Pattern hair loss, also known as AGA or androgenetic alopecia, can affect both sexes and is one of the top reasons for lowered self-esteem among men and women. Finasteride, taken orally, is a medication known to reverse hair loss. However, finasteride is capable of causing side effects like erectile dysfunction. They can also lead to an abnormal rate of body hair growth. Invasive treatments like hair transplants may cause side effects such as infections, pus formation around the surgical area, and bleeding. Plus, these treatments are usually painful. However, Laser Hair Growth Devices have fewer side effects.
You don’t have to worry about side effects or pain with laser-based home devices. No surgical procedures mean no need to wait till you recover or administer aftercare medications, which may have more side effects. The laser-based devices use low light levels to stimulate hair growth, thereby producing no heat. The laser diodes are non-invasive emitters of light energy penetrating the scalp to encourage hair growth. Most devices generate wavelengths of not more than 670 nanometers, while the sun emits an average wavelength between 250 to 2500 nanometers. So, there’s no need to assume that these devices would leave your head hot and fuming. The maximum side effect that a patient might undergo after a 30-minute home therapy session is a mild headache. Other than that, laser devices are safe to use.
You will find FDA-cleared devices in the market.
It is not enough to say that laser hair therapy products are safe; you also need evidence. Worry not; many devices, such as the Theradome EVO LH40 are FDA-cleared, meaning these devices would not cause any adverse effects. Whether they will produce guaranteed long-term results is yet to be determined by the FDA.
Some of the FDA-cleared devices that you can give a shot include:
Laser treatment is known to encourage hair growth.
FDA may not have approved their efficacy, but laser-based devices for hair regrowth have shown positive results among many patients, as per reviews on e-commerce sites. Many companies, such as iRestore and Hairmax, also boast successful clinical trials. Of course, you will see effective results only if you are at an early stage of hair loss.
Theoretically, light energy emitted from lasers reverse hair loss by increasing cellular activities within the miniaturized hair follicles that cause hair thinning in the first place. Light energy causes the withered hair follicles to expand and encourages blood circulation within the scalp. The cells use the light energy from lasers to create adenosine triphosphate or ATP. ATP helps in reactivating the hair follicles.
If you wonder whether any laser devices for self-use have been FDA approved, there are not. They are all FDA-cleared, meaning they are safe to use. Mep 90 is a hair restoration solution available only in FDA-approved clinics.
Laser hair growth devices for home use are easy to handle.
These devices come in caps, helmets, brushes, and hair bands. So, you can get laser hair therapy from the comfort of your home. My favorite is laser caps since you can wear them outside, on your way to work, or while driving (imagine all types of outdoor activities) without attracting questioning glances. They look like regular baseball caps with an attached chord and a silicone-based laser pad inside. All you need to do is switch it on and do your business.
All these devices come with rechargeable batteries and power chords with AC adapters. You have to dedicate a maximum of 30 minutes thrice a week to get visible results by the sixth month. So why are you waiting? Plug in, recharge, and use to revitalize your thinning hair follicles!
Laser hair growth devices are affordable.
A hair transplant surgery may cost between USD 4000 and USD 15000, depending on the number of sessions one must undergo to see visible results. If you consider getting laser hair therapy from a clinic, the average price per session would be approximately $57. But, LLLT is a long-term process. Depending on the seriousness of your condition, you might have to take several sessions. The final expense might be anywhere between USD 3500 and USD 5000 annually. Still quite expensive!
The price of a good-quality laser hair growth device (helmets and caps)starts at USD 800 and can go up to not more than USD 2500. If you are okay with laser hair brushes and hair bands, they are cheaper and fall between USD 300 and USD 500. Now, you must be wondering about their durability.
Companies like Hairmax claim that their devices can last for at least ten years. All the more reason to consider them for treating hair loss.
Many devices come with a money-back guarantee and extended warranty.
The devices listed in my review article come with a money-back guarantee. The companies claim that a person using the devices is likely to see a positive change within 6 or 7 months of use, and if that does not happen, customers can return the product and get a full refund. So, even if you are unsure of their efficacy, you can at least give them a shot without worrying about a bad investment. Devices such as Illumiflow 272 laser caps even come with a 5-year warranty! Capillus Pro is another product that comes with a 3-year warranty.
They bring about faster results.
Now here’s the catch with this statement. Laser-based devices for hair growth may not produce visible results as fast as hair transplants, but they generate faster results than natural remedies. First, there’s no guarantee of seeing positive results with natural remedies. It may take several years before natural supplements start showing any improvement. With laser devices, legitimate hair growth is likely to occur after using them continuously for one year. By the sixth month of use, you will see hair loss prevention, and by the eighth month, you will likely see new hair growth.
Anyone can use them.
There was a myth that low-level light therapy for hair growth works for men and women who fall within the Fitzpatrick skin type 1 to 4. In other words, you either have to be light brown or pale to have a successful treatment.
Far from the truth, LLLT devices should theoretically work even better on dark-skinned people because more pigmentation allows the skin to absorb more light. There are enough clinical trials that support the effectiveness of LLLT on fair-skinned people. However, the same data is not available for dark-skinned people due to the lack of test subjects belonging to Fitzpatrick skin types 5 and 6, which explains the misconception. So, regardless of your skin type, hair length, or gender, you can undergo LLLT worry-free. However, if you are on medications, ask your doctor if lasers are safe for you because you could be taking medications that might have photosensitizing agents. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Clinical trials have validated the efficacy of these devices.
The most recent study using a laser-based helmet device was conducted in 2020 among a group of people with androgenetic alopecia. On the sixteenth week, an increase in hair density and thickness was observed without any side effects.
A 24-week study was conducted on an LLLT device for home use to measure if lasers can cure androgenetic alopecia in Thai men and women. Forty subjects were randomly given either a RAMACAP laser helmet or a sham helmet in a home-based setting.
The results evaluated after the 24th week were positive, where people with laser helmets experienced growth in hair density and hair diameter. It was also noticed that there were minimal side effects in the clinical trial.
Another research paper on male pattern hair loss talks about studies that were conducted using HairMax LaserComb (655 nm) and laser helmet devices, Kim (630, 650, and 660 nm) and Lanzafame (655nm). Patients receiving the treatments saw positive results. The helmets did better since they covered the head completely.
I recommend laser-based home devices to anyone suffering from hair thinning as the second choice after natural remedies have failed to improve one’s condition.
Firstly, they are safe to use. Secondly, examples of users who have found success upon using these devices surpass the population that hasn’t. Thirdly, it’s worth trying, especially if they come with a money-back guarantee.