There are plenty of methods of handling hair loss these days, and while transplantation and restoration are some of the most popular ones, there is another method that is emerging to become one of the top favourites. Low level laser therapy is fast being recognised as an effective method to curb hair loss, and can be used quite effectively, under proper guidance.
However, before opting for this method, it is essential that one understand all the nuances of the same:
What exactly is low level or low dose laser therapy?
Low Level Laser therapy, as the name suggests, is a kind of treatment that uses laser light under a controlled environment. Today, laser therapy is being used for controlling hair loss and relieving pain of being bald.
In the world of trichology, it is used to treat genetic condition such as androgenetic alopecia, more commonly known as, pattern hair loss. Laser therapy is not gender exclusive, which means that it can be used by men as well as women.
Some of the other names by which this treatment is known include cold laser, photobiomodulation, biostimulation and red light therapy.
How does laser therapy actually work?
In simple terms, the light that is emitted by the laser affects the body in such a manner that they are absorbed by the molecules within the body. When the light reacts with the targeted molecules, there is an increase in the energy levels contained within those molecules. And the extra energy is expended by proactively introducing the required changes. The changes, which might be physical or chemical, affect the tissues that surround the targeted molecules. LLLT uses red lasers or LEDs as the light source.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at how the process works:
The photons of the laser light act on the cytochrome C oxidase, which leads to the creation of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This ATP is then converted into AMP, located in the cells of the hair follicles. There is a release of energy and eventual stimulation of the metabolic processes, which are essential for the growth of hair.
There is also a release of nitric oxide, which leads to an increased vascularisation. The process ensures that there is a proper distribution of all the nutrients, especially oxygen.
Most important, the build-up of dihydrotestosterone or DHT is curbed.
Low level laser therapy increases the flow of blood in the scalp and also stimulates the metabolic rate within the hair follicles, which eventually leads to the creation of anagen hair.
What is the process?
Low level laser therapy is simple enough to administer, which is why there are hand held devices which can be used even at home. However, it would be advisable that one visit a trichology centre for the treatments.
Ideally, the treatments should be done twice or thrice in a week, and each session should last 15 to 20 minutes. For how long the procedure needs to be conducted can be decided only by someone with the right education and experience.
Whom will the treatment benefit the most?
Hair loss could be caused due to several reasons including genetics, infections and even metabolic disorders. Only a proper diagnosis can lead to the charting out of the right course of treatment. Ideally, low level laser therapy can be used to great effect for people suffering from pattern baldness in both men and women. However, there is little proof that it can be used effectively for other types of hair loss. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that laser therapy can only minimise hair loss in people who have only started losing hair. It will not work as effectively on someone who has gone completely bald. More importantly, the effects vary from person to person.
Men who rank between II a to V on the Norwood scale are ideal candidates for laser therapy. Similarly, women who are I-4, II-1 or II-2 on the Ludwig (Savin) scale could benefit from this procedure.
Is this treatment really effective?
There are opposing views to the same, because there are some who would say that it does not work, and then there are some who would swear by the same. However, studies and actual cases we have undertaken at AK Clinics have shown that if properly conducted, low level laser therapy can effectively be used to slow down pattern baldness. When utilised in conjunction with other medical therapies, there have been positive results.
More importantly, it has been proven that when laser therapy is used post a hair restoration process, the potency of the hair grafts improves drastically. In addition, the healing time was also shown to improve.
What are the real benefits of laser therapy?
There are numerous benefits of low level laser therapy and some of the most prominent ones are mentioned here:
It can be used for both men and women and there have been hardly any reports of side effects
There is no pain or blood loss and there is a very small time commitment involved
The procedure is relatively easy on the pocket, especially when compared to transplant
Many of the devices used for the procedure are now portable and there are certain versions, which can even be purchase for home users
In most cases, hair growth is seen after 3 – 4 months of regular usage
There are several procedures and medicines that are now being used to tackle hair loss. However, laser therapy is one process that is gaining worldwide acceptance for not only being the easiest and least time consuming, but also one that is showing promising results.
This article was written by Dr. Kapil Dua, a hair restoration expert & co-founder of AK Clinics. He loves to help people get the hair back and keeping it healthy all the way.