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Using a Dermaroller on Your Scalp?: 12 Things To Avoid

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Dermarolling for hair loss or increased hair growth is a relatively new technique that doctors and patients are using to help round out their hair growth regimen.

Studies show that dermarolling on the scalp may help increase healing and improve circulation to stimulate the hair follicles, and may be a great addition to your overall healthy hair growth protocol.

Not everyone will want to take dermarolling on themselves, and may prefer to have a professional do the procedure. This is perfectly fine, and may be the best option for many people. However, others may want to reduce costs and time spent, and learn how to perform dermarolling on their own scalp.

Below, are a few tips for people who want to learn the dos and don’ts of dermarolling for hair loss.

1. Do not apply too much pressure

Applying too much pressure when dermarolling can be damaging to your scalp, hair follicles, and increase the risk of infection.

Press down firmly enough that you can feel the dermaroller, but not so hard that you are experiencing pain.

2. Do not use a dermaroller too often

More is not always better when it comes to dermarolling for hair loss. It is recommended to start with dermarolling once a week, and potentially take that up to twice a week if that is tolerated well.

When you use a dermaroller, you are making small punctures in your scalp, and it is important to allow those to properly heal before going for it again.

Listen to your scalp. If it is still slightly tender, red, or irritated, it is too soon for another dermarolling round.

3. Do not roll over the same area too many times

Some dermatologists recommend rolling over the same portion of the scalp 4-5 times, but anything more than that may be too much.

You want to stimulate the scalp, but you don’t want to irritate it or cause intense damage. 4-5 times should be adequate to give results, but listen to your skin and opt for fewer passes if that feel like too much.

4. Do not roll a dermaroller over broken or sunburned skin

This should go without saying for most people, but if you have a wound or open skin on the scalp, or even just a sunburn, it is not the time for a dermarolling session.

Wait for the issue to fully heal before hopping back into your dermarolling routine.

5. Do not roll the dermaroller back and forth on the scalp

Rolling back and forth on the scalp without lifting the dermaroller up can be a recipe for tangles and ripped-out hair.

Comb the hair neatly and part the hair to reveal the scalp in the area you want to roll over. Then, push to dermaroller in one direction smoothly with the part or with the direction of the brushed hair. At the end of the roll, lift the dermaroller up and reset at the front for another roll. 

Continue by parting the hair multiple times as needed to get access to the area of the scalp you want to stimulate before rolling, while taking care to not tangle the hair or accidentally snip off a few strands by going against the direction of the brushed hair.

6. Do not use an uncleaned dermaroller

An unclean or unsterilized dermaroller can lead to scalp infections or irritation and should not be used in that state.

Before and after each dermaroller use, clean off the dermaroller, sterilize it with alcohol, and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Since a dermaroller does slightly puncture your skin, it is also important to never share your dermaroller tool with anyone else.

7. Do not use a dermaroller on a dirty scalp

Similar to tip #6, do not use a dermaroller on your scalp if your scalp is dirty or very oily.

The tiny needles will push any residue or oils into your scalp during the rolling process, and this can increase the risk of irritation and infections.

Make sure your scalp has been washed relatively recently before starting your dermarolling session.

8. Do not use a dermaroller on wet or tangled hair

Wet and tangled hair can be difficult to get out of the way and the dampness can increase the risk of infection.

Only dermaroll when your hair is clean and dry, and can be safely brushed neatly in one direction before dermarolling.

9. Do not use a dermaroller if you have an active skin condition like eczema, dandruff, acne, or psoriasis

Certain scalp skin conditions already cause lots of irritation and inflammation in the area, so dermarolling may only exacerbate this or worsen the condition. In the case of acne on the scalp, dermarolling over active breakouts may risk spreading pus and bacteria around the scalp and worsening the breakout or triggering infections.

Talk to your doctor about ways to help get your scalp skin conditions under control before considering adding on dermarolling.

10. Do not go overboard on time

Once again with the less is more sentiment -- you do not want to dermaroll for a very long period of time.

In fact, for your first few tries, 2-3 minutes may be all that you need to get things started, or before you start experiencing irritation.

Once you have gotten the hang of it, 5 minutes of dermarolling may be all you need. At the very most, try to keep your dermarolling sessions to under 10 minutes.

11. Do not avoid after-care products

Your scalp may be feeling a little red and tender after your dermarolling session, so do not avoid aftercare products as needed. Gentle moisturizers or hyaluronic acid on the scalp may help calm things down and nourish the scalp.

For some people, a little bit after the dermarolling session may be a good time to apply your current topical hair loss treatments like Minoxidil or topical Finasteride to help increase absorption and the potential effects. If you are curious if combining dermarolling with a topical hair loss treatment is a good route for you, talk to your doctor, or consult with our telemedicine doctors here at Strut about the pairing.

You also want to avoid anything harsh on the scalp at this time, so no chemical exfoliants, retinoids, or anything else that tends to be irritating, drying, or abrasive.

12. Do not be inconsistent with your dermarolling

As with most treatments, consistency is key. If you want to really give dermarolling a try, plan on using this technique once or twice a week for 2-3 months to see if there are any benefits for you.

If you only use your dermaroller once, or sporadically just a few times, it is unlikely you will see almost immediate results. Take care to pick a treatment day and time, and stick with it!

Strut Health prescription hair loss medications and dermarollers online

Here at Strut, we offer both topical prescription hair loss treatments, as well as our own dermaroller with titanium needles and a sturdy design.

You can purchase our Strut Dermaroller as well as topical hair loss medications to use along with it from our telemedicine platform in under 10 minutes.

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