When it comes to the best laser hair growth devices, the HairMax LaserComb is the oldest well known product on the market. I briefly covered the company a few years ago when its president Leonard Stillman commented on this blog. However, I did not discuss its hair loss treatment products at the time.
The LaserComb’s inventor and CEO is David Michaels. The first LaserComb device obtained US FDA 501(k) clearance to market for use in balding male androgenetic alopecia sufferers in 2007. Approval for female pattern hair loss patients came in 2011.
A study in 2009 concluded that:
“HairMax LaserComb is an effective, well tolerated and safe laser phototherapy device for the treatment of AGA in males.”
Another study from 2014 found “a statistically significant difference in the increase in terminal hair density” between lasercomb-treated versus sham-treated subjects.
HairMax (part of Lexington International) currently has two laser comb models on the market. The Ultima 9 Classic LaserComb and the Ultima 12 LaserComb. The older cheaper device seems to have slightly better online customer reviews for hair regrowth. Both products come with money-back guarantees and warranties.
Dateline covered the LaserComb quite favorably in 2011, with before and after photos and patient feedback included. I even mentioned that story in a post in 2014. Thereafter, a whole bunch of new companies have come out with FDA-cleared low-level laser devices to grow hair. None are laser comb or brush type products that entail combing one’s hair daily or several times a week.
Safety and Side Effects
In 2012, Lexington released the results of its sponsored clinical study on the efficacy of the LaserComb 7 beam model. Laser combs are safe and well tolerated phototherapy devices used to treat androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness). I have never heard of anyone complaining about major side effects upon using these products to promote hair growth. However, lasers and light can be dangerous to the eyes, so do not do this type of thing.
Note that almost no-one claims that lasers will regrow hair follicles on totally bald regions of the scalp. At best, they can make existing thinning hair stronger via photo-biostimulation and light energy. And possibly regrow recently miniaturized hair follicles.
Some studies suggest that laser light energy stimulation of the mitochondria and cells can also promote new hair growth. At least in modest quantities. However, some of these same studies are sponsored by laser device manufacturers. Hopefully this does not bias results, but one needs to be careful when analyzing findings in support of LLLT.
Recently, I saw the HairMax Lasercomb 9 for sale at Costco for $199 (with bonus shampoo and conditioner bottles). Of the numerous well known brand name low-level laser therapy devices on the market, this is by far the best price. You can purchase lesser known unproven brands at lower prices. Some people even try to made their own laser combs at home.
Update: 2021 — On Amazon, the price of the Ultima 9 is currently $199, with a bonus 15 percent off coupon available as an add-on. The HairMax Ultima 9 Classic LaserComb comes with the following features and properties:
- FDA Clearance.
- 9 Medical grade lasers (but no LEDs).
- Cordless with rechargeable battery.
- Power cord also available.
- 11 minute treatment time.
Laser Comb Reviews and Ratings
Amazon has 611 customer reviews, with a respectable average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. On Costco’s site, customers in the past gave the HairMax Ultima 9 LaserComb an average review of 3.8/5, but it is no longer on sale. Walmart currently has a refurbished Hairmax Prima 9 Classic LaserComb for sale at just $145. On the manufacturer’s own site, 204 customers have rated the product at 4.3/5 as of today. Best Buy has 4 reviews averaging 4.5/5.
I am honestly quite surprised at these HairMax LaserComb reviews. An average of 4.2/5 across the diverse list of vendors and retailers that I listed above is quite impressive for a laser product. In online hair loss forum reports, a large number of people seem to say that they did not benefit from laser treatment for hair growth.
HairMax’s newest LaserComb model is the Ultima 12. On Amazon, it has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars, based on 97 customers. Current offer comes with a 15% off coupon. An older now inactive page on Amazon had an average rating of 4/5 across 25 reviews in 2019. The price of the Ultima 12 LaserComb is around $395 across various sites.
Average rating on Walmart’s website is a much better 4.4/5, based on 34 customer reviews. Almost the same numbers can be seen on HairMax’s Ultima 12 product page. On Bed Bath & Beyond’s site, the Beyond+ members discounted current price is $317. However, the currently the product is unavailable.
The main advantage of Ultima 12 over Ultima 9 is that while the former has 12 lasers, the latter has 9. Treatment time is just 8 minutes with the Ultima 12, versus 11 minutes with the Ultima 9.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about the HairMax LaserComb.
Is HairMax FDA approved?
In 2007, HairMax was granted the first ever FDA clearance as a laser phototherapy device for home use to treat hair loss. Since then, Hairmax devices have received a total of 8 FDA Clearances.
What is the side effect of using laser combs?
Laser combs generally cause no major side effects if used correctly as instructed. In some cases, you can get mild scalp redness and itching. As with all laser devices, a mild burning sensation and smell is also possible, although this is never dangerous. Do not use the device on wet hair.
Does HairMax work for hair loss?
While the HairMax laser comb can improve your hair quality and thickness and even regrow some hair, it is not a cure for androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss).
How often should you use the lasercomb?
According to the manufacturer of the device, the HairMax LaserComb needs to be used 3 times a week per the recommendation from clinical trial findings. Each treatment session lasts for 8-15 minutes. Overuse will not garner any further hair growth benefits.