Facts About Hair Loss
Whether you are an aspiring model or a scientist, a career oriented person or a homemaker, there are a few things in life that allow you to walk confidently with your head held high. One of them is gorgeous hair. How many of us have watched the shampoo commercials, beautiful actress and envied them and wished we had their silky shiny beautiful hair. And sure in today’s world since there is a solution for everything, hair loss is not something that’s been left behind.
Today we have umpteen number of oils and shampoos that can nourish your hair, and millions of hair salons that offer a variety of treatments for all kinds of hair. But the latest technology for preventive care for both men and women is the lasers. Today, lasers are not only used in the machinery and healthcare industries, they have made their way into the hair care business giving us new hope and outstanding results. However since this is a relatively new technology, there are many questions regarding safety and usage. Let’s learn about this amazing technology so the next time we are in trouble regarding hair, we understand the best option there is and make an informed choice
How do they work?
The very first thing you would want to know about any product used on human is is it safe. The answer to this question lies in understanding how a thing works which will determine its safety factor. The type of lasers used in hair care consists of low level photons. They work on the simple physiological principle that tissues survive on oxygen. These low level lasers stimulate the scalp thus increasing the number of red blood corpuscles and therefore improving the blood circulation to this region which further provides all the required nutrients for hair growth, survival, and nourishment.
When the lasers are used along with good conditioners, they can help repair all kinds of damage like split ends, dry hair, damaged hair from chemical perm, and even treat dandruff, itchiness and oily to dry scalp
Benefits of laser light therapy:
- Stimulation of hair follicles for increased hair regrowth.
- Increased blood supply to the scalp right from day one.
- A complete ceasing in the progression of hair loss.
- The various salon treatments are highly enhanced with the laser therapy
- Silky shiny hair with less to no split ends from the first few treatments.
- Harmful effects of chemical perms can be reversed using laser therapy.
- By clearing the debris and closing the hair cuticles, the laser therapy provides the healthiest environment for the hair to grow and stay nourished thus protecting the effects of hair colors and perms for longer periods of time.
- By increasing the blood flow to the scalp, laser therapy can awaken the dormant hair roots and thus stimulate the growth of healthy new hair.
- Already existing hair is nourished and thickened.
Who can be the recipients of this treatment?
- Cancer patients who have had chemotherapy, immediately after the treatment.
- Men and women suffering from hair loss, whether it is hereditary, pattern baldness, or due to stress, medications, hormones, or chemical treatments
- Women following postpartum and menopause.
- Alopecia Areata.
- Men and women with thin dry hair who want healthier thicker hair, or want to sustain the colour treatments and other kinds of salon treatments for longer time periods.
Some scientific facts about hair loss and course of action:
The scientific term used to describe loss of hair beyond the normal hair loss is Alopecia. However each hair follows a natural growth cycle after which it falls off and is replaced by a new and healthy hair. This natural falling of hair should not be confused with Alopecia.Some man made factors which can contribute to baldness include tight ponytails and braids.
Some types of Alopecia include:
- Alopecia senilis: This type occurs due to old age and is irreversible.
- Alopecia premature: This type of baldness occurs in people before middle age and starts by falling off of the hair which are eventually replaced by thinner ones
- Alopecia areata: This refers to the baldness which occurs in patches and spots and is usually caused by disease like anemia, typhoid fever, scarlet fever or syphilis. The patches can be of any shape and the size varies from one-half inch to 2-3 inches in diameter. Most of the cases of Alopecia areata are caused by compromised nervous system as nervous system is responsible for the blood flow.
Some facts about hair loss that are hereditary:
- Testosterone levels in the body: The levels of the testosterone hormones in the body and its effects are related to baldness and are in fact hereditary in nature.
