Low-Level Laser Therapy For Hair Loss: Is It Effective?

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Blog, Hair loss | HairMD | May 20, 2021

Low-Level Laser Therapy For Hair Loss

People lose around 100 hair strands, every day. While many of them experience normal hair regrowth, some people are unable to grow new hair. Some of the many reasons that can cause hair loss and baldness include:

  • Age
  • Hormonal changes
  • Hereditary
  • Chronic diseases like lupus and diabetes
  • Unhealthy food choices
  • Side effects from medicines and treatments like chemotherapy
  • Stress

The various treatments that can help with hair loss include medicines like minoxidil, hair transplant surgery, and low-level laser therapy for hair loss. In this guide we will look at LLT for hair loss in detail and how it can help stimulate hair growth. 

How does low-level laser therapy work?

Low level laser therapy for hair loss

Low light laser therapy for hair is also known as red light therapy and cold laser therapy. This procedure includes photon radiation that penetrates the scalp tissues. These photons help strengthen weak cells and encourage healthy hair growth. The procedure is quite popular to treat hair thinning and receding hairlines. It is safer, non-invasive than hair transplant surgery, and tolerable.

The theory behind low-level light therapy hair is that the low-doses trigger circulation within the scalp and encourage hair follicle growth.

The LLLT devices used to treat hair loss have diodes that emit infrared light. These rays penetrate the scalp. The wavelength of infrared light is 630-670 nanometers. These devices are available as:

  • In-salon hoods or overhead panels
  • Bonnet or head caps
  • Hand-held devices.

Some of the lasers used for LLLT are Excimer (308 nm), helium-neon (632.8 nm), and fractional erbium-glass (1550 nm). The hair growth cycle has three stages –

  • Growth (Anagen phase)
  • Resting (Catagen phase)
  • Shedding (Telogen phase)

Low-level laser therapy causes an increased blood flow to the scalp. This stimulates metabolism in follicles that are in the catagen or telogen phase. As a result, this stimulation allows the hair follicles to reach the anagen phase. Basically, it stimulates or awakens dormant hair follicles to grow hair.

The photons emitted by the low-level laser beams act on cytochrome C oxidase. This causes the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which converts to cyclic AMP in the hair follicle cells. This releases energy and consequently stimulates metabolic processes necessary for hair growth.

The light/heat treatment helps to release nitric oxide from cells. This leads to increased blood flow or vascularisation to the scalp. The vascularisation aids the distribution of nutrients and oxygen to the hair roots. Moreover, it also helps to reduce the perifollicular inflammation on the scalp.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is one of the causative factors of androgenetic alopecia (AGA). LLLT prevents the excessive build-up of DHT.

Furthermore, it also acts on the sebaceous glands, reducing the oiliness in the scalp. As a result, LLLT may also help in reducing dandruff and dryness. So the therapy not only increases the growth of the hair but also the overall health of the scalp.

How is low-level laser hair therapy administered?

LLLT for hair loss

  • Professionals at a medical facility may administer your laser hair therapy. You can also undergo this therapy at home.
  • LLLT is typically administered two to three times per week over a duration of a year.
  • During each session, the scalp is exposed for 8-15 minutes to light-emitting diodes. The diodes may be under a bonnet or head cap. Another method of administering LLLT is using a handheld comb or brush.
  • Scalp treatments that promote blood circulation may enhance the effectiveness of LLLT.  e.g, a massage is a very useful technique to improve circulation.

Who is the best candidate for low-level laser therapy for hair loss?

Patients with hereditary thinning hair or pattern baldness are ideal candidates for LLLT.

Physicians use the following systems to describe the degree of hair loss:

  • Norwood-Hamilton Classification for men
  • Ludwig-Savin Scale for women.
  • Norwood Scale

LLLT is generally prescribed to:

  • Male patients who have Norwood Hamilton Classifications of IIa to V,
  • Female patients who have Ludwig (Savin) I-4, II-1, II-2, or frontal patterns of hair loss and
  • Female patients who have Fitzpatrick skin phototypes I to IV.

Benefits of low-level laser therapy

Many dermatologists suggest low-level light therapy hair because of the following benefits:

  • It is noninvasive
  • Painless
  • No harsh side effects
  • Increases scalp health and enhances hair health

If you are noticing the early stages of hair loss or a receding hairline, then you may want to consider low-level laser therapy for hair loss as a viable option. You have to consult with your doctor before deciding to go through with this treatment, they will help you understand the process and determine whether it will provide you with the desired results.

To learn more about Hair loss solutions such as LLLT and to resolve your queries call us on +91-788809119 or book an appointment today!

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