While everyone loses hair from their head as part of the normal hair growth and shedding process, when hair loss is excessive, it can lead to noticeable thinning or baldness. Although hair loss is considered an issue most often experienced by men, it also impacts women more often than most people assume. Thankfully, there are treatments on the market today that effectively and safely address this self-esteem deflating condition. We will consider one such solution today, using a dermaroller for hair loss. Read on to learn more about hair loss causes and this specific treatment’s effectiveness:
What Causes Hair Loss?
As mentioned above, hair loss is a common issue experienced by many adults. In fact, the most common form of hair loss, androgenetic alopecia affects over 30 million women and 50 million men in the United States. You might have heard this type of hair loss referred to as female or male pattern baldness. Androgenic alopecia is believed to be hereditary in nature and has been shown to respond well to a variety of hair loss treatments.
More About Female and Male Pattern Hair Loss
- Men: In men, hair loss can present itself anytime after puberty and progress over years or decades. It usually begins at the temples and then continues to the top of the head. This often leaves a “ring of hair” along the bottom part of the scalp. Male pattern baldness can cause a man to go bald all over.
- Women: With women, hair thinning and balding acts a bit differently. In most cases, a woman’s hair will thin slowly all over the scalp. This means there is no noticeable receding hairline. Thinning is a natural byproduct of aging for many women, but can begin as early as right after puberty. While female pattern hair loss can cause significant thinning of the hair on a woman’s head, it rarely causes complete baldness. However, this isn’t to say that the thinning isn’t life altering and embarrassing for women to endure.
Other Causes of Hair Loss
There are other causes of hair loss, outside the most common form of androgenic alopecia. A sampling of them are listed below:
- Telogen Effluvium: This happens when a great number of hair follicles remain stationary in the resting phase of the hair growth cycle, called telogen. This disruption in the normal hair growth cycle often results in hair falling out all over the head, without new hairs coming into replace them.
- Anagen Effluvium: This is medically induced hair loss that is a result of specific types of medical treatments like chemotherapy.
- Alopecia Areata: This condition is the result of an autoimmune disease that is basically the body attacking its own healthy tissues, including the hair follicles. This causes hair loss and prevents subsequent hair growth.
- Cicatricial Alopecia: This condition is extremely rare and is caused by inflammation that destroys hair follicles.
- Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia: Affecting postmenopausal women in most cases, this condition can cause a receding hairline pattern of hair loss and even impact the hair follicles in the underarms and eyebrows.
- Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia: Although this is formally worded, it basically means that hair follicles are damaged due to hair products or excessive over styling. Perms, permanent waves, coloring, hair extensions, curling irons and more can all be part of this issue.
What is a Dermaroller?
Now that we have considered the common causes of hair loss and why you might be experiencing it, let’s look at one promising treatment, dermarolling. A dermaroller is basically a plastic tool that is covered in micro-needles. It is designed to penetrate the dermal layer of the skin, in this case on your scalp. In theory, this will boost circulation, produce new cells, and encourage hair growth in the process. Although it sounds a bit barbaric to insert needles into the skin, it is usually a painless process as the needles are tiny, measuring between 0.2 and 2 millimeters.
Can You Do Dermarolling at Home or Does it Require Professional Application?
You can use a dermaroller at home without visiting a medical professional. Of course, you could visit a medical professional like a dermatologist to have the procedure done for you, but it is a simple, easy process that doesn’t require extensive medical knowledge to perform. Therefore, going to a dermatologist would only be applicable if you would rather a medical professional do it for you.
How Dermarolling Works is There Clinical Proof of Effectiveness?
The small needles on the dermaroller make numerous miniscule punctures over the surface of your scalp. Then, your body reacts to those “wounds” by sending inflammatory, wound-healing molecules into the area, which is believed to promote hair growth. Dermarolling has been used by dermatologists to treat hair loss caused by alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia and other conditions and is considered a minimally invasive procedure. Research shows dermarolling works to promote the body’s own ability to heal in the following three stages:
- Maturation or remodeling
Is Dermarolling a Safe Procedure?
If you witnessed the Vampire Facial in 2014 that was showcased by famous influencer Kim Kardashian, you might wonder if this procedure is safe at all. Kim performed dermarolling, or microneedling more specifically, on her face, to stimulate cellular growth and promote healthy skin. The vampire facial procedure is given its name because it causes lots of tiny punctures that bleed, causing the face to look almost ghoulish after treatment. The same idea is applied to dermarolling, only it takes place on the scalp, not the face. However, there is no need to be alarmed as it is far from horrific or dangerous. In fact, there is no danger of damage as the needles on a dermaroller device are designed to only penetrate to a specific, safe depth. They will only penetrate deep enough to promote your body’s own natural healing process and to encourage a proliferation of skin cells, no deeper.
Benefits of Dermarolling For Hair Growth
In addition to using dermarolling independently as a hair growth treatment, there are other benefits of the practice as well, which are listed below:
- Can be used in conjunction with DHT-blocking shampoos and low-level light therapy to further assist the absorption process.
- Increases blood flow through stimulation, allowing nutrients and oxygen to reach hair follicles.
How to Use a Dermaroll
The following is a breakdown of the dermarolling process:
- Choose Your Device and Needle Size: The first step of the dermarolling or micro-needling process for hair loss is choosing your product and selecting a needle size. When it comes to hair growth stimulation, 1.5 millimeters is the best size.
- Wash Hair and Sterilize The Roller: Wash your hair before treatment using an exfoliating shampoo brush to ensure all the dirt and dead skin present on your scalp is removed. Disinfect your dermaroller (including needles) using rubbing alcohol to ensure your device is clean before use.
- Brush Your Hair: Use a wide-tooth comb to untangle your hair so there are no knots present to prevent the roller from reaching every part of your scalp.
- Part Your Hair Throughout, Work Your Way Through: Part your hair to one side then the other, allowing you to roll every inch of your scalp, working through your entire head in a horizontal pattern.
- Go Back Through Again: In general, you will want to make a few passes through with your roller, around 10 to maximize the stimulation process.
How Often is Dermarolling Necessary?
Each person’s ideal frequency will vary based on the size of the needle they use and other factors. However, if you are starting small, with a needle less than 0.5 mm, you can dermaroll every other day. The bigger or longer the needle you use, the longer you should wait between treatments. For example, if you opt for a 1.5mm sized needle, space out treatments to one every other week.
Bottom Line: Does it Work?
Studies show using a dermaroller for hair loss is an effective way to promote hair growth. Of course, there are some side effects to consider as you are inserting needles into your scalp, which can cause some pain, bruising, redness and swelling. However, overall, it is considered a pretty safe procedure that you can do from the comfort of home.