The hair follicle is one of the most interesting organs of the body, and it’s quite fascinating because it can self-generate. You may notice hairs that have fallen out on your clothes or in your comb every day, yet you may not know that the average person can lose 50-100 hairs per day. This is considered normal hair loss or shedding. So, what is “not normal” hair loss? If your hair starts to fall out in clumps (instead of single strands), especially when you comb your hair or are in the shower, you should consider seeking treatment options. One non-invasive option that has shown success in several studies is Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT).
Low Level Laser Therapy uses infra-red laser beams to treat a variety of health conditions, one of which is hair loss. LLLT is a painless therapy that decreases inflammation and increases local blood flow to the papilla of the hairs, which brings nutrients and energy that your hair needs to stimulate new growth. LLLT does not get hot or burn tissue on the scalp. It is FDA approved and has been scientifically proven to be both safe and, when used correctly, highly effective for hair restoration.
There are several things that can cause hair loss, but treating the condition when it begins will help with the future success of addressing the area of concern.
Hair Loss Causes:
- Alopecia related autoimmune disorders
- Sudden weight loss
- Certain diseases and health conditions
- Certain scalp conditions or infections such as ringworm, seborrheic dermatitis, and folliculitis.
- Medications such as those that include high doses of Vitamin A, blood thinners, birth control pills, and steroids.
- Smoking (in some cases)
- Overuse of hair care products or wrong hair care practices
What does it treat?
LLLT can help treat several types of Alopecia. Androgenetic Alopecia (male or female pattern baldness) being one of the most common causes of hair loss in both men and women, and most commonly treated by LLLT. People who have Androgenetic Alopecia have a gene that makes them more susceptible to the effects of the androgenic hormone, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT can build up in the inner root of the hair follicles, causing the follicles to get smaller and smaller. Eventually, when this happens, the follicles become dormant and hair growth stops completely. LLLT is most successful for those that have miniaturized, yet active, hair follicles. Those that do not have active follicles (not producing hair) in the area would not be considered a candidate for this form of treatment and would be best suited for another solution, like a hair transplant procedure. In addition to LLLT helping with stimulation of hair growth, it can treat the scalp itself. It has shown that it can reduce excess skin 5 alpha reductase and DHT, relieving scalp conditions such as psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, itchy/scaling scalp (through its anti-inflammatory responses), as well as reducing tight and tender scalps. Some individuals will utilize LLLT to help with the healing process post hair transplant procedure to yield faster and better results.
What LLLT specifically does:
LLLT uses a light that produces a specific wavelength (range from 630-670 nanometers), which has a unique ability to be absorbed by the molecules of hair follicles. This type of light penetrates the scalp and stimulates the epidermal stem cells, those which are responsible for the regeneration of hair follicles. The increased blood flow that LLLT causes helps to increase the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. Lastly, Low Level Laser Therapy stimulates metabolic processes necessary for hair growth and helps prevent the build-up of DHT in the follicles. These processes are achieved by the use of cellular respiration and the creation of Adenosine Triphosfate (ATP). This mechanism helps to normalize cellular function, increase oxygen production and decrease inflammation.
What LLLT Can and Can’t Do:
This is highly effective at treating the weaker, more thin, wispier hair follicles, allowing the hair to get thicker, stronger, and healthier. It’s also a great solution to stop or slow down hair loss in its tracks. LLLT only works if there is an active hair follicle, so it cannot cause hair growth in hair follicles that are already inactive (areas on the scalp where there is no hair at all). Trying to use LLLT in these areas is like trying to fertilize a garden that you have forgotten to plant. Therefore, it is best to start this treatment as early as possible and to stop the damage before it happens.
The treatment plan:
A microscopic evaluation is necessary to determine the activity of a follicle. If deemed an appropriate candidate, it can take four to six months to begin seeing desired results, if used consistently.Although some may see results more quickly. It is recommended by the FDA to do treatments two to three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes.
There are no reports now that result in negative side effects. Treating the cause of hair loss when it begins can allow for hair to grow back more quickly with a less invasive approach like LLLT. In some cases, other treatments are needed. The success of this treatment is all dependent upon your own expectations and consistency, and the cause of hair loss. Treatment for hair loss caused by an illness, medicine, or damage to the hair usually tend to yield results more quickly than treatments for inherited hair loss, but can be effective either scenario.
What to do with this information?
PAI Medical Group of Indiana (www.WeGrowHairIndy.com) offers free and private consultations for men and women experiencing all degrees of hair loss, balding, and thinning. Virtual consultations are also offered, which can be done remotely over a computer and telephone. During your consultation, you will learn more about PAI Medical Group’s proven hair restoration solutions available: ARTAS Robotic FUE hair transplant procedure, Multi-Unit Hair Grafting™ hair transplantation, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), FDA approved Laser Hair Therapy and Micro-Pigmentation. Please call 317.522.2995 or click here to request a consultation on-line.