HairMax has a good success rate on people with the right types of hair loss and the right skin types. Not everyone grows hair using light therapy. When it does work, it works well.
HairMax makes caps, combs and bands regrow about 1/2 inch of hair per month. The principle of shining red light on hair follicles goes back to the 1960s. In four human and two mouse studies, the HairMax LaserComb increased hair growth rate and strength over controls.
There are 11 baldness patterns that do well with low level light therapy (LLLT) to regrow hair, but there are several types of hair loss that do not do well. Make sure you have a receptive type of hair loss before buying any hair regrowth product.
What Kind of Light Does HairMax Use?
HairMax devices use lasers to cast red light onto the scalp. At-home low level light therapy (LLLT) wellness devices usually include LEDs rather than lasers. Scientific studies have shown the LEDs can accomplish most if not everything lasers can accomplish in LLLT. Some practitioners disagree and think lasers are better. Lasers can be faster, because they are capable of outputting more power.
HairMax Regrows Hair on 11 Baldness Patterns
There are nine female and 12 male baldness patterns. The Ludwig-Savin Classification describes female hair. The Norwood Hamilton Classification describes male hair. HairMax products grow hair in four of the female hair loss types, and seven of the male baldness types.
HairMax is Tested on Lighter Skinned People
There are six skin types described on the Fitzpatrick Scale. HairMax has tested their laser hair growth devices on four out of the seven skin types. Studies show that the lasers grow hair on white and brown-skinned people.
HairMax has not published science on using their products on black skin. Their website says that HairMax has thousands of customers with dark skin who grow hair back with HairMax products. The company says that its device works on darker skin.
When to Expect Visible Hair Growth Results with HairMax Treatments
Using HairMax products for the proscribed time three days per week, users see hair growth between three and four months. You continue to use the device in order to keep your gains. It’s debated but generally hair stops progressing at 26 weeks. For many people the gains reached at 26 weeks are the peak progress using HairMax products.
How Often to Treat Your Scalp with HairMax Devices
Use your HairMax three days per week, every other day.
Do not use red light therapy more or less than instructed. Not only do you not grow hair faster with more treatments, you can easily stop progress with too much light. Studies show that light therapy works when there is enough but not too much light cast on the target. If there is not enough light, or if there is too much light, hair does not grow.
HairMax Products Have No Adverse Side Effects
There are no reported side effects of using HairMax hair growth products. The lasers do not give off heat so there is no chance of burning. Thousands of studies show that the red light in hair growth products is safe.
HairMax and light therapy in general are non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, and painless.
Use HairMax on Damp but Not Wet Hair
Use HairMax on damp but not wet hair. The lasers are most effective when the hair is towel dried. It is damp but no longer soaking. People often use the hair growth lasers after washing their hair and toweling it dry.
HairMax LaserCombs Really Work
HairMax LaserCombs do work to grow hair. The HairMax Company was the first to achieve FDA Cleared status with the FDA. Companies that came after HairMax were able to state that their products were substantially similar to HairMax products. However, when HairMax went before the FDA, it had to prove “novel” use. HairMax ran multiple tests on animals and humans to demonstrate the effectiveness of the hair growth lasers.
How to Use the HairMax LaserComb
Remove the charging plug from the LaserComb handle. To start the laser, press the bottom and then the top button.
Hold the LaserComb at your hairline. Push the comb to your scalp so you feel the soft teeth. Throughout the process, ensure the teeth touch the scalp. This moves hair out of the way so the light can reach the scalp and hair follicles.
Every four seconds the device beeps and vibrates to tell you to move an inch backwards. Place the device on your head so the teeth part your hair. Let the device sit on the next position for four seconds.
Repeat moving backwards every four seconds until you reach the back of your skull. Then do three more sessions exactly as above. Then move on to the top of your head.
Hold the device at your hairline at the top of your head for four seconds, moving backwards at the beep, until you have given each inch a 4-second treatment. Repeat in the same spots three more times.
Repeat for the left side starting at the hairline for four sessions. Remove the come teeth for cleaning, and plug the device in for battery recharging.
Use the HairMax three times per week, no more, no less, exactly as instructed.
The Differences Between the HairMax LaserComb 9 and 12
The HairMax 9 is a LaserComb with 9 lasers and 11 minutes treatment time; the HairMax 12 is a LaserComb with 12 lasers and 8 minutes treatment time. They LaserComb 9 is the cheapest HairMax device you can buy. The more lasers a product has, the faster its treatment times are, and the more expensive it is. LaserComb 9 has the fewest lasers and the longest treatment time, and it is the cheapest device. LaserComb 12 is one level up from Laser 9. It has a few more lasers, a smaller treatment time, and costs a bit more than the LaserComb 9.
The LaserComb 12 has a 37.5% faster treatment time than the LaserComb 9. The LaserComb 12 costs approximately 45% more than the LaserComb 9. You spend 11 minutes using the #9, or 8 minutes using the #12. The extra 3 minutes adds up when your arm gets tired, which is why the #12 is a good deal.
The LaserComb is also a handheld hair growth device. This is different from all other HairMax products that sit on the head and are hands-free. The LaserComb has teeth similar to the LaserBand. To use a LaserComb, you allow the teeth to reach the scalp. This is your starting spot. You hold the device on each spot for 4 seconds. After each four second segment, you move the LaserComb 1/2 inch to the next spot you want to treat. It looks like a brush, but you do not “brush your hair.”
Table: HairMax LaserComb Comparisons
The Differences Between the HairMax LaserBand 41 and 82
The HairMax 41 is a LaserBand with 41 lasers and 3 minutes treatment time; the HairMax 82 is a LaserBand with 82 lasers and 90 seconds treatment time. The LaserBand 82 has twice the lasers as the LaeserBand 41, but the LaserBand 82 price is only 45% higher than LaserBand 41. When you buy a LaserBand 82, you get 100% more lasers and a 50% reduction in treatment time, and that costs 45% more than the LaserBand 41.
Each LaserBand treatment affects one-third of the head so you do three treatments per daily session to apply red light therapy to the whole scalp. If you do not need therapy on an area, you can skip that third. If you do all three, the actual time per day is 9 minutes for the LaserBand 41, and 4.5 minutes for the LaserBand 82. That’s one session times three areas.
The LaserBand is a toothed semi-circle that sits on your head at the top, middle, or back. The teeth are similar to those you see in the LaserComb. To use the LaserBand, you place the device on your head so that the teeth part your hair and touch the scalp. You allow the device to treat your scalp for 3 minutes (LaserBand 41) or 1.5 minutes (LaserBand 82). After that section, you do the other two sections for 3 minutes each.
Table: HairMax LaserBand Comparisons
How to Use the HairMax LaserBand
Remove the LaserBand from the charging cradle and remove the charging cord if necessary. Press the button on the side one time. The light will not come on until you place it on your head (or you put something in front of the lights to test that they are on).
Place the band on your hairline and comb it back so that it sits over the first three inches of your hair. The device will vibrate after 30 seconds, telling you to move the device back three inches. Do a thirty second treatment here. When it beeps, move the device to the back, keeping the teeth in the hair to part the way for light to reach the follicles. Run another 30-second segment, and then turn the device off.
Repeat the process three times per week exactly as instructed.
The Differences Between the HairMax PowerFlex Laser Cap 202 and 272
The HairMax PowerFlex 202 is a laser cap with 202 lasers and 15 or 30 minutes treatment time. The PowerFlex 272 is a laser cap with 272 lasers. Treatment time is 15 or 30 minutes. The #272 has 70 (35%) more lasers than the #202.
Why get a Laser Cap over a LaserBand or LaserComb? The LaserCap is hands free and the other devices require your active participation for the entire treatment time. The Laser Cap treatment time is longer, but you have use of your hands during the session.
