Capillus Laser Caps Review: Does It Work for Hair Loss?
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Over 50% of men and more than 30 million women experience some level of hair loss before age 50. Though not uncommon, losing hair can have a significant psychological effect on the sufferer, and hair loss treatment products have become a popular if somewhat unscrupulous industry.
Capillus claims to counter the effects of hair loss with an FDA-approved device that looks like a baseball cap outfitted with laser diodes. If you use it consistently, the company promises you will experience less hair loss and restored growth and thickness in places where your hair is thinning.
Will these caps work as promised to restore your hair? Our research below will help you make an informed decision.
- Clinical studies show evidence LLLT technology works to combat hair loss
- Simple to use, unobtrusive design
- Company is responsive to help requests
- Mixed customer reviews on effectiveness
- The company charges a 25% restock fee on all returns
- Customer reviews show the hat breaks often
- Products cost between $1,000–$3,000
Capillus sells hair regrowth baseball caps outfitted with lasers. If you wear this hat daily, the company claims that it will stimulate and energize the cells within your hair follicles. This can reverse hair loss and encourage thicker, healthier hair.
This Miami-based company began in 2012. Today, it manufactures a variety of surgical and non-surgical medical devices designed to combat hair loss. In this article, we will focus on their hair loss caps.
The cap promises that photobiomodulation through low-light laser therapy is the key to these results and that the device is a safe, effective way to restore your hair. You are meant to wear the cap for six minutes a day (it comes with an auto-shutoff feature) for as long as you want to maintain your results.
The company states that results vary between individuals, but you can expect your results to follow this general timeframe:
- 0–3 Months: You may notice an increase of shedding, which is a sign that the treatment is working, and your scalp is making room for new hairs.
- 3–6 Months: Shedding should slow down, and hair might appear slightly fuller
- 12 Months: Your results may start being noticeable, especially if you took before and after pictures
- 24 Months+: You’ll see the full impact by now, and should maintain the results for as long as you continue the treatment.
Since the technique was invented in the 1960s, LLLT (low-level laser treatment) has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including chronic pain, ulcers, headaches, and male and female pattern hair loss.
The technique was first approved for hair loss treatment by the FDA in 2007 in the form of a laser comb. Today, Capillus claims its laser hats are an easier, more effective method for experiencing the benefits of LLLT for hair loss.
As stated above, Capillus hats purportedly utilize low-level laser therapy to trigger the biological effects of photobiomodulation. This is the process of stimulating and energizing cells in the hair follicle to stimulate hair growth and prevent your hair from falling out.
Capillus suggests that wearing its caps for six minutes a day will improve cellular respiration in your hair follicles, which in turn promotes a healthy growth cycle by increasing oxygen availability and nutrient delivery.
This, in turn, leads to thicker, more durable hair shafts, and stimulated sebaceous glands that promote silkier hair.
Do these claims hold true? Here’s what the research says.
A double-blind, clinical study of the Capillus272 Pro device indicated that 17 weeks of treatment with the device improved hair counts by 51% more than participants who used a placebo. It was found to be a safe, effective treatment for androgenic alopecia and other forms of hair loss.
A 24-week study published in Lasers of Medical Science in 2019 found that wearing laser helmets (similar to Capillus) was found to be an effective treatment against hair loss in 36 men and women, as it led to an increase of hair density and diameter compared to a placebo group.
2013 research published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine found that LLLT at 655nm—the same level used in Capillus caps—for 16 weeks led to statistically significant improvements in hair counts and density in men with alopecia.
A 2014 meta-analysis in Lasers Surgery Medical of studies on hair loss and LLLT found that the practice appears “both safe and effective,” though parameters still need to be determined.
These studies look promising, but it’s important to note that they are small—often involving fewer than forty people. Likewise, “statistically significant” improvements to hair growth might still be too subtle for most people to notice or appreciate.
More robust research is needed to prove the effectiveness of this technique for hair growth, especially regarding how study participants felt about the improvements for themselves.
While Capillus is branded as a hair regrowth product, it’s important to note that the company doesn’t claim it can cure baldness. Instead, this laser therapy hat is meant to restore the health of existing hair follicles, including thin or dying ones.
In other words, Capillus won’t regrow your hair where it doesn’t already exist and consequently won’t affect places on your head that are already bald. For this reason, the company recommends its devices for the earliest stages of hair loss so you can prevent it from further developing.
