Hair loss doesn't sound like a very serious condition - unless you are the one affected by it. Even though it can affect women too, hair loss is especially common among men. A whopping 42 percent of men aged from 19 to 42 is affected by moderate to extensive male pattern baldness. It usually starts with thinning hair and gets more severe in the older age groups.
Baldness is not just about aesthetics. Male and female pattern baldness as well as conditions such as alopecia aerate can have a serious psychological impact on a person and their life. This can range from emotional suffering, career and marital problems and cause conditions such as depression, anxiety, and even PTSD.
Trying out a sea of common hair restoration treatments with no luck shouldn't leave you feeling discouraged. Luckily, it's not impossible to treat hair loss. Led red light therapy is an effective treatment that helps with hair restoration and leaves you with thicker, healthier hair.
What Are The Main Causes of Hair Loss?
There are several factors that influence whether an individual will lose hair. We think of hair as mostly the part that we see - the growth which consists mostly of a protein called keratin. However, hair loss actually starts deeper than that - in the epidermis, where the hair follicle is located. When a hair follicle shrinks or becomes loose, then hair starts falling out and hair counts diminish.
Here are some of the most common reasons for hair loss.
Aging is the leading cause of hair loss in both men and women. This kind of hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia, and it affects not only a huge percentage of men, but also a significant number of women. An androgenetic alopecia study conducted in an outpatient dermatology clinic in Turkey found that almost 24% of women suffered from hair loss. The study found that when it came to both men and women, the older they were, the more they would lose hair.
Androgenetic alopecia is also very much hereditary. It usually runs in families and occurs in predictable patterns. For men, it usually starts with a receding hairline. Women hair loss usually starts with thinning hair or a bald patch at the crown of the head.
Hormonal changes are one of the most common causes of lessening hair count in both men and women. Hair loss can occur due to changes in the levels of testosterone, estrogen and thyroid hormones.
The mechanism is simple. A drop in female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone causes hair to grow more slowly. It can also result in a thinner hair shaft. On the other hand, a rise in testosterone and other male hormones can shrink the hair follicle, which leaves less space for a hair bulb, and makes hair growth more difficult.
When it comes to thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, both higher and lower levels can cause hair loss. This happens because thyroid hormones regulate the way the body uses energy and oxygen. When they are not in balance, this process may get disrupted, leading hair to stay in the phase of shedding. Unlike androgenetic alopecia which often leads to patchy hair loss, this results in an overall thinning of human scalp hair.
Treating hair loss caused by hormonal imbalances usually needs a twofold approach - therapy to promote proper hair growth as well as treating the hormonal imbalance itself. Red light therapy appears to be a very effective form of treatment both for promoting hair growth and for thyroid disorders.
Radiation therapy doesn't make a distinction between cancer cells and healthy cells. It damages both. Especially if you are treating head cancer, there is up to 100% likelihood that you will have some degree of hair loss. This is because the radiation affects the cells of the hair follicles causing the hair to become loose and fall out.
Patients undergoing chemo treatment also commonly suffer temporary hair loss. Most of them are able to regrow hair after about 6 months, but in rare cases, the hair follicles get permanently damaged and chemotherapy induced alopecia is permanent.
Hair Treatments and Hair Loss
Chemicals from certain hair treatments, can cause hair breakage, hair damage and even hair loss. However, sometimes even untreated hair begins to fall out due to overly tight hairstyles. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia.
Which LED Light Is Best for Hair Growth?
There are many forms of photobiomodulation or light therapy available today. You might have heard about lasers, blue light therapy, red light therapy and cold lasers. Out of all of these, the preferred treatment for hair loss is red light therapy.
Red light therapy devices use LED light diodes that emit light from the visible red light spectrum along with infrared light frequencies. These frequencies are an ideal combination of light therapy which is able to affect cells on different depths - both in the skin and in deeper tissues.
Research on ex vivo hair follicle culture obtained from transplant patients has shown that not only does red light significantly boosts proliferation of hair follicles, but also prolongs the anagen phase - the phase of active hair growth - and delays the catagen phase when hair stops growing. This is especially true for red light from the visible light spectrum.
These findings are a game changer for patients with androgenic alopecia and other hair loss conditions.
How Can Red Light Therapy Help With Hair Growth?
Red light therapy in general has a stimulative effect on the body. This starts on a cellular level, in the mitochondria which produce energy and oxygen for the cell. By supporting this process, red light therapy boosts mitochondria proliferation and overall cell health.
There is a common misconception that each cell contains only a single mitochondrion. In reality, most cells contain hundreds or thousands of them. The more mitochondria cells have, the better oxygenated the tissue will be, and the more energy it will have.
When treating androgenetic alopecia or other hair and scalp conditions, red light therapy treatments ensure that the tissue of the scalp has optimal amounts of oxygen and nutrients. Cellular stimulation is not the only factor influencing hair growth when it comes to red light therapy.
Red light therapy has also been found to increase blood flow to the scalp. This in turn stimulates hair follicles to exit the dormant growth stages - catagen and telogen. The process supports epidermal stem cells in the scalp. The stem cells of the follicle then drive the growth cycle forward, and the hair follicles enter the anagen phase, the phase of growing hair.
How Long Does It Take for Red Light Therapy to Grow Hair?
Unlike many other hair loss treatments, low level laser therapy for hair gives consistent and relatively fast results when it comes to hair regrowth. Red light therapy for hair loss works from within to stimulate hair follicles and the tissue of the scalp.
Bear in mind that results are not instantly visible - after all, low level laser therapy is based on science, not magic.
A double blind, controlled clinical trial monitored the effects of red light therapy on male pattern baldness over the period of 24 weeks. Compared to the placebo group, the red light treatment group showed significantly greater hair coverage, hair density and hair count after the 24-week period.
In general, it takes at least 3 months to see improvements in terms of proper hair growth.
How Often Should You Use Red Light for Hair Growth?
Red and near infrared light therapy are hair loss treatments that use light frequencies that occur in natural sunlight to hasten hair regrowth. Unlike many other treatments for male and female pattern hair loss, low level light therapy is effective without causing any negative side effects. It is an entirely non invasive method to promote hair growth. Red light therapy does not include any chemicals or harmful UV rays, which makes it a superior treatment for everyday use even for those with sensitive skin.
In one study, red light therapy treatment every other day with visible red light laser therapy has been shown to measurably increase hair counts compared to placebo.
To see the fastest results in promoting new hair growth, you should have daily red light treatments that last from 10 to 30 minutes.