Can You Use A Derma Roller For Receding Hairlines?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Derma roller might work on skin, but there is still a cloud of uncertainly whether it works for hair and receding hairlines. That's why you're here.

We enlisted the help of a dermatologist to give you the answer.

Non-surgical and non-invasive procedures for the treatment of hair loss are gaining immense importance over the past few years. Derma rollers are beneficial for the treatment of a variety of cosmetic conditions including acne scars and wrinkles.

But can you use a derma roller for a receding hairlines in people suffering from androgenic alopecia?


  1. Can you use a derma roller for receding hairline? How?
  2. What is a derma roller?
  3. How does a derma roller stimulate hair growth?
  4. How long does it take to see results?
  5. Are there side effects to a derma roller?
  6. What derma roller should you use?
  7. What is a receding hairline?
  8. What are the common causes of hair loss?
  9. What is a normal hair growth cycle?
  10. Conclusion

Can you use a derma roller for receding hairlines? How?

Yes, you can use a derma roller for receding hairlines.


Before using derma rollers, the area of the scalp shall be cleansed properly in vertical, diagonal, and longitudinal directions. After this, a derma roller with a needle length varying from 0.5-1.5 mm is rolled over the concerned area of the scalp. Derma rolling is terminated upon the occurrence of pinpoint bleeding. 

People who use minoxidil with derma rolling are instructed to use minoxidil approximately 24 hours after the derma rolling session.

What is a derma roller?

derma roller for hair

A derma roller is referred to as a device that is rolled onto the skin and forms micropores during the rolling process. Derma rollers have been widely used for their anti-aging effects as it stimulates collagen production and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Derma rollers are also used for improved transdermal delivery of pharmacologic formulations.

Derma rollers work on the basic principle of micro-needling. This employs micro-sized needles for creating non-pathogenic punctures on the skin. Skin punctures also referred to as micropores, stimulate the underlying skin cells to release growth factors and increase the production of collagen. The needles do not penetrate the dermis layer of the skin, hence, do not elicit pain during the process.

Derma rollers are also used for eliminating acne scars and stretch marks. Similar rejuvenating effects are also seen in individuals who suffer from excessive hair loss. Derma rollers also increase the efficacy of pharmacologic formulations used for the treatment of hair loss.

How does a derma roller stimulate hair growth?

Derma rolling promotes hair growth by enhancing penetration of hair loss medications, stimulating the release of growth factors by hair follicle stem cells, and promoting neovascularization of hair follicles to provide sufficient oxygen and nutrients for rapidly proliferating hair follicle cells. 

Derma rollers have been used for the treatment of androgenic alopecia in conjunction with hair loss medications such as minoxidil. Microneedling induces hair regrowth via activation of stem cells and release of epidermal and platelet-derived growth factors that promote wound regeneration. This also leads to overexpression of those genes that are related to hair growth including Wnt10b, Wnt3a, and B catenin. 

The efficacy of derma rollers in the treatment of hair loss can also be demonstrated by the fact that people who undergo minoxidil therapy with micro-needling tend to experience better treatment outcomes than those who undergo minoxidil monotherapy. Similarly, combination therapy is more effective than micro-needling monotherapy. 

How long does it take for a derma roller to work?

People who use derma rollers for hair loss treatment experience noticeable new hair growth about 6 weeks after initiation of the treatment. Rapid growth in hair already present on the scalp is observed only one week after using a derma roller. However, people who undergo minoxidil monotherapy tend to observe hair growth after 10 weeks of initiation of minoxidil treatment.

What are derma roller side effects?

balding guy using derma roller

Derma rollers are contraindicated in individuals who suffer from chronic skin diseases and immunosuppression. Frequent, yet mild complications of derma rolling include pain during derma rolling, erythema, mild edema, and irritation on the affected site of the scalp. These subside a few hours to days after the procedure.

Other less frequent adverse effects of derma rolling include hyperpigmentation and superficial infections of the skin, for instance, impetigo. Moreover, susceptible individuals may also suffer from contact dermatitis and allergic granulomatous reactions. Exposure to blood during derma rolling increases the risk of the spread of infections and transmissible diseases.

What derma roller should you use?

Not all derma roller are built the same. Some manufacturers might opt for less expensive materials and the needles might not be as good.

Furthermore, there are disposable derma rollers that are less durable and also less-environmentally friendly.

