HairMax offers their customers a complete line of hair care products, including scalp treatments, supplements, keratin fibers, and more.
Perhaps their most popular products, however, are their lasercomb devices, which use low level laser therapy (LLLT) to deliver light energy to your follicles. As a result, they’re claimed to “revitalize and enliven” follicles, stimulate growth factors, and even reverse the thinning process. This is a process known as photobiostimulation, which is similar to photosynthesis used in plants.
HairMax’s Lasercombs are clinically studied and FDA cleared for both men and women. The company even claims that over 90% of their customers experience “noticeable benefits” with continue use.
When it comes down to it though, is HairMax really a “breakthrough in hair growth,” or will it just leave you disappointed and out a lot of money? That’s exactly what we’ll help you decide in this review.
What Causes Hair Loss?
As we outlined in How to Choose a Hair Loss Product, the most common cause of hair loss is male and female pattern baldness (medically known as androgenetic alopecia), which affects 80 million men and women in the U.S. alone. Here, a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) “attacks” individual hair follicles. Over time, these follicles shrink and produce increasingly thinner hair (a process known as miniaturization), until they stop producing hair altogether.
Despite everything the medical community knows about hair loss, there currently isn’t a cure for male or female pattern baldness.
However, keep in mind that FPB and MPB aren’t the only causes of hair loss. This can also be the result of poor nutrition, some types of infections and medications, trauma, and poor grooming habits (everything from a dirty scalp to constantly wearing your hair in a ponytail).
In this case, how do HairMax’s products help you fight back against androgenetic alopecia or other causes of hair loss?
How Does HairMax Fight Against Hair Loss?
If you briefly browsed the HairMax website, you probably noticed all the different products they sell. We’ll talk more about how their shampoos and supplements work in just a second, but let’s first take a look at arguably the company’s most well known devices; their laser combs.
HairMax Lasercombs feature a number of laser diodes, each of which deliver “nourishing” light to your hair follicles, thereby increasing the amount of oxygen and other nutrients present. In turn, this can energize follicles that are dormant in their catagen and telogen phases, leading to fuller, denser, and stronger hair. Through this low-level laser therapy (LLLT), the company even claims they can even reverse the miniaturization we talked about in the previous section.
So, the next logical question is: how well does this technology work?
Is Low Level Laser Therapy Effective?
Overall, even though low level laser therapy has been tested for years, specifically related to hair loss—much of it performed within the medical community—clinical proof of its efficacy remains mixed, at best. The good news is that the technology is largely considered safe.
Granted, this is for LLLT devices in general. What about HairMax’s, specifically?
The HairMax website lists 6 clinical studies showing regular use of their lasercombs resulted in significant hair growth, increased density (an average of 149 hairs per square inch), decreased hair loss, better manageability, and even “reversal of the thinning process.”
Important note: It appears each of these studies was conducted using the LaserBand 82, so it’s unclear if you’ll experience many of these same results with other lasercomb models.
Are HairMax’s Lasercombs FDA Approved?
In short, no. According to the company, these devices are FDA cleared, which simply means that 1) HairMax submitted a 510(k) premarket notification to the FDA (along with much of the research above), and 2) they found it to be "substantially equivalent" to a device that is already legally marketed for the same use.”
Now that we’ve talked about the technology behind them, let’s take a closer look at each of HairMax’s Lasercombs.
Which Laser Combs Does HairMax Offer?
Overall, the are 4 different lasercombs in the HairMax lineup:
HairMax LaserBand 82
This Pininfarina-designed device features 82 medical grade lasers that deliver maximum light to your follicles, along with a patented hair parting teeth system that helps you achieve optimal results. In fact, with LaserBand 82, HairMax claims your treatments can last as little as 90 seconds, 3X per week.
Each LaserBand 82 comes with a rechargeable battery, power cord, user manual, and Quick Start guide.
HairMax Ultima 12 Lasercomb
Compared to the 82 model, Ultima 12 looks much more like an actual comb. With less surface area, it features 12 medical grade laser modules that promise to deliver “gentle, nourishing” light to your follicles.
After using Ultima 12 three times per week for 8 minutes each session, the company claims you’ll slowly start noticing denser, fuller, and healthier hair.
Your Ultima 12 Lasercomb will come with a charging cradle/stand, deluxe storage case, power cord, user manual, and Quick Start guide.
HairMax Prima 7 Lasercomb
Features 7 medical grade laser modules. When used 3X per week for 15 minutes each session, HairMax claims Prima 7 can promote new hair growth, increased density, and healthier, fuller more attractive—in just weeks!
