With 50% of women and almost 80% of men experiencing hair loss in their lifetime, people are trying all sorts of topicals, supplements, and other medications and treatments to restore their once luscious locks. Today, we’re exploring a more obscure method of hair regrowth – low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT). In this laser cap review, we will dive into the world of low-level laser therapy for hair regrowth – its efficacy, benefits, safety, cost, any side effects, and more.
Because of the side effects, cost, and extended use necessary for the products to be effective, people are turning to alternative solutions from topical and ingestible treatments and medications. LLLT devices like the iHelmet, the HairMax Laser Cap, and the iRestore Professional LLLT devices are fantastic choices and are FDA-cleared and scientifically proven to promote hair growth.
Let’s comb through the data and see which LLLT product suits your scalp and if it’s an effective, safe, and worthwhile choice for your long-term hair regrowth journey.
Table of Contents
7 reasons why you need to try Low-Level Laser Therapy for hair regrowth
We’ll get into more detail here, but here’s why you should try LLLT for hair regrowth and why we think the iRestore Pro is the best choice for your laser cap:
- More efficient and effective compared to other hair loss medications
- Can treat all kinds of hair loss, not just pattern baldness
- A drug-free, natural treatment that’s sustainable
- Lower risk of harmful side effects
- More cost-effective in the long run
- You can try it risk-free
- No need for a stringent routine, especially after 6-12 months
1. Equally, if not more, effective than the most popular hair loss medications
Low-level laser therapy is a more reliable way of dealing with hair loss compared to prescription medicines like Minoxidil or Finasteride.
Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL), and other hair loss causes can be treated with prescription meds, but keeping a schedule for taking medications or applying topicals can be tedious and messy. Not to mention, with prescription medications like Finasteride and Minoxidil, the results are spottier.
Having a laser cap like the iRestore is much more user-friendly. Three times a week, you just put it on, and it stays in place for the duration of the treatment. In a study, LLLT performed as well as Minoxidil in treating FPHL. And when Minoxidil was used in conjunction with LLLT, signs of improvement were shown at two months. When compared to Minoxidil or LLLT used alone, this is a significant hair follicle regrowth at four months.
Studies have shown that on average, Finasteride, another hair growth medication, produced around a 15% increase in hair count, while LLLT produced a 35%, and iRestore claims up to a 43.2% increase in hair count in their 4-month clinical study. That’s hair-raising good!
LLLT also offers the best scalp coverage of any treatment with lasers that reach hard-to-cover places like the temples. The lasers are able to penetrate your hair, no matter where it’s parted, to effectively promote hair growth in all areas. Overall, LLLT is just as efficient, if not more, as an alternative to prescriptions for hair loss.
2. Laser caps can treat all types of hair loss, not just Alopecia
Topical and Oral Finasteride or Minoxidil medications are best known to help with androgenic alopecia (AGA), or pattern hair loss, while laser hair growth systems can address this PLUS many other different kinds of hair loss.
iRestore’s LLLT can address abnormally high levels of DHT, which can interfere with the hair’s growth cycle and cause hair loss. LLLT is a more natural and clinically tested method to deal with this excess of DHT. The lasers work by inhibiting the production of 5-alpha reductase, halting DHT production before it even starts and reducing the body’s overall DHT production.
LLLT has also been shown to help with hair loss caused by stressful or contaminated environments and has even been effective in speeding up hair regrowth on people with chemotherapy-induced hair loss.
In addition, unlike some prescription hair loss drugs, laser cap therapy is safe for both men and women.
3. Drug-Free, Natural, and Sustainable
Laser cap therapy encourages new hair development by simply supporting and amplifying what your body does on its own naturally, rather than introducing a foreign chemical or process that your body has to adjust to. LLLT works by boosting the healing and rejuvenating process by shedding old cells to create a way for healthier new ones.