The Laser Cap is a different experience than the LaserComb and LaserBand. The Laser Cap does not have teeth to part the hair. The interior is lined with a soft, clear silicone insert. The LaserComb treats a small portion of the head each pass. The LaserBand treats one third of the head each pass. The Laser Cap treats the entire head at once.
The 15 or 30-minute treatment time reflects continuous or pulsing wave modes. In continuous mode, the lights shine for a 15-minute long treatment. In pulse mode, the lights pulse on and off for a 30 minute treatment. The lights pulse at 1 Hz (Hertz), or one time per second. There is good evidence that pulsing works in light therapy, however I am not sure that the pulsing advantage applies here. It might have an advantage that I have not seen yet in the literature.
The #272 has 35% more lasers than the #202, and costs 12% more than the #20. HairMax does not claim that the 35% more lasers speeds up hair growth. It is possible that the extra 70 lasers each session stimulate the follicles to grow thicker hair. That would be the assumption.
The Differences Between the HairMax Flip 80 and the PowerFlex Laser Caps
The HairMax Flip 80 is a cheaper way to get the hands free benefits of the PowerFlex caps. The Flip 80 is lined with lasers on half of its interior. A session includes two treatments, one with the cap forward, and one with the cap flipped the opposite way. Each session is 15 minutes for a total treatment time of 30 minutes.
The Flip 80 does not have a choice between continuous and pulsing that the laser caps have. Therefore, your choice is two 15-minute sessions with the Flip 80, compared to one 15-minute continuous wave session with the PowerFlex laser caps. The Flip 80 takes twice as long, but it is hands free, and significantly cheaper than the PowerFlex caps.
Table: HairMax Cap Comparisons
How to Use the HairMax Flip Laser Cap
Remove the charging cable if necessary. Press the button to turn the cap on. Put the cap on so the lights are in either the front or back. On your second treatment, you will reverse the cap to get light onto both areas during the session.
Use a clock to measure 15 minutes of treatment. Turn the cap around to treat the other half for 15 minutes. Plug the cap back into its charger.
Repeat the process three times per week, every week, no more, no less.
How to Use the HairMax PowerFlex Laser Cap
Unplug the battery controller from the wall. With the cap on your head and plugged into the controller battery back, press bottom button on the controller.
The lights will come on for a 15 minute timed session. When the session is done, take the cap off, and plug the batter pack into the wall to recharge.
Do one 15-minute treatment per day, three days per week.
The Procedure to “Test” the HairMax Hair Growth Products
If you have dark skin or you are not sure of your “hair loss type,” then check with HairMax before buying a hair growth device.
HairMax splits the risk of you wanting to return your device. If you do return a device within 6 months, you pay a 20% (LaserComb and LaserBand) or 25% (PowerFlex and Flip caps) fee, plus shipping and insurance. HairMax states they have a 93% success rate with customers who qualify for the treatment and follow the protocol. The chances of you wanting to return the device are small, so long as you take a few simple steps before you buy.
Before purchasing the laser hair growth product from HairMax, ensure you have the type of hair loss that the devices are known to treat.
If you have dark skin, or you are not sure of your “hair loss type,” then check with HairMax before buying a hair growth device.
HairMax and Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) Hair Growth Studies
A Hungarian researcher studying tumor response to laser accidentally red light therapy hair growth. Since then multiple studies confirmed that light in the 650 nm (the wavelength in nanometers) range could help hair grow thicker and stronger. HairMax and LLLT studies on mice and humans are below. “LaserComb” is a patented HairMax device.
