hair. The follicle loses a few layers of collagen when hair follicle enters catagen – the hair shedding stage, so its presence is key for hair growth.
In addition, collagen fibres also uphold the epidermis – the area in which the hair bulb resides. During ageing process, as well as under the influence of lifestyle factors – collagen fibers can get destroyed and fragmented. This causes skin to prolapse in the affected areas, including your scalp, negatively impacting the free flow of blood to the hair follicle root.
How does a derma roller for hair growth work
Creation of tiny wounds improves blood circulation as your scalp tries to heal itself. Good blood flow to the scalp is paramount for hair growth. But the derma roller also nudges your scalp to produce more collagen, as the needles of the derma roller for hair growth create tiny wounds on your scalp and your body tries to heal them – and prompts local production of collagen around your hair follicles. This both supports the growth stage inside the hair follicle and it also improves blood flow.
You can apply a topical solution following your derma rolling routine, with a caveat. Your scalp is covered in small open wounds, so applying any topical solution can cause scalp irritation and skin infection. So waiting 2-4 hours after derma roller for hair growth is a good idea.
Can you use a topical solution after using derma roller for hair growth?
After derma rolling, applying peppermint oil or rosemary oil – natural essential oils that promote hair growth & re-growth – can help. Introduce peppermint oil by mixing it up with another carrier oil, e.g. castor or olive oil. Then gradually, you can increase the ratio, based on how much it stings. Applying topical solution can be beneficial, but not essential to get the benefits of derma roller for hair growth for your scalp.
The best combination for your hair growth routine is to combine it with The Hair Fuel growth mask. Applying the mask and using a microneedling tool on a clean scalp – with 3-4 days in between treatments.
Scalp microneedling for hair loss also stimulates production of stem cells that increases production of progenitor cells in the hair follicle. Progenitor cells help hair follicles form hair, but stem cells should also be active and present to become progenitor cells. In recent years, scientists have linked the regulation of adult stem cells with growth and healthy development of hair follicles.
In-clinic vs at-home microneedling against hair loss
If you are unsure about how to do it at home, many beauty clinics offer microneedling for treatment of hair loss. Because it is delivered by a trained professional, it is easier to work on hard-to-reach areas, such as back of the scalp.
For an at-home treatment, you can use either a derma roller for hair growth or a dermastamp. Derma Stamps – which, as the name suggests – consists of a stamp with microneedles at one end which you prick your scalp or skin with. It is really a matter of choice and personal preference. Like explained in the video above, dermastamp gives you better control over pressure and coverage.
How often should you use derma roller for hair loss?
In the clinical trials for androgenic alopecia, panelists were being treated with the derma roller for hair once a week. You might want to increase or decrease the frequency based on your own specific scalp reaction. For best results, use a derma roller once or twice per week. Derma rolling more than twice per week can do more harm than good.
You need to allow sufficient time in between the sessions to allow for cell regeneration. When starting to use a derma roller for hair loss, consider the frequency of once in 3 weeks. Then you can slowly increase the frequency to up to once a week.
How to use derma roller for hair growth:
- Dry clean scalp & hair is a first prerequisite of microneedling with a derma roller for hair growth
- Place the derma roller at the edge of where you want to target hair thinning or promote hair growth (e.g. the hairline, or on the side over the temples).
- Roll the device slowly over the area, first horizontally then vertically and then diagonally. Apply enough pressure to penetrate the scalp and feel a slight prickling or tingling, but not enough to cause pain.
- It helps to work in smaller patches of your scalp, rather than trying to cover it all at once. It will help preventing hair getting tangled
- If there’s hair in the area, ensure to move in the direction of the hair strands to avoid pulling hairs out
- After usage, rinse the roller in warm soapy water and dip it in a disinfecting alcohol solution. Allow the tool to dry completely
- Always ensure you perform the procedure on clean scalp to prevent infection.
- After 2-4 hours from dermastamping, you can apply a topical solution, such as rosemary or peppermint oil. After 3-4 days allowing the scalp to heal, you can apply The Hair Fuel growth treatment to further prompt hair growth for the best results.
Dermastamp for hair loss: How to Use
- Separate dry clean hair over the area you want to target hair thinning or instil hair growth
- Stamp carefully over the chosen area applying enough pressure to penetrate the scalp and feel a slight prickling or tingling, but not enough to cause pain
- It helps to start from the front of your hairline and move towards the back for your head. Once you reached the back of your head, you can stamp another row next to the one you just made.
