Hereditary hair loss is a touchy subject for many people and the cause of much embarrassment and suffering. Many men and women—two thirds of American men over the age of 35, and 40 percent of American women over the age of 40—experience this type of hair loss , prompting a surge in companies investing in research to develop products and devices that offer an effective solution.
One of those companies, Freedom Laser Therapy, just announced the results of a clinical study testing the efficacy of its FDA-cleared laser hair growth device, iRestore Hair Growth System , on men and women with androgenic alopecia, a very common form of hair loss characterized by thinning on the crown and a receding hairline in men, and a widening part or overall thinning in women.
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In the 16-week clinical trial, comprising 40 subjects in a randomized, double-blind study using 20 active iRestore devices and 20 inactive, placebo devices, 100 percent of participants using the device for 30 minutes every other day showed hair growth, with an average increase in hair count of more than 43 percent.
The helmet-like device uses low-level light therapy (LLLT), which enhances hair cells’ adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production and the metabolism rate within hair follicles, extending the growth phase of the hair cycle and reactivating dormant hairs.
New York hair restoration specialist Carlos K. Wesley, MD, says LLLT was cleared by the FDA for use in hair loss therapy in 2007 and can be a very effective treatment. "The idea is that the biostimulation of hair follicles can prolong the growth phase of the hair, as well as halt the premature onset of the non-growth phase," he explains.
"This product's claim of 100-percent success is pretty bold; however, it's not uncommon to demonstrate an improvement in hair caliber (thickness) under a microscope without the patient actually noticing much of an improvement when they look in the mirror. Either way, patients have to be fairly dedicated when using LLLT treatments and it can be a bit costly (ranging from $695 to upwards of $6,075 for a laser instrument). But, as with many hair therapies , the commitment to using them after a few months can truly pay off."