Low level laser therapy (LLLT) has been around for decades, but this contreversial treatment remains to be a heavily debated topic amongst hair loss professionals around the world. While some hair loss sufferers and physicians reject its use entirely, others include laser therapy in their daily regimen and some surgeons use laser therapy regularly in their practice. In this article, we will discuss laser therapy's history and how it is used today to treat hair loss.
History of Laser Therapy
In 1964 shortly after the first working laser was invented, a researcher by the name of Andre mester from the University of Budapest developed a theory that exposure to cold laser light may lead to cancer. To test this theory, Mester shaved a group of mice and placed them in a cage with constant cold laser light exposure, leaving another group of mice unexposed. To Mester's surprise, the light didn't cause cancer in any of his test subjects. Instead, Mester discovered that the mice that were exposed to laser light grew back their shaved fur faster than the other group of mice that were not exposed to laser light. In fact, Mester developed a new theory that the laser light had somehow stimulated the hair cells which led to the mices fur growing faster.
Laser Therapy for Hair Loss
Today, low level laser therapy (LLLT) is being used as a hair loss treatment by hair restoration surgeons worldwide. Laser rays are applied directly to the balding areas by a mechanical device to stimulate hair cells. Lasers are said to work by converting Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) to Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP), causing cellular metabolic changes. During this process, nutrients and oxygen are supplied to the scalp while increasing overall blood circulation. Lasers, when applied to the scalp and hair, have been said to improve hair quality and increase hair shaft diameter (follicular thickness).
Hair transplant surgeons have varying views and philosophies in regards to using laser therapy as a treatment for hair loss. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of scientific evidence to back these claims. However, there is anecdotal evidence from hair loss sufferers and physicians alike. Additionally, laser therapy is safe and does not carry any dangerous or harmful side effects. Therefore, hair loss sufferers may benefit from trying laser therapy even if the benefit is marginally small.
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