May 24, 2022

If your beard isn’t growing as full and thick as you always imagined, and you’ve tried the best beard grooming products to help, in your frustration you may be tempted to turn to alternative ideas… like a derma roller.

But does a derma roller work for beard growth?

Let’s get straight to the bottom line… A derma roller for a beard may improve its growth and thickness, or it may not. The jury is still out on it being a guaranteed tool. But it shouldn’t hurt. Well, the roller’s microneedles may feel a tad uncomfortable on your face, but the device itself shouldn’t hurt the health of your beloved face forest.

Did you say “microneedles”!?

Uh, yep. A derma roller is a cylindrical roller spiked with hundreds of tiny needles. When you roll it over your face, those needles create tiny punctures in your skin in a technique called microneedling. 

Why would somebody do that to themselves?

Many reasons, actually! Derma rollers and microneedling have been around for some time as a legit method for tackling issues like acne scarring, rosacea scarring, hyper-pigmentation (dark patches), enlarged pores, and even wrinkles.

How might this work for beard growth?

Good blood circulation and healthy skin are essential for good beard growth. So is collagen, a collection of amino acids that nourishes hair follicles as well as skin. 

When facial skin is punctured with microneedling, the body begins healing the damage by increasing blood flow under the skin (bringing a better flow of hair health nutrients like iron and hemoglobin) and by boosting the skin’s production of collagen.

Therefore, it makes sense to many guys that using the derma roller on their beard will increase the thickness and speed of hair growth.

However, it has to be said, the evidence is anecdotal only. There’s no scientific trend or consensus saying that it really works.

So, what does science say?

To our knowledge, there’s no reputable study saying a derma roller really benefits beard growth. Most of the studies on rollers and microneedling involve using the techniques on scalps for hair loss – and scalp hair is significantly different from beard hair. It also has to be said that these studies used rollers with needles that were significantly longer than the needles in a beard roller.

In the end, it comes down to what seems to work for you. Some dudes say their beards have grown better with regular derma roller use, but again, that isn’t scientific.

Some also speculate that a roller combined with Minoxidil (Rogaine) helped them. Here's a blog with more info about Minoxidil for beards.

Is a beard roller safe for a beard?

In a word, yes. As long as you don’t overdo it. More is not better. Going overboard can cause damage.

Yes, there are some risks - you’re literally piercing your skin. Some guys report red, inflamed irritation from using a beard roller. For most, this problem will ease after a few days. But some find it recurs every time.

How to use a derma roller for beard growth

If you’ve tried everything else to get your patchy beard to grow thicker – especially time, because longer hairs fill out a beard better – then you may be tempted to reach for the roller to awaken those sluggish follicles.

First, choose one with needles that are either 0.25mm or 0.5mm long. No more than 0.5mm.

A 0.5mm roller can be used once, maybe twice, each week, no more. A 0.25mm can be used two to three times in a week. You need to allow your skin some time to repair before microneedling it again.

Before each use, clean your beard and face with a beard wash of impeccable quality.

Clean the roller with rubbing alcohol, then wash it and rinse it. Don’t use rubbing alcohol last because that could sting when you use the roller. Cleanliness is vital because when you’re creating micro-punctures, you don’t want to be injecting unhygienic stuff.

Roll it back and forth across your beard area in multiple directions. Don’t press too hard. When covering one area, roll up and down 5 to 10 times, then sideways, then diagonally one way, then diagonally the other way.

Don’t press too hard. Use just enough pressure for the needles to touch your skin surface, not stab deeply. On your cheeks where hair can be a bit thinner, use less pressure and maybe press your tongue against the inside of your cheeks to help contact with the roller.

When changing direction, lift the roller away. If you twist it, you risk ripping skin.

If you’re bleeding or it hurts, stop immediately.

Afterwards, apply a nourishing beard oil packed with natural ingredients. Never use an alcohol-based product, for obvious (stinging) reasons. Ouch!

Remember to wash and dip/roll the roller in rubbing alcohol after use.

Bottom line

We favor the nourishing approach over and above the microneedling approach. If your beard doesn’t sprout as lushly and vigorously as you’d always hoped, first and foremost, be sure you have an excellent daily cleansing and grooming routine. Use a dedicated beard wash (not soap or shampoo), apply quality beard oil, and brush several times a day with an all-natural boar bristle beard brush. That’s a basic minimum for encouraging healthier skin, follicles and beard hairs.

If you’re determined to use a derma roller for beard growth, start gently and strictly follow the instructions. If you experience any negative side-effects, stop using it immediately.

In the end, The Rugged Bros salute all healthy beards, regardless of how “heavy” or thick they are. There’s a beard style to suit every guy, even those with fewer follicles and sparser whisker growth. We encourage you to find your style that works – and keep consulting the wisdom of fellow bearded bros to keep it looking and feeling totally awesome.

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