Low Level Laser Therapy for Hair Loss
Hair loss is a major concern for many people. While not recognized as a serious medical problem, whatever the reason, hair loss can be very traumatic and it takes a toll on one’s self esteem.
Here are some common reasons for hair loss:
- Male pattern baldness (also affects women) which is genetic
- Drugs such as those used in chemotherapy
- Poor diet and nutritional deficiencies
- High blood pressure
Whatever the reason, people suffering from significant hair loss are usually on the look-out for a way to slow and reverse the loss, and find something to encourage new hair growth. Laser technology is now being studied for its effectiveness in re-growing hair.
Isn’t Laser Technology Used for Hair Removal?
It’s true that laser technology has been found to be effective for permanent hair removal, so how could it possibly stimulate hair growth? The therapy used in studies to regrow hair is called low laser light therapy or LLLT. According to researchers featured on the television news show “Dateline,” the laser light is absorbed by the cells, which in turn repairs them and encourages hair regrowth. The New York Times published an article saying the lasers "cannot bring dead hair follicles back to life, but will stimulate follicles in a state of decline and make existing hair thicker and fuller".
Does It Really Work?
There is still debate within the medical industry about the effectiveness of low level laser therapy for hair loss. A study by the National Institutes of Health concluded that LLLT could in fact stimulate some hair growth without serious side effects. However, dermatologists and doctors remain skeptical. The general consensus is that nothing will reverse balding due to genetics. It is felt that while laser therapy might help slow down hair loss and even encourage some hair growth for a small percentage of the balding public, it will not, however, work for everyone. Research has shown there are other methods that yield better results.
What Can You Do To Slow Hair Loss Or Regrow Hair?
If you are genetically pre-disposed to hair loss, drugs like Minoxidil or hair transplants will probably offer you some positive results. Laser therapy could compliment that kind of treatment by slowing hair loss and making existing hair fuller.
Diet is an important way to prevent hair loss or re-stimulate hair growth if balding is a result of drugs, nutritional deficiencies and or high blood pressure. Once the drugs are stopped, like in the case of chemotherapy for cancer patients, hair usually starts to grow back. An antioxidant-rich diet has been shown to help with hair growth and encourages stronger, healthier-looking strands.
Adopting a high blood pressure preventative diet not only helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers, but it can help slow hair loss and encourage hair regrowth. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and oily fish such as salmon and trout, are rich in omega-3 antioxidants, with a history of improving hair and skin health. Some supplements can also help with lowering blood pressure and slowing hair loss; and even encourage new growth. Supplements you may want to consider adding to your diet are fish oil, blackcurrant seed oil, vitamin E, vitamin C, and lycopene.
It’s always wise to check with your trusted health care practitioner before starting any new supplements; and inquire if LLLT might be right for you to stimulate hair growth.