Derma Roller for Hair Growth: Does It Really Work?

Medically reviewedby Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

If you've tried everything to treat hair loss and grow new hair, it's time to try using the derma roller.

Early results show derma rollers effectively stimulate hair growth and reduce hair thinning and hair loss within weeks.

Could this tool finally be the answer?

We asked UK board-certified dermatologist Dr. Chaudhry to answer all of that & we tested the best derma roller for hair growth in 2024.

What is a derma roller?

derma rolling for hair regrowth

A derma roller is a tool used to stimulate hair growth on the scalp. It is a roller covered in tiny needles that create micro-injuries in the skin. This triggers the body's natural wound healing response, which can increase blood flow to the scalp and collagen production. These factors may enhance hair growth and help promote healthier hair.

In a randomized evaluator-blinded study conducted in 2013, microneedling therapy along with minoxidil was statistically superior to using minoxidil alone in promoting new hair.

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Pros and cons of a derma roller

Derma rollers are handy devices that can enhance your hair care routine, but they come with their own set of advantages and drawbacks.


  • Affordable: Much cheaper than clinical treatments.
  • Home use: Conveniently use it in the comfort of your own home.
  • User-friendly: Simple design, easy to handle.
  • Effective results: Known to increase hair density and thickness.
  • Combats hair loss: Helps in tackling hair loss issues.


  • Skin irritation: Can cause redness, irritation, or discomfort.
  • Side effects: Possible side effects vary from person to person.
  • Needle size confusion: Difficult to choose the correct needle size.
  • Self-application challenges: Hard to manage on the back of your head by yourself.

Do derma rollers really work?

Yes, derma rollers can work, especially when combined with treatments like minoxidil, but they might not be as effective as professional microneedling.

Derma rolling at home can yield results, albeit generally less dramatic than those you might achieve with professional microneedling sessions at a dermatologist’s office. There's some debate over the effectiveness of derma rollers for hair regrowth specifically. 

While microneedling has been well-studied and is proven to promote hair growth, derma rolling is somewhat less researched. 

However, it's thought to offer similar benefits due to the mechanism of action being alike.

For instance, a study from 2013 found that using a derma roller in conjunction with minoxidil treatment was more effective than using minoxidil alone. 

This suggests that the process of derma rolling can enhance the absorption and efficacy of topical treatments, thereby promoting hair growth more effectively.

Overall, while derma rollers might not replace professional treatments, they're a valuable tool in the battle against hair loss, especially when used correctly and with realistic expectations.

How to choose the right derma roller for you

Choosing the right derma roller is crucial for effective and safe hair regrowth treatments at home. Focus primarily on the needle length, which should be suitable for use on your scalp and not just facial skin.

When selecting a derma roller, the needle length is key. Here's a quick rundown:

  • 0.2 mm to 0.5 mm: These smaller needles are ideal for beginners and safer for home use, primarily designed to enhance the absorption of topical treatments.
  • 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm: Longer needles can stimulate more significant collagen production, which is beneficial for hair growth but should be used with caution.

Ensure that the derma roller is explicitly designed for scalp use, as many are intended for facial skin and may not be as effective or could potentially cause discomfort when used on the scalp.

How did we test?

derma roller test before and after

For this evaluation, we recruited a panel of testers with varying scalp conditions to ensure well-rounded results.

We implemented a controlled, double-blind study. Testers used assigned derma rollers for a set period, documenting ease of use, any side effects, and perceived hair growth progress.

We then combined dermatologist-evaluated "before and after" photos with user feedback to determine the most effective and user-friendly derma rollers for hair growth.

Below are the 5 best results from over 20 tests.

5 best derma rollers for hair growth and hair loss

Here are the 5 best derma rollers for hair growth and hair loss:

  1. Best performance: Scandinavian Biolabs Scalp Activation Roller
  2. Best red light roller: BeautyBio GloPRO Regeneration Tools
  3. Best replaceable roller: Bosley Micro-Roller
  4. Best stainless steel roller: Bondi Boost Derma Roller
  5. Best 0.25mm roller: Act+Acre Scalp Dermaroller

We manually vet brands, look at reviews, and have hands-on testing to ensure these 5 derma rollers work for hair regrowth.

