Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) also known as “Cold Laser Therapy” Has been used in the medical field for close to 50 years. In the case of hair growth, the laser light will stimulate the follicles and cells of the scalp and essentially repair and re-grow hair.
I’m sure that you have heard mixed information regarding Laser Therapy. It’s important to always remember that there are good and bad candidates for laser therapy. If you have a shiny bald head, this therapeutic treatment is NOT for you. Options other than laser light therapy should be considered. For people who have viable follicles that are still producing hair (albeit very thin hair) then LLLT may save you from complete hair loss. It will maintain what you have, and for most clients re-grow and thicken some of your hair.
Re-growth of hair with laser therapy was first noticed in 1967 when Endre Mester noticed during an experiment that shaved mice that were exposed to the laser would grow back their hair much faster than those not exposed to the laser. LLLT uses photomodulation to impact on biological tissues of the body, in this case the hair follicles. The specific wavelength of light gets absorbed by the target tissue, which gives the cells more energy to use in its normal functioning. The excess energy gets used in adaptive (healing) changes within the follicle.
If you are big on the science, this part is for you. When laser light hits tissue, some is absorbed, some is scattered and some is transmitted. We use a wavelength between 630-670nm which is a perfect wavelength to treat superficial tissues. The light affects the mitochondria of the follicle cells increasing ATP (energy) production, modulates reactive oxygen species, and induces the transcription of factors that cause protein synthesis. Protein synthesis triggers cell proliferation, migration and modification in cytokines, growth factors and inflammatory mediators and also increases tissue oxygenation. Essentially the laser does 3 things:
- Stimulate cell repair, helping the damaged cells that are going through miniaturization due to DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), reversing follicular cell death.
- Increases blood flow to the scalp which helps with hair growth
- Moves hairs from the Telogen (Resting Phase) to Anagen (Growth Phase)
Laser therapy has no side effects and is painless. If you are looking for a treatment for your hair loss, and as long as you understand that hair doesn’t grow overnight, LLLT is a great way to treat and maintain your hair.