Four Things You Didn’t Know About Laser Hair Growth Therapy

Four Things You Didn’t Know About Laser Hair Growth Therapy

April 14, 2016. Filed under Hairloss and Recovery . No Comments

1) It started with mice.

A long time ago, in a laboratory far far away, a Hungarian physician named Dr. Endre Mester was conducting experiments on mice. More precisely, he was investigating the effects of laser radiation on mice and their internal organs , and trying to initiate the growth of cancer cells. To optimize the absorption of laser light, he ended up shaving the mice's backs. One group of mice was placed under constant laser light exposure, while another group- the control group- was left alone.

As it turns out, Dr. Mester realized the fur of the exposed mice was growing back much quicker than the control group. When conducting an investigation, he noticed his lasers had not been calibrated  correctly and were emitting a much lower power output than planned. Whether or not his lab assistant was fired remains unknown, however one truth is now certain: the Hungarian physician had discovered the therapeutic effects of low-level laser light.In a way, Dr. Mester is considered to be the father of laser hair growth therapy; unfortunately he died in 1984 without knowing how impactful his research on mice would turn out to be (and before collecting any of his due royalties).

2) It works just like the photosynthesis of plants.

Remember your high school biology classes? When you learned about vegetation & fauna and how plants got green, tall and healthy with sunlight ?

While human beings have evolved beyond simple-celled organisms, we still have something in common with the vegetal inhabitants of Planet Earth. We too need sunlight to survive. In fact human tissue converts light energy through a chemical process to produce vitamin D, which is crucial for human health. Plants do the same thing: their cells absorb sunlight with the help of a chemical called chlorophyll; this light energy fuels photosynthesis, which produces plant food (carbon dioxide) while releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.

Laser hair growth therapy works similarly. As powerful coherent laser light reaches hair cells, their mitochondria convert light energy into chemical energy– which can now be used by malnourished hair follicles to bloom into luxurious foliage.

3) It’s all about the base.

It doesn’t matter how impressive your laser hair growth therapy device appears; if laser light fails to reach the base of hair follicles, you may as well toss your contraption into the garbage. Proper photobiostimulation occurs when the mitochondria of hair cells, as briefly mentioned above, converts light energy into chemical energy to compensate for however much is lacking. Not targeting the base of hair follicles is like caring for a plant while focusing on its leaves as opposed to watering the roots.

To reach the base of hair follicles, your laser hair growth device needs to penetrate the scalp with coherent light at a depth of 3 to 5 mm. Only lasers (as opposed to Light-Emitting Diodes– LEDs) are powerful enough to do so. You’ll also need the correct wavelength: different wavelengths of light carry distinctive energies, which are directly related to the penetration of lasers. For example, 678 nm is perfect for reaching the base of hair follicles, but other wavelengths will target different layers of the skin. A CO2 laser with a wavelength of 10600 nm, for instance, will deposit its energy into the epidermis layer of the skin.

Don’t forget to factor time into the equation– you need about 20 minutes of treatment time for the base of hair follicles to absorb an optimal dosage of energy.

4) It follows its own Goldilocks rule.

Just like the famous tale of the little blond girl who wanted her porridge to be “just right”, laser hair growth therapy has its equivalent. You need the right amount of energy delivered at precisely the right intervals to restore hair at a cellular level.

High-quality devices rely on what’s called the Arndt-Schultz Law: a minimal biological response can be achieved by weak applied stimuli, but that positive response will be inhibited by stronger applied stimuli. A great example of this is choosing an adequate massage therapist. You neither want an incompetent weak jellyfish nor do you want the heavyset, overpowering Frau Helga, eager to apply pressure over your tender muscles with all of her bovine strength.

So too much is too much and not enough is not enough, and an excess of laser energy can create damage. In fact doses of laser energy are cumulative. This means that a single treatment will still have residual effects 1 ½ to 2 weeks after your session is completed. Thus you shouldn’t undergo back-to-back treatments because you might eventually reach a point where the effects of your treatments are compounding over time. Try treating frequently at first to build up a bit of a cumulative effect, then pare your treatment schedule down over time to keep you in an optimal treatment range that’s “just right” for your hair growing goals.

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