This device isn’t suited for all types of hair loss, and it shouldn’t be your only strategy to combat it.
“As there are many types of hair loss, I would recommend a patient be evaluated by a dermatologist specializing in hair loss, prior to starting [treatment with Capillus laser hats],” says Dr. Juliya Fisher, a board-certified dermatologist who practices at JUVA Skin and Laser Center in midtown Manhattan.
Mac Fadra, the CEO of the international hair loss clinic Maxim Hair Restoration and a personal user of laser caps similar to Capillus, agrees that these caps should be considered as one out of many options for combating hair loss.
As he explained to us, “laser hair therapy can be a useful ancillary hair loss treatment if and when combined with other modalities such as minoxidil, finasteride, hair transplants, and other treatments. "
According to the company website, all Capillus laser technology operates at 650 nm, which is considered a safe level that won’t damage skin cells. You might irritate your eyes if you overexpose them to the lights, but using the cap as designed shouldn’t lead to problems.
You can expect to feel some mild warmth when you use the device, but it shouldn’t burn your skin or harm you in any other way.
At publication, Capillus offered three hats at different strengths and price points:
|Price Per month (If choosing the payment plan)||$28/month||$56/month||$84/month|
|Strength||410 mW||1010 mW||1360 mW|
The primary difference between each hat is its total megawatt output. At 1360mW, CapillusPro delivers more than three times the output of the 410mW Capillus Ultra. The idea is that more lasers in the hat lead to more surface area coverage of your scalp and better hair growth results.
We reached out to Capillus customer service to learn more about the difference between these models. They responded that the difference in wattage between them affects the distance between the diodes within the dome.
While the lower-cost version will leave spots on your scalp that aren’t treated, the higher-end model covers more surface area.
All three have only been approved by the FDA for six minutes of daily use, so it’s not recommended that you wear a lower wattage hat for a longer time to try to mimic the effects of a higher wattage model.
A 12-month satisfaction guarantee covers all Capillus laser devices. This means that they can be returned up to 12 months after purchase, though your refund will be deducted a 25% restocking fee. Only fully functional like-new lasers qualify for this guarantee.
The company will repair or replace any defective caps at no charge at any time. You can contact customer service from 8:30 am to 7 pm EST Monday-Friday at (844) 280-4680 or request a Return Material Authorization at (786) 888-6249.
At Costco, Capillus hats range from $1,699 to $2,299 for the Plus and Pro models. These orders also include a four-piece set of hair-care products from Capillus, including the brand’s shampoo, conditioner, revitalizer, and activator.
Any purchases made through Costco can be returned within 90 days for a full refund, including shipping costs. Capillus’s restocking policy doesn’t seem to apply to Costco’s orders.
At publication, there were about 30 reviews of Capillus on Amazon, and together they average just over three stars. Trustpilot has more than 300 reviews and the product averages four stars on that platform.
Here’s a summary of some of the key points they make:
Excellent Customer Service
Numerous reviewers reference how helpful Capillus customer service was for them. Many wrote that the company addressed problems with broken caps quickly and repaired them at no additional cost- even when the warranty had expired.
These customers wrote that it took two weeks or less for them to ship their caps to Capillus and then receive them back in like-new condition.
Experienced Real Results
Some reviewers wrote that they noticed real changes in their hair after using Capillus. They noted that they saw more hair growth in thinning areas, especially around the temples, after three months of daily use and that the changes seemed to be relatively permanent.
No Noticeable Difference
A large percentage of reviewers wrote that Capillus made little, if any, difference in their hair. Some wrote that they used the cap daily for over a year and didn’t see any more hair growth than they had before.
Others took issue with the cap’s sizing, saying that it was too small for their head. This meant that they couldn’t wear it close enough to their scalp for the lasers to be effective.
Didn’t Like the Company’s Return Policy
Some users took issue with Capillus’ return policy. They stated that the company wasn’t transparent about the 25% restocking fee, which wound up cost users more than $250 each.
Others wrote that they believed they received other people’s returned caps for their order, which they resented from a sanitary perspective.
Hat Stopped Working Too Soon
Some customers complained that the Capillus hats seemed cheap and stopped working soon after they received them. Even though the company was quick to fix the problem, they resented not being able to use the hat for several days while it was getting repaired.
