Low-Level Laser Therapy for Hair Growth : Things You Should Know

Did you know that more than 50% of men and 40% of women will experience pattern hair loss by the age of fifty?

Almost everyone goes through hair loss every day. Well, you don’t have to worry as shedding hair is normal. According to studies, an average person sheds 50-100 strands of hair while taking a shower or brushing them.

While hair shedding is normal, but it could be a cause of concern when it’s excessive. Stress, aging, frustration, and low nutrient-levels can cause hair loss. Although there are a bunch of ways to grow your hair back, LLLT, aka low-level laser therapy for hair growth, is a faster way to battle hair loss.

Low-Level Laser Therapy for Hair Growth

What is Low-Level Laser Therapy?

Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a new invention for solving the problem of hair loss. It is an easy way to grow your hair back without taking medication or going through any surgery.

LLLT is a safe form of therapy where you don’t have to worry about any side effects. Low-Level Laser Therapy helps treat genetic hair loss. Also called light therapy and soft laser therapy, this therapy includes placing your scalp under the infrared-emitting laser diodes.

This hair loss treatment is famous in the United States as it helps regain the texture and quality of hair. The physicians have been using lasers for a long time hence making the therapy one of the trusted ways to grow hair.

Not only in growing hair, but laser therapies are also used for the removal of hair. Doctors recommend LLLT for those who suffer from alopecia. There have been around 80 million people in the US who suffer from hair loss problems and hence making LLLT a way for them to grow hair back. It is said that through the therapy, hair grows consistently on the crown and hairline.

You do not always have to go to a physician to get LLLT therapy. Salons provide laser therapy given by professionals or even at home. It is recommended that a person taking LLLT should have therapy sessions twice or thrice in a week for 8-15 minutes exposure of scalp to the diode under a cap or comb or brush. Massages can be given after the therapy to increase the blood flow of the scalp and to open the pores to grow healthy and rich in quality hair. The therapy can run for a year with frequent sessions of therapy

Even though LLLT works almost every time, yet for some people, it might not work as different people have a different response to light therapy.

Some therapists do not recommend this therapy, whereas some believe that it can also help in hair transplants. There have been researches where the results have been satisfactory and successful. It depends on the wavelength, pulse rate, frequency of exposure, and the duration of the session to successfully help you grow back your hair.

The Science Behind Low-Level Laser Therapy For Hair Growth: How Does it Work?

Hair loss is due to a testosterone derivative in the skin called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Low-Level Laser Therapy helps increase the blood flow of the scalp, thereby promoting hair growth. It helps in growing the metabolism in catagen (shedding phase) and telogen (resting phase) follicles. As a result, the hair grows as well as the quality of hair also restores. The light photons affect the cytochrome C oxidase, which produces ATP (adenosine triphosphate). It is then converted to AMP in the follicle cells, which stimulates the energy and metabolism needed for hair growth. The therapy prevents the unbalanced growth of DHT. The discharge of nitric acid of cells increases the vascularization of the scalp that distributes nutrients and oxygen to the roots.

I know this sounds too scientific. In other words, the laser’s heat triggers the heat shock protein of the scalp, the light from the laser increases the oxygen level of the scalp, it increases the blood flow of the scalp, generates acute inflammation in the scalp tissues, it inhibits 5-alpha reductase. 5-alpha reductase is an enzyme that is responsible for the conversion of testosterone into DHT.

Benefits of Low-Level Therapy

Safe to use

The foremost concern everyone has is that if it is safe or not. This therapy was first tried on several mice by the National Institute of Health. They said that since laser therapies have been introduced in the 1960s, there has been a wide use of them in curing many conditions. Hence, LLLT is said to be safe and effective, and both men and women can go through this therapy.

It’s painless

LLLT uses light that is absorbed by the targeted tissues that repair the tissues affecting the metabolism and increase the blood flow, which restores healthy tissues. It does not use a light source. Hence, it does not result in any burning or cutting.

Since there are no side effects and the therapy is said to be painless, it is apparent that it would be expensive. If you think that, then you are wrong! This therapy is comparatively reasonable than the other types of laser therapy, so you do not have to worry about how much money you would have to spend on this therapy.

