Hair plays a vital role in our self-esteem. Before stepping out of the door and facing the world, we tend to spend hours in front of the mirror tugging on and spraying our hair with numerous products.

From experimenting with different hair and beard styles to dyeing the hair to a funky color, it often serves as a tool for self-expression. 

So, when faced with hair loss, it can cause devastating effects on mental and emotional wellbeing. Expensive products and treatments, such as hair transplant surgeries, fall heavy on the wallet which only adds to the problem.

However, we have good news for you. Many studies have been conducted and found a non-invasive and painless method to address the issue- red light therapy for hair growth! 

How does red light therapy help with hair growth? How to use red light therapy for hair growth? Does red light therapy regrow hair? Read on to find all the answers to your questions!

A Basic Description Of Hair

Hair sprouts from the hair follicles which are small, tunnel-shaped organs that generate hair. It is located in the epidermis – the outermost layer of the skin and extends to the dermis – a layer of tissues beneath the epidermis. It contains nerve endings, blood capillaries, hair follicles among many other structures.

What Causes Hair Loss?

Whether it’s the hair on your head or your beard, hair loss can be upsetting and cause emotional turmoil. These are some of the causes that can lead to hair loss:

1. Scalp Infections

Scalp infections can cause detrimental issues with hair loss. It can arise from a bacterial or fungal infestation, aside from skin conditions.

First and foremost, skin conditions such as eczema can lead to hair loss. Eczema is a skin condition that results in dryness, itchiness, and redness. To soothe the itching, people resort to scratching. Excessive scratching can damage the hair follicles leading to hair falling out. 

Bacterial infections can lead to scalp infections, such as folliculitis. It is an itchy and painful skin condition that can show up in the form of small red bumps. It affects the hair follicles which then leads to hair fall, temporarily. 

However, in more serious cases of folliculitis, it may cause permanent damage to the hair follicles. This leads to the inability of hair follicles to generate new hair growth.

Lastly, fungal infections, such as a ringworm infestation can show up in patches. It causes irritation to the scalp through itchiness and scaliness. Ringworms can be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal shampoos.

2. Genetics

The fact that genetics plays a huge role in male pattern baldness (MPB) is a sad reality. Men have the ‘XY’ chromosome configuration. They inherit the X chromosome from their mothers and the Y chromosome from their paternal side. 

The AR gene, found in X chromosomes, is strongly associated with male pattern baldness. A study conducted on 12,806 men of European descent revealed that men who inherit the AR gene is more prone to male pattern baldness, compared to the others. 
Therefore, people tend to associate balding with their maternal side. However, another research has found that approximately 80% of the male participants, who have experienced male pattern baldness, had a father who experienced baldness as well.

3. Styling Tools and Products

Hot styling tools, such as flat irons, and styling products such as hair wax, can lead to hair damage, ultimately resulting in hair loss.

However, the damage caused by styling products and tools is not permanent. It affects the hair already on your head by causing split ends, frizz, and dryness. 

Nevertheless, it does not affect the growth of new hair.

4. Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body attacks the present healthy tissues, by mistaking them to be harmful, foreign organisms. 

Alopecia areata is an example of an autoimmune disease. This is when the body targets the healthy hair follicle tissues and causes hair to fall out. 

The hair starts to fall out in patches. These patches may initially be small and negligible, however, they may soon develop into larger, more noticeable patches on your head. 

While this is a serious condition, the good news is that you will be able to grow back hair with proper treatments.

5. Some Other Factors

Other than the factors mentioned above, there are a few other factors that can cause hair to fall out:

  • Hormonal Factors
  • Stress
  • Nutrition
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medical Conditions (such as diabetes and thyroid disease)

Can Red Light Therapy Help With Hair Loss

If you have shared your hair fall concerns with loved ones or your even barber perhaps, you have likely come across the advice – “Massage your scalp”. 

So, why is massaging the scalp deemed to be a solution for hair loss? It is because massaging the scalp helps to regulate blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients in the scalp. This helps to prevent damage to the hair follicles, and grow thicker and healthier hair.

Red light therapy, or low-level laser therapy, effectively helps to stimulate blood flow and oxygen. It is a non-invasive procedure that involves red and near-infrared light at low wavelengths. This procedure is completely safe and painless.

Red light works on a cellular level, which means that it penetrates the skin, just below the surface levels, and helps to generate new hair growth by optimizing cellular activity. 

The mitochondria – the powerhouse of the cell – is stimulated by the red light and it begins to produce more energy, which is important for healing, lowering inflammation, and also producing new cells.

Now, it is important to know that when you lose hair, you do not lose the existing hair follicles. Red light therapy helps to stimulate the cells surrounding the hair follicles. This boosts cellular energy which helps the cells to replicate the healthy cells, resulting in hair growth.

How do they do that, you may ask? As mentioned before, the red light is taken in by the mitochondria, which is responsible for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – energy-carrying molecules. 

