Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss: What Is It and Does It Work?Some people may not have enough time and patience to wait for their locks to grow back using their hair care favorites. Therefore, they opt to undergo medical treatments, even if these are costly. They believe that it pays to invest in hair growth treatments. Not only will your hair grow longer and stronger, but it will also appear more healthy-looking and lustrous in no time. For instance, using red light for hair growth has been a popular method of treating hair loss problems.
How does red light prevent hair fall? Sit back and relax as you discover everything you need to know about red light therapy.
All You Need to Know about RLT: What is Red Light Therapy?
The use of red light for therapies first debuted in 1896 when Dr. Niels Ryberg Finsen developed light therapy for treating lupus vulgaris. The affected areas were treated daily using a beam of red light, thereby healing the autoimmune disease's skin injuries. Years later, devices were developed to improve light therapy's effects on wound healing, skin diseases and hair growth issues.
Based on its name, Red Light Therapy (RLT) is a therapeutic therapy involving red light to treat integumentary issues. RLT is also known as Low-level Light Therapy (LLLT). Using a device that emits red light, low-level wavelengths penetrate the skin to reach the cells underneath the targeted area. Once these cells absorb the radiated light, their mitochondria (the cell's powerhouse) become more agitated, thereby increasing ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. Because of that, more energy is released to stimulate the cells. These powered-up cells do not only improve your body's physiological functions. They can also hasten tissue and organ growth and recovery, including your hair.
Red Light Therapy and Hair Growth: How Does RLT Work for Your Hair?
Using red light as a means of treating hair loss is possible and plausible. Contrary to common belief, this non-surgical treatment does not cause any physical injury. Since it can neither scratch nor burn your skin, this method is safe for humans.
When the intensive wavelengths hit the targeted hair cells, they become more energized, helping the follicles prosper during the anagen phase. As a result, more hair strands can elongate for an extended period.
Meanwhile, stimulating hair cells can also avoid follicles from falling into the telogen or resting phase, thereby keeping your strands active and thriving.
The Pros: What Benefits Can You Reap from RLT?
How can your hair benefit from red light exposure? Check out several of RLT's hair growth repercussions.
1. It can increase your hair's density.
Most people with hair growth problems are concerned with their thinning hair. It's a good thing that undergoing RLT can shoo those worries away. Various scientific investigations show that using red light can escalate hair growth, thereby amplifying your hair density.
Besides exciting the follicles, red light can also stimulate proper blood circulation. Thus, it helps the blood to reach the follicles and deliver enough oxygen and nutrients, resulting in healthier and thicker hair strands.
2. It can keep your locks long and healthy.
Of course, well-nourished follicles will produce healthy-looking and fuller strands, which can withstand physical tension. RLT can also prolong the hair in the growth phase, thereby allowing your strands to lengthen day by day.
3. It can reduce scalp inflammations.
Specific cells in the immune system protect the body by discharging cytokines, which control inflammation. Research shows that red light's anti-inflammatory properties can decrease cytokine production.
Low-level light is also known to curb any scalp irritation caused by a surge of interleukins (IL). These proteins are also in charge of epidermal inflammations as an immune response.
4. It does not have any adverse effect on the body.
RLT is a non-invasive therapy; there is no need for the patient's skin to be cut and opened. So, there is little to no chance of having post-therapy infections or complications.
How Can Red Light Therapy Cure Hair Loss Problems?
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, red light therapy is known to cure female alopecia. Shed some light on how RLT can revive your locks from hair loss problems.
1. Androgenetic Alopecia
Various researchers have sought cures for hair loss problems such as androgenetic alopecia. This type of alopecia is triggered by an influx of dihydrotestosterone in the body. Based on a 2013 study published by PubMed, there was a significant increase in hair count among androgenetic alopecia patients who underwent the low-level light therapy. Seven years later, another study has been conducted to show the effects of LLT on androgenetic alopecia. The results show an improvement in hair density among AGA-diagnosed participants.
2. Female Pattern Baldness
Besides hormones, genetics can also be held responsible for male and female pattern baldness. However, RLT can prevent this hereditary condition from causing disastrous hair loss. A 2019 study showed the impact of low-level light therapy on dermal papilla cells. The results showed a significant improvement in hair growth among the participants after receiving a six-month red-light treatment.
3. Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium happens when the follicles are forced to rest in the telogen phase, causing premature hair shedding. This hair loss condition is usually triggered by physiological stress or hormonal imbalance.
But don't worry, for RLT can save you from losing your hair strands. After re-energizing your hair cells, it is less likely that your follicles will fall into the resting state. Studies also show red light's capability to stimulate telogen follicles for anagen re-entry, allowing them to thrive once again. Thus, their comeback can make your hair more voluminous.
4. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease, is another hair loss condition triggered by your T-cells targeting and attacking your hair follicles. This infiltration can impede follicle growth and development in the anagen phase, thereby hampering healthy growth.
In 2016, a group of Korean researchers published a study on laser treatment for alopecia. The results showed a significant increase in hair regrowth among AA patients who received low-light laser therapy. Three years later, another investigation indicated that photobiomodulation, another name for RLT, can stimulate mitochondrial metabolism, resulting in a lesser T-cell invasion. As a result, fewer inflammations can occur on the hair follicles, which is good news for those with alopecia areata.
5. Postmenopausal Hair Loss
For women, the "life" of having to deal with hormonal problems begins at 40. Even after menopause, one can still feel the after-effects of losing hormones. Since the ovaries will never be active again in estrogen production unlike before, thinning hair and hair loss have become postmenopausal issues amongst women.
A loss of estrogens is a loss of hair strands since these female hormones help regulate hair growth and regrowth. Therefore, some studies have backed up RLT as a therapeutic option for postmenopausal alopecia. This treatment excites the resting follicles and regrows new ones, resulting in increased hair density and high-quality locks for women.
The Cons of Undergoing Red Light Therapy: What Are The Risks?
What's the other side of RLT? Be enlightened about the risks of undergoing red light therapy for hair loss problems.
1. There is still a need for more studies showing RLT as the best hair loss treatment.
As more methods have been discovered to battle hair loss signs, there is a need for more studies to prove and elevate RLT's status as a top-tier and effective hair loss treatment. The more investigations are made, the more people will be encouraged to try RLT for their alopecia problems.
2. Prolonged exposure to RLT has not been thoroughly investigated.
Even though various researches have shown red light therapy's promising results on many types of alopecia, there aren't enough extensive studies to verify RLT's long-term safety and effectiveness on humans.
3. Too much light may cause irreparable damages to the skin and tissues.
Red light therapy may be a non-invasive and non-surgical therapy, but there must be more in-depth research to study on RLT's possible damages on the skin and tissues.
4. Undergoing red light therapy may be costly compared to hair growth products.
One session of red light therapy is more expensive than a bottle of shampoo or conditioner. Thus, you must prepare for the expenditures if you're determined to push through this hair growth therapy.
RLT Can Light Up Your World By Treating Your Hair Loss Problem.
Your hair needs your help to survive. Thus, opt to have the best and safest hair growth treatments such as red light therapy. RLT focuses not only on producing hair strands, but it especially assures that the hair follicles are active and healthy. Therefore, it is essential to consult a hair care expert or dermatologist before undergoing RLT to avoid complications. After all, you must prioritize both your hair and your overall health above anything else.
Shed Some Light on Hair Growth.
Learn more about female alopecia and discover other hair loss treatments besides red light therapy. Increase your hair count and enhance your locks' quality by using the best Thicktails Hair Growth products.