Does the Laser Comb for Hair Loss Really Work?

The Hairmax Laser Comb by Lexington LLC is a new device designed to treat male pattern baldness. The device is a hand-held red light laser unit that runs on household AC current. The built-in comb parts your existing hair so it can deliver a bath of low-level laser light directly to your scalp. If the device works as it’s supposed to, the laser stimulates your scalp to form more hair follicles and makes the hair follicles you already have deeper and healthier. In 2007 the FDA approved the Hairmax for sale to the public. This approval made no guarantees that the device is effective. It simply cleared the device as safe for home use.

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Does a laser comb actually work? The answer seems to be, “It depends.” The theory that laser can stimulate hair growth isn’t quackery—there are scientific studies available that show the human scalp responding to red laser light treatment by growing more hair. But those studies also indicate that large doses of laser are needed to get the result you want—more hair. The hand-held devices can’t approach the stronger treatment you would get from a large stationary unit in a salon. But professional laser treatment can cost up to ten times what a home unit costs, so the appeal of the do it yourself approach at home is understandable.

If you read around online for some unbiased reviews, you’ll find that they’re mixed. People with darker skin don’t get good results with the comb because the pigment in their skin absorbs the laser light faster and puts them at the risk for burns. And many reviewers reported that the device was working for them, at least to some extent, but they simply didn’t have time for the recommended 10-15 minute treatment sessions three times per week that the manufacturer recommends. Although pharmaceutical hair loss treatments like Rogaine have to be applied every day, they typically can be done in less than two minutes. More than one reviewer has objected to the time commitment, so before you spend the money, make sure that you’re ready to follow through.

Reviewers who report going from having a receding hairline to a full, lush head of hair are rare, and should probably be viewed with suspicion. But there are plenty of reviews saying that that the Hairmax stopped their baldness from progressing any further, and made their existing hair grow in thicker and healthier than before. Before you buy, keep in mind that a laser comb doesn’t work for everyone, for reasons that science doesn’t yet understand, and keep your fingers crossed that you turn out to be one of the lucky ones.

*Please note the link above directs to amazon as I have found they offer great deals on laser combs.

2 Responses to “Does the Laser Comb for Hair Loss Really Work?”

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  1. The pivotal clinic study that proved the efficacy of the HairMax LaserComb has just been published. This study was a key component of the FDA 510(k) decision granting clearance for marketing. Below is a copy of the abstract of the article as contained in PubMed and lists the source of the article.

    1: Clin Drug Investig. 2009;29(5):283-92. doi: 10.2165/00044011-200929050-00001.Links
    HairMax LaserComb(R) Laser Phototherapy Device in the Treatment of Male Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Sham Device-Controlled, Multicentre Trial.Leavitt M, Charles G, Heyman E, Michaels D.
    Private Dermatology Practice, Maitland, Florida, USA.

    The use of low levels of visible or near infrared light for reducing pain, inflammation and oedema, promoting healing of wounds, deeper tissue and nerves, and preventing tissue damage has been known for almost 40 years since the invention of lasers. The HairMax LaserComb(R) is a hand-held Class 3R lower level laser therapy device that contains a single laser module that emulates 9 beams at a wavelength of 655 nm (+/-5%). The device uses a technique of parting the user’s hair by combs that are attached to the device. This improves delivery of distributed laser light to the scalp. The combs are designed so that each of the teeth on the combs aligns with a laser beam. By aligning the teeth with the laser beams, the hair can be parted and the laser energy delivered to the scalp of the user without obstruction by the individual hairs on the scalp. The primary aim of the study was to assess the safety and effectiveness of the HairMax LaserComb(R) laser phototherapy device in the promotion of hair growth and in the cessation of hair loss in males diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia (AGA). . . . The results of this study suggest that the HairMax LaserComb(R) is an effective, well tolerated and safe laser phototherapy device for the treatment of AGA in males.

    PMID: 19366270 [PubMed – in process]

  2. I have been loosing my hair since my 18th birthday and this morning at the age of 22, my girlfriend asked, “where did it go?!” referring to my hair. I have gone to Bosley for a consultation on a hair transplant, and further inquired about the “laser comb”. I am curious if anyone out there has gotten a hair transplant from Bosley or has purchased the “laser comb”. What did you think? Was it worth it?