Hair Care / Growth & Restoration
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Level Laser Therapy Information:
Hair Growth and Restoration by Low Level Laser
an original article by Dr. Julia Breur, PhD, LMFT
Hair restoration is a tricky business for physicians and
surgeons. There is a fairly stark contrast between which treatments are
deemed more effective depending on whether you speak to a hair
transplantation surgeon or a dermatologist. The surgeon will tell you
that hair transplantation is the only definitive treatment but the
physician will tell you that there are too many side effects and the
cost is prohibitively high in most cases (up to and over $10,000 for
follicular unit extraction and transplantation). On the other hand,
surgeons are quick to point out that topical or oral treatments, which
are the mainstay treatments of dermatologists and internists, do not
help everyone. Hair restoration by low level laser may eventually
become the middle ground that medicine and surgery needs.
restoration by low level laser is not a perfect science but it is
certainly improving as physicians better understand how to administer
the light therapy. They are beginning to answer questions like: What is
the right wavelength? What is the right intensity? How long do I treat?
Studies are emerging that show how hair restoration by low level light
can be accomplished in the clinic1-3 and how it works at the cellular
and molecular level.4
many of the findings related to hair
re-growth and lasers/light therapy were noticed by doctors and patients
that wanted hair removed. Lasers are being used
extensively in hair removal and epilation treatments because the hair
follicle can be destroyed without the pain and discomfort of
electrolysis or waxing. What was quite astonishing to some (those
physicians that did not work with low level laser hair removal
techniques) was that certain patients that wished to have their hair
removed actually grew new hair in areas around the treated area.5;6
While this paradoxical effect should be of concern to physicians and
surgeons that use high intensity lasers or other high level light
sources for hair removal, it is actually very hopeful to doctors that
wish to restore hair.
do know that hair restoration using low level light
therapy accomplishes a few things. Low level laser can stimulate the
expression of genes (and hence the proteins) that are involved in hair
growth. When low level laser therapy was applied to cells, the
expression of mRNA for pro-hair growing genes was increased, in similar
fashion to minoxidil (published in abstract form at the American
Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, April 1st, 2005).
level laser treatment also increases the blood flow to the scalp in
the treated area.1 Lack of blood flow has been associated with hair
follicle deterioration and destruction, especially in male pattern
hurdle to low level light therapy for hair restoration has been
treating hair follicles that are still contain viable hair shafts.
Laser Therapeutics has released a unique brush set that overcomes this
hurdle and restores hair in two ways. The Laser Therapeutics Duo Laser
Hair Rejuvenation Comb includes a laser hair brush and a lotion
application system. Each device in the Laser Therapeutics Duo Laser
Hair Rejuvenation Comb contains bristles to deliver either light
therapy or hair treatment lotion to the hair follicle. In regions of
the scalp that no longer contain active hair shafts, the vibrating head
delivers the treatment lotion deep into the dormant pore.
patients with earlier stages of hair loss, the Laser Therapeutics
Laser Hair Comb provides 17 fiber optic red LEDs (660 nm) in one brush.
The fiber optic “bristles” deliver low level laser energy directly to
the scalp—this prevents the hair from absorbing the light energy (and
defeating the purpose of light therapy for hair restoration).
there is much to be learned about hair restoration with low level
laser therapy, the initial results are quite promising. In clinics that
have established solid parameters, low level laser therapy is restoring
hair in many patients without the expense of surgery and the side
effects of topical or oral drugs.
PJ, Aaltokallio T, Kolari PJ. Comparative
effects of exposure to different light sources (He- Ne laser, InGaAl
diode laser, a specific type of noncoherent LED) on skin blood flow for
the head. Acupunct Electrother Res 1996;21:105-118.
P, Vlachos S, Konstantinos M, Anastasia L,
Myrto S. Hair induction after laser-assisted hair removal and its
treatment. J Am Acad Dermatol 2006;54:64-67.
EF. Hair growth induced by diode laser
treatment. Dermatol Surg 2005;31:584-586.
TI, Pyatibrat LV, Afanasyeva NI. Cellular
effects of low power laser therapy can be mediated by nitric oxide. Lasers
Surg Med 2005;36:307-314.
A, Shapiro J, Rivers JK, MacDonald N, Wiggin
J, Lui H. Paradoxical hypertrichosis after laser epilation. J
Am Acad Dermatol 2005;53:85-88.
M. Paradoxical hypertrichosis and terminal
hair change after intense pulsed light hair removal therapy. J
Dermatolog Treat 2009;20:52-54.