Researchers from the North-Western University in Chicago, have announced their plans to carry out a trial on a potential new hair loss treatment. The trial will be used to discover whether a laser, commonly used to rejuvenate ageing skin, could affect the scalp in people who suffer from alopecia areata and genetic-related hair loss.
It’s an exciting announcement, and here we’ll look at what we know so far, and how it could potentially impact the hair loss industry.
A small, yet crucial hair loss study
The up and coming study is set to feature just 20 participants and it will take place over a course of 150 days. All participants will have either female pattern hair loss, male pattern baldness or alopecia areata.
It is thought they will be split into two groups. The first will never have taken any of the proven hair loss drugs currently on the market such as Finasteride, while the others will have tried hair loss medications. The goal is to see whether the Fraxel laser will enhance existing treatments, as well as prove effective when used on its own.
Once the trial starts, the researchers will be focusing on a 100cm2 section of the scalp. All volunteers in the trial will need to be aged 18 or older and be otherwise healthy.
How does Fraxel laser treatment work?
At the moment, Fraxel laser treatment is used largely to eliminate lines and wrinkles from the face. The sessions typically take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Fractional lasers are used to penetrate into the top layer of the skin, creating micro-thermal zones. Here, the light from the laser stimulates the production of collagen. This has been shown to smooth out wrinkles and lines, correct pigmentation and reverse the signs of sun damage.
Now, the scientists are hoping to discover whether it could have beneficial effects on the scalp.
What treatments are currently available for alopecia areata?
At the moment, there are very few treatment options on offer for those suffering from alopecia areata and there is no treatment for progressive hair loss that is totally effective and predictable.
Laser treatment is currently available for hair loss patients, with low-level lasers proving effective at treating mild to moderate hair loss in some cases. However, the Fraxel laser resurfacing treatment is more ‘invasive’ as such so it will be interesting to see if it has a more positive impact on reversing hair loss.