Hair Loss Treatments For Men: Infrared Light

Hair loss is something that no man can’t stand. It’s a psychological and physiological hurdle that keeps you from moving forward with your life.
 
First of all, it smashes your confidence. Furthermore, it throws your social life out of balance. That’s why pharmaceutical companies monetize on that angst with multiple hair loss treatments for men.
The effective solutions on the table for balding men are not plenty though. Sadly enough, hair loss treatments for men have also been stalled for the last thirty years.
 
Minoxidil is the King, Finasteride is the Queen. Is there any new throne successor? Where’s the Knight?
Lasers. Not the kind of Star Wars Laser you think, but small red laser lights. Jump in!
 

Red Light: Hair Fall Treatment or Scam? 

 
Low-level laser therapy, or LLLT, is one of the safest and most comfortable hair thinning treatments out there. Balding men, pay attention. It is called also red light treatment or cold laser. There also some creepy name for this treatment, like biostimulation or photobiomodulation. Area 51 style names all over the place.
 
Above all, hair thinning is a total disaster. It causes havoc to any man’s soul and pride. Having a receding hairline seems like the new trend for young men. More than 20% of young men under the age of 30 are affected worldwide. So, that’s why it makes sense for “scientists” aka scam artists to try to take advantage of that angst that young men exhibit.
 
But not all of those who market themselves as experts are scammers. There are also honest people that try their best to figure out a solution. One of them, in some underground spooky laboratory, figured out that red light could do the job.
 
But before we dive into this weird type of therapy, let me remind you again that only two kinds of therapies that work kinda effectively for male pattern baldness.
 
Finasteride and Minoxidil. If you are a bald fighter for years, then you should know them both very very well. Of course, there is also the hair implants option, but that one depends on the hands of your doctor and the depth of your pockets. If you know what I mean. The main three solutions described above can be effective, but they are not dealing 100% with hair loss.
Sadly, their results are mediocre most of the times, and the only reason men with receding hairlines follow this type of chemical treatment, is that there is no other alternative to handle hair loss effectively. Even new hair implants can leave you with scars and an ugly designed new hairline. That’s why you and I should take a look also to this new therapy.
 
The science behind it? Fantastic and mesmerizing. Does it work on my receding hairline? 
 
Let’s make clear first that all hair loss treatments for men have a unique approach to dealing with hair thinning. It’s best for you to begin early on if you want more results. Usually, once your follicle has died there is nothing except for hair implants that can bring back your hair. Even the famous Rogaine cannot do wonders. Propecia pills too. Don’t delay any of the hair loss treatments for men! But let’s get into it. 
LLLT target mainly men that lose their hair due to temporarily issues, like huge psychological pressure (death of someone close) or thyroid imbalances.  This kind of therapy makes you look like a hero from those Star Trek movies, but it also a great non-invasive alternative to common therapies. It is recognized as maybe the only treatment with no side effects (literally!) and no pain also.
 
Of course, even that seems to be unable to grow grass on rock surfaces. But it is a master stimulator of follicles that don’t like producing hair strands anymore. It is even more effective when the follicle grows thin hair strands. As we ‘ve already noted, this is better than none!
 
Usually, it stops hair loss of those thin strands. Another benefit is that it can even grow some healthy hair back thicker and stronger. Baldies that use it seem happy with the results. Scientists seem also happy that a new way is emerged and can provide solutions to balding men.
 
Finally, even scam artists are happy! But there are many speculations why this red light magic sensation works. Some say “It’s the bloody oxygen!”, others conclude “Its placebo and men using it are dummies!” whereas others use the classic one “It smashes that bastard DHT!” Let’s jump on the train of madness and figure out ourselves, shall we?
 

Theories On Why Red Light Hair Fall Treatment Works 

 

Red Light Keeps DHT At Bay

There are many hair loss treatments for men that claim to inhibit the monster called DHT.  Of course, we ‘re not surprised, as DHT is considered the master evil of hair thinning the last 20+ years. DHT is the so-called dihydrotestosterone, which is a form of testosterone. DHT is considered toxic when it accumulates with high concentrations in specific places, like the lobes and crown of your scalp.

Red light is credited from some experts that it may induce proper cellular changes inside the hair follicles. These changes may include defensive mechanisms and enzymes that keep DHT out of the party. It possibly triggers the release of the so famous 5a-reductase inhibitor which is a great mechanism if you want to get rid of DHT.

Red light laser seems to reduce DHT from the scalp which boosts also nutrients delivery.

