RED LIGHT THERAPY FOR HAIR LOSS – DOES IT WORK?
In recent times low-level laser light therapy has emerged as a game-changing technology in reversing hair loss in men and women. There is scientific evidence to prove that light therapy can stimulate inactive follicles and facilitate new hairs to grow. This article will explain how low-level laser therapy cures hair loss in those suffering from mild alopecia.
What Is Red Light Therapy or Low-Level Laser Therapy?
In simple terms, Red Light Therapy (RLT) is a potent and safe form of modern treatment. The near-infrared or red light of low wavelengths is transmitted directly onto the skin to repair damaged skin tissue. Red light can heal wounds and energize the human cell. RLT is the most widely discussed treatment for alopecia, i.e., Hair Loss. Red Light Therapy is referred to by many names such as Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), Low Power Laser Therapy (LPLT), Cold/Soft Laser Therapy, Photonic Stimulation, Photobiomodulation (PBM), and Phototherapy.
The primary advantages of using red light therapy for hair loss over other forms of treatment are:
iv). strengthens hair roots
v). relatively hassle-free
vi). And has no side effects.
Evolution of Red Light Therapy
In the 1990s, NASA scientists started to use low-intensity Red Light to help facilitate the growth of plants in space, and with successful results. They found that Red Light, or low wavelength laser light promotes photosynthesis in plants by recharging their cells. They started applying Red Light in treating muscle atrophy, slow wound healing, and pain management yielding positive outcomes with further experiments. Eventually, red light therapy made its way to the fields of medical science and the masses.
Applications of Red Light Therapy
As Red Light Therapy spread its wings, the vast horizon of its applications also broadened. Opportunities opened up in various aspects of day-to-day life. To this date, medical science and cosmetical treatments use Red Light Therapy or low-level laser therapy for multiple purposes:
i). Improve hair growth in men and women with androgenetic alopecia.
ii). Repair damaged skin tissue by building collagen
iii). Diminish scars and wrinkles and stretch marks
iv). Aid in delayed healing of wounds and bruises
v). Deal with joint pain and pain relief for osteoarthritis
vi). Stimulate healing of diabetic ulcers
vii). Prevent cold sores from recurring
viii). Help protect the skin from sun damage
ix). Relieve pain and Inflammation for tendinitis, and
x). Negate some of the side effects of cancer treatment, such as oral mucositis, in patients.
Safety and Precautions
Red light therapy for hair loss is safe and painless. Still, we should note that patients who are already taking photosensitizing medications (like chemotherapy) should not receive Red Light Therapy. This is because photosensitizing chemicals aggravate one’s sensitivity to light.
Red light for hair growth is meager in intensity. It does not harm the eye, but still, proper eye protection while receiving red light therapy at home or anywhere is advised.
Red Light For Hair Growth
To understand how Red Light works for Hair Growth, first, we must address the problem of hair loss, otherwise known as ‘Alopecia Areata.’ It is an auto-immune disease where the white body cells of the immune system attack the hair follicle and destroy it. Alopecia is very common in today’s world. The other type of hair loss is ‘Telogen Effluvium,’ which is temporary hair loss triggered by mental stress.
With time and age, almost all of us suffer from thinning hairlines. There would be days when you find 50-100 fallen hairs in the shower, and with time the number only increases. These are some of the signs of Alopecia or Telogen Effluvium. According to studies, almost 50% of males over the age of 40, and an astounding 50%-75% of females from the age of 65, start facing hair loss. Here are some of the reasons for hair loss:
Stress (Telogen Effluvium):
Stress is a common predicament in our day-to-day life, which leads to bouts of depression and hair loss.
Hormonal Imbalance (Alopecia Areata):
An increase in androgynous hormones can cause hormonal imbalance and incur hair loss.
Pollution drastically harms our skin and hair. It causes our hair follicles to grow weak, causing hair loss.
Baldness is often genetic and is passed down from generation to generation.
Medical conditions such as Diabetes and Lupus can also cause substantial hair loss.
Sometimes, significant loss of weight and insufficient nutrition damage the scalp resulting in alopecia.
We all know that we cannot fight the inevitable consequences of age. With age, all things fade, as well as hair. Our scalp starts weakening, hair starts losing nutrients, and it becomes thinner.
Mechanics of Hair Growth and Low-Level Laser Therapy
We better be prepared in advance than let the debilitating effects of hair loss go out of our hands. This is where low-level laser therapy for hair growth finds its significance.
Red Light Therapy or low-level lasers irradiate photons into the damaged human scalp. The cells in the scalp tissue absorb these photons. In the cells, there are mitochondria, which are deemed as the ‘powerhouse’ of the cell. Mitochondria make ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which supplies energy to the cell. Low-level lasers recharge the mitochondria to produce more ATP more efficiently. This, in turn, re-energizes the cells in the scalp and makes the hair follicles stronger than before. With routine treatment, the roots are strengthened, and after a while, hair regrows like it never left. This is also why low-level laser therapy is also called ‘Photon Stimulation Therapy’ or ‘PhotoTherapy.’
Estimated time taken to regrow hair:
Red Light Therapy for hair loss takes longer than other synthetic treatments. Still, the recovery time is much shorter and non-invasive than traditional hair transplant surgeries. Hair transplant surgery is also quite expensive, ranging from $4000 to $10000. Red Light Therapy bulldozes all these impediments in terms of affordability.
To achieve the best results, one should commit to at least 1-2 sessions per day ranging from 10-20 minutes, or at least 3-4 times a week. You will see the benefits in approximately 3-6 months, and your hair will start to grow back with indisputable strength. You will feel young again.
Best Low-Level Laser Therapy Devices For Hair Loss At Home:
The pocket-friendly factor of red light therapy devices or low-level laser hair regrowth devices makes them a favorite besides being scientifically sound and FDA-approved. They offer time-efficient treatment and are user-friendly, making them stand out. The effectiveness of these devices depends on the intensity of the red light. So it might be difficult for a first-timer to make a sound choice. Moreover, many brands make false claims and sell LED-based products in the name of Laser Therapy for hair growth. Some of the FDA approved red light-based laser devices for hair growth that you can use from the comfort of your home are:
· Laser bands
I found that laser caps are people’s favorites among the above options. They are lightweight and can be worn anywhere, be it at home or outside, without drawing much attention. As you can see, the ‘ before and after ‘ scenarios of pre & post-red-light therapy are pretty reassuring and speak for their credibility.
The two most popular brands in this category are Kiierr and Capillus. To make a more informed decision, according to your preference and utility, you can delve deep, compare the best products in the market and then pick the fitting laser cap that suits you.
Across cultures and civilizations, hair has been a symbol of honor, pride, and self-esteem. Almost 65% of cancer patients develop post-chemotherapy alopecia. Among them, 47% of women consider hair loss the most traumatic aftermath of chemotherapy. An 8% of them would decline chemotherapy because their hair holds a special significance to them. However, you can reverse thinning hair with low-level laser devices for hair growth within your reach. No wonder red light therapy is hailed as a boon for hair loss. With the help of laser caps from Kiierr or Capillus, get back your confidence because nothing can stop you.