1. Best performance: Scandinavian Biolabs Scalp Activation Derma Roller

best derma roller for hair growth

Designed with 540 titanium 0.5 mm needles, the Scalp Activation Roller by Scandinavian Biolabs is the best dermaroller for hair growth and scalp support in our comprehensive test.

It has all the things you'd want to look for in a derma roller:

  • Medical grade, high-strength titanium needles that maintain sharpness and durability even after extensive use after many months.
  • Ideal needle count and size for both beginners and veterans, 540 0.5 mm needles.
  • One of the few derma rollers designed to boost hair health and help improve hair thinning or hair loss.

Derma rollers are designed so you can use them safely in privacy and see the results within 3-6 months.


  • Developed by hair loss experts
  • Helps stimulate scalp health and combat hair loss
  • Safe for daily use
  • Achieve professional microneedling results with at-home derma rolling.
  • Excellent quality-to-cost ratio
  • Works beautifully for facial hair and beard growth.


    • Cost more than other derma rollers, but you're paying for premium materials and construction that'll last longer.

    Scalp Activation Derma Roller
    Scalp Activation Derma Roller
    A hand-held microneedling tool intended to stimulate the scalp and encourage fuller hair

    2. Best red light roller: BeautyBio GloPRO Regeneration Tools

    new hair growth derma roller

    The BeautyBio GloPRO regeneration tools have a unique red light feature. It uses 1260 stainless steel 0.3 mm needles, and its red light technology provides an additional boost to blood circulation and result in thicker hair.


    • The additional red light technology improves your hair density further
    • A higher needle count may provide more comprehensive coverage


      • Costs much more due to the advanced features so it is not ideal if you are just thinking about trying a derma roller for the first time
      • It may not be suitable for beginners due to the higher needle count
      • Users reported no results for the money spent, so you might not want to take this higher risk

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      3. Best replaceable roller: Bosley Micro-Roller

      new hair growth

      This Bosley Micro-Roller has 540 titanium 0.25mm needles. It's known for its durability and effectiveness in encouraging hair to grow and improving scalp health.


      • Weighted, anti-slip handle
      • Replaceable head
      • Unique ergonomic design
      • Small needles, suitable for very sensitive scalp


        • Smaller needles might hinder the effectiveness of derma rolling
        • Free products impact reviews
        • Higher cost

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        4. Best stainless steel: Bondi Boost Derma Roller

        derma roller for hair growth

        The Bondi Boost Derma Roller remains a great option with its high-quality construction and great looks. The main roller consists of 540 needles that are 1.5mm long.


        • Long needle size that can create deeper holes
        • Sleek design
        • Uses medical-grade stainless steel
        • Cheap


        • We cannot find any options for European consumers
        • Long needles are not recommended for starters
        • Longer intervals of healing needed
        • Reviews mentioned that it damaged their hair

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        5. Best 0.25mm: Act+Acre Scalp Dermaroller

        derma rolling for hair regrowth

        The Act+Acre Scalp Derma Roller consists of 540 needles, each 0.25mm in size. While the design is similar to that of Bondi Boost, its shorter needles are good for sensitive skin.


        • Sleek design
        • 0.25mm ideal for sensitive skin
        • Trichologist approved


        • We couldn't find any options for European consumers
        • Short needle length might be less effective for hair growth
        • More expensive than similar options
        • Users reported it pulling their hair out

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        Who can use a derma roller for hair growth?

        Anyone experiencing hair loss can consider using a derma roller, but it's particularly effective for certain types of hair loss:

        • Androgenetic Alopecia: Common in both men and women.
        • Alopecia Areata: Characterized by patchy hair loss.
        • Telogen Effluvium: Temporary hair thinning over the scalp.

        Derma rolling can also be beneficial after a hair transplant to promote hair growth, although it should be approached with caution and professional advice. 

        While derma rolling is safe for most adults, it's not recommended for children, except under professional supervision, due to the discomfort and the purely cosmetic nature of the treatment. 

        Always consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment regimen, especially in cases involving minors or after surgical procedures like hair transplants.

