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Study Finds LLLT Increases Hair Density in Women with Hair Loss


A study published in the Lasers in Surgery and Medicine journal investigating the growth of human scalp hair in females using visible red light laser and LED sources has revealed its findings.

The research concluded that these forms of therapy, such as that employed by LaserComb devices, are equally as effective in women as they are in men.

Tested efficacy for female pattern hair loss

iGrow hair loss hatStudy author Raymond J. Lanzafame, MD PLLC and his team explored whether low level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) would prove as effective at stimulating hair growth in women with genetic hair loss, as it is in men with the same condition.

Researchers conducted double-blind randomised and controlled trials on women with Female Pattern Hair Loss to establish the safety and physiologic effects of LLLT.

The study was funded by Apira Science, the company behind the iGrow laser helmet (pictured right) which uses LLLT and is marketed as an at-home hair growth booster for both men and women. Although the LLLT devices used within the trials are not named, it is fair to assume they were iGrows given the funding connection and the study’s description of the treatment devices being ‘bicycle-helmet like apparatus’.

LLLT research methods

LLLT Sham Group Results Photographs

Sham treatment group subject pre and post treatment image examples. Hair counts for subject A were 151 at baseline and 166 post treatment. Hair counts for subject B were 41 at baseline and 44 post treatment.

Test subjects were all aged between 18 and 60 years old with hair loss measuring I-IV on the Fitzpatrick Scale and I-2, I-3, I-4, II-1, II-2 on the Ludwig-Savin Scale.

What is described as a ‘transition zone scalp site’ was chosen for study and the hair in this area was cut to 3 mm in length before being tattooed and photographed.

Active participants received a “TOPHAT655” unit containing 21, 5 mW diode lasers (655 ± 5 nm) and 30 LEDS (655 ± 20 nm), delivered by the LLLT treatment helmets. Participants receiving the control placebo were given treatment from identical-looking sham devices which contained incandescent red lights and did not deliver any form of LLLT.

Each individual was treated at home every other day for 16 weeks. This involved 60 treatments of 67 J/cm(2) irradiance per 25 minute treatment, 2.9 J dose. At the end of this period each person’s results were assessed and photographed, ready for evaluation by another blinded investigator looking to establish the percent increase in subjects’ hair count.

LLLT active treatment group results photographs

LLLT active treatment group hair counts for subject A were 153 at baseline and 221 post treatment. Hair counts for subject B were 108 at baseline and 209 post treatment.

Positive results for hair growth

Of the 47 women who took part in the study, 42 completed it successfully, 24 of which used the active LLLT devices. No side effects were reported.

Findings reported hair counts of 228.2 ± 133.4 (N = 18) baseline versus 252.1 ± 143.3 (N = 18) after the 60 days in the sham group. The active LLLT users were found to have hair counts of 209.6 ± 118.5 (N = 24) baseline versus 309.9 ± 166.6 (N = 24) post-treatment.

These figures represent a 37% increase in hair growth among the active treatment group in comparison to the placebo users. The study thus concluded ‘LLLT of the scalp at 655 nm significantly improved hair counts in women with androgenetic alopecia at a rate similar to that observed in males using the same parameters’.

Using LLLT with women’s hair loss treatment

FDA-cleared LLLT devices, like the iGrow and the award-winning HairMax LaserComb can complement women’s hair loss treatment courses. However, they are not actually treatments themselves – they are hair growth boosters – and, when used in conjunction with a high strength minoxidil, can help to combat Female Pattern Hair Loss. They do this by opening potassium channels and helping the topical treatment to circulate properly by stimulating the scalp.

Women affected by thinning hair who would like to investigate LLLT therapy – either in-clinic or via at-home devices – should speak to a hair loss specialist. This can also be introduced to existing hair loss treatment courses.

The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss ClinicThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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