What Is A HairMax LaserComb?
The HairMax Laser Comb is a hand held electronic device which uses low level (low power) laser (light) therapy (LLLT) to treat numerous conditions by stimulating healing, relieving pain and inflammation, and otherwise restoring normal function.
The manufacturers of the HairMax LaserComb claim that it can produce healthier hair, prevent further hair loss and stimulate re-growth of hair. In short, the comb delivers the holy trinity of the hair loss market.
The product works for men and women suffering from hereditary hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) and claims to produce an average of 20% hair growth in as little as 12 weeks. Treatment is self-administered in your own home by passing the comb over your scalp (through your hair) 3 times per week, for 10-15 minutes per treatment.
Why, Specifically, a HairMax LaserComb Review?
Do a Google search for ‘low-level laser therapy’ or ‘laser combs’ and you’ll find tens of different manufacturers all claiming that their laser combs, helmets and other gadgets promote hair regrowth for pattern baldness. Why do a HairMax LaserComb review, then? What makes it so special?
In short, it’s the first and only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certified medical device clinically proven to treat male and female pattern baldness. That makes it one of only three products granted FDA approval as a clinically proven hair loss treatment method. The other two being Propecia (oral) and Minoxidil (topical).
For the FDA submission, Lexington International LLC (the manufacturer) conducted a clinical study in four different locations across the United States. The study concluded that 93% of the participants (ages 30-60) using the HairMax LaserComb had an increase in the number of terminal (thick) hairs. The average number of terminal hairs per square centimetre increased by 19 hairs/cm over a six-month period.
[Tweet ““A hair in the head is worth two in the brush” – Don Herold, American Humorist”]
How It Works
The exact mode of action for low level laser treatments is still being researched, although there are two likely modes of operation:
- Anagen induction: the low-level lasers cause hair to transfer into the growth cycle (Anagen phase), much like Minoxidil. It does this through a process called Photo-BioStimulation, which increases ATP and Keratin production, cellular metabolism and cellular activity. ATP (adenosine three phosphate) is a coenzyme responsible for intracellular energy transfer and known to stimulate living cells, including the hair follicles.
- Increased blood flow: required nutrients are delivered more effectively to follicles, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a converted form of testosterone that causes male pattern balding, is removed from the scalp.
If you’ve got the time, and are interested to find out, the video below (length: 5:40) covers:
- How the manufacturer describes how the comb works
- An overview of the clinical studies supporting FDA approval, and
- Guidelines for effective use
There have been no serious reported side effects - other than minor itching and scalp irritation in some users - in about 30 years from low-level laser therapy treatments. The HairMax LaserComb has also been cleared by the FDA for both effectiveness and safety.
Best Suited For
The combs are indicated to treat Androgenetic Alopecia in males who have Norwood Hamilton Classifications of IIa to V and in females who have Ludwig (Savin) I-4, II-1, II-2, or frontal patterns of hair loss. Both males and females should also have Fitzpatrick Skin Types I to IV.
The Norwood Hamilton Classification refers to the pattern of balding, along with severity. Classifications of IIa to V are in the moderate to severe range. (For a pictorial of the Norwood Hamilton Scale click here.)
The Fitzpatrick Skin Type classification refers to the colour of your skin. The HairMax LaserComb is indicated for use in men and women whose skin color ranges from pale white to light brown.
One-off, up-front cost starting from USD $195 up to $495 (depending on model). The HairMax LaserComb comes in three models:
- Advanced 7 ($195)
- Prima 7 ($295)
- Ultima 12 ($495)
The main difference between the models is the width of the light applied on each pass-through. The wider comb requires a shorter treatment time as it covers more area, more quickly. Not surprisingly, the wider the comb, the more expensive it is.
You can purchase any of these models here.
Lexington International have also recently released a new product called a LaserBand. If anybody tries the laserband (here), at a whopping $795, please let us know how you find it in the comments below. Certainly looks pretty cool.
- FDA approved: As noted above, the FDA have only approved three hair loss treatment products.
- Drug-free zone: There are no chemicals involved. It’s non-invasive and no prescription required.
- Zero ongoing costs: One-off, up-front cost with a product life of 10 years (according to the manufacturer). Most other treatments require you to shell out for as long as you want to keep your hair. The table below (taken from the manufacturer's website) provides a rough cost comparison:
(click on table to enlarge)
- Embarrassment factor: Low. Treatment performed in your own home. Easily bought online. If bought from Amazon it comes in the standard Amazon branded box. If you buy elsewhere it would be worth checking if it can be, or is, sent in an unmarked box.
- Team player: The comb can be used alone or in conjunction with other hair loss treatments.
- Team player: A significant number of medical professionals believe the efficacy of low-level laser treatment is limited to use as an adjunct therapy, rather than as a treatment in its own right.
- Potential limitations: Similarly, most medical professionals suggest efficacy is limited to the early stages of hair loss. As with all treatments however, results can be highly user-dependent. A number of doctors and dermatologists have reported significant regrowth in some of their patients through use of the comb alone.
If you’re one of those people that believe the FDA is there to look after your best interests (as opposed to the pharmaceutical companies), then you’ll want to buy the only FDA approved laser comb (HairMax).
The Hair Max Laser Comb has formed part of both of my successful treatment plans (see the latest plan here). My feeling is that it helps to augment results, although that assertion would be impossible to prove unless I’d gone through a process of isolating it from the other products used (I didn’t).
At the end of the day, analytical data would suggest that the percentage growth from using the comb is relatively small, although you’ll also find anecdotal evidence which suggests significant regrowth has been achieved in a number of cases.
So, where does that leave you? Provided you’re attracted to its key differentiators - one-off cost, drug-free, non-invasive and with virtually no reported side effects – I would suggest it comes down to your personal circumstances:
a) If you’ve got the cash to spend, and are in the early stages of hair loss, you may consider trying this as a first option. It may be all that you need and it’s cheaper over the longer term than options such as Rogaine and Propecia.
b) If your hair loss is more advanced, you may wish to consider it as part of a broader programme of treatment to speed and/or augment results (again, assuming you’ve got the cash to spend).
c) If you’re strapped for cash, I’d focus on other treatment options before going this route.
The FDA approval only relates to one laser comb manufacturer: the HairMax LaserComb manufactured by Lexington International LLC, and the Advanced 7, Prima 7, and the Ultima 12 models.
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