PhotoBioStimulation (also commonly referred to as low-level laser light therapy - LLLT or laser hair therapy - LHT) creates an environment that promotes and increases cellular activity in the scalp. PBS improves cellular respiration in the hair follicles, resulting in a longer growth phase and a return to thicker, shinier and darker hairs over time. PBS does not create new hairs or replace ones that have been lost permanently. Rather it stimulates healthier growth of existing hairs.
It is one of only three U.S. FDA-cleared modalities for treating common hair loss.
Dr. Elliott has been involved in the delivery of LHT for more than 10 years. It has no known side effects.
LHT penetrates the scalp to the depth of the hair follicle, stimulating cell respiration and function. Healthy cells help produce healthy hair. The gradual deterioration of thinning hair is typically reversed and the gradual effect is the production of stronger, thicker shinier hair. In some cases, the increased production of the cells that produce pigment can cause hair to return more to its original color.
This treatment has been used for many medical conditions for many years and for hair loss treatment for more than a decade. Laser energy stimulates the follicle to grow and perform better and produce better quality hair without generating heat. The laser energy also reduces inflammation and is used in Dr. Elliott's practice after transplants to speed up healing of the scalp.
Hair goes through three distinctive phases during its typical 2-6-year life cycle. These include Anagen (growth phase), Catagen (transition phase) and Telogen (resting phase). So, for a resting hair to begin growing again, first it must be shed. This is important, since people with many telogen hairs will experience shedding when starting a successful treatment program and this can be unnerving. The replacement of telogen hairs with healthier anagen hairs can occur in as little as 12 weeks, although initially the cosmetic improvement will be more apparent to the patient then others.
There are a variety of devices that successfully deliver LHT. They include clinical machines that must be used in the provider’s office, low-powered hand-held laser ‘combs’ that require a regime of brushing through the hair several times per week and those that can be worn. The latter category - wearables - are by far the most popular method for delivering LHT, as they are convenient to use and many are as powerful any clinical machine.
The most advanced LHT wearables can be worn discreetly under a hat or cap.
Dr. Elliott offers the most sophisticated devices and will recommend the best to use for efficacy and convenience.
The typical FDA guidelines dictate a treatment regimen of 30 minute sessions, three times per week. As they will be used for as long as the patient cares about his or her hair, it is best to consider the most convenient and efficacious.
Results vary depending on the condition of the hair at the beginning of usage. Most changes begin occurring at the cellular level of the hair shaft, but visual changes can occur within 12 weeks and gradually improve over the following months. The new growing hair will take a long time to reach its optimum length, as the life cycle of the human hair is several years. But, over time that thinner ponytail or loss of thickness will slowly return to much of its former volume! It is customary to see increased shine and body as the oil glands and hair support muscles are stimulated. Many users report grey hair regaining more color or lighter hair becoming darker, which is attributed to stimulation of melanin production in the hair follicle.
Always discuss medication use and combination therapy approach with your prescribing hair restoration physician. The mechanism of PBS is different from other approved therapies, but is considered complimentary by most physicians and safe to use in combination.
Most LHT devices are classified by the FDA as 3R medical devices. By simply avoiding prolonged eye contact, they can be used in complete comfort and safety. Dr. Elliott and his staff will explain proper usage.