If you’re looking to supercharge your looksmax game and step up your aesthetics – you might have come across the concept of a derma roller. But what exactly is this, how does this work and is it dangerous?
What is a Derma Roller?
A derma roller is any device that is used to “roll” over your “derm” (skin). These devices usually roll over your skin and punch holes.
This process creates micro wounds that stimulates your body’s healing process and improves collagen production.
This is primarily used for skin recovery, hair growth, beard growth, scar tissue, stretch marks, wound healing, acne and more.
Essentially – if there’s an issue on your skin that could be potentially improved by the increase in collagen – derma rollers have been used to help with this.
Microneedling vs. Derma Rollers
Micro needling and derma rollers are similar technique with similar goals, but are slightly different.
Microneedling can be done by derma rollers, but derma rollers – strictly speaking – roll.
They are smaller – often cheaper – tools that punch small holes in your head in order to stimulate growth and recovery.
It’s often used to stimulate hair growth as well as repair scarring and heal wounds by stimulating your body’s ability to produce collagen and repair the skin.
Microneedling – in some senses – is more surgical. While derma rolling is sometimes considered micro needling – micro needling devices are often seem more medical in nature. They’re more precise, come with a variety of needle heads and allow you to set the puncture depth precisely.
In our opinion, if you’re going to be punching holes in your skin in any way – you should probably take the time and money to do it correctly. That’s why our choice is usually micro needling over derma roller – but we’ll get to that in a second.
Derma Rollers for Hair Growth
One of the most sought after uses of derma rollers is for hair growth. Similar to other treatments, the hair growth protocol for derma rolling is designed to self inflict injury in a small way to promote growth, healing and recovery in a big way.
Derma Roller Hair Growth Protocol:
Use a derma roller once/week at 1.5mm depth.
Using a Derma Roller with Minoxidil
One of the most popular ways to use a derma roller for your hair is the “1+1=3” technique where you use minoxidil daily and then once a week use a derma roller to
The derma roller in this function seems to stimulate hair recovery, growth, and also help with absorption of the minoxidil to get optimal results.
It’s important that on the day you use your derma roller – you don’t need to use minoxidil – as you need to let your body recover from the self-inflicted injury.
Derma Rollers for Beard Growth
One of the interesting things about hairs grown for the beard through this technique is the fact that these minoxidil + derma roller dependent beards do not seem to require long term upkeep.
Unlike hair on your head, beard hair growth has been seen to grow stimulated by the protocol outlined above and then maintained even after the protocol stops.
It’s not quite known why this is the case, but this does seem to happen often and there are countless user reports verifying this.
A new beard for the price of a derma roller and a year’s worth of minoxidil? It sounds pretty good – so it just might be worth trying yourself.
Derma Rollers for Stretch Marks
Derma rollers have been used to help minimize stretch marks. The thinking here is that by using the derma roller, the collagen stimulation should help heal the stretch marks and minimize their appearance.
While the results vary here – this is often more done in a medical setting than the hair protocol (due to the sensitivity of the skin). That said, people do seem to get good results on this. Your results may vary.
Suggested protocol for stretch marks.
Derma roller .5mm once/month on stretch marks and afflicted. Titrate up or down based on your sensitivity and results.
Derma Rollers for Face & Acne
Derma rollers are often used on the face to help stimulate collagen, promote a youthful look and some times help with scarring that may have been leftover from acne.
While this is a very common usage, you do need to be careful to be gentle on your face and be careful not to do anything to cause a derma roller to pull at your skin – as that can exacerbate things.
For anything touching your face – we highly recommend starting at a low depth and using a precision machine like the Derminator 2.0.
Suggested derma roller protocol for face & acne:
Derma roller .5mm once/month on face and acne affected areas. Titrate up or down based on your sensitivity and results.
Derma Roller Before & Afters
We’ll share some before & afters coming here soon.
Dream Roller Gone Wrong Stories
We may update this with stories about derma rollers being mis-used and “gone wrong” stories if we run across them.
The Top 3 Derma Rollers in 2023
Okay – let’s get down to brass tax – if you’re seriously considering derma rollers – what are the best ones to use? Let’s break down our top choices.
Our top pick for a derma roller is not technically a derma roller at all – in fact it’s a sister micro needling machine that is much better, precise and in our estimation safer than any derma roller you can find on the internet.
We’ve covered this in our review on the site elsewhere, but in our opinion, if you’re going to be punching holes in your skin – you should be doing it in the cleanest, most precise way possible.
Type: Medical Grade Micro needling
Derma Roller – .25mm – from Lexi
This derma roller is the top seller on Amazon with over 3000 reviews and under $20 – it hits the sweet spot for people who want to do casual derma rolling at home without worrying about big price tags.
While we think this might do well for casual uses, if you’re going to aggressively combat hair loss or scarring, you might want to look into the higher end machines (which still are cheap compared to going to regularly get them done at a local esthetician’s shop.
Type: Classical Derma Roller
Purchase Derma Roller .25mm
Our Third Pick
We’re still evaluating who will make the cut for our third best derma roller pick. If you have any suggestions for who we should evaluate – please let us know.
Frequently Asked Questions about Derma Rollers
Some frequent questions we get about derma rollers.
How to clean a derma roller
You need to be careful to clean your derma roller on a regular basis. Use a disinfecting alcohol spray or even simple soap along with a weekly hot water solution that can help keep your derma roller clean and prevent infection.
How often should I use a derma roller?
You should start using a derma roller very lightly and infrequently (as little as once/month). You can slowly titrate up as your body finds out what it can handle, your sensitivity, and what works for you.
What serum to use with derma roller?
This is a great question. We don’t have a recommendation for this yet. We will update this as we test more out.
How to use a derma roller?
You can use a derma roller simply by placing it on your skin and slowly rolling it back and forth. Be careful not to push too hard, dig too deep or pull any skin while you’re rolling.
For a micro needling device such as the terminator 2.0 – you should set the depth, be careful to set the number of needling you’re using and lightly press the needle to your skin for the duration of the time.