Tag Archive for: Inflammation

Do Scalp Dermarollers Really Stimulate Hair Growth?

Health and beauty enthusiasts are always looking for innovative solutions for flawless skin and luscious locks. Enter the game-changing dermaroller! This revolutionary device has taken the skincare world by storm by stimulating collagen production and boosting the absorption of skincare products. These tools can revitalize skin, but do scalp dermarollers really stimulate hair growth?  

What is a Scalp Dermaroller? 

Scalp Dermarollers, also known as microneedle rollers or microneedling devices, have gained popularity as a potential tool for obtaining softer, more radiant skin. However, Scalp Dermarollers also show promising results for stimulating hair growth and improving overall hair health. 

When rolled over the affected area, these convenient handheld devices create microscopic wounds (micro-injuries) on the scalp using hundreds of tiny needles. This process is called microneedling. And while it may sound counter-intuitive, causing little injuries on the scalp results in healthier hair through the following ways. 

Reducing Inflammation

Many hair loss conditions are associated with inflammation of the scalp, which can contribute to hair shedding. For example, scalp psoriasis, folliculitis, and alopecia areata are three conditions that result in hair loss due to inflamed hair follicles. Microneedling helps inflammation-induced hair loss by triggering the body’s anti-inflammatory response. (01)

As the skin heals, the inflammatory cells that cause scalp inflammation are cleared away, and the healing process encourages a healthier environment for hair growth. Furthermore, microneedling can reinforce the absorption of anti-inflammatory topical products. After the procedure, the microchannels created by the needles allow for better penetration of these products into the scalp. This means that anti-inflammatory serums or medications can reach deeper layers of the skin and offer more effective outcomes. 

Encouraging Blood Circulation

The small microchannels caused by dermarollers on the scalp trigger the body’s natural healing response. This process stimulates blood flow to the scalp, bringing in essential nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles. In turn, the increased circulation nourishes the hair follicles, promoting scalp vitality and stronger hair growth. 

This enhanced circulation also helps in the removal of waste products and toxins from the scalp, leading to a more stable and healthier environment for hair growth. Moreover, the maximized circulation can awaken dormant hair follicles, encouraging them to enter the active growth phase and promoting the regrowth of thinning or lost hair. Additionally, increased blood flow may help in delivering topical hair growth products more effectively to the hair follicles, amplifying their benefits.

Increasing Collagen and Growth Factors

Microneedling using dermarollers stimulates the production of collagen and various growth factors in the scalp. Collagen and keratin are crucial proteins that help maintain the structural integrity of hair follicles.  With increased collagen and keratin levels, the hair follicles become stronger and more resilient, reducing hair breakage and promoting healthier hair growth. 

Growth factors also play a role in signaling cellular activities, including hair growth. Dermarollers boost growth factors, and the presence of these substances aids in creating a favorable environment for hair follicle regeneration.  Growth factors such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and insulin-like growth factor (IGF).  These growth factors play pivotal roles in the proliferation and regeneration of cells, which can lead to the rejuvenation of hair follicles and the promotion of new hair growth.

For example, a 12-week study found that 82% of people who use microneedling along with hair growth topicals found a 50% improvement in hair growth. In comparison, only 4.5% of participants who solely used topicals saw hair growth within 12 weeks. This result indicates that microneedling using dermarollers helps to produce hair growth results faster. (02)

Better Absorption of Topical Products

The microchannels created by a dermaroller deepen the absorption of topical hair growth products, such as minoxidil or hair growth serums. These products can penetrate deeper into the scalp, reaching the hair follicles more effectively, thus increasing their efficacy. The scalp’s natural barrier, known as the stratum corneum, can limit the absorption of some topicals. However, the microneedling process temporarily disrupts this barrier, facilitating greater absorption of the active ingredients. 

A study of participants with treatment-resistant androgenetic alopecia found that treatment satisfaction was higher when combined with microneedling procedures. (03) When hair growth serums, minoxidil, or other hair care solutions are applied immediately after using the dermaroller, these products can reach deeper layers of the skin through the microchannels. This intensified penetration allows the active ingredients in the topical products to directly reach the hair follicles and the underlying scalp tissue, maximizing their effectiveness. 

