Hair Loss – Alopecia

by David Rindge 4-22-11.  All rights reserved.
Endre Mester

Does it work?   Lasers, leds, polarized and intense pulsed light sources and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy have all been documented to stimulate hair regrowth.  To view the research, click on the links below.

Dr Endre Mester, pictured on the left, is considered the father of low level laser therapy.  In his first published experiment in 1966, he observed that laser therapy accelerated hair growth in rats, making alopecia and hair loss the first bonafide therapeutic indication for phototherapy.  One cannot help but wonder if Dr. Mester ever thought to try it on himself?

Case Study – Alopecia Areata

“Melanie,” a 24 year old high school teacher, had lost approximately 25% of her hair before beginning laser treatment.   She was scheduled three times weekly initially and then twice weekly. She was treated with laser therapy as well as with microcurrent electrotherapy, western herbs and supplements.

By the 23rd treatment we were certain we were observing hair re-growth in two areas. From then on, dark hair rapidly began filling in all bald patches except in two areas which were slow to respond. At first the hair there grew in white, but over time it has become dark. MC was discharged with a full head of hair after 42 visits.

Right Side Back Left Side

How effective are phototherapy and electromagnetic fields in hair regrowth?

The effective stimulation of hair regrowth by phototherapy (lasers, light emitting diodes, broadband intense pulsed light, polarized light) as well as electromagnetic fields has been documented using a wide variety of  types of devices, dosages and methods.  Combining several methods may enhance outcomes.  Future studies promise to clarify the best clinical parameters, but energy-based treatments have been shown to be effective in alopecia and hair loss.

Nikiforova treated 78 patients with alopecia with low intensity laser therapy and reported hair regrowth in every instance.  He noted improvement in hair quality, thickness, recovery of pigment and a 50-100% acceleration in the rate of hair growth.  To see the abstract, click here.

Yamazaki et al used linearly polarized, infrared light successfully in alopecia.  To see their abstract, click here.

Super-pulsed, GaAs lasers (known for superior results in treating deep musculoskeletal pain) have also been shown to effectively stimulate hair regrowth by Waiz et al with positive results after only four, weekly sessions.  To view their abstract,  click here.

In a double-blind study of the effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields in androgenic alopecia, those treated showed increase mean hair counts and reduced loss.  To see this abstract, click here.

12 out of 13 patients receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer also treated with pulsed electrostatic fields to prevent alopecia by Bejamin et al had good hair retention.  To view abstract, click here.

29 out of 30 (96.7%) treated by pulsed electrostatic field therapy exhibited hair regrowth or no further hair loss in a study by Maddin et al.  To view this abstract, click here.