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Capillus Review: Do these laser caps work?

Capillus offers a range of products, but their laser caps are their calling card. We dove into the science and tried them ourselves – here’s what we found.

Last Updated: Mar 6, 2022
Capillus Review

A cure for baldness was once a holy grail in men’s health. Until the late 20th century, a hairpiece or a hat was the only fast and reliable way to conceal your hair loss. But developments like minoxidil in the 1980s and finasteride in the 1990s expanded the scope of medical intervention. But studies of a different topical treatment had been underway since the 1960s.

Conceived initially to treat pain, low-light laser therapy utilized specific frequencies of light aimed at targeted areas to determine its efficacy as a pain reliever. It could theoretically have worked like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Those early experiments successfully treated several ailments, from joint pain to mucositis. But the device’s ability to promote hair growth pushed research in that direction.

More recently, products like the Capillus laser cap have hit the market, offering hair loss patients a non-invasive, non-pharmacological way to stop losing hair and even regrow it. We’ll take a close look at Capillus’ offering here, so you can decide if they’re right for you.

Pros

  • Undeniably effective
  • Device is FDA-cleared
  • Fast session times
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Viable treatment for both men and women
  • Eye safety features
  • Battery pack offers 4-5 sessions per charge
  • Built in the USA
  • Save 10% by signing up for texts

Cons

  • Prices are high for caps and haircare products
  • Their most laser-packed model is discontinued
  • 25% restocking fee for returns

Bottom line

Capillus is one of the best companies for laser hair loss treatments. Their products are robust and reliable, and they’re covered by one of the longest warranties in the field. Six-minute daily sessions are easy to complete, even on a busy schedule, and the cap is comfortable to wear while doing so. Capillus isn’t the most affordable laser cap on the market, and no laser cap is inexpensive. However, Capillus would be well worth it for many men and women, especially as a laser cap can treat multiple forms of hair loss at any point on the scalp. Other companies offer similar products for less, but Capillus is at the top of the pile.

Our Top Picks

Capillus

The Capillus design is subtle and comfortable, yielding results with the shortest treatment times.

Just 6 minutes a day can effectively stop hair loss and stimulate regrowth for a thicker head of hair. Capillus also offers a 3 year warranty with every purchase.

Capillus Pro
Reviewed by Innerbody Research
$2999
Capillus Plus
Reviewed by Innerbody Research
$1999
Capillus One
Reviewed by Innerbody Research
$750

Why you should trust us

Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

We extensively test each health product and service we review. We try our best to give you, our readers, unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We base our evaluations on adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review of Capillus was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

What causes hair loss?

Hair loss can arise in a variety of ways. Most often, it’s a genetic predisposition that leads your body to convert too much testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT can severely damage hair follicles and make it difficult to get the nutrients and oxygen they need from the bloodstream. Eventually, those hairs die and fall out. This is what we usually call pattern hair loss.

You can also lose your hair from stress, which is called telogen effluvium. Causes of this nature can be physical or emotional stress or even toxicity in your environment. Unlike pattern hair loss, this type often resolves over time. Products like a laser cap can help accelerate new hair growth once the stressor has been removed from the equation.

There is also chemotherapy-induced hair loss and hair loss that results from immune system disorders, but those first two — pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium — are more common.

What is Capillus and how does it work?

Capillus is a company dedicated to solving hair loss. They primarily focus on low-light laser therapy (LLLT) as a treatment, and they have a line of three laser caps, all capable of addressing hair loss. The company also offers a small line of haircare products.

The scientific community hasn’t fully established a mechanism of action for LLLT, but studies indicate it works similarly to minoxidil. It can increase blood flow along with nutrient and oxygen delivery. That can enrich follicles and stave off many of the adverse effects of DHT.

LLLT can also stimulate anagen re-entry in hair follicles, essentially starting the growth phase again.

Insider Tip: Resetting a follicle’s growth phase can cause a currently nested hair strand to shed. This shedding is common and may take place about three weeks into treatment. So don’t worry if you see more shedding at the start of treatment; the laser cap is working, and this is to be expected.

Who should consider Capillus?

Capillus is an outstanding choice for any man or woman dealing with hair loss, especially androgenetic alopecia — the scientific term for male or female pattern hair loss. Capillus may also help speed up hair recovery after chemotherapy. The fact that it’s safe for both men and women sets Capillus and other laser caps apart from treatments like finasteride, which are only suitable for men.

Capillus might not be the best choice for those suffering from alopecia areata, in which their immune system attacks their hair follicles. These patients require immunotherapies if they wish to reverse their hair loss.

Capillus laser caps

Capillus’ main product line consists of their laser caps. Here’s a quick breakdown of their three caps with a look at cost and features.

  Cost Diode Count Total Laser Energy Treatment Time Warranty Length
Capillus One $750 112 560mW 6 min/day 1 year
Capillus Plus $1,999 202 1010mW 6 min/day 2 years
Capillus Pro $2,999 272 1360mW 6 min/day 3 years

As you can see, an increase in diodes does not come with a decrease in session time. The advantage of a higher diode count is coverage. You’re likely to see more global results with more diodes, and you may even see those results faster.