Activation of Dormant Hair Follicles 

As stated earlier, dermarollers may also help activate dormant or inactive hair follicles, leading to new hair growth in areas with hair thinning or hair loss. Dermarollers have shown promise in activating dormant hair follicles, leading to renewed hair growth in areas where hair thinning or hair loss has occurred. The micro-injuries caused by a dermaroller stimulate the body’s natural wound-healing response, which can also awaken inactive hair follicles.

When hair follicles become dormant, they enter an extended resting phase, leading to hair thinning and reduced hair growth. Microneedling with dermarollers induces a series of cellular responses, including increased blood flow, the release of growth factors, and the activation of stem cells. These factors collectively create an environment conducive to hair follicle reawakening.

Which Dermaroller Should I Buy?

Happy Head is proud to launch a scalp dermaroller developed by our world-renowned hair loss pioneers: Dr. Ben Behnam and Dr. Sean Behnam. Dr. Sean & Ben Behnam recommend scalp dermarollers at a length of 0.25mm. This is the optimal length to help stimulate hair growth and boost the effects of prescription topical hair growth treatment.

According to Dr. Ben Benham, “When dermarolling, you don’t have to go very deep to get results. I recommend just 0.25, which is very shallow. Many people read online that a 1.5 depth is recommended, but in my opinion, that’s too deep. Nobody needs a roller that strong. Rollers with needles that are too long hurt, and they can damage the hair follicle. You certainly don’t want to damage areas where your hair is thinning or balding.” Happy Head’s dermarollers incorporate this needle length into their design, as well as: 

  • Medical-grade 0.25mm microneedles
  • A sleek, minimalist matte style
  • A case to keep the product clean (after sanitizing) when stored 
  • No-slip grip and sturdy design for safe application

Unlike dermarollers you may find at a drugstore or beauty shop, Happy Head’s scalp dermarollers are medical-grade and meant to last. With Happy Head’s dermaroller, you know you’re getting a quality and effective dermaroller that’s developed with hair growth in mind. 

Are Scalp Dermarollers Safe to Use? 

If you’re wondering if a scalp dermaroller is safe, the answer is a resounding “yes.” A 2022 study published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy found that out of 657 subjects who underwent microneedling for hair loss, none reported any adverse effects. Although the microneedling process causes microscopic injuries to the skin, these wounds are small, superficial, and temporary. (04

Scalp dermarollers are so safe they can be used in the comfort of your own home! The key is to keep the dermaroller moving, never keeping the roller in one place for too long. In addition, using a dermatologist-recommended dermaroller can also reduce any risk for complications and ensure effective results.

How to Use Dermarollers

When using a scalp dermaroller, the words to remember are “gentle” and “clean.” Because you’re working with hundreds of microscopic needles, it’s best to use the product with a gentle touch, never staying in one spot too long. 

Use your dermaroller once or twice a week or as directed by your hair specialist. 

  1. Always start with a clean scalp and hair to avoid infection.
  2. Roll very gently over areas you’re experiencing hair loss in alternating directions for 2 to 5 minutes. Never remain in one area for a prolonged period.
  3. Afterward, apply your Happy Head custom topical solution and gently massage the product into your scalp.

Easy cleaning instructions are included within the packaging of each Happy Head dermaroller. To clean the device, soak it in a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol between uses. Then dry thoroughly and store in the carrying case.

Add Happy Head’s Scalp Dermaroller to Your Hair Loss Arsenal

When combatting hair loss, you need all the help you can get. Happy Head’s scalp dermaroller is an evidence-based scalp enhancement tool that improves your scalp and boosts the effectiveness of any hair growth topicals. Whether you’re dealing with hair shedding from androgenetic alopecia or inflammation-induced hair loss from folliculitis, start using Happy Head’s dermaroller along with your prescribed hair loss treatment to revitalize your scalp and start regrowing your hair faster. 



