Are you looking for a natural and non-invasive way to stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss? Consider red light therapy for hair growth. Red light therapy is a type of photomedicine that improves cellular activity and the healing of tissues by using low-level laser or LED light.
Hair loss is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can harm your self-esteem, confidence, and quality of life. Hair loss has many causes, including genetics, stress, hormonal changes, medical conditions, and aging.
In this article, we will explain how red light therapy for hair growth works, what the clinical trials say about its effectiveness for hair loss, how to use it at home, and the possible side effects.
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Clinical Trials of Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss:
Red light therapy has been studied for various types of hair loss, such as androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness), alopecia areata (patchy hair loss), and chemotherapy-induced alopecia. The results have been promising and consistent across different studies (Mito Red Light Therapy, 2020).
For example, a 2017 study published in the International Journal of Trichology found that red light therapy effectively treats androgenetic alopecia in both men and women (Gupta et al., 2018). The participants received 25 sessions of red light therapy over six months. The researchers measured their hair density, thickness, and growth rate before and after the treatment. They found that red light therapy significantly increased all these parameters compared to the control group.
Another study published in 2019 in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy evaluated the efficacy of red light therapy for alopecia areata (Alves et al., 2019). The participants received 24 sessions of red light over 12 weeks. The researchers assessed their hair regrowth using a standardized scoring system. They found that red light therapy significantly improved the hair regrowth score compared to the control group.
A study published in 2020 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology investigated the effect of red light therapy on female pattern hair loss (Kim et al., 2020). The participants received 16 sessions of red light therapy over four months. The researchers measured their hair density and diameter before and after the treatment. They found that red light therapy significantly increased these parameters compared to the control group.
These are just some examples of the many studies showing the positive effects of hair growth with red light therapy. You can find more studies on this topic by searching online or consulting with your doctor.
How Red Light Therapy Can Boost Hair Growth
Red light therapy can help stimulate hair growth by improving the health and function of your hair follicles. Hair follicles are tiny structures in your skin that produce hair shafts. They go through different phases of growth and rest: anagen (growth), catagen (transition), telogen (rest), and exogen (shedding).
Red light therapy can affect your hair follicles in several ways:
- It improves blood flow to the scalp, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach the hair follicles.
- It reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, which can damage the hair follicles and cause hair loss.
- It stimulates ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the cell’s energy molecule. ATP can help activate the stem cells in the hair follicles and prolong the anagen phase.
- It enhances hair development and prevents hair loss by increasing the expression of growth factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).
By enhancing these biological processes, red light therapy can help your hair follicles produce thicker, stronger, and healthier hair.
To learn more, we recommend checking out this comprehensive guide to red light therapy for hair growth. This detailed article covers everything from beginner’s information to actual use and includes a table of contents for easy reference.
How to Use Red Light Therapy for Hair Growth
There are two main ways to use hair growth with red light therapy: visiting a clinic or salon that offers professional laser treatment or buying a home device such as a laser comb, cap, helmet, or wand.
If you choose to visit a clinic or salon, you must book an appointment with a qualified practitioner to assess your condition and recommend a suitable treatment plan. You will typically receive multiple sessions of red light therapy over weeks or months. Each session may last 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the device used.
If you choose to buy a home device, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions or recommendations for frequency, duration, and intensity of use. You must also ensure that the device is FDA-approved and has a sufficient power output and wavelength range to deliver effective red light therapy.
Some of the factors that you should consider when choosing a home device are:
- The size and shape of the device You may prefer a device that covers your entire scalp or targets specific areas of hair loss.
- The type and number of light sources. You may prefer a device with laser diodes, LED bulbs, or both. Also, check how many light sources the device has and how they are arranged.
- The power output and wavelength range of the device. Choose a device with a power output of at least 5 mW/cm2 and a wavelength range of 630 to 680 nm, which are the optimal parameters for red light therapy for hair growth.
- The battery life and charging options of the device. Choose a device with a long battery life that can be easily charged with a USB cable or adapter.
- The price and warranty of the device. You can compare the prices and warranties of different devices and choose one that fits your budget and offers good customer service.
You can find various reviews and comparisons of different red light therapy devices online or ask your doctor for recommendations. You can also support your hair’s health by adopting a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep.
Possible Side Effects of Red Light Therapy for Hair Growth
Red light therapy is typically considered safe and well-tolerated for hair development. It does not cause pain, heat, or damage to the skin or hair. However, some people may experience some minor side effects, such as:
- Redness or irritation of the scalp
- Headache or dizziness
- Eye strain or sensitivity to light
- Changes in hair color or texture
To avoid these side effects, you should always follow the instructions that come with your device and wear protective eyewear during the treatment. You should also avoid using red light therapy if you have any of the following conditions:
- Photosensitivity or allergy to light
- Skin cancer or lesions on the scalp
- Epilepsy or seizures
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Pacemaker or other implanted devices
If you experience severe or persistent side effects, stop using red light therapy and seek medical attention.
Red light therapy is a safe and effective hair loss treatment. It can help stimulate hair growth and improve the appearance of your hair by increasing blood flow, reducing inflammation, and activating stem cells in the hair follicles.
It is important to choose a high-quality red light therapy device and to follow the instructions that come with it. With consistent use, red light therapy can help you achieve thicker, stronger, and healthier hair.
- Mito Red Light Therapy (2020) Effectiveness of Red Light Therapy for Hair Growth: Clinical Researchers Weigh In. Retrieved from https://mitoredlight.com/blogs/mito-red-blog/effectiveness-of-red-light-therapy-for-hair-growth-clinical-researchers-weigh-in
- Gupta, A. K., Mays, R. R., Dotzert, M. S., Versteeg, S. G., Shear, N. H., & Piguet, V. (2018). Efficacy of non-surgical treatments for androgenetic alopecia: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: JEADV, 32(12), 2112–2125. https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.15101
- Alves, R. R., Carvalho, A. C., Silva, G., & Vieira Junior, R. F. (2019). Low-level laser therapy for alopecia areata: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy: Official Publication of the European Society for Laser Dermatology, 21(7), 398–406. https://doi.org/10.1080/14764172.2019.1587983
- Kim HJ., Kim YJ., Lee SY., et al. (2020). Low-level light therapy for treating female pattern hair loss: a single-center randomized controlled trial Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology;19:2407–2414 https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.13464