Laser hair restoration is a type of non-invasive therapy to prevent or stop hair loss. The process is executed by applying laser rays directly to the scalp, stimulating the body's red blood cells to supply the scalp with more nutrients, which may cause hair to grow. Hair restoration is not always successful, though it is purported to be able to both save as well as thicken hair.
Both office and at-home treatments of laser applications are available. A laser hair restoration treatment completed by a physician is known as Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). Home laser hair restoration, or hair therapy, is conducted through a specially designed laser comb, which can add to the effectiveness of Low-Level Laser Therapy. While a doctor generally helps patients decide which form of hair restoration is best for their needs, home treatments are typically prescribed in conjunction with restoration methods completed in the physician's office.
Though not all patients will recover lost hair or experience new hair growth with the treatment, laser hair restoration is said to stop hair loss itself in the majority of patients who use it. In addition to creating a thicker appearance of hair, laser hair restoration also typically makes hair stronger. The treatment may also serve as an anti-inflammatory aid on the scalp. No side effects from laser hair therapy are known.
Prescriptions are generally not needed to acquire this type of treatment. Unlike some gender-specific hair loss treatments, laser restoration is intended for both male and female use. The treatment is a cosmetic procedure, hence it is often not financially covered by many medical insurance plans.
Some debate surrounds the treatment, as some doctors believe that laser hair restoration only improves the quality of hair already present, rather than stimulating the growth of more hair. Many patients continue to use the treatment despite the controversy, as it is the only approved non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical treatment for thinning hair in the United States. People who do not wish to engage in laser treatments sometimes invest in other thinning hair products, such as topical treatments, medications, shampoos, and other cosmetic aids designed to create a fuller head of hair, or at least the appearance of fullness.
In addition to stabilizing hair growth, patients sometimes use Low-Level Laser Therapy for other goals. Some people believe that the treatment can help regulate the body's natural cycles, or biological rhythms. Patients who have received hair replacement surgery may use laser treatments to help speed up their recovery process as well.