- Best Results3-4 months
- Treatment Recovery0-1 days
- Procedure Time20 minutes
- Skin SpecialistDermatologist
- Duration of ResultsVariable
- AnaestheticNil required
- Back to WorkImmediately
Laser Treatments for Hair Loss
FactsFacts on Lasers for Hair Loss
- Laser therapy has recently been described for improving hair loss
- Early hair loss involving the vertex or crown responds best
- The hairline & temporal areas respond poorly to laser therapy
- Lasers can slow down hair loss & in many cases encourage growth
- Improved hair density can be seen in the majority of cases after 12 to 16 weeks
- Lasers should ideally be combined with PRP, topicals & other medications for long term benefit
- A series of 8- 12 sessions are required for best results
What evidence is there that laser therapy can treat hair loss?
Lasers can treat many types of hair disorders including male & female pattern hair loss. Additionally, they can be used as adjunctive therapy for stable alopecia areata, lichen planopilaris, & frontal fibrosing alopecia. The use of lasers to treat hair loss is still in its early stages of development, however publications in 2020/21 have been encouraging.
Lasers do not cure hair loss, however they can be useful as adjunctive management.
How does laser work?
Lasers work by-
- Stimulating follicular stem cells within the hair follicle.
- Controlled epidermal remodelling with secondary growth factor release to the deeper follicular cells.
- Laser assisted delivery of topicals including growth factors, platelet rich plasma, minoxidil & finasteride.
The wavelength with the most amount of evidence is the 1927 Thulium laser. There are a few reports using the 1550, & 10600 wavelengths.
The treatment interval is 1-2 weeks, with an average of 10 sessions.
Are laser treatments permanent?
No. The aim of lasers is to halt the progression of hair loss & to repopulate the area with as many follicles as possible. This takes 12 to 16 weeks.
Patients are encouraged to continue to medical treatments including topicals & oral agents including minoxidil, finasteride & others post laser. The other option is to maintain hair counts with lasers, PRP, or low-level laser therapy.
Will laser treatment reverse bald areas?
No. It is highly unlikely lasers will reverse bald areas. The aim of the laser is to halt progression, improve hair density & thickness. Studies have shown that vertex or crown areas respond best to lasers. Frontal hairline & temporal areas respond poorly to most treatments, including lasers.
FUE or follicular unit extraction is the treatment of choice of bald areas.
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What other methods do dermatologists use to stop & reverse hair loss?
Ideally lasers should be combined with other modalities aimed at preserving follicles, & in some cases regenerating hair growth.
Topical methods include minoxidil, topical finasteride.
Oral medications include oral minoxidil, finasteride & dutasteride. We also prescribe antiandrogens in women, namely cyproterone acetate or spironolactone.
Light based treatments include LLLT or low-level laser treatments, using diode based sources.
Laser treatments include the use of LaseMD, thulium 1927 low density, often in combination with growth factors & or PRP.
PRP or platelet rich plasma is best for early onset hair loss. This can be applied with microneedling, laser therapy as well as injections.
FUE or follicular unit extraction is a surgical procedure used to treat advanced cases of hair loss. This procedure has essentially replaced older techniques such as follicular unit transplantation & strip harvesting.
Is the treatment painful?
No, laser resurfacing in the context of hair regeneration is not painful. Topical numbing gel is not required.
Why do we combine PRP with lasers?
The use of PRP has been proven to be a useful adjunctive treatment for hair loss. This modality has more robust studies compared to newer novel treatments such as lasers.
PRP can stimulate the hair follicle, increase hair counts as well as improve the diameter of hair shafts. It can prolong the growth phase (anagen) of hair follicles, as well as convert smaller telogen hairs to form anagen hairs.
How long does it take before you notice results?
3-6 months. As with previous reports, laser induced hair growth takes approximately 12 weeks before effects are noted.
What types of hair loss respond best to lasers?
Early forms of male & female pattern hair loss respond best to lasers. As with other treatments such as PRP, topicals & oral medications, the vertex or crown areas respond best. The frontal & temporal hairline respond poorly to most forms of treatment, apart from FUE transplants.
Are there any side effects?
No. In the context of thulium lasers & PRP side effects are extremely rare. Prolonged redness & itch may occur in the minority of cases. If you have very fine hair, laser energy may cause some fragility of hair shafts. This is temporary. The laser beam of thulium does not compromise the structural integrity of normal hairs.
Laser assisted minoxidil delivery can be associated with rebound paradoxical hair loss that typically last 4-8 weeks. This is because minoxidil shifts hair follicles from the resting state to the growing phase.
I prefer not to use CO2 fractional lasers in male/female pattern hair loss because the hair shaft is singed with this wavelength.
How can lasers help after FUE hair transplantation?
I do believe that this is one of the best adjunctive treatments post FUE. We know that early treatment using lasers can markedly improve the aesthetics of the hairline. Thulium 1927 can reduce redness & textural changes post transplants- both at the donor & recipient sites.
Ideally 2-6 sessions are conducted, approximately 6 to 10 weeks post FUE.
How much are treatments?
Treatments start from $98 for simple test spots. PRP + laser delivery varies from $450 to $650 per session.
Thulium 1927 laser package is $1490 for 10.
A Medicare rebate applies if a consultant dermatologist is involved in your management. Reception at Clinic Cuits will guide you through the referral process.
How do I start?
The very first step is a diagnosis. Lasers are most useful for male & female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). Ideally, medical therapy such as minoxidil, finasteride, dutasteride, & PRP should be commenced concurrently.
For other forms of hair loss, including lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia, discoid lupus, & other rare causes, your treatment will be supervised by your treating dermatologist.
Davin’s Viewpoint on Lasers for Hair Loss
Lasers are still a new & novel way to improve hair loss. They should be used as a part of a treatment program consisting of medical therapy such as topicals, tablets & PRP. The 1927 thulium wavelength is the most useful. Though reports have shown that this wavelength can improve hair counts & density using laser itself, most specialists employ this as part of a combination approach of PRP, & other growth factors.
Probably the biggest advantage of lasers is the use after FUE. This particular wavelength can speed up normalization of the graft & recipient sites, reduce redness & textural changes.
Over the next few years, we will see more papers regarding the use of laser therapy for hair restoration.
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