How Does Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Treat Hair Loss?
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Introduction to LLLT
Low level laser therapy or LLLT is a safe form of light and heat treatment under investigation for a variety of health indications. It is being used to effectively treat the genetic forms of hair loss common in men and women, such as androgenetic alopecia or pattern balding.
What is Pattern Balding?
Androgenetic alopecia can affect up to 70% of men (male pattern balding) and 40% of women (female pattern balding) at some point in their lifetime. While men typically present with a distinctive alopecia pattern involving hairline recession and vertex balding, women normally exhibit a diffuse hair thinning over the top of their scalps. For both men and women, losing their hair can be a very frustrating experience. This is because it affects their confidence in social situations. It can also lead to depression in the long term.
The current treatment standard for pattern balding is therapy with minoxidil and finasteride, with hair transplantation as a surgical option. However, low level laser treatment for hair loss is now also promoted as a safe alternative or additional treatment.
How does Low Level Laser Therapy treat Pattern Balding?
Laser therapy used for hair loss treatment depends on devices that emit a light that can penetrate the scalp. Excimer (308 nm), helium-neon (632.8 nm), and fractional erbium-glass (1550 nm) lasers have been used. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) uses devices with diodes that emit red light (wavelength 630-670 nanometers), or infrared radiation, available as:
- in-salon hoods or overhead panels
- bonnet or head caps
- hand-held devices
In Wellaholic’s case, we use a head cap, which is not only comfortable but also targets the entire scalp with the LLLT treatment.
LOW LEVEL LASER TREATMENTS: LLLT is one of few products and solutions that use highly effective LLLT stimulating light therapy equipment to promote cellular rejuvenation with laser and LED lights.
CLINICALLY TESTED, FDA CLEARED: In 2 separate, published peer-reviewed clinical studies, LLLT increased hair count by 35% in males and 37% in females in 16 weeks to help stop hair loss.
FOR BEST RESULTS: Full scalp coverage and comfort while the stimulator system promotes faster growth with over 50 medical-grade lasers and LED.
Who are the best candidates for LLLT?
Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is suitable for men and women with thinning hair or pattern baldness caused by a hereditary condition.
Physicians use a system known as the Norwood-Hamilton Classification (men) and the Ludwig-Savin Scale (women) to describe the degree of hair loss. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is intended to promote hair growth in males who have Norwood Hamilton Classifications of IIa to V and in females who have Ludwig (Savin) I-4, II-1, II-2, or frontal patterns of hair loss and have Fitzpatrick skin phototypes I to IV.
How is Low Level Laser Therapy Supposed to work?
The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: growth (anagen phase), resting (telogen phase) and shedding (catagen phase). Hair loss in androgenetic alopecia depends on a testosterone derivative in the skin, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Low level laser therapy is believed to increase blood flow in the scalp and stimulate metabolism in catagen or telogen follicles, resulting in the production of anagen hair. In theory:
- The photons of light act on cytochrome C oxidase leading to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is converted to cyclic AMP in the hair follicle cells, releasing energy and stimulating metabolic processes necessary for hair growth.
- Release of nitric oxide from cells leads to increased vascularization to the scalp distributing nutrients and oxygen to the hair roots.
- Excessive build-up of DHT is prevented.
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