(01) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31254437/

(02) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746236/

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458936/

(04) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34854067/

Is Scalp Inflammation Causing Your Hair Loss?

Why?  That’s the first question many people have when they realize they’re losing their hair.  It’s a perfectly logical question.  Unless you experience alopecia, you don’t have a reason to research the cause.  After all, who expects to see their hairline receding or their part getting progressively wider?

The truth is that there are many reasons why you can experience alopecia.  Genetics and autoimmune disease top the list.  However, people often blame inflammation for their hair loss.  It’s a natural connection given all the recent press.  Inflammation is linked to a countless number of medical conditions.  Everything from heart disease to skin issues seems to be associated.  All hair loss isn’t caused by inflammation, though.  So, how do you know whether scalp inflammation is at the root of your hair loss?  Read on.  We’ll help you understand what conditions can cause inflammation on your scalp and how hair loss from inflammation differs from other types of alopecia.  We’ll also share the latest options for treating and preventing hair loss caused by scalp inflammation.  

What is Scalp Inflammation?

If your scalp is red, itchy, or burns, it’s possible that inflammation is to blame.  But, what exactly does it mean when your scalp is inflamed?  Inflammation isn’t a stand-alone diagnosis, it’s triggered by a specific condition such as an infection, alopecia, or an allergic reaction.  It’s not random.  Uncontrolled inflammation does, however, contribute to hair loss.  It’s important to identify the condition causing the inflammation so you can stop any resulting hair loss and stimulate regrowth.  

What Causes Inflammation on Your Scalp?

If you’re experiencing scalp inflammation, one of many different conditions may be to blame.  Dermatitis, autoimmune conditions, infections, and alopecia are just a few.  Here’s what you need to know about them.


Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a rash caused by an allergic reaction to a substance such as a particular shampoo, conditioner, gel, or hair spray.  The rash appears within days after you’ve been exposed.  Not much treatment is necessary to get rid of the rash.  It usually clears up on its own within two to four weeks if you stop using the substance that causes the reaction.  Over-the-counter antihistamines and topical cortisone creams can help expedite the process. 

Seborrheic Dermatitis

You have probably heard of cradle cap, a condition that infants often experience.  It causes scaly, crusty patches on their heads.  You may be surprised to learn that adults get it too.  Only it has fancier names and is called seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, seborrheic eczema, or seborrheic psoriasis.  Adults with seborrheic dermatitis experience redness, scaly patches, and thick dandruff.  The condition is unpredictable.  Sometimes it disappears without treatment.  If it doesn’t, you can use a special shampoo to reduce the build-up of dead skin and reduce oiliness.   Unfortunately, seborrheic dermatitis can also flare up without warning, so you may need to treat the condition more than once.  

Autoimmune Conditions

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE)

Discoid lupus is a rare autoimmune condition that primarily affects women and often runs in families.  The condition causes red, scaly, crusty patches.  The patches are distinctive because the center is lighter in color and the rim darker than the rest of the surrounding skin.  If your dermatologist suspects you have DLE, he or she will take a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.  Treatment ranges from cortisone to prescription medications depending upon symptoms and severity.  

Folliculitis Keloidalis

Folliculitis keloidalis is a chronic inflammation of the hair follicles.  People with the condition usually get red, itchy bumps that worsen over time.  Although the exact cause is unknown, some believe it could be an immune reaction, irritation from close shaves or helmets, or androgen sensitivity.  Depending upon the severity, steroids, antibiotics, and retinoids are prescribed.  


Scalp Ringworm (Tinea Capitis)

Ringworm of the scalp is a contagious fungal infection that causes scaly bald patches that itch.  Fun fact:  no worm is involved.  Ringworm got its name because it has a circular appearance.  Oral medication and medicated shampoos kill the fungus and prevent the spread of the infection.  

Bacterial Folliculitis

Staph bacteria live on your skin all the time, but when they infect your hair follicles, itchy, white, pus-filled bumps can occur.  This is called bacterial folliculitis.  Fortunately, this condition is easily treated with topical antibiotic creams, lotions, or gels.  

