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What Is LLLT & How Does It Work?

man wondering what is lllt and can it help restore his hair loss

The pain-free technology driving the illumiflow Laser Cap is known as LLLT, or Low Level Laser Therapy. 100% safe and cleared for use by the FDA, LLLT has been developed specifically for the purpose of hair regrowth, and remains a proven safe and effective way to reduce hair loss in both men and women.

The Beginning of Low Level Laser Technology

It all started back in the late 1960’s when a team studying cold lasers to determine whether or not they could cause cancer noticed a strange phenomenon. After shaving the hair off of test mice and dividing them into separate groups for treatment, researchers noticed that the mice being treated with cold lasers actually began to re-grow their hair at an alarming rate compared to the other test groups. This was entirely unexpected and eventually led to the development of laser bio-stimulation therapy, more commonly known today as Low Level Laser Therapy, or LLLT.

The discovery of how effective LLLT could be in the stimulation of new hair growth may have been completely accidental, but it wasn’t long before it led quite naturally to many more studies focused on the possibility that red laser light could be used in this way. Before long, the same technology was being applied to humans (both men and women) in carefully documented clinical studies.

Fast-forward to today, several decades and literally thousands of clinical trials later, and you will find case study after successful case study demonstrating that this technology really does yield real results for sufferers of hair loss - even sufferers of genetic hair loss.


Understanding the Tech

Low-light wavelengths in the red spectrum have at this point been used for many years as a non-invasive way of providing health benefits for a wide range of physical ailments. The technology has been used to effectively treat everything from skin diseases to myocardial infarction to degenerative and traumatic brain disorders to stroke.


The Red Light Difference

The unique and specific wavelengths used in low-level laser therapy are different from other forms of phototherapy (light therapy). While the red-light lasers used in LLLT are known to be similar to other forms of phototherapy (such as blue light therapy), there are some important differences.

For starters, have a look at the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation (ER) below:


 infographic explaining light wavelengths to demonstrate how low level laser therapy LLLT works


The frequency of light is important for many reasons, but one especially worth noting here relates to the absorption capacity of the skin. The absorption capacity of skin tissue is much higher in the blue region of the light spectrum than red.

Because the main tissues of the skin (hemoglobin and melanin) have high absorption capacity at shorter wavelengths, the use of LLLT in humans has been almost exclusively red in color and near infrared in frequency (light falling within the range of 600-1100 nanometers).  It has been noted that LLLT higher than 1100 nanometers (nm) is ineffective, as water strongly absorbs infrared light at wavelengths greater than 1100nm.

The power of light used for therapeutic purposes typically lies in the range of 1–1000 milliwatts (mW) and varies widely depending on the application. Unlike surgical lasers, LLLT is produced by low-level red lasers at 600nm-1100nm. And commonly, LLLT devices deliver low-level power of 10mW - 500mW with power density typically ranging from 0.005W/Cm² to >5 W/Cm².

Quality red lasers generate electromagnetic frequencies which are relatively uniform in wavelength phase and polarization, like those originally used back in the 1960’s. These are often called ruby lasers and differ from LEDs primarily as a result of this capacity for producing in-phase or “coherent” wavelengths of light (a significantly more powerful and effective form of light emission compared with out-of-phase or non-coherent wavelengths).

Today, this type of light energy is produced using a special type of laser that affects biological systems through non-thermal means, most commonly referred to as low-level lasers, or light amplified with radiation emission. These more-modern lasers have proven to be 100% safe, completely painless, and predictably effective in the treatment of hair loss.






How Is Red Light Used?

While different types of phototherapy light devices have been used for decades across multiple ranges of the light spectrum, red light is used in three primary ways:

  1. To reduce inflammation and chronic joint pain

    Studies have shown that LLLT is able to offer relief from persistent joint pain. Additionally, the effectiveness of LLLT varied with changes in wavelength, duration of treatment, dosage and the site of LLLT application (for instance, over nerves instead of joints).

  2. Promote healing of wounds, deeper tissues, and nerves

    Wound healing was one of the first successful applications of LLLT. It is believed to be so effective due to its ability to affect and accelerate the natural healing process through all phases of healing. The rapid healing action of LLLT is linked to its ability to boost the production and activity of fibroblasts in the skin, as well as macrophages promoting collagen formation and offering other strengthening benefits to the skin.

  3. Ease pain and neurological disorders

    LLLT has been considered beneficial for the treatment of neurogenesis, too. Likely due to its capacity for boosting mitochondrial activity, LLLT has proven to be an effective means of boosting brain cell activity. This same mitochondrial stimulation has been shown to boost cellular respiration and ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) for intracellular energy production.