Each Prima 7 includes a storage stand, power cord, user manual, and Quick Start guide.
Advanced 7 Lasercomb
Originally released in 2011, the Advanced 7 represents HairMax’s first generation LaserComb, which uses 7 laser modules that can help you experience new hair growth, along with increased density and fullness. Simply use the device 3X per week for 15 minutes each session.
Your Advanced 7 lasercomb will come with a storage stand, user manual, Quick Start guide, and 4 AA batteries.
What’s the Difference Between Each HairMax Lasercomb?
Other than price, which we’ll discuss shortly, what’s the real-world difference between each HairMax Lasercomb?
It appears that each device features the exact same type of laser diode, but the number can vary by model. Consequently, the more diodes included in the lasercomb, the more coverage you’ll experience, thereby reducing the amount of time spent per session. For a side-by-side comparison, be sure to glance at HairMax’s Device Comparison page.
With this in mind, it appears that between the highest and lowest priced models, you’ll save about 13.5 minutes per session (we’ll come back to this in the final section).
Will HairMax LaserCombs Work With Your Hair & Skin Type?
According to the Hair Max website:
“HairMax Laser devices are indicated to treat Androgenetic Alopecia, and promote hair growth in males who have Norwood Hamilton Classifications of IIa to V and in females who have Ludwig (Savin) I-4, II-1, II-2, or frontal patterns of hair loss and who both have Fitzpatrick Skin Types I to IV.”
The first two links above feature charts you can easily use to see where you fall on the baldness scale (as always, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor, too). The third link uses a quick quiz to show where you fall on the skin type scale. In either case, they won’t take too much of your time, but they’re mandatory to review before purchasing a HairMax lasercomb.
What about HairMax’s other hair loss products?
HairMax Hair & Scalp Treatments
A leave-in serum treatment that uses a peptide complex—along with other nutrients, antioxidants, and “known DHT blockers—to provide stronger, denser, healthy, and vibrant hair. Ingredients include:
Water, Silicone Quaternium-2 Panthenol Succinate, PPG-26 -Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Apigenin, Oleanolic Acid, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Panthenol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Thermus Thermophilus Ferment, Niacinamide, Algae Extract, Silanediol Salicylate, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Fragrance, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine
A restorative, lightweight formula that hydrates and restores, leaving your hair “full, silky, and more manageable.” Ingredients include:
Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Fragrance, Polyurethane – 34, Citric Acid, Menthol, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone
A lower pH options that gently exfoliates your scalp to remove excess sebum buildup, without stripping essential oils. As a result, the company claims you’ll “enhance the vitality, thickness and volume of your hair.” Ingredients include:
Purified Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Glycol Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Phytic Acid, Cetrimonium Dimethicone PEG-8 Olivate/Succinate, Silicone Quaternium-2 Panthenol Succinate, Fragrance, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Silanediol Salicylate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Capsicum Frutescens Extract, Algae extract, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Thermus Thermophilus Ferment, Butylene Glycol, Trietanolamine, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone
Another treatment that can help dissolve excess sebum, along with perspiration and environmental pollutants, invigorating your scalp. Ingredients include:
Purified Water, Alcohol Denat., Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, PPG-26-Buteth -26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cetrimonium Dimethicone PEG-8, Olivate/Succinate, Silicone Quaternium-2 Panthenol Succinate, Phytic Acid, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Menthol, Menthyl Lactate, Fragrance, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone
HairMax’s hair building fibers made from keratin protein statically cling to your existing hair, and can provide “dramatic” density, volume, and natural-looking coverage. Then, these hair fibers easily wash out with shampoo.
These appear to be similar to other hair fibers from companies like Toppik, Caboki, Viviscal, Miracle Hair, and more. Whether or not you’ll achieve “natural-looking coverage” with these types of fibers largely depends on the extent of your balding and application method, so your mileage may vary.
What’s Contained In HairMax’s Supplement?
According to the supplement label on the HairMax website, it contains:
- Niacin 17.5mg
- Vitamin B6 10mg
- Folate 500mcg
- Biotin 2,500mcg
- Pantothenic Acid 3mg
- Iodine 5mcg
- Zinc 10mg
- Selenium 5mcg
- Manganese 2mg
- Saw Palmetto Extract 80mg
- L-Cysteine 150mg
- DHA Concentrate 150mg
- MSM 300mg
- Hyaluronic Acid 50mg
- Citrus Bioflavonoids 25mg
- Resveratrol 98% 1mg
- Inositol 25mg
- Plant Sterols 240mg
- Stinging Nettle Extract 60mg
- He Shou Wu Extract 50mg
Of these ingredients, no single one has sufficient clinical evidence showing it to be effective for treating hair loss, although they might have a cumulative effective (as often claimed by hair supplements manufacturers) when used on a regular basis.