I ‘m buying into it. You should too. But first, you should check the studies done in the next chapter some lines down the road. Before you do that though, did you know that DNA is interconnected with infrared?

 

It Can Positively Affect Your DNA

 
That’s a very big lead of faith, but the theory can stand in a way. Hair thinning is like all other things in your body, coded in your genetic code. Every man has a code of honor and a genetic code (I hope).
Some geeks have also a few thousands of codes in their Notepad for software solutions. But let’s get to the point here. If hair loss is coded in you that means that it can be expressed. Under some environmental circumstances.
 
These can include inflammation markers and imbalanced hormones. Stress anyone? But before you cry, predisposed from the urban myth that if it’s genetic you can’t-do anything about it, hear why this theory may have some value.
 
In a code, you can put closing signs like <— —!> or something in that fashion (I’m not a coding expert, give me a break!). When you include a piece of code inside these signs, you immediately deactivate this part. The same thing you can do also with your genetic code. Deactivate it, but first, you have to find which the signs are to do that.
 
The defenders of this theory proclaim that Red Light Waves are some of these signs to deactivate the balding genes. This argument seems logical, because radiation can indeed infiltrate inside the DNA.
 

Skull expansion causes hair loss and red light stops it

 
What the f***? These were my exact words as I read this craziness. First, here is the grandiose theory that your scalp bone grows more than expected because your brain has evolved and got bigger than your ancestors.
 
Basically, the theory suggests that the bones on your scalp continue to grow well into adulthood. Because of that, most of your capillaries get smashed and vanished into the darkness. Let’s argue another time about that.
 
The red light defenders who believe this theory, suggest that red light regenerates some of the damaged micro-capillaries. Ok, next!
 

Bioenergetics and hair loss

That’s a good one. Scientists show in multiple cases that hair thinning is a process linked directly to hormones that control your energy. Energy is the core of your being. Energy equals life. Energy is also the basis of cellular functions in your hair follicles.
 
Hormones like T3 (thyroid) and cortisol (adrenal) can mess your energy production of your hair follicle. Basically, your energy factories that produce new hair strands are all f****d up by these horny hormones. That’s a simplistically view of things to remember.
 
But how is red light the hero of the day? Normally to boost your energy in your body you should follow a healthy diet, good sleep, and hardcore exercise. But you can cheat…. for your hair at least. It’s well known (between geeky scientists) that only some frequencies of light waves are biologically active.
 
Meaning these frequencies – 600nm to 1000nm – can trigger the production and release of ATP‘s in your cells. This is great news for your shiny scalp. More ATP’s, more energy, more and better hair strands. Infrared light is inside that range.
 

Boost Your Oxygen With Red Lights

Oxygen is one of the essential building blocks of our energy production. Energy production helps also hair strands production. The hair follicles can grow less if the capillaries around them are deficient in oxygen delivery. So more oxygen leads to more hair, simplistically saying.
 
Red lights are considered to stimulate the amount of oxygen that gets delivered to your hair follicles. Scientists don’t know exactly how this mechanism works, but it has something to do with ATP production.
 
Basically, the idea behind it is that oxygen stimulation leads to better ATP production. If no oxygen is around, then mitochondria (your cells’ energy factory) cannot create ATP easily. That’s why they die.
 
Oxygen deficiency leads to receding hairlines, and that’s a fact. Additionally, it slows down repair of any damage in your cells. Bad things! Don’t forget! Your hair follicles consist of cells too. Almost all cells in your body contain mitochondria. Hair cells for sure. So, the logic is. No oxygen, no mitochondria, no energy production, no hair follicle.
 
Most hair loss treatments for men do not deal with oxygen deficiency, but LLLT seems do it.
P.S: Oxygen deficiency’s medical term is hypoxia, cool huh? 
 

Infrared Light Brings Nutrients To The “Table”

 
It’s very important for your hair to be fed. Think of your hair strands as kids. Or pets for you single ones (lucky you). There is a list of foods that can boost your hair production with multiple nutrients. Some of the amino acids acquired from your diet are formed into keratin. Wtf is that? Well, Wikipedia comments that keratin is the protector of epithelial cells when they deal with damage or stress. Keratin is a protein and it is insoluble in water and it is the most important material of your skin. 
 
Laser therapy improves keratin production. Or that’s what the folklore says! But keratin production is also a procedure that is highly dependent on mitochondrial production. So, again the effects of better and stronger keratin strands maybe just the effects of better energy production.
 
Red light therapy ultimately is a mega-stimulator of capillaries, bringing more nutrients to your hair roots. This reaction is very helpful for tissue regeneration for your thinner hair, that is close to falling. Either way, red lights seem to help! But that’s just my opinion. Right?
Wrong. Now it’s time to dive into some hardcore science.
 

