Laser Hair Restoration
Low Level Light Therapy
Hair loss affects up to 50% of all men and women. During and after menopause, many females note hair thinning. As lustrous, shiny thick hair is an attribute of beauty and highly desired in almost all cultures, loss of our “crowning glory” can be more than a cosmetic concern; it can have deep psychological effects. Until the advent of hair transplants, wigs were the only recourse for baldness or thinning hair. The field of hair transplantation has come a long way from the early days of the obvious “plugs”. However for many this solution is costly and invasive and just not an option. While prescription drugs like finasteride and minoxidil remain the standard of care for medical treatment, they do have limitations. We now have a novel, new alternative: Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT). FDA approved in 2007, this noninvasive, non-chemical treatment is safe and painless.
LLLT was discovered serendipitously in 1967 when a Hungarian researcher quite unexpectedly noted that the hair of shaved mice grew back thicker and fuller in the areas treated with low level light. Over the ensuing 40 years LLLT has been the subject of over 2,500 scientific papers worldwide and has been used extensively in Europe and Asia.
Low level light therapy utilizes red or near infrared light in the range of 635nm to 670nm. The energy level is very low at 5mW (as compared to 3,000mW to 10,000mW of energy used in common medical lasers). Through a mechanism known as photobiostimulation or photobiomodulation these harmless, non-thermal photons of light promote cell proliferation and increased growth factors in the hair follicles (but live hair follicles must be present). This results in healthier, stronger, thicker, shinier and fuller looking hair.
An LLLT treatment is administered with the patient sitting under the lights for twenty minutes at a time. Goggles are not required.
A course of treatment consists of two treatments weekly for 12 weeks, one treatment weekly for the next 12 weeks, followed by one treatment every other week for 12 weeks, and lastly, one treatment every four weeks for the last 12 weeks of the program. Commitment to this schedule is mandatory for treatment to be effective. Density improvements are often noted in 10 to 12 weeks using microscopy, but improvement in coverage may take 6-12 months. Studies have shown over 50% of patients experience hair regrowth, however just slowing or stopping hair loss is considered a significant benefit and this stabilization of hair loss is experienced by the vast majority of patients. Some male patients or post menopausal females may be advised combination therapy and prescribed medication such as finasteride or minoxidil.
With hair loss affecting 80 million men and women in the US, LLLT is growing in popularity and demand. Don’t let your follicles die–be proactive with low level light therapy!