Hair loss can be a very emotive issue, and most sufferers of the problem will try anything to restore their hair to its former glory. Because of this, new treatments for hair loss are coming onto the market all the time, and it can be difficult to tell the next big thing from a big con.
One of the latest buzzwords in the hair loss world is laser therapy for hair loss, also known as low level laser therapy, red light therapy, cold laser therapy and biostimulation. This can be performed either as an in-clinic treatment, performed by a medical practitioner or hair loss expert, or by using a home-use cap.
How does laser treatment work for hair loss?
The theory is that laser therapy causes an increased blood flow to the scalp, which stimulates the hair follicles to produce more hair in the anagen (growing) phase. It is also supposed to prevent the build-up of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a common cause of hair loss, by distributing oxygen and nutrients to the hair roots.
Who is a suitable candidate for laser hair therapy?
Laser hair therapy is designed to treat hair loss that is caused by a build-up of DHT. This is usually hereditary, so the main beneficients of laser therapy for hair loss would be men and women suffering from androgenetic alopecia – that's male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness.
This treatment could be particularly exciting for women with androgenetic alopecia, as they are usually not candidates for hair transplant surgery, due to the diffuse nature of the hair loss in female pattern baldness.
Laser hair therapy results
There have been many studies into the efficacy of laser treatment for hair thinning, and the majority of them have shown that laser therapy produces a significant improvement in hair growth. However, these studies have been accused of not being independent – that means they have been funded by companies who have a vested interest in the results, usually the laser manufacturers.
What is the best laser for hair restoration?
There are many different lasers available for hair restoration – both in-clinic and home-use devices. In-clinic treatments tend to be more effective, as home-use devices tend to err on the side of safety. Whichever laser you use to treat your particular hair loss problem, frequency and longevity of the treatment is key – most practitioners recommend two to three sessions per week for at least a year to get the best results.