The ATP molecules are then more energized, assisting the cells in the hair follicle to speed up the process of replicating healthy cells. The faster generation of cells allows the papilla to create more keratin, which is an essential protein for healthy hair growth. 

Adding to that, red light therapy also helps to build collagen. While collagen is not typically found in hair, it helps to protect the hair against free radicals – compounds found in the body due to excessive stress, or environmental factors such as pollution, etc.

Related: Red Light Therapy & Green Tea Extract: The DermaDuo

Available Red Light Therapy Options

Previously, to obtain red light therapy you would have had to visit a professional clinic. However, due to the advancements of technology, you now have the option to reap the benefits of red light therapy from the comfort and privacy of your home.

In-office Red Light Therapy Treatment

There are many experts who have the option of red light therapy treatment available at their clinics – spas, dermatologists, estheticians, etc. 

A typical red light therapy treatment period may extend to about 10 weeks. During these 10 weeks, the recommended number of sessions may range from 1 to 3 weekly sessions, where each session may take approximately 15-20 minutes time.

The costs per session may vary widely depending on the expert you choose to seek the red light therapy treatment from. $40-$200 per session can be expected.

Note: It is important to follow up with your doctor, after the end of your recommended time period, to maintain the results.

At-Home Red Light Therapy Devices

While the at-home red light therapy devices are not as intense and powerful as the ones used at professional clinics, it is just as effective. These devices were designed with the safety concerns of inexperienced users, therefore, the lower power. 

Similar to in-office red light therapy treatments, it is recommended to start using the red light therapy device 1-3 times per week, for 10-15 minutes. 

While using the device, distance yourself at least 8 to 14 inches away from the device. This is the optimal distance as getting closer may harm your skin and cause irritation; whereas, moving further away may affect the efficacy of the treatment.

Now, you may face some heat from the light. This is not a safety hazard. Don’t worry. It is just the heat that is being emitted from the light.

Try This Red Light Therapy Hair Growth Routine

The application of topical treatments, such as ointments, hair masks, etc., alongside red light therapy can fasten the process of hair growth. Here are a few tips for you to include in your hair care routine, alongside red light therapy:

1. Try changing your shampoo and conditioner – Ingredients such as sulfate, parabens, and sodium chloride are very common in shampoos and conditioners. However, they are very harsh and damaging to the hair. 

Try to opt for a sulfate, paraben, and fragrance-free, mild shampoo to minimize irritation.

2. Use Hair Masks – Hair masks are very underrated when it comes to hair care. Hair masks can provide some essential nutrients to the hair that is important for healthy hair.

You may try a DIY hair mask made of eggs and green tea. Eggs are known for being protein-rich, thus, providing you with keratin care which is essential for stronger and thinger hair growth. Green tea, on the other hand, acts as an antioxidant to fight the fungal and bacterial infestation.

Furthermore, green tea is also known to pair well with red light therapy.

3. Refrain from using styling products and tools – We understand the importance of having your hair on fleek and the important role that styling tools and products play in that.

However, it is very damaging to the hair. It may not harm new hair growth, but it affects the health of existing hair by making them brittle and weak. 

Try to minimize the use of heating tools and styling products in order to have healthier hair in the long run.

Safety Tips!

  • Start by taking the treatment once a week, and working your way up to 3 to 5 days a week. This is for you to build a tolerance to the light.
  • Moving closer to the device may cause irritation to the skin. Therefore, make sure to keep a safe 8 to 14 inches distance between you and the device throughout each therapy session.
  • If you have sensitive skin, and your skin tends to get red and irritated after the treatment, try moving further back.
  • As a customer, you have full rights to know the technical specifications of a product before you invest in it. Therefore, you must opt for a brand that has detailed product specifications on its website/packaging. Detailed product specifications will help you to make an informed purchase decision based on your specific needs.

We recommend the Apollo V3 from Solaslight. They deliver high-quality products at reasonable prices, including free premium US shipping and a ‘buy now later policy’. 

Keep in mind that the light must reach the area you are targetting. You don’t have to worry about a couple of strands of hair facing away from the light. If the device is big and powerful enough, the light will be able to reach all the targetted areas.

The Apollo V3 is big enough to not only cover your full head, but also a large section of your body. As you may know, red light therapy has multiple health benefits, which this device will be able to address. 

It is also foldable for ease of transportation. Thus, it is the best red light therapy device for hair loss and hair growth. 

Red light therapy treatment is a long and slow procedure. It may take months to see significant results, although there have been some reports of noticeable differences after the first use. 

Nevertheless, be patient and consistent throughout the treatment period. Considering that red light therapy is a painless procedure, with long-term benefits, the wait is definitely worth it. 

Adding to that, it also does not have any harmful chemicals or side effects!

Before and After Effects Of Red Light Therapy For Hair Loss

If you have tried and got tired of the plethora of promising organic hair growth stimulators, numerous beard hair loss remedies in an attempt to save your hair, then red light therapy is for you. 

