There are several hair loss treatments available in the market. Besides the medicine minoxidil and finasteride, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been gaining popularity as one of the many treatments for hair loss. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive treatment for hair loss that involves using low-power laser devices to stimulate hair growth. In this article, we will explore what LLLT is.
What is Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)?
LLLT is a type of phototherapy that uses light energy in the form of low-level lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate cellular activity. This type of therapy has been used for various medical applications, including wound healing, pain relief, and arthritis treatment. In recent years, it has also been used to treat hair loss.
LLLT for hair loss involves exposing the scalp to low-level laser or LED light, which penetrates the skin and stimulates the hair follicles. This stimulation can increase blood flow to the hair follicles, which in turn can promote hair growth. The exact mechanism by which LLLT works for hair loss is not fully understood. However, it is believed to work through several mechanisms:
1. Increased blood flow: The light energy from LLLT devices can increase blood flow to the hair follicles, which can provide the necessary nutrients and oxygen needed for healthy hair growth.
2. Improved cell metabolism: LLLT can stimulate the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary source of energy for cells. This increase in ATP can improve cell metabolism and promote hair growth.
3. Anti-inflammatory effects: LLLT can reduce inflammation in the scalp, which can contribute to hair loss.
4. Proliferation of hair follicle cells: LLLT can stimulate the proliferation of cells in the hair follicles, which can lead to increased hair growth.
It is thought that the effectiveness of LLLT for hair loss may depend on the wavelength of the light used. The optimal wavelength for hair growth is believed to be in the red or near-infrared range, which can penetrate the skin and stimulate the hair follicles.
History of Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for hair loss was discovered accidentally in the late 1960s by Endre Mester, a Hungarian physician who was studying the effects of laser light on skin cancer in mice. Mester found that low-level laser light had a positive effect on wound healing and hair growth in the mice. This discovery led to further research into the use of LLLT for hair loss. Over the years, different types of LLLT devices have been developed for hair loss, including laser combs, laser helmets, and laser caps. These devices use different wavelengths of light and varying numbers of lasers to stimulate hair growth.
The first LLLT device to be cleared by the FDA for the treatment of hair loss was the Hairmax LaserComb, which was introduced in 2000. The device uses a combination of red laser light and gentle combing action to stimulate hair growth. The LaserComb was designed to be used by people with early-stage hair loss, and it was intended to be used in conjunction with other hair loss treatments, such as topical minoxidil.
Since the introduction of the Hairmax LaserComb, many other LLLT devices for hair loss have been developed. One popular type of LLLT device is the laser helmet, which uses a larger number of lasers and covers the entire scalp. Laser caps are another option, and they are designed to be worn like a baseball cap. These devices use different wavelengths of light and varying numbers of lasers to stimulate hair growth. Today, there are several brands that offer LLLT for hair loss in the form of laser hair caps or helmets. Besides HairMax, some other popular brands include Capillus, iRestore and Theradome.
FRAXEL laser at The Clifford Clinic
At The Clifford Clinic, we house the Fraxel laser system that can help to combat hair loss. FRAXEL is a type of laser treatment that can treat a variety of skin conditions, including hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, and fine lines and wrinkles. The 1927-nm wavelength used in FRAXEL can penetrate the skin and stimulate collagen production, which can help improve the health and appearance of the skin. It is believed that this same collagen-stimulating effect can also promote hair growth. One study published in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy demonstrated that FRAXEL 1927 can help to promote hair growth in women with female pattern baldness.
While LLLT devices for hair loss have shown promise for some people, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and results may vary depending on the individual and the underlying cause of their hair loss. Most importantly, LLLT will not be able to address patients who have severe hair loss. At the same time, LLLT should not replace traditional medications like minoxidil and finasteride. LLLT should be seen as an add-on therapy, on top of the medications. LLLT is a good option for people who are experiencing early stages of hair loss or who prefer a non-invasive treatment.
Other hair treatments at The Clifford Clinic
Hair transplant in Singapore will be a better option for those who experience severe hair loss with widespread baldness. Hair transplant surgery is a surgical procedure that involves removing hair follicles from one area of the scalp (the donor area) and transplanting them to another area of the scalp (the recipient area) where hair is thinning or balding.
One of the benefits of hair transplant surgery is that it can provide a long-lasting solution to hair loss. Transplanted hair follicles typically continue to grow in the recipient area, leading to natural-looking results. Hair transplant surgery is more suitable for people who have more extensive hair loss or who want a long-lasting solution to hair loss.