Laser Treatments for Hair Loss

  • Best Results3-4 months
  • Treatment Recovery0-1 days
  • Procedure Time20 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistDermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsVariable
  • AnaestheticNil required
  • Back to WorkImmediately
  • Cost$

Laser Treatments for Hair Loss

Lasers can effectively regrow hair. Laser light stimulates stem cells in the hair follicles to produce thicker hair. Dermatologists employ various fractional lasers including CO2 & thulium devices, often in combination with growth factors, PRP & topicals.

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-

  1. Stimulating follicular stem cells within the hair follicle.
  2. Controlled epidermal remodelling with secondary growth factor release to the deeper follicular cells.
  3. 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.

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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