OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Linita E. Mathew

    A Whole New Wavelength: Lasers Revive Your Layers

    With each passing day, the world is progressing in a multitude of directions and creating a profound impact in a variety of critical fields. The paths of many of these fields are crossing over to lend a hand in the observation of the world around us. One such advancement was noted in the late 1960’s, by a Hungarian scientist who was trying to observe whether or not lasers would affect the treatment of skin cancer. In the midst of the trials, a completely accidental and unrelated observation was made. The controlled group of shaved mice exposed to the red light lasers grew their hair back at a much more rapid pace than the group who was not exposed to lasers. And it was here, where low-level light therapy was born.

    Low-level light therapy (LLLT), also referred to as photobiomodulation, is gaining popularity in a variety of medical fields due to its success in reducing the inflammation and swelling of deeper tissues, relieving pain, and promoting the healing of wounds. The observation of laser light affecting hair growth was condemned at first, but in more recent years, it has been headlining as a new wave of treatment for androgenic alopecia, male and female patterned baldness. The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery and the International Society of Hair Restoration are recognizing the advances that LLLT can make in the process of hair restoration. If caught in the earlier stages, LLLT can be used to help treat both men and woman suffering from androgenic alopecia, by restoring, strengthening and maintaining hair loss, “patients that use this type of treatment will stop losing hair and regrow perhaps 15-20% of their hair volume.”

    Low-level light therapy is visible in the red light spectrum and considered a cold touch laser, as it does not produce sensation or feeling on the skin. It is used to revitalize hair follicles by applying a specific wavelength over the affected area for a certain amount of time. LLLT is said to stimulate the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle. “Low level laser therapy is believed to increase blood flow in the scalp and stimulate metabolism in catagen or telogen follicles, resulting in the production of anagen hair.” However, it is important to keep expectations realistic as results can vary from one individual to the next. Personalized consultations would determine the suggested time and duration of treatments, as well as frequency in which it would be needed. “Typically 3 to 4 sessions per week for 20 to 25 minutes is the suggested treatment frequency, and results usually take approximately 4 to 6 months.”

    So, how can you get your hands on an LLLT device? Well, up until now the devices were only available to the North American market through the United States. However, Canadians will now be able to reap the rewards of this advancement exclusively through Laser Therapy Calgary, who has brought the Follico Laser Cap to Canada. Although there are a few different options to administer low-level laser therapy, such as laser combs or handheld devices, the Follico Laser Cap is considered to be the more efficient and effective hair treatment system. According to Len Slamko of Laser Therapy Calgary, the one-size hat is designed in such a way that the diodes cover 99% of the clients thinning areas. Therefore, it surpasses the potential of combs and handheld devices because the strength of the laser is equal to that found in a laser clinic. Smaller devices lack efficiency because they are only able to cover small percentages of the affected area at a time. Because the cap should be worn for thirty minutes every second day, handheld devices and combs create an inconvenience as they need to be held in place for five-second intervals at a time creating exertion on the arms and hands of the user. The Follico Laser Cap, on the other hand, is conveniently worn anywhere at anytime and covers the entire area for a 20-30 minute time frame, which can increase noticeable results up to 40%. The cap comes with a rechargeable battery pack which typically lasts 6-8 treatments and results continue to progress consistently due to the strength of the laser in the cap. The cap can cost anywhere between $3500-$4500 depending on the specific needs of the client and the amount of hair loss that is identified.

    There has been a lengthened gap present in the advancement of treatment for androgenic alopecia. Whether you are new to the treatment process or have tried other alternatives before LLLT could improve the chances of regrowth and sustainability. “Physicians have observed that the overall condition and health of existing hair may be improved in a LLLT treated area, even if no new hair growth is stimulated. LLLT has been observed to improve outcomes of hair transplantation by improving patency of grafts and speeding healing time” As of right now, Calgarians are currently at an advantage for being the first Canadians to experience this groundbreaking technology.

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