How does RLT help?
Red/NIR light (RLT) has proven to help both men and women with a wide variety of conditions to prevent hair loss and even regrow hair. Not only that, but RLT can also increase the thickness of each hair strand. Thus, red light therapy can help improve both the quality AND quantity of your hair!
How does this improve my health & wellness?
Male and female pattern hair loss (PHL) is a common, chronic dermatologic disorder. Male PHL (aka, androgenetic alopecia) affects 50 % of men by 50 years of age and the frequency and severity increases with age. Male or female PHL may be accompanied by psychosocial consequences including decreased quality of life and poorer body image.
To better understand how RLT can help prevent hair loss and promote hair regrowth, it helps to understand the three main phases of hair growth:
Anagen - growth phase
Catagen - transition of hair upwards towards skin pore
Telogen - the blood supply to the hair follicle fully separates, growth ends
Red and near-infrared light apparently promotes the transition of hair follicles from the telogen phase back to the anagen phase, which facilitates increased duration in the growth phase and, thus, hair growth! Not only that, but RLT can also increase the growth rate in the anlagen phase while disallowing premature catagen phases, leading to a healthier head of hair.
Other mechanisms by which RLT may help hair health includes improving particular growth factors, modulation of inflammation, improved health and efficiency of mitochondrial functioning and/or positive effects on nitric oxide levels and blood flow to the area.
What does the research show?
"The majority of studies covered in this review found an overall improvement in hair regrowth, thickness, and patient satisfaction following LLLT (low level laser therapy) therapy."
Afifi, L., Maranda, E. L., Zarei, M., Delcanto, G. M., Falto-Aizpurua, L., Kluijfhout, W. P., & Jimenez, J. J. (2016). Low-level laser therapy as a treatment for androgenetic alopecia. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 49(1), 27–39. doi:10.1002/lsm.22512
"Our results suggest that LLLT treatment may be an effective option to treat pattern hair loss in both men and women.”
J Jimenez, Joaquin & Wikramanayake, Tongyu & Bergfeld, Wilma & Hordinsky, Maria & G Hickman, Janet & Hamblin, Michael & A Schachner, Lawrence. (2014). Efficacy and Safety of a Low-level Laser Device in the Treatment of Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Multicenter, Randomized, Sham Device-controlled, Double-blind Study. American journal of clinical dermatology. 15. 10.1007/s40257-013-0060-6.
"Subjects receiving LLLT at 655 nm achieved a 37% increase in hair counts as compared to sham treated control patients in this multicenter randomized controlled trial."
Lanzafame, Raymond & Blanche, Raymond & P. Chiacchierini, Richard & R. Kazmirek, Eric & A. Sklar, Jeffrey. (2014). The Growth of Human Scalp Hair in Females Using Visible Red Light Laser and LED Sources. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. 46. 10.1002/lsm.22277.
"LLLT appears to be a safe, alternative treatment for patients with androgenic alopecia. Clinical trials have indicated efficacy for androgenic alopecia in both men and women."
Darwin, E., Heyes, A., Hirt, P. A., Wikramanayake, T. C., & Jimenez, J. J. (2017). Low-level laser therapy for the treatment of androgenic alopecia: a review. Lasers in Medical Science, 33(2), 425–434. doi:10.1007/s10103-017-2385-5
**While the current scientific research seems to indicate many positive benefits of RLT in relation to hair health and preventing hair loss, there is still an appreciable necessity for more extensive research to be conducted in this area, including double-blind RCT (randomized controlled trials), to provide a more comprehensive, robust overview that will further elucidate the optimal parameters and appropriate uses of RLT, which will ultimately lead the most safe and efficacious uses for individuals looking to prevent hair loss and improve overall hair health.
Suggested use of RLT
for hair health
3 - 7x/week
5 - 10 min @ 12" away
Red and NIR
Response to treatment can take 12–16 weeks (so be patient!) and is thought to continue up through the first 6–12 months of use
*For optimal results, we recommend no more than 15 - 20 minutes of total treatment time per day