When it comes to low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to treat hair loss, 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 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 male androgenetic alopecia sufferers in 2007. Approval for female pattern hair loss patients came in 2011.
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.
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 device seems to have slightly better online customer reviews. Both products come with money-back guarantees and warranties. In 2012, Lexington released the results of its sponsored clinical study on the efficacy of the LaserComb 7 beam model.
Laser combs are generally safe, well tolerated phototherapy devices when used to treat androgenetic alopecia. I have never heard of anyone complaining about major side effects upon using these products. 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 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.
On Amazon, the price of the Ultima 9 is currently $250, but they have a 5 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.
Ratings and Reviews in 2020
Amazon has 61 customer reviews, with a respectable average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. On Costco’s site, customers give the HairMax Ultima 9 LaserComb an average rating of 3.8/5, based on 78 reviews. Walmart currently has the best price for this product at $193, with an average rating of 4.2/5 based on 48 votes. On the manufacturer’s own site, 73 customers have rated the product at 4.3/5 as of today.
I am honestly quite surprised at these reviews. An average of 4.2/5 across the diverse list of vendors 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 just 2.4 out of 5 stars, although based on only 6 customers. 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.
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.