Low level laser therapy (LLLT) and hair transplants are two different ways of combating hair loss. (Image Credit: kalhh/Pixabay)
How Do The Two Procedures Compare?
Low level laser therapy was discovered during research for cancer therapy in the late 60s. The most common kind of hair regrowth laser is the cold laser that produces a particular form of red light. The wavelength of this red light ranges between 630nm and 670nm and is ideal for stimulating the growth of new hair.
The number of diodes used to emit LLLT determines how effective the treatment will be. But unlike laser therapy, a hair transplant is a surgery that involves moving hair from one area to another. The hair is moved from a non-balding area to a balding one.
Each hair regrowth approach is different in its nature.
Below we examine LLLT and hair transplants further.
The LLLT Procedure
LLLT involves the use of laser therapy to improve hair growth. People who decide to undertake this procedure begin to see initial results within four to six months. What can you expect from LLLT? The process works by stimulating the roots of the hair follicles by allowing them to access more nutrients that are delivered via blood flow and potentially blocking DHT, the hormone known to cause hair loss. As a result of laser hair therapy, the roots of hair heal and eventually grow to become thicker and healthier.
With this process the scalp continues to heal as new baby hairs begin to form. As these hairs continue to regrow, existing hair continues to thicken and gain a healthy sheen. The growth of these reawakened hairs continues until eventually they match the health of the pre-existing hair follicles and thus the balding area loses its prominence. The number of diodes in a laser therapy cap determines how effective the treatment will be. This means that the more diodes used, the greater the efficacy will be in hair regrowth. LLLT is an affordable solution that can be conveniently used for at home treatments. The price for such devices that provide this technology for hair regrowth range anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars on the more affordable side upwards of $3,000. These prices depend on the quality of the device and the amount of laser diodes provided.
Low level laser therapy is a painless and non-invasive procedure. The implication of this is that there is no recovery period after using the LLLT laser caps. This method of treatment is natural and promotes sustainable hair regrowth over time. Although it takes time for hair to regrow through laser therapy, persons who use this option can rest assured that this form of therapy mitigates and puts continued hair loss to a halt.
Laser hair therapy is backed by extensive research and clinical trials that show the procedure is safe to use. Depending on the laser therapy device that one uses, the procedure can be quite convenient and effective. Users can even perform their laser treatments from the comfort of their home.
Hair Transplant Procedure
There are two types of techniques for hair transplants – these are FUSS (Follicular Unit Strip Surgery) and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). In FUSS treatments, a piece of skin is cut from an area that is not bald. The cut skin is then divided into smaller parts, each containing one or a few hairs before being placed on the balding areas. The donor site is then closed and covered by the hair surrounding it. For FUE surgery, a patient is shaved at the back of the head and single hair follicles are removed and taken to the recipient areas. With FUE treatment, hair does not have to be removed from a single site.
Regardless of the hair transplant type one opts for, the transplanted hair falls within two to three weeks after the surgery. Afterward, patients notice new hair growth following the dormancy period. This is the period between surgery and the regrowth of the hair usually takes between two to three months. The hair becomes fully grown after about ten months. Hair transplants are the most expensive form of treatment to overcome hair loss and can empty out your whole life savings. These treatments are pricey and range from a couple of thousand all the way up to the equivalent of a brand new European car.
Hair Transplant Recovery
After surgery, surgeons advise patients to take Minoxidil – a hair growth drug that stimulates the regrowth of hair. Patients are also required to wear bandages for a few days after the surgery to cover the wounds. One major disadvantage of this hair regrowth method is that it causes the scalp to become sensitive. Patients may experience pain following the surgery. Surgeons recommend pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infections that may arise. The recovery time depends on the kind of surgery one goes through with FUE surgeries appearing to heal faster. If stitches are used, they may be removed within ten days.
LLLT is a much more affordable, less intensive procedure that is convenient for personal at home use as compared to hair transplants that are much more expensive and more intensive.
At a few hundred dollars you can easily purchase a laser cap and begin at home treatment on your own schedule. The use of LLLT technology requires no recovery time, unlike hair transplants which are often complicated and that much more burdensome. When deciding between two viable options to prevent future and current hair loss, low level laser therapy definitely seems to be the better choice.
Anha Khalid is a passionate writer with many years of experience in the industry. She is a versatile freelance writer with having experience in writing content for health and beauty magazines and websites. With a background in journalism, she loves writing blogs and product reviews that provide valuable information to readers.