Can’t seem to grow a beard no matter how hard you try? If you do a quick search for solutions, you’ll probably see folks using a dermaroller for beard growth.
A dermaroller is a small handheld device with a rolling cylindrical head covered in hundreds of tiny needles. When rolled over the skin, the needles create microscopic punctures (aka microneedling). This may sound painful, but the minor trauma jumpstarts the skin’s healing process and stimulates natural collagen formation. Microneedling may also help stimulate hair growth.
Can dermarollers help beard growth?
There’s no solid scientific evidence that using a dermaroller helps beard growth. However, there is some evidence microneedling helps scalp hair growth when combined with other treatments.
Research from 2013 looked at using microneedling and the hair loss treatment minoxidil (aka Rogaine) in peeps with androgenetic alopecia, also known as pattern baldness. The study found that using both microneedling and minoxidil resulted in faster hair growth than minoxidil alone.
A 2017 review also found microneedling helped hair growth after hair loss, particularly when used alongside other treatments like minoxidil and topical steroids. But, the authors also noted more research was needed to confirm it as a solid treatment option for hair loss.
So how does this work? When it comes to hair growth, microneedling appears to trigger the body’s natural defenses and stimulates the dermal papilla, or the hair’s stem cells, to promote growth and healing. It also boosts nutrient-rich blood flow to the area, which is necessary for healthy, hair growth.
Because of these effects on hair, it’s reasonable to assume that dermarollers may also help with beard growth. But, there’s no research to prove it has the same effect on beard hair.
How to use a dermaroller for beard growth
If you’re thinking about using a dermaroller to help with beard growth, it’s important to do your research and use the device correctly. A safer option would be to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist about performing microneedling in a clean, safe environment. Some states also allow licensed aestheticians to perform microneedling if they’re supervised by a doctor.
Still, if you’re curious how to use a dermaroller for microneeding the beard area, here’s how it works:
- Check the needle: Only use sterile needles that are 0.5 mm or shorter. Limit larger 0.5 mm needles to once or twice weekly. For more frequent use, opt for smaller 0.25 mm needles.
- Sterilize the device: Thoroughly clean and sterilize your dermaroller before and after each use with rubbing alcohol.
- Cleanse your face: Wash your face with a mild cleanser and warm water. Use a clean towel to pat your skin dry. Apply a natural antiseptic solution like witch hazel to the area you plan to roll.
- Get rollin’: Using light to moderate pressure, roll the device over your beard area in different directions. You may find it easier to puff out your cheeks to make the skin firmer. Make sure you cover all areas in a consistent pattern and when changing directions, lift the roller to avoid skin injury.
- Finish up: Apply beard oil to the rolled area and gently massage until it’s absorbed. A decent oil should help keep your skin and hair hyrdated.
Experts don’t know that much about microneedling for beard growth or if you’ll even get results. But based on research available for hair growth, it may also help to use minoxidil about 1 to 2 times a week when you are not derma rolling.
Are dermarollers risky?
Because dermarollers puncture the skin, there’s a risk of infection, inflammation, and scarring. So don’t press too hard! If you’re bleeding excessively, you’re probably being too enthusiastic.
To avoid potential complications when microneedling:
- Purchase a quality device from a reputable manufacturer.
- Never share your device with anyone else.
- Sterilize your roller before and after each use.
- Don’t use it on open wounds or broken skin.
- Don’t use it if you have acne or a breakout, as it can spread the bacteria.
- Avoid using it if you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis until you check with a doctor.
- Stop using the device if you experience redness, swelling, or pain that’s more than temporary.
Are there other ways to grow your beard?
If pricking your face with hundreds of itsy-bitsy needles doesn’t sound appealing, don’t desphair! There are some other things you can try to grow a fuller, healthier beard.
To start, there’s minoxidil. Yes, the hair growth lotion. A small 2016 study found folks using 3% minoxidil had higher hair growth scores than the placebo group. So it appears that minoxidil could propel you onward to bearded glory.
Other things to try include:
- Eating a balanced diet: Nutritional deficiencies like iron and zinc may hinder rich, luscious hair growth. You need a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals to ensure your hair has all the building blocks it needs to grow. If you think your diet may be lacking, ask your doctor about dietary supplements or the right foods to eat to boost nutrient levels.
- Getting plenty of exercise: Exercise is fab for overall health, but it might also give your beard a little extra oomph. Physical activity increases circulation, meaning more oxygen and nutrients are making their way to your hair follicles which helps encourage hair growth. And research agrees that exercise could help make you hairy.
- Managing stress: Stress negatively impacts your whole body, including hair growth. If your beard is lacking and stress levels are rocketing, try some relaxation techniques. Think yoga, deep breathing exercises, or meditation to bring things back into balance and promote a healthy headspace.
- Get enough sleep: Like stress, not getting enough sleep can take a toll on your whole body — including your beard. When you don’t get enough shut-eye, it throws off hormones like testosterone and cortisol, which play a role in hair growth. So aim for 7 to 8 hours of decent sleep per night to keep those levels in check.
- Exfoliating your skin: Getting rid of dead skin cells may improve beard growth by making it easier for new hairs to push through. Gently exfoliate the skin beneath your beard a few times a week with a scrub or brush designed for the face.
Dermarollers may help with scalp hair growth, so even though there isn’t research specifically on beards, logic suggests it could work.
Generally, using a dermaroller for beard growth is safe, but you are jabbing needles into your skin. So make sure you’re following the rules of good hygiene, like sterilizing before use and not sharing the device. Listen to your body and stop using the device if you have any significant pain, redness, or swelling.
If mini needles aren’t your thing, you can also consider other options for beard growth, like minoxidil lotion, following a good diet and exercise routine, and trying stress-busting activities.