LASER HAIR THERAPY IS A NONINVASIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY ADDITION TO YOUR REGULAR HAIR LOSS TREATMENT REGIMEN.
Laser hair therapy has become a very popular hair loss treatment in recent years when the FDA approved some laser devices as a treatment for hair loss. But before you jump in with both feet, learn all you can about this treatment to see if it is the right hair loss treatment for you.
Q. What is laser hair therapy used for?
A. Laser hair therapy is best used during the early stages of hair loss because it can halt and prevent further loss and even “wake up” some sleeping follicles. Once hair has been lost for several years and the follicles are dead, nothing can bring them back. Experts advise starting laser hair therapy as soon as possible after you first notice hair loss and thinning.
Q. Is laser hair therapy too hot or dangerous?
A. Laser hair therapy is performed with a low-level laser light, which is a “cool” laser, as opposed to a “hot” one, so it does not burn and has been proven safe and effective in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) studies. Laser hair therapy has been approved as a hair loss treatment by the FDA to promote hair growth in women and in men who have male pattern baldness with Norwood-Hamilton Classifications of I to V.
Q. Is laser hair therapy effective for both women and men?
A. Hair loss treatment specialists agree that since laser hair therapy can stimulate resting hair follicles to grow, which can improve hair count by 10 percent, it improves existing hair health and growth and works well for men and women as a complement to any other hair loss treatment in use today. Men who use finasteride (Propecia) internally and men and women who use minoxidil (Rogaine) externally can use laser hair therapy to stimulate follicles further and improve both treatments’ efficacy. Men and women who have suffered from traction alopecia use laser hair therapy in addition to topical cortisone and antibiotic treatments to stimulate traumatized follicles. Men who have received a hair transplant can use laser hair therapy to stimulate growth of their transplanted follicles as well as preserve their existing hair. And laser hair therapy works for receding hairlines — finasteride and minoxidil do not.
Q. What is the science behind laser hair therapy as a hair loss treatment?
A. Because hair is meant to fall out and regrow from the roots, when follicles begin to shrink and degenerate, the hair does not grow back and consequently hair loss occurs. Based on the scientific principle of photobiostimulation, laser hair therapy, studies have shown, increases blood flow to the scalp and jump-starts hair follicles when used on a regular basis. This slows down and may even reverse the degenerative hair loss cycle and stimulates live follicles to produce thicker, stronger and healthier hair.
Q. Do I have to adhere to a schedule?
A. Depending on your specific hair loss situation, you will most likely visit your clinic one to three times a week for a treatment that may last 20-30 minutes. Laser hair therapy does not work instantaneously, though, because the follicle needs time to produce a new hair that will then exit the scalp and grow to a measurable length before you will notice results. Usually results can be seen in about three months, with significant results in approximately six months.
Q. Do I have to go to a hair loss treatment clinic for laser hair therapy?
A. Currently there are two ways to undergo laser hair therapy. One is to schedule 20- to 30-minute appointments under an in-studio laser hair therapy “hood” unit at a hair loss treatment center. These in-studio, standing laser devices contain anywhere from 150 to 250 laser diodes, which gives your scalp significant exposure to the effects of the laser because of the strong concentration of laser light. ??For those who would rather administer laser hair therapy themselves, try a laser comb or laser brush at home. You will need to hold the unit and move it systematically all over your scalp for the recommended 20-30 minutes two to three times a week, so you must be self-motivated. Keeping this schedule might be difficult for some, and the handheld units are simply not as strong as the in-studio hood units.
Q. How do I know which laser brush or laser comb to choose?
A. The simple fact is the more laser light diodes a laser has, the stronger the unit. So look for the unit with the most diodes that you can afford. If budget permits, you can buy a standing laser unit for at-home use so you can sit in a chair. For the handheld units, “teeth,” which are aligned with the laser beams, are useful in keeping the laser light the proper distance away from the scalp; the recommended distance is one-half inch. Watch out for mirrors that are said to reflect the light — the diodes are what produce the powerful laser light, so don’t be pulled in by these claims.
Q. Will I have to perform laser hair therapy forever?
A. Laser hair therapy’s successes are tempered by the fact with that it works on only live follicles and is a long-term, ongoing treatment. If you stop your laser hair therapy treatments, hair loss will likely resume at the original rate before treatment.
Q. Does laser hair therapy work together with other hair loss treatments I am using?
A. Yes! Laser hair therapy can give lagging hair follicles a boost and can work in conjunction with such other treatments as DHT blockers (e.g., finasteride) and topical shampoos as well as topical minoxidil or a hair transplant for even more positive results.