low level laser light therapy
Low level light therapy (LLLT) uses near infrared light is known to promote tissue repair, regeneration, and cellular activity. The wavelength between 500nm to 1100nm is the so-called window of tissue. Low level light therapy (LLLT) has shown beneficial effects for a range of conditions including wound healing, nerve regeneration, joint pain and even stroke recovery along with prevention and treatment of mucositis. Red laser light has been used to treat hair loss and thinning by effectively promoting hair follicular health and hair regrowth.
LLLT for hair growth
Hair is one of the fastest growing tissues of the human body. A hair follicle is an organ rich in stem cells, called buldge stem cells. These cells are special. Given the correct conditions these cells have the potential to differentiate into hair cells which ultimatley form hair filaments.
Hair follicles go through three main phases
- Anagen – rapid growth – growth of the hair
- Catagen – apoptosis/regresion – hair loss
- Telogen – resting stage – no change
Between the telogen and anagen phase tightly controlled activation of bulge stem cells form transient, amplifying progeny cells. These progeny cells proliferate and differentiate to form hair filaments.
LLLT targets and activates these buldge stem cells, to form new hair filaments. LLLT also increases ATP cell energy and NO - which promotes proliferation of caplaries and microcirculation, ultimatley stimulating further hair growth.
Benefits of LLLT
- Effective treatment option
Low level light therapy is an effective treatment option for hair loss/ reduction/ promotion of hair growth, both in male and females. Studies have shown that LLLT can promote hair growth by up to 40% in some patients and more in others.
Most treatments for hair loss protection/regrowth can be uncomfortable, for example microneedling and PRP- which without Local anaesthetics would be near unbearable. LLLT is a painless treatment option.
- Saves on Time
Many hair treatments require you to attend a clinic, this can be time consuming, costly and requires organisation to arrange appointments. This is where at home LLLT caps and helmets shine. LLLT can be used a minimum of 2 times per week, for 25-30 mins. This method is cost effective and gives you flexibility, whilst allowing you to carry on with your normal routines.
- No side affects
LLLT has very few known side effects on healthy individuals. For those who already have predisposed photosensitivity conditions, or are taking photosensitive medications, should always consult with a doctor before starting such treatment, as LLLT may be contraindicated.
- Suitable for all Hair Types
Laser hair treatment is suitable for all hair types. However, people with very thick / afro type hair may need to cut their hair shorter/ part their hair into multiple sections, to expose the scalp for the laser light to penetrate into it. Furthermore, if the skin on the scalp is very dark, due to increase absorption by melanin, it may be difficult for the laser light to travel to the follicles.
- Cost effective
Home Laser hair therapy is a very cost-effective route to stop hair loss and promote hair regrowth.
- PRP- can cost upto £1200-1500 for one cycle of treatment and requires 3-4 courses of treatment.
- Hair transplant can cost upto £4000 – 7000
- Laser hair devices costs £500-1000 (with warranty cover) for a good high quality medical grade laser hair device. After the one-off cost you can use the device for many.
- Delay hair transplantation
If you start laser hair therapy early this can give you satisfactory results, meaning you no longer need immediate Hair transplantation relieving the cost and delaying further hair loss.
- Strengthen hair transplants
LLLT can also be used after hair transplantation! It helps the grafted follicles to be accepted and strengthen hair follicular growth within the scalp. Increase success of hair transplantation, for an even better outcome.
- Best time to start laser hair treatment
Hair naturally goes though cycles where you shed some hair and grow some. When you start noticing that your hair is starting to thin it is the best time to start laser hair therapy. This is true for both men and women.
For men with a family history of androgenic alopecia or male pattern hair loss, they should start using LLLT around the age of 26-28 when they first start noticing hair loss.
It's important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind LLLT and its effectiveness for hair growth. It's also worth noting that LLLT is not a cure for all forms of hair loss and may not work for everyone.