Men and women benefit from HairMax LaserComb according to new research study
As my patients know, I'm a stickler for good scientific evidence and data on hair loss treatments. If I'm going to recommend a treatment, there has to be evidence it helps. Why would anyone want to spend time or money on a useless treatment?
There has been emerging data over the past years on the potential benefits of low level laser therapy (LLLT). A number of LLLT devices are on the market now and are being used in patients with hair loss and in some patients after hair transplants. Few LLLT devices have been subjected to rigorous testing.
What is considered rigorous testing for LLLT?
A good scientific study involves testing of a drug or product in a randomized, double-blind manner and multiple different centers. Randomized means that some patients would receive the real medication or treatment device and some would receive a placebo or 'fake' treatment. Double-blind means that both patients and doctors don't know who is getting the real treatment and who is getting the placebo.
So, are there any randomized, double blind multi-center studies of any low level laser therapies?
Fortunately, there is ! I was pretty excited to share with my patients this past week a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology last month. The study was a randomized, sham device-controlled, double-blind clinical trials conducted at multiple US centres.
How was the LLLT study designed?
Investigators set out to determine whether treatment with the HairMax Lasercomb® was helpful for men and women with pattern hair loss. A total of 128 male and 141 female subjects were randomized to receive either a lasercomb (one of three models) or a sham device in concealed sealed packets, and were treated on the whole scalp three times a week for 26 weeks. Terminal hair density of the target area was evaluated at baseline and at 16- and 26-week follow-ups, and analyzed to determine whether the hypothesis formulated prior to data collection, that lasercomb treatment would increase terminal hair density, was correct.
What were the results?
The HairMax LaserComb was found to increase in terminal hair density and this was independent of the age and sex of the subject. Additionally, a higher percentage of lasercomb-treated subjects reported overall improvement of hair loss condition and thickness and fullness of hair in self-assessment, compared with sham-treated subjects. No serious adverse events were reported in any subject receiving the lasercomb in any of the four trials.
The key limitation in LLLT becoming more accepted in the world of hair loss is solid scientific data. This is one of the first high quality independent multi centre studies in LLLT done. These results suggest that the HairMax LaserComb low-level laser treatment may be an effective option to treat pattern hair loss in both men and women.
Jimenez JJ, Wikramanayake TC, Bergfeld W, Hordinsky M, Hickman JG, Hamblin MR, Schachner LA. Efficacy and Safety of a Low-level Laser Device in the Treatment of Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Multicenter, Randomized, Sham Device-controlled, Double-blind Study. Am J Clin Derm 2014 Jan 29.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299