What is it?
HairMax is a brand that makes hair regrowth and cosmetic hair enhancement products. They’re intended to work together to help provide maximum increases in hair in those with thinning hairs, and to help improve the look of balding heads with hair fibers.
The company mentions that they’ve performed over 20 years of research into laser therapy to help promote healthy and safe results. It’s made for both men and women looking for denser, fuller, and more vibrant hair. The actual process is known as photobiostimulation which is said to be similar to photosynthesis. This is the same way that plants absorb light as an energy source. The laser energy works to help liven cells and reverse thinning while improving the growth cycle. Other intended benefits include:
- It helps provide energy to weakened or inactive hair follicles.
- Gives more nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles.
- Increase blood circulation and help to remove and waste products.
- Quick treatment sessions which are safe and effective for those with any kinds of hairstyles.
The website offers hair fibers, supplements, treatments, shampoos, conditioners, hair stabilizers, and 4 different types of home laser devices.
It’s suggested that the following users should use a HairMax laser device:
“The ideal candidate is one that has mild to moderate hair loss or thinning, and wants to regrow lost hair, and to help prevent further progression. It is best to start treatment at the first signs of hair loss, because the earlier you start, the better your results will be”
Bald users or those with severe hair loss are not able to use this brand, there has to be some hair still available to help promote results. Men and women with moderate hair loss are advised to use it instead. The reason for this is because in bald heads the hair follicles are no longer active. The only product that can be used for bald sports are hair fibers and the product Minoxidil, which uses the same key active ingredient as Rogaine.
Minoxidil also has limitations as it cannot be used for baldness that lies in the front of the scalp or on receding hairlines. It’s known as HairMax Minoxidil, a 5% extra strength formula which is intended to regrow hair within a rough 2 months of daily use. It’s also mentioned that:
“Some people, may need to use this product for at last 4 months before seeing results”
So the intended benefits of all these tools are to help those with thinning hair to regrow their hair. Or one can try the hair fibers on their own to help give the appearance of hair using a common main ingredient found in other similar products.
HairMax Ingredients and Side Effects
Here are the ingredients to HairMax hair fibers, shampoos, conditioners, and other density products:
|Minoxidil||Keratin||Silica||Blue 1 CI 42045||Yellow 5 CI19140|
|Red 33 17200||Red 22 CI 45380||Green 3 CI 61565||Red 40 CI 16035||Orange 4 CI 15510|
|Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate||Sodium Cocoamphoacetate||Glycol Stearate||Cocamidopropryl Betaine||Sodium Chloride|
|Cocamidopropryl Hydroxysultaine||Cetrimomium Dimethicone PEG-8 Olivate/Succinate||Phytic Acid||Silicone Quaternium-2 Panthenol Succinate||Fragrance|
|Mentha Piperia Oil||Silanediol Salicylate||Nekaeuca Alternifolia Leaf Extract||Glycerin||Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract|
|Capsicum Frutescens Extract||Algae Extract||Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract||Thermus Thermophillus Ferment||Butylene Glycol|
Minoxidil: The sole key active ingredient in HairMax Minoxidil. It’s added at a total of 5% which is the highest strength allowed. Commonly used as a topical aid for slowing hair loss and to help support growing hair. Examine.com adds:
“technically aids hair growth, it is not advised due to possible complications with blood pressure”
It’s only functional for bald patches and not receding hairlines. It can also promote side effects that include:
- Rash, dizziness, and itchy scalp.
- Redness, burning, and stinging.
The following are signs of a greater issue and are less likely:
- Irregular heartbeat, swelling, and unusual weight gain.
- Fatigue, difficulty breathing and unwanted facial hair.
There is a possibility for hair loss in the beginning as well. It’s still unknown exactly how it’s made to work according to recent research. It can only be used for those who have thinning or slowly receding hair; it’s not a solution for balding people.
Use is not advised for people with baldness either in the front of the scalp or with receding hairlines. This is signs of baldness which cannot be cured. It can sometimes require a prescription but in the amounts added to HairMax, it does not require any doctor recommendation.
In its topical form it’s an FDA approved method to help regrow hair. There are numerous other products which also use this as a main ingredient.
Keratin: Commonly used hair fiber ingredient which is a protein that makes up hair, horns, feathers, hoofs, and other similar things. In comparison to other hair fiber ingredients, it’s often dustier and slightly rougher than things like cotton.
