Everything You Need to Know About Low-Level Laser Therapy for Hair Rejuvenation
Losing your hair can be a devastating event for women, but thanks to new medical technologies, female hair loss doesn't have to be permanent. With a variety of hair rejuvenation processes available to you, odds are you'll find an effective treatment. Laser therapy is just one of those methods, but one that's relatively unknown.
If you're looking into the best types of hair loss treatments, here's a bit more information on why low-level laser therapy is so effective in hair rejuvenation for women.
What is low-level laser therapy?
Low-level laser therapy is fairly self-explanatory. The process, also referred to as red light therapy and photobiomodulation, involves exposing the scalp to very low levels of concentrated light. Low-level laser therapy stimulates the hair follicle cells to grow in the scalp and increases cellular activity around the follicle. This also decreases inflammation so existing hairs can grow thicker and stronger.
Are there any side effects?
Fortunately, the side effects here are basically non-existent. The light is at such a low level that patients will barely even feel the treatment being done. This has been a popular hair rejuvenation treatment in Europe for over 30 years, and hardly any side effects have been discovered in that time.
Who are the ideal candidates for this procedure?
Low-level laser therapy is an excellent procedure that tackles hair rejuvenation for women. Considering that some 21 million U.S. women are currently experiencing some form of female pattern hair loss, it's also in high demand among this demographic. Regardless of demand, hair loss specialists frequently recommend this treatment to patients experiencing any level of hair loss or thinning.
How is the laser therapy administered?
Any form of low-level laser therapy must be prescribed by a trained hair loss specialist. Hair loss specialists typically recommend three treatments per week. At Medi Tresse we offer multiple at home devices, which allow you to complete the treatment in the comfort of your house on your own schedule.
Whether you're experiencing hair loss or you're concerned about the first signs of thinning hair, don't rule low-level laser therapy out! It could just be the female hair rejuvenation solution you've been searching for. Call us at 800-840-HAIR for a free consultation. At Medi Tresse, we offer only non-surgical treatments that are clinically proven to treat female hair loss.
Are all Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Devices the same?
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has become one of the most popular treatments for female hair loss, and with the increase in popularity we have also seen an increase in at home options. However, many patients tell us it can be confusing when they try to research and compare all of the LLLT devices. Before we get into the devices, it is important to understand what exactly is LLLT.
LLLT stimulates the hair follicle cells to grow in the scalp and increases cellular activity around the follicle. This also decreases inflammation so existing hairs can grow thicker and stronger. While LLLT has been proven to be effective for many years, the 2014 double-blind study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, truly showed the power of LLLT in treating hair loss.
With a simple internet search, you will find a number of at home LLLT devices, such as the LCPro by LaserCap, the Capillus, the LaserBand 82 by HairMax, the Theradome, or the iGrow, and this can be very overwhelming to the patient. However, there are a few key differences that you need to look out for when comparing devices. First, the laser wavelength should be between 650nm-655nm. Secondly, the laser output per diode should be 5mw. Thirdly, the diodes should be true lasers and not just red lights. Lastly, the number of diodes is extremely important. Many of the full caps are sold with varying numbers of diodes, often varying between 80 and 272, but you truly need at least 220 diodes in the cap to ensure you are receiving the proper coverage to the entire scalp. While some products like the HairMax LaserBand 82 only have 82 diodes, since they only cover a third of the head, they have the sufficient number of diodes in the treatment area, you just have to move the device to treat the entire scalp.
If you think you are interested in LLLT, it is important to speak with a hair loss specialist that can not only determine if a LLLT device is right for you, but guide you through the decision making process to purchase the best device.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
What Is Female Pattern Hair Loss
Female pattern hair loss (FPHL), clinically known as Androgenic or Androgenetic Alopecia, is the most common cause of hair thinning and loss in women. Up to 50 % of women have some degree of female pattern hair loss in their lifetime. It certainly is more common as women age, particularly after menopause, but it can start as early as the teenage years. Female pattern hair loss tends to run in families, and inheritance can be from either the mother or father, but sometimes there is no family history. We know that hormones play a role in this type of hair loss, especially the “androgenic” hormones such as testosterone.
