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Dermarolling for Hair Growth—Is It Worth It? Here’s What the Experts Say

Photo by Alexandra Turkina/Getty Images

Hair growth is on everyone’s minds lately. You can’t scroll through TikTok or even check in on your favorite celeb on Instagram without seeing someone discussing hair loss and hair shedding. It seems like this is an issue that most people face, so what’s the best way to fix it?

There are serums, oils, shampoos, and more products to try for hair loss, but what about treatments? We’re here to break down everything you need to know about dermarolling for hair loss, including what it is, who it can help, and most importantly, should you try it?

About the Experts: 

Anetta Reszko, MD, is a dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon.
Gretchen Friese is a trichologist who works with BOSLEYMD.

What Is Dermarolling

According to trichologist Gretchen Friese, “Derma rolling (or microneedling) is a type of treatment that uses hundreds of small needles that cause micro-injuries to the skin and scalp.” You’ve probably already heard of microneedling for the skin, and this process is similar. “These “micro-injuries” heal quickly, leading to stimulation of collagen, which can improve the appearance of the skin and encourage hair growth,” says Friese.

But, instead of going to a professional for microneedling, you can pick up a tool that you can use at home and apply directly to your scalp. 

Does Dermarolling Work for Hair Growth

According to dermatologist Anetta Reszko, MD, “Derma rolling is an excellent option for those who are experiencing any type of hair loss. By stimulating collagen activity through the micro damages caused by these fine needles, a decrease in hair shedding, strengthening of hair follicles, and increased hair growth is consistently noted.”

This could be a great option for anyone dealing with chronic hair loss.

How to Use a Dermaroller to Treat Hair Loss

1. Wash Your Hair

Dr. Reszko says you should choose a gentle shampoo and add another step as your hair dries. “When your hair dries, gently cleanse the scalp using hydrogen peroxide/alcohol on a towel to remove any dirt or debris from the scalp,” says Dr. Reszko. “I generally advise patients to divide the treatment area into about four regions to better control your coverage.”

2. Choose Your Serum

The purpose of dermarolling is to help your hair growth serum penetrate the scalp better. We love so many different hair growth serums for this, but our favorites are BOSLEYMD’s Follicle Energizer, and HERS Hair Blends Postmeno Serum that’s packed with minoxidil. 

3. Begin Dermarolling

“Beginning in the first area apply a small amount of the supplemental serum of choice, and then begin to roll the derma roller horizontally across the treatment area, achieving three to five complete horizontal passes,” says Dr. Reszko. “Once this has been completed, complete three to five passes vertically across the area. Continue this series across all treatment regions.

4. Apply a Final Layer of Serum

According to Dr. Reszko, this allows the serum to “penetrate overnight into the microchannels” for optimal hair growth effects. 

How to Pick the Right Dermaroller for Your Hair

Be aware that there are different sizes of derma rollers available over the counter. According to Friese, “One study found that a derma roller with a 1.5 mm needle effectively promoted hair growth. However, most derma rollers available online have 0.25-0.5 mm needles.”

“It is a good idea to consult a dermatologist to find out the size needle needed for you,” Friese suggests. “Some derma rollers have features that make them easier to use, such as an anti-slip handle for stability and control. If you aren’t really familiar with how to use a derma roller, finding one with clear instructions is a good idea.”

Are There Any Downsides?

Because there is a chance that using a derma roller could worsen certain hair conditions, Friese suggests consulting with a dermatologist before you begin using a derma roller and/or certain hair growth serums.

“Patients may experience some discomfort during the treatment,” says Dr. Reszko. “Although the treatment itself should only last about 5 to 10 minutes, generally individuals are able to tolerate dermarolling without issue.”

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About the author
Brittany Leitner
Brittany is an award winning beauty, health, and lifestyle writer and author of the poetry book "23 Emotions." She has eight years of experience writing for brands like Elite Daily, The. Dr. Oz Show, Shape, Stylecaster, Bustle, and more.
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Article Last Updated March 4, 2024 12:00 AM