For patients who are not yet inclined to get invasive hair restoration treatments such as a hair transplant, LLLT can be a potential alternative. A combination of Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLT) and hair loss medications can boost the effects.
Medications would have to be taken indefinitely to maintain the results. While LLLT requires patients to initially undergo 20-minute sessions up to three times a week, and eventually dial it down to a monthly basis.
What is Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)?
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Low-Level Laser Therapy is an FDA-approved hair loss treatment that makes use of focused light energy to stimulate a biological reaction and hair regrowth.
A patient who undergoes Low-Level Laser Therapy is positioned under a headpiece, that may look like a salon steamer. The low-level lasers or red light inside the headpiece is directed at the patient’s head to start the treatment.
Once it starts, the LLLT device creates a warm and tingling sensation to some, while others claim that it is virtually painless. The effects of this treatment go deep into the underlying layers of the skin to stimulate a reaction. The light energy will be absorbed by the cells initiating cellular repair that ultimately leads to hair growth.
LLLT does not have any downtime. You can have the treatment done and return back to your usual activities.
LLLT and hair loss medications are efficient complementary treatments for hair loss. LLLT applies its therapeutic effect on the outside and reaches inwards, while medications aid in the chemical process inside the body to ultimately produce the desired result.
This treatment plan for hair loss is proven to be effective in promoting hair growth (Lanzafame et.al., 2013). However, there are some men who prefer to forgo hair loss medications for fear of reported side effects, which is why some try the restorative effects of LLLT.
It is true that for both treatments, their results will take time before its effect can be observed.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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READ OUR FAQ’S ON LOW-LEVEL LASER THERAPY AT DR TYNG TAN AESTHETICS AND HAIR CLINIC.
1. WHAT CAUSES HAIR LOSS?
Hair loss has multiple causes, such as genetics, poor diet and lifestyle, hormones, stress, medications and treatments, and hair products.
2. WHO ARE AT RISK FOR HAIR LOSS?
- Genetically predisposed individuals (this can either be from the mother or father side)
- Highly stressed individuals
- Those undergoing chemotherapy
- Those who wear tight hairstyles
- Severely malnourished individuals
- Older individuals
3. HOW CAN I PREVENT HAIR LOSS?
You have to know that hair loss can either be preventable or unpreventable. Lifestyle factors, diet, and hairstyles are the ones which you can control. So, avoiding these can help you prevent hair loss from occurring. However, genetics and aging are some of the uncontrollable factors that can lead to hair loss.
4. WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS AVAILABLE FOR HAIR LOSS?
- Hair Loss Pills/Medications
- Herbal remedies
- Hair Transplant Surgery
5. IS A LOW-LEVEL LASER TREATMENT RELIABLE IN TREATING HAIR LOSS?
LLLT is an appropriate treatment for people who prefer to try other options first other than pharmacological treatments and surgical procedures. Low Light Level Laser help stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss in a gradual manner. It is also considered a good complementary treatment to hair transplant surgery by stimulating faster wound healing and hair growth.
We use medical-grade lasers which are solely available in medical clinics. It comes with a stronger intensity which translates to fewer sessions and faster results. Furthermore, it has a wider coverage on the scalp. It can also target hair thinning on the side and back of the head, like a Norwood VI-VII pattern where there is dipping at the back of the head. This is not covered by most home LLLT caps or portable laser devices.
6. WHEN DO I DECIDE ON SURGICAL TREATMENT FOR HAIR LOSS?
Hair transplant surgery should be considered as your last option. It is wise to consider this invasive treatment only after you have tried out other treatments. But even with surgery, the doctor would first assess whether you will pass as a good candidate or not.
7. ARE LASER TREATMENT BETTER THAN MEDICATIONS WHEN IT COMES TO REVERSING HAIR LOSS?
This will actually depend on how the patient responds to the treatment. However, it is worth noting that laser treatment doesn’t have any side effects compared to medications, making it safer and convenient.
To know which is a suitable treatment for your case, and if using both would be to your advantage, you must first undergo a thorough assessment by your doctor.
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About Dr Tyng Tan
Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan, MBBS is one of the few doctors approved by the Singapore Medical Council to carry out both FUE and FUT hair transplant (which includes non-shaved FUE where donor hair length is preserved and reduction in downtime after surgery is possible to achieve). Her special interest is in hair loss and hair transplantation and she is recognized as a graduate fellow of the ISHRS after completing a lengthy fellowship at an ISHRS approved institution.