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Red Light Therapy For Hair Loss : Baldness, Pros, Cons, & Treatment

An effective way to regrow your hair!

June 17, 2022 0 comments
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Are you looking for red light therapy for hair loss guide?

You are not alone. According to the American Hair Loss Association, around 65% of men experience alopecia or some degree of hair loss by 35. The number shoots to a shocking 85% by the time the men turn 50.

For a long time, hair loss in women has been receiving less attention, yet, it is shockingly prevalent. Women make up 40% of people suffering from hair loss.

Unfortunately, society and the medical community frequently dismiss hair loss.

It is just a byproduct of aging,” they would say. They forget the severe psychological effect that comes with hair loss.

To understand how heavy hair loss is to people, approximately 8% of cancer patients refuse chemo treatment just because of the hair loss risk.

Hair loss is a big physiological and psychological issue both men and women battle.

Lucky for us, we now have the option of red light therapy for hair loss. We look at how this can transform your hair regrowth journey.

Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss

It is not a secret; many hair loss treatments exist.

Go to a dermatologist for hair loss consultation, and you may even be spoiled for choice.

It is, however, crystal clear that red light therapy is the savior everyone with hair loss needs.

You are probably wondering why red light therapy takes such an easy win. It is pretty straightforward:

  • red light therapy is not as expensive as other hair loss treatment methods,
  • It does not have side effects,
  • red light is super effective.

Does Red Light Therapy Regrow Hair?

Ask anyone who has suffered from hair loss; chances are super high they have tried something ineffective. And even more frustrating, these treatments are often ridiculously inexpensive.

You are lucky if you have not been a victim of these treatments yet.

Red light therapy for hair loss has proven to be the GOAT in hair regrowth.

Still in doubt? This has been proven so many times in clinical research. We look at some famous research that shows the success rate of red light therapy for hair restoration.

Red Light is an Effective Natural Treatment for Hair Loss

a biohacker holds comb in stressA meta-analysis examining eight clinical studies and 11 double-blind, randomized controlled trials found that this therapy effectively reverses hair loss.

The results showed that red light therapy offered more hair growth and hair density compared to other sham and placebo treatments.

Red Light Therapy is More Effective than Hair Growth Drugs, with No Side Effects

In 2018, a meta-analysis of non-surgical treatments for hair loss(1) was carried out. This treatment compared red light therapy to hormone

regulating drugs such as:

  • Dutasteride,
  • Finasteride.

This meta-analysis found that red-light therapy was superior to hormone-regulating drugs.

Even more notably, the drugs in this review had side effects, and red light therapy had no effect.

Improved Hair Count, Density, Thickness, and Strength with Red Light

If you want to regrow your hair, you are not just looking for length. You want to also achieve hair thickness, count and density. Another meta-analysis study published in 2017 proves that red light gives you precisely this. The analysis involved 680 patients, and 11 studies showed that red light improved the patients’ hair tensile strength and thickness.

Red light therapy for thinning hair will not disappoint you.

Even more notably, all the patients responded positively when asked about the effects of the treatment.

Red Light for Male Pattern Baldness

A single 2018 study compared sham treatments to red light therapy, which took six months.

The study applied red light therapy thrice a week for 30 minutes on one side of the head of the 100 bald men. On the other side of the head, they applied the sham treatment.

At the end of this study, the sides with red light therapy treatment had more excellent hair coverage than the sides with sham treatment.

Treating Female Pattern Baldness with Red Light Therapy

Not long ago, there were not as many options to treat female pattern baldness.

However, recent research has shown that red light therapy for hair growth is a savior for women with female pattern baldness.

In the research, 47 women had parts of their scalps trimmed to 3mm. This trimmed area was tattooed and photographed to keep track of red light therapy hair before and after progress. One group of the women received sham treatment while the other received red light therapy.

After 16 weeks of the study, it was found that:

  • women in the red light therapy group had 37% hair growth,
  • there were no adverse side effects for the red light therapy users,
  • increased hair count in the tattooed regions of the red light therapy users.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work for Hair Loss?

a biohacker enjoys red light for gaining back the lost hairFirst, you need to know that this treatment is 100% natural. A LED light therapy device delivers concentrated and safe wavelengths of natural light to your skin. This light contains no UV rays or excess heat.

This near-infrared light stimulates your mitochondria, just like the sun does. Think of it as basking in the sun without worrying about side effects such as UV rays and excess heat.

