Systematic review of low-level laser therapy for adult androgenic alopecia

    Sean W. Delaney, Paul J. Zhang
    Image of study
    TLDR Low-level laser therapy can stimulate hair growth more effectively than fake devices, but patient satisfaction is similar for both. Results should be taken with caution due to small study sizes and differences between studies. More research is needed.
    In 2018, a systematic review of five studies involving 523 participants examined the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for adult androgenic alopecia (AA). The results indicated that LLLT was more effective than sham devices in stimulating hair growth, with a mean increase of 23.4 hairs per cm² and a 1.43 times greater rate of subjective global assessment of hair growth. However, patient satisfaction was not significantly different between the LLLT and sham device groups. Minor adverse events were related to dermatological irritations. Four of the five studies were manufacturer-funded, and most had unclear randomization and allocation concealment. The review concluded that while LLLT appears promising, results should be interpreted with caution due to small sample sizes and inter-study heterogeneity. Further studies with larger samples, longer follow-up, independent funding, and standardized treatment protocols were recommended.
    View this study on →

    Cited in this study