Hair restoration surgeon
Boca Raton, FL
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Low Level Laser Therapy/LLLT for hair loss
January 4, 2010 5:49 AM
When I prescribe Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to a patient, it is with the understanding that we are 'targeting' minaturized hair follicles with this non-invasive, non-chemical
When I prescribe Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to a patient, it is with the understanding that we are 'targeting' minaturized hair follicles with this non-invasive, non-chemical treatment. Over the past ten years, I've found that while LLLT is certainly NOT a miracle cure for hair loss, it does have the ability to improve the quality of hair produced by hair follicles in many cases which can be of great benefit to those suffering from thinning hair.
However, for patients with male pattern hair loss, I always recommend the fda-approved medications (propecia/finasteride and/or minoxidil/rogaine) first. In women, minoxidil is the primary non-invasive treatment.
If there are areas that are severely depleted of hair follicles or otherwise bare or bald, LLLT is NOT likely to have much benefit, other than perhaps accelerating healing after hair transplantation.
Both men and women with thinning hair can benefit from LLLT, depending on the amount of hair they still have.
Over ten years, I've had the opportunity to use nearly every LLLT in-office device available and we've had experience with most portable units. I can tell you that while all are effective to some degree, there are major differences in ease-of-use and overall effectiveness. I am very familiar with the unit that you mentioned. Our current in-office units are the Sunetics 107 diode panel arrays, which operate at 650nm and 5mw output. The Sunetics unit has the ability to cover the entire scalp without requiring rotation because each diode offers a wide-angle beam (not a collamated spot-beam). New devices are coming available with significant improvements each year.
Our portable hand-held LLLT device of choice is the Erchonia THL-1 which is excellent for patients who cannot come into the office for treatment or want the convenience of an at-home that only requires 4 minutes every other day.
Regardless of whether you are doing treatments at a physician's office or at home, you should always have standardized medical photos taken at regular intervals along with microscopic hair-density and hair-caliber measurements to track your progress during your follow-up visits with the doctor.
Keep in mind that it takes months to see moderate improvement with non-invasive therapies. How long have you been using laser therapy?
Alan J. Bauman MD
Bauman Medical Group
Certified, American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery