Side Effects of Low Level Therapy – Facts and Myths
Undergoing any kind of treatment, invasive of otherwise, can be a scary thing. We’re trusting our bodies to science, and although we know there’s almost no chance of anything going wrong, it’s always worth investigating the potential side effects. If you’ve been researching hair loss treatments, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen the incredible promise that low level light therapy (LLLT) holds. The trouble is, there are a lot of myths surrounding the therapy. In this article, we’ll be looking to dispel those myths, and answer questions you might have surrounding the side effects of low level light therapy.
FACT: Low Level Light Therapy Is Scientifically Backed
Thousands of clinical trials have been undertaken to determine just how useful LLLT is for countless uses. For our purposes, it’s important to look at trials concerning hair loss. One such trial, conducted in 2014 found that LLLT stimulated hair growth in mice. Further than that though, it also found that under controlled conditions LLLT also stimulated hair growth in both men and women with androgenic alopecia – by far the most common form of hair loss amongst men.
The scientists suggest that the reason for the hair growth comes from the stimulation of epidermal stem cells in the hair follicle bulge being shifted into the anagen (growth) phase.
MYTH: Low Level Light Therapy Burns
This myth largely comes from the simple misunderstanding that all lasers are powerful. In our minds, we’ve grown to associate lasers with Bond villain-esque power, but the truth couldn’t be further from that. The clue comes in the name – low level (or cold) laser therapy. The lasers used to stimulate the cells under your skin are designed to cause no pain and cannot burn your skin at all.
FACT: LLLT Has Few (or None) Side Effects
Studies have shown that low level light therapy has what has been described as a “remarkably low incidence of adverse effects when it has been used over 50 years for diverse medical conditions and in a variety of anatomical sites.” Indeed, the only adverse report received from somebody using it as a hair loss treatment was the temporary onset of TE during the first 2 months, which would then disappear with continued treatment. TE is abnormal hair cycling causing excessive loss of telogen hair.
Further trials are ongoing, but the evidence over the last 50 years indicates that LLLT is an extremely safe form of treatment.
MYTH: Low Level Light Therapy is Expensive
For all its scientifically backed virtues, you might expect LLLT to be a real bank-breaker, but that’s far from the case. Pricing can start from just £45 per session and full hair loss treatment courses (including secondary treatments like hair re-growth products) can be had for around £1500, depending on the clinic you choose, making it exceptional value for money compared to other hair loss treatments.