Keratin is electrically charged in order to stick to exiting hairs in the scalp. They’re meant to stick even during wind, humidity, and sweat. They also take a short time to apply, with usually only second’s need for it to distribute.
The hair fibers in HairMax are said to be lightweight, silky, clump free, and able to go on dry. Keratin typically washes off with water or shampoo, but this brand is said to last even when there is contact with water. This does not stay on during swimming however. It’s also often only intended for people who have hair already, as it needs something to stick onto.
It can be used on bald spots but it typically has to be stylized and patted down to help make it look natural. Certain kinds of keratin are said to look dust like when viewed up close. There typically are no side effects from this sole ingredient.
Blue 1 CI 42045: This dye is an often found colorant used in hair products. It can be extracted from many things including synthetics, plants, animals, coat, tar and insects. The EWG which provides information about cosmetic ingredients mentions it has a 3 rating which means it has a moderate risk rating. They add how there is a risk for:
“Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)”
Since it ranks in the 3 category this means that while some studies have shown a potential for concern, this is typically only for large amounts added topically, or when ingested.
Yellow 5 CI19140: Artificial dye that according to the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List is:
“Classified as medium health priority”
“Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful”
It has been shown to be unlikely to cause any unwanted side effects.
Cocamidopropryl Betaine: A hair conditioning ingredient that is used to help cleanse hair. The EWG has mentioned:
“it has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis”
When added to skin it may cause side effects.
Triethanolamine: This ingredient helps to balance pH levels and it acts as an emulsifier. It has a 5 rating on the EWG scale, which means there is a higher than average potential risk for side effects. The EWG adds:
“Oran system toxicity (non-reproductive)”
It can potentially cause skin allergies and immune system damage.
Methylisothiazolinone: This preservative is used in many similar products. The EWG has given it a high risk rating of 7 out of 10. They also add:
“has been associated with allergic reactions. Lab studios on the brain cells of mammals also suggest that Methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic”
It has a potential risk for causing irritation to the eyes, lungs, and skin. There is string evidence of it being potentially harmful to overall health. It’s currently banned in parts of Canada, Germany, and Japan.
Due to its many concerns there is a high risk rating. Use of this ingredient should be limited due to the many potentially harsh side effects.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone: This preservative is known to have a potential risk for causing lung, skin, and eye irritations.
The EWG has given it a moderate risk rating of 6.
HairMax’s laser therapy is said to be safe to use since it uses non-hating UV ray lasers that are unlike sun light. They also add:
“There have never been any reports of harmful side effects occurring from using the HairMax laser devices, in the past 15 years that the devices have been on the market, nor from clinical trials”
Judging from what kinds of lasers it emits and customer reviews, it’s unlikely to produce any unwanted side effects. The official website mentions that there’s nothing it in which would lead to irritation or burning. The FDA has also approved it as being safe to use on human skin.
HairMax Quality of Ingredients
The kinds of ingredients used depend on what product one chooses. The density products such as the shampoo and conditioners contain potentially harmful surfactants and preservatives. They can potentially lead to allergic reactions and even organ system damage. Some of these ingredients have shown the possibility for serious side effects and that’s why they are either restricted or outright banned in certain countries. The density products also have less reviews than any other products made by HairMax. It’s unknown if there is a high risk factor in the amounts added to these products. However, adding potentially dangerous ingredients like these are not recommended to sensitive people or those worried about such potential issues.
The hair fiber product uses keratin which is commonly used for improving the appearance of hair. They also contain artificial colorants however, some of which may cause irritation with a potential but unlikely risk for organ damage. Keratin is a common ingredient that you’ll find in other hair fiber products. While it’s a decent additive, it’s not unique to HairMax.
The product Minoxidil contains a higher amount of the key active ingredient which is known to potentially cause side effects. It’s also only intended for people with light hair loss or thinning hair, not for bald people or those with receding hairlines. This is important to consider as those looking to regrow hair would have to check and see if they qualify. It’s also commonly found in many other products.
None of these ingredients are intended for those with bald sports or balding heads. Due to the potential side effects there is a lot of concern about whether or not it would be a safe combination of products. All these items are similar to other brands as well.
A review by a clinical professor of dermatology and Weill Cornell Medical College has reviewed the laser products and he said:
“In 2o% of the subjects, it seemed to maybe have an effect”
He has also stated that here is no comprehensive evidence to help show any improvement in hair loss from using the LaserComb in comparison to other prescription such as Rogaine or Propecia.
