Who Is & Isn't A Good Candidate for PBMT
For many of us, hair loss is par for the course as the years pass by. While unavoidable, you don’t have to live with it in light of today’s advances in medical technology. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), also often referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), offers a non-surgical approach to treating hair loss and promoting hair growth. Whether or not you’re a good candidate for PBMT will depend on a handful of factors involving your skin and the type of hair loss you’re experiencing.
Treating Hair Loss With PBMT
Like any other type of cell in the body, the cells that support hair growth can weaken when the processes that keep these cells healthy start to break down. Any number of factors can contribute to hair loss, some of which include:
- The aging process
- Hormone imbalances or hormonal changes, in general
- Medication side effects
- Underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes
PBMT uses near-infrared laser light to promote tissue repair and regeneration by stimulating the processes that support healthy tissue growth at the cellular level. These effects jumpstart hair growth by prolonging the growth stage, preventing premature shedding, and improve the health of existing viable follicles on your head. The result may be longer, thicker, healthier-looking hair.
Blood circulation plays a critical role in supporting healthy cell function. The blood delivers the much-needed oxygen and nutrients that enable cells to repair, stay healthy, and multiply. The benefits of PBMT as it relates to hair restoration stem from its ability to stimulate healthy cell processes within the scalp. When the cells that make up the scalp are healthy, you can expect the following results:
- Melanin supplies are replenished, which helps reduce graying
- Hair growth cycles proceed as they should
- Reduced shedding or hair loss
- Stronger hair shafts
- Hair regains its luster and sheen
How to Tell If You’re a Good Candidate for PBMT
Three main factors will determine if you’re a good candidate for PBMT:
- The type of hair loss you’re experiencing
- The stage of hair loss you’re in
- Your skin tone
The Type of Hair Loss
As much as 98 percent of hair loss is caused by a genetic condition known as androgenic alopecia or pattern baldness. With pattern baldness, excess hair shedding increases as you get older. For men with pattern baldness, this begins around the temples and, over time, forms an “M” shape from the crown to the temples. For women with pattern baldness, the whole head of hair starts to thin. Over time, this leads to complete or partial baldness in men while women typically experience only partial baldness. If you suspect pattern baldness to be the problem, you’re a good candidate for PBMT.
1. Results may vary from person to person
2. Capillus recommends verifying there are no underlying medical conditions with your hair restoration specialist.
The Stage of Hair Loss
The stage of hair loss can be a make or break factor when it comes to determining whether you’re a good candidate for PBMT. When thinning has progressed to the point where areas of baldness appear, you likely won’t see significant results from low-level laser therapy (it may help retain the hair you still have, but follicles in “bald” areas may no longer be viable). On the other hand, if you’re still in the early stages of hair loss, PBMT’s effectiveness increases considerably. With overall thinning or slight, partial baldness, you can expect to see noticeable results with a PBMT laser hair growth cap.
Skin tone determines how your skin reacts when it’s exposed to the sun. Skin reactions range from the darkest skin tones, which tend not to burn, to the lightest skin tones, which burn fairly easily. If you’re a good candidate for PBMT, your skin tone will fall anywhere between white to light brown. These classifications are based on the Fitzpatrick Classification of Skin Phototypes, which rates skin tone from I to VI, with I being white skin and VI being black skin.
Where to Go From Here
As a general rule, the more viable hair follicles you have the more effective any hair restoration treatment will be. More often than not, when baldness occurs, many remaining hair follicles are no longer able to grow hair. This means the sooner you take steps to address hair loss issues, the better.
If you’re not a good candidate for PBMT, there are still other options that may help. Surgical hair restoration, while not the most popular choice, may still be the way to go when baldness prevails. Other options, such as keratin fibers and micro-pigmentation may also produce noticeable results in cases of advanced hair loss. With today’s advancements in hair restoration, there’s a wide range of treatments available so don’t give up.
3. Results may vary from person to person