“Skin needling is a process of using devices such as the derma roller that gently pierces the outer layer of the skin.”
How does this relate to hair loss?
As mentioned several times throughout Phime.org, one of the key components for hair regrowth is sufficient blood circulation and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles. How does skin needling work? Devices such as the derma roller are about the size a shaving razor but have a special rolling head that is made up from 200-500+ fine surgical needles depending on model. Most of the models manufactured today are made with titanium needle material. Each needle is perfectly aligned with only the “tip” of the needle exposed so the skin is gently pricked across the surface. This may sound painful but the actual method if used properly is completely painless. The skin needling method was originally designed by scientists to improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles. Skin needling is believed to stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin from the “healing process” of gently needling the skin. In addition, the gentle “pricking” of the skin also creates a reaction to the skin by sending more blood and oxygen to surface of the skin. Therefore, there are a number of people who are applying that same theory for hair growth. If skin needling increases the blood, nutrients, and oxygen, then it should also nourish the follicle for better growth. Most of the skin roller manufactures suggest using a product such as Retin-A after rolling the skin for maximum absorption of the treatment as a topical example. There have been a few threads on a couple of hair loss forums that reported some success using minoxidil (Rogaine) after the skin needling but there is no clinical evidence that this method is 100% safe and effective. This device has also been used with new hair loss treatments such as ACell + PRP Injection Therapy. Even if a topical is not used after skin needling, the treatment should still stimulate the scalp and increase blood flow and oxygen to hair follicles.
What Type of Derma Roller is Best for the Scalp?
The best skin needling device for the scalp is a roller with a wide-gauge and short needles that are 0.25mm in length. This size of needle is considered non-invasive and should not cause trauma to the scalp. Instead, this type of skin roller will provide the gentle stimulation from its light needling effect that will ensure the scalp will have better blood circulation and nutrient delivery from the healing process.
How to Use a Derma Roller for Hair Loss
It is important that your hair and scalp has been properly washed and dried before rolling the scalp. In addition, the device itself needs to be sterilized using a surgical spirit or equivalent before the treatment if needles have been exposed. The newer devices come with a plastic protector shield to house and protect the head of the roller. Once your scalp and skin roller is prepped, gently “roll” the skin needling device in a “front-to-back” and “side-to-side” (due to the shape of the scalp, a diagonal, horizontal, and vertical motion). Make sure each roll is balanced in these motions to prevent scratching. If your hair is long, you can dampen your hair before rolling to prevent the roller from getting tangled. Use the derma roller for around 10-12 minutes per session at 2-3 times per week if being used on entire scalp. For smaller areas, 3-5 minutes of rolling should be plenty of treatment time. If you are using any hair loss topical make sure the scalp has had a short amount of time to recover from the skin needling treatment (let the redness subside). This will ensure the scalp is not too exposed for any topical that will be applied to the hair and scalp. You can probably expect to see positive results (everyone’s skin reacts differently) around 1-2 months and up to 6 months to evaluate the skin needling treatments full effects.
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