Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss – Does It Work?

Beautiful Hair
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Thinning hair is a common horrifying scenario for both men and women. The causes of hair loss are myriad. Hair loss is a sign of aging, but it can also be brought about by other factors such as genes, hormonal changes, diet, medical treatments, medical conditions, and stress.

It can often feel like there is no solution to alopecia (or hair loss), but that’s no longer the case. Modern technology provides various treatments for this condition. One of the most readily available is the use of low-level laser light therapy.

This technology uses (primarily) red light therapy for hair loss prevention.

In this article, we’re going to take a close look at low level laser therapy to stop hair loss. Light therapy is a safe treatment that is backed by a growing body of scientific evidence. Many men and women suffering from pattern hair loss may find value in these new non-invasive LED light therapy devices.


Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss

Light therapy for hair loss

Red light therapy is also known as low-level laser therapy, cold laser, and soft laser therapy. Although it comes in many names, it is focused around one area: and that is to prevent further hair loss and possibly reverse it through the use of red laser light devices.

Laser therapy has been shown to encourage the growth of human scalp hair and to keep hair follicles in the anagen (growth) stage for a longer period of time.

Researchers have conducted a study where they concluded that low-level laser light therapy or LLLT can improve various forms of non-scarring alopecias. Also, the study states that LLLT can also be used for those who had hair transplant surgery in order to aid in the healing process.

Another study noted the improved hair count when the scalp is treated with LLLT at 655nm. Additionally, another study noted that LLLT used for hair growth is safe and effective for both men and women.

Does Laser Therapy Actually Treat Hair Loss?

Both men and women who find their hair thinning out will benefit well from this kind of product. It is able to prevent alopecia, and it also helps stimulate the hair follicles to grow hair. Red light therapy may be an excellent supplement for those who have been using other products like Minoxidil to help with their hair growth.

As red light therapy is a completely different class of treatment than most other hair regrowth treatments, these devices can usually be used in combination with other hair loss products.

Is Low-Level Light Therapy to Regrow Hair Backed By Scientific Evidence?

As mentioned above, there are several studies of red light therapy for hair growth, and many are finding success.

For example, there was a study published in the Annals of Dermatology in 2021 showing that 650nm red light therapy did in fact lead to hair growth and reduce hair loss.

Here’s a short quote from the results:

Low-level 650 nm red light promoted the proliferation of human hair follicles in the experimental cultured-tissue model. Consistently, 650 nm red light significantly delayed the transition of hair cycle from anagen to catagen in vitro. RNA-seq analysis and gene clustering for the differentially expressed genes suggests that leukocyte transendothelial migration, metabolism, adherens junction and other biological process maybe involved in stimulation of hair follicles by 650-nm red light treatment.

At least according to the conflict of interest statement, there are no conflicts of interest in this study, and it was not funded by one of these red light therapy companies.

How Does Red Light Therapy for Hair Regrowth Work?

Hair growth has 3 phases:

  • The Anagen (growth) phase
  • The Catagen (resting) phase
  • The Telogen (shedding) phase.

Through the use of low-level laser light therapy, there is an increase in the blood flow to the scalp. This increased blood flow affects the growth phase and the resting phase.

Due to the effect of the increased blood flow in the different phases of hair growth, the production of new hair is accelerated.

Apart from the number of hair strands that increase, the thickness and strength of the hair are also improved.

By bathing the hair follicles in near-infrared light in the 650 nm range, the hair follicles stay locked in the anagen phase for a longer time before transitioning to the catagen phase.

The end result is a longer duration of new hair growth.

Is Laser Hair Growth Treatment Safe?

They should be safe to use at the frequency recommended by the manufacturer. The treatments are completely non-invasive and many of the devices (such as the IGrow which we touch on below) are FDA-approved.

It is always wise to consult with your doctor before starting a new treatment program if you have concerns.

Does Laser Therapy Work on Both Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss?

Hair Loss Light Therapy

While the hair loss patterns between men and women may differ, these low level laser therapy devices are designed to treat both men and women. They should increase hair density and encourage hair growth in both men and women.

What Should I Look For In a Red Light Therapy Device?

There are many no-name companies selling red light therapy devices designed to treat hair loss. Most of these products are not FDA-approved, though they tend to use similar technology to the devices that are FDA-approved.

We would suggest you stick to the more expensive products that have FDA clearance, but if a cheaper product has a good return policy and has a similar design (with lights in the 650nm wavelength range) it may be worth trying.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while considering various products.

Laser Light VS LED Light

One of the first things that should be determined before purchasing any light therapy devices for hair loss is the kind of light it uses. Some of the products designed to stimulate hair growth use laser light while others use LED light.

The difference lies in the wavelength produced by the lights. LED lights will usually produce a red light that has a broad wavelength. On the other hand, laser lights are able to produce light at a single wavelength.

Wavelengths of Light

The most suitable wavelength used by most laser light devices is 650 nm or 680 nm. Those that use a laser light source are more concentrated, which means they can be more effective than LEDs.

