LLLT for Hair Growth: What’s the Truth?
If someone told you that wearing a laser-equipped cap on your head could help you grow hair, you might dismiss the idea as something out of science fiction. But science fiction has a way of becoming science fact as technologies are put to astonishing new uses. Lasers of varying frequencies have served humanity in everything from surgery to telecommunications. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been used for pain relief and tissue regeneration — but does laser hair growth work? Let’s take a look at what the researchers say.
Laser Hair Growth in Men and Women
Studies have found that low-level lasers spur hair growth in conditions such as androgenic alopecia (“pattern baldness” in both men and women). In a study of 110 alopecia sufferers, participants who got laser therapy grew new hair at a rate of 17 hairs per square centimeter over 26 weeks, as opposed to just 7 hairs in the control group. A study of 44 men who wore a laser-equipped helmet also showed significant hair growth versus those who wore a “placebo” helmet.
It’s no great leap from a helmet used in scientific studies to an FDA-approved cap. Just keep in mind that the more diodes the cap contains, the more consistent and effective your results are likely to be.
Long-Term Results of Laser Therapy
Laser therapy not only helps hair regrow; it also appears to have lasting positive effects. A one-year study of 240 men and 80 women with androgenetic alopecia found that the subjects who received laser treatment continued to enjoy an overall increase in hair growth even after 12 months, with the growth rate peaking around the six-month mark. By contrast, subjects who received only placebo treatment suffered progressive hair loss over the 12-month period.
How Does Laser Hair Growth Work? Scientists Weigh In on the Subject
It seems clear that laser hair growth works — but how does laser hair growth work? While the exact biochemical processes behind it haven’t yet been confirmed, scientists currently believe that the laser energy stimulates the production of ATP in the mitochondria of cells. This “fuel” makes it easier for cells to repair and reproduce themselves. The frequency of the light may also increase levels of nitric oxide. This effect boosts blood flow to the scalp, nourishing the tissues and encouraging hair regrowth.
For most people struggling with alopecia, the critical takeaway is not the medical explanations of laser hair growth, but the simple fact that laser hair growth can help them stop and reverse their progressive hair loss. If that’s your goal, you’ll want to introduce this futuristic technology into your present-day life!