At some point in their lives, most men will experience hair loss. Women also aren’t free and clear here, with more than half experiencing hair loss at some point. There are more interventions today than ever before, ranging from prescription pills to topical solutions. All of these have potential side effects that might make them unsuitable for certain individuals. That’s where laser-based devices like iRestore come into play.
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) wasn’t originally conceived as a hair loss treatment. Its early research investigated its potential as a pain reliever, not unlike transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Its pain modulation was not quite as powerful as TENS, but researchers noticed an influence on hair growth.
iRestore offers some of the most affordable laser hair loss treatment devices available. In this review, our team breaks down cost, efficacy, and more so you can decide if their products are right for you.
- Better price than most competitors
- Combines laser and LED technologies
- Effective drug-free supplemental treatments
- Bundled kits can save you money
- Only needed every other day
- Two-year warranty
- Great chat support
- One-year money-back guarantee
- Sessions are a bit long at 25 minutes
- Battery pack sold separately
- Results can take a long time to set in
- Helmets look somewhat odd
- 18% service fee on returns
For anyone interested in LLLT for hair loss, iRestore offers an affordable entry point with a reliable product that should produce results for most users. There is conflicting evidence about the efficacy of LEDs, but the research supporting it is no less compelling than the papers backing laser diode therapy. Between the 12-month guarantee and 2-year warranty, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to use your iRestore cap risk-free and for long enough to find out if it works for you.
iRestore LLLT products are an effective and affordable solution for hair loss. Reaching your hair regrowth goals only requires using every other day.
iRestore combines laser and LED technologies in their products at one of the best price points in the market. Save on your purchase when you bundle kits. You’re covered by a one-year moneyback guarantee and two-year warranty.
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Hair loss can result from various ailments and experiences. The most common cause of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, often referred to as male or female pattern baldness. The basic mechanism of pattern hair loss is relatively well understood, though there are varying approaches to its treatment.
Pattern hair loss occurs when there is an overabundance of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the scalp. DHT chokes off nutrients from hair follicles, causing them to go dormant and eventually die. Reducing DHT can stop hair loss; in some cases, the same treatments that inhibit DHT can help revive dormant follicles. Time is of the essence, however; once a follicle dies, there’s no reviving it.
Other common causes of hair loss include:
- Telogen effluvium: Hair loss caused by stress on the body, including both physical and emotional stress
- Alopecia areata: Hair loss caused by the immune system misidentifying follicles as foreign invaders
- Chemotherapy-induced alopecia: Hair loss caused by chemotherapy treatments
Many hair loss treatments are effective against androgenic alopecia but struggle against other forms of the disease. That’s mainly because other common causes of hair loss require the removal of external instigators before hair loss can cease. Radiation, intense pollution, personal trauma, and your own immune system can overpower even persistent use of typical hair loss interventions. The good news is that if you can successfully remove these instigators, products like iRestore can help your hair come back faster.
iRestore is a hair loss treatment company that offers a pair of reliable and effective laser caps. These caps use LLLT and LED therapy to stimulate follicle activity, reviving and enriching dormant and existing follicles. The effect is often a cessation of hair loss and an eventual return of growth.
In addition to their caps, iRestore offers a handful of supplemental products, including:
- Anti-hair loss serum
- Gummy vitamins
- Nutritional supplements
- Battery pack and charger
A helpful hair loss quiz on the company website can help determine if LLLT and LED therapy are suitable for your particular hair loss experience.
Insider Tip: It may take several weeks before you notice a slowdown in hair loss and a few months before regrowth can begin. And if you experience any shedding about a month into treatment, don’t panic. This is a normal part of the follicle reset. Keep using the device, and regrowth will commence.
Who needs iRestore?
iRestore is ideal for anyone experiencing hair loss, especially those with androgenic alopecia. Those in the early stages of hair loss will likely benefit the most from it, as these individuals have the fewest follicles that have been dormant long enough to die off completely. Only those unable to grow hair on their heads for several years would be unlikely to see any benefit from an iRestore product.
You may have tried other hair loss solutions — like finasteride or minoxidil — and found them ineffective or too risky. You may even have experienced adverse reactions. If this is the case, iRestore and LLLT, in general, would be a smart next step. This is particularly good news for women, as finasteride’s interaction with testosterone makes it unsuitable for women.
It’s also worth noting that iRestore is perfectly safe to use with most other hair loss treatments, so if you’ve tried those others and want to keep using them, you can add iRestore to your regimen to maximize your odds of regrowth.
iRestore combines two effective, non-invasive, and drug-free treatments for hair loss: LLLT and LED therapy. Their products fit comfortably on the head like a helmet and plug into a wall outlet for power. If you need to take your device on the go, you can purchase a battery pack that should last for up to six sessions per charge.
The exact mechanisms of action that allow specific wavelengths of laser and light-emitting diodes to inhibit hair loss and stimulate growth aren’t completely understood in the scientific community. Several theories are put forth in research papers, many of which hinge on increased capillary circulation in the scalp. The idea is that blood flowing freely near the scalp’s surface will deliver extra oxygen and nutrients to help follicles heal and reset.
