Comparison of low-level light therapy and combination therapy of 5% minoxidil in the treatment of female pattern hair loss

Lasers Med Sci. 2021 Jul;36(5):1085-1093. doi: 10.1007/s10103-020-03157-1. Epub 2020 Oct 17.


This study was conducted in order to compare the safety and efficacy of LLLT, 5% minoxidil, and combination therapy in the treatment of FPHL. A randomized controlled trial was developed to study the effect of LLLT on FPHL using a device called iHelmet®, which is equipped with 200 5mW laser diode source (650 nm) arrays. Ninety Ludwig's types II-III FPHL patients were randomly divided into 3 groups: LLLT group (A), 5% minoxidil group (B), and combination group(C). Hair density, hair diameter, and scalp oil-secretion were detected to evaluate the treatment effect. Significant improvement of hair density and hair diameter was observed in all stages of FPHL after treatment. Oil-secretion of the three groups was decreased after treatment. The effectiveness of reducing oil-secretion in LLLT group and combination group was higher than minoxidil group (P < 0.05). For improving hair diameter and hair density, combination group was better than LLLT and minoxidil groups. No side effects were reported. Our study illustrated that LLLT is a safe and effective treatment for FPHL. Besides, LLLT can significantly improve its efficacy when used in combination with 5% minoxidil.

Keywords: Female pattern hair loss; Hair density; Low-level laser therapy; Minoxidil; Oil-secretion.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Alopecia / radiotherapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minoxidil / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Minoxidil