Female pattern hair loss is typically more pronounced in the frontal areas of the scalp. Over time the hair shaft gets thinner in a process known as “miniaturization”. Your hair goes through a constant life cycle, as we naturally shed and grow new hairs. However, miniaturization occurs, because the anagen phase, or growth phase, of the hair cycle gets shorter, which means the hair is not able to grow as long or thick as it has in the past. Eventually if not treated, the affected hair will continue to get smaller and disappear completely.
The good news is there are great treatment options for female pattern hair loss, but it is very important to start as early as possible. If a hair has been lost for a long time there is no way to get it back, unless you surgically transplant a different follicle in that area. However, with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) you can reverse the miniaturization and thicken and grow existing hairs. If your loss is recent, we may be able to re-activate dormant follicles so that they start producing a hair again. If you think you may be experiencing signs of female pattern hair loss it is important to see a hair loss specialist as soon as possible so that they can diagnose your type of hair loss and come up with a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Formula 82M vs OTC Minoxidil
When many patients start to see signs of hair loss, their first thought is often to try one of the many over the counter minoxidil treatments. Minoxidil is a topical treatment, and the most commonly known brand is Rogaine. Minoxidil can be a great first step for hair loss, and was FDA approved in 1988. Patients experiencing Androgenic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss), Telogen Effluvium, and early Traction Alopecia are good candidates for minoxidil.
While minoxidil can be a good first step for patients with early signs of hair loss, many patients feel that over the counter minoxidil treatments can be irritating or make their hair greasy. At Medi Tresse we offer a specially compounded minoxidil solution called Formula 82M, which combats these issues. Formula 82M is specially formulated to be less irritating and less greasy, while also having a higher absorption rate, which means your scalp and follicles will receive a greater percentage of the minoxidil in Formula 82M than with an over the counter option.
Most patients will start to see a benefit from Formula 82M in three to six months, but for some patients it could take six to twelve months. At Medi Tresse we have seen the best results for patients when they combine the Formula 82M with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy or a Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) device like a laser cap. If you think you may be experiencing signs of hair loss the first step should always be to see a hair loss specialist who can not only diagnose your type of hair loss, but provide you with a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
New Year's Resolutions For Your Hair Health
If you are anything like the team here at Medi Tresse, you have probably spent the last month coming up with a list of New Year's Resolutions for 2017. Since our main focus at Medi Tresse is the well-being of your hair, we just want to make sure you do not forget about the health of your locks this upcoming year! Here are a few resolutions that will help improve hair health and decrease breakage in 2017!
- Take a daily multivitamin to help assure your follicles are provided with the adequate nutrition they need to grow strong. The following vitamins and minerals are essential for not only hair, but healthy skin and nails as well:
- Copper, Iron, Zinc, Biotin, Vitamins B6, B12, A, C, D, E, and Omega-3’s
- While taking a daily multi-vitamin is great, nothing beats the natural vitamins and nutrients we get from our diet. Try to make foods that are naturally high in vitamins and nutrients essential to hair health a staple in your diet, such as dark leafy greens, which are high in Iron, Copper, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E or avocados, which are high in Biotin and Copper. You can find a full list of foods in our Avoid the Crash Diet This New Year blog post.
- Try to use the same shampoo for at least 6 months before changing it. Hair can respond to the changing chemicals in the shampoos and become too dry.
- Trim your hair every 6-8 weeks, which promotes strong, healthy locks that are free of brittle split-ends.
- Try not to over style your hair. While you can find a blow dryer and flat iron straightener in all of our bathrooms, just remember that excessive heat can damage the hair, and we want to be careful not to dry out the follicle. Moderation is the key when it comes to using your blow dryer and flat iron.
If you have any hair health questions in 2017, please remember you can always reach out to the Medi Tresse teams in Boston and Chattanooga. Most importantly, we hope that you and your family have a safe and healthy 2017.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
Avoid The Crash Diet This Year
It’s hard to believe that the New Year is upon us! As we begin to prepare for the year ahead, New Year’s resolutions often involve new diets and weight loss goals, especially after the Holiday splurge! If losing weight is on your list of resolutions this year, we have a few tips for you.
