Today we’re gonna talk about low level laser therapy for hair loss.
It is essentially a form of stimulation therapy and there are a lot of devices on the market.
But what does low level laser therapy is doing for hair loss and hair growth?
When people think about lasers, they think about resurfacing lasers that can use carbon dioxide or erbium or YAG that burn and have a thermal effect, which means a heat effect upon the skin. This is meant to regenerate the collagen and elastin fibers.
This is completely different. It is called it a low level laser therapy because it is done at a much lower power level. They are also using a different wavelength.
All the devices on the market use a frequency of the laser wavelength that has a stimulatory effect upon the hair follicle, which turbocharges energy production in the follicle.
It increases production of energy in the cell, which means better metabolism in the cell. This is making a healthier cell.
The idea is to make the cells in the follicle healthier by producing more energy, make them more robust.
They use the red light spectrum of 650 micrometers. Every device uses this wavelength because that’s stimulation part of the spectrum. They only use a very low power of 5 milliwatts.
This cannot create a thermal effect, you are not going to burn the scalp.
You can leave it on too long and make it uncomfortable because of the heat but that’s just the heat of the device, not the thermal effect on the skin.
So the first thing to emphasize is that it’s completely safe. You cannot damage the hair in normal use of the product. You cannot damage the skin in normal use the product. You cannot burn yourself in normal use of the product.
This is what makes it attractive.
The first device in the the market that used the wavelength of 650 micrometers with a power of 5 milliwatts was a laser comb device.
The idea was that you comb through the hair and that the device would allow this red light to actually come over the scalp.
Remember that we’re not trying to get the light into the hair, we’re trying to get the light into the skin because all of the hairs on the scalp are generated within the skin.
However, if you’ve got someone who’s shiny bald, combing a laser comb or wearing a laser cap is not going to do a damn thing for them. The goal with low level laser is to stimulate the existing hair. We’re trying to thicken up the hair shaft diametar.
You need something there for the laser to work on. I’ve only ever seen one photo in my life of what was a balding person that used laser therapy to get full head of hair. But that was a unique response.
If you look at the way the energy works in the skin, there is a dose response curve for laser. And it goes like this:
It actually goes into a negative territory, which means that, in theory, if you had too much laser going on, you would actually get an inhibitory effect instead of a stimulatory effect.
But the reality is you’d have to do this thing almost constantly to get into that territory. So basically it’s highly unlikely that anybody would get the inhibitory effect from this dose response.
That said, the different devices come in at different levels in this response.
Even though they’re all using red light at this 650 micrometers wavelength, it depends upon the quality of the diodes that you’re using in the device.
The weakest effect comes from the combs. The next weakest effect comes from the headbands that you have to move to different areas on your head. See the best laser headband for hair growth.
But probably the best device is a home use cap device.
There are clinics that supply lasers on stands. The problem with that is getting people to go there frequently enough for it to have an effect. So once a month is not going to be effective. It’s a waste of time doing it once a month. If you’re really going to have an effect, you have to do it more frequently than that.
You need to do three sessions per week and it needs to be at least greater than thirty minutes. I’d say something in the 30 to 45 minute range would be ideal.
It is a lovely way to do hair stimulation because you don’t need to put chemicals in the system or worried about whether you can get a reaction to using the minoxidil for example. You want to do something that doesn’t require having to take a pill or have injections or something else like that. This is a very easy thing to do.
There are many devices in the market and the pricing largely depends upon how many laser diodes are there.
There are caps that are sold to anybody through companies and there are also caps that are only sold by doctors. The last ones are high-grade, high quality devices that have a bigger energy output. They are a little bit more expensive, although they’re trying to provide different versions now.
But realistically people can get devices for several hundred dollars. But they don’t work as well as the devices that cost thousand plus dollars, such as this one.
Caps are better than combs and if you’re going to have a low-level laser therapy, caps are the gold standard. The beauty of the caps is that they use rechargeable batteries. You can put a baseball cap over your head, put the rechargeable battery in your pocket and you can cook, read, watch television, take the dog for a walk.
It really doesn’t restrict your life at all and that’s the beauty of it!
You’re going to need to spend a thousand dollars for a top end cap. Is it worth it? Yes. Not because it’s got a brand name on it. You’re getting a better quality diode, you’re getting a better quality energy output.
The best ones work on pulse and the reason is that a pulse dissipates heat, it lets the heat escape from the cap, which means that you don’t get such a heat buildup on your scalp and make it uncomfortable. You couldn’t wear it long if it was a continuous device. If you use it as a continuous device, you’d be lucky to be able to wear it more than six or seven minutes because of the heat buildup.
You’re going to feel a little bit of heat on your scalp after 35 minutes but not enough to give a problem.
The other nice thing about laser caps is that they’ve been properly studied. In other words, we’re not relying upon evidence by people saying “oh I used it and I liked it.” That’s called anecdotal evidence. That’s the lowest level of evidence where people say I used it and I liked it, I think it gave me a result.
The lasers have been studied in properly controlled trials, where people had half the scalp stimulated, half the scalp not stimulated.
And they’re able to measure two things: improvement in the shaft diameter from the use of it and reduce shedding. This means that the stimulatory effect means that more of the hairs are growing at any one time. So there’s a little bit of increase in the hair numbers that will grow at any one time on the scalp and an increase in the shaft diameter.
It’s safe, effective and just as importantly, it works through a different pathway to minoxidil. In other words, you can combine the therapies because you’re not just doing the same thing.
What you’re actually seeing is that you’re using one pathway for minoxidil therapy and you can add laser therapy that will go through another pathway.
At least in theory, you could get a synergy there and get an additive effect because you’re doing it in two different ways rather than trying to reduplicate the same thing.
Lasers have been properly studied, they’re a credible form of stimulation therapy, they have no side effects.
Not everybody who uses the laser cap is going to get improvement. The figures are similar to minoxidil in terms of success – 40% might notice improvement and the other 40% might notice just stabilization.
If you add however things like minoxidil and laser to therapy, it’s entirely possible that 80% of people will notice an improvement, ranging from minor improvement to significant improvement.
All stimulation therapies work better in the early stages of hair loss. If you’ve got shiny bald head, stimulation therapies are unlikely to have any significant effect.
In any study that’s ever been done in the world, if the hair shaft diameter decreases to less than 50% of its original shaft diameter, they couldn’t make it into a healthy hair again.
To summarize, laser cap is a very effective, worthwhile therapy that is a one-off expense. Click here to get the best one on the market for home use.
But, like everything, compliance is the key. There’s no point in buying these things if they sit in your drawer. They’re not gonna do a damn thing. I know some people take them overseas because they need to be consistent.
You can not use a stimulation therapy for a week or two and not have a harmful effect over time. But if you offer it a month or two, you’re definitely noticing an improvement.
Do not just buy a cheaper cap. You got to think about the amount of energy that’s being supplied to the hair follicles and the amount of stimulation that is occurring to the hair follicle.
So get some proper device, don’t just go on price. Not all hair caps are created equally. Check this one.