Hair loss treatment: Laser therapy – is it worth it? Benefits and side effects explained

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed

Hair loss treatment: Laser therapy – is it worth it? Benefits and side effects explained

A research team from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine examined the safety and efficacy of low-level laser therapy for male and female pattern hair loss. Here are the results. An analysis of 10 clinical trials led to the conclusion that laser therapy provides “satisfactory results”. “All of the trials found significant increases in terminal hair counts, hair growth, and hair coverage in treatment groups,” the researchers confirmed.

Each trial consisted of “control” groups that didn’t undergo laser hair therapy to compare how effective the treatment was to non-treated follicles.

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In addition, all experiments went on for at least 16 weeks before results were obtained.

How often do you need to have laser hair therapy?

Four of the clinical trials implemented laser treatment three times per week, with each session lasting between 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the study.

Another four trials had participants undergo laser hair therapy every other day for 25 or 30 minutes.

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One experiment required laser hair therapy everyday, which the participants expressed as “not favourable”.

There was only one experiment that compared the effectiveness of laser treatment against five percent minoxidil.

Minoxidil is another certified hair loss treatment method that has been shown to be effective.

In this specific 16-week investigation, there were three groups compared:

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  1. Patients who applied minoxidil twice a day
  2. Patients who had laser hair treatment every other day
  3. Patients who used minoxidil and hair laser hair treatment

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The study suggested that the laser group and the combined minoxidil and laser group “showed significant increases in the number of hair follicles at the end of treatment”.

In addition, the results revealed that using laser alone yielded better results than minoxidil on its own.

Combination therapy was found to be “superior to either treatments alone”.

Are there any side effects of laser treatment?

Mild side effects were reported in the studies, which included:

  • Pruritus
  • Acne
  • Scalp tenderness

What’s pruritus?

The Mayo Clinic defined pruritus as “itchy skin” that is caused by dryness.

However, the researchers noted that most of the side effects “resolved within two weeks”.

Laser hair therapy is described to be “low cost”, “easy to use”, and “very effective”.

However, the analysis confirmed that some of the studies reviewed “have a clear relation” with sponsors involved.

This could, in theory, “affect the validity of the study designs, results and/or conclusions”.

How to try out laser therapy

This cosmetic treatment is available on the private market, with costs differing depending on the provider.

How does it work?

Healthline explained the low-level laser “irradiates photons into scalp tissues”.

“These photons are absorbed by weak cells to encourage hair growth,” it added.

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