What you may not be aware of is that both rapid and extreme weight loss, as well as crash diets can actually cause hair loss! Hair loss due to dieting is typically caused by deficiencies in key nutrients, especially if the diet involves food restrictions or limitations. However, often times it may just be due to the changes in your diet or the new drastic loss of weight. Drastic changes on the body, including loss of weight can put a lot of stress on the body. Hair follicles are very vulnerable to this, and often start to shed as a result! This is called Telogen Effluvium, and it is the body’s response to stress. Typically hair loss caused by dieting and weight loss is temporary and can be restored with the proper treatment plan and a balanced diet. However, the key is to lose weight safely in order to limit or avoid hair loss all together.
In order to lose weight you must decrease the number of calories that you take in, either by dieting, exercising, or both. Unfortunately, certain “fad diets” deprive the body of important nutrients that can affect hair growth! For example, while making dietary changes, you want to make sure that your body is still receiving enough biotin, iron, zinc, copper, protein, and vitamins A, C, and E. While it is always best to get these nutrients from natural sources, you should consider taking supplements and multivitamins to ensure your body is receiving the necessary levels of these nutrients, especially while pursuing a weight loss program. Here are some examples of foods from which you can get these vitamins and nutrients naturally:
Oily fish – salmon, tuna
Meats – liver
Meats – liver
Dark leafy greens
Coffee – decaf
Cocoa powder – unsweetened
Meats – red meat, pork, poultry
Dark green leafy vegetables - spinach
Dried fruit - apricots
Iron-fortified breads and pastas
Seafood – oysters
Meats – beef, lamb
Seed – pumpkin and squash
Nuts – cashews
Cocoa powder – unsweetened
Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach)
Citrus — Fruits in general
Almonds – nuts in general
Dark leafy greens
Lastly, it is important to avoid “shocking” your body with a crash diet. A crash diet is when you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time. Not only can this cause hair loss, but usually the loss is short lived and weight is gained back much easier then if it was lost slowly and safely. You never want to lose more than 2 pounds per week, and your diet changes and weight loss should be gradual.If you think you are suffering hair loss caused by recent weight loss or changes in diet, it is always best to consult a hair loss specialist that can diagnose the underlying cause of the hair loss and work with you to create a proper treatment plan. Medi Tresse is your local hair loss treatment team; we provide hair loss treatment to women throughout Boston and Chattanooga.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
What Kind Of Results Can I Expect From Treatments At Medi Tresse?
When patients come in for a consultation at Medi Tresse we always ask them what is the goal of their hair loss treatment. The reason for this is to make sure we can set proper expectations for what can be achieved from our treatments. With all of our treatments, we have three main goals; stop further loss, make the hair you have healthier, and if possible regrow hair. We like to remind all of our patients that attaining any of these goals is a success.
Stopping further loss is the most important step, as we want to prevent further thinning on the scalp. Unfortunately, most hair loss is progressive, which means it will continue if not treated. Through our treatments, if we are able to prevent further loss that is truly a success! While it may be difficult to appreciate stopping the loss, the truth is that without treatment the progressive thinning would continue and the hair loss would get worse. That is why it is so important to start treatment early.
Our second goal through treatment is to encourage growth of healthier hair. Over time, as hair follicles age, they actually miniaturize or decrease in diameter, and eventually will be lost for good. Our goal is to reverse this miniaturization to promote thicker hair growth. When patient’s have lots of miniaturized follicles, you are able to see the scalp much easier, which gives the look of more significant loss. When we are able to reverse this miniaturization and provide thicker healthier hair, the scalp is less visible and the appearance of hair loss can decrease greatly.
The final goal, if possible, is to regrow hair. While the reversal of miniaturization actually gives the appearance of regrown hair, there are times we can actually regrow dormant follicles. If a dormant follicle is still alive we hope to be able to reactivate it into an active growth phase to grow the hair. However, this is not always possible if the follicle has been dormant for too long, which can occur if the hair loss has been progressing for many years.
Posted By Your Medi Tresse Team