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Lasers vs LEDs for Hair Growth - What's the Difference?

Many red-light hair therapy device vendors attempt to convince customers that LEDs (light-emitting diodes) can be used for LLLT (Low Light Level Therapy) applications to promote hair growth. When it comes to lasers vs LEDs, the fact is LEDs only emit 5% of the energy to the scalp vs. a laser, which emits 100%.

The light from LEDs does not penetrate the scalp since hair follicles are deep within the dermis as the scalp is the second thickest skin in the human body. Therefore, LEDs are not effective at stimulating the critical areas of a hair follicle in order to promote hair growth.

Lasers vs LEDs

The main reason other vendors use LEDs is because of their meager cost. LEDs quite literally cost a few pennies. Manufacturers utilize a few lasers and loads of LEDs to reduce their overall costs and increase their profit margin. Unfortunately, cutting all these lasers out causes the LLLT device to have majorly reduced efficacy. 

LEDs are not lasers. Lasers are monochromatic, which means they have a single-color wavelength. LEDs are inexpensive and easy to manufacture. Most people know of them as an ON and OFF switch or through lighting applications.

The scientific truth is that LEDs cannot defy the laws of physics. LEDs are non-coherent light sources and do not have the energy density to penetrate deep into the scalp to stimulate hair follicles. Therefore, LEDs are not helpful for light-based hair therapy.

LLLT & LPT Terminology

LLLT stands for low-level light therapy. Laser phototherapy, or LPT, only refers to devices that use 100% lasers specifically to stimulate hair follicles. LLLT utilizes any form of low-level lighting, including LEDs or light bulbs, whereas LPT categorizes only those therapies that use lasers. 

As previously mentioned, LEDs are not lasers. Therefore, a device using solely LEDs cannot class itself as an LPT device. On the other hand, a device that uses both lasers and LEDs could classify as an LPT device. That fact causes confusion for many customers.

An LPT device that contains a few lasers and hundreds of LEDs appears attractive compared to an LPT device with 70-80 lasers and no LEDs. The number of diodes seems better. However, the quality of medical-grade lasers far outweighs even hundreds of LEDs! 

Please take a look at our blog post for more information on the benefits of laser-based LPT devices over LED ones!

The Hypocrisy of LED Usage in Clinical Trials

During clinical device testing, the FDA requires the use of an actual device and a sham device. (the placebo, if you will) The FDA mandates on all new medical trials involving the clinical testing of laser-based phototherapy devices that the sham device uses LEDs whereas the actual device uses lasers. Based on this, even the FDA believes that LEDs hold little to no value compared to lasers! 

When pharmaceuticals test new drugs, they use both a real drug and a sugar pill, called a placebo. The testers using the real drug should show improved results, while those taking the placebo should show no change. From this perspective, one could easily compare an LED to a sugar pill. 

Recent Pubmed published medical papers that have clinical trials that use both shams vs. real devices or lasers vs LEDs to show the difference in efficacy studies. To summarize, out of 12 clinical studies comparing a sham device using LED vs. a test (laser-based) device, all 12 studies showed that sham devices using LEDs are inferior to a real test device using lasers.

About the Theradome

Theradome’s 680nm (VL680) medical-grade lasers penetrate deep into the hair follicles in order to regrow and strengthen your hair. The Theradome VL680 is the only laser manufactured in the heart of the Silicone Valley, California, USA. 

Other laser-based devices use cheap laser-pointer consumer-grade laser diodes sourced from China. The Theradome VL680 uses the highest wavelength at 680nm versus competitors that use 635-650nm. 

The Theradome VL680 is 2.5x more powerful than even cheap laser-pointer consumer-grade laser diodes. The scientific fact based on the electromagnetic spectrum states that the higher the wavelength, the higher the absorption into human tissue.

The Theradome VL680 uses a monochromatic (near-infrared) collimated focused beam that can penetrate deep into the hair follicle areas of the bulge and papilla vital for stimulating the stem cells of scalp hair follicles. 

Only a laser such as the Theradome VL680 can successfully penetrate the scalp to promote hair and prevent hair loss. In addition, the Theradome VL680 can penetrate 200x more than an LED lightbulb which you need for thick structures like the human scalp. 

Still not convinced? Check out Theradome reviews by the HairPhysio and SHIRO Aesthetic Clinic!

In Summary

The Theradome VL680, used in both the PRO and EVO LPT devices, uses ideal lasers to keep and regrow your hair. The Theradome was designed from scratch by an ex-NASA scientist specializing in lasers with over 30 years of experience. 

The Theradome is the most powerful laser phototherapy device globally and the most advanced, using a microprocessor to regulate and control laser output to its maximum efficiency output at all times. Based on our multiple studies, 98% of the people that use the Theradome benefit in three ways:

  • Stops or slows down hair loss 
  • thickens existing hair, and 
  • promotes new hair growth. 

We are confident that you will benefit from the Theradome as well!

Updated on 20 Dec 2023