LASER LIGHT THERAPY/HAIR RESTORATION: Crowdfunding succeeds for at-home laser hair-growth device

In early August, medical device company Theradome (Pleasanton, CA) announced the market release of its FDA-approved LH80 laser helmet, which offers clinical- strength hair growth therapy for home use.

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In early August, medical device company Theradome (Pleasanton, CA) announced the market release of its FDA-approved LH80 laser helmet, which offers clinical-strength hair growth therapy for home use. A week later, the company announced a successful crowdfunding campaign. Using the Indiegogo (San Francisco, CA) crowdfunding platform, Theradome reached its funding goal in less than 24 hours and doubled its initial goal within five days of the campaign launch. With 11 days left in its campaign, the company had raised more than $300,000 from nearly 900 participants.

Theradome offered early adopters introductory pricing significantly below retail cost ($395 for the helmet along, or $595 with add-ons including an app and enhanced warranty) through the Indiegogo campaign. Most pledges for pre-orders came from women, who primarily ordered anonymously. Men, who made up approximately one-third of the initial pre-orders, were less concerned about anonymity.

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Theradome's LH80 laser helmet is the first and only over-the-counter wearable laser treatment for use in the home that is FDA-approved.

Theradome founder and CEO Tamim Hamid, a former NASA scientist with extensive biomedical engineering experience, developed the laser helmet to address his own hair loss at the age of 32 not only because he wanted an effective way to treat hair loss and to avoid the use of medications, but also because he wanted to make available clinical-strength laser technology for personal use at home.

Laser light therapy (LLT) has been used to treat hair loss for many years, but until now true cold laser therapy was only available through hair restoration clinics, the company reports. Theradome uses 80 custom-designed, high-efficiency lasers that produce virtually no heat, but still generate over 440 J to treat the full scalp area with the optimum wavelength of light (678 nm) for hair growth.

Theradome reports that its clinical trials proved the helmet's ability to grow hair in 98 percent of users, and that hair thickness, volume, and density increased by 200 percent within six weeks.

Roughly 80 million Americans, including approximately 40 million women, have hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia. Traditionally, therapies for meaningful female hair growth have been available only in clinical settings and typically cost thousands of dollars. Less expensive, non-clinical options deliver much less therapeutic light (typically under 5 percent of a clinical option) than clinical devices and in most cases have not been cleared by the FDA. Hair restoration specialist Sara Wasserbauer, MD, advises patients to opt for laser treatment (not LED-based therapy) in the 670 nm range because scientific studies show that these light sources have proven effectiveness.—Barbara G. Goode

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