With LLLT, you do not need any drugs – just natural, red-light wavelengths to target hair growth effectively. The light is absorbed by the hair follicles to increase hair growth rate and even foster growth in follicles that have stopped growing.
It’s been shown that laser caps can be used in combination with most other hair growth treatments. Studies have also demonstrated the benefits of combining LLLT with other hair growth remedies like Finasteride and Minoxidil, showing earlier signs of improvement and thicker overall hair growth. Dermatologists Dr. Dray and Australia’s Dr. Davin Lim discuss this in-depth in their videos.
In comparison, other prescription medicines like Finasteride can interact negatively with other medications and supplements, making LLLT a natural and safer way to get the same results as an alternative to prescription for hair loss.
4. Lower risk of harmful side effects
With prescription hair growth medications like Finasteride, there are harmful side effects that are particularly damaging to your sexual function. The scariest sexual adverse effects can include erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, and loss of libido.
Disorientation, dizziness, and weight gain have also been reported after prolonged use of prescription hair loss medications. Although fairly rare, these are also not fun.
LLLT, on the other hand, does not pose the same risk of negative side effects and has been found safe for both men and women to use to treat various hair loss issues. iRestore’s LLLT device has been cleared by the FDA for both safety and efficacy, and users generally don’t report any serious adverse reactions. Who wants to risk trading in thin hair for a different other horrific medical issues? Not us, that’s for sure.
5. More cost-effective in the long run
While treatments like Finasteride and Minoxidil are upfront cheaper for a single bottle/treatment, you can’t ever stop taking them (buying them) for as long as you want to keep your new hair. So, although upfront, the cost is higher, your overall savings are unmatched.
While most LLLT devices are $700+, buying a laser therapy cap will save you on never-ending prescription or supplement treatments in the long run. Also, with laser cap therapy, you can break up your payments with a monthly financing plan and get your money back if you don’t like it, which you can’t do with other hair loss treatments.
To put it in perspective, a month’s supply of Finasteride can cost you $20-60+ per month. Even on the average end, that sets you at about $480/year – matching you at the price of iRestore’s device after just 1.5 years.
6. You can try it risk-free
Another significant benefit that will help if you end up not liking the product is that some laser cap makers like the iRestore offer a 12-month money-back guarantee! You don’t get that with other products and treatments that require a full leap of faith and upfront expenditure.
With the iRestore Pro – or any laser cap for hair loss with a similarly generous guarantee – you can test if laser therapy works on your scalp for a full year knowing you can get a refund if you are unsatisfied. Result or a refund. How’s that for peace of mind?
7. No need for a stringent routine
One of the best parts about using laser cap therapy is that you don’t have to take a pill or apply a solution to your scalp daily. In fact, you only need to utilize an LLLT device three times per week. And since it’s a hands-free device, you can carry on with your daily routine while lasering it up.
What’s the best laser therapy device for hair loss?
When it comes to low-level laser therapy for hair regrowth, we’ve done a TON of research. After all the hours comparing the best laser caps, our top pick for the value is the iRestore Pro. It provides the best coverage and is the most powerful laser cap for hair loss, with clinical studies showing a 43.2% increase in hair count over a 12-month period.
As a bonus, iRestore has a 12-month money-back guarantee and a convenient monthly payment plan so you don’t have to invest a top upfront. Right now, iRestore is offering $350 off the iRestore Professional laser cap, with an added gift of hair growth vitamin gummies with your purchase. This brings you to about $70/month for 12 months, very affordable for what you’re getting in the long term!
If you are looking for the best laser hair growth system for your hair loss journey, look no further than iRestore. As a top-reviewed, #1 product on Amazon (with over 4,000 reviews), they go above and beyond most other laser caps, even offering multiple models to choose from and even hair care products.
LLLT FAQ - What to know before trying laser therapy on your scalp
What is Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), and how does it work scientifically?
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive and painless scalp treatment for hair loss. It is FDA approved and uses red or near-infrared radiation to increase the terminal hair density. The treatment works by stimulating cellular activity in tissues and causing repair and regeneration.
