Low-level light therapy for androgenetic alopecia: a 24-week, randomized, double-blind, sham device-controlled multicenter trial

Dermatol Surg. 2013 Aug;39(8):1177-83. doi: 10.1111/dsu.12200. Epub 2013 Apr 3.


Background: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a common disorder affecting men and women. Finasteride and minoxidil are well-known, effective treatment methods, but patients who exhibit a poor response to these methods have no additional adequate treatment modalities.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a low-level light therapy (LLLT) device for the treatment of AGA.

Methods: This study was designed as a 24-week, randomized, double-blind, sham device-controlled trial. Forty subjects with AGA were enrolled and scheduled to receive treatment with a helmet-type, home-use LLLT device emitting wavelengths of 630, 650, and 660 nm or a sham device for 18 minutes daily. Investigator and subject performed phototrichogram assessment (hair density and thickness) and global assessment of hair regrowth for evaluation.

Results: After 24 weeks of treatment, the LLLT group showed significantly greater hair density than the sham device group. Mean hair diameter improved statistically significantly more in the LLLT group than in the sham device group. Investigator global assessment showed a significant difference between the two groups, but that of the subject did not. No serious adverse reactions were detected.

Conclusion: LLLT could be an effective treatment for AGA.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alopecia / radiotherapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy* / instrumentation
  • Low-Level Light Therapy* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome