Question: I've been reading on hair loss forums that using dermarollers on your scalp can help minoxidil to work better for male pattern so I want to add one into my routine. Can you tell me the difference between a dermaroller, a dermapen and a dermastamp and which is the best to use with minoxidil liquid?
Answer: Hi, Ash. As topical minoxidil is already optimised for the appropriate level of absorption, adding in any form of microneedling - also now known as 'vampire needling' - with the aim of opening pores to achieve better penetration, is unnecessary.
Whilst there are some schools of thought that believe this minimally invasive therapy may enhance results from high strength minoxidil, there have not yet been any reliable, large-scale clinical trials to prove its effects in relation to hair loss.
As such, there is not a particular type of microneedling device that we would recommend to you as part of your hair loss treatment regime; certainly there are none that are FDA-cleared for this purpose and, because of this, we do not offer any such products at Belgravia clinics.
We would also caution of the risks, such as potential skin irritation or infection, associated with using such gadgets - especially if they are used incorrectly, for instance too regularly, where too much pressure is applied, or where they are not cleaned properly/often enough.
However, to answer your initial question, there are minor differences between the three main derma devices. These are...
Dermaroller: A dermaroller has a long Y shaped handle with a roller filled with tiny 'micro' needles attached between the prongs of the Y. The handle is used to gently roll the needles across the skin.
Dermapen: A derman pen tends to look like a large, thick marker or vape pen, and often has a metal or metallic finish. One end of the 'pen' has a patch of microneedles, allowing for more controlled accuracy when passing it over the skin, especially for smaller areas.
Dermastamp: A dermastamp tends to look like a dermaroller, in that these tools are generally made up of a Y-shaped handle that resembles that of a razor, but instead of a micro-needle roller sitting between the prongs of the Y, there is a rectangular or square-shaped stamp covered in tiny needles. Instead of rolling the needles across your scalp, as the name suggests, with this device you 'stamp' (press) the needles, which are often made of titanium, down gently.
For each type of tool there are various size options available; the reason for this is that they are widely used for cosmetic facial issues, such as scarring, or anti-ageing skin rejuventation procedures, so smaller devices can be beneficial for improving accuracy when addressing hard to reach areas.
If you are looking for ways to supplement your minoxidil use, there are a number of options open to you, depending on your medical suitability.
These include adding the DHT-blocking medication, finasteride 1mg, into the mix, and/or using an established low level laser therapy device, such as the LaserComb or LaserBand. These are designed to stimulate the hair follicle and can be used alongside clinically-proven Male Pattern Hair Loss treatments such as minoxidil and finasteride.
Taking a daily food supplement, especially targeted towards maximising hair health, such as Hair Vitalics for Men, can also help to encourage normal healthy hair growth through key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts, such as zinc, biotin and selenium.
A consultation with a hair loss specialist may be helpful to you. This is a quick way to chat through your concerns, have your scalp assessed and establish their professional recommendations for your specific level and pattern of shedding, as well as your medical profile. Then, once you have this personalised information, you can make a decision as to which hair growth products you feel are best for you.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.