I have discussed low level laser therapy (LLLT) many times in the past on this blog. Today there are a select few laser products that are on the market that have been cleared or approved by the FDA for use on the scalp to regrow hair. Of course these approvals and clearances do not mean that the product has gone through rigorous clinical trials. For the most part, you can only assume that the approval ensures safety rather than efficacy. Hair regrowth from lasers is still a controversial subject, and from what I have read in various studies, the best results will lead to maintenance and, if you are lucky, minor regrowth. You will not get anywhere near your teenage hairline back from using lasers. Totally bald areas of the scalp will not sprout hair once again after light phototherapy.
The oldest of these FDA cleared lasers is the HairMax LaserComb, while the most recent of these is the Theradome Laser Helmet. Also cleared is the funky looking iGrow. Note that the FDA clearance statement for each of these products uses different terminology and is not the same thing.
Several days ago, the inventor of the Theradome (ex-NASA scientist Dr. Tamim Hamid) answered a number of questions about the product on Reddit.
Some of the interesting things that I learnt from those responses include:
- The company is primarily targeting females.
- A wavelength of 660-680nm is needed for the follicle to absorb the laser light.
- The product could also work on beard hair.
- It seems like Dr. Hamid is a big fan of anti-fungal shampoos. I like Nizoral a lot too.
I suspect that the high price of these products has to decline significantly in the coming years, and hopefully we will have a few more FDA cleared products on the market in the next several years. On internet hair loss forums, you can find numerous posts from people who have been making their own cheap at-home laser devices for hair growth. For safety reasons I cannot ever advise readers of this blog to do likewise, but I highly recommend reading some of those entertaining forum posts. Maybe in the future I should author a blog post with links in there to my favorite hair loss forum threads regrading futuristic at-home laser device contraption construction?