San Diego Hair Restoration Center

San Diego Hair Restoration Center

600 West Broadway Street, Suite 700 San Diego, CA 92101

San Diego Hair Replacement, Florida Hair Transplant, San Diego Hair Replacement, Hair Restoration San Diego Florida

Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) for Hair Loss: Science or Sorcery

Androgenetic alopecia, the most common type of hair loss, affects 50% of males over the age of 40 and 75% of females over 65. Only two drugs have been approved so far (minoxidil and finasteride). Patients often ask me about the value of light therapy as an additional treatment option. Below is a summary of light therapy as published in the scientific literature.


Studies have shown that LLLT stimulated hair growth in mice who were subjected to chemotherapy-induced alopecia and also in alopecia areata. Several controlled clinical trials demonstrated that LLLT stimulated hair growth in both men and women. Among various mechanisms, the main mechanism is thought to be stimulation of epidermal stem cells in the hair follicle bulge and shifting the follicles into anagen phase or growth phase of the hair cycle.


In the late 1960s, Endre Mester, a Hungarian physician, began a series of experiments on the carcinogenic potential of lasers by using a low-power ruby laser (694 nm) on mice. Mice were shaved as a part of the experimental protocol. To Mester's surprise, the laser did not cause cancer but instead improved hair growth around the shaved region on the animal's back .This was the first demonstration of “photobiostimulation” with LLLT, and it opened a new path in the field of medicine. (Lasers in Medicine & Surgery, Feb 2014)


Most studies and devices which are used in LLLT include the red spectrum and near infra-red spectrum. The exact mechanism of action is not known, and no single device has proven superior. One mechanism may be that LLLT stimulates an increase in blood flow to the scalp much like Rogaine.


Using 655 nm red light and 780 nm infrared light once a day for 10 minutes, 24 male AGA patients were treated and evaluated by a group of investigators. Following 14 weeks of treatment, increase in hair density was seen on both the vertex and occiput.


Several other studies have demonstrated clinical improvement in alopecia for both men and women with the use of various LLLT devices. Most importantly, no adverse side effects were seen in any of these studies.


LLLT for hair growth in both men and women appears to be both safe and effective. The optimum wavelength, coherence and dosimetric parameters remain to be determined. I often recommend such devices for patients who have undergone hair transplant procedures as well as those who are best managed with medical therapy.




People looking for the best plastic surgeon in San Diego and La Jolla choose Dr. Richard Chaffoo for his many exceptional credentials. He completed 3 postgraduate surgery fellowships that encompassed 9 years of training at the prestigious Stanford University Medical Center and UCSD Medical Center. He is one of a select few triple board-certified plastic surgeons having attained certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Board of Otolaryngology, and American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

These are just a few of the impressive achievements that set Dr. Chaffoo apart from the many other board-certified plastic surgeons in San Diego County.


Doctor Chaffoo San Diego,CA