- Tightness of the scalp: As we know that the most important factor for hair growth is continuous supply of oxygen and other required nutrients to the hair follicles. If a person has a tight scalp, which is hereditary in nature, the circulation to the follicles is compromised. This disturbs the natural hair cycle and once the hair reaches the resting phase it closes the follicle completely thus preventing the new hair from growing. However lasers can come in handy in treating this kind of hair loss as they increase the blood circulation to the affected region thus restoring the regular cycle.
How safe are the lasers?
The lasers used in case of hair loss therapy are low powered ones with lesser number of photons. They are completely safe and cause no internal injury of any kind. Since the power and thus the photons are lesser compared to other equipments, no heat is released from these thus preventing any injuries to the users or the one operating the equipment. All the lasers used in these equipments have federal standards which have been tested earlier and therefore they are bound by law to use the approved amount
Some scientific evidence regarding the same:
The results of studies conducted and their success is what makes us believe the products sold in the market. The lasers too have undergone such studies since the 1950’s and these are some of the results which are positive and thus support safety.
In a study on Alopecia, the lasers were placed 30 cms from the affected area with a dose ranging from 3-4 joule per sq cm, the irradiated area showed a clear medulla rich in keratin following treatment.
Success in hair regrowth with laser treatment in both males and females suffering from Alopecia and Alopecia areata was reported at the 4th Annual Meeting of the Japan Laser Therapy Association in 1992. Out of the 40 cases studied, only one failure was reported thus giving it a very high success rate.
Demodexfolliculorum is a type of parasite that feeds on sebum with the help of lipase enzyme. Recently a study by the Tulane University proved the following facts thus establishing the connection between this parasite and thinning hair. The study showed the presence of this parasite among 88% of men and women with thinning hair, while it wasn’t seen in 91% of men and women with normal hair density. When biotechnological researchers clinically tested the presence of this parasite on men and women with thinning hair, 100% of them tested positive thus proving the connection.
A double blind comparative study of laser treatment with place lasers (LED) was conducted to prove that regrowth of new hair can be achieved in most middle-aged and younger males with typical male baldness when the scalp is irradiated with lasers for 5 weeks followed by maintenance treatments. The hair growth is controlled by papilla and therefore if the papilla is safe, even the if you pull the hair by its roots, it will regrow again. The following were collected pre-study
1. The duration of hair loss and baldness according to the Hamilton classification.
2. Skin biopsy for histological examination before and after treatment
3. Photographs of the patients.
4. The hair shaft thickness was measured and graded.
The following were the results from the study:
1. All patients except one showing complete stop of hair loss
2. All patients except 3 showed regrowth of hair
3. At least one category reduction in the hamilton classification in all patients.
The following were the results of the histological examination:
– Dermas with normal amount of follicles
– Dermas were in the telogen phase.
– Same number of hair follicles as pre-treatment with number of new ones with hair growth
– 50% of follicles were in the anagen phase.
– Transformation into agnogenic hair follicles seen in 83% of patients after laser reatment but none in the placebo patients.
Out of 19 patients with laser treatment, 14 showed increase in hair thickness and 18 showed improvement in shaft quality. No such changes in placebo patients.
The process of replacement of hair:
- The bub separates from the papilla
- The bulb moves upwards into the hair follicle
- The hair moves down to the surface and sheds
- Cell division occurs in the root of the hair and around the papilla and new hair is born and grows out.
- Anagen phase: this is the growth phase lasting for 2-3 years
- Catagen phase: this is the resting phase that stretches from 2-3 months
- Telogen phase: this is the hair loss phase which lasts several days.
Stages in the hair shaft growth cycle are:
The approximate number of hair on the head varies with the colour of the hair and the following are some of the average values:
- Blonde- 140,000
- Black- 108,000
- Brown- 110,000
- Red- 90,000
The average life cycle of a hair ranges from 2-4 years. This also depends on several other factors such as age, sex, type of hair, health, and heredity. While eyebrow and eyelashes hair are replaced every 4-5 months, there are 1,000 hair per square feet on an average on any head.