I have covered lasers and hair growth on this blog a number of times in the past, but have neglected the subject of late. However, a spate of new studies on this subject from around the world have put lasers back on my mind.
New LLLT Studies
When people discuss laser treatments for hair loss, low level laser therapy (LLLT) is usually what they mean. There have been many studies done in the past that show LLLT to be beneficial towards scalp hair growth. However, a large number of those studies have been of subpar quality (e.g., small sample size, bad photos) or biased (e.g., sponsored by a laser device manufacturer) and this subject remains somewhat controversial. In the past month, three new studies have been published in support of low level laser therapy to treat hair loss:
A study from China concluded that LLLT stimulates hair growth in mice via upregulating the expression of Wnt10b and β-catenin. Hair follicle count remained the same in LLLT treated mice versus untreated mice, but hair length increased in the former. If this holds true in humans, perhaps LLLT can really make existing hair stronger and less likely to die/shrivel from the attack by dihydrotestosterone (or at least prolong the battle). However, long-lost hair is probably not going to return from LLLT.
A study from Iran tested a new laser scanner device (with a combination 655 nm red laser plus 808 nm infrared laser) by comparing it with a 655 nm red light laser hat. Both products led to hair growth benefits, but the laser scanner was superior.
A study from Egypt on female hair loss sufferers found that combination LLLT+Minoxidil 5% treatment led to the better outcomes (measured via Ludwig scale classification and patient satisfaction) in comparison to LLLT only or Minoxidil 5% only treatments.
Blue Light > Red Light?
A new study via a European collaboration effort found that a UV-free blue light laser (453 nm wavelength) led to hair growth via prolongation of the anagen phase of the hair cycle, but a red light laser (689 nm length) did not do the same. This result is surprising since most commercially available LLLT laser products (combs, caps, helmets) are of around 650 nm wavelength (i.e., in the red light spectrum). Interestingly, a 2015 study from South Korea found that 830 nm laser was superior to lower wavelength lasers (of 632 nm, 670 nm and 785 nm) when it came to hair growth in rats.
The above mentioned European study also made an important finding: “We provide the first evidence that OPN2 and OPN3 are expressed in human hair follicles”.
Combining Fractional CO2 laser therapy and Hair Growth Factors
***ALL ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED AS OF SEPTEMBER 6th 2016. PLEASE READ NEXT POST FOR WINNER NOTIFICATION.***
Please read the post till the end to follow the rules. I am not selling the below product, nor getting any fee to write this post.
FYI — in case you win, you will have to verify that you are the same person by posting another comment next week via the same computer/IP address (I can see those each time you comment) and same name. Any suspicious entries/repeat entries from new first time commentators will be ignored. For first-time commentators, please put in your exact correct e-mail address instead of a fake one when prompted before making a comment. I will be emailing you if you win.
iRestore New Hair for the New Year Giveaway
Several days ago, someone from a public relations company contacted me and asked me if I was willing to give away a free iRestore laser hair growth system to one of my readers via a random drawing. This is part of a promotion called “New Hair for the New Year” with the logic being that the laser will take 12 weeks to work, just in time for the coming new year. I accepted the offer, since these laser devices are quite expensive and not guaranteed to work on everyone. Do note that there is some evidence (e.g., see here and here) that low level laser/light therapy (LLLT) does benefit hair growth. Lasers are unlikely to ever stimulate hair growth in areas that are totally bald, but there is a chance that lasers will make your existing hair stronger. In fact I have noticed that that my own hair feels stronger and denser when I have been outdoors in the sun for half the day, although there is perhaps no strong connection between sunlight versus focused proximal laser light.
The iRestore laser device is FDA cleared for sale in the US. Below is a photo of the device:
Prize Drawing Rules and Notes
This sweepstakes/prize drawing is for US residents only(although if you are a nonresident who has a reliable physical US address, you can still participate).
All you have to do is post a comment to this post and state that “I want to enter the prize drawing” or something similar such as “I am in”. Note that if you have never made a comment on this blog before, I will need to approve your first comment and it will be on hold for a bit or might go to the spam folder. Also note that if you are posting a comment, you do not need to fill out the URL box (just leave it blank please) when prompted. When you fill out the name and e-mail boxes when writing a comment, you can enter a fake name, but please enter a valid e-mail address. If you do win the prize, I will announce it on this blog and e-mail you, and then you will need to e-mail me your real name and real physical address. I will not share your information with anyone other than the company that sends out the free iRestore laser device.
Do not enter more than once!
The drawing is supposed to be random, so what I will do is that once I have all the entries (most likely I will wait for anywhere from 5-10 days before closing), is pick one name at random. However, if the name I pick is someone who has made too many foolish comments on this blog in the past (i.e., one of just 5 or so people that I recall in three years of writing this blog), I will redraw to find a more suitable winner.
If commenting for the first time, I also highly recommending sticking to the same username once you pick one. And try not to pick something like “Mike” “Matt” “Joe” etc… that has already been taken before and causes too much confusion. At least add a number to the end of a name if its a very common name like the ones that I just listed.
Finally, I am trusting that this company that has contacted me will make sure that the device gets to the winner on time. They have assured me that it will get there within several days of my notifying them of the winner, so hopefully the lucky man or woman will get it in two weeks from today at the very latest.