How to Use Red Light Therapy for Hair Growth (Stop Hair Loss)

Can red light therapy for hair loss – regrow your hair?

Can it stop your hair from falling and stimulate growing new, thicker, and healthier hair?

hair loss gif
Hair Loss/via rogaine.com/

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Can it stop hair thinning, bald spots, and balding for both men and women?

What if I told you there’s a safer, natural (and possibly better) alternative for minoxidil, finasteride, and hair transplants?

Keep reading and find out.

👉 In a Hurry?

Jump to the best ways to use red light therapy for hair growth – at home!

What Does Red Light Therapy Do to Your Hair?

red light therapy for hair growth before and after
Red light therapy for hair loss before and after – Via youtube.com

Red light therapy, also known as cold laser, soft laser, and Low-Level Laser Therapy, is a safe form of hair growth therapy that’s being used more and more to treat the genetic forms of hair loss (androgenetic alopecia or pattern balding) common in men and women over 35.

LLLT for hair loss uses LED devices which emit red light (wavelength 630-670 nm) available as:

  1. Laser hair growth helmets/caps – see the top 6 hair growth helmets and caps – reviewed and compared
  2. Hand-held devices – see the top 4 laser hair combs
  3. Red light therapy bulbs

What Does Red Light Therapy and How Does it Affect Your Hair?

First, let’s agree on some (disturbing) facts:

1. Men typically have a distinctive balding pattern involving hairline recession and vertex balding.

2. Women normally have a diffuse hair thinning over the tops of their scalps.

3. For both men and women, this feels horrible.

But here’s the good news:

  1. Science has proven that Low-level laser therapy can be used in both men and women to treat androgenetic alopecia.
  2. Studies show that cold laser can regrow your hair on the top of your head/crown and along the forehead hairline
  3. Research proves that LLLT has no side effects, is painless, and safe.
  4. Improvement is reported after 12 to 26 weeks of use, with reduced hair fall and noticeable hair growth.

And here’s how it works:

The hair growth cycle consists of 3 phases:

1. Growth (anagen phase)

2. Resting (telogen phase)

3. Shedding (catagen phase)

Red and near-infrared hair growth light therapy was found to increase blood flow (micro blood circulation) in the scalp and stimulate metabolism in catagen or telogen follicles.

The result?

Accelerated production of anagen hair – new hair (stimulation of epidermal stem cells in the hair follicle bulge and shifting the follicles into anagen phase).

I’ll bet now you may want to know:

Is this claim backed with scientific evidence? Is there proof?

The answer is YES!

In a hurry?
Here’s my #1 recommendation for the BEST red light therapy hair growth device

Red Light Therapy for Hair Loss: Scientific Proof

As with all good things, this discovery was accidental:

In 1967, just a few years after the first working laser was invented, a Hungarian scientist wanted to test if laser radiation can cause cancer in mice.

He shaved their hair, divided them into two groups, and gave a laser treatment with a low powered (694 nm) laser to one group.

The surprising results?

The mice did not develop cancer.

The hair on the treated group grew back much faster than the untreated group.

This was the first demonstration of laser “biostimulation”.

What about the latest studies?

This paper, published in the Lasers in Surgeries and Medicine Journal in 2013, has researched all clinical studies in PubMed and Google Scholar regarding hair loss treatment with LLLT and concluded:

“Controlled clinical trials demonstrated that LLLT stimulated hair growth in both men and women. Among various mechanisms, the main mechanism is hypothesized to be stimulation of epidermal stem cells in the hair follicle bulge and shifting the follicles into anagen phase.”

Another paper, published in 2016, analyzed 11 studies, which investigated a total of 680 patients, consisting of 444 males and 236 females (with male and female pattern hair loss).

The results were extremely positive:

“Nine out of 11 studies assessing hair count/hair density found statistically significant improvements in both males and females following LLLT treatment.”

Additionally, hair thickness and tensile strength significantly improved in two out of four studies.

So now let’s get practical:

What’s the Right Wavelength for Regrowing Hair?

visible light spectrum
Via youtube.com

Through analyzing many studies, we found the best wavelength for hair regrowth to be 655nm.

Some studies achieved the same results by using devices in the range of 630 – 670 nm. 

How Much Does Laser for Hair Growth Cost?

Look:

When I heard how much in-office hair lasers cost a year (about $4000), I almost fainted.

The good news is:

The home version of strong LED (light-emitting diode) light (a real, screw-in red light therapy light bulb) is inexpensive and available to everybody.

