The age-old question of why we lose the hair on our heads, also known as male or female pattern baldness, can have many answers. Hormones, stress, medication, nutrition, etc. — all can cause this circumstance. But whatever the causing factor is, the main reason for hair loss is down to the health of hair follicles.
There are many remedies out there for hair loss. Some are snake oil, of course, while many work. One of the new promising treatments is laser light therapy. This process involves shining specific frequencies of light at the hair follicles to encourage hair growth.
There are many products out there, including both Laser Caps and Laser Combs. In this article, we’ll review five of the best laser caps available. We’ll also cover all the context you need to know in our buyer’s guide at the bottom. Let’s start with the Best Laser Cap, the Capillus Ultra.
Best Laser Cap
Key Points at a Glance
- 82 Diodes (laser sensors)
- 6 minute daily sessions
- FDA-cleared technology
Our runner-up is the Capillus laser cap, a powerful laser hair treatment device that by all appearences is a standard baseball cap. Very cool!
This set comprises of a hard cap which holds the laser diodes, and a soft cap which sits over the top. It means you can walk around during your sessions, looking like you’re wearing only a cap. The cap’s powered through a charged lithium battery, so you don’t need to be plugged in while in use.
The laser diodes revitalize damaged hair growth, which should become obvious within 9-12 months.
Capillus also manufacture similar caps with more diodes:
All models recommend the same amount of treatment for daily sessions and that hair growth takes the same amount of time.
There has been a trial study on the CapillusPro. The results showed that in 95% of users, there was a 51% increase in hair growth within 17 weeks, so that’s encouraging. Of course, the study was funded by Capillus, but the results are strongly positive regardless.
All models come in a boxed presentation. The box contains a case to keep the cap and helmet stored away. You can use the carry handle or fix the removable strap for carrying the case around. There’s also an electrical adapter with 3 different plug fitments.
The battery has a port to allow connection to the adapter, and then into the hat once charged. Another smaller bag is supplied for keeping the adapter and plugs stored away, along with instructions and a 1-year warranty.
The Capillus is a fantastic product: a powerful laser cap disguised as a baseball hat. But it’s quite expensive, which is why we put it as our runner-up choice.
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Key Points at a Glance
- Helmet and Earphones
- 22 laser Diodes and 33 LED lights
- 650-70nm wavelength
- 25 minutes x 2-3 times weekly sessions
- FDA-cleared technology
The iGrow is a powerful hair growth helmet with a few unique features. It has a combination of LED lights and laser sensors. Because it has fewer diodes, this makes it a lower-level laser treatment than some of the other items on our list.
The sensors are guaranteed for up to 10,000 hours, so it should be good for a few years. The light pad in this model is suspended above the head. It never touches the scalp.
When you take the cap off, the lights automatically cut off.
Another difference is that this helmet doesn’t have a chargeable battery. It plugs in as you use it. But don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe as it’s FDA approved. That said, you can acquire a battery pack as an extra feature from the manufacturer if you prefer.
Small improvements in hair thickness should start to show after 6 months. Most users continue their sessions with these hair growth devices. If you use them permanently, it means once you see healthier hair, it stays that way.
One of the other really interesting features of this cap is that you won’t be bored during your sessions. The iGrow Laser Caphas built-in headphones with an aux hookup. You can listen to music, watch Netflix, play games, etc. — all while undergoing your treatment!
iGrow has a lot of interesting laser hair growth products out there (they’re on our list of the best at-home anti-aging devices. This unit is our runner-up choice among the Best Laser Helmets.
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Key Points at a Glance
- Cap Format
- 76 Diodes (Light Sensors)
- 600-700nm wavelength
- 15, 30 or 45 minute sessions
The laser cap by PBZYDU is a knock-off of the Capillus cap discussed above, but positioned at a much lower price point. Like the Capillus, this growth cap is easy to wear — it’s a baseball cap that contains a lamp bead pad, with 76 red light sensors.
There are various settings so you can undergo sessions of 15, 30 or 45-minutes. The brightness is also adjustable.
Temperatures can reach up to 100F but you won’t feel that sort of heat. It’s the heat compress that penetrates the follicles to promote hair growth.
This cap also controls oil secretion in the scalp, giving you more control over healthy hair.
We chose this hair growth cap as our budget model, though given its no-name status and lack of a real brand, it’s probably best to save up and pick up one of the higher-end caps with a better brand and sturdier science behind it. It doesn’t appear to be FDA-cleared.
The PBYZDU laser cap comes with a USB charging port. The sensor pad fits inside the provided cap when in use.
Key Points at a Glance
- 82 Diodes (Laser Sensors)
- 90 seconds x 3days a week sessions
- FDA-Cleared Technology
The HairMax laser band straddles the line between a laser cap and a laser comb (and in fact, is one the Best Laser Combs around). It’s not a hat. Rather, it’s a band that’s worn on the head moved around during the session.
It has hair parting teeth for closer access to the scalp.
What’s interesting about this product are the short sessions that last less than 2-minutes. To use it, you glide the band into one part of your head that’s affected by thinning hair growth. Keep it there for only 30-seconds and then move on to the next part of the scalp.
The recommendation is to target 3 areas, totalling the 90-second session. The movement of the laser lights equates to 246 laser sensors, as the 82 diodes work on 3 different areas. The Comb is exactly that, and parts the hair so the lasers can treat the follicles more effectively.
The brand, HairMax, have carried out 7 clinical studies on their hair growth products. This has resulted in a 90% success rate.
They also have an alternative less expensive model of laser band with 41 laser diodes. This one is used for a total of 3 minutes per week. See here for a comparison of HairMax vs iGrow.
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Key Points at a Glance
- 80 Diodes (laser sensors)
- 678nm wavelength
- 20-30 minutes x 2 times weekly sessions
The Vinmax is a high quality laser cap that has similar features to more expensive models, but is positioned at a great price point.
It promotes growth and thickens thinning hair, making the hair fuller and healthier looking. The treatment sessions can also ease irritated skin on the scalp. It works using a deep penetration of LLL (low level light) at 678nm wavelength. Treatment consists of 20-30 minute sessions of wearing the helmet.
This is best done every other day with dry hair. The idea is that the laser lights give energy to shrunken hair follicles and the stem cells back to life. This helmet covers the entire top of the head.
For the first month, any old hair will continue to fall out. After a couple of months, this should stop as the present hair becomes stronger.
It can take up to 6-months for the maximum effect of increased hair growth. You can stop using it once you reach your goal.
The helmet gives off no heat. It will and sit comfortably on the head, causing no pain or discomfort whatsoever.
Charge the battery prior to your session, and you’ll be compleely wireless while wearing the helmet. The Vinmax helmet has an auto-switch which turns off once the charge is used, or you can set a timer if you want a shorter session.
Included within the package is an electrical adapter for a USB charging port. There is also an instruction booklet. This unit comes with a 1-year warranty. It does not appear to be FDA approved.
The Vinmax has features that put it up with our top choices and is positioned at a great price point. But its FDA-status is unclear, which is a negative for us.
Laser Cap Buyer’s Guide
A human head contains up to 100,000 hair follicles. The problems start when they become dormant. As they begin to shut down, you’ll notice your hair thinning. The treatment for hair loss, known as implants, utilizes the healthier hair follicles. To do this, they take the healthier hair follicles from one part of the scalp, and implant them where there are dormant ones.
Hair implants are not the only possible answer for hair loss. There are other remedies such as lotions, foams, and medication. Most recently there is an exciting new technology. What’s more, studies are showing that it works on thinning hair, for some people.
This method won’t work on dead follicles, that is complete baldness where the follicles have died. It helps where the hair is thinning and the follicles are dying. It will “wake” the follicles up and cause them to become more alert, by increasing stem cell growth.
It’s the latest scientific method for beating hair loss.
You may have heard it described as low-level laser or low level light (LLL), or even red light therapy. It’s the laser energy that encourages stem cells to grow. Studies are showing it to be effective and also very safe.
