FDA Approves Laser for Hair Growth

by Craig Black

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) just announced the clearance of the first clinical device proven to grow hair.

Based on research carried out by Dr. Grant Koher at Highpoint, North Carolina, the FDA has granted a clearance to the MEP-90 Hair Growth Stimulation System.

This article will explain the results of the study and explain what this news means to the salon professional.

The MEP-90 is a hooded laser that looks like a giant hood hair dryer with 82 laser light diodes completely covering the scalp with light during a treatment. The 20-minute treatments are given twice a week. During the treatment, the laser light energy stimulates blood flow and cellular metabolism in the scalp, using a scientific principal called photo-biostimulation.

The FDA clinical study provided evidence the biostimulation effect of this low-level laser stopped hair loss and promoted regrowth of hair on 100 percent of the subjects in the test, in this case women.

The effectiveness of this treatment can be seen in the following test results for the FDA clearance. After 18 weeks of treatments, over half (57 percent) of the women in the study had more than a 50 percent increase in hair count. At 26 weeks, over three fourths (77 percent) of the subjects had more than a 50 percent increase. What about the rest of the women in the study? Nearly everyone (98 percent) in the FDA study had at least a 20 percent increase in hair overall hair count and the remaining 2 percent had less than a 20 percent increase.

What does all this mean to hair care professionals? Imagine the first time someone realized they could change the color of hair. That break through happened long ago and we have capitalized on it for generations. Just 80 years ago, we found that we could make straight hair have curl with something called a perm. What has this meant to our industry?

Major breakthrough products like these may come along once in a generation; I believe it just happened again. There is now an appliance that is as easy to use as a hair dryer that grows more hair. What could this be worth to our generation? What will this mean for our clients?

We must clarify that the MEP-90 is a Class II Medical Device, which is sold only to medical doctors. However, that is not the end of the story. The FDA has also cleared a “cosmetic” version of the laser that can be used in salons and spas. The cosmetic version uses similar laser technology as the MEP-90 and is available to salons, right now. There are a few rules we must learn and be willing to adhere to. Think of them as healthy boundaries between the medical community and us in the beauty industry. As long as we stay within our scope of practice, we will be just fine.

Cosmetic vs. Medical Lasers

These cosmetic devices use essentially the same technology but must be promoted for cosmetic indications and not to treat any disorder or make hair growth claims, as this would be considered the practice of medicine in most states.

The use of cosmetic lasers to create a fuller, thicker, healthier looking head of hair (the appearance of the hair) is acceptable. To claim that we can alter the structure of the human body is not acceptable.

To find out more about this FDA study and laser hair enhancement, go to www.salonlasers.com or call Craig Black at 866-646-9050.

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