So, you probably want to know:

The Best Home Laser Light Therapy Devices for Hair Growth

Here are the 3 Ways You Can Treat Your Hair Loss with LLLT at Home:

1.  A high-quality red light therapy bulb.

All you have to do is point the light to the problem areas on your scalp for 10 minutes (no longer!), 3 times a week.

Ruby Lux All Red High Intensity LED Bulb 640 to 660nm
Ruby Lux All Red High-Intensity LED Bulb 640 to 660nmsee today’s price

2. A red light therapy comb, like the HairMax Laser Comb.

This laser headband for hair loss requires time devoted to carefully moving the comb through the hair to allow laser penetration to the scalp.

hair growth light
Via youtube.com

The Laser Comb the only FDA cleared home LLLT device for the treatment of hair loss.

The results, as you can see in the reviews on the official site, vary.

For some people it works, for others, it doesn’t.

hairmax red light therapy for hair loss
HairMax LaserComb FDA-Cleared Hair Growth Laser Devicesee more reviews HERE
Attention
We’ve researched and found the Top 4 laser hair combs – see our results and reviews.

3. A Laser Cap for Hair Growth

illumiflow laser cap for hair
Illumiflow Laser Cap – 272 lasers – check price on the official site

The BEST laser caps have been clinically shown to:

  • Grow new hair
  • Double the follicle diameter of existing hair (reverses miniaturization)
  • Slow (and even stop) hair loss

👉 See our comparison for the 3 best-selling laser caps in 2020 – HairMax vs. Illumiflow vs. Kiierr!

When Can You Expect Results?

According to clinical studies, improvement is reported in at least some users after 12 to 26 weeks of use, with reduced hair fall and noticeable hair growth.

Note:

You have to be consistent and do not expect results in less than a month. For some people, it can take up to a year to see full potential results.

LLLT Possible Side Effects

While red light rays are proven safe and side-effect free, laser therapy should not be used if you are taking photosensitizing medication.

Summary

red light therapy hair loss infographic
Save for later on Pinterest

In this post, I’ve shown you the amazing ability of red light therapy in stopping hair loss and regrowing hair on the scalp.

Men and women with androgenetic alopecia, as well as people who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, can benefit from this painless, non-invasive, and safe way to regrow hair.

The benefits of LLLT for hair loss:

1. Can be used in both men and women

2. Noninvasive, painless, natural, and safe

3. Home treatments are relatively inexpensive

4. Hair growth can occur on the top of the head and along the hairline of the forehead as well.

5. Visible results can be seen after 12 to 26 weeks of use.

What have you tried for hair loss? Have you tried red light therapy? Tell me, I’m here to help.

To your health and happiness,

Meital

P.S

Since most of us want more hair on our scalp but much less hair on our body and face, check out the top 3 home laser hair removal devices. 😃

References:

Chung, H., Dai, T., Sharma, S.K. et al. Ann Biomed Eng (2012) 40: 516. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-011-0454-7

Low‐level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) for treatment of hair loss, Pinar Avci MD, Gaurav K. Gupta MD, PhD
, Jason Clark MD, Norbert Wikonkal MD, PhD, Michael R. Hamblin PhD, https://doi.org/10.1002/lsm.22170

Jimenez, J.J., Wikramanayake, T.C., Bergfeld, W. et al. Am J Clin Dermatol (2014) 15: 115. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40257-013-0060-6

The growth of human scalp hair mediated by visible red light laser and LED sources in males, Raymond R. Blanche BS , Adam B. Bodian MD, Richard P. Chiacchierini PhD, Adolfo Fernandez‐Obregon MD, Eric R. Kazmirek BS, https://doi.org/10.1002/lsm.22173

Jimenez, Joaquin J et al. “Efficacy and safety of a low-level laser device in the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss: a multicenter, randomized, sham device-controlled, double-blind study.” American journal of clinical dermatology vol. 15,2 (2014): 115-27. doi:10.1007/s40257-013-0060-6

31 thoughts on “How to Use Red Light Therapy for Hair Growth (Stop Hair Loss)”

  1. Hi!

    I experience high level of hair loss for a few months now, luckely not in one specific area. I have two bulbs of red light rising 660nm and 850nm in one. I use them also for muscle issues. However, i’m still not sure which distance to apply for my head. What do you advice? I have medium long hair, do you think the light we reach the right area’s, although the areas are covered with hair?

    All the best!

    Reply
    • You can use the bulbs at about 24 inches away from your head if they 250W, or closer if they are only 150W, to the point the heat feels comfortable and not too hot. The light can go through your hair but not as effective as a hair growth helmet/cap.

