About Capillus Laser Caps
As a company, Capillus specializes in medical and cosmetic hair loss treatments that promise to bring real results, including topical foams and shampoo therapies, keratin fibers, and personal low-level laser therapy (LLLT) devices.
Their most popular technology, the FDA-cleared Laser Cap, is specifically designed to safely and conveniently reduce thinning and shedding, promote healthy follicles, improve scalp health, treat androgenic alopecia (pattern baldness), and even help augment other hair loss treatments like “surgical hair restoration, topical foams, [and] prescription medications.”
And to help potential customers find the best treatments (whether one of their products or otherwise), Capillus also provides an international physicians network that can help you connect with nearby hair restoration surgeons and specialists.
While you’re waiting to speak with a hair loss professional, this article will discuss what we learned about Capillus’ specific brand of LLLT devices during our research, and some of the factors you’ll want to consider when determining whether or not their Cap is right for you.
What’s the Relationship Between Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT) & Hair Loss?
The Mayo Clinic reports that hair loss can result from many different causes, including hormonal changes, scalp infections and other skin disorders, certain prescription medications (especially those for “cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure, and birth control”), emotional shock, and grooming habits.
However, according to the University of British Columbia’s DermWeb, the most common cause is androgenetic alopecia, which affects fifty percent of men by the time they reach the age of 50, along with 40 percent of women by the time they reach menopause.
Here, a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) ‘attacks’ hair follicles, which causes them to produce increasingly thinner hair through a process known as miniaturization. Eventually, the follicles go dormant and cease producing hair altogether.
For individuals experiencing hair loss, some choose to use a technology called low-level laser therapy, or LLLT (whether from Capillus or another manufacturer) with the goal of improving the condition of their scalp and hopefully experiencing some measure of re-growth.
This technology generates light from low-power lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that usually ranges between 600 and 1000 nanometers, which is applied to the scalp and is claimed to provide benefits like boosted circulation and improved cell function. In other words, these devices typically claim to work by improving the environment for hair to grow; not necessarily for growing hair directly.
Browsing the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed returned 72 relevant studies at the time of our research, many of which indicated a positive correlation between LLLT and improved hair growth. However, NaturallyCurly’s Sophia Emmanuel emphasizes that the results can vary greatly between individuals, that “it is not a miracle,” and that it often works best in combination with other treatments.
What does this mean for you? As mentioned on the Capillus website, hair restoration experts, surgeons, dermatologists, and other physicians are best qualified to determine if an LLLT device is right for you. Before spending any money, be sure to make an appointment.
Granted, this all references LLLT in general. Next, let’s learn more about Capillus’ specific technology.
How Do Capillus’ Laser Cap Models Work?
There are three easy-to-use, non-surgical Laser Cap models for men and women in the Capillus (derived from the Latin word meaning the total of hair on the scalp) lineup. Which, because of their normal appearance and flexible design, the company claims can be used while walking, working, driving, and enjoying many other daily activities.
All models are battery-powered, manufactured in the USA under ISO13485 medical device standards, and feature auto-programmed treatment sessions. They each also generate 5 mW of power in a continuous output mode, operate at a wavelength of 650 nm, and are designed to be used for six minutes per session.
With this said, you’ll find that the biggest difference between them is the number of LEDs they contain:
Capillus’ 82 is their most economical model, which features 82 laser diodes and auto-programmed treatment sessions.
The Capillus82, with its 82 laser diodes. Image credit: Capillus
A mid-range device that, at 202 laser diodes, delivers two-and-a-half times more coverage than the Capillus82 model, while remaining affordable.
We can see in this picture that the Capillus202 model contains many more diodes than the 82 version; 2.5X more to be exact, according to the company. Image credit: Capillus
Capillus’ premium device, with 272 diodes and 3.3 times the coverage of the 82 model.
The 272 (or Pro model, as it’s frequently shown on the website) is Capillus’ top-level Laser Cap, with a total of 272 diodes. Image credit: Capillus
Could the Capillus LLLT Caps Cause Any Side Effects?
According to the Capillus website, their Laser Caps do not cause any known side effects. Many of the studies referenced at the PubMed link above similarly reported an overall lack of side effects.
However, as always, you’ll want to discuss LLLT with your doctor before purchasing, who (among other things) can advise about potential side effects related to your specific diagnosis.
How Much Do Capillus Products Cost?
Capillus’ Laser Caps are priced as follows:
- Capillus82: $799
- Capillus202: $1,999
- Capillus272 Pro: $2,999
Other products in their lineup (shampoos, conditioners, Minoxidil, keratin fibers, holding spray, and carrying case) range in price between $29.95 and $149.95.
Free shipping is available on orders $49.99 and over. Accessories included with your order are the lithium-ion battery pack, a travel case, accessories pouch, and universal AC adapter.
Important note: Capillus Laser Caps are not adjustable. However, the website indicates they’ll fit most heads, up to a circumference of about 24 inches. If your head is larger than this, you can order a bigger size by contacting customer service at (844) 280-4680 or via the contact form on their site.
All caps come with a six-month satisfaction guarantee and one- to three-year warranties, depending on the model.
What Are Customers Saying About Capillus Laser Caps in Their Reviews?
On the Capillus website, their three Laser Cap models had more than 60 combined customer reviews, with an average overall rating of about 4.5 stars. Common compliments related to ease of use and effective results. Like most hair restoration products, though, the few complaints frequently related to no results.
On Amazon, we encountered another 22 combined customer reviews for Capillus’ Caps, with an average rating of roughly three stars. Consumers referenced many of the same compliments and complaints found on the manufacturer’s website.