The stimulation of the mitochondria results in:

  • reduced oxidative stress,
  • increased circulation,
  • more energy production,
  • speedy healing processes,
  • reduced inflammation and pain.

All these benefits of red light therapy will contribute to hair regrowth, as we will look at in a few. However, our highlight of the day is how:

  • red light therapy stimulates the dermal papilla cell function, which is a crucial role player in hair growth and cycling,
  • It stimulates collagen production, which also indirectly contributes to hair growth,
  • Red light nourishes the scalp, supporting hair regrowth,

How Does Red Light Therapy Promote Hair Regrowth?

a biohacker flaunts her long, curly hair after red light therapyWe have seen several clinical studies promote increased:

  • hair regrowth in both men and women,
  • tensile hair density,
  • hair count,
  • volume and length.

You are definitely wondering how the therapy results in this.

We discuss below how low-level laser therapy results in these hair regrowth benefits.

Increased Cellular Energy

Red light therapy penetrates your skin down to the base of the hair follicles. They then interact with the light-sensitive receptors in the mitochondria. This interaction stimulates increased production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which you can think of as the cellular fuel.

So, how does increased cellular energy result in hair regrowth? Optimally fueled cells:

  • function better,
  • replicate more successfully,
  • defend themselves better against environmental pathogens and oxidative stress,

The hair follicles will become more functional as the cells are in a better functioning and healthy position. Besides, the papillae will create more keratin, which stimulates hair growth.

Increased Collagen Production

Low-level laser therapy increases collagen production in the body.

A lot of times, collagen is associated with skin anti-aging. It can, however, also contribute to hair growth.

Collagen is not present in the hair. However, a study case in 2014(2) showed that it is a potent antioxidant that can reverse damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are toxic compounds in the body that accumulate because of:

  • stress,
  • environmental pollutants,
  • malnutrition,
  • chemotherapy-induced alopecia.

Free radicals destroy hair follicles, resulting in the inability of hair to grow. If you increase collagen and fight the radicals, you can surely achieve your hair regrowth goals.

Increased Microcirculation to the Scalp

The red light treatment stimulates the creation of new capillaries. This improves blood flow to the scalp, thus bringing in more oxygen and nutrients for hair growth.

Increased blood flow to the scalp also brings along white blood cells. This is important if you suffer from abnormal inflammatory responses or disease-related hair loss.

This red light scalp treatment also means faster removal of wastes, which otherwise hinders proper hair growth.

Increased blood flow is always linked to thicker and healthier hair. This is why barbers and hairdressers offer scalp massages. You can combine red light therapy and scalp massage to awaken the dormant hair follicles.

Red light therapy and androgenetic alopecia

FDA approves red light therapy to treat androgenic alopecia, also called female or male pattern baldness.

Androgenic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in men and women. It shrinks hair follicles and eventually makes them dormant.

Red light therapy stimulates the dormant hair follicles, reviving the length and diameter of the hairs. Remember that the therapy cannot reverse complete baldness that has been ongoing for ages(3). In such cases, there are usually no hair follicles to stimulate, yet that’s how red light therapy works.

Red light therapy and alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that happens when the hair follicles are hit by chronic inflammation.

As already stated above, red-light therapy has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It also kickstarts your body’s natural anti-inflammatory process.

Since red light therapy increases blood flow to the scalp, it also increases oxygen access to mitochondria near the hair follicles. This means that the mitochondria will be functioning more efficiently. This translates to the production of more anti-inflammatory and antioxidants, which are transferred to the hair follicles.

Red light therapy and chemotherapy-induced Hair Loss

During chemo, apoptosis happens. Apoptosis is programmed cell death where the cells are destroyed into small fragments and eliminated from the body. The thing is, apoptosis can also happen to healthy cells that promote proper hair growth.

Red light stimulates the multiplication of anti-apoptotic proteins in the mitochondria. This means that it is an effective intervention for chemotherapy-induced alopecia.

Also, after chemotherapy, the patients can keep using the treatment to regrow back hair.

Are There Any Side Effects of Red Light for Hair Loss?

From the many studies conducted, red light therapy has no side effects reported. Everyone was pleased with the Joovv red light therapy reviews; they are all success stories

However, some people with sensitive skin experience tightness or redness after the therapy. This can not be compared to the effects people experience when UV light is involved, though. Red light does not cause burning. The redness can be due to increased blood flow to the skin surface.

Many times, the redness and tightness are gone in a few minutes.

