Laser for hair loss - the facts
Laser for hair loss can be a hard subject to research, due to the fact that lasers are used both to treat hair loss and unwanted hair growth.
Typing in 'laser' and 'hair' in the search engines generally gives you results for both technologies. But the truth is they are very different.
Lasers used to treat hair loss are in an entirely different category and differ in several major ways.
First, lasers that treat hair loss use what is called Low Level Laser Therapy, or LLLT. The power output of the lasers is in the range of 5 milliwatts,
which is not enough to even warm your skin. The lasers used to remove hair are in the range of 100 watts or more, or 20,000 times the power output. Some
people worry that a hair loss laser might harm them, but the lasers aren't powerful enough to be harmful, only therapeutic.
The other major difference between lasers for hair loss and those used to treat hair growth is the wavelength. In terms of light, you can think
of wavelength as meaning color of the light. The therapeutic wavelengths for lasers are in the range of about 630 to 670 nanometers. These are in
the band of red light, and this end of the spectrum is where the best results are found from LLLT. Lasers to treat hair growth are in a different
band altogether, more commonly around 810 nm.
So don't worry about any harm or additional hair loss coming from a laser meant to treat hair loss. We get occassional questions about
safety, and the only warning that comes with our lasers is to not look directly into them for any length of time. LLLT lasers are safe, effective,
and have been proven to treat many conditions, hair loss being just one of them.
The history of using laser for hair loss
This all started by accident, as often happens in the scientific world. Back in 1966, a scientist named Endre Meister at Semmelweis University
(in Budapest, Hungary) was doing research on cancer with mice. He was testing to see whether LLLT had any effect on mice with cancer. He was using
a new device at the time - a ruby laser (hence the red light).
In order to get the laser light fully to the skin of the mice, he shaved them. Then he treated half of each mouse with laser at different doses, leaving the other half untreated
for comparison. The cancer research failed, laser not having any influence on the cancer of the mice. But he noticed something with the treated side of the mice -
their fur was growing back in much faster than the untreated side.
To test this out he tried different levels of treatment. It was found that the laser stimulated hair growth up to a certain point, at which increasing the exposure
times failed to increase the results. Raising the exposure times even further was found to have the opposite effect - the laser was now inhibiting the hair growth. (Note this
fact, it is why we have a definite schedule of laser use; so you don't overdose your hair and negate the results)
Going a step further, his research team then made small surgical wounds on the mice. Leaving one side untreated and the other side treated, it was seen
that the ruby laser could also speed wound healing. His results were published first in 1967, and the work sparked the birth of several industries, important to us here is
the use of laser for hair loss.
Hair loss lasers today
Today there are a number of different devices on the market that treat hair loss with lasers. These come mainly in two categories, with the Super Grow Laser line
creating a third.
First there are the small, handheld brushes and combs. These can have from 1 to 15 lasers, and come in both cordless and wired models. The power of these
units is limited by their small size, as they can only hold a few lasers to treat your hair loss. They are also difficult to use and many users get frustrated with the hassle and give
up using them.
The second category of lasers for hair loss are the big, commercial models. These are used in laser hair therapy salons where you go in and pay to sit under one
for a treatment period of three to six months. These are very effective as they have lots of lasers, often over 100.
The drawbacks are cost and inconvenience. To buy one to bring home will run you in the range of $14,000; just to use one for six months is around $3,000.
Worth it if you're losing your hair, but now you also have to fit in going there two to three times a week in your schedule. Drive time, gas, and missing out on other
things are part of the cost of using the large models, but they are very effective.
The third category is held only by the Super Grow Lasers lineup. The goal of these devices was to beat the little brushes, which wasn't hard to do, and at the same
time offer the convenience of home use and eliminate the need to use your arm for twenty minutes at a time. The Super Grow Laser models really have
created their own category of device. With almost as many lasers as the large salon models, you get laser for hair loss at home and at a low cost.
A reminder about getting results from your laser
Whether you get our laser or not, the same fundamental fact mentioned above still holds true. The dosage that you use for your hair loss is important.
Laser can, at low levels, and correct usage times, stimulate your hair and give you positive results. Don't get greedy though. Using a laser for hair loss
still has to be done right - follow the instructions and don't exceed them.
Go ahead and get excited, knowing that you have a solution to your hair loss. That is perfectly fine and you have every right to be happy to have found
an effective laser for hair loss.