Does the Hairmax Laser Comb Work?
I have very minor temporal recession. I recently visited Dr. Robert Bernstein in NYC and was put on Finasteride (4mg tablet broken into 4 pieces) + Rogaine. Even though my hair loss in minor, I really don't want to lose anymore hair. I looked into some other hair loss treatments, including PRP (which I read does not work and is a sham) and laser light combs. Do laser light combs work? Some people say yes, but I'm curious what the consensus is? Seems like a gimmick to me....
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved two laser comb devices as treatment for androgenetic alopecia. The approved devices are the X-5 laser comb, and the HairMax LaserComb.
Clinical studies suggest that laser comb devices do in fact encourage hair regrowth, but exactly how well they work is a subject of ongoing debate.
The mechanism by which laser hair combs stimulate hair growth is not completely clear, and there are mixed reviews regarding their efficacy. Doctors believe laser frequencies may stimulate chromophores or pigmented substances within the hair follicles which in turn encourage the follicles to enter their growth phase.
At this time I would not recommend relying on photobiostimulation alone, but have no problem recommending laser devices to treat hair loss in conjunction with the more mainstream therapies Minoxidil and Finasteride.
That's a great question and with the number of phony hair loss treatments on the market, you're right to be sceptical of any new treatment.
In this case, however, there appears to be some scientific evidence that the laser comb does in fact stimulate hair growth.
Just how well it works though, is up for debate. Clinical studies of the laser comb are mixed. Some studies have shown beneficial results, while with others the results have been inconclusive.
The laser comb uses low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to stimulate hair follicles. Doctors aren't completely sure as to how the laser comb stimulates hair growth but it’s believed to stimulate stem cells in the epidermis. These stem cells help transition hair follicles into their anagen or growth phase.
To date, the FDA has approved only two low-level laser therapy devices for combating androgenetic alopecia: the HairMax LaserComb and the X-5 Laser Comb by manufacturer Spencer Forrest.
At this point, there is no universal consensus on the device. While some studies have shown promise, others have not. Many doctors are cautiously accepting the laser comb and recommending its use in conjunction with more conclusively proven treatments like Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (Minoxidil).
Lawrence Broder has 2 Hair transplant before & afters:
I have been working with LLLT for a number of years and use it in my practice almost every day.
The evidence is continuing to show usefulness in LLLT in various conditions. If you search on 'pubmed' you can see yourself. The is one article showing benefit from the hair comb, but in medicine that doesn't sway us.
Now the use of 535nm to 655nm light with other deployment methods for hair growth in androgenetic alopecia is proven and recommended as effective. See this recent review article in a serious journal JAAD:
The only concern I have is with the results being positive but not overwhelming - Will that be enough for the american consumer.
Ken Oleszek, MD
La Fontaine Aesthetics