Here at Scandinavian Biolabs, our values are deeply rooted in ecological manufacturing and consumption. We wholeheartedly recommend a high quality, long-lasting derma roller that will not damage your skin.

What is a receding hairline?

woman receding hairline

Receding hairline or hair recession is characterized by the backward movement of the hairline across the scalp. Hairline recession may not occur solely and may be accompanied by concomitant thinning of hair. Receding hairline is a common manifestation of male and female pattern baldness.

Hair loss may involve frontal and temporal areas of the scalp. In some cases, bitemporal hair loss exceeds frontal hair loss giving rise to a V-shaped hairline or widow's peak.

What are the common causes of hair loss?

Hair loss may occur due to a single etiological factor or interaction between multiple factors. Some of the common causes of hair loss are listed down below:


Genetic factors play a significant role in the onset of hair loss and hairline recession. The severity of hair loss depends greatly on the genetic susceptibility of hair loss in that individual. Androgenic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in men and women.

This is referred to as increased sensitivity of hair follicles to androgens resulting in excessive hair shedding. While females suffer from diffuse thinning of hair, males tend to experience hairline recession and the appearance of bald spots on the scalp.


Age also plays a crucial role in the onset of hairline recession and hair loss in both men and women. The rate of proliferation of hair follicles declines as the overall body metabolism reduces with increasing age.

Medical treatments

Hair loss is also a manifestation of therapeutic modalities. This includes chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer treatment that target rapidly proliferating cells in the body.

Henceforth, follicular cells are also affected. These may be destroyed owing to direct radiation exposure. Other medications may also lead to hair loss as part of their adverse effects.

Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is referred to immune-mediated damage of the hair follicles resulting in the appearance of bald spots, not just on the scalp but in other body areas as well.

Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium indicates premature progression of hair follicles in the telogen or transitional phase of the hair growth cycle. This hair loss condition arises in the presence of stress on the body. Different stress triggers include pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, and emotional disturbances.

Traction alopecia

Traction alopecia is referred to hair strands subjected to increased tension resulting in excessive hair loss. Pulling hair during styling causes traction alopecia.

Hormonal imbalances

Hormonal imbalances may also lead to disruption of the hair growth cycle and subsequent hair loss. For example, consumption of oral contraceptives and endocrine disorders including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may lead to hair loss. Similarly, thyroid hormone abnormalities also manifest as excessive hair loss.


Bacterial and fungal infections of the scalp also contribute significantly to hair loss. Microbial infections lead to inflammatory and scarring alopecia characterized by the formation of stubs of hair in mild infections and conspicuous bald spots in severe cases. 

    What is a normal hair growth cycle?

    The normal hair growth cycle in humans is primarily composed of three distinct stages including anagen, telogen, and catagen phases. Hair morphology and physiology vary among these three phases. A brief description of each phase of the hair growth cycle is given below.

    Anagen Phase

      This is referred to as the growth phase of the hair growth cycle. During the anagen phase, hair follicular cells undergo active proliferation along with increased melanin synthesis by the melanocytes. During this phase, the extracellular matrix of the follicle also increases, and the dermal papilla of the follicles increases in thickness. 

      Catagen Phase 

        Catagen or the transitional phase of the hair growth cycle has a total duration of 2-3 weeks. During this phase, the hair follicle cells stop proliferating and the melanocytes also cease to produce melanin. The root bulb shrinks and forms a club-like structure as well as regresses towards the surface of the scalp. 

        Telogen Phase 

          The telogen or resting phase is the last stage of the hair growth cycle. The hair strands may remain attached to the hair follicles, however, no hair growth occurs. This phase may last for several months until hair is shed and the follicles re-enter the anagen phase. Approximately 10-15% of the total hair follicles are present in the telogen phase which may last for several months. 

          Activities that manipulate hair such as brushing and washing hair, may cause hair to shed during this phase. 


          Derma rollers stimulate the hair follicle stem cells to release growth factors and also promote the expression of genes responsible for hair growth. Derma rolling also induces wound healing and neovascularization that cumulatively improve hair growth. Derma rollers are also employed to enhance the efficacy of pharmacologic formulations for hair loss and yield better treatment outcomes.

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          Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S. is a House Physician in the Medical Unit 3 Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, and deals with hepatic, cardiac, neurological, and dermatological issues daily. He did his MBBS from Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad. He believes that a good haircare routine is one where you nourish it naturally. During his free time, he works as a dermatologist for Scandinavian Biolabs.