LASER HAIR THERAPY CAN BE AN EFFECTIVE METHOD OF TREATING HAIR LOSS FOR BOTH GENDERS.
Men and women can see positive results from the use of laser hair therapy alone or when combined with other hair loss treatments.
What is laser hair therapy?
Patients either can have laser hair treatments done at a facility or can purchase handheld devices for use at home. Lexington International chief operating officer Randy Veliky provides us with some insight on laser hair therapy. Lexington International is the manufacturer and developer of the HairMax LaserComb, the first device to receive FDA clearance for the treatment of hair loss in men and women.
“Laser hair therapy is a safe and effective modality for treating androgenetic alopecia — genetic hair loss, pattern baldness,” explains Veliky. “Laser is a form of light energy. The hair follicle can absorb this light energy and convert it into cellular energy. The cellular energy, in turn, helps the hair follicle to produce stronger hair and extend the anagen (growth) phase. An extended growth phase produces a fuller, thicker hair and helps reverse the balding process.”
In addition to deeming the device safe, the FDA reviewed all of the Lexington clinical studies (seven clinical studies on males and females) and granted the company marketing clearance to make claims of effectiveness.
The best candidates for laser hair therapy
“The best candidate is someone who is in the early to moderate stages of hair loss. If someone is completely bald, the therapy may not be as effective,” adds Veliky.
According to Lexington International, the HairMax is indicated for the promotion of hair growth in males with Norwood-Hamilton scale classifications of IIa to V and in females with Ludwig scale classifications of I-4, II-1, II-2 or frontal.
“Since the jury is still out on how well it works, it is difficult to say who will respond best,” says Dr. Michael Kaminer, member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). “Essentially, LLLT (low-level laser therapy) is best for helping patients keep their current hair and may help make existing hair look fuller. Following that logic, patients with some evidence of hair loss who want to keep what they have and maybe grow a little back can consider LLLT. A bald scalp likely will not respond.”
Laser hair therapy for women
Laser light therapy is actually very suitable for women. Women generally have diffuse regions of thinning, rather than completely bald areas. The laser serves to thicken these thinning areas. “The HairMax has been clinically proven in three separate clinical studies to treat female pattern hair loss,” says Veliky. “These studies were conducted in major research centers such as the Cleveland Clinic, University of Miami and University of Minnesota. The researches include noted hair research experts such as Drs. Wilma Bergfeld, Zoe Draelos, David Goldberg, Janet Hickman, and Maria Hordinsky.”
Kaminer agrees that laser hair therapy can be effective for women. “My opinion is that women may be the perfect candidates for LLLT, especially those women who are just starting to see some thinning.”
Combining laser hair therapy with other treatments
Most hair loss specialists agree that laser therapy can help stimulate resting follicles to grow and improve existing hair health. Laser hair therapy can be used by men in combination with finasteride (brand name Propecia), as well as by both men and women who use minoxidil (Rogaine). It should be noted that finasteride and minoxidil do not work for receding hairlines, while laser hair therapy does. Thus the combination of both medication and laser hair therapy can help many who are suffering from hair loss.
Those patients who have suffered from traumatic hair loss in the form of traction alopecia or central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) can use laser hair therapy to help preserve existing hair and to stimulate growth in traumatized areas. It’s important that the causes of hair loss be explored and hairstyling practices are discontinued as necessary before beginning laser hair therapy. In many cases of traumatic hair loss, laser hair therapy can be combined with antibiotic treatment for maximum effectiveness.
Although laser hair therapy is not a cure-all for hair loss, many patients of both genders have used the treatment to achieve healthier, thicker hair. Visit a qualified hair restoration physician to get a personal evaluation of your condition and recommendations for treatment, including laser hair therapy.