Among the (many) good reasons to grow a full beard, there’s one that’s both quite obvious, and incredibly compelling:
Beards are sexy as hell.
As Nigel Barber, Ph.D., writes in Psychology Today:
“Women rate bearded faces as higher on virility, dominance, parenting ability, creativity, health, and other qualities known to be indicative of mate value.”
So it isn’t hard to understand why guys with a thin or patchy beard would want to spur more beard hair growth.
Unfortunately, for many of us it’s not quite that simple.
Even when you practice all the habits that lead to healthy skin – like eating a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity and getting lots of rest – it might not be enough to encourage healthy hair growth.
In recent years a lot of guys have turned to derma rolling in an effort to (finally!) get over the hump and spur new hair growth.
Using a good beard derma roller helps to increase collagen production and encourage nutrient-rich blood flow in specific parts of your face, which can help new hair follicles grow.
But while properly using a beard roller can help boost hair growth and result in a fuller beard, using one improperly and applying too much pressure can result in skin irritation and other side effects that are both unwanted and unattractive.
To help you get better results from your beard journey, in this post we’ll break down everything you need to know about derma rolling, and show you the best way to use a beard roller to boost hair growth.
Roll Your Way to a Manly Mane:
How to Use a Beard Roller
- Start with a Clean Slate
- Map Out Your Plan
- Roll with the Right Technique
- Post-Rolling Care
- Maintenance and Hygiene
What is a beard roller?
Beard rollers, also known as derma rollers or microneedle rollers, are small handheld devices used to stimulate hair growth and improve the overall health and appearance of your beard.
It consists of a roller head covered with hundreds of tiny needles that, when rolled over the surface of the skin, create micro-punctures in the epidermis.
This process might sound daunting, but it’s actually a tried-and-tested technique that has been used in the skincare industry for years.
Derma rollers were initially designed to promote scalp hair growth and combat hair loss on the top of your head, but they’ve since been adapted for the face and used to encourage the growth of your beard.
How do beard rollers work?
Small Punctures, Positive Results
The science behind beard rollers lies in the microneedling technique.
When the tiny needles puncture the skin, they create micro-wounds, which, in turn, stimulate the body’s natural healing process. This response leads to increased collagen, elastin and keratin production, all of which help improve skin elasticity and strength.
As these proteins are produced, they also help to strengthen the hair follicles, promoting hair growth and improving the overall health of the beard.
Better Absorption of Beard Products
In addition to the collagen and elastin production, the micro-punctures created by the beard roller also enhance the absorption of topical hair growth products, such as beard growth oil and minoxidil lotion, and beard health products like beard butter or balm.
This ensures that the nourishing ingredients in these products are delivered directly to the hair follicles, further enhancing their effectiveness and promoting a healthy, full and thick beard.
Using a beard roller can also help to improve blood circulation in the area, providing your facial hair with essential nutrients and oxygen required for optimal hair follicle growth.
Plus, Smoother Skin
In addition to the beard-boosting benefits, this increased blood flow is also an effective way to improve the appearance of the skin.
According to Healthline, derma rolling can make a noticeable difference on the quality of your skin by helping to reduce some of the things that most commonly plague the facial area:
“Fine lines, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation are all said to be diminished with regular derma rolling.”
It’s worth noting that at-home treatment won’t result in as many skin-boosting benefits as you would get from seeing a microneedling professional, because the length of the needle on at-home rollers isn’t as long as the size of the needles used by professionals.
But the main reason that most guys use derma rollers is to get a healthier-looking beard first and healthier-looking skin second, so you probably don’t need to pay a pro to use the longer needles.
For the majority of bearded men, the standard 0.5 mm needles found on most beard rollers should work just fine.
Alright, Let’s Get to the Goods:
How to Use a Beard Roller (The Right Way)
Now that you understand the benefits and some of the science behind beard rollers, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this article and go over the right way to use one correctly.
Follow the steps below to ensure you’re getting the most out of your beard roller experience.
Start with a Clean Slate
Before using your beard roller, make sure that both your face and the roller itself are clean.
Wash your face thoroughly with a gentle cleanser, making sure to remove any dirt or oil that might be lingering in your beard.
Next, sanitize your beard roller by soaking it in isopropyl alcohol (aka barbicide) for a few minutes before allowing it to air dry completely.
This will help to minimize the risk of infection and ensure a safe and effective microneedling session.
Map Out Your Plan
Before you start rolling, take a moment to observe the areas of your beard that require the most attention.
This could be patchy areas where you want to improve facial hair density, or areas where you want to promote thicker, healthier hair.
Identifying these target areas in advance will give you a clear idea of where to focus your efforts.
Roll with the Right Technique
When using a beard roller, the two most important things are applying the right amount of pressure and rolling in the right direction.
Let’s take a look at each one individually to help you understand how to get the most out of a microneedling sessions.
Under (Just Enough) Pressure
Hold the roller handle comfortably in your hand and apply gentle pressure as you glide it across your skin.
There should be enough pressure that you can feel the titanium needles lightly piercing the surface of your skin, but not so much that it hurts.
Remember, pressing too hard can cause unnecessary discomfort and damage to the skin, so it’s always best to start with light pressure and increase the pressure slowly as you start to get used to how the roller feels.
(More Than) One Direction
When it comes to direction, the most important thing to remember is that you want to mix it up and go in different directions throughout the course of the session.
