Slow Hair Loss and Re-Grow Hair with Red and Near-Infrared Light Therapy
Red light has also been shown to help with certain types of hair loss. Red light has proven to help both women and men with various conditions to regrow hair and even thicken the diameter of individual hair strands. Red and near-infrared light therapy has proven to help women with alopecia to significantly regrow and thicken hair.86 Red and near-infrared light therapy has also proven to regrow hair in men with hair loss in several studies.
To get a little more detailed on the mechanisms, basically, hair growth takes place in several phases:
- Anagen—growth phase
- Catagen—the hair transitions upwards towards the skin pore
- Telogen—the dermal papillae (are of blood supply) fully separate from the hair follicle. (After 5-6 weeks, the dermal papillae move upward to meet the hair follicles again and the hair matrix starts forming more hair—i.e. to go back to the anagen phase.)
Red and near-infrared light has been shown to help transition hair from the telogen phase back to the anagen phase and prolong the anagen/growth phase. It can also increase the rate of growth in the anagen phase while preventing premature catagen phases.
These effects may be mediated by increases in certain growth factors, of effects on inflammation, improved mitochondrial functioning in the cells in that area, or on nitric oxide levels and blood circulation to the area, or some combination of all these factors.
In short, it helps hair stay in the growth phase, grow more, and re- enter the growth phase (instead of dying off). The end result is less hair loss and more hair growth.