It’s quick

You do not have to spend hours going through this therapy. So you do not have to think that it is a waste of time since it consumes less time and provides satisfactory results.

Some LLLT devices are portable, so you can take them anywhere you go. You can carry the devices while traveling and use them while you are away from your house. You do not have to sit in a closed room and go through the therapy.

Who Can Safely Go Through The Therapy?

Both men and women who face pattern baldness and thinning hair can undergo this therapy as it is safe and helps regain hair growth.

It is advised that the users be over 18 years old as the cells are entirely developed after the age of 18 hence giving no chance of any occurrence of side effects and damage to the skin. This therapy is intended for hair growth in males who have Norwood Hamilton Classifications of IIA to V and in females who have Ludwig (Savin) I-4, II-1, II-2, or frontal patterns of hair loss and have Fitzpatrick skin phototypes I to IV.

Can One DIY at Home Through Laser Hair Growth Caps?

The first hair growth helmet was introduced in 2010 under the name of iGrow and was the first to receive FDA 501k clearance in 2012 for men. It finally got clearance for both men and women in 2014. The helmet provides 51 light-emitting diodes and full scalp coverage.

Laser hair growth helmets should be used for around 20-25 minutes every day in the first six months for satisfactory results and then reduce to using it twice or thrice every week.

Laser hair caps are for men and women with moderate hair loss. People with severe hair loss may not see the results as well and might need to consult a specialist. It also works for hair growth in women who have undergone chemotherapy. The device iGrow has been popular since its launch, selling over 250,000 units globally. It has also got medical clearance in countries like Korea, China, Brazil, and Canada.

iGrow Laser Hair Growth Helmet

Low-Level Laser Therapy for Hair Growth

Know More

What’s so good about it?

  • Durable, comfortable and lightweight
  • FDA-cleared hair loss treatment and medical device for treating alopecia, receding hairline, balding & thinning hair to stimulate hair regrowth.
  • Clinically studied and tested by doctors with a 100% success rate of visible hair growth
  • Can be combined with other hair growth treatments

Why are laser caps or helmets recommended?

Laser caps are more affordable and portable for growing hair and are easy to use. They work on the science of LLLT. The best part about having a laser cap is you can use it any time you want. If you are free and you do not know what to do, get your laser cap, put it on and leave it on for some time.

Laser caps are painless and safe to use. They are made from LEDs and lasers, and according to your needs, you can choose from the two options. The LED laser cap is less preferred as it fails to target the tissues, and the light scatters broadly. They are also less powerful than lasers.

The reason behind manufacturing the LED caps are they are cheaper than laser caps. If you want satisfactory and safe results, then laser caps are popularly advised. A laser cap treatment is cheaper and works as efficiently as any other in-room laser therapy, giving you the best results, and you could administer the treatment on your own. It is one of those devices that are easy to carry, and you can take them while traveling.

What You Need to Know

This therapy is said to be an effective therapy. Yet, scientists and doctors have not found the exact wavelength where this therapy can be effective to everyone who goes through this hence leaving a part of the population unsatisfied with the results.

It is also necessary to get all information about the therapy as well as your hair loss problem and then undergo it as it will be safer and would help you identify the problem to help you know how long you need the therapy sessions.

You do not have to worry about any adverse effects of this therapy because if the therapy is successful, you would have consistent hair growth, and if not, then there would be no hair growth. There is no in-between in the therapy, making it safe.

Since the lasers focus on particular issues, it makes it painless for people to undergo this therapy, and hence you do not have to worry about what kind of scary tools the professionals might use to help you grow your hair back.

It takes around 26 weeks to get satisfactory results, and post-therapy requires proper care. Since the technology is new, there is still more to discover about it. It is still not known if the results are long-term or not. Apart from a few cons, low-level laser therapy for hair growth or LLLT is an acclaimed and effective therapy that you should try if you suffer from severe hair loss.

Sources:

  • https://dermnetnz.org/topics/low-dose-laser-therapy-for-hair-loss
  • https://doi.org/10.4103/2229-5178.148925

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