Another interesting difference is the extended warranty you get as you go up in diode count. We believe this is built into the price and does not necessarily reflect superior quality. As it is, you can buy warranty extensions from Capillus at the time of purchase for the following amounts:

  • 1-year extension: $89.99
  • 2-year extension: $199
  • 3-year extension: $249

We recommend purchasing that 3-year extension with any model you choose. These are expensive investments, after all. That extra coverage helps guarantee you get your money’s worth. As long as your device lasts a longer duration, the cost of laser caps gets closer and closer to the cumulative expenses of alternative treatments you’d otherwise pursue (like a combination of finasteride and minoxidil, for instance).

Discontinued models

There are a few discontinued Capillus models still circulating on the market. They include the following:

  • Capillus Ultra: 82 diodes, $999
  • Capillus Ultra+: 112 diodes, $1,399
  • Capillus X: 128 diodes, $1,499
  • Capillus X+: 244 diodes, $2,899
  • Capillus RX: 312 diodes, $2,999

Some of these models may present a better price point and diode count for your needs. However, Capillus will only honor warranty service if you purchase one through an authorized reseller. As of now, HairClub is the only authorized reseller with an online ordering interface. Other authorized sellers are individual salons throughout the US, and there are only a few of them. As such, we recommend ordering through Capillus.

Haircare products

Capillus’ line of CAP+ haircare products ranges from salon-quality shampoo and conditioner to botanical DHT blockers and even a minoxidil solution. Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s available.

CAP+ Clinical Hair Therapy Shampoo, $34.95

This shampoo contains saw palmetto, which excels at blocking DHT in multiple studies. Other ingredients like green tea and peppermint can help stimulate the scalp toward regrowth.

CAP+ Clinical Hair Therapy Conditioner, $34.95

Among its various moisturizing ingredients, the jojoba and argan oils in this condition do a lovely job caring for your hair. This formula also contains saw palmetto, so you get a second dose after you’re done shampooing.

CAP+ Clinical Hair Therapy Activator, $59.95

This solution delivers some of the building blocks of hair strands right to the source, including keratin. It contains niacinamide, which can help hairs retain moisture and fight off dandruff.

CAP+ Clinical Hair Therapy Revitalizer, $39.95

If you pick up the revitalizer, you’ll use it between your shampoo and conditioner for a deeper exfoliation. Like the activator, it contains niacinamide

CAP+ Clinical Hair Therapy Hair Health Supplement, $29.95

Studies show that saw palmetto can also be effective when you take it orally, and this supplement provides you with 200 mg of it. It also contains biotin to strengthen existing hair strands and promote growth.

5% minoxidil for men, $29.95

While proponents of LLLT might choose to pit laser therapy against minoxidil, the truth is that combining the treatments is doubly effective. If you aren’t looking into LLLT due to an intolerance for minoxidil, you might seriously consider using both. However, we can’t advise that you get your minoxidil from Capillus when identical products exist from competitors for far less.

2% minoxidil for women, $29.95

The 5% solution that men take during clinical trials tends to be more than what’s necessary for the solution to be effective in women. As such, the recommended concentration for female hair loss is 2%, but you can expect the same level of efficacy that a man would find from 5%.

Payments, shipping, and satisfaction guarantee

Capillus accepts all major credit cards and online payments from G Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and Shop Pay. You can apply for financing through affirm as part of the checkout process.

All orders over $49 qualify for free two-day shipping.

Capillus will accept a return for up to six months after the date of purchase. That return will only reimburse against the cost of the device. Return shipping is not covered, and any return comes with a 25% service fee.

Are Capillus and LLLT safe?

LLLT and the Capillus products that use it are safe, particularly when you use them correctly. Studies show that LLLT produces fewer and milder side effects than minoxidil. You might experience some tingling or scalp sensitivity, but there shouldn’t be much more than that. If you have eczema or undiagnosed lesions on your scalp, you should really talk to your doctor before starting an LLLT regimen.

You may also be concerned about the lasers and eye safety, especially if you have kids around. Capillus is one of only a couple of companies to build eye protection into their laser caps. The lasers will not fire unless the cap senses it’s on your head. Of course, even these safeguards only go so far, so be sure to keep your cap in a safe place away from the curious hands of children.

How Capillus compares to the competition

Capillus has some stiff competition. Laser diode technology has gotten a little less expensive in recent years, but Capillus adheres to stricter manufacturing standards than most — hence the higher price tag. You should make an informed decision here. Even the least expensive laser caps on the market are a pretty significant investment.

If you want to see the top laser caps compared head-to-head — including our favorite budget option — you should check out our guide to the best laser caps for hair loss.

How we evaluate home health products and services

At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service or product. For health products and services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telemedical or teletherapy services, is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not? For health products, does the product or device meet a high level of safety? Is it manufactured with high quality standards? Has it – or have its ingredients – been subjected to studies that confirm effectiveness?

User-friendly: How intuitive and convenient is the service or product? Does the device, program, app, or website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure? Does a company market your information?

Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service or product ideal for you or address your individual needs?

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