Derma rolling is a popular solution for helping people correct skin and hair loss concerns. When used correctly, derma rolling can give you incredible benefits. To get optimal results from derma rolling, you not only need to know how to use it but how often you should use it. You may be surprised that the frequency of use is quite scientific. Let’s explore how often you should use a derma roller.
Understanding derma rolling (micro needling)
Derma rolling, also called micro-needling, is a procedure where you create tiny punctures in the surface of your skin. The punctures are created with a device called a derma roller, which looks like a shaving razor handle with a needle-filled roller attached. The needles are extremely small and short, although there are different sizes for different skin needs. Generally, needle length falls within 0.2mm to 2.5mm. Usually, derma rollers do not cause pain or discomfort when used correctly, generally speaking. However, some report some discomfort when it comes to derma rollers passing the 1.0mm length.
Derma rolling can improve the following skin and hair issues:
- Acne, and scarring from acne
- Large pores
- Thinning skin
- Aging skin
- Stretch mark removal
- Hair thinning
- Male pattern hair loss
- Female pattern hair loss
Why does derma rolling improve your skin and hair?
Derma rolling works in several ways to give you more youthful skin and to regrow your hair. Here are some ways that derma rolling helps you achieve your cosmetic goals:
Micro-trauma creates new cells: Derma rolling creates tiny punctures in your skin, which causes minuscule sites of trauma. Your body responds to this trauma by sending an increased amount of blood flow and white blood cells to repair your skin. Wound healing promotes new cellular growth of epidermal cells (the top layer of your skin) and hair follicles.
Increases circulation to the hair follicle: People who struggle with hair thinning and hair loss often have decreased blood circulation in their scalp. Derma rolling increases circulation, which brings oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the follicle to encourage new growth.
Releases your own natural anti-aging properties in your skin: Youthful skin has lots of collagen and elastin, which keeps the skin tight and wrinkle-free. However, as we get older, collagen and elastin decrease, which causes our skin to lose its structure. Derma rolling encourages the production of collagen and elastin. Collagen (in particular) is not only helpful in keeping the skin tight, but it also is an essential building block for hair.
- Allows deeper penetration of skin and hair care products: Those tiny puncture holes create a pathway for products to enter deeper in your skin instead of just absorbing in the first layers. Our products often do not reach their full potential because they can’t penetrate deep enough into the skin actually to deliver the benefits they possess.
How often should I use a derma roller?
How you use a derma roller depends on what you are trying to treat. First of all, you will need to determine the size of the microneedles you should use. If you are trying to correct skin impairments, you may start with the smaller needle sizes to create pathways for products to enter your skin. However, if you are looking to increase collagen production, you will need to start with 0.3mm needles or longer. The longer the needle, the more effective it will be at stimulating collagen production.
For hair loss, you will want to start with at least 0.5mm needles to enhance the absorption of professional-grade hair restoration solutions. For example, you may consider the DS Laboratories StimuROLLER, which has 540 needles that effectively stimulate hair growth in thinning and balding areas. For skin, it helps to start with 0.3mm needles, which begin to open your skin to enhance product absorption.
Once you have determined the size, you can gauge how often you can use the derma roller. In general, the longer the needle, the longer you need to wait in between treatments. This is because longer needles create a more significant wound, which needs time to heal. If you don’t allow the skin time to heal, you risk causing damage and scarring. Thus, if you are using long needles on your scalp, you likely only need to derma roll about once a month. If you start with 0.5mm needles, you can roll thinning and balding areas once a week if you tolerate it well. If you are using small needles on your face, like 0.3mm, you may work up to using it twice a week or so. A good rule of thumb is to ease into using the derma roller by not doing it too often initially.
Any other ways to make derma rolling more effective for reversing hair loss?
Because you will be creating pathways for your products to enter your skin more effectively, you will want to use the best products on your skin and hair. If you are using derma rolling to improve your skin, talk with your dermatologist about what products are best suited for your particular skin needs. If you are using derma rolling to increase hair growth, make sure to use professional-grade products that not only stimulate hair growth (like products that contain nanoxidil 5%) but also use products that enhance the health of your scalp and existing hair follicles.
First of all, because you are creating micro-wounds, you will want to maintain strict hygiene practices to reduce your risk of inflammation and infection. Cleaning your skin and scalp before use is essential. If you are derma rolling your skin, it is helpful to do a gentle exfoliation to remove any dead skin cells and debris. For scalp derma rolling, it is best to do it after you have washed your hair and it has dried without any added products until after you have completed your treatment. Cleaning the derma roller after each use helps prevent future infections. To do so, you will want to rinse it off with warm water and soak it in alcohol. After it soaks, rinse the derma roller under warm water again and air dry on a clean towel. Many derma rollers come in a protective case, so replace it in the case once it has completely dried.
You will want to be cautious when using a derma roller if you have any of the following conditions:
- Skin and scalp infections (herpes, fungus, etc.)
- Hypersensitive skin
- Prone to keloid scarring
If you use medical-grade products like retinol for wrinkles, you will also want to avoid derma rolling while using this product, as it can create an intense, damaging reaction. Furthermore, while derma rolling is excellent for helping with acne, it is best not to use it if you have cystic acne or open acne spots, as it can spread the bacteria to other parts of your face.
Derma rolling is an effective method for restoring a youthful appearance to your skin and stimulating hair growth. While it is relatively easy to try at home, there are also many professionals who specialize in this type of micro-needling. A specialist can evaluate your skin and help you determine what size and how often you should use a derma roller. Finally, if you are struggling with hair loss from those difficult-to-treat causes like androgenic alopecia, derma rolling can be a great tool when used in combination with professional-grade hair stimulating products.