Another review by a Dr. Paradi Mirmirani who is a dermatologist at Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center who is also a member of the North American Hair Research Society has said:
“I don’t have any evidence… If patients want to spend $500 on this device, it’s their choice. I wouldn’t recommend it. They should save it for something that we know actually works”
It appears from the available evidence that there is mixed findings on the laser devices. As you’ll see in the “Customer Opinions of HairMax” there are mostly criticism and a lack of results from the majority of consumer reviews.
There is a medical clearance by the FDA which shows it’s safe to use and potentially effective. However, judging from the lack of quality customer reviews it appears that its range of effectiveness is lacking. Their items can be best summed up as the following:
- Hair fiber: Similar to other keratin hair fiber brands. It’s intended to stand up to wind and sweat. It does contain some cheap colorants which may produce side effects. This ingredient is favored by some in many hair fiber products. It can be stylized according to most users to appear similar to natural hair. It often requires daily maintenance as it can rub off when one is active or after sleeping.
- Minoxidil: Similar to products such as Rogaine. It is shown to potentially work for certain kinds of baldness, but is not guaranteed. There is also a risk for many kinds of side effects, and it can potentially cause increased hair loss. While this ingredient is FDA approved, there are many considerations as not everyone is advised to use this additive.
- Density Bundles: Contain many potentially harmful ingredients. It’s also intended to help those who are already undergoing treatment of some sort. For people who are bald, there is no reason to use it.
- Laser Treatment: Only intended for people with thinning hair and not already bald heads. Though there is a FDA clearance, the majority of reviews are negative. It won’t lead to any side effects and it is safe to use, but it seems that it won’t have any effect at all to help support growing hair according to most customers.
Overall, the quality of the ingredients is poor. There are either issues with potential side effects or a lack of any benefit at all according to most users.
The Price and Quality of HairMax
Pricing varies on the specific items chosen which include:
- Minoxidil: $19 for two, 2 fl oz. bottles. This amounts to a 2 month supply.
- Hair Fibers: $35 for a 30 gram bottle. Length of use depends on how frequent one applies it.
- Density Bundle: $49.95 for the 8.5 fl ox shampoo, 8.5 fl oz. conditioner, and 4.2 fl oz. revitalizer.
- 4 different laser devices: Ultima 12 Lasercomb $495, Prima 7 Lasercomb $295, Laserband 82 $795, Advanced 7 Lasercomb $195.
The different prices for the laser devises are due to the amount of laser modules provided. For example, the most expensive Laserband 82 has 82 modules which need to be applied 3 times a week for 90 seconds. The cheapest Advanced 7 Lasercomb requires 3 days a week for 15 minute treatments. One must consider how much effort they are willing to put in versus the total purchase price.
All the laser devices deliver the same results, but the different is the amount of time it takes for each to operate. The laser products are backed by a guarantee which the company states:
“Use HairMax for a full 5 months, if you are not completely satisfied with the results, return it for a refund 20% restocking fee applies”
Return shipping also must be paid and the guarantee begins as soon as it is delivered. The website does add however that over 90% of all users have benefited from the laser devices. The guarantee is also only offered from purchases made from their official website. It can also be pricy to have to pay for the 20% restocking fee. To pay for their most expensive laser product it would cost $159.40 to return it if one was to fail to notice any results.
Their website goes on to say that a 2 year factory warranty is provided for every laser device to be free from defects. The guarantees as helpful because they make it easier to try the laser brands to test what kinds of results are possible. The main issue however is with the vast majority of negative customer reviews. It seems unlikely that one will experience any benefits from their lasers. They’re also highly expensive.
The other items such as the hair fibers, Minoxidil and density bundles are priced at about the same cost of other competitors. The issue with quality is that artificial dyes and potentially harmful surfactants and preservatives are used.
Business of HairMax
The name of the manufacturers is Lexington International LLC. Their contact information is listed as:
Address: 777 Yamato Rd. Suite 105
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
Phone Number: (800) 973-4769
Calls are toll free from Monday through Friday 9am, to 5pm Eastern Standard Time. A contact form is also offered for direct inquiries or comments.
They currently are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, with only once complaint which has since been resolved. There ae however 2 negative reviews from customers. The 2 customers added how they didn’t see any results with the laser treatment.
