Does red light therapy help hair grow?

Does red light therapy help hair grow?

Yes, red light therapy can help promote hair growth. This treatment, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM), uses specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared light to stimulate hair follicles. Studies have shown that red light therapy can increase hair density, thickness, and overall hair health by enhancing blood flow to the scalp, reducing inflammation, and stimulating the production of energy (ATP) in hair follicle cells. It is a non-invasive and safe treatment option for individuals experiencing hair thinning or hair loss.

If you're experiencing hair loss or thinning, you're not alone. Millions of people worldwide face similar issues and are constantly on the lookout for effective treatments. One emerging solution is red light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM). But does it really work? In this blog, we’ll delve into the science behind red light therapy for hair growth, examine the research backing its efficacy, and discuss how you can potentially benefit from this innovative treatment.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy involves exposing the body to low wavelengths of red and near-infrared light. These wavelengths penetrate the skin and are absorbed by the cells, particularly the mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the cells. This absorption boosts the cells' energy production (ATP), leading to various beneficial effects, including improved cellular function, reduced inflammation, and enhanced healing.

How Does Red Light Therapy Promote Hair Growth?

Hair growth occurs in cycles: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). Hair loss typically results from the shortening of the anagen phase and prolongation of the telogen phase. Red light therapy is believed to stimulate hair growth by:

  1. Increasing Blood Flow: Red light therapy enhances blood circulation to the scalp, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles, which is crucial for hair growth.
  2. Stimulating Hair Follicles: The light energy penetrates the scalp and is absorbed by the hair follicle cells, promoting cellular repair and stimulating the follicles to enter the anagen phase.
  3. Reducing Inflammation: Inflammation around hair follicles can inhibit hair growth. Red light therapy helps reduce inflammation, creating a healthier environment for hair growth.
  4. Boosting ATP Production: By enhancing mitochondrial function and ATP production, red light therapy energizes the hair follicle cells, leading to better hair growth and thicker hair strands.

Research Supporting Red Light Therapy for Hair Growth

Several studies have demonstrated the efficacy of red light therapy in promoting hair growth. Here are a few key pieces of research:

  1. A 2014 Study in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine: This study involved 44 male and 47 female participants with androgenetic alopecia (a common form of hair loss). The participants were treated with red light therapy devices. The results showed a significant increase in hair density and thickness after 26 weeks of treatment compared to the placebo group .
  2. A 2017 Study in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy: This randomized, double-blind study evaluated the effects of red light therapy on hair growth in 32 men with androgenetic alopecia. Participants treated with red light therapy showed a significant increase in hair count compared to those in the control group .
  3. A 2009 Study in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery: This study involved 40 men with androgenetic alopecia. The results indicated that those treated with red light therapy experienced a 35% increase in hair growth over a 16-week period .
  4. A 2014 Study in Lasers in Medical Science: This study focused on the molecular mechanisms of red light therapy. It found that red light therapy could stimulate the proliferation of dermal papilla cells, which play a key role in hair growth .

How to Use Red Light Therapy for Hair Growth

Red light therapy for hair growth can be administered through various devices, including handheld lasers, helmet-like devices, and in-office treatments. Here’s a general guide on how to use red light therapy:

  1. Consistency is Key: Regular use is crucial for seeing results. Most studies suggest using red light therapy devices for 15-20 minutes per session, 2-3 times a week.
  2. Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Each device may have specific usage guidelines. Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure safe and effective treatment.
  3. Be Patient: Hair growth is a slow process, and it may take several months to see significant results. Consistent use over a prolonged period is essential.
  4. Combine with Other Treatments: For optimal results, consider combining red light therapy with other hair growth treatments such as topical minoxidil or hair growth shampoos. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Hair Growth

  1. Non-Invasive: Unlike surgical hair restoration methods, red light therapy is non-invasive and painless.
  2. Minimal Side Effects: Red light therapy is generally safe with minimal side effects, making it a suitable option for most people.
  3. Convenience: With various at-home devices available, you can easily incorporate red light therapy into your routine without the need for frequent clinic visits.
  4. Promotes Overall Scalp Health: In addition to stimulating hair growth, red light therapy improves overall scalp health by reducing inflammation and promoting better circulation.

Considerations and Precautions

While red light therapy is generally safe, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Consult a Professional: Before starting red light therapy, consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.
  2. Quality of Device: Ensure you purchase a high-quality, FDA-cleared device. Low-quality devices may not provide the correct wavelengths or power needed for effective treatment.
  3. Realistic Expectations: While red light therapy can promote hair growth, results may vary. It's essential to have realistic expectations and understand that it may not work for everyone.

What to know about Hair Growth & Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy offers a promising and non-invasive solution for those struggling with hair loss or thinning. With a growing body of research supporting its efficacy, it has become a popular choice for promoting hair growth and improving scalp health. However, as with any treatment, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional and choose a reputable device to ensure safety and effectiveness.

If you're considering red light therapy for hair growth, take the time to research and understand how it works, and be prepared for a commitment to regular use. With patience and consistency, you may find that red light therapy is the key to achieving healthier, thicker hair.


  1. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 2014
  2. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 2017
  3. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, 2009
  4. Lasers in Medical Science, 2014

By understanding the science behind red light therapy and staying informed, you can make the best decision for your hair health journey.

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