Alopecia: a review of laser and light therapies

Dermatol Online J. 2012 Feb 15;18(2):3.


Since the 1980s, laser technology has become increasingly popular to treat a variety of cutaneous conditions. Its successful use as an epilator comes with the rare but interesting side effect of paradoxical hypertrichosis. In this review, we summarize cases describing hair growth after photoepilation, as well as studies testing laser and light sources as treatment for alopecia, particularly androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata. We also discuss the possible biologic mechanisms by which phototherapy induces hair regeneration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / physiopathology
  • Alopecia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hair / physiology*
  • Hair / transplantation
  • Hair Removal / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypertrichosis / etiology*
  • Hypertrichosis / physiopathology
  • Laser Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Phototherapy / adverse effects*
  • Regeneration*