Pros of Red Light for Hair Growth

a curly-haired biohacker holds joovv red light therapy box close to their hairThese are reasons to choose red light therapy over surgical and pharmaceutical treatments for hair restoration:

  • it is non-invasive,
  • there are no side effects,
  • it is painless,
  • It boosts hair strength.

Cons of Red Light for Hair Loss?

Here are some reasons some people are not so optimistic about red light therapy for hair loss:

  • It is expensive: clinical low-level laser therapy can cost you thousands of dollars every year. You can however lower this case by doing the red light therapy for hair loss at home. A Joovv hair growth kit is a great way to do your hair loss treatment at home.
  • It is time-consuming: You will need consistency for a couple of months to see results. You might see some changes after a couple of treatments. You, however, must keep going for longer to achieve a great hair regrowth success story.
  • Less effective for advanced stages of hair loss: As already stated earlier, red light therapy is only effective for dormant hair follicles, not dead ones. This is why we recommend starting your hair loss treatment earlier and not waiting to reach the advanced stages.
  • Possibility of interacting with other medications: You should avoid laser therapy if you are under photosensitizing medications. This is a chemical alteration that increases sensitivity to light.
  • Long-term safety and effectiveness have not yet been established. FDA classifies laser devices as medical devices and not medicine. Devices undergo lenient scrutiny as compared to medicines. Therefore, the long-term effectiveness has not been established.

Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss Frequently Asked Questions

a biohacker watches in mirror and comb hair after red light therapyWe respond to some frequently asked questions to help you understand how exactly red light therapy can reverse hair loss.

Does red light therapy regrow hair?

Yes, red light therapy regrows hair. It increases blood flow to the scalp, stimulating hair follicles. It also lengthens the anagen phase of hair growth.

Does red light therapy help with thinning hair?

Yes, red light therapy increases hair count, density, and thickness. If you are suffering from hair thinness, you could benefit from these.

The therapy increases nutrients and oxygen amounts in hair follicles, resulting in thick and healthy hair growth.

How Often Should I Do Red Light Therapy for Hair Regrowth?

We recommend you do it 3-4 times a week, for 10-20 minutes. It is, however, great to follow your manufacturer’s instructions.

Can Red Light Therapy Stimulate Growth of Unwanted Hair?

No. And this is one of the great things about this therapy.

Many pharmaceutical methods of hair growth cause the regrowth of unwanted hair. Red light therapy only stimulates hair growth in the treated areas.

Will Red Light Therapy Work for All Types or Causes of Hair Loss?

Red light, just like other treatments, cannot treat everything. However, there is something the therapy can do as long as the hair follicles are just dormant. It will jumpstart the dormant follicles and stimulate cells to support hair regrowth.

However, if your hair loss is due to some medication, red light therapy may not help much unless you stop the medication. Also, if the hair follicles are completely dead, there is nothing much red light therapy can do.

Therefore, it only works magic for dormant hair follicles, not dead ones. If there are dead, surgical methods will get the work done for you.

How Fast Can You See Results?

Many times, you will see the results in two to three months. This is not an overnight success story. Hair cells typically divide and generate very fast, but you must be patient.

Red light therapy can stop hair fall in a few days. This is equally a great start.

How Long Do I Need to Bask Under the Red Light?

This will depend heavily on the red light therapy device you’re using. They come with manufacturer instructions, which you want to strictly adhere to. Remember that longer sessions do not necessarily translate to tremendous success.

Can I use Red Light Therapy for Pregnancy or Menopause Related Hair Loss?

Red light therapy is an excellent option for breastfeeding and for menopause-related hair loss.

However, the line is not clear for pregnant women. Generally, laser light treatments are not recommended during pregnancy. No evidence shows the adverse side effects of low-level laser therapy during pregnancy.

All in all, you are better off asking your doctor for a green light; better safe than sorry.

Final Thoughts

Hair loss and baldness can be devastating, both physically and psychologically.

Unfortunately, surgical and pharmaceutical treatment for hair loss can be highly invasive and painful.

If you are a fan of non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical methods of hair loss treatment, red light therapy will not disappoint you. You will restore your thick, lengthy and healthy hair after just a couple of months of consistency.

Patience is critical when using red light therapy for hair loss; it is a slow but sure process.

 

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/health/laser-treatment-for-hair-loss#does-it-work

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8577899/

https://www.sfgate.com/shopping/article/benefits-of-red-light-therapy-for-anti-aging-16147441.php

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