Other theories focus on the role of keratinocyte and fibroblast mitosis, inflammation management, or antioxidant activity. Ultimately, regardless of the exact mechanism of action at work, numerous studies have shown LLLT and LED therapy to be consistently safe and effective.
LLLT vs. LEDs for hair loss
Depending on whom you ask, LEDs might be just as effective as LLLT for treating hair loss. Proponents of LED therapy argue that its greater diffusion en route to the scalp does a better job of covering areas of hair loss to stimulate thicker regrowth. Proponents of LLLT will tell you that the light from LEDs doesn’t penetrate deeply enough to get the job done.
The truth is that both sides of the argument are partially correct. Studies combining the two have been just as effective as studies of either in isolation. And until we completely understand the mechanisms of action in either therapy, it would be foolish to dismiss them entirely.
That’s why iRestore gives you both. Its lasers penetrate the scalp more than its LEDs, which take care of maximizing coverage.
iRestore has just two laser cap models to choose from, and understanding their differences isn’t too difficult. To make things easy, we’ve put together this handy chart comparing their Essential and Professional models.
|iRestore Professional||iRestore Essential|
|Total diode count||282||120|
|Targeted areas||Extended scalp, sides, and back||Scalp, hairline, and crown|
|Warranty length||2 years||1 year|
|Money-back guarantee||1 year||1 year|
|Session time||25 minutes||25 minutes|
|Session frequency||Alternating days||Alternating days|
iRestore has a small lineup of supportive products you can use along with their caps to get the best possible results. You can get any of these products in 1-, 2-, or 3-month supplies, with the price coming down a little as you increase your order size.
Here’s a breakdown of each:
Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo $24.99
This 8oz shampoo contains niacinamide and aloe to fight dandruff and soothe damaged scalps. That can help keep hairs in place and slow shedding. It’s cruelty-free and non-GMO, but it does contain sulfates.
Anti-Thinning Conditioner $24.99
iRestore’s 8oz conditioner is sulfate- and paraben-free and employs biotin and arginine to promote thick, healthy hair. It also contains ginseng and argan oil to moisturize and refresh both hair and scalp.
Anti-Hair Loss Serum $39.99
iRestore’s Anti-Hair Loss Serum (2oz) offers a drug-free alternative to minoxidil that relies on a stem cell product — Redensyl — to reverse hair loss. Studies are promising, but more research is needed.
Hair Growth Formula $29.99
These tablets contain biotin and a proprietary DHT blocker that includes saw palmetto and citrus bioflavonoids. Together, these ingredients should promote growth while inhibiting DHT production.
iRestore offers two bundles. One is the Anti-Hair Loss Duo containing the shampoo and conditioner for $47.99. The other is the Hair Growth System, which contains the shampoo, conditioner, Anti-Hair Loss Serum, and Hair Growth Formula for $79.99. You can get a discount on the Hair Growth system if you bundle it with your iRestore device.
Gummy vitamins $29.99
If LLLT and LED therapy help your body bring more nutrients to hair follicles, then you’d better have nutrients flowing through your blood in the first place. That’s where this vitamin supplement comes in, offering a month’s worth of biotin and vitamins C and E.
Rechargeable battery pack $79.99
These packs let you take your iRestore device on the road and are good for up to six sessions per charge. The pack works for both Essential and Professional models, but Essential models purchased before 2022 require a different battery pack available on the site for the same price.
Payments, shipping, and satisfaction guarantee
iRestore accepts payments from all major credit cards, Apple Pay, PayPal, and Venmo. Shipping is free on all orders over $40, so any device will ship at no cost to you. Smaller orders under $40 will incur charges specific to your location.
iRestore gives you a full year to try their product. This is critical, as it can take several months to see results. If you aren’t satisfied after a year, you can return your iRestore device for a refund. However, you’ll incur an 18% service fee if you return the product.
For most men and women, iRestore devices should be perfectly safe. Very few adverse reactions have been recorded in LLLT and LED studies. That said, LLLT has shown occasional side effects like increased scalp sensitivity, itching, or redness.
Using a topical treatment like minoxidil or another growth solution alongside your iRestore device may increase the odds that you’ll experience sensitivity as a side effect.
Never use an iRestore device if you have open lesions or significant injury to the scalp or head.
iRestore and eye safety
Many people may understandably be concerned about eye safety when it comes to a laser device. iRestore’s devices contain laser diodes that cause ocular damage if you look into them directly. Fortunately, both models are equipped with sensors that prevent this. Your iRestore device will not engage unless this sensor tells the unit that it’s safe.
There are several noteworthy competitors to iRestore. Many of these exclusively use laser diodes instead of iRestore’s combination of lasers and LEDs. While this focus on lasers may increase a device’s efficacy, the research is still inconclusive. And using all lasers undeniably makes many of these caps prohibitively expensive.
If you want to go a lot deeper into laser cap science and compare the best models on the market, you should check out our guide to the Best Laser Cap for Hair Loss.
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