From a company perspective, Capillus, LLC is based out of Miami, FL and was founded in 2012 by CEO Carlos Pina. The company held an A- Better Business Bureau rating with no closed complaints, as of 11/2/17.
Capillus vs. iRestore, iGrow, HairMax, Theradome, Laser Cap, & Other LLLT Hair Loss Devices
There are several other hands-free, FDA-cleared, helmet-based low-level laser therapy devices currently on the market, which all work by resting on the head and providing treatment sessions lasting anywhere between six and 30 minutes, two to five times per week.
With this in mind, the largest differences between them center on price, the number of diodes they contain (and to a lesser extent, the wavelengths of these diodes), as well as any special design or technology features:
|Name||Price||Number of Diodes & Wavelength||Special Features|
|Capillus||$799-$2,999||82-272; 600nm||Baseball cap-like design, discreet battery back for on-the-go-use|
|iRestore||$695||51; 650nm||Auto-start and shutoff|
|iGrow||$549||51 (21 laser, 30 red LED); 650-670nm||Built-in headphones|
|Theradome||$895||80 laser diodes; 678nm||Single-button functionality|
|LaserCap||$2,995||224 laser diodes; no wavelength listed||Also features a baseball cap-like design; available only through a physician, 1-year refund policy|
|illumiFlow Laser Cap||$949||272 premium diodes; 650nm||Portable, rechargeable battery pack|
Keep in mind that this table only accounts for some of the most popular helmet-based LLLT hair loss devices, and that there perhaps dozens of other generic models that can be found throughout a variety of third-party online retailers—some of which cost meaningfully less than those above.
In How to Choose a Hair Loss Product, we outline (again) that the first thing you’ll want to do is speak with your doctor about diagnosis-appropriate treatment options. After all, most LLLT helmets and devices like Capillus are only intended for addressing androgenetic alopecia, so if your hair loss is caused by something else, this technology will likely deliver little bang-for-your-buck.
While meeting with your doctor, you’ll also want to discuss the extent of your hair loss, as the Naturally Curly article cited earlier emphasizes that LLLT tends to work best during the beginning stages of hair loss and that the earlier you start the treatments, the more likely it is that you’ll experience success.
Also, be sure to keep your expectations realistic, since LLLT isn’t considered a magic bullet for most patients, and that it could take as long as three to six months of continuous use before experiencing any meaningful results.
In this way, they note that LLLT devices don’t just represent a monetary commitment, but also a time obligation, since “You will be required to use laser therapy forever. The minute you stop using the therapy, any results you see will be lost and you will eventually have the amount of hair loss you had before you started the laser therapy.”
The Bottom Line About Capillus Laser Caps
Regardless of what’s causing your hair loss, you just want to find an effective treatment so that you can feel like yourself again.
And based on the existing clinical evidence published on authoritative sites like PubMed, as well as feedback from a range of consumers across a variety of products, it seems like low-level laser therapy could represent a viable option for those suffering from androgenetic alopecia.
Specifically regarding Capillus, one of the blog posts on their website indicates internal "study results showed improvement in over 95% of active participants with an increase in hair counts ranging from 11% to 181% within 17 weeks."
Will you experience the same? Will any of Capillus’ three Laser Cap models deliver better results than third-party cap-based models? What about other designs, such as combs?
Ultimately, hair restoration is equally as individualized as hair loss, so a device that works fantastically for one individual might not work at all for another.
Capillus stands behind their Laser Caps with a six-month money back guarantee, though. So if you use it as often as recommended, this should be plenty of time to discern its effectiveness. And if it doesn’t deliver the results you were expecting, you might only lose a few dollars in return S&H for giving it a try.
113 out 118 people found this review helpful
Piece of junk
I had some hair transplant work and after a while the new hair started to fall out. My dermatologist prescribed some medications and suggested I try the Capillus Laser Cap. I bought the $2,000 model 202 direct from Capillus. There's a power pack with a cable that you attach to the hat while wearing it. After about three months the cable started coming out of the power pack, but the laser lights still worked. Around two years the laser lights stopped working. I figured the wires to the power pack had completely come loose, so I bought another power pack from Capillus for $60. When I received the new power pack the hat still didn't work. It wasn't the power pack that was the problem; it was the hat. I sent the hat back in for repair at a postal shipping/insurance cost of $170 (Capillus doesn't pay the shipping cost). The hat was repaired and returned to me. After less than a year it stopped working again. I sent it back in to be repaired, for another $170 shipping cost. I'm now into this cap an additional $400 and it still doesn't work.
I get an email several weeks later asking me to call them. They said it would cost me another $275 to have it repaired. Since it had just been repaired the previous year, I went ballistic. I told them if they don't repair it at their cost to keep the cap because I wasn't paying another cent to have it fixed. That was the end of the conversation. Several weeks later the cap was delivered to my house and I thought, great, they realized that it would be unreasonable to charge me again, so they fixed it at their cost. So, I went to plug it in to try it out and the plug on the end of the cord that comes out of the hat didn't fit my old power pack so I couldn't use it. I called them and they said they hadn't fixed the cap because I wouldn't pay the $275 but that they'd send me a new power pack. I said, why the heck would I want a new power pack for a hat that doesn't work? They sent it anyway, and I promptly threw the hat and the power packs in the trash.
The hat certainly doesn't stop or regrow hair. My hair continued to fall out while wearing the cap for the short period of time that it worked but there's no way to know if it slowed the loss or not.
Buyer beware...the quality of this cap is junk.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend