Hair Loss/Laser Comb

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Question
I've pretty much accepted my hair loss at this point but have been curious for some time about my experience with the Hairmax LaserComb that I had used for 5-6 months a couple of years ago. I had most all my hair on top and in the front at the time of starting the lasercomb (I did have a large bald spot at the crown for many years). One of the most frequent concerns of people using the lasercomb is the shedding that apparently will occur in the early stages of using the comb. As the makers of the comb say:

Default Initial Shedding With The Hairmax Lasercomb

   "We have received many, many questions regarding the occurrence of hair shedding at the beginning of treatment with the HairMax LaserComb. Below is a good explanation of why this occurs.

   In a normal hair cycle, when hair is in the telogen phase and that cycle is complete, the hairs on the scalp (average of over 100,000) go into the anagen phase at different times and constantly replace themselves. This is the time when the new hair shaft has formed and the old hair is pushed out and lost. With pattern baldness, anagen hairs do not grow and the hair you have becomes velus or fine and wispy and is not replaced.

   However, when you start using the HairMax LaserComb, you stimulate hair follicles to start producing anagen or terminal hair. What often happens is that those hair follicles that are in the telogen phase then go into the anagen phase at the same time and you see a lot of hair falling out which is what is called shedding. So instead of these hairs falling out gradually at different times, they all fall out together giving you the impression that you are losing more hair than you were losing before. Shedding can occur at any time in the beginning weeks of treatment, however, the shedding should begin to stop at around the 8 week point, although this varies from individual to individual.

   The reality is that this hair had stopped growing and was due to fall out anyway. So shedding is a positive sign and means that you are responding well to therapy with the HairMax LaserComb. We recommend that you use the HairMax for a full 20 weeks to judge results."

My hair shed all over and lost most all on top and front at about the 5 month mark when it was all there before using the comb. You have mentioned that individuals have just so many cycles and then after using up your last cycle there's no more hair to ever grow again. Is it possible that the shedding of my hair from the lasercomb "used up my last cycle" and that maybe if I had not used the comb my last cycle might have lasted much longer and not prematurely ended? Just seems a big odd that my hair was pretty much all there before starting the lasercomb and then 5 months later gone. Any thoughts on if the lasercomb's shedding my not be a good idea to use if you are older and at the risk of ending your last cycle early?

Answer
In my experience the shed due to changing of cycles when using the LaserComb or with minoxidil is relatively minor and affects random telogen hairs, not just those in their last life cycles. My guess is that the loss you experienced was due to some other external source of stress 4 months after starting the LaserComb. Telogen Effluviums usually are seen 4 o 6 weeks after the onset of the stress so it is hard to implicate the LaserComb in this loss. Try to think if one to two months before the shed there was some new medication or external stress that may have been responsible.

Hair Loss

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Peter J. Panagotacos, <B>M.D.</B>

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I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery.

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I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery. More information can be found at my website www.hairdoc.com

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