Hair Transplant Facts: How Laser is Used

There are two main ways in which laser is used today regarding hair loss. One is as part of a hair transplant procedure: the laser can create the tiny slits where the new hairs will be transplanted. The other way is in form of laser therapy, which can reduce hair loss and stimulate hair growth.

While the term “laser hair transplant” is sometimes used, it is important to know that the laser is only used to create the recipient sites for where the transplanted hairs will be inserted. The laser is not used in any other part of the hair transplant process. While a few doctors believe that laser can minimize bleeding, the majority of doctors prefer not to use the laser at all as part of their hair transplant procedures, as it has not been found beneficial. If laser assisted hair transplants truly improved the final result, more doctors would be using it.

LLLT, which stands for Low Level Laser Therapy, is believed by some to stimulate hair growth and reduce shedding. LLLT is a non surgical method which can be used in both men and women, and appears to stimulate the hair follicle by increasing energy production. And increased circulation increases the nutrient supply that makes the hair grow. LLLT can be an alternative for those who are not hair transplant candidates or those who simply would like to wait before they opt for a hair transplant. LLLT devices do not burn the skin as they are not powerful enough to do so, and there are no known side effects.

It is possible that LLLT would have a small benefit to hair loss, and be a hair transplant alternative. However, there are many doctors who believe that laser therapy do not have any kind of benefit, while there are many other doctors that do. And then there are patients who can attest that laser therapy in deed worked and gave them fuller hair. For the skeptical, there are studies that show that laser therapy does increase the fullness of the hair.

LLLT can be used together with hair loss medications such as Rogaine, and the client can still decide to get a hair transplant at any time. Some clients find LLLT to be a non invasive and therapeutic solution. Though every hair clinic has their own procedures, a LLLT session typically lasts about half hour, and is repeated a couple of times per week for about 6 months, from where after occasional maintenance sessions could be needed.

While a number of laser devices have been approved by the FDA for treating hair loss, the long term effectiveness of these devices have yet to be determined. If you are interested in receiving laser therapy to see if it works in your case, your best option is to consult a well respected hair loss or hair transplant clinic to see if they have any options available.

Photo via Dr_Alan_Bauman

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