Scarring Alopecia

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA)

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia is a type of scarring alopecia.  Although it can affect anyone, middle-aged women and women of color are most commonly diagnosed.  Diagnosis is typically based on biopsy results, clinical features, and exclusion of other types of hair loss.  Early diagnosis is critical to minimizing hair loss.  

Lichen Planopilaris

Lichen planopilaris is a form of scarring alopecia that mostly affects middle-aged women.  People with this type of alopecia notice their hair thinning and often experience scalp itching or tenderness.  Lichen planopilaris can affect the hair line with frontal fibrosing alopecia, or along the part line.  As with any type of alopecia, early diagnosis will help prevent further hair loss. 

How to Treat Scalp Inflammation

Medications available to treat scalp inflammation are used for different purposes.  Some are even the same as what is used for alopecia which is not inflammatory.  Some examples of commonly used medications include:

Medications to Treat Inflammation

  • Cortisone – Reduces swelling, itching, and redness
  • Clobetesol – Topical steroid that treats swelling and itching.  Stronger than topical cortisone.  May be combined with antibiotics and / or antifungal medication.
  • Retinoids – A synthetic version of Vitamin A that reduces irritation on the scalp and improves absorption of other medications

Medications to Treat Infections

  • Antibiotics – Treat bacterial infections
  • Nystatin – An antifungal medication 

Medications to Treat Autoimmune Flares

  • Plaquenil – An malaria medication used off-label to treat Lupus, arthritis, and other autoimmune-related inflammatory conditions
  • JAK inhibitors – Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor baricitinib is a newer class of medications recently FDA approved to treat alopecia areata and some types of scarring alopecia.  The medications work by blocking the body’s inflammatory response.  

Medications for Hair Regrowth

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine) – A vasodilator that enlarges the hair follicles to allow for new growth.
  • Finasteride (Propecia) – A DHT blocker that has been proven to generate hair regrowth and reduce atrophy in patients with Lichen Planopilaris.

It’s important to note that self-medicating for scalp inflammation is never a good idea.  Medications for inflammatory conditions causing hair loss, whether prescription or over-the-counter, should only be used under the supervision of a licensed dermatologist.

Does Diet Help Treat Scalp Inflammation?

Diets designed to eliminate scalp inflammation have gotten a lot of recent media coverage.  Do they work?  The jury is out.  One research study found that the Mediterranean diet, and diet rich in protein and soy may be a potential adjunct treatment for nonscarring alopecia.  The study warrants further exploration. (01)  Anecdotally, people have found the Auto Immune Protocol (AIP) diet to help control burning and itching associated with inflammation.  There isn’t much research to support the theory.  There isn’t a downside to trying a diet, as long as you are getting plenty of protein and all of the necessary nutrients. In our opinion, it’s worth a try.  

Are Vitamins and Supplements as Effective as Prescription Medications for Treating Inflammation?

Many vitamins have a reputation for alleviating inflammation.  Turmeric, Vitamin B3, Vitamin E, and other vitamins are known for reducing inflammation without any adverse side effects.  One research study found that turmeric tonic significantly improved scalp psoriasis by reducing redness, scaling, and thickness.  (02)

In some cases, vitamins or supplements may work on their own.  In other cases, they may work as an adjunct therapy to prescription medications.  The key is to ensure that you’re using the proper vitamin to treat the scalp condition you are experiencing.  If you are interested in trying vitamins as part of your treatment protocol, but your dermatologist doesn’t mention them, be sure to raise the topic.  Your dermatologist can tell you if vitamins or supplements are a good option for you.  

Temporary or long-term scalp inflammation can be uncomfortable.  Consulting with a dermatologist will help you get it under control as quickly as possible to alleviate your symptoms and prevent hair loss.  If you are looking for hair regrowth solutions, our board-certified dermatologists and hair specialists are here to help. We’re happy to answer your questions and make recommendations based on your diagnosis and needs.  


(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7109385/

(02) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29607625/