- After usage, rinse the stamp in warm soapy water, dip it in a disinfecting alcohol solution, and allow the tool to dry
- Always ensure you perform the procedure on clean scalp to prevent infection.
- After dermastamping you can apply a topical solution but not before 2-4 hours have lapsed. For the best results, after 3-4 days allowing the scalp to heal, apply The Hair Fuel growth treatment to further promote hair growth.
Choosing the best derma roller for hair growth
There are various types of derma rollers and dermastamps. Their main differences are the length of the needles, the materials of the needles, and the mechanics of the tool itself.
High level of hygiene must be maintained when using derma rollers on scalp against hair loss. Washing with soap and disinfecting in an alcohol solution after each use is an absolute must.
Titanium derma roller for hair growth
Titanium is a metal which is renowned for being strong, light and corrosion-resistant. It makes it a better material than stainless steel if you have smaller: 0.2-0.3mm needles. Titanium needles rarely become blunt due to wear and tear. As a result, the derma roller for hair can be used for a long time without reducing its sharpness.
However because titanium is a hard metal, it is difficult to sharpen the needles during production, so they are more blunt than their stainless steel counterparts. Titanium is not an inherently sterile metal, so more effort is required to keep it clean, sterile and rust-free.
Potential bluntness can lead to skin tears and scars on your scalp, so you need to replace your titanium derma roller after the needles are not sharp anymore. This replacement will vary according to the frequency of your usage of it. Typically, a microneedling tool needs to be replaced after 10-15 times of usage.
Derma Stamp for Hair Growth€17,99
Stainless steel derma roller for hair growth
Stainless steel is a metal which is formed from an alloy of iron and chromium. It is legendary for being hygienic – thanks to its inherent resistance to corrosion due to chromium content and the protective film it forms around the outer surface, protecting against tarnishing and rust.
Stainless steel needles are sharper than titanium, but because the metal is softer, the needles tend to go blunt with time. Derma roller for hair with stainless steel can only be used once or twice (reminder that surgical blades can only be used once because of that). Due to its extreme sharpness and precision, stainless steel micro needles tend to lead to less tearing of the skin, so better used on skin where visibility of scars is high.
Needle size for hair growth
It is recommended to start with smaller micro needles to help hair growth – 0.5mm and then moving upwards only if necessary, for example if you notice insufficient micro-wounding occurring. You only need to penetrate the dermis layer of your scalp – which on scalp has the thickness of just over 2mm. There is no need to go over that threshold, so the needles of 0.75mm will suffice. Having said that, reach out to a professional if you want to move above 1.5mm, because the risk of scarring is high.
Speak with your doctor before you consider this treatment, especially if you:
- Have a history of acne, eczema, or open wounds
- Take anticoagulants (blood thinning) and other medication
- Have a condition that slows down healing, e.g. diabetes
Read what else can you do to make your hair grow >>
Side effects of using derma roller for hair
Microneedling is not advisable for pregnant women.
Applying a topical treatment, for example, minoxidil or peppermint oil or another hair-growth inducing solution, immediately after using a derma roller may enhance the absorption, but can also lead to increased scalp burning, itching, and irritation. It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider regarding the appropriate timing for using a topical treatment after microneedling.
After microneedling, scalp can become sensitive to the sun, so daily sunscreen usage and wearing a hat outdoors are recommended to protect the scalp. Infection is also a potential risk with microneedling, despite the small needle size causing wounds. Following proper aftercare instructions, such as maintaining cleanliness and using prescribed topical or oral antibiotics, is crucial to prevent infection.
How does it work with The Hair Fuel?
For the best results in hair growth, you can combine dermarolling with The Hair Fuel system to design your own hair growth routine. Both improve blood flow to the scalp, with the difference that The Hair Fuel growth mask not only improves blood flow to the scalp, but also delivers its own micro-nutrients to the root of your hair. In order for you to derive maximum benefits from both, we recommend applying The Hair Fuel once a week and using a derma roller for hair a few days later.
Dermastamp for Hair Loss: Can It Help?
