In Amazon, brands like Capillus, Illumiflow, and Regrow are selling laser caps meant for hair loss.
Do they work and how do laser caps work? Laser caps embedded multiple medical-grade lasers to emit low-level laser therapy (LLLT) at an ideal wavelength of 650nm to 950nm to stimulate your hair follicles. Medical grade laser diodes are said to be more effective than LEDs because they have the ability to penetrate the scalp tissue deep enough to stimulate the hair follicles.
For a layman, red laser pointers used for presentation also used the wavelength of 650m. Even big companies like Dutch electronic giant Philips also create products using laser therapy.
We will look through the various manufacturers' websites, studies of laser therapy on hair, and also some users' reviews to understand laser cap in detail.
How Do Laser Cap Works In Detail
The laser caps bathe the scalp in low-level laser therapy (LLLT) which stimulates more ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production in the cells at the base of the follicle. This leads to hair follicles coming out of the dormant phase and results in active growth.
It appears that LLLT effects on hair growth are due to the laser energy penetrating the scalp and stimulating the cells in the hair follicle to renew the follicle, leading to thicker and healthier hair. There are many devices that have been studied and shown to provide good results in men and women experiencing hair loss.
Obviously more laser lights in the device lead to more energy in the scalp during your treatment. The more energy you get and the more coverage you stimulate on your scalp during your treatment, the better your results.
Looking through the various claims of the manufacturers of laser caps will provide more information on how laser caps work exactly.
- Kiierr's laser caps use 148 medical-grade laser diodes to 272 medical-grade laser diodes based on how fast you are want to see results. As shown in the photo above, the ideal wavelength for LLLT therapy for safe and effective hair growth is 650 nm. That is exactly the wavelength output that Kiierr's caps are equipped with. They also have a total power output of 1360 mW. (kiierr.com)
- Callipus's laser caps use 82 diodes to 312 diodes. Capillus laser therapy caps also emit lasers in the wavelength of 650 nm, which is a visible red light band. A laser beam at 650 nm penetrates the hair follicle where it is necessary, unlike an LED diode that disperses and does not penetrate to the same depth to be effective.
Based on Capllius, it takes 3-6 to see a decrease in hair loss (Source: https://support.capillus.com). The expectation based on daily use is to see maximum results 2 years later:-
- 0–3 Months: The first thing you may or may not notice is an increase in shedding. If this is the case, don’t worry. Initial hair shedding is actually a sign that the treatment is working – indicating that new anagen hairs are pushing out the older hairs to make way for the healthy new shaft of the hair. Some itchiness might be experienced at this point in the process as the arrector pili muscles linked to the follicle contracts.
- 3–6 Months: Next, you will begin to notice a decrease in hair loss. After the first few weeks of using your device according to the instructions, you will notice that hair is not shedding as much as previously. Do not be discouraged if you don’t see significant change. Keep in mind that preventing the progression of hair loss is in itself a success. You may notice that your hair is slightly fuller in the areas that you had noticed thinning.
- 12 Months: This is the time to evaluate the results of laser therapy. We recommend you take another set of pictures and compare them to those you took at the beginning.
- 24 Months+: This is when you should see the greatest, most impactful results. Expect to see the most you can get from Capillus laser therapy at this point. For as long as you continue to comply with laser therapy, you should maintain a fuller head of hair and cessation of hair loss.
Studies on Laser Therapy on Hair
A 2013 study of 41 males ages 18 to 48 found that laser hair treatment provided a 39 percent increase in hair growth over a period of 16 weeks. (healthline.com)
According to two recent, peer-reviewed studies, the iGrow laser increased hair counts by 35% in males and 37% in females. (hairlossdaily.com)
According to the iRestore's own 2017 study, 100% of users saw a visible improvement in hair growth after 4 months; 43.23% was the average increase in hair count, per their own statistics. (hairlossdaily.com)
In a 2012 study, researchers found that the more 5-alpha reductase enzyme a person has, the more likely they are to suffer from hair loss.
A 2013 clinical trial sponsored by Capillus found that using laser diodes grew hair for 22 females more than a typical LED source, though both groups had hair growth (Source: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/).
Are Laser Caps FDA Cleared
The answer is that all products in this hair growth industry must have FDA-clearance before they can be sold on the market to customers.
This clearance is the validity that these medical devices used to claim their devices are both safe and effective to use.
- Based on TopClassActions, the Capillus82 Laser Caps used a controversial loophole in FDA regulations, known as “510(k) Pre-Market Notification,” or PMN by getting clearance based on an existing approved device.
- The predicate device was the HairMax Laser Comb which in turn, was granted PMN clearance based on a relic from the late Victorian Era, known as the “Evans Vacuum Cap” a device that was introduced in 1890.
- In September 2017, the Capillus82 manufacturer was told to stop using the claims “clinically proven to regrow hair” and “physician recommended” by the National Advertising Division (NAD), which is an investigative unit that oversees advertising and is run by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
- No male subjects participated; furthermore, some of the women in the study’s control group and were treated with placebo also experienced some hair regrowth
- There were no testimonials from physicians who actually recommended and used the Capillus82 model in treating their own patients. 60 percent of those testimonials were based on experience with the Capillus272Pro, the original model. 20 percent had been speaking about the benefits of laser therapy for hair loss in general.
Nevertheless, laser caps do seem safe for long-term use without any known adverse effects on the masses. There are people reported with hair losses worsening but it is hard to determine if it was just unable to reverse the loss fast enough.
Advantages of Laser Caps
There are many benefits of laser caps being mainstream. They are definitely non-invasive, painless, and look safe. There are also no known side effects on a large scale and seem to increase hair growth for some.
Disadvantages of Laser Caps
The procedure appears to be less effective for people in the advanced stages of hair loss as opposed to those in the early stages. (healthline.com) To see results, treatment often requires daily usage over 4 months and most providers suggest that you continue treatments for the rest of your life making it a lifelong cost and hassle when traveling.