What Exactly Is a Low-Level Laser?

If a Low-Level Laser Therapy device claims to deliver true low-level light therapy, it must meet all these requirements:

    1. Power output of lasers between 0.001 and 0.1 Watts
    2. Wavelengths in the range of 300 to 1100nm
    3. Pulse rate from 0, meaning continuous to 5000 Hertz (cycles per second)
    4. Intensity of 0.01 to 10 W/cm2 and dose of 0.01 to 100 J/cm2

The term Low Level Laser Therapy is widely recognized and implies a dose dependent application linked to what is known as the “Arndt-Schulz Law.” This law dates to 1887, when Hugo Schulz and Rudolph Arndt developed a principle emphasizing the effectiveness of lower doses of light, stating they are often more beneficial than high doses.

In less technical terms, a low-level laser is basically a high-quality laser that meets very specific standards in terms of light output. If the light being emitted by the laser does not fall within the appropriate requirements, the user is at risk of receiving either ineffective treatment or the potential of harmful effects due to over-dosage.


So long as the laser is held to within the appropriate range of light emission, however, effects have proven to be 100% safe and astonishingly effective. Because the quality and dependability of the laser diodes chosen for this application have such a significant bearing on the safety of the user, illumiflow Laser Caps are manufactured to exacting standards using premium lasers and tested throughout the process of manufacturing and assembly to ensure ultimate user safety and satisfaction.


Getting the Dosage Just Right

Several decades of clinical trials have shown that the most effective dosage of red light for the purposes of laser therapy exists between 630 and 880nm. It is between these numbers that ATP production is most prolific, offering notable benefits to the skin.

More recent studies have allowed us to become even more precise, noting that coherent red light between the wavelengths of 630 and 670nm have proven most effective for stimulating new hair growth. Therefore, each of the illumiflow Laser Cap’s laser diodes has been carefully calibrated to exactly 650nm, the optimal frequency for dependable, long-term treatment of the scalp.

The illumiflow Laser Cap delivers this very specific form of coherent red light directly to the scalp via 272 premium laser diodes. These diodes have been meticulously spaced to provide consistent treatment evenly across the entire scalp.

The dosage of 650nm has also been chosen because of its ability to penetrate the scalp to an ideal depth of 5mm, allowing the laser light to reach the base of your hair follicles and excite the scalp on a cellular level, leading to ATP production and ultimately more hair growth.




Additional Benefits

In addition to all of this, the production of ATP instigates a complex relationship of enzyme processes that occur during cellular respiration including glycolysis, respiration, and light-dependent photosynthesis. Studies have shown that LLLT may help to boost the respiratory enzyme known as cytochrome c oxidase, which is involved in transporting messages to the mitochondria - further supporting ATP. Beyond even that, the red lasers of LLLT are known to stimulate DNA/RDA changes. This function could make a BIG difference for those suffering with hereditary hair loss, as androgenetic alopecia is associated with chromosome (genetic) abnormalities.

Let's Get Cellular: Meet Your Mitochondria

As energy-producing centers of every cell in your body, the mitochondria are known to be principal photoreceptors for red, low-light wavelengths. This makes them a leading point of contact for LLLT absorption and a particularly important factor in our discussion on the topic of hair loss, since healthy mitochondria work to increase ATP production, affect the modulation of reactive oxygen species, release nitric oxide, and more. These effects are all known to boost cellular growth and movement (particularly by fibroblasts), all of which directly encourages new hair growth.



3 Factors Affecting Hair Growth

  1. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) Production 

    ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is produced within the mitochondria. This form of cellular energy is essentially “trapped” inside the cell due to chemical bonds but becomes usable once released. When it is released through interaction with a technology like LLLT, it can be used in other chemical reactions in the body that require energy, including a vital process known as endergonic reactions.

    ATP is the source of energy for every cell in the body - including that of hair follicles. Without enough ATP, cells simply can't function. Thus, by stimulating ATP production, research has demonstrated that tired cellular processes can be effectively re-awakened, equaling out to powerful results for sufferers of hair loss and genetic balding. Since your mitochondria power the cells of your body (and hair), reviving them is a key part of stimulating new hair growth and recovering that healthy head of hair you once knew.

    Since the cells of your scalp become dormant over time, ATP production is a brilliantly effective means of powering tired cells back up to optimal function, resulting in fuller, healthier hair. And since the mitochondria are able to reproduce on their own and repair the scalp when functioning properly, many people experience a surprisingly vibrant and sustainable effect of ongoing hair growth after applying LLLT, even from previously dormant follicles.

