Dermarolling the Scalp; Does It Work?

Posted by Azadeh Shirazi MD on

The answer is yes, dermarolling the scalp really does work- and we have proof. We’ve all heard of dermarolling for the skin, as it has a number of benefits such as improving pigmentation issues and improving the surface of the skin. Now, this method has become the new trend to solve hair loss and the regrowth of hair. Find out how in this blog!

The proof that it works:

On its own, derma rolling alone brings blood flow and nutrients to the scalp and stimulates growth factors. So there’s definitely value in using it to revitalize hair follicles. Using fine needles to roll over the scalp, dermarolling punctures the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin). Research studies have shown its effectiveness of activating hair growth by invigorating stem cells in our hair root, especially with an added growth stimulating solution. The majority of published studies paired it with other hair growth promoting therapies such as minoxidil, platelet-rich plasma, and other similar hair restorative solutions.

A recent study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, combining microneedling and PRP showed hair growth started after the first session with a patient satisfaction score of more than 75%.The study showed an increase in the number of new and total hairs and an increase in the hair shaft diameter.  

Who should avoid it:

This treatment is best reserved for those with a healthy scalp so make sure your skin barrier is not impaired. If you have inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, dandruff, eczema, scalp acne, it’s best to see your Dermatologist and treat these conditions before dermarolling.  It not only puts you at risk for infection and worsening of your condition, but it also limits your skin’s ability to stimulate the growth factors needed in hair stimulation. 

How to prep:

Invest in a hair-specific derma roller as the scalp’s skin is thicker than facial skin. Most facial derma rollers have smaller needles that penetrate to very superficial depths. It’s important to make sure your scalp and the device is freshly cleansed. The biggest risk is infection.  Clean your device with rubbing alcohol after each use, be sure it’s dry before you place it back in the case, and store it in a dry area, and not your bathroom.  

The step-by-step process:

After cleansing the scalp, part the hair and apply the derma roller with light pressure to the skin of the scalp, rolling it back and forth for 10-15 seconds in one direction. Part the hair in the opposite direction and roll it for another 10 seconds in the perpendicular direction. You may apply a hair stimulating solution or a hyaluronic acid solution right after. 

The maintenance:

Dr. Azi suggests starting just once a week for the first month, then twice a week if your skin tolerates it. This applies to all skin and hair types, and allows for complete healing in between treatments. After three months, once a month therapy is sufficient for maintenance. If you are doing this with at home devices, needles will dull over time so it’s best to replace them every 3-6 months to ensure optimal therapy.

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  • What happens when we use dermarolling on dandruff hair and what are precautions for that

    Xiyoni on

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Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, MD is a Board-Certified Dermatologist.

Specializing in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Shirazi received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University Of Kentucky College of Medicine. After doing a Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, she completed her residency training in Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in addition to completing her training in dermatology and cosmetic surgery at the University of California San Diego.

She has received multiple research scholarships from iconic institutions including Harvard University and the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and has several peer-reviewed publications to her name.