Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Laser Light Hair Therapy

Laser light hair therapy is an option for those who don’t want to or unable to take medications. “Lasers can undoubtedly encourage hair growth”, says Dr. Marc Avram, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

Though laser therapy for hair is less expensive than hair transplant, it is quite costly. A laser comb from HairMax costs US$470 and an overhead laser light from Super Grow costs US$549. In terms of money, your investment would be similar either you go for a laser comb or an overhead laser light. To help you make an informed decision to justify your investment, I have researched on the topic of laser light hair therapy. Here are my findings.

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

This is the new generation of laser hair therapy. Low Level Lasers are referred to as "cold" lasers because they do not release energy in the form of heat. LLLT is delivered by a device that contains panels of lasers that shine on the scalp.

Discovery of Laser Hair Therapy
In fact, the effect that lasers have on hair growth was discovered completely by accident.

It was in 1967, shortly after the first lasers were invented, that Endre Mester in Semmelweis University was doing experiments with lasers on skin cancer. He noticed that when applying lasers to the backs of shaven mice, the shaved hair grew back faster in those mice in the treated group versus the untreated group.

Since then, numerous experiments have shown that a certain exact wavelength of laser light - 650 nm (nanometers) - is most effective in stimulating hair to regrow. This is the laser that both HairMax and Super Grow used for their laser hair products.

Actually each industrial grade laser is 5 milliwatts, 650 nanometers of red laser light. This is the wavelength that has been shown to reach deepest into the tissue and is the best to promote hair growth.

How Does Low Level Laser Therapy Work?
HairMax has a scientific description: There are theories on how low level laser works. Soft tissue and fluids in our bodies vibrate at a similar frequency to that of cold-beam, red-light laser. One of many scientific theories is that cells are largely dependant for healthy function on an exchange of energy and 'information' with surrounding cells. This is achieved via individual wave systems by which cells 'communicate' through inter-connective plasma. A cell is in an unhealthy state when its vibrations become irregular or out-of-step with this common communications system. However, it may be brought back into harmony by being irradiated with low level laser working at quantum level.

Super Grow has similar theories, but more hair focused:
Laser light flushes out the chemical that makes you bald - The chemical in the bloodstream that makes you bald is called dihydrotestosterone (or DHT). This builds up in the hair follicles and causes baldness.
One theory of why lasers work so well is that they may be stimulating blood flow around the hair follicle, flushing out the DHT, thus letting the hair regrow.
While this may be part of the reason, it is not a complete answer.

Laser light grows hair by transferring energy into the hair follicle - This theory says that the laser energy is simply absorbed by the hair follicle, and this stimulates the hair growth. Basically it says you're absorbing light energy into the scalp, thus causing the hair to grow.
It's thought to be similar to a plant growing by absorbing sunlight. We're not sure that this is the case, but it sure sounds good.

Laser light penetrates deep - While you are sitting in an ordinary room with usual light, the light is reaching maybe one sixteenth of an inch into your skin. This is a picture (from Super Grow ) showing ONE of their powerful lasers - held about an inch from a finger. This ONE laser penetrates the entire finger, the same way a flashlight would. One laser is capable of completely surrounding every hair follicle with nourishing laser light for a radius of about an inch. The light goes past the follicle into the blood vessels underneath, reaching as deep as possible.

So are the more lasers the better? We shall talk about this in our next post.

Laser Light Hair Therapy

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