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Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

How it Works for Hair Loss

By: illumiflow
Read Time: 12 Min

Understanding Low-Level Laser Therapy for Hair Loss

If you are experiencing hair loss, you’ve most likely come across low-level laser therapy (LLLT) as an effective solution to restore your hair. However, you might be wondering what the heck LLLT is and how it can help with sustainable hair growth. I mean, it just lights, right? Well, not exactly. In fact, there is a lot of science and clinical studies built around the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy for hair loss. So, let's dive in and discover why LLLT might be the best solution for your hair loss and how this science works.

What is LLLT?

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) uses laser light to enhance cellular function, also known as the process of photobiomodulation. This rapidly-growing technology offers several clinically studied benefits like hair restoration, promoting wound healing, and even preventing tissue damage.

While LLLT is gaining popularity, the science behind LLLT for hair loss started back in the 1960s when a team of researchers tested the effects of cold lasers on cancer. They found that the mice they had shaved for the testing with cold lasers began regrowing their hair faster than the other groups. This discovery leads to thousands of clinical studies built around LLLT technology for hair growth. Fast forward to today and LLLT technology is a leading non-invasive solution for hair restoration.

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Wondering if you a candidate for LLLT for hair loss?

How Does LLLT Work for Hair Loss

LLLT devices work in five ways to help you hit your #hairgoals.

Increases Blood Flow

LLLT increases anagen hairs through the process of nitric oxide photodissociation. Nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator that helps widen blood vessels, which increases blood flow, encouraging hair growth.

Boosts Oxygen Delivery

When the low-level infrared lights interact with your scalp, the laser separates two critical factors of the hair loss equation: nitric oxide (NO) and an enzyme is known as cytochrome c oxidase (Cox). With these elements separated, more oxygen is able to reach cells (aka increased cellular respiration.) As a result, more life-giving oxygen is delivered to hair follicles, allowing them to grow like they did in your 20s.

Reduces DHT Production

5-alpha reductase is an enzyme that converts testosterone into the hair loss hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone). While LLLT does not block DHT, it does inhibit the production of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, thus halting the conversion of testosterone into DHT.

If you want to learn more about DHT and hair loss we've written an in-depth article on the subject!

Promotes Stem Cell Growth

Our illumiflow laser caps technology works to activate specific shock proteins to boost stem cell growth in your hair follicles. This particular shock protein is also known as HSP27, which aids in cellular health. This process encourages hair growth at the cell's innermost layer, the outer root of each sheath, and within the top layer of skin (at the epidermis cells where a structural protein called keratin is produced).

Causes Beneficial Inflammation

Not all inflammation is harmful. In fact, inflammation is a natural immune response that can encourage hair growth (in smaller doses). The focused effect of red light on the scalp (LLLT) helps to instigate this helpful form of inflammation, thus promoting new hair growth without becoming uncomfortable or resulting in any adverse side effects.

Using Low-Level Laser Therapy for Hair Growth

As mentioned above, low-level laser therapy has many uses, but hair restoration is one of the most popular uses of LLLT technology. Today you can receive low-level laser therapy treatment at a doctor's office or buy an FDA-cleared device for discreet, at-home use. FDA cleared devices like the illumiflow laser caps are Class II Medical devices, proven to be safe and effective for home use.

Why LLLT is Effective

So what makes laser hair growth so effective? Well, it all comes down to cold lasers and red light.

Cold lasers are used in LLLT to produce a specific form of red light that provides low levels of heat to the surface of your skin. This light, in turn, energizes the mitochondria of your cells, helping support cell repair and encourages cell health.

Decades of research have proven that coherent red light between the wavelengths of 630nm and 670nm is the optimal frequency for stimulating new hair growth, which is why all illumiflow products have been designed and formulated to meet these standards.

Ready to hit those #hairgoals?

Shop LLLT laser caps today!

LLLT vs. Hair Transplants

Choosing between LLLT therapy or a hair transplant comes down to a few factors – cost, safety, and effectiveness. There are two main techniques used for hair transplants.

The first technique is known as follicular unit transplantation (FUT). With a follicular unit transplant, the surgeon will cut a strip of your scalp, separate it into sections, and then implant it into the areas you are experiencing balding.

The second technique is known as follicular unit extraction (FUE). With this method, the surgeon will use a needle to make holes in your scalp where there is balding. Then, the surgeon transplants tiny hairs to this area. This procedure might take a few more sessions to be completely effective. Hair transplants are safe, but you might experience some side effects like:

  • Infection
  • Itching
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Temporary loss of new hair
  • Unnatural looking placement


The success rate of a hair transplant is 10-80% and the estimated cost can be anywhere between $4,000 to the upwards of $15,000. For prolonged success and to reduce the risk of balding in not treated areas, the use of Minoxidil and LLLT might be recommended by the surgeon.  