Studies on LLLT and Hair Thinning 

 
There have been enough studies done and some first conclusions are already with us. We have included them at the end of this article if you want to take a closer look. Let us share them with you.
 
  • Studies showed that LLLT stimulated hair regrowth in mice. These mice had been first experienced alopecia symptoms from chemotherapy.
 
  • Clinical trials on men (and women) showed increased hair growth on their scalps when LLLT was used to reverse their alopecia areata.
 
  • In 1967, a Hungarian scientist named Endre Mester was testing the brand new infrared laser that has just been invented. He wanted to see if laser radiation could cause skin cancer in mice. He found some unexpected but welcomed results, one of which is important for us baldies. He found that low-level laser therapy can be used to stimulate stem cells inside the hair root. These cells when stimulated shift into anagen phase and create new hair strands! By the way, The mice did not develop cancer.
 
  • A paper published in the “Lasers in Surgeries and Medicine Journal” had as main subject to research all the studies done on LLT and hair thinning. Their conclusion was that both men and women grew new strands of hair when putting their scalp under the magic red light for a period of weeks. The hypothesis again was that epidermal stem cells were stimulated.
 
  • Another study published last year analyzed 11 studies. In these studies, the sum total of patients were 680 and they all had hair thinning. Those patients were subjected to LLLT for a 12 to 26 weeks. The research team concluded that LLLT provided significant increase regarding the hair thickness of these patients.
 
  • Researchers searched to validate the hair density increase on patients scalps with male pattern baldness. The study was double-blind and very accurate. The patients were 110 men with hair thinning both on their crown and lobes/forehead. One group used an LLLT device on their heads, whereas the other used a placebo. After 26 weeks the results amazed the scientists! On the placebo group hair strands increased 7 times (which is still impressive), but on the LLLT device group, hair strands increased 19 times! Also, those in the latter group had more shiny and thick strands than the placebo ones!
 
  • Another study with a total of 225 patients showed promising results too. The researchers tested a specific device with infrared lights on the first group of patients. The other group received the classic fraud device, aka placebo. The final reports of that study were again encouraging. The increase in hair density of the infrared device group was astonishing (compared to other forms of therapies). The placebo group? Not so great.
 
All these studies are here to prove to you a point. But before we get some last conclusions once the effectiveness of LLLT, we must first note that not all scientists are yet convinced. A lot of people in the space of cosmetics and health, criticise these published LLLT studies as being based on anecdotal reports mainly. They also believe that the organizations throwing these studies are not independent. The truth is that every organization studying hair loss treatments for men is subjective regarding the conclusion.
 
That implies that these positive results were dictated by corporations for the ultimate goal of selling more devices. Of course, there is always this case to be examined, but my suggestion to you dear reader is to always try things and analyze for yourself if it works.
 
In our case here, taking photos of your scalp once per week is a good start, when using a new device or therapy. Be the lab scientist and lab rat at the same time!
 
But before you do that, let’s rest our case with some more benefits of the LLLT.
 

The Truth Is That Infrared Laser Connects With Your Skin Cells 

 
The truth is that after the aforementioned studies, a lot of people took notice. From doctors to the army lieutenant, nowadays red light therapy is pretty well known and used often for all kinds of ailments.
 
Injuries, healthier mitochondria and hair regrowth are the most important ones. Let’s clarify the process of cells-red light connection so that theories stay theories.
 
As we already mentioned, in 1967 was the first discovery of this new therapy called LLLT. At the time, hair loss treatments for men were funny at best, dangerous at worst. The Hungarian doctor who found this new treatment had no clue on why red light helps with hair thinning. If you remember he found it’s beneficial traits on hair by accident (as most scientific discoveries happen). After 40 years, do we have an understanding or are we still in the darkness of theories??
Hair growth on mice was the first red light therapy discovery forty years ago. Let’s see how far we have come, and what is available today to treat our receding hairlines today. What is the clinical evidence to show laser hair therapy is effective?
Modern-day physicians are still debating on how and if low-level laser therapy works. But let’s see what the possible scenarios are based on what we already know for sure:
 
As we all know, the hair growth cycle consists of the big three.
 
 
Male pattern baldness is usually a result of high DHT content in your manly scalp. DHT is a testosterone derivative. More DHT does not translate more man, for you happy hippos out there.
 