Others wrote that their hat arrived defective in the first place and that they had to return it immediately after delivery.
Many Capillus users are happy with this product and claim it’s helping them regrow their hair. Others didn’t notice much difference or thought that the hat was too expensive for the effects.
Quality seems to be a concern, as a significant portion of reviewers noted the product broke and that it was inconvenient waiting for Capillus to fix it.
It’s not easy to know how to choose between different LLLT devices for hair growth. Is paying more always better? This chart compares three competitors to Capillus.
|Device Style||Baseball cap outfitted with laser diodes||Hair combs, headbands, and a baseball cap equipped with lasers||Hair helmets outfitted with medical-grade lasers||Hard-sided hair helmets|
|Strength||410–1360 mW||9 medical-grade lasers, 1360mW||51 to 282 medical-grade lasers and LEDs||80 lasers|
|Return Policy||One year guarantee, minus 25% restocking fee||Six-month guarantee, minus 20% restocking fee and return shipping fees||One year money-back guarantee, company pays full refund including return shipping fees||Six-month money-back guarantee, minus shipping costs|
At first glance, all four companies seem to be offering similar devices. Each average about 3.5 stars from Amazon reviewers, with some people being thrilled with how their hair looks while others found it to be an expensive failed experiment.
Capillus offers the most expensive LLLT devices, but the company also earns the lowest average rating. The CapillusPro costs $1,000 more than the HairMax Laser 272 PowerFlex Cap, even though they both offer 1,260 mW.
Both companies offer similar return policies, though you will only pay a 20% restocking fee for the HairMax.
HairMax also sells a range of less expensive hair growth brushes and headbands. These might be good options for anyone interested in the potential of laser hair growth that doesn’t want to pay for a full helmet.
However, these devices (and the ones sold by iRestore and Theradome) measure their output by the number of medical-grade lasers they contain. The scientific research on LLLT was focused on total watts, not the number of lasers, so it’s harder to know whether these devices are powerful enough to produce significant results.
Capillus is on the more expensive end for a laser therapy cap, but customer reviews and a high restocking fee show that it might not be the best option. You may want to consider a less expensive option from another brand.
The Capillus Laser Cap utilizes low-level laser therapy, an FDA-approved technology for combating hair loss, in a simple-to-use form that allows you to give yourself daily treatments at home.
Though some clinical evidence shows that LLLT technology can improve hair strength and thickness, it won’t regrow hair in places where you have already lost it. This makes it a better preventative strategy than a way to reverse hair loss altogether.
This laser cap costs between $1,000 and $3,000 and customer reviews show that many users don’t believe it was worth the price for the benefits they experienced.
Keep in mind that you will need to use the cap daily for up to two years before you might see a noticeable difference in your hair.
For these reasons, we think that Capillus won’t act as a cure-all solution for hair loss, but that it might be a viable preventative strategy for some.
If you can afford it, are willing to commit to using it daily, and understand that you may need to seek out additional strategies with a hair loss expert, then this product might be worth it.
Deceptive and concealing
While Capillus does in the fine print, if you look for it, tell you that there is a 25% restocking fee.
When you return the product for the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!
If they were obvious about that huge RESTOCKING fee that supposedly means you get "All Your Money Back" which they do say out loud during their ads.
But the reality is you do have to RISK 25% of your purchase price plus return shipping costs.
Oh and if you are a new customer you may just end up with one of these USED and Restocked devices...
What does an independent review of low-level laser therapy for hair growth or to slow/stop hair loss? According to WebMD:
"You may have heard that laser combs, brushes, hoods, and caps can help halt hair loss. The theory is that when hair follicles absorb laser light at a certain level, it stimulates hair to grow. But there’s not enough evidence that any of these devices restore hair or prevent balding."
Capillus is clearly NOT 100% confident in their product since when it doesn't work for you you'll only get back 75% of your purchase price. The cheapest of their caps is about $1000.00.
Once you have returned the product, they will restock it and resell it to the next person that didn't see the small print and instead believed their 12-month 100% satisfaction guarantee...nothing to lose, no risk GUARANTEE?!
Personally, if you want to take a risk just realize that if this company really knew their product was effective why would they need to RESTOCKING FEE? I doubt these products cost the 1/10 of what they sell them for and probably a lot less.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
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