Always check that health products are FDA approved and safe to use before you buy them. We’ve noted the items that are FDA-cleared on our list. Should you decide to venture off the list, consider the FDA-status of the product you choose.
Important Features to Consider
When looking for any health product, here are a few important factors you need to consider:
As this is a health product, make sure it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is a US federal agency that’s part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Anything they approve, you know you can trust to be safe to use.
Because laser devices are in a class of “medical devices” and not “medication,” they don’t undergo the same scrutiny by the FDA.
This means that it doesn’t guarantee the device will do what it says on the box. In that regard, look out for products that say they have been scientifically tested.
Tried and Tested
Look for a manufacturer that has gone to the extent of publishing trials and tests on their products. This is a good indicator that they have established their product over time. They’ve taken care to study the features and improve them where necessary.
It’s good to buy from a company that has a solid customer service provision. If you have any problems, you have someone to turn to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does laser treatment work on hair growth?
There have been many legitimate studies and trials, and the results are generally positive.
Hair follicles that haven’t gone completely dormant do show signs of improving. Whilst you will continue to lose dead hair to start with, any thinning hair will start to thicken as the laser stimulates the follicles.
What seems to be one of the biggest issues, is that many users of laser hair growth caps give up too early in the treatment plan. Be prepared to follow the instructions for months, not days. Nothing will happen overnight. It could be up to a year before you see results. On top of that, the treatment is most likely for life, to keep the hair follicles stimulated.
Are there any side effects to Laser Therapy for Hair Growth?
The only real side effects are the emotional feelings of losing one’s hair. It’s a social stigma that not everyone’s happy about.
Laser treatment is perfectly safe and used at low levels to thicken hair.
The positive side of this type of treatment it that it’s non-invasive and painless. If you have laser treatment in a specialist clinic, it can be very expensive running at thousands of dollars.
The negative aspects are that it takes time, even up to a year for any real results, so you’ll need plenty of patience.
The truth is that these hair growth devices haven’t been out long enough to measure any real long-term benefits. In that sense, we’re all still Guinea pigs.
Is there any difference between red laser diodes and red LED lights?
There’s no doubting that Light Emitting Diodes (LED) have many therapeutic benefits. They vary from skin healing to SAD light therapy, and even muscle and tendon healing. The light emitted is not as strong as laser light because it’s on a broader wavelength. This makes the sensors less invasive and the healing process will take longer if it’s trying to target specific cells.
Laser means “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.” Laser diodes used for hair growth, are “near Infrared” (NI) light sensors. They give a lower level therapy (LLT) than the lasers used in surgery. This type of light is more directed at specific cells. Once the area is exposed to the laser heat, the blood flow is stimulated, which is what produces the healing process. Hence, damaged hair follicles can recover so the hair becomes healthier and thicker, but dead ones cannot.
Studies show that both LED and laser lights are therapeutic. But laser diodes are more direct so more successful for targeting hair follicles.
Many users of hair growth caps also use other health products, such as creams and shampoos. There’s no reason you should stop using any of those products if you wish to try out the laser therapy.
To receive laser treatment from a clinic could run into thousands of dollars. Compared to this sort of financial outlay, investing in a hair growth laser cap could well be worthwhile. Though, you must have patience because it can take many months for the hair follicles to repair themselves. Indeed, you may even lose hair, to begin with as the dead hair falls out. That would have happened anyway but the laser treatment progresses it.
As with most hair growth products, treatment only works on thinning hair. Where the follicle has died and there is no hair, the hair cannot return. You would need a transplant for that to happen, and even then, there’s no guarantee that will work either. There are many cells in any one hair follicle, and they all need to be repaired.
And that’s only for a single strand of hair! You can see why it takes a while to work.
For laser and LED caps, it’s the stimulation in the blood flow that repairs the damaged follicle. The treatment is perfectly safe to use and clinical studies are showing that, for many people, it can work. So, for those with thinning hair, then it is worth a go.