        Benefits of using a derma roller for hair regrowth

        Here are some of the advantages of derma roller for hair growth:

        • Increased blood flow: Derma rollers create tiny pricks in the scalp, which triggers the body's natural healing process. This can increase blood flow to the area, bringing more nutrients and oxygen to your hair follicles. Improved circulation can potentially promote healthy hair growth.
        • Enhanced absorption of hair products: Microneedling with a derma roller can create temporary channels in the scalp, which may allow for better absorption of minoxidil or other hair loss treatments that you might be using. This could potentially improve their effectiveness.
        • Stimulates hair follicles: The micro-injury from derma rolling may send signals to the scalp to boost hair follicle activity and growth factors.

        How long does derma roller take to grow hair?

        It likely won't be for at least a few months before you see any noticeable results from a derma roller. Here's what will typically happen:

        • Initial shedding: You might actually experience some shedding in the first few weeks of using a derma roller. This is because the derma roller stimulates the scalp and pushes out hairs that are already in the telogen (shedding) phase.
        • Slow growth: After the initial shedding, new hair growth will likely be slow and gradual. It can take 2-3 months to see any visible improvement, and it may take 6 months or more to see the full effects.
        • Consistent use: Be patient and consistent with your hair regrowth regimen. Regular use of 1-2 times per week is the best for hair growth results.

        How often should I use a derma roller?

        The frequency of using a derma roller depends on the needle length:

        • 0.25 mm: Every other day
        • 0.5 mm: 1–3 times a week, starting with less frequent use and increasing as tolerated
        • 1.0 mm: Every 10–14 days
        • 1.5 mm: Once every 3–4 weeks
        • 2.0 mm: Every 6 weeks (it is recommended to avoid this length for home use)

        Adjusting the usage according to the needle size ensures safety and maximizes the effectiveness of the treatment.

        How long does it take to see results from a derma roller for hair?

        Visible improvements from using a derma roller for hair typically start to appear after 2-3 months of consistent use. Hair growth is a gradual process, and the benefits of derma rolling accumulate over time. Patience is key as results such as fuller hair and visible regrowth develop slowly.

        What are the side effects of using a derma roller?

        Using a derma roller is generally safe, but it does come with some potential side effects:

        Itchiness: Common in the treated area post-use.

        • Redness and bruising: Especially with longer needle sizes.
        • Bleeding: Occurs mainly with needles longer than 0.5 mm.
        • Skin tightness: A sensation that might be noticeable after treatment.
        • Swelling: Typically temporary and mild.

        These side effects are usually minor and resolve on their own within a few days. However, proper technique and hygiene are crucial to minimize risks.

        Should I use minoxidil with a derma roller to get better results?

        Yes, combining minoxidil with derma rolling can enhance your hair regrowth efforts by improving minoxidil's absorption into the scalp.

        Using a derma roller to create micro-punctures on the scalp can increase the absorption of topical treatments like minoxidil, especially when applied 24 hours after derma rolling. 

        This method may boost the effectiveness of minoxidil, potentially leading to more significant hair growth results. However, it's crucial to consult a dermatologist before starting this regimen. 

        They can provide tailored advice based on your specific hair loss type and ensure that this combination is suitable and safe for your needs.

        Which derma roller size is best for hair regrowth?

        For hair regrowth, starting with a smaller needle size is advisable, especially if you're new to derma rolling or have sensitive skin.

        • 0.25mm Derma Roller: Ideal for beginners and those with lower pain tolerance. This size enhances product absorption and stimulates the scalp gently without deep skin penetration.
        • 0.5mm Derma Roller: This needle length penetrates the skin more deeply, potentially providing greater stimulation to hair follicles, which might be more effective for hair regrowth. However, it could be more uncomfortable for some users.

        As your scalp adapts and you assess your skin's response, you may consider gradually increasing the needle length. Always proceed with caution and follow proper hygiene to minimize any adverse effects.

        Home derma rolling vs professional derma rolling

        Home derma rolling offers an accessible and affordable way to enhance hair growth, with equipment costs around £10-15 and minoxidil at about £14.99 per month. In contrast, professional derma rolling, while more costly, leverages expert techniques and specialized equipment for potentially more effective results.

