LaserCap® Continues to Lead the Way in Low Level Laser Therapy
It has been over 50 years since it was discovered that Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) could be effective in the treatment of hair loss. We have come a long way from those initial findings on laboratory mice in Hungary. In 2009 one of the first randomized, double blind, and multicentered studies, which is considered the gold standard for studies, was completed and proved that LLLT was effective in the treatment of androgenic alopecia. After the study in 2009, LLLT quickly became a more accepted and we started to see more practitioners offer this as a treatment. However, since 2009, and especially over the past few years, we have seen an influx in LLLT devices, which makes it difficult for patients to choose the best one. Before we get to the devices, it is important to understand LLLT and how it works.
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. LLLT has been proven to be effective for Androgenic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss), Traction Alopecia, Telogen Effluvium, and even some forms of Alopecia Areata.
Over the past few years there has been an increase in Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) devices of all shapes and sizes, which has caused confusion for patients about which device to choose. Making it even tougher is that we have found many companies that try to take advantage of this confusion by offering what they claim are similar laser caps to the well-known brands, but with less laser diodes and energy output, which are really important differences. With that being said, we continue to strongly believe that the LaserCap® company offers the best laser caps on the market and here is why:
Energy Per Treatment
LLLT studies have shown that the optimal amount of energy needed during a LLLT treatment is 4 joules/cm2. LaserCap® company recently tested many of the popular devices and found that not only does LaserCap® beat the other models, but many of the other models are not getting close to the optimal dose of energy. (Please note the LaserCap HD was formerly called the LCPro 224 and the LaserCap HD+ was formerly called the Flex300)
There is a debate in the LLLT world between pulsed vs continuous light. Anyone who has used a LaserCap® device knows that the laser diodes flash (or pulse) during treatment. Some other devices on the market have started using continuous light. We believe that the pulsed light LLLT devices are superior as the pulsing allows the laser to cool and rest when switched off, which means the lasers can deliver peak intensity for a longer period of time and deliver better penetration into the tissue of the scalp.
Safe and Durable
We have found that many of the new devices in the market are coming from China with little quality control. The LaserCap® company devices are made in the USA and FDA Cleared for the treatment of female hair loss. The company has a proven track record of over 10 years of delivering a superior product. LaserCap® company is so confident in their devices that they offer a limited Lifetime Warranty on their laser caps.
One of the biggest issues patients have with LLLT is compliance. LLLT can be a great treatment, but only if the device is used as prescribed. Compliance tends to increase when the device is easy to use and one of the pros of the laser cap is it offers complete coverage and it does not need to be moved throughout the scalp. This not only increases patient compliance, but it ensures equal treatment to all areas of the scalp.
If you think LLLT may be right for you it is important to meet with a hair loss specialist that can ensure the treatment is appropriate and recommend the best device for your type of hair loss.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
Is Seasonal Shedding Real and Does it Happen in the Summer?
Over the past few weeks we have heard from a number of patients regarding concerns that they are seeing an increase in shedding. It seems like we see an increase in complaints of shedding every year beginning in July and August and lasting through September and October. Which begs the question, is seasonal shedding real, and if so, what can we do about it?
Before we can answer this question, there are two important points to know. First, shedding is normal. On average we shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day. Secondly, we need to understand that our hair follicles are constantly going through a life cycle of three stages:
- Anagan – The growth phase. Typically lasts three to five years and this is when new hairs grow from the follicle and are healthy and thick.
- Catagen – The transition phase. Typically lasts around 10 days and the hairs detach from the blood supply.
- Telogen – The resting phase. Typically lasts around 3 months and the hair dies and falls out.
This growth cycle of the follicle is constantly happening and not all of the hairs are in the same phase at the same time. However, when an increased number of hairs are in the telogen phase, that is what can cause an increase in shedding. Studies have shown that there is cyclicality to when a greater number of our hairs tend to be in the telogen phase. According to one study published in 2009 (Seasonality of hair shedding in healthy women complaining of hair loss.), after reviewing the cases of 823 women, the authors found that there were two times when telogen rates where at their highest, the first was in the summer and the second was in the spring. Since the telogen phase lasts around 3 months, we would expect the increased shedding to occur 3 months after these peak times, which would be mid-summer and fall. It is not completely known why we see an increase in the percentage of hairs in the telogen phase during the spring and summer, but many people believe it has to do with the extreme weather we experience in late spring and summer.
While we cannot change the weather, there are some tactics you can utilize to try to improve the health of your hair during the spring and summer. In the summer heat, hair tends to get dry and damaged, so make sure you are using a good conditioner. Supplements like Nutrafol or Viviscal can ensure that your hair is receiving all of the necessary building blocks to stay healthy. Lastly, low level laser therapy has been shown to slow down and stop increases in shedding.
Lastly, if you notice an increase in shedding this fall, remember that it is most likely due to seasonal shedding. Seasonal shedding is even more likely in the fall than in the summer. If you are ever concerned that what you are experiencing is more than just seasonal shedding, make sure to see a hair loss specialist that can evaluate your hair and provide proper guidance.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team
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