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How Does Red Light Therapy Help Hair Growth?

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Hair is an important part of us, whether we like to admit it or not. We spend so much money investing in our hair, yet many of us struggle with thin hair and hair loss. In America alone, hair loss affects over 80 million Americans. By the age of 35, two-thirds of men experience some form of hair loss. Around 40% of women experience hair loss as well. 

In fact, so many people are affected by hair loss, the American Academy of Dermatology declared August National Hair Loss Awareness Month. While some people will resort to shaving their heads or wearing a wig, others will take a more drastic approach and undergo hair transplant surgery to regain their luscious locks.

While you can take any of these approaches, none of them deal with the core issues around hair growth. Instead, invasive and surgical options simply cover the problem. However, red light therapy and hair go hand-in-hand in growing hair. 

Does light therapy regrow hair?

Firstly, it's important to acknowledge there are many reasons for hair loss. Some of the common types are:

  • Androgenic hair loss: this is the most common type of hair loss, also known as male/female pattern baldness
  • Alopecia Areata: an autoimmune disease that results in hair loss.
  • Traction alopecia: caused by over-styling and hair-pulling.
  • Involutional alopecia: gradual thinning of hair due to age.
  • Telogen effluvium: abnormal amounts of hair suddenly enter the shedding phase. This is caused by a stressful event such as drastic weight loss, trauma, etc. It grows back once stress levels return to normal.

Luckily, red light therapy has the ability to treat a majority of these conditions. But how does red light therapy work to regrow hair?

First, you need to know the phases of the hair growth cycle.

  • #1 Anagen phase: the growing phase. It's the longest phase and lasts around 3 to 5 years but differs depending on hair type.
  • #2 Catagen phase: when the anagen phase ends, the catagen phase begins. The hair follicle shrinks, and growth reduces.
  • #3 Telegen phase: Hair doesn't grow or shed during this phase.
  • #4 Exogen phase: hair sheds during this phase; losing up to 50 to 100 hairs per day is normal. 

Red light therapy stimulates hair growth and accelerates the production of anagen hair, improving the quality of the hair that grows by increasing circulation to the area. Oxidative stress is one of the most destructive elements to cells. 

Via red light therapy stimulates energy production within the mitochondria, decreasing oxidative stress and improving the activity within the hair follicle. With an oxygen-enhanced environment, there's an increase in activity during the anagen phase of the hair's growth cycle. 

Several peer-reviewed clinical studies and meta-analyses found red light therapy as a safe and effective treatment option for hair loss. A 2019 meta-analysis examined eight clinical studies, finding a significant increase in hair growth for participants treated via red light therapy. 

Another meta-analysis from 2017 looked at 11 studies that researched red light therapy for hair growth. They found an increase in hair count and hair density, as well as significant hair thickness and strength for those treated with red light.

Luckily, Kaiyan Medical produces MDSAP-certified and FDA-approved light therapy products and devices for your own at-home treatment or even for your patients. We've worked hard to provide solutions for both patients and healthcare practitioners, catering to various needs. Whether you're looking to private label your own light therapy devices or for home use, contact our team, as we would love to help you through your light therapy journey.