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Pollution and stress are the leading causes of hair loss; we all know how bad it feels to see bald spots on our heads. The good news is that various non-invasive ways of treating hair loss exist. Laser treatment is one of them.
Today, we will discuss laser therapy for hair growth in detail, its merits, and its demerits to help you decide whether you should consider laser treatment for hair regrowth.
How To Understand If You Need Treatment?
We all shed around 100 hairs every day and simultaneously regrow the hair we lose. However, when hair regeneration does not occur in the same proportion of the hair that falls out, we must understand we suffer from hair loss. We often fail to understand the warning sign and get late seeking medical help. If you face an unnatural amount of hair fall, you should consult a doctor immediately.
Medications and laser therapy for hair growth can be robust treatment options for balding or pattern hair loss.
How Does Laser Treatment For Hair Regeneration Work?
Natural remedies like massaging the scalp and applying aloe vera or oils may fail to stimulate growth or enhance the existing hair. It’s not that natural remedies fail to provide supplements or required proteins. The reason natural remedies fail to prevent hair loss goes deep into the roots, literally.
Our hair roots have follicles that are responsible for generating new hair. With aging or excess of DTH or ungovernable genetics, our hair growth recedes because the follicles start to shrink, a phenomenon known as follicle miniaturization. These follicles are engraved deep into our scalp, making it difficult for natural supplements to reach them. On the contrary, lasers can penetrate deep into the scalp to re-energize the shrunken follicles.
When a controlled amount of laser beams penetrate the follicles, the light energy in the laser gets transferred to the follicles. The energy that the shrunk follicles lost due to aging is restored. Follicle miniaturization prevents the hair roots from naturally producing the cellular energy currency, called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Extra ATP is generated when the light energy is transferred from the laser to the follicles, thereby reversing the follicle miniaturization process at a cellular level.
Lasers treat hair loss by:
- Re-energizing the hair.
- Increasing the blood circulation in the scalp, thereby encouraging the follicles to absorb more nutrients.
Who Can Take Laser Hair Treatment For growth?
LLLT should ideally work on both men and women suffering from hair thinning, irrespective of the hair length. There are enough clinical trials that testify to the effectiveness of lasers for hair growth in fair-skinned people. If you fall anywhere on the Fitzpatrick skin type range from Type 1 to Type IV, you are an ideal candidate for undergoing laser hair therapy.
- If your skin is closer to pale white, you will belong to the Type I category.
- If your skin has a cream-white tone, you belong to the Type III category.
- A tone between pale and creamy-white falls under the Type II category. It is also expected that this category will have blue or green eyes and blond to lighter hair tones.
- You have Type IV skin on the Fitzpatrick scale if your skin color is wheatish with black or brown eyes and hair.
What about dark-skinned people with dark brown eyes and black hair who belong to Fitzpatrick type V, VI? Due to the lack of test subjects with a darker tone to prove the effectiveness of lasers on Fitzpatrick skin types V and VI, it has become a general misconception that LLLT is suited for fair-skinned people. People with a dark skin tone are better disposed to find success from LLLT therapy because of their skin’s natural ability to absorb more light energy, which is instrumental to hair rejuvenation.
Theradome presents real-life examples of people with darker skin tones who saw positive results after taking LLLT.
No matter your skin color, you can fight hair thinning and stimulate or enhance your hair growth. However, we must also acknowledge LLLT’s limitation in not proving effective among people with advanced hair loss. If you are on medications, ask your doctor if you can undergo laser therapy for hair growth. Medications containing photosensitizing agents may deter a person from taking LLLT.
How Different Is LLLT From Other Hair Growing Methods?
You can choose LLLT to experience painless and non-invasive hair regrowth. It also prevents further progression of hair loss. In the rarest treatment cases, you may face headache, itching, a burning sensation, or scalp redness, but no need to worry, for they are temporary with the rarest chance of occurrence.
So, is LLLT the safest and most effective option among the other hair-growing methods? Let us find out.
some people must have advised you to apply fish or coconut oil, aloe vera gel, or the most trusted raw egg white at some point in your hair loss prevention journey.
Natural remedies are effective in re-invigorating weak hair follicles. However, if the hair follicles have shrunken beyond recovery or become inactive, natural remedies won’t help. In some people, they might still work as a placebo. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove the efficacy of natural supplements in reversing hair loss.
A hair transplant requires a budget of $4000 to $15000 per session and after medication cost. Your health insurance may not cover the expenses since a hair transplant is cosmetic surgery.
Transplanted hair can start thinning just like your normal hair.
People with dormant hair follicles are less likely to have successful hair transplants. If you have a case of dormant hair follicles, you will eventually have to go under an LLLT or plasma therapy.
The major downside of hair transplant is that it can cause side effects such as infection, irritation on the scalp, swelling, bleeding, or losing sensation around the transplanted area. Thus, a hair transplant is expensive and requires a seasoned surgeon to be successful.
A hair transplant is only ideal for those at an advanced stage of balding.
Laser Plasma Therapy or Injection Shots
Laser Plasma Therapy is a 3-step procedure still in its infancy with little medical research and investigations to support its efficacy.
The 3-steps involve pulling out blood from your arm, segregating the blood cells into platelet-rich, platelet-poor, and red blood cells, and injecting the platelet-rich plasma into the scalp.
