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Laser Hat For Baldness: Does It Work?

By Marta Manning
Medically Reviewed by Jennifer T. Haley, MD, FAAD on November 18, 2020
You may be considering trying out a laser hat for baldness after seeing ads on TV or online. Learn the science behind these devices and find out if they actually help with hair loss.

Laser hat manufacturers claim their devices help you grow thicker and healthier hair in as little as three months. These light-emitting hair caps and helmets are suitable for home use and are safe to operate. But do these devices really work to treat hair loss?

What is A Laser Cap for Hair Loss?

Laser-based devices for hair regrowth are available for purchase in various formats, including hats, helmets, caps, combs, and headbands. Most laser hair growth caps use low-level laser therapy technology to stimulate the scalp and hair follicles.

Low-level laser therapy products feature lower-strength lasers emitting photons that penetrate the scalp, targeting the follicles. The emitted light is in the red light or infrared range. According to DermNet NZ, photons from low-level lasers can increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in follicle cells, promoting hair growth and metabolism. As reported by the Hair Society, laser radiation can also invigorate cells by fostering blood flow and nutrient transport.

Does It Really Work?

Although many laser hats on the market have FDA safety approval, the FDA has not conducted efficacy trials on these products. Evaluating if low-level laser hair devices are effective for specific hair loss conditions is still an active area of research.

A 2019 study published in Lasers in Medical Science found that a novel laser therapy helmet increased hair thickness and covered bald patches in men and women with androgenetic alopecia. Similarly, a 2018 study in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venerology and Leprology linked low-level laser therapy to improved outcomes and image satisfaction in androgenetic alopecia patients.

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery points out small cohort size and short duration as limiting factors in laser hat studies, highlighting the need for more work in the area. But many doctors are already prescribing laser hats and seeing promising results in certain patients.

“For patients experiencing the earlier stages of hair thinning and loss, laser caps can be effective in treating and slowing this loss,” hair restoration specialist Javad Sajan, MD tells WebMD Connect to Care. “No treatment can completely stop hair loss, especially when due to genetics. However, laser caps and other non-surgical hair restoration methods can slow the progression of hair loss when used consistently. For patients in more advanced stages of hair loss, other methods such as FUE hair transplant surgery may be the best method.”

Consistency and patience are essential when using laser hair regrowth devices. You may need to use a laser hair cap for several months before seeing hair regrowth. “For best results, it is ideal to repeat the treatment routinely,” Anna H. Chacon, MD, FAAD, and dermatologist tells WebMD Connect to Care. “The hair cycle lasts every three months, and about 15% of our hair is always in a shedding mode,” Chacon says. 

Laser-based hair regrowth devices are not for everyone and depend on what type of hair loss you have. Your dermatologist can diagnose the specific type of hair loss you are experiencing, recommend lifestyle changes for healthy hair, and steer you towards the best course of treatment.

Don’t Wait. Get Help Today.

The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.