LLLT, on the other hand, is an entirely non-invasive and pain-free hair restoration therapy. With LLLT, strategically placed laser diodes are housed in a laser cap and placed on your head. Each laser cap manufacturer has different standards for use, but at illumiflow, our laser caps were designed to be used for 30 minutes every other day. With LLLT, you will typically see results in about 4-6 months, and the cost can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.

LLLT has no known side effects,so it works well with other hair loss solutions like minoxidil, lifestyle changes, and even hair transplants.

Lasers vs. LEDs for Hair Growth

With low-level laser therapy growing in popularity, there is no shortage of at-home solutions available on the market. However, they are not all created equal. Some laser caps use both LEDs and laser diodes; others, like illumiflow, opt only to use premium lasers. So why is this important? Well, the clinical studies developed around LLLT focused on laser diodes, not LEDs. In fact, LEDs do not produce the proper power or coherence to reach deep tissue, which is essential to promote cellular change. LEDs also do not operate at a high enough wavelength in comparison to LLLT for the most substantial results.

close up of man pulling hair back to show hair loss

LLLT Laser Cap for Hair Regrowth

As you can see, the science behind LLLT is both fascinating and exciting. Low-level laser therapy is safe and effective for hair growth, and you can even see results in just 4-6 months. At illumiflow, all of our products are designed with medical-grade lasers for optimal performance. Led by years of research, we have ensured that our laser caps deliver the perfect amount of power and wavelength for sustainable hair growth results. All of our laser caps have been FDA cleared for added safety and are classified as Class II Medical Devices, built to be used easily at-home.

To recap, LLLT for hair loss is:

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Backed by clinical studies
  • Perfect for at-home use

Wondering which laser cap brand is the best?

We’ve got the answer!

Best Laser Hair Growth Devices

When you search for LLLT hair growth products you’ll find a number of options. They can range from spending thousands to go into a hair clinic or spending that money on an at home laser cap. There are pros and cons for the most popular laser caps, and we’ve compiled a list (along with in-depth reviews as well) to help you make your decision.

If you’re looking for all the benefits of those multi thousand dollar treatments but at a fraction of the cost, we have the perfect solution for your hair loss!

From our introductory 148 laser cap to our comprehensive 272 laser cap, our LLLT devices can help you tackle the beginning stages of hair loss or stop progressive balding. All of our devices are backed by an industry-leading 3-year warranty and come with a 6-month satisfaction guarantee, no questions asked.

As with any hair loss treatment, we encourage you to also focus on a healthy diet, get some exercise, and manage your stress. While you can use LLLT on its own, it’s essential to create a healthy space for hair to grow. That’s why we include a free copy of our holistic hair growth guide for completely free, with each purchase!

If you are unsure if LLLT is the right fit for you (pun intended), take this test to determine if we are the right match for your #hairgoals.

illumiflow Laser Cap FAQ

How do I use the illumiflow laser cap?

Simply connect the cap to your freshly charged battery pack, place the cap on your head, and flip the switch for a treatment session designed to fit seamlessly into your busy schedule. The automatic timer will turn the laser cap off after your 30 min session is finished.

You should use your hat every other day, approximately 3x per week.

The included perfect fit headband and cordless battery allow you to continue with your day while regrowing your hair.

Where can I use my laser cap?

The included perfect fit headband and cordless battery allow you to continue with your day while regrowing your hair.

The illumiflow laser caps also fit under most baseball caps (or you can use the one that comes with your device) for more discreet treatments on the go!

Can I use it with other hair loss treatments?

Yes! In fact, we recommend it. We are born with a finite number of hair follicles and hair loss is typically triggered by multiple causes, thus, hair regrowth will require a whole-body approach to get the best results.

To help you get the most out of your laser cap we include a free copy of our holistic hair health guide with 50 pages of time-tested treatments to regrow your hair.


Shop illumiflow Laser Caps


Our premier hair restoration laser cap was designed to stop hair loss in its tracks and reinvigorate your natural hair growth patterns. Equipped with 272 laser diodes to provide an impressive 1,360mW of laser energy, the illumiflow 272 offers complete coverage to help you reach your #hairgoals!


Our introductory hair regrowth solution is expertly crafted to prevent continued hair loss and revitalize natural growth. Ideal for those in the early stages of hair loss, the 148 laser diode cap emits 740mW of laser energy, which means you can get back your full head of hair, faster.


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