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Hair Restoration Research

Survey Finds Red, Low-Level, Laser Light Therapy is an Effective, Alternate Treatment for Androgenic Alopecia

Researchers from the Harvard Medical School surveyed five clinical studies designed to measure the effects of low-level light laser therapy (LLLT) on androgenic alopecia in both men and women. In each case, they found that red and near-infrared LLLT was a safe and effective treatment option for both men and women with genetic balding.

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Hair Restoration Research

New Research Shows Laser Therapy (LLLT) is an Effective Treatment for Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss

Given the large number of people who are affected by androgenetic alopecia and for whom traditional treatments, like surgical hair restoration or hair loss medications, may not be indicated, could low-level laser therapy be a viable and effective treatment option? New research published this year, 2014, in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, says yes.

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Bernstein Medical In The News

British Vogue Interviews Dr. Bernstein on Women’s Hair Loss and Female Hair Transplants

British Vogue Interviews Dr. Bernstein on Women's Hair Loss and Female Hair TransplantsHair transplantation for women is in vogue. In more ways than one. Dr. Bernstein was featured in an article in the ‘Beauty’ section of the October 2012 issue of British Vogue.

After describing a visit to Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration in New York City and giving readers a primer on hair transplant surgery, the article turns to Dr. Bernstein to describe the surge in popularity of the treatment of hair loss in women.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Can I Stop Medical Treatment For Hair Loss Once Started?

Q: I am taking finasteride as you prescribed. You also suggested using minoxidil liberally over the entire front and top of my scalp once a day. During our meeting I think that you said that once I start using this I would not be able to stop it, and, if I did, it might lead to further hair loss. Hence, I decided to use the laser comb three times a week in addition to the finasteride. Having said that, if you still feel I should start using minoxidil daily, I will start doing so. — H.K., Brooklyn, NY

A: Stopping therapy doesn’t lead to further hair loss in that it doesn’t accelerate it; you just continue on the path that you would have been without the treatment. When you stop, there may be an initial shedding as you quickly lose any benefits that you had from the treatment.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Which Handheld Laser Therapy Device Do You Recommend?

Q: I am interested in trying home laser therapy for my androgenic alopecia? Which handheld laser device do you recommend? — N.M., Northfield, NJ

A: There are several handheld lasers currently marketed as a home use treatments for androgenic alopecia. To my knowledge there has never been a clinical study comparing different laser devices. Most of the devices use diodes to emit a narrow band red light. This wavelength of light is actually similar to those that are used in hair removal lasers, except they are at a much lower intensity. The theory is that high intensity laser damage hair follicles causing hair loss, but low level laser energy can have a bio-stimulation effect and actually induce hair growth.

If you would like to try laser therapy for hair loss, I suggest using a HairMax laser comb. This is the only device that is FDA approved. They sell a few different “strengths” of lasers for different costs. They have not shown any clinical evidence supporting one laser comb versus another. The more expensive ones have more diode lights so it would be reasonable to conclude that they are “stronger” and require less frequent use. I have patients who have used the “mid tier” laser comb, the Premium Lux 9 successfully, so that is the one I recommend to other patients.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Is Laser Therapy With Hand-held LaserComb Better Than Revage Helmet Unit?

Q: If I want to use a laser to try and stimulate my hair to grow, should I use one of the hand-held units, such as the LaserComb or X5 Laser, or use a helmet?

A: Of the hand-held lasers, I feel the LaserComb is most effective. With the helmet units used in salons or doctor’s offices, we recommend the Revage. There is no evidence that the helmet lasers works any better than the LaserComb.

Some patients prefer a helmet, such as the Revage, since they can just relax and don’t have to worry about using it correctly or concentrating on reaching every spot. Others prefer the hand-held unit since it is less expensive and can be used at home.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Does Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Affect Hair Loss in Men and Women Differently?

Q: Have there been any studies showing the difference between men and women in their response to laser treatments for hair loss?

A: In the International Journal of Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology (Vol. 5, Number 2; 2003), a study on low level laser therapy (LLLT) was conducted which indicated that there was a 55% increase of growth (hair count) in the temporal area as well as 64% in the vertex of the female subjects who were treated with LLLT for hair loss. The study also indicated a 74% increase in the hair counts of the male subjects in the temporal area and 120% in the vertex region. These results would initially indicate that LLLT works better in men than in women, but there were four times as many men in this study so the results might be different in a larger test group.

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Bernstein Medical In The News

Dr. Schweiger Discusses LaserComb for Hair Loss in Women in Wall Street Journal

Wall Street JournalDr. Eric S. Schweiger, an Associate at Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, was interviewed recently for an article in the Wall Street Journal.

The article — Can Lasers Stimulate a Hair-Growth Spurt? — discusses the efficacy of the HairMax LaserComb and low level laser therapy (LLLT) and also touches on Dr. Schweiger’s main area of expertise, the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss in women.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Laser Therapy: What is Revage Laser and How Does it Compare to Laser Comb?

Q: I heard that you could get a laser treatment for hair loss in a doctor’s office with a new laser called the Revage. What is this and how does it compare to the laser comb that I can buy myself?

A: The Revage Laser is a Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) treatment for thinning hair manufactured by the company Laser Hair Therapy of North America, LLC. It is FDA classified or permitted to be sold as a cosmetic device, but not as a medical device at this time.

The Revage system contains 30 laser diodes that rotate 180 degrees around the scalp. This dynamic process increases the contact of the laser energy with the hair follicles. It is available only through a physician’s office.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Could Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Benefit Women?

Q: I am a 33 year old woman and have been told my hair is too thin on the sides for me to have a hair transplant. Could I benefit from laser treatments?

A: Although the long-term benefits on hair growth are not known, Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is able to stimulate hair to become fuller in appearance in the clinical trials that have been carried out for six month periods.

Since the laser light serves to thicken fine, miniaturized hair, it is particularly suitable to areas of diffuse thinning, rather than areas of complete baldness.

Since hair loss in women commonly has a diffuse pattern, because women can’t take Propecia (finasteride), and the fact that women are less often candidates for surgery (as compared to men), laser therapy in females is particularly appealing.

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Hair Restoration Answers

How Does the Laser Therapy (LLLT) Hair Loss Treatment Work?

Q: I heard about the laser comb and other lasers for hair loss, how do they work?

A: Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is based on the scientific principle of photobiotherapy. Photobiotherapy occurs when laser light, absorbed by cells, causes stimulation of cell metabolism and improved blood flow.

Although the exact mechanism by which lasers promote hair growth is still unknown, they appear to stimulate the follicles on the scalp by increasing energy production and partially reversing the miniaturization process leading to thicker hair shafts and a fuller look.

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Hair Restoration Answers

What is Origin of Laser Therapy for Hair Loss?

Q: Is the use of Low Level Light Laser Therapy (LLLT) for hair loss new?

A: These lasers have been used for hair loss in Europe for almost ten years. Classified as a cosmetic laser, they are safe for human cosmetic use.

The original research in this technology was carried out at the Wellman Labs for Photomedicine at Harvard University.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Is Laser Therapy a Revolutionary Hair Loss Treatment?

Q: The makers of the HairMax LaserComb have claimed that it will “revolutionize the hair growth industry.” What do you think?

A: This claim is obviously overstated.

Since the Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) doesn’t affect the action of DHT on hair follicles, it doesn’t affect the underlying cause of genetic hair loss, and thus would be expected only to have limited effectiveness. The company’s own studies show that this is, indeed, the case.

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