Laser caps using cold lasers, or low level laser therapy, are claiming to be a scientifically proven hair loss treatment that’s safe, natural and actually helps regrow hair. Sounds too good to be true, right? 

Wrong. LLLT really works, and it may be just the solution you’ve been looking for. 

Before you jump online and order the first laser cap you see, however, it’s important to know exactly how laser therapy works. That way you can separate those products that genuinely offer hair growth from those that produce inferior results.

Read on to see why a laser treatment for your hair might be a good fit for you.

How Cold Laser Treatment Affects Hair Growth

The breakthrough began in the 1960s when researchers studying the effects of LLLT on mice noticed it caused their shaved rodents to regrow their hair at a remarkable rate. This discovery led to the birth of laser biostimulation therapy. Since then, low level laser therapy has been used, with astounding results, in the following areas:

  • Inflammation and joint pain
  • Wound and nerve care
  • Neurological care

And, of course, to promote hair growth.

What makes LLLT so effective is its ability to stimulate your body’s regenerative abilities on a cellular level. When presented at the correct wavelength and dosage, cold lasers recharge the enzymes within mitochondria, which act as your cells’ batteries. 

Why is that important?

Much like the photosynthesis within plants we learned about in grade school, this reaction causes certain photochemical responses that benefit the human body, including: 

  • Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP): Your newly recharged mitochondria are powered by ATP. LLLT boosts ATP production and  allows your cells to release excess ATP, which is used by nearby cells to awaken. This accounts for the impressive healing properties, whether applied to a wound, knee or in this case, the hairs on your scalp.
  • Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS): ROS are molecules that play a vital role in the cellular communication that aids in protein production and enzyme activation. Translation: ROS boost the factors needed to promote natural hair growth. 
  • Nitric Oxide (NO): Laser therapy has been shown to trigger the release of NO, which oxygenates your blood while delivering immune cells into soft tissues. This makes it great at soothing muscle pain and swelling. This also creates the healthy scalp needed to fight hair loss. 

What Does This Mean for Your Hair?

In plain language, LLLT awakens the cells within your dormant follicles, causing them to repair themselves and start regrowing your hair—EVEN if your hair loss is hereditary. This makes low level laser therapy a must-add into your holistic hair growth repertoire. 

Many people are even supplementing LLLT with herbs to maximize the natural power of this treatment. 

Why In-Phase Ruby Lasers Yield the Best Results

Not all laser caps are created equal, and most of the difference comes from the type of laser used to fight hair loss. Based on the original tech from the 1960s, ruby lasers have proven to offer the most reliable hair growth results. Ruby lasers emit light at consistent frequencies, creating a coherent, or in-phase laser. 

This allows the light to penetrate past the external levels of the skin and stimulate your follicles at the roots, the most effective way to spark hair growth. 

But your research shouldn’t stop there. 

Any laser, including a ruby laser, is only effective if it’s set at the correct strength and frequency, also known as dosage. For a light to be considered therapeutically low-level, it must adhere to the following guidelines: 

  1. Power output of lasers must be  between 0.001 and 0.1 Watts
  2. Wavelengths must be in the range of 300 to 1100 nm
  3. Pulse rate from 0, meaning continuous to 5000 Hertz (cycles per second)
  4. Intensity range of 0.01 to 10 W/cm2, and dose range  of 0.01 to 100 J/cm2

Within these ranges, the lasers pose no danger to human tissue. If you don’t know whether the laser caps you’re considering follow these guidelines, make sure to check with the manufacturer beforehand.

After all, you want to make sure your new product isn’t only effective, but safe, too. 

How Do Therapeutic Lasers Compare to LEDs?

The easy answer?

They don’t. 

Perhaps the biggest red flag to watch for when shopping for laser caps is the presence of LEDs. While the super-cheap light source has proven itself invaluable in cutting waste by giving us longer-lasting light bulbs, it will do absolutely nothing to help you regrow your hair. You might as well try an old-school, incandescent bulb (warning, it WILL leave a bigger carbon footprint). 

The problem lies in the LEDs’ weaker power. Not only is LED light not bright enough, it emits incoherently, meaning that the wavelengths of light are diffuse and not nearly as potent as LLLT. That means the weaker LED rays don’t penetrate past the superficial layers of cells. 

Think of it like the nozzle on a hose: LEDs are the “mist” setting, while LLLT is the “jet.”

That’s not to say that LEDs have no therapeutic value; they’ve been used by medical professionals to promote healing and reduce inflammation. But for the purposes of reversing hair loss, LEDs simply can’t compare to LLLT. 

The Number of Diodes Makes a Difference

The concept of using LLLT as an at home hair loss treatment actually began with the laser comb. While they often used similar lasers and specifications, the comb’s design and construction limited the products to around a dozen laser diodes. This made the process laborious, as users had to hold the comb to their heads, moving it slowly around until the limited number of diodes adequately grazed the entire scalp enough times. 

This made the gains slow to achieve.

Thankfully, it also propelled the introduction of laser caps. 

Instead of just 12 diodes, manufacturers could now include several times that into a single cap, and the results have been startling.

What researchers have since learned is that the number of laser diodes makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of a product. So, 80 diodes is certainly better than 12. But Illumiflow’s 272 ruby laser diodes took this concept a step further, offering unmatched coverage and results. 

Now, users can treat their hair loss at home, while still having their hands free, finally giving them an ergonomic, effective and safe way to regrow their hair using LLLT. 

The Takeaway

For decades, those experiencing hair loss were told they had, at most, three options:

  1. Chemical-based prescriptions or topicals
  2. Invasive and/or expensive medical treatments
  3. Just go bald

Thanks to low level laser therapy, those suffering from hair loss or thinning hair, now have a way to fight back. 

Best of all the treatment is safe and FDA-approved. 

And thanks to the science behind laser therapy, it’s proven to be the opposite of too good to be true.