The early stages of hair loss are the best time to stop balding at its tracks and even reverse the balding process. Topical hair products have dominated this market, but devices that use lasers are getting a slice of the pie. But are these two methods effective in treating hair loss and which one is right for you?
How They Work
Devices that use laser stimulation to promote hair growth like the Hairmax Lasercomb and topical minoxidil solutions like Rogaine both work by stimulating hair follicles into producing hair. The intense red lights of laser combs penetrate through the scalp — increasing the amount of available adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in hair follicles. This invigorates hair follicles and even rejuvenates dormant hair follicles that have already stopped producing hair.
Minoxidil works similarly but achieves this effect through a chemical process. The chemicals in the Minoxidil solution seeps into the scalp and triggers a chemical reaction that strengthens hair follicles and also prompts dormant hair follicles to start producing hair once again. Both laser stimulation and minoxidil solutions need constant use to be effective.
Ease of Use
Minoxidil solutions require daily applications — and in the case of Rogaine, one application in the morning and one at night. The topical solution is spread evenly and massaged into the scalp, similar to how you would use shampoo. The solution is left to dry in the scalp. This regimen must be maintained daily, and the effects can be seen in 2-3 months.
On the other hand, lasercombs only require 10 to 15 minutes of use on alternating days three times a week. You just need to run the device on your scalp — similar to using a comb, but moving very slowly across the scalp. You don’t need any special preparations, just turn on the device and use as instructed.
Most minoxidil solutions in the market have been cleared by the FDA. These solutions are considered safe enough for over the counter purchase and no longer require prescriptions. Minoxidil solutions should not be ingested and contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth should be avoided. You may experience itching or skin rashes when using the product.
The Hairmax Lasercomb has been cleared by the FDA since 2007. It has been granted FDA clearance for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (pattern hair loss) in both men and women. Hairmax is safe to use as it only uses high-intensity lights — however, you should still avoid directing the lights into your eyes for prolonged periods of time.
Both lasercombs and minoxidil treatments only work in the earlier stages of hair loss. Once hair follicles have completely atrophied — such as in the case of actual baldness — the two methods become ineffective.
Baldness doesn’t have to be an inevitable outcome. Hair loss can be prevented as long as you start early. You can use laser stimulation, minoxidil solutions, or even both at the same time — as long as you start your treatment immediately.