The positive red light therapy for hair loss before and after reviews speak for themselves. You don’t have to take our word for it. Do check it out for yourself!

These are some studies that have been conducted on red light therapy and its effects on hair loss and hair growth:

  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24474647/ – This is a study that was conducted, to test the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT), on both male and female patterns of baldness. A total of 269 subjects were gathered for the trial.

    The results were positive with a prominent improvement in hair health. There was an increase in hair density, as well as thickness and fullness.
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26690359/ – This report was an evidence-based review to check for the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss.

    The results showed that LLLTproved to be an effective and safe procedure for the participants who had not responded to or were not suitable for other standard hair loss treatments.
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12956694/ – 15 alopecia areata patients, over the age of 18, were taken in for this research. Among these participants, 46.7% of the areas that were irradiated showed fast results; 1.6 months earlier than the non-irradiated areas.
  • https://www.curetoday.com/view/lowlevel-light-therapy-another-option-for-chemotherapyinduced-hair-loss – 11 patients, from the ages of 20 to 60, who had recently undergone chemotherapy were selected for the trial. These patients were grouped into 2 groups where one group received light therapy and the other group received a placebo treatment. 

    After the initial 3 months, the patients who received light therapy had a 2.8% increase in hair growth compared to the patients who received the placebo treatment. After the next 3 months, the patients under light therapy experienced a 2.6% increase in hair growth.

    None of the patients reported having any adverse side effects of the treatment.

Key Points

  • A short description of hair
  • Factors that cause hair loss:
    1. Genetics
    2. Scalp Infections
    3. Autoimmune Diseases
    4. Styling Tools and Products
    5. Hormonal Factors
    6. Stress
    7. Nutrition
    8. Chemotherapy
    9. Medical Conditions, such as diabetes and thyroid disease
  • Red light therapy helps with hair loss by:
    1. Increasing the blood flow to the scalp.
    2. Stimulating the mitochondria, which boosts ATP production.
    3. Boosts collagen production
  • Available treatment options:
    1. In-Office treatments
    2. At-Home red light therapy devices

How Red Light Therapy Restores Hair

Red light therapy and androgenetic alopecia

Red light therapy and alopecia areata

Red light therapy and chemotherapy-induced alopecia

Red and Near-Infrared Light for Hair Growth: a Potent Combination

How Long Does It Actually Take to Regrow Hair?

Before and after

Pros and cons

Cases Where Red Light Does NOT Work 

Red Light Therapy More Effective than Hair Growth Drugs, with No Side Effects

Improved Hair Count, Density, Thickness, and Strength with Red Light

Red Light Proven Effective for Male Pattern Baldness Versus Sham Treatment

Treating Male Pattern Baldness with Red Light Therapy

Treating Female Pattern Baldness with Red Light Therapy

SPECIFIC STUDIES ON RED LIGHT THERAPY AND HAIR GROWTH

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265291/ – 47 women with AGA had either LED red light therapy applied to their scalp at 655 nm, or a sham treatment, every other day for 16 weeks. The active group showed significant improvement in hair counts compared to the control group.
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24474647/ – produced similar results, this time in both men and women. Researchers found a significant increase in hair density among participants, as well as self-reported improvements in thickness and fullness of hair, independent of sex.
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32790116/‘ – analyzed the various factors that might affect the effectiveness of red light therapy on AGA. It was found that duration of session, light pulsing, and energy fluence (number of joules per square centimeter) have a significant therapeutic effect on AGA.
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26690359/ – red light therapy and hair regrowth concluded that red light therapy is a safe and effective treatment for men and women suffering from AGA who have not responded to or were not tolerant of standard treatments.
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26690359/ – showed similar findings. Researchers hypothesize that the main mechanism involved is the stimulation of epithelial stem cells in the bulge of the hair follicle, as well as increased anagen activity.
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30027912/ – looked at red light therapy in combination with minoxidil. Results showed a significant increase in recovery from AGA as well as higher patient satisfaction in those having undergone the treatment compared to those in the control group
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12956694/ – on red light therapy and AA found that participants regrew hair 1.6 months earlier in irradiated areas compared to non-irradiated areas.
  • https://www.curetoday.com/view/lowlevel-light-therapy-another-option-for-chemotherapyinduced-hair-loss – on chemotherapy patients found that those undergoing red light therapy treatment showed 2.6 times more hair growth than those in the placebo group, with no adverse effects.

HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM RED LIGHT THERAPY FOR HAIR GROWTH AT HOME

https://rouge.care/blogs/rouge-red-light-therapy-blog/red-light-therapy-hair-growth
https://www.healthline.com/health/laser-treatment-for-hair-loss#does-it-work
https://www.degreewellness.com/2020/01/red-light-therapy-for-hair-growth-and-baldness/
https://platinumtherapylights.com/blogs/news/red-light-therapy-for-hair-loss

COMMON TREATMENTS FOR HAIR LOSS

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