Low Level Light Therapy & Hair Loss

  • Best Results4-8 months
  • Treatment RecoveryNA
  • Procedure Time12-15 min
  • Skin SpecialistTherapist
  • Duration of ResultsVariable
  • AnaestheticNil required
  • Back to WorkImmediately
  • Cost$

Low Level Light Therapy & Hair Loss

Low level laser therapy also known as light emitting diode or LED therapy is a safe & potentially effective hair loss treatment. It is best used to prevent hair loss, however there are limited studies to suggest that hair counts can increase by up to 39%. Treatment is life-long. Ideally low-level lasers should be combined with medical & surgical therapy including anti-androgens, PRP & follicular unit extraction.

FactsFacts on Low Level Light Therapy for Hair Loss

  • LLLT or low-level laser therapy is a treatment for hair loss disorders
  • Whilst the literature show it can potentially stimulate hair follicles, the clinical outcomes are less impressive
  • Laser therapy should be viewed as adjunct treatment for hair loss disorders
  • Early & effective medical management of hair loss will preserve remaining hair follicles
  • A highly effective combination is LLLT & Platelet Rich Plasma injections
  • A medical dermatologist can guide you as to the most effective pathway

What types of hair loss responds best to low level lasers?

Lasers have been effective in managing the following forms of hair loss-

  • Female pattern hair loss
  • Male pattern hair loss
  • Alopecia areata
  • Telogen effluvium
  • Lichenoid disorders including frontal fibrosing alopecia

When will I see the results?

Within 4 months. Previous trials typically end at 16 weeks, with a few extending to 24 weeks. The best results to date have shown a 37% increase in follicular counts. Keep in mind that most studies are short term.

My advice? See a medical dermatologist for early adjunctive management of hair loss. A dermatologist can discuss & implement a long-term plan to help you retain your hair, & in most cases regrow.

How do lasers work to regrow hair?

Lasers, including low level laser therapy can reduce hair loss & regrow hair via the following mechanism-

  1. Prolongs the growth or anagen cycle. This keeps your remaining hairs and prevents future hair loss / shedding.
  2. Stimulates resting or telogen hairs to enter anagen
  3. Stimulates new hair growth from stem cells & the dermal papillae
  4. Reduces inflammation
  5. Stimulates cytokines & growth factors

How often is Low Level Laser performed?

Treatment protocols range from once a week with more powerful in-clinic devices, to 30 minutes 3 times a week for home devices. 

It is unclear as to the optimal number of sessions & power output from each device. A scientific way of measuring dose is the amount in millimoles over time. Further studies will give dermatologists a better understanding of optimal dosing.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Low Level Laser Therapy for Hair Loss

LLLT has many potential benefits on skin & hair. In the context of skin, low level lasers can rejuvenate & repair. For disorders of the scalp & follicles it can reduce & in some cases increase hair density. Low level light emission diodes work by stimulating the stem cells within the follicle. This results in thicker hair, reduction of the number of follicles entering the resting phase (telogen), an increase in the actual number of follicles (increased conversion from vellus to terminal hairs) whilst simultaneously reducing the number of miniaturized/ atrophied follicles.

There are over a dozen (good) scientific studies, however we do not have a conclusive indication of the exact wavelength (most within the 600-1000nm range), nor do we have an indication of the energy required & frequency of exposure. Nevertheless, this treatment is safe, cost effective & can be considered as adjunctive management to medical & surgical treatments.  I look forward to more studies over the next few years.

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