You’re probably wondering, if there are laser treatments for hair removal, how can there be laser treatments for hair growth? The difference in the treatments are the controlled energy levels, wavelength, and exposure duration. Photodynamic therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy, is a very safe and common technology in treating skin and hair loss problems.
Key Benefits of Low-level Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for hair growth is a non-invasive and pain-free method to reduce hair shedding and stimulate hair growth. It is suitable for both men and women going through early stages of hair loss who want to avoid risky medication, chemicals or hair transplants. The treatment is safe as it is also widely used on skin inflammatory conditions and anti-aging therapies. It helps to reduce shedding and eventually thickening the hair shaft for a much fuller head of hair.
How does it work?
Photodynamic treatments emit light energy into skin cells that can stimulate blood flow and hence metabolism to boost cellular growth. Clinics and hospitals use PDT to enhance collagen production in cells, reduce wrinkles, and speed up wound healing processes. For the purpose of hair rejuvenation, improving microcirculation to the hair follicles helps its reconstruction and hence boosting hair growth.
When our hair starts to experience major hair loss, our hair follicles become smaller with each hair cycle through miniaturisation. So the strand of hair that grows out becomes thinner and thinner until the follicle completely closes up and can no longer grow any more hair. Low-level laser therapy helps to reverse early stages of follicle miniaturisation. It rebuilds the follicle which allows for thicker and stronger hair to grow out.
To maximise the effects of PDT therapies, there are several factors that need to be controlled and optimised. The energy intensity, frequency, wavelength, pulsing or continuous mode and treatment duration. As the name suggests, low-level laser therapy emits light of a low energy level to ensure that there is no burning or thermal effect that may have an adverse effect on skin and hair growth.
Light Wavelengths and Their Functions
Red light with a frequency of 655 nm is proven to significantly improve hair counts in both men and women. Therefore, the majority of hair rejuvenation products and treatments on the market use low-level light from the red colour spectrum. It is a bioactive light that acts on the mitochondria in our cells to stimulate increased cellular energy (ATP) production. It also increases blood flow to the hair roots, delivering more nutrients to the follicles and expels toxins that may affect hair growth. The long wavelength is able to stimulate the deepest part of the scalp.
Yellow light is in a frequency near 530 nm. It helps to boost blood circulation, collagen production and eliminates skin redness and swelling.
Blue light, with a frequency of 460 nm, can kill acne-causing bacteria whilst not harming normal skin cells. This is widely used in treatments against acne. For hair treatments, it can help to kill hair pathogenic bacteria hidden in the hair follicles. This shorter wavelength focuses on regenerating the surface of the scalp.
Combination light therapy uses a mixture of red and blue light to fuse the recovery, anti-bacterial and rejuvenation power of both frequencies.
Like exercising, regular exposure to the therapy is recommended for the best results. Low-level laser therapy is most effective when three 10 to 15-minute sessions are administered per week. Most customers will notice results within 6 to 8 weeks. This is when shedding should have reduced significantly. After that, hair density and thickness should also start to improve.
It is important to note that photodynamic hair therapy is only effective for people going through early stages or mild to moderate level of hair loss. It is not designed for individuals who are shiny bald and have had hair loss for a prolonged time as it will not work on damaged or scarred hair follicles. Studies have shown that if the hair diameter has decreased to less than 50% of the original thickness, it is unlikely that the hair can be made healthy again. This is why it is important to treat hair loss as early as possible!