Low Level Laser Light Therapy is one of the most effective and safe form of light treatment used to treat the genetic forms of hair loss common in men and women, androgenetic alopecia or pattern balding. Laser light therapy has been found to slow or stop hair loss in about 80% of patients, and with consistent use, has also been found to thicken the existing hair in around 40%. Though it does not institute any new growth, it provides most patients with a much-improved appearance in regards to density and coverage by holding on to the rest of the original hair and possibly even thickening the hairs that have become miniaturized or finer over the years.
Low Level Laser Therapy works by delivering light energy directly to the scalp. Using a specific wavelength of light, LLLT (650-670 nm) stimulates the energy centers of our cells (mitochondria), resulting in them becoming much more active. This energy promotes cellular metabolism, and increases blood circulation and oxygen supply to the follicles. Around 70% of hairs are then stimulated from the resting phase to the growing phase. In other words, follicular apoptosis (programmed cell death) is reversed via the application of laser energy.
LLLT is a low wattage ‘cold light’ laser, and while there are visible red wavelengths, there is no sensation on the skin of persons undergoing treatment. Cold lasers are safe and universally accepted as such by medical authorities, worldwide. Also significant is the fact that there are no side-effects associated with the use of LLLT, as there are with usage of pharmaceuticals, topicals and pills.
For the LLLT to be effective, 2-3 times weekly treatments are typically recommended and consist of 20-30 minute exposure of the scalp to light-emitting diodes under a bonnet or head cap or using a handheld comb or brush. Scalp treatment and massages that promote blood circulation may be used additionally as part of the program.
Typically patients will notice that their thinning or shedding subsides within the first 90 days (sometimes a bit longer), and those that have thickening usually see it around month 4-6. Once hair growth is achieved, an ongoing ‘maintenance’ schedule of 1 to 2 sessions per week is strongly recommended to maintain new growth, and keep the hair looking healthier, fuller, and more vibrant.