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Can Low-Level Laser Therapy Cure Hair Loss?
by April Maguire
Typically, we think of lasers as a way to get rid of unwanted hair. In these treatments, high intensity light damages the follicles, causing them to stop producing new hairs. But, as it turns out, lasers can also have the opposite effect. Surprisingly, some studies have shown that certain types of lasers set at the appropriate level can actually stimulate follicles and accelerate hair growth. So how exactly can lasers be used to regrow hair and is it a viable cure for baldness?
How Low Level Laser Therapy Works
Although it seems like your hair is constantly growing, the hair growth cycle actually consists of three distinct phases: growth, resting and shedding. Most hair loss occurs after the shedding phase when follicles fail to produce to hairs to replace the ones that have been lost. Due to certain factors, such as dihydrotestosterone (a testosterone derivative known as DHT) or genetic conditions, such as alopecia, follicles will sometimes enter the resting phase and shut down entirely, resulting in widespread thinning and baldness.
Fortunately, low-level laser therapy can work to correct this problem. The photons within the laser infuse the follicles with energy, reanimating them from their dormant state. Once the follicles are working properly again, they go back to producing new hairs, effectively reversing the hair loss.
Due to its ability to reactivate follicles, LLT can be an effective way to treat a number of different types of hair loss. So far, there is evidence to suggest that the procedure can work for androgenic alopecia, the most common type of hair loss that affects more than 70% of men and 40% of women. Additionally, low-level laser therapy is also effective against alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that results in the immune system mistakenly attacking hair follicles.
How Does LLLT Stack Up to the Competition?
Currently, two of the most popular treatments for hair loss are over-the-counter staples Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride). While these options have been proven to be effective for some patients, they do have their drawbacks. These medications only result in a limited amount of regrowth. Also, they need to be taken habitually in order to be effective, and, especially in the case of Rogaine, the positive effects can sometimes stop entirely without warning. Alternatively, hair transplantation tends to be a more successful form of restoration, but it can be time-consuming and expensive.
If you're looking for a different way to regrow your hair, consider giving low-level laser therapy a try. Just make sure to consult with your doctor beforehand as the treatment can react negatively to certain prescriptions or underlying health conditions.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!