To this extent, there is some mounting evidence that biotin might be useful for treating hair loss. Typically though, this only occurs if the hair loss is a result of biotin deficiency.
Also, hyaluronic acid is used in tens of thousands of skincare products, since it effectively traps moisture. However, there doesn’t seem to be enough evidence showing it can reduce hair loss in any way.
Potential Side Effects for HairMax’s Supplement
Based on the ingredients profile, few people will experience any side effects from HairMax’s supplements, other than mild digestive upset and perhaps temporary flushing from the niacin.
However, taking lower doses of selenium for long periods of time can increase the risk of developing diabetes. And in rare instances, MSM can also cause “insomnia, itching, or worsening of allergy symptoms.”
Regardless of which HairMax product you’re interested in, how much will you pay?
How Much Do HairMax Products Cost?
HairMax’s products are priced at follows:
- LaserBand 82: $795
- Ultima 12: $495
- Prima 7: $295
- Advanced 7: $199
- Density Activator (3.4 fl oz/100 ml): $37
- Density Conditioner (8.5 fl oz/250 ml): $20
- Density Shampoo (8.5 fl oz/250 ml): $20
- Density Revitalizer (4.2 fl oz/125 ml): $18
- Minoxidil 5% Extra Strength (two 60 ML (2 fl oz) bottles): $19
For Lasercombs, HairMax offers a 3Pay installment plan to help defray the costs.
All HairMax laser devices come with a 5-month money back guarantee, less S&H charges and a 20% restocking fee. To quickly put this in perspective, this means if you purchased the LaserBand 82, you could lose nearly $160 in fees.
HairMax Lasercombs also come with a 2-year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.
In order to request a refund or process a warranty claim, you’ll need to call customer service at 800-973-4769.
Considering everything we’ve talked about so far, what are HairMax customers saying?
Are There Any Online HairMax Reviews?
HairMax’s products have been around for years, so there’s quite a bit of online customer feedback.
For example, HairMax’s Advanced 7 Lasercomb had an average rating of 3.1 stars on Amazon based on nearly 150 reviews, while the device had a higher rating of 3.8 stars on Ulta.com. In both places, common compliments referenced increased hair thickness/density, while most complaints referenced high price and failure to provide results (or at least, results that weren’t in line with the price).
What about the top model Laserband 82? The only online customer reviews at the time of our research were on QVC.com, where 2 customers gave it a 5-star rating, complimenting its results and short treatment sessions. They both mentioned price as a potential drawback, although one claimed “the results are phenomenal.”
According to the HairMax website, the device was featured in high-profile publications like TIME, NBC, Allure, GQ, and more, although we didn’t come across any verification of this elsewhere online.
From a company perspective, HairMax products are manufactured by Lexington International based out of Boca Raton, FL. They had an A+ Better Business Bureau rating at the time of our research, with just 1 closed complaint (as of 5/1/16).
Will HairMax Reduce (Or Reverse) Your Hair Loss?
Although the clinical evidence for HairMax’s laser devices seems stronger than for many other low level laser therapy devices currently on the market, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work for you. Why?
First, these devices are only intended for individuals experiencing certain phases of pattern baldness, and for those with certain skin tones. Obviously, if you fall outside these parameters, you’re much less likely to experience results.
Second, even if you fall within these guidelines, pattern hair loss is a process that remains largely a mystery to the medical community. So, it’s perfectly feasible that the device could work fantastically for you and not at all for your neighbor, even if you have the same diagnosis and balding progress.
What about HairMax’s other products? Based on the ingredients they contain, it doesn’t seem like they’re terribly different than ones you’d find from other companies like Viviscal, Scalp Med, and Vanarex. And although we certainly give every product the benefit of the doubt, based on years of experience and research, we’d be extraordinarily surprised if HairMax’s supplement provided real world results.
Taken together, if you’ve tried everything else on the market, it might be worth giving one of HairMax’s lasercombs a try. Just keep in mind 2 things:
- Other than saving 13.5 minutes per treatment, there doesn’t appear to be anything meaningfully different between the lowest and highest-priced models, so you’ll have to figure out if this time savings is worth the extra $500.
- Although HairMax stands behind their products with a 5-month return window, you’ll lose 20% in restocking fees if you request a refund.
What did you experience with HairMax’s products? Did they work? Tell us about it by writing a review below!