Photobiomodulation for Hair Growth

“Photobiomodulation for hair growth” may seem trivial to some. Head hair is pretty much a cosmetic issue, and even so, more and more people seem to prefer the bald look anyway.

Is Baldness Sexy?

Russian American actor Yul Brynner originally set the standard for elegant baldness. He shaved his head for his first big stage role, that of the king in The King and I. But he realized the look’s potential as a trademark. He continued shaving his head for the rest of his life, even for unexpected roles, such as a western gunslinger in The Magnificent Seven. His uncompromising approach showed that a shaved head can be sexy, and his example probably helped to make baldness the fashion statement it often is today.

Fashion statement or not, for most bald men (and women, for that matter), baldness is not a choice, it’s an illness, and a very widespread one. Half of all men suffer from androgenetic alopecia — the most common type of hair loss — after the age of 40. It also affects 75% of women over 65. But an article at the site Medical News Today summarizes the most common attitude toward hair loss in its title: “Baldness: How Close Are We to a Cure?”

Drugs, Surgery, or PBM

An overview at WebMD catalogued the existing treatments for hair loss. There are two drugs and a surgical procedure. The two drugs are minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia). You take minoxidil by massaging it into your scalp twice a day. It works for both men and women. There are arguments over how effective it is, but there’s general agreement that its best use is to slow hair loss rather than reverse it. Finasteride is taken as a pill, and it affects the hormone cycle. It only works for men, and temporary loss of libido is among its side effects. The surgical procedure is hair transplant. It’s difficult to be very hopeful about hair transplant when the WebMD article quotes its expert as advising patients to have “realistic expectations of what can be done to give them a natural appearing hair line.”

WebMD gives short shrift to photobiomodulation (PBM) for hair growth, which may lead you to believe it is a fringe-type treatment. But, in fact, the FDA has approved at least 16 PBM devices for treatment of hair loss. A placebo-controlled study I mentioned in this blog in September 2018 showed that PBM induced hair regrowth. The study took place among female breast cancer patients who had hair loss as a result of chemotherapy. There are at least half a dozen other studies of PBM and hair growth, and you can find them listed here.

Photobiomodulation for Hair Loss

The studies of PBM for hair growth typically use devices like laser combs or LED-lined helmets. We don’t offer either of those things at Peak Recovery & Health Center. We offer full-body PBM in a PBM bed. If you’re concerned about hair loss, I encourage you to speak with your doctor. New treatments are appearing all the time with new research. The LED-lined helmets look particularly promising.

When you talk with your doctor, ask if the LED-lined helmet is capable of providing better coverage than full-body PBM. Note that full-body PBM reaches every part of your scalp. But it also has the advantage of rejuvenating cells all over your body, and not just for hair growth. The increased ATP that PBM provides often improves mood, increases energy, and relieves pain, as well as growing hair.

Find out for yourself by booking some sessions today.

Photo: Our beautifully maned model poses in the Peak Recovery & Health Center photobiomodulation bed. You can only enjoy the benefits of PBM if the light can reach your skin. In a real PBM session (not a photo shoot), she would not be wearing any clothes. But this isn’t that kind of blog. 🙂