DHT is a hormone that is linked to baldness. This hormone is more dominantly produced in men than it is in women because it is derived from the testosterone hormone. An enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase is essential in turning testosterone into DHT. DHT mainly helps in the development of male characteristics and is responsible for genetic and pattern baldness.
The androgen receptor gene also known as the AR gene also makes people vulnerable to hair loss. If DHT hormone levels increase in a person with the AR gene, hair follicles will be affected. These follicles will reduce in size until they become dormant, curtailing hair production completely. Contrary to what most people think, balding is not necessarily irreversible. If the situation is captured early and you can identify how to block DHT, there are over-the-counter treatments like laser cap therapy that can make hair follicles come back to life again. Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is one such treatment.
So, how does low level laser therapy stimulate new hair growth?
LLLT Inhibits 5-Alpha Reductase Enzyme
5-alpha reductase is the enzyme that helps with the conversion of testosterone into DHT. In the presence of the AR gene, DHT results in balding or androgenetic alopecia. Generally, the more the 5-a enzyme is produced, the higher the amount of DHT the body gets. Low level laser therapy helps to slow down the production of this enzyme in the body, which means that only a controlled amount of DHT is produced. People who have little or no 5-alpha reductase at all, may lose very little hair later in life. Although there are specific drugs designed to inhibit the enzyme, LLLT seems to be a well suited option.
LLLT Activates Heat Shock Proteins
Shock proteins are produced by cells when one is exposed to stressful conditions. Originally, it was thought that the production of these proteins was triggered by heat. However, later developments have shown that shock proteins are generated as a result of other factors including exposure to UV light and cold. Heat shock proteins contribute to the health of cells. The protein HSP27 is particularly helpful to the scalp. Low level laser therapy activates shock proteins that in turn facilitate the growth of hair follicle cells that result in the regrowth of hair.
LLLT Boosts Oxygen Delivery to Scalp Tissues
Oxygen is essential in the growth cycle of hair and low level laser therapy helps to boost oxygen supply in hair cells. During this process, LLLT divides two factors of the equation that leads to hair loss. These are nitric oxide (NO) and the enzyme cytochrome c-oxidase (CCO). Light photons work on cytochrome c-oxidase, which leads to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The ATP is then converted to cyclic AMP in the follicle cells. As a result, energy is released and the metabolic processes that are necessary for the growth of hair are stimulated.
LLLT Increases Blood Flow in Scalp Cells
The boost in oxygen delivery explained above results from scalp cells receiving more blood. With more oxygen, scalp capillaries are able to breathe better. Nitric oxide aids in widening the blood vessels through a process known as vasodilation. With vasodilation, previous blockages are cleared, resulting in an increased flow of oxygen rich blood in the vessels. Vasodilation is also crucial to the growth of new hair and is fundamental in sustaining the health of hair.
LLLT Promotes Cell Proliferation
The use of LLLT aids in the oxygenation of tissues and the improvement of cell respiration. It results in an increased level of activity from reactive oxygen species ROS in the scalp tissue. An increase in ROS results in oxidative stress, which accelerates aging, which is not necessarily a bad thing. When given in acute doses, ROS is necessary for inflammatory responses, immune function, and cell proliferation. LLLT increases ROS to a level that is not harmful to the scalp tissues. It triggers protective genes similar to a knee jerk reaction. This encourages the proliferation of cells along with growth factors that are linked to hair growth.
There are many things that affect hair growth negatively. These include a build-up of stress, lack of exercise, poor diet and lack of rest. Though these factors may appear insignificant when looked at through the effects that DHT and AR gene can have, it is important to take a holistic approach in the maintenance of hair. There is no short cut about it. Every person must be prepared to face the challenge of fighting hair loss. When that time comes, LLLT is one of the most effective methods of treating hair loss that has been proven scientifically.
Anha Khalid is a passionate writer with donkey years of experience in the industry. She is a versatile freelance writer with having experience in writing content for health and beauty magazines and websites. With a background in journalism, she loves writing blogs and product reviews that provide valuable information to readers.