      Reply
  2. Can you please tell me why I can’t use a LLLT devise if I take hydrochlorothiazide? What could or would happen?

    Reply
    • Low-level light therapy can reduce blood pressure. If you take a BP-lowering medication the light may reduce your BP too much. But to my knowledge, this is only true if you use a full-body device or an infrared sauna, not for small, local treatments.

      Reply
    • Yes, you have to keep using it, but you can reduce the frequency. Also, lifestyle changes and dietary changes may also strengthen your hair so you may not need to use it forever.

      Reply
  3. Please can you offere advice? My daughter has Alopecia totalis it has developed over two years? Having been on steroids hair grew back but then after she stopped steroids she’d again. Given the effect on her body (weight gain) and feeling ill all the time she decided to stop all medication just takes herbal now. Her eyelashes and eyebrows coming out again now and although hair follicles alive she has no hair. Can you suggest home treatment /or a recommended prActitioner in Edinburgh she could have this light thereapy? Any help greatly appreciated thank you. Jenny cooke

    Reply
  4. I have 100w infrared bulb how much time should i use for hair lose and regrowth and can i use infrared with glutathione tablets

    Reply
  5. I have the Silk’n FaceFx fractional red light device, which has a wavelength in the range you mentioned as optimal for hair regrowth, and I’m wondering if I could successfully use it for hair regrowth on my scalp. My uncertainty stems from the fact that the device emits heat at the same time as the light. Would this be harmful to my scalp or hinder regrowth?

    Reply
  6. Hello,
    Thank you for the post. You write to use red light therapy for only 10 minutes 3 times a week. Why this exact time limit? Is there a study that tested various therapy times and intervals and found this to be the most effective? And if so, could you point me to this study?

    Reply
  7. Hello, great post
    I’ve been going to a local salon and using the red light booth 3 times a week for the past two weeks. Can I use the irestore along with the red light booth? or would this be too much on the mitochondria.

    Reply
    • I would only use it one time per week, since you’re already using red light therapy 3 times a week. You’re supposed to use it every other day, no more than that.
      Do you see any results on your hair since you started treatments?

      Reply
  8. Hi there i am thinking of buying the helmet but not sure if this or any other light therapy treatment would actually work for me as i have been losing my hair for about30 years i don’t use minoxidil or anything else apart from volumising shampoos which don’t really do much.i look forward to your reply.

    Reply
    • Caroline,

      Unfortunately, the only way to know is to give it a try…
      Also, expecting positive results will help as well.
      If you have live follicles, chances of it working are greater.
      Also, you don’t have much to lose. The helmet I recommend (the iRestore) has a 6 months money back guarantee. If it doesn’t work for you, you can send it back and get a full refund.
      Good luck!

      Reply
  9. Reading through some of the articles here — very informative. What is your advice for a Device for several treatments –
    • hair loss
    • wrinkles
    Do these two treatments require different levels of power to treat.
    I like the idea of a lamp that is tall enough to allow for reclining. However, would not want to deter the best device for the ability to recline.

    Reply
    • Karen,

      The perfect device for you would be an red light therapy panel system, which you can point either to your hair or to your face to treat wrinkles (safety goggles are a must). The 2 treatments require the same intensity and wavelength so it won’t be a problem. Here’s the perfect product for you on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ouI0mq

      Reply
  10. I just purchased a near infrared light bulb (large one to put in a standalone lamp) to use at home for various reasons. I just found your information about using for hair loss. Evidently the light has to be aimed at the scalp itself and will not penetrate through the hair. Is that a correct assumption? Because that would involve parting off the sections of hair and holding back, or clipping back, during the light treatment process. My hair loss is significant, relating to sustained levels of intense high anxiety. Already supplement with mega doses of Vitamins B.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  11. My hairstylist has one of the few salons that I know of offering red light therapy as a service for hair regrowth. I am going to share this informative article with her as well. It is surprising that the pricing ranges so much from the inexpensive red light bulb to the more expensive headwear. Is there a significant difference in effectiveness? Thank you so much for sharing the uses and benefits of red light therapy with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I’m pinning and sharing.

    Reply
    • Hi Deborah,

      Thanks to taking the time to comment on my post.:)
      The major price difference stems from the treatment area coverage mainly. A red light bulb covers a small, local area while the headwear covers the entire scalp in one treatment.
      With the bulb you’ll have to repeat treatment 3-4 times a day to cover all your hair.
      So it’s really a question of how much time and patience you have, before you choose a red light therapy home device.

      Reply

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