Low level light laser therapy (LLLT) has been used to treat a variety of medical disorders from ulcers to musculoskeletal disorders. In 2007, a low level light device was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat male pattern hair loss (Fig. 21.1; Hairmax, Boca Raton, Florida). The laser comb is a handheld device that was approved as a device which has a different standard for FDA approval than a medication. The device is sold over the counter without physician prescription or physician monitoring. There are various other manufacturers of light therapy devices that are sold to physicians’ offices that are not handheld, such as the Sunetics device (Figs. 21.2 and 21.3; Sunetics International, Las Vegas NV).
Hand held LLLT device (hairmax lasecomb Boca Raton, Florida)
Office based LLLT device (Sunnetics, las Vegas, Nevada)
Patient undergoing LLLT treatment for male pattern hair loss in a physician office
MECHANISM OF ACTION—UNKNOWN
Patient performing home LLLT treatment
All patients with hair loss should be evaluated by a dermatologist to establish a diagnosis before considering any medical therapy.
Minoxidil for men and women and finasteride for men remain the medical treatment of choice for male and female pattern hair loss.
LLLT appears to be safe but long-term independent studies confirming efficacy over placebo have not been done.
Corporate-funded studies have demonstrated some efficacy in the treatment of male pattern hair loss.
LLLT should be considered after clear medical failure with minoxidil and/or finasteride.
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NE. The use of low-level light for hair growth: ...