If you have noticed your hair thinning, you are not alone. According to the American Hair Loss Association, by the time men reach 50, two-thirds of them will have noticed some thinning of hair. And women are not immune. Nearly 50 percent of women report hair thinning or loss as well. If you want to do something about it, you are not the only one either. Americans spend over 3 billion dollars a year on hair loss treatments. Along with surgery and drugs, another treatment method is laser hair growth.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Laser Hair Growth?
- Some demonstrated effectiveness in stopping hair loss
- Healthier hair
- Length of time to see results
- Won’t regrow hair
If you’re curious about whether laser hair growth is right for you, it helps to learn about the pros and cons. Of course, you should talk to your doctor before you decide about the procedure. In any case, knowledge is power.
What Is Laser Hair Growth?
Laser hair growth, also known as laser hair therapy, cold laser therapy, and red-light laser therapy, shoots photons of light into the tissues of your scalp. These photons stimulate the follicles of your hair to grow. Repeated treatments are supposed to evoke blood circulation in your scalp, which will encourage hair follicles to produce healthy hair in hair loss patients. Although there is still some controversy about its effectiveness, some recent studies suggest that it can stop or slow thinning of the hair.
Basically, the increased circulation will mean that the follicles will be serviced by a larger blood supply and have access to more nutrients. This low-level laser light will stimulate this activity to minimize any ongoing hair loss and possibly even help regrow hair
What Are the Pros of Laser Hair Growth?
There are many reasons why one would go in for laser hair growth. Of course, if there weren’t advantages, people wouldn’t be going in for the procedure, right? Here are the pros:
- It reduces hair loss. The procedure strengthens your follicles, which makes it possible for you to keep your hair for a longer time than you would have if you are experiencing genetic hair loss.
- It gives you stronger and thicker hair. It strengthens your hair follicles, which gives you hair that is healthier and will aesthetically look better.
- It can work well with other procedures. If you want to get a hair transplant, for example, it can help by preserving the hair you have, in addition to the hairs that are going to be moved on your head to create an appearance of overall thickness.
- Starting these treatments can help reduce your dependence on other remedies, such as topical steroids
- It’s non-invasive and won’t give you pain or side effects. This can make it a preferable alternative to anyone who doesn’t want an invasive procedure, such as a hair transplant.
Overall, there are many good reasons to try this procedure if you really want to slow or stop your hair loss. If you want to read more about the scientific studies, check out this Healthline article.
What Are the Cons of Laser Hair Growth?
Of course, there are disadvantages to the procedure as well. After all, if it were perfectly effective at stopping hair loss, no one would worry about losing their hair because they would know that they can just have this procedure and not deal with this problem at all. The cons of laser hair growth are as follows:
- It is expensive. You are going to need to get multiple treatments in order to see results, and these can cost thousands of dollars every year.
- It can have an adverse reaction with certain medications. If you are taking medications that have a photosensitizing effect, you will be more sensitive to light and could deal with one of these adverse reactions.
- You don’t know for sure that it’s going to be effective. The effectiveness of the procedure varies, and it appears to be less effective for people who are in the later stages of hair loss or have darker skin (Fitzpatrick types V or VI). Long-term effectiveness and safety of the procedure haven’t been established, since the FDA doesn’t subject laser devices to the large amount of testing that they do with medications.
- It takes a lot of time to see results, and this can be too much of a commitment for some people. In order to observe a difference, you’ll usually need to have several treatments a week for months. In fact, many providers will suggest that you continue to get the treatments for the rest of your life.
- Even though it can be helpful in stopping hair loss, there is no evidence that it helps regrow hair. If someone is expecting to get all their hair back that they have already lost, they likely will not have success with this procedure.
As you can see, even though laser hair therapy can be effective, there are also reasons that might cause some people to hesitate before getting the procedure done. Whether or not you should have the procedure will depend entirely on your individual situation.
Who Are the Best Candidates for Laser Hair Growth?
Generally speaking, this type of therapy is best for men and women who are noticing thinning hair. It is important to note that there are different mechanisms behind hair loss. The most common type of hair loss, which is considered to be hair thinning, is androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss; this is the type of hair loss which will most effectively be treated by this procedure.
However, people should keep in mind that it is more likely to be effective in people who are in the early stages of hair loss. It has also shown to be more effective in people who have Fitzpatrick skin types I through IV. In a 2013 study, males between the ages of 18 and 48, a 39 percent increase in hair growth was observed with laser hair therapy done over the course of 16 weeks.
However, remember to be realistic with your expectations if you are going into this procedure. Even though the procedure has delivered results, these results are not very consistent, and it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people have seen wonderful results with this procedure, while others see results that they don’t even think are significant.
If you are interested in getting this procedure yourself, talk to your doctor to see if you would be a good candidate. It’s good to prepare for the possibility that it might not work for you, but if it’s an option, it is worth trying based on past results.
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Hair loss can be a very distressing and demoralizing experience. What can be difficult about it is the lack of control one feels when it’s happening. It’s just something that happens due to genetics in many cases, and it can happen no matter how well you take care of yourself. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense that anyone who is experiencing it would want to reach for whatever solution is available.
Currently, there is no perfect solution for hair loss. There are multiple companies working on being able to reverse the hair loss process, such as Histogen and Replicel, but as of yet, none of these treatments have come to market. Laser hair therapy is one of the best options that are available to people now who want to try to deal with hair loss. There are no guarantees with it, but it can do wonders for your quality of life if it ends up working for you.