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Light and Laser Hair Growth

With a variety of hair restoration treatments on the market today, those that utilize pulsed or laser light are getting plenty of attention. These devices promise to regrow hair in men and women who have experienced thinning or pattern baldness. The light energy delivered into the follicles is designed to stimulate blood flow and cell regeneration, reviving the follicles so they will produce hair once again.

While proponents of these treatments assert the technology has been studied for decades, clinical evidence of their efficacy is still difficult to pinpoint. Despite the lack of solid research to back up the claims of these devices, they continue to be touted as the next generation of hair restoration by those offering the technology. Is this technology more effective than proven surgical procedures? It appears the facts about laser and light treatments are still to be determined.

Hair Restoration Using Light and Laser Energy

Whether light or laser energy is used for this hair restoration treatment, the procedure will likely use a device that fits over the scalp, referred to as a helmet, cap or hood. The device is worn for a prescribed period, delivering energy across the scalp to address all the follicles at one time. There are also home devices available, which include the caps as well as handheld devices that resemble brushes or combs. Tools designed to be used at home are generally less powerful than those used by specialists, to ensure they are safe for use in this capacity.

Machines used in clinics may be left on for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the specific needs of each patient. While the device is worn, low-level laser energy is delivered directly into the follicles. The light exposure is said to stimulate follicles that have become inactive to function once again. Some devices claim they can move follicles from the dormant state to the anagen or growth cycle, so hair is produced once more.

Home devices are generally used for up to 15 minutes at a time. The machine must be used multiple times each week to reap the most significant benefit. Results will take weeks or even months to become apparent. Some devices state hair will grow thicker within three to six months after beginning treatment.

Benefits of Laser Hair Treatment

Providers that use laser hair treatment claim there are numerous benefits to this mode of treatment, including:

  • The nonsurgical approach means no anesthesia or incisions are required
  • No downtime after treatment makes the procedure more convenient
  • Fewer risks associated with this therapy than with surgical procedures
  • Follicles are revived over time for gradual regrowth of hair
  • Comfortable treatment with no residual scarring
  • Some devices can be used in the comfort of one’s own home
  • Stimulates dormant follicles for hair that is thicker and fuller

Considering Your Options

While light and laser devices may sound like a good choice, it is essential to explore all your options when you decide to pursue hair restoration procedures. Medications and surgical procedures are supported by clinical evidence to demonstrate both their safety and their efficacy. While hair transplantation may seem more invasive on the surface, if you look more closely at this procedure, you will see a myriad of benefits of this process over laser treatments.

Hair transplantation has evolved considerably in recent years, with devices to help physicians transplant individual follicles for a look that is distinctly natural. FUE or follicular unit extraction offers precision never seen before in hair transplantation techniques. In addition to the ability to create a more natural head of hair where thinning has occurred, FUE minimizes scarring in the donor sites. The procedure is also much less invasive than traditional hair transplantation, using only local anesthesia and allowing patients to return to their activities within a matter of days rather than weeks. Results are seen right away and improve in the weeks following treatment.

If you are interested in hair restoration, be sure you collect all your facts before you decide on the right procedure for you. To learn more about many of the treatments available today, contact The Maas Clinic at 415-567-7000.

It is never too late, To be what you might have been.- George Eliot