        Derma rolling at home allows individuals to perform regular treatments, which can improve hair density over time if done consistently. However, the professional approach goes a step further by utilizing tailored needle sizes and techniques specifically chosen for your scalp's needs, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the treatment. 

        Professionals can also combine derma rolling with other hair growth strategies, providing a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses multiple aspects of hair loss. 

        This integrated approach helps ensure that each session maximizes potential hair growth, making the higher cost a valuable investment for those seeking optimal results.

        Can you combine derma rolling with other hair loss treatments?

        Yes, derma rolling can be effectively combined with various hair loss treatments to enhance your results:

        • Finasteride: This oral medication, often enhanced by microneedling, can significantly improve hair regrowth.
        • Minoxidil: Often used in conjunction with derma rolling, this topical solution increases blood flow to the hair follicles, boosting the treatment's effectiveness.
        • Topical corticosteroids: Studies, like those involving betamethasone, show that microneedling can increase the efficacy of these treatments.
        • Hair transplantation: Post-transplant, using a derma roller can help improve the density of hair growth after the grafts have fully healed.
        • Low-level laser therapy (LLLT): For those unresponsive to Finasteride alone, combining LLLT with microneedling might offer improved results.

          How to use derma rollers for hair growth results?

          what derma roller for hair growth to buy

          Using a derma roller for hair growth involves a simple yet careful routine to maximize results and ensure safety. Here’s a straightforward guide to get you started:

          What you’ll need:

          • A derma roller
          • Disinfectant solution (70% isopropyl alcohol)
          • A topical hair loss treatment (optional)

          Step-by-step guide:

          • Cleanse your scalp: Wash with a gentle shampoo and dry thoroughly.
          • Disinfect your derma roller: Soak in a disinfectant solution for 10-15 minutes, rinse with sterile water, and dry.
          • Prepare the treatment area: Part your hair to expose the scalp areas where thinning is noticeable.
          • Rolling technique: Gently roll over the scalp in vertical, horizontal, and diagonal directions, applying light pressure. Roll each area 4-5 times in each direction.
          • After care: Disinfect the derma roller again and apply a calming moisturizer to soothe the scalp.
          • Apply topical treatment: If using, apply a hair growth treatment like minoxidil to enhance absorption.
          • Post-treatment precautions: Avoid strenuous activities, swimming, and hot environments for 24 hours.

          Safety tips:

          • Never share your derma roller to prevent infections.
          • Replace the derma roller every 3-4 months to keep it effective and hygienic.
          • Avoid using on irritated skin or over active acne. Consult a doctor if you're unsure about your skin's condition.


            In conclusion, a derma roller presents a promising tool to promote hair growth. Through the stimulation of collagen creation, blood flow, and cellular regeneration, derma rollers may help to address issues of losing or thinning hair.

            While their use requires careful consideration of factors such as needle size, application technique, and hygiene practices, with the right approach, they can be a powerful addition to your hair care regimen.

            It's essential, however, to maintain realistic expectations, consult professionals when needed, and explore other hair loss treatments as part of a comprehensive approach to hair health.


            Can derma rolling treat male or female pattern baldness?

            Yes, derma rolling can be effective for both male and female pattern baldness. It stimulates scalp healing, improves blood flow, and enhances hair follicle function, potentially increasing hair count and density. It may also boost the effectiveness of treatments like minoxidil.

            Is a 1.5mm derma roller safe for hair?

            A 1.5mm derma roller can be safe for hair growth if used carefully, ideally once every 3 to 4 weeks. It's important to use it gently and allow sufficient healing time between sessions to avoid irritation.

            Can I use a 0.5mm derma roller every day?

            Yes, a 0.5mm derma roller is safe for daily use. Its short needles are less likely to cause significant irritation and are effective for enhancing the absorption of topical treatments.

            Can I use a 1mm derma roller every day?

            It is not advisable to use a 1mm derma roller daily. The longer needles require more healing time, so it's best used once every 1 to 2 weeks to prevent overstimulation and damage.

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            Luat Duong

            Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.