A FDA letter was sent to the company in 2008 for a complaint which reads:
“Our inspection revealed that the HairMax LaserComb Premium and SE models are adulterated under section501”
“you may not market the device for that use until FDA issues an order clearing the device for marketing”
The FDA took issue with the fact that the company said this item could help women regrow their hair. Since this warning letter was sent it does appear that the company has corrected these issues. The official website states that they are FDA approved for both men and women. A disclaimer at the bottom of the website does mention:
“HairMax Laser devices are indicated to treat Androgenetic Alopecia, and promote hair growth in makes who have Norwoof Hamilton Classifications of LLA to V and in females who have Ludwig (Savin) I-4, II-2, or frontal patterns of hair loss and who both have Fitzpatrick Skin Types I to IV”
They do admit that only those with pattern baldness can benefit from this. This will only affect the top and front ends of the scalp. It’s often caused by genetics and excess testosterone buildup. It is a common form of hair loss and cannot be cured from any known things other than hair transplants which are expensive and potentially harmful.
In researching the company it reveals that they have had past issues with the FDA, but they’ve since corrected their problems and fully explain the limitations and intended benefits of their products. No current outstanding issues exist according to consumer reviews.
Customer Opinions of HairMax
There are reviews available for each HairMax product available. Here are some elected quotes taken from their laser products:
“After six months of consistent use (every other day for 15 minutes) I have seen zero results and my hair is thinner than ever. I’m not even going to go into the mediocre quality of the product”
“I have this product…. (with) constant use and all I really believe I did was save what I have left, I didn’t lose anymore, but didn’t see any growth in my bald patch”
“There are no proven effectiveness here. Just shady marketing techniques. Yes, the product is FDA approved… FOR SAFETY!!!. That’s all it means”
“This is just to much to much work and time consuming. I have not seen a difference. Too expensive for the time you need to put into it with very little to results”
Everyone of their laser products have negative reviews on their Amazon.com page. The highest being the 155 reviews offered on their Advanced 7 LaserComb with the majority 83 is negative. There was a lot of criticism from people who tried it for long periods only to experience no change in hair growth. People were often disappointed and felt that they spent money on a non-functioning product.
The HairMax hair fibers have a total of 35 reviews, with 8 negative remarks and 7 positive reviews. Here’s what some customers have had to say:
“Great to cover those thinning spots. I did notice it does come off on your hands if you touch your hair. Also. If you sweat. I t might stat o look a little cake-y”
“This stuff works great, is easy to use and reasonably priced. It is kind of messy, gets all over the bathroom, but worth it to hide my thinning hair”
“it makes your scalp not show through so much, so hides the thinness”
“Makes my hair dry. Takes all the moisture out”
Overall, the reviews reveal that some people did benefit from use. People who enjoyed it mentioned that it can appear thick and that it can cover bald spots. Those who didn’t like it often added how it’s messy and how they didn’t like the colors. Many had issues with the hair fibers flaking all over and appearing dusty and dirty on the floor.
There is a lot of coverage offered for all kinds of people with hair loss issues. Support is offered for either for those who are completely bald looking for a cosmetic solution, or those with thinning hair. The issue is that the majority of reviews have been mixed for the majority of products.
How does HairMax Compare to other Brands?
Their hair fiber brand is similar to the majority of other keratin products. They do offer multiple 9 different colors which are about the same as other brands. Pricing, usability and overall durability also appears to be the same. There are only a few reviews available however.
Another product is their Minoxidil which is also similarly priced with the same active ingredient as Rogaine. No difference is offered between these 2 products other than availability.
Their laser devices are said to be more tested in clinical studies than their competitors. They also claim on their official website that:
“The other ‘top of hair’ devices have no clinical studies of this kind published pricing their efficacy. Further, the LaserBand utilizes a patented hair parting teeth mechanism that automatically parts the hair during use, for optimal deliver of laser energy to the follicle”
Pricing is higher for HairMax laser products, but they also offer a very comprehensive return policy. The main issue is of course the 20% restocking fee. Some hair laser brands don’t offer any kind of return but it still can be pricy to return HairMax branded products.
The company also seems to satisfy customers and though they’ve had FDA related issues, they’ve since corrected these problems. The same consistent problem with laser devices of any kind is that they’re often not well reviewed. HairMax shares this same continuous issue that has plagued other similar brands. There have been several clinical studies performed, but these are funded by the company which means there might be a potential bias