LLLT (Low-Level Light Therapy) For Hair Restoration
Red or near-infrared laser light has been used for a while to promote and stimulate cellular activity all over the body. In the past few years, it has been proven that low-level light therapy (LLLT) also stimulates the growth of hair in men and women.
Lasers were discovered in the 1960s, and their uses have been constantly evolving within the medical field. They have been used in various medical treatments such as stroke recovery, healing wounds, regeneration of nerves, and even joint pain relief. LLLT devices that can be used at home have been invented to help with various conditions, including hair restoration and growth.
The benefits of lasers and hair growth was actually discovered by accident in the late 1960s by a Hungarian physician, Endre Mester. Dr. Mester was experimenting on mice with a low power ruby laser to test the carcinogenic potential of lasers. To conduct those experiments, it was necessary to shave the mice. The lasers did not eventually cause cancer in the test mice, but they actually accelerated hair growth in the shaved areas of the animal. This was the very first recorded case of photo biostimulation using a low level laser, and it opened up a whole new path in the field of hair restoration. Photo biostimulation is a hair growth process using LLLT that is comparable to photosynthesis that causes growth in plants.
The first home use of a LLLT to treat androgenic alopecia was the Hairmax Lasercomb, which is approved by Health Canada. It also got approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe treatment for males in 2007 and for females in 2011. This product looks like a standard hair brush. It works using the same photobiostimulation that was first discovered in the 60s by Dr. Mester on those test mice. Its uses this process to stimulate growth factors and increase the natural growth phase of the hair follicles.
Since the Hairmax Lasercomb, other products have emerged onto the market. The latest trend is the laser cap. This is basically the exact same technology but designed to fit into something similar to a helmet or a baseball cap. The Capillus laser hat will cost you roughly USD$800. It is designed to look like a regular baseball hat, but it has the low level lasers lining the entire inside of the cap. This product has received clearance from Health Canada and the U.S. FDA for the treatment of hair loss.
Other clinically tested and proven methods have a very Star Trek or Star Wars space age feel to them. For example, the iGrow hands-free device looks similar to the helmet that Professor X wears when he goes into Cerebro in the X-Men movies. The iRestore helmet looks like something out of the movie Tron. And last but not least is the Theradome, which I have actually tried. I liked the feel of it on my head. The Theradome was invented by a former NASA scientist wanting to halt his own hair loss, so it probably has some pretty good science behind it.