Many of the one and a half billion people across the world who suffer from hair loss are pretty desperate for a solution. According to one survey, 60% of people suffering from hair loss would rather have more hair than more money or friends; 47% would spend their entire life savings if it meant fully restoring their hair; and 30% would even become celibate if it could get their hair back.
But would they be willing to wear an $800 laser spewing helmet that looks like a prop from Tron?
A firm in California has built a device called the Thermadome, which fires 80 lasers, so that light can reach 90 square inches of the average 111-square-inch scalp area. These clinical-strength beams target hair follicles to stimulate hair growth.
Users are supposed to wear the device for 20 minutes at a time, twice a week. During the first 18 to 24 weeks of usage, Thermadome reverses the shrinking of the hair follicles in order to prevent further hair loss. After 28 weeks of regular usage, the helmet will then increase blood flow to the hair follicles and scalp area to stimulate hair growth.
By the 52 week mark, Thermadome claims that, “the hairs on the top of the head … will start filling in. After 100 weeks … fuller and thicker hair will result with continued use.”
The device is the first and only FDA over-the-counter-cleared hair growth helmet for home usage. The lasers produce an infinitesimal amount of heat, and reportedly has zero side effects.
Some experts remain skeptical, though.
“I do believe that laser technology has validity, but I’m skeptical of the specific claims made by Theradome … I have not seen any scientific evidence to support this,” said Dr Bessam Farjo, Medical Director of the Institute of Trichologists. “It’s great to see businesses putting resources to the development of this technology, but more scientific results are needed to back-up the huge claims that Theradome is making.”