What is low dose laser therapy?
Low level laser therapy (LLLT) uses devices with diodes that emit red light (wavelength 630-670 nanometers).
Low level laser therapy is a safe form of light/heat treatment under investigation for a variety of health indications. It is being used to treat the genetic forms of hair loss common in men and women, androgenetic alopecia or pattern balding.
Low level laser therapy is also called red light therapy, cold laser, soft laser, biostimulation and photobiomodulation.
Who are the best candidates for low level laser therapy for hair loss?
Low level laser therapy is intended 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 is intended for promotion of 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 laser hair therapy supposed to work?
The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: growth (anagen phase), resting (telogen phase) and shedding (catagenphase). 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 vascularisation to the scalp distributing nutrients and oxygen to the hair roots.Excessive build-up of DHT is prevented.
Benefits of laser therapy for hair loss
Low level laser therapy can be used in both men and women
No adverse effects have been reported
It is clean and painless
Low level laser hair therapy is relatively inexpensive
It requires minimal time commitment
Hair growth may occur on the top of the head/crown and along the hairline of forehead
How is low level laser hair therapy administered ?
Laser hair therapy may be delivered in an aesthetic centre by professionals trained in its administration.
Two to three times weekly treatments are typically recommended, and consist of 8 to 15-minute exposure of the scalp to light-emitting diodes under a helmet like device.
Proprietors of low level laser therapy services speak about the importance of regularity, which includes frequent appointments (twice a week) over a long duration (typically one year).