These drugs – one oral and one topical (the oral tablet being for medically suitable men aged 18+ only) which are both licensed by the MHR and FDA-approved – are considered the frontline treatments for genetic hair loss. However, additional non-pharmaceutical hair growth supporting products, such as food supplements and various FDA-cleared low-level laser therapy (LLLT) devices – one example being the HairMax LaserBand – can be used alongside these.
The latter involves the use of 82 laser diodes embedded in a headband, which emit low frequency laser light to the scalp. When used three times per week, for 90 seconds per area – so a total time of just over six minutes per session – has been shown to stimulate the hair follicles, encouraging hair growth. It is marketed by manufacturers HairMax as ‘the world’s fastest laser hair loss treatment’.
There are many wearable, cap or helmet-style LLT devices available, however, the teeth used in HairMax products are patented and help to part the hair, allowing the lasers to get to the scalp more easily.
Now, using the base LLLT technique, scientists in Korea have developed a new wearable hair regrowth device designed to help men and women with hair loss. Continues below…
Photostimulation hair loss device
According to study details published in the American Chemical Society’s Nano journal, researchers put together a flexible sheet of 900 vertical micro-light emitting diodes (μLEDs) which had a surface area smaller than a postage stamp and was 20 μm thick.
These were used on live mice with shaved backs to investigate the device’s hair regrowth. These were divided into three groups – shaved and treated with minoxidil administered via injection, shaved and treated with photostimulation only for 15 minutes per day for 20 days, shaved with no treatment (used as a control)
They claim the resulting hair growth device is more effective – based on the photostimulation mice showing a wider regrowth area and longer hairs compared to the other two groups – and less power-consuming than others, stating further that it did not become warm enough to cause any thermal skin damage.
Difference between LEDs and laser diodes
In a recent interview with Forbes magazine, HairMax founder David Michaels explained the difference between LEDs – such as those used in this new device – and laser diodes – the technology featured in HairMax devices.
“LEDs are used for treatments on the first layer of the skin but you need the power of laser light to penetrate down to the second layer of the skin where hair follicles originate. Although they may look the same, lasers provide stronger, highly focused, and more intense light energy than LEDs.
Our high quality lasers deliver columnated light to the follicles to more effectively reach and energize the follicle root and stimulate the growth factors of the follicle. LED devices put out dispersed light, which is not focused, and is spread out like a fan over the scalp.
Dispersed light does not penetrate or effectively reach the follicle when compared to lasers. HairMax lasers are densely distributed within our devices and are optimally spaced providing full and concentrated scalp coverage with a single wavelength.”
Which type of hair loss?
Whilst the results from this trial appear to be impressive, one key bit of information is missing – which hair loss condition is being treated? The reason this is so signification is that, whilst Male and Female Pattern Baldness are permanent, hereditary conditions that get progressively worse over time, thinning hair can also be caused by other temporary conditions which may otherwise clear up of their own accord within a few months.
In humans we can tell which condition – or conditions, as it is possible to have more than one simultaneously – is present due to the location of the shedding. Genetic hairloss affects the top of the scalp anywhere in the vertex region from hairline to crown, whilst temporary conditions such as Telogen Effluvium cause diffuse thinning from the whole scalp.
As the Korean trial involves shaved mice and simply refers to the condition they are treating as ‘alopecia‘ – the over-arching medical term for any kind of hair loss – the precise conditions this is intended to treat are unknown. As such, quite how compelling the results are is unclear.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.