If you only go up and down, you could end up with vertical lines through your beard (and possibly on your face).
But if you just rub the thing on randomly and don’t keep track of which direction you’re going in, you may not get full coverage.
For the best results, start by rolling the beard roller vertically, moving from the top of your beard line down towards the neck.
After a few rolls, switch to rolling the device horizontally, working from one side of your face to the other.
Finally, roll it in diagonal lines in both directions, creating an X-shaped pattern across your beard area.
In each case, pick a number of times to move in each direction. For instance, you might do five strokes up and down, five across, and five diagonally.
This multi-directional approach will ensure thorough and even coverage and help you get the most out of your microneedling session, without leaving you with .
Keep it Consistent
For best results, it’s essential to establish a consistent beard roller routine.
Most experts recommend using a beard roller two to three times per week, depending on your skin’s sensitivity and the needle length of your roller.
(But Healthline notes that larger needles, which they define as anything .5 mm or above, should only be used once or twice a week.)
The most important thing is to give your skin a break between sessions so it has enough time to properly heal and recover.
After using your beard roller, you might notice some redness or mild irritation on your skin – this is a normal response to the microneedling process.
To soothe and nourish your skin, apply a high-quality beard oil, balm, or serum immediately after rolling.
Dr. Squatch makes a great beard oil out of all natural ingredients, while Maestro’s Classic makes a nourishing beard butter that I absolutely swear by.
As mentioned earlier, the micro-punctures created by the roller will enhance the absorption of these products, delivering their nourishing ingredients directly to your hair follicles.
Maintenance and Hygiene
Proper care and maintenance of your beard roller are essential for both its longevity and your safety.
After each use, sanitize the roller by soaking it in barbicide for a few minutes, then rinse it under warm water a little bit to remove any remaining debris.
Allow the roller to air dry completely before storing it in its protective case.
Make sure to replace your beard roller every three to six months, or sooner if you notice the needles becoming dull or damaged.
The Best Beard Rollers
I put together a full breakdown of the best beard rollers on the market in another post, which you can check out if you want to compare models and find the best one for you.
But below are the model I chose as the best overall beard roller, and the best overall beard growth kit that comes with both a derma roller and a number of other helpful growth-enhancing products.
YOOBEAUL Beard Derma Roller
Noticeable growth after a few weeks, I’d been using Rogaine and was noticing THICKER hair, but now with this roller I’m actually seeing NEW hairs. It does dry out your face a little, so only use it a few times a week.
Your face will be a little red after you use it but it goes away, I recommend putting on a little aloe vera after if you have sensitive skin.
Naland Beard Growth Kit With Beard Roller
The scent is subtle, but very nice. The roller works as advertised. It takes a few times to figure out the right pressure. You get a really nice amount of serum, and balm for the price. I would definitely buy this again!
– Greg D.
Do beard rollers really work?
Beard rollers can provide some hair growth benefits, such as increased blood circulation and stimulation of hair follicles, which have the potential to promote beard growth. But it’s important to remember that individual results will vary based on your genes, lifestyle and habits.
How often should you use a beard roller?
You should use a beard roller no more than two or three times per week, cleaning the roller after each use and allowing for rest days in between to avoid overstimulation and skin irritation. But this goes down to once or twice per week if you have sensitive skin.
Do you use beard roller before or after beard oil?
Your best bet is to use a beard roller before applying beard oil. Rolling first stimulates the hair follicles and creates micro-channels in the skin, where the oil can be better absorbed. Apply beard oil after rolling to nourish, moisturize, and promote a healthier beard growth environment.
How long should I use a beard roller at a time?
When using a beard roller, spend about 5-10 minutes per session, gently rolling in different directions (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal) over each area of your beard. Avoid pressing too hard or rolling excessively on a single spot, as this may cause irritation or damage to the skin.
More Resources ↓
More Advice on How to Look Your Bearded Best:
- How to Grow a Beard Faster – The Definitive Guide
- The 13 Best Stubble Trimmers for Ruggedly Refined Facial Hair
- The 23 Best Beard Oils for Men
- The 17 Best Beard Straightening Brushes
- The Best Beard Growth Kits for Full, Healthy & Handsome Beards
- Beard Balm vs Beard Butter – The Key Differences, Explained
- The 17 Best Beard Trimmers for Long Beards
- The 15 Best Vitamins for Beard Growth
- The 21 Best Beard Products for Black Men’s Beards
- The Best Beard Trimmers with a Built-in Vacuum
- The Ultimate Guide to the Best Beardstache Styles
- The 10 Biggest Benefits of Beard Oil
- The Best Brushes For Your Beard
- The Best Hair Dye Products for Beards
More Men’s Grooming Advice:
- The 25 Best Men’s Skin Care Brands & Products
- Taper vs Fade vs Taper Fade – The Ultimate Guide
- In-Depth Lumin Skincare Review
- The Best Face Wash for Men
- The 17 Best Bar Soaps for Men
- The Best Shaving Soaps for Men
- The Absolute Best Men’s Deodorants & Antiperspirants
- In-Depth Dr. Squatch Review
- The 32 Most Handsome Men’s Haircuts & Hairstyles
- The 11 Best Electric Shavers & Razors for Sensitive Skin
- The 17 Best Colognes to Attract Females