Hair follicles go through a repetitive regenerative cycle that consists of four stages:
- Anagen – an active stage responsible for rapid growth
- Catagen – hair growth ends and the hair follicle stops producing the hair fiber and begins to shrink
- Telogen – resting phase of the hair growth cycle, lasts for approximately three months
- Exogen phase – final stage, shedding of the hair shaft.
According to studies, LLLT stimulates the anagen stage and causes a re-entry into the telogen phase. This stimulation prolongs the anagen phase, which increases hair follicle growth in active anagen follicles. This change in the hair cycle increases hair density and diameter while decreasing hair shedding.
What to look for in an LLLT device
- Total Power – when it comes to an LLLT device, an output power that is either too low or too high can lead to null results. You want a device with an output of around 1410 mW, which iRestore Pro provides.
- Coverage – You want an LLLT device that provides extended coverage to reach the sides of your head and the back of your scalp to treat the hairline, lower crown, and temples too! The iRestore Pro reaches all parts of your scalp for maximum coverage.
- Proximity of Diodes to Scalp (Penetrance) – The beam of the diodes to the scalp is also of importance. The light shaft is most intense at the point of origin. As it travels down and spreads to surrounding cells, it loses intensity. That is why you want diodes close to the scalp for the best penetrance to yield the best results. Look at how close the diodes are to the scalp and how far apart they are set. iRestore Pro’s model has 232 lasers and LEDs.
- Medical-Grade Cushions – An essential part of any laser cap for hair loss is comfort. Because you wear it repeatedly, the device should have medical-grade foam pads or cushions that lightly hug your head. The iRestore Pro is so comfortable that you’ll forget your wearing it.
- Ventilation – You want a ventilated pattern that allows airflow and breathability so that your head stays cool and comfortable during each treatment. Check to ensure the products you are looking at have good ventilation.
- Safety Sensors – Safety is everything, especially when you’re placing it on your head. The last thing you want is to have less hair than when you started. iRestore’s Pro model has sensors to protect against overheating and other malfunctions.
- Batteries and Controllers – Unless you want to be stuck sitting next to a wall outlet, always opt for rechargeable devices or devices where you can purchase a rechargeable battery. Also, be sure to check out the controller to ensure that it is easy to use and uncomplicated.
Laser helmet vs Laser combs vs Laser bands: Which works best?
A Laser helmet is preferable for many reasons, the most important being comfort. With laser combs and bands, you have to hold them in place, which can be too tiring and cumbersome. You can also only treat a small area at once, making the process long and annoying.
It’s also not adequate to start with a comb or a band because of how little the emitted light can penetrate your scalp. Compared to a laser helmet, combs and bands don’t deliver enough energy to the targeted layers of your scalp.
How long does it take to see visible results with LLLT?
Can you combine LLLT with other hair loss treatments?
Yes, LLLT can act synergistically to enhance hair growth. In one study, out of 32 patients, 8 showed significant improvement alone and with Minoxidil or Finasteride, and 20 of the patients demonstrated moderate growth (compared to none).
The improvements these researchers saw as early as three months were sustained for the entire duration of the 2-year study, and there were no adverse reactions. They concluded that LLLT combined with Minoxidil and Finasteride treatments were effective for both males and females with androgenetic alopecia (AGA), the most common form of hair loss in men and women.
Laser vs LEDs for LLLT: What’s the difference?
LEDs and Lasers are both effective as a non-invasive approach to hair loss.
LEDs emit light in a wide range of wavelengths instead of one specific wavelength. LED red light therapy works by emitting energy-producing packets of light into the layers of the scalp. The light creates ATP, which is cellular energy that strengthens the cells and surrounding area the light hits.
Lasers emit monochromatic or single-colored wavelengths. Therefore, lasers can target specific points. Lasers also have a narrower focus with a beam that can penetrate your scalp and reach the hair follicles.