Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Studies on Hair Regrowth

I’m getting a little tired of doctors saying there are no studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of LLLT on hair regrowth. They need simply do a medline search. A recent study of alopecia areata using intra-subject controls found regrowth on over 90% of the treatment bald spots and 0% regrowth on the control spots. Granted, they don’t understand why and the positive results come from studies using 308nm xenon-chloride excimer lasers to 904nm pulsed diode lasers. The doctors thaat don’t understand the significance of these results simply don’t understand experimental design.

Remember the birth defects from thalidimide that doctors endorsed and prescribed? Recall 20 years ago doctors said megadoses of vitamin C did nothing. Sometimes doctors are wrong and sometimes they are right, but opinions from individuals who have not read the research are of no value.

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As I’ve said, the medical field is often referred to as the “practice” of medicine and not “science” of medicine. Thus, sometimes doctors do not know why certain treatments work and sometimes they are wrong in prescribing a treatment.

With respect to lasers, you can approach it from either a scientific perspective or a capitalistic perspective. From a scientific perspective, you mention a very important bullet point: the “experimental design”. Look behind the research method and the sponsors of said research and you may find conflicting sources of interest. With respect to the capitalistic perspective, it boils down to making money. It sounds harmless and it may be worth a try to many individuals, especially with these research papers, but you also forget how many research papers have gone scrutinized (as your thalidomide example). Research papers endorsed medications such as Celebrex (COX2 inhibitors), but in recent years controversy arose from risks associated with heart attacks.

You are correct in stating that sometimes doctors are wrong, but sometimes research papers are wrong. You can see this as a stalemate. You can see it as buyer beware. We all have choices and opinions.

Tags: laser, hairloss, hair loss, research, doctor, physician, thalidomide, alopecia, lllt, medline

5 thoughts on “Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Studies on Hair Regrowth

  1. The study you site is for alopecia areata, which in about 50% of cases reverses on its’ own
    (if I’m wrong, Dr Rassman can correct me on that). What most skeptics rightfully point out is that there are no independent published peer reviewed double blind studies determining whether lasers in the 600nm range can reverse androgenetic alopecia ( a.k.a male pattern baldness).

  2. Low level laser therapy in my opinion is a moderately effective treatment so long as the lasers are powerful enough and /or the treatment time is long enough to provide the required amount of laser energy to the scalp. Lasers such as the HAIRMAX in my opinion and experience(used it for one year, zero results)will give minimal results because it is just not powerful enough.
    Also, it just can’t deliver the required amount of laser energy to the scalp in a reasonable amount of time. This goes for all handhelds that use a handful of 5mw lasers in their design. Clinical units (using multiply 5mw lasers, 100 or more) and handhelds(using higher powered class 3B lasers) will be of greater benefit.

    I however would not recommend men to use lasers as a stand alone treatment if you have MPB.

  3. The studies on LLLT and AA fall in the category of scientific perspectives. There are several that I know about dating back to 2003 and the latest one from Bagdhad. If you have a chance, you might want to look at them. The commercials clinical studies will stay away from AA studies because they realize that AA has no cure at this time. But, for whatever reason, the LLLT on AA patches seem cause them to go into a longer remission. There are some theories such as LLLT causing T-Cell aptosis, but know seems to know why it works.

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