Certain health conditions have hair loss and hair thinning as a symptom. Microneedling for hair growth can help with some of them:
Underactive thyroid hair loss and derma rolling
People with an underactive thyroid or Hashimoto’s disease have thinning hair, as their thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough T3 and T4 hormones to support hair follicle in growing hair. Derma stamp can help hair growth in thyroid conditions to support hair follicle by sending collagen to scalp.
Androgenetic / PCOS hair loss
Women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are prone to androgenetic hair loss and hair thinning. This happens due to excess testosterone converting to a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) molecule which then attaches itself to the roots of your hair causing reduction in size of the hair follicle. In studies, derma stamp has prompted more hair density and thickness in subjects suffering from androgenetic hair loss and thinning, suggesting that dermastamping can help with PCOS related hair loss, as well.
Chemotherapy hair loss
If you are recovering from post-chemotherapy hair loss, dermastamping can help accelerate hair regrowth rate, after you have completed your entire treatment.
Always consult with your physician before undertaking derma roller for hair growth treatment.
Do derma rollers work?
Microneedling with derma rollers has shown evidence of promoting hair growth through the improvement of collagen levels and blood flow. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery found that microneedling increased hair regrowth in patients with androgenetic alopecia, potentially due to the stimulation of collagen production.
A 2015 study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology reported that microneedling enhanced blood flow to the scalp, which may contribute to improved hair growth.
Who we are:
The Hair Fuel is an all-natural hair growth mask created by Laura Sagen, who lost a third of her hair after a terrible visit to a hairdresser while suffering from a life-long condition of PCOS associated with androgenic hair thinning. She developed the formulation rooted in the science of scalp blood flow, which has become The Hair Fuel growth mask. Since then, her company has helped thousands of people like you to start growing healthy hair.
We work closely with our lab and manufacturers to ensure the highest quality product. But a product alone is never enough – so we hold your hand throughout your own, unique hair growth journey. Our flagship product, The Hair Fuel mask coupled with tailored advice, digital tools, and online support is there to help you grow the best hair you can. It’s a big claim – but we’re unafraid to make it. Check out our starter bundles >>
- A Randomized Evaluator Blinded Study of Effect of Microneedling in Androgenetic Alopecia: A Pilot Study (1)
- Response to Microneedling Treatment in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia Who Failed to Respond to Conventional Therapy (2)
- Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Collagen Induction (3)
- Mixture Toxicity of Methylisothiazolinone and Propylene Glycol at a Maximum Concentration for Personal Care Products (4)
- Microneedling and Its Use in Hair Loss Disorders: A Systematic Review (5)
- Micro needling: A novel therapeutic approach for androgenetic alopecia, A Review of Literature, (6)
1. How does The Hair Fuel treatment work?
The Hair Fuel works by improving blood flow to your scalp and hair follicles. The blood vessels attached to the derma papillae – or the hair root – carry nutrients and oxygen to the hair, supporting its growth and health. The Hair Fuel works in 2 ways: (1) stimulating the blood flow and (2) delivering the nutrients from the mask as well as your own body.
2. Can I combine dermaroller with The Hair Fuel?
Yes, using it on different days with 3-4 days in between the mask and derma rolling is an excellent addition to your hair growth routine.
3. What’s in the box?
First month subscription box contains a full kit: welcome card, 4 powder sachets, 4 oil sachets, measuring tape, shower cap, mixing bottle, instructions card and science card. Subsequent months boxes only contain 4 powder sachets, 4 oil sachets and a welcome card.
4. Is derma rolling for hair safe?
Use a well disinfected microneedling tool, preferable a dermastamp as opposed to the roller, made of stainless steel with the appropriate length of the needles (up to 0.75mm if conducted at home). This way, derma rolling for hair growth can be a safe, low cost technique to help hair health.
5. Which derma roller size is best for hair?
In home conditions it is important to start with small needles to avoid injuring your scalp beyond what is required by the dermarolling technique. Start with 0.25mm stainless steel needles and move up to 0.75mm over the course of 3-4 months of consistent careful use.
5. How many times should I use derma roller for hair growth?
You can use your derma roller or derma stamp for hair growth up to twice a week. Using it more often will cause excessive damage to the scalp and hair follicles. You need to allow enough time for the scalp to generate collagen and heal in between the sessions. Most common usage frequency is once a week.