The study referenced above used 650 nm light.

Number Of Bulbs And Lifespan

The more laser bulbs are in a device, the more expensive it is. However, that also means that it is better at penetrating various areas of the scalp at a given time. For budgeted consumers who still wish to use such devices, choosing one that doesn’t have as many bulbs would be best but you have to note that the bulbs still emit laser lights.

The lifespan of the bulbs is also important because they can affect how long you can use the product.

Size of the Device

If you are getting a cap or helmet-type device, it is best to select a size that will fit perfectly to your head. Most of the devices today are already ergonomically designed and the size is fit for most people. If you have a larger or smaller head than most, then figuring out the exact size of the units will help make sure you don’t buy something too big or too small.

Similarly, some units are designed to fit most, which is why they are adjustable. Some units have various attachments that help make it more stable while it sits on your head.

If you are shopping for comb-type devices, you probably want something that is compact enough for traveling. These devices are relatively small compared to helmets but some are designed to be smaller.

Which Devices to Treat Hair Loss Actually Work?

There are a couple of popular devices that are a great place to start your journey into using red light therapy to restore hair growth. The two most popular are the iRestore cap and the HairMax. We’ve done an in-depth comparison of these two products, but here is a brief summary of each.

1. iRestore Laser Cap

iRestore Laser Cap

Key Points at a Glance

  • FDA Cleared Product
  • Lightweight
  • Hands-free Use
  • Ergonomic design

The Details

iRestore Laser Hair Cap

Prevent hair loss and grow back thinning hair with the iRestore Laser Cap. This is a low-level laser light therapy product that helps stimulate the hair follicles so thicker hair can grow and. It is an FDA-cleared product that can be used by both men and women.

The laser light has been calibrated to the 650 nm wavelength, which is the ideal wavelength that promotes hair growth. Although this device is effective, the results don’t happen overnight and can take time. Some users observe regrowth after weeks to months of use.

The ergonomic design and lightweight make this device very comfortable to wear. Many users have used it while watching TV or doing other activities. The hands-free design makes it convenient and easy to use.

It also has padding in various areas to make it comfortable to wear.

A common comment of most of those who had positive results with it is to be patient. They’ve used it for several months and have seen a difference in the thickness of their hair. The hairline has also improved. Some also comment that it can be pricey but if it is within your budget then you should definitely give it a try.

Although many users claim that it works and you only have to give it time, follow instructions and use it diligently, there are still some who didn’t notice any improvement. There are still some who are disappointed because it didn’t work well on their hair.

To learn more about the iRestore system, see our complete review here.

iRestore Essential Laser Hair Growth System - FDA Cleared Hair Loss Treatments for Men & Women & Hair Growth Products for Men with Thinning Hair, Hair Regrowth Treatments Laser Cap, Red Light Therapy
  • iRestore Laser Hair Growth System is a...
  • 6-Month Money Back Guarantee – Users...
  • iRestore has been clinically studied by...
  • Whether you're a man or a woman, you can...
  • Developed in GMP-certified facilities,...

2. iGrow Laser Hair Helmet

iGrow Laser Helmet

Key Points at a Glance

  • FDA-Cleared
  • Low-level Laser Light Therapy
  • Adjustable
  • Hands-free Design

The Details

iGrow Laser Hair Helmet

When you’re buying a laser light device for hair loss not just for yourself but for sharing with someone else, you should get this iGrow Laser Hair Helmet. This device fits all head sizes so you don’t have to worry about sharing. You can easily adjust it through the headphones, rotating weight distribution, and movable spacing columns.

Through the low-level laser light technology used in this device, it is able to stimulate, energize and revive the follicles so that they can grow stronger and thicker hair.

With just 25 minutes of use every other day, you can stimulate the hair to grow while watching TV or checking your email. The included headphones don’t only stabilize the device sitting on the head but also allow you to enjoy some music.

This is a powerful, FDA-cleared product that you can use anytime at home. It doesn’t have a battery but is powered by a plug.

This makes sure that power is consistent. You can plug the headphones into your computer or phone to enjoy some entertainment while having your session.

This is a product that works well for both men and women but customers say that you have to be consistent. Also, customers say that the result doesn’t immediately appear and it takes time. Most are satisfied with the results they get plus how user-friendly the product is.

iGrow Professional Laser Hair Growth System - FDA Cleared Laser Cap Hair Growth for Men & Hair Regrowth Treatments for Women, Hair Loss Treatments Hair Helmet
  • The iGrow’s Low-Level Light Therapy...
  • Used alone or with other products, the...
  • iGrow’s patented, hands-free design is...
  • The adjustable, high-quality headphones...
  • Made by Apira Science: a US-based leader...

Final Thoughts

Hair loss is a common problem between men and women. Many of us have to deal with it.

The good news is that there are new technologies to available to slow hair loss and encourage hair regrowth. There is a growing body of evidence backing these devices, and some are cleared by the FDA. It may be time to try one out yourself!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).