Laser Plasma Therapy is a surgical way to inject nutrients into the dormant follicles and revive them.
Not only is this treatment option uncharted territory, but it also has limited application. People with health conditions like cancer or other chronic disease are not suitable to undergo plasma therapy. It is not ideal for people with a low blood count or a smoking or drug abuse history.
Minoxidil and Finasteride
You must have come across Minoxidil and Finasteride while googling for solutions to hair loss. These two over-the-counter hair loss or regrowth drugs have been on the market for the past ten years, and yes, they give results. But both drugs will work on you differently.
Minoxidil does not prevent hair loss but activates dormant hair follicles and starts generating hair regrowth. Therefore, you will commonly experience hair loss at the early stage of its application. Minoxidil will first shed your hair and then activate its regrowth.
Finasteride is an inhibitor that stops testosterone from getting converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Your body naturally converts testosterone into DHT. DHT is the androgenic hormone that causes damage to hair follicles in men.
People with higher levels of DHT in their bodies will have thinner hair or baldness. DHT reduces the hair by binding with the hair follicle and damaging them.
Minoxidil and Finasteride are budget-friendly drugs, but they come with side effects. Common side effects of Minoxidil are:
- Skin inflammation
- Dry skin
- Skin redness
- Skin rashes
Rare side effects observed are abnormal sexual function, change in vision, abnormal heart rhythm, and a few more.
Finasteride works by blocking the natural conversion of testosterone into DHT. Therefore, it may cause impotence, abnormal ejaculation, loss of interest in sex, trouble in having orgasms, weakness, running nose, etc.
Laser Devices for Home Use
As opposed to the treatment options thus discussed, laser-based devices for home use are not only affordable since a good-quality HairMax laser cap starts at USD 899 and can last up to 10 years. They are also a non-invasive, FDA-cleared apparatus to reverse hair loss without worrying about side effects. Also, anyone at the initial stage of hair loss, regardless of gender, skin type, or hair length, can opt for this treatment. Science has already established the effectiveness of laser technology in improving follicular health.
But what if you invest in a product that does not improve your situation? Many products in the market come with a money-back guarantee to provide you peace of mind.
Merits And Demerits Of LLLT Devices For Hair Regrowth
- Laser treatment for treating hair loss is entirely painless and non-invasive.
- It has no side effects. Some studies also believe that getting laser treatment can increase the strength of your hair follicles, reducing overall hair loss.
- Both men and women of any hair length or skin type can undergo this treatment to regrow their hair.
- The laser-based hair regrowth devices for home use are easy to handle as they come in caps, helmets, brushes, and hair bands. All you need to do is use one of these devices for 30 minutes every alternative day to see a positive change after a while.
- Devices like Hairmax and iRestore have garnered positive reviews from customers worldwide, thus proving these devices are genuine and more than just a fad.
- Clinical trials further back the efficacy of these devices.
- Hair growth by laser-based devices takes a lot of time. You need to take several sessions for months to achieve your desired results.
- There is no established scientific notion of the effectiveness of lasers for long-term hair regeneration.
- Low-level light therapy may not be effective, depending on your stage of hair loss. If you are at an advanced stage of hair loss, laser treatment might not work.
- Lasers might react with certain types of medications. Consult your doctor before purchasing a hair growth device if you are on medications.
The most recent study using a laser-based helmet device was conducted in 2020 among a group of people with androgenetic alopecia. On the sixteenth week, an increase in hair density and thickness was observed without any side effects.
A 24-week study was conducted on a home-use LLLT device to measure if LLLT cures androgenetic alopecia in Thai men and women.
A total of 40 subjects were randomly given either a RAMACAP laser helmet or a sham helmet in a home-based setting.
The results evaluated after the 24th week were positive with people who were given the helmets experiencing growth in hair density and hair diameter. Minimum to no side effects was observed in the clinical trial.
Another research paper on male pattern hair loss talks about studies that were conducted using HairMax LaserComb (655 nm) and laser helmet devices, Kim (630, 650, and 660 nm) and Lanzafame (655nm). Patients receiving the treatments saw positive results with the helmets having the upper hand since they cover the head completely.
Some clinical trials testify to the potency of laser-based devices in treating hair loss. The most recommended and well-received LLLT solutions for hair regrowth in the market are those that are launched after being clinically tried, reviewed, and cleared by the FDA.
The Best Laser-Based Hair Growth Devices In The Market
Here’s a list of the different types of laser-based hair growth devices:
- Caps– Several brands like HairMax and Illumiflow sell a range of hair caps with different coverage capacities. They can deliver safe low-level laser light to one’s scalp. They are also lightweight.
- Laser hairbands – The best laser bands will come with 82 medical-grade lasers specially designed with parted teeth to optimize light distribution in your hair follicles. These are small portable devices that come with a power cord for charging and a rechargeable battery.
- Laser Helmet – Laser helmets offer full head coverage, which is very beneficial. It covers the complete top of the head and can stimulate hair follicles far better. You can wear it in your home for 30 minutes every two days to give your hair the needed care.
- Laser Hair Comb – Comb your hair with this device for a few minutes to give the hair follicles the needed stimulation for new hair growth.