  2. ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) 

    ROS are species of molecules that play a vital role in cellular communication. Also needed for enzyme activation and protein synthesis, ROS molecules are known to boost hair growth factors. Since LLLT promotes oxygen metabolism, ROS production is increased through treatment resulting in fuller, thicker, healthier hair and a more robust scalp overall.

  3. NO (Nitric Oxide)

    Nitric oxide is categorized as a vasodilator due to its ability to widen blood vessels and relax smooth muscle tissue. Its production boosts oxygenation and delivery of immune cells into soft tissues. Nitric oxide production has been shown to have a significant healing effect on everything from muscle pain and joint inflammation to hair loss.

    Since LLLT has been proven through numerous clinical studies to trigger the release of nitric oxide, sufferers of hair loss undergoing LLLT treatments can expect a notably positive effect on the quality of their hair and speed of new hair growth.


Other Health Benefits of LLLT

Unlike other forms of laser therapy that use thermal mechanisms (causing heat), LLLT uses cold lasers, which means that there is no heat involved during treatment sessions. In fact, LLLT stimulates hair follicles into growth by means of a unique photochemical effect similar to the process of photosynthesis in plants.

Like sunlight on a plant’s leaves, when low-level light waves are absorbed into the skin, they cause a chemical change within the cell, stimulating proper function and improved cellular health. This is why many users of LLLT devices like the illumiflow Laser Cap notice health benefits in addition to improved hair health and new hair growth.


Regular Users of LLLT Have Reported:

  • Rejuvenated skin and smoother skin tone
  • Strengthened skin due to boosted collagen, an essential skin protein
  • An activated lymphatic system for detoxification
  • A decrease in skin inflammation
  • Accelerated wound healing
  • Reparation of sun damage
  • Fading of scars and stretch marks


Additional Reports Include:

  • Reduction of topical skin irritations such as eczema, rosacea, and acne
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Improved circulation
  • Pain relief
  • Reversed balding


LLLT and User Safety

LLLT has been researched and tested for decades and consistently proven to be 100% safe and effective for the treatment of hair loss. The technology has been further validated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which recently approved LLLT devices for sale to the public without the need of a prescription.

LLLT is also approved for clinical applications in Canada, Europe, and Asia. In all of these countries, the technology of low-level lasers is being used to treat various neurologic, chiropractic, dental, and dermatologic health concerns. It is also even as a non-invasive alternative to surgery.


FDA Regulation: Guaranteeing Your Safety

When it comes to medical devices like the illumiflow Laser Cap, user safety is of critical importance. This is especially true when a device is using laser technology, since there is so much more at stake than just your hair. It is for this reason that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires legitimate sellers of medical devices to undergo a rigorous vetting process in order to achieve FDA Clearance of the technology being sold.

Unfortunately, non-cleared, counterfeit devices often find their way to the market at very low price points, appearing to offer a “better deal” on the surface, but ultimately harming consumers in the end as a result of dishonest and unsafe manufacturing and marketing processes. Don’t be fooled by these dangerous fakes.

Unlike fraudulent alternatives which have bypassed the critical step of having their devices cleared by the FDA, illumiflow Laser Caps have achieved FDA 510(k) Clearance, are meticulously regulated, heavily tested throughout the process of manufacturing, and held to exacting quality standards for ultimate user safety and peace of mind.




Common Questions About LLLT

Can I Use My illumiflow Laser Cap with Other Hair Growth Solutions?

Yes, you can! While there are very few FDA-Cleared hair loss solutions, LLLT can be used with all over-the-counter and prescription therapies. Studies confirm that using these types of hair re-growth topicals in tandem with the illumiflow Laser Cap delivers superior results.

How Long Does It Take?

Starting out, the illumiflow Laser Cap is designed to be used every other day for a maximum of 30 minutes per session. LLLT treatments should never exceed 60 minutes. But don’t worry, the built-in timer of the illumiflow Laser Cap will automatically remind you when your LLLT session is over.

NOTE: The daily recommended maintenance schedule is 3x’s per week for just 15-30 minutes per session.




Using illumiflow

The illumiflow Laser Cap can be used by men and women to promote hair health and new hair growth, regardless of their specific form of hair loss. Whether caused by androgenetic alopecia, stress, medication, or even cancer, tired scalps can be painlessly and safely revived using the Laser Cap.

Ready to commit to your own health and restored confidence? Contact illumiflow today or complete our FREE Hair Loss Evaluation to learn how our Laser Cap can help you regrow hair easily, painlessly, and naturally.

Or, get started TODAY by ordering the illumiflow Laser Cap and embarking on your own journey toward happiness, health, and improved confidence!


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