- Most of the pictures presented to provide “evidence” are circumstantial (submitted by users of the therapeutic products) and are often taken under different conditions – head positions different from â€˜before’ and â€˜after’ photos, different lighting, different hairstyles or colors, and/or no visible change.
- The FDA “approval” was not actual approval – the permission to market and clearing of the Hairmax laser comb was given as conjunction approval based on the device’s similarity to other previously cleared devices. Furthermore, though many internet sites selling low level laser therapy combs and brushes attempt to mislead customers into believing that the FDA approves and cleared all LLLT devices, the FDA does not approve or permit the marketing of any therapy enabled by a device, but the device itself – this is the reason I can’t just start making pacemakers and selling them online, saying that â€˜the FDA approves of electrocardiopulmonary regulation.’ The most important factor in approval, marketing permission, or clearing of any medical device, according to the FDA’s medical device division is the manufacturing of said devices; the device must follow GMP (good manufacturing procedure): a set of standards established to insure health and safety of the products manufactured).
- There is no evidence as to how LLLT therapy works, if it does work.
Problems with Dismissing Laser Therapy as a Hair Loss Treatment
On the dismissal side, there are also some issues:
- Most opponents of the laser therapy for hair regrowth offer no scientific evidence to back their claims that the devices are ineffective. One physician has mentioned time and time again that these devices do not work because they do not concur with “common sense”. Speaking as a former member of both high school and college debate teams, this argument won’t win any debates. I can’t show anyone common sense. I can’t point to common sense on a chart and, although I’ve known many people with sense, I can say with all certainty that it is not a “common” trait – then again, I do a lot of work on the internet these days. True men of science cannot afford the luxury of “common sense”.
- Although most of the information is circumstantial, there is a lot of it and some of it is quite convincing. I recall watching a news segment of a young camera man who agreed on the spot to try an laser hair treatment therapy at a local clinic on which the news agency was reporting and, if there was no trickery involved, the young man’s progress was well documented and impressive. He started out maybe a level 3 on the norwood scale and regressed back to a norwood level 2 or 1.
The point is that there is not really enough evidence one way or another to determine whether LLLT is an effective treatment for baldness and most respected proponents only recommend its use in conjunction with other treatments.
The debate does put me in mind of a device that once came through our lab for independent validation study. Before I tell you what the device was, perhaps I should tell you that many researchers and assistants did crack some jokes as the device was a “penis stretcher” or penis traction device. Long story short, the results of our studies did indeed prove that the device did work as its manufacturer claimed (men gained between one and three inches in length over a year period). Its claim was actually scientifically sound as most of the body’s tissues are remarkably elastic and do respond to traction. Some of the sites marketing the devices are, however, misleading.
The devices work by causing microscopic rips in the tissue at the cellular level. This prompts the cells to divide and heal the breach with more tissue. This will, with time, engorge and enlarge the tissues to which traction is applied. Although most of these sites claim that the procedure is similar to neck stretching that is done by some remote tribes, it is actually closer to ear stretching that has been popular recently in urban cultures.
Still, despite our study and numerous others contracted to validate the penis traction device makers’ claims and their successful outcomes, many opponents claimed and still state that there is no way the devices could work. Much like the naysayers above, none of these people could provide any reasoning as to why they believed the devices would not work. Also, like the laser therapy devices, many among the opponents were and are medical professionals who also have no evidence or logic to support their opinions. In my book, an uninformed and unaware opinion fails by its very nature to be a professional opinion.
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