With so many microneedling devices on the market, it's important to know which ones will be effective (and safe!) at helping you achieve the results you're looking for. This is especially true when it comes to finding the best dermarollers for hair because, according to Dr. Sapna Palep, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Spring Street Dermatology, the optimal needle length for use on your scalp will vary depending on your goal.
What Size Dermaroller Should You Use?
Similar to shopping for a facial dermaroller, look at the size of the needles to find the best one for your hair:
- 0.15 to 0.25 millimeter: If you're already using a topical scalp treatment for hair growth (like Rogaine), doing a microneedling session with shorter needles before you apply your product will help boost its absorption, Dr. Palep explains. Plus, the risk of injuries is much smaller with rollers of this length — making them a great option for beginners or really anyone who wants to be able to safely microneedle on a more regular basis (about once a week is recommended).
- 0.5 to 1.5 millimeters: This is where you want to be if your aim is to stimulate hair growth, Dr. Palep says. In fact, a 1.5-millimeter tool is often considered the go-to because it can better penetrate through hair and scalp buildup. Just note that there is a higher potential for damage and pain if used incorrectly, so you'll want to reach for these much more sparingly — a gap of at least two weeks before each subsequent session is recommended.
- 1.5 millimeters and longer: This length is not intended for home use as they may cause harm, so leave them to trained professionals.
How To Use A Dermaroller For Hair
Always start your session with a sterilized roller that's been soaked in a disinfectant (70% isopropyl alcohol is ideal) for about 10 minutes beforehand. Don't forget to sterilize it following your session, too!
Your hair can be dry or damp, though those with longer hair may want to work with wet hair, because, as Dr. Palep points out, "this reduces the likelihood that the roller will catch and pull on strands." Then, with your hair parted, start at the front of your head just at the hairline and work your way towards the back, rolling up and down the part, side to side, and diagonally. "I always suggest rolling each area between 10 and 15 times, to ensure that the scalp is covered adequately," she adds. Keep re-parting your hair and rolling until you've covered the region(s) you are targeting.
Note: You should hit pause on your routine if you're experiencing active acne, bruised skin, eczema, hives, psoriasis, or sunburnt skin.
Now that you're armed with all of the most important tips, scroll on to shop three of the best microneedling devices for hair that you can buy on Amazon.
Editor's note: There are a variety of factors that can contribute to hair-related conditions, and while dermarollers can help, it's always best to check with your doctor before incorporating a new treatment or product into your routine.
1. The Best 0.25 mm Dermaroller
This Linduray dermaroller has earned a 4.5-star rating across a whopping 3,500 Amazon reviews because it's a high-quality tool with a very low price point. Not only have users raved about its effects on the texture of their skin ("My skin is visibly brighter, clearer, and feels soooo smooth," gushed one), but a number of them also mentioned how well it worked on their hair ("I also use it on my hairline with castor oil to keep my hair from thinning [...] Have noticed a difference for sure," wrote one person). The 0.25-millimeter needles are the exact right length to aid in the absorption of serums and oils and temporarily increase blood flow to your scalp. The 540 microneedles on the head are made from titanium, which makes them durable and long-lasting, though per the brand, you should still replace your unit once every one to two months.
Glowing review: “Began using this on my scalp for hair growth. It has done exactly as it is advertised to do. Before I was using minoxidil by itself and the results were pretty good. But using the roller with minoxidil has skyrocketed my hair growth.”
2. The Best 0.5 mm Dermaroller
If your scalp can tolerate it, going with a longer 0.5-millimeter dermaroller may offer you a nice midway point between the absorption benefits of the pick above and the hair growth stimulation of the even longer pick below. Just keep in mind that if you're new to microneedling, longer needles may carry more risk for injuries or other infections, so be extra gentle and cautious while you work through your routine. This tool is outfitted with 540 durable, titanium microneedles and can be used twice a week, for up to three months before needing to be replaced.
Glowing review: “I've been using it for my beard growth treatment and it's amazing! It enhances the absorption of the oil and therefore the beard growth. I love it!.”
3. The Best 1.5 mm Dermaroller
If your main concern is hair regrowth, you may find that a dermaroller with 1.5 millimeter needles gives you the best boost. According to studies, a tool with longer needles might be effective for both androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata, two of the most common forms of hair loss. This model has 540 titanium microneedles and should be used only once or twice a month. Because of the length of the needles, you're likelier to experience side effects like reddening, and even potentially pain, so it's especially important to be diligent about disinfecting your device before and after every use. Replace the roller after 10-15 uses.
Note: You should never use rollers with needle lengths above a half millimeter with medicated hair growth treatments (like minoxidil or Rogaine) because the active ingredients in the formula may absorb too deeply and cause unwanted side effects.
Glowing review: “I've re-ordered this particular make/model a few times. I use it on my scalp. I settled on the 1.5mm after trying a few different sizes - the longer needles help get through the hair and down to the skin. After 20 years of thinning/balding, I've finally found something that's regrowing my hair, which has been pretty amazing. Anyone suffering hair loss needs to look into dermarolling! This particular roller has done the trick for me.”
Fertig, R., Gamret, A., Cervantes, J. and Tosti, A. (2018), Microneedling for the treatment of hair loss?. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 32: 564-569. doi:10.1111/jdv.14722
Dhurat, R., Sukesh, M., Avhad, G., Dandale, A., Pal, A., & Pund, P. (2013). A randomized evaluator blinded study of effect of microneedling in androgenetic alopecia: a pilot study. International journal of trichology, 5(1), 6–11. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-7753.114700
Chandrashekar, B., Yepuri, V., & Mysore, V. (2014). Alopecia areata-successful outcome with microneedling and triamcinolone acetonide. Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery, 7(1), 63–64. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2077.129989