(Human, LLLT) A 2003 study in Dermatology Surgery tested the effect of low level light therapy (LLLT) on androgenetic alopecia. The treatment device output 630 nm, 650 nm, and 660 nm red light. Treatments were 18 minutes every day. At 24 weeks, the treated group’s hair density and mean hair diameter were greater than the control group’s. (Efficacy and Safety of a Low-Level Light Therapy for Androgenetic Alopecia: A 24-Week, Randomized, Double-Blind, Self-Comparison, Sham Device-Controlled Trial)
(Human, Super Lizer™) A 2003 study used the Super Lizer™ on fifteen patients with alopecia areta who had patchy hair loss. The treated group had 46.7% more hair growth at the 1.6 month mark. Super™ literature claims their product reaches deeper than lasers or LEDs. Therefore, it is not comparable in that regard. However, Super Lizer™ treats with red and infrared, so this study confirms that red and infrared were associated with hair regrowth in patients with patchy alopecia areta. (Linear polarized infrared irradiation using Super Lizer is an effective treatment for multiple-type alopecia areta)
(Human, LaserComb) A 2007 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology tested the HairMax on 28 men and 7 women with androgenetic alopecia (AGA). The treated group had higher hair count and hair tensile strength at the six month point. (Hair Regrowth and Increased Hair Tensile Strength Using the HairMax LaserComb for Low-Level Laser Therapy)
(Human, LaserComb) A 2009 double-blind study in Clinical Drug Investigation use the HairMax LaserComb 655 nm red on half the 110 subjects over 26 weeks. The treated group had a higher mean terminal density at 26 weeks and subjects perceptions of hair growth were significant compared to controls. (HairMax LaserComb laser phototherapy device in the treatment of male androgenetic alopecia: A randomized, double-blind, sham device-controlled, multicentre trial)
(Mouse, He-Ne) A 2010 study showed that He-Ne laser irradiation of 632.8 nm red grew hair on mice. Mice had normal or enhanced testosterone, and both groups showed similar hair growth. (Effect of helium-neon laser irradiation on hair follicle growth cycle of Swiss albino mice)
(Mouse, LaserComb) A 2012 study confirmed the safety and efficacy of the HairMax LaserComb in mice with induced alopecia areta (an autoimmune disease). The 655 nm red treated group of six mice had more anagen hair follicles at 6 weeks than the control group of six mice. (Effects of the Lexington LaserComb on hair regrowth in the C3H/HeJ mouse model of alopecia areta)
(Meta analysis, LaserComb) A 2013 meta analysis of hair loss studies recommended Minoxidil, Finasteride first, and HairMax LaserComb “in patients who do not respond to first line modalities.” (Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss) in the United States: what treatments should primary care providers recommend?)
(Rat, LaserComb) A 2013 study tested HairMax LaserComb treatments on rats with Chemotherapy Induced Alopecia. The rats lost their hair. The group treated with LaserComb grew their hair back 5 days earlier than the untreated group. (Low-level laser treatment accelerated hair regrowth in a rat model of chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA))
(Human, TOPHAT655) A 2013 study in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine tested 655 nm red delivered using both lasers and LEDs. The subjects had Fitzpatrick I-IV or Hamilton-Norwood IIa-V androgenic alopecia patterns. Treatments were every other day for 16 weeks for 60 treatments (67.3 J/cm^2 for 25 minutes). At 16 weeks, the treated groups had a 35% better hair regrowth count than the untreated group. (The growth of human scalp hair mediated by visible red light laser and LED sources in males)
(Retrospective, LaserComb) A 2014 retrospective office study found significant (eight subjects) or moderate (20 subjects) or no (four subjects) improvement after at least 3 months of 655 nm HairMax LaserComb treatment. (Use of low-level laser therapy as monotherapy or concomitant therapy for male and female androgenetic alopecia)
(Human, LaserComb) A 2014 double-blind clinical trial involved 146 male and 188 female subjects with pattern loss. After screening, 128 male and 141 female subjects received one of three LaserComb model treatments or a sham treatment. At 16 and 26 weeks, all LaserComb subjects’ terminal hair density increased significantly over sham treatment. (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)
(Systematic review, LaserComb) A 2017 systematic review of FDA approved hair loss disorder treatments concluded that the HairMax LaserComb was one of only three FDA treatments approved by the FDA for androgenetic alopecia. (The effectiveness of treatments for androgenetic alopecia: A systematic review and meta-analysis, 2017)