What doctors believe and seem logical, is that LLLT increases blood flow in your scalp. It also stimulates the metabolism in hair follicles that have been in catagen or telogen phase. That last one is very important because it means that these follicles can now enter the anagen phase quicker than before.
 
Also from effects of light waves to biological beings, we know that the photons of the light act on a substance in your body called cytochrome C oxidase. This mouthful is an intracellular enzyme, which means that it acts inside your hair follicle cells. This little fellow sends some cool signals. Those signals promote better DNA activity of your hair follicle cells. Not only that, but they inhibit apoptosis, which is the self-destruction of cells (when they become inactive, useless or dangerous). That’s great news, but in addition to that they boost the production of:
ATP.
 
Wtf is that? Well, ATP is the molecule of energy for humans. Its original name is adenosine triphosphate. The reason you’re able to read these words is that you produce millions (or trillions) ATP molecules every second.
 
Now, after ATP molecules are produced, they convert into cyclic ATP in your hair follicle cells. This transformation leads to more energy supplies, which is a useful trait for your weak telogen hair strands. That means that light is transformed into cellular energy.
 
In addition, infrared light also increases blood flow to the scalp and stimulates the metabolism. This process is often called as microcirculation and helps to boost your metabolism for your weak hair strands. As we already said that one leads, to more anagen hair strands, meaning young and strong hair strands.
We also know that the best wavelength for your hair regrowth is the range 630 to 670 nm of infrared light. That is something that you should check when buying your cobs and helmets. The reason of this wavelength’s efficacy is that only when the light waves are absorbed by your skin. Do not forget that your skin is a wall with the ability to absorb light and substances that it comes in “touch” with.
Another thing you must understand is that infrared is a booster for your body’s natural procedures. It doesn’t add something to the mixture, like minoxidil or finasteride, but it stimulates the production of more beneficial actions.
It is not invasive and is not chemical. It only enhances the body’s natural defense and boosts the nutrient delivery to your precious hair follicles. It’s similar to what sunlight does for you.
 
But the great thing is that infrared goes deeper than the sun on your skin. By doing so, it rejuvenates your cells and tissues that are “buried” deep in your skin. That means that it stimulates all three layers of skin, which are epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.
The most important of those three layers is the dermis. That’s where all the action happens. This layer is the home of blood vessels, hair follicles and the so famous oil producers, called sebaceous glands. There can also be found some other rockstar cells. The cells responsible for the production of elastin and collagen, which are great substances if you want to feel and look young! All these cells are stimulated by infrared light to produce more of their goods!
 
Last but not least, we also know that cells release nitric oxide when infiltrated by infrared light. That nitric oxide increases the number of nutrients delivered to your cells, by “opening” your vascular system. It basically widens your blood vessels so that every tissue is now able to receive more nutrients and “goodies”.
And yes! That’s only it. We also suspect that it helps downregulate DHT, but that’s still debatable!
 
Finally, the following chapters are the juicy ones because we have almost no science included. Only solutions and proposals!
 

Benefits of LLLT on Balding Men 

 Why choosing LLLT as your favorite of the hair loss treatments for men? Take a look at our “shopping” list:
  • LLLT is one of the safest for usage by men.
 
  • There are no side effects reported yet (fingers crossed here!).
 
  • It’s a NO PAIN BUT GAIN solution.
 
  • LLLT has a significantly reduced price compared to alternatives of the same magnitude.
 
  • It’s pretty simple to use and that’s why it is easy to form a habit around the therapy and make it work.
 
  • Most of the low-level laser devices are affordable and portable, which is a great convenience if you travel a lot.
 
  • Hair regrowth from LLLT effects is observed in both crown and forehead/lobes of men balding.
 
  • LLLT is even a great assist to heal the wounds and strengthen the new hair strands for men undergoing a hair replacement surgery.
 
 

How Can I Administrate Infrared Laser Light (LLLT) On My Receding Hairline? 

Red Star Wars Lasers can be delivered in two ways on your scalp. First, by the Darth Vader. Just make the picture, isn’t it weird to be treated by the lord of darkness? Don’t be disgusted by my lack of humor, I tried at least!
 
Ok, let’s get serious. Try to read the next line because it will give you some basic direction on which kind of LLLT to choose. Homemade or not?
 

Professional Institutes

 
LLLT, as most “advanced” hair loss treatments for men out there, can be administrated by professionals in a salon(not the wild wild west ones) or institute, that is providing cosmetic services.
Pro help costs a bit so if you ‘re ready to pay the price to action, it may cost you up to $5.000 per year for clinical professional help.
Typically treatments are provided 2-3 times per week to the patient’s head. Each session consists of 10 to 20-minute exposure of the scalp to infrared laser light.
 
The device to deliver these red waves of light is usually a bonnet or a head cap. In rare occasions, professionals use a handheld comb or brush, which can be used also to massage the scalp and provide more nutrients delivery during the LLLT.
 

Homemade style LLLT

 
Of course, the alternative to any doctor or “pro”, is the “DIY”. Well, when we say DIY, we don’t mean that you should build the machines on your own, although that would be extra cool.
 
There are devices out there with diodes. These diodes emit this magic red light, called also infrared radiation.
 
You can buy a cap or handheld comb/brush. There are some out there to provide you with the comfort of infrared therapy while watching your favorite show on TV/PC.
 
Some of these devices include:
 
  • HairMax Ultima 12 Comb: It is an FDA approved LLLT comb that enables you to treat your balding spots at home.
 
  • i-Restore Hair Regrowth Helmet: This is the most famous of all products out there. It’s a safe and easy device to use for any circumstance and it can do wonders.
 
  • Hair Max Laser Band 82: This one reminds me of area 51. Anyway, it’s a device from the future. It massages your scalp while at the same time providing it with beneficial infrared light waves.
 
There are many more devices out there and I highly encourage you to search them, if you ‘re really serious about your hair. I do not have any affiliation with the aforementioned, but they are three of the top ones and that’s why I included them in this article for you to take notice.
 
Of course, last but not least, you can also use your hands to massage your scalp before and after the LLLT administration. Scalp treatment and massages that promote blood circulation may be used additionally as part of the program.
 
In any case, 10-20 minutes of daily exposure for 3-4 weeks is a great start point. Then you can use the same exposure, but do not use it daily. Rather go for 2-3 times per week.
 
But before you try anything, keep in mind that overdosing on infrared light can be quite dangerous. Don’t forget that this is a radiation.
 
 

Complementary Hair Loss Treatments For Men 

 
It’s also wise to use complementary hair loss treatments for men along the way so that you get the maximum benefit of the LLLT! Some of them include:
 
 
  • Finasteride stops the production of DHT by blocking the enzyme responsible for this, called 5a-reductase.
 
  • Natural conditioners to protect your existing hair.
 
 
 
 
  • Don’t use styling hair products that contain chemicals and well-known bad substances. Here’s a good resource to help you choose wisely.
 

Are there any health concerns from infrared light? 

 
Literally no. That’s my generic answer based on all the evidence out there. Science has not identified any real concerns that can cause havoc. The only side effect seems to be that if you do your home treatment with other friends around, they will mock you for sure because you will look funny. 
 
If you take it to heart and being sensitive to your friends’ jokes, it can lead to depression. But, yeah that seems the only real side-effect with this one. But sure enough, this therapy is not for everyone.
 
It is intended mostly for men with mild receding hairlines. To be more exact, it is mostly for men who have Norwood Hamilton Classifications of IIa to V. If you ‘re a shining bulb Norwood VII style, then don’t expect results. What you can do though to look more masculine and dominate, is to shave your receding hairline!  
So, be aware that LLLT results in hair growth in around only 40% of men. The results also vary from man to man. Some men find that their new hair strands are also thin. Which basically means that there is not enough change in how other people perceive their scalp. Others have even worse luck. Their hair regrowth is only temporary, which means that it was a waste of time and money all along.
 
Another drawback of these cool home devices is that they cover only a limited area of your scalp. That does not hold true for hair clinic LLLT devices, but a professional visit costs 4-5 times more, so it depends on your pocket and hair thinning area.
 
In addition, if you ‘re on photosensitizing drugs, then you should not proceed with LLLT. Don’t ask me why just do it. Or in this case, don’t do it!
 
 

The End 

There several hair loss treatments for men nowadays! Infrared light therapy seems to be the one with the most promising future. No side effects and high success rate. Chemicals and surgeries always have some side effects. But this one seems to be …natural. But why…? Some even suggest that it replaces our natural exposure to sun, that in ancient times would be there. But now sitting in your cubicle all day, no sun, no party. 
Be consistent with your approach to LLLT. Don’t skip sessions and expect wonders. For some men out there, you have to persist more than a year sometimes, or even lifetime. It’s like minoxidil treatment. You leave it, it leaves you.
 
Also consider that the earlier you apply this treatment, the better the results will be. Don’t wait indecisively sitting on your sofa! Take action! Or else stay bald 4ever. If you do, don’t worry though, shave it and look manly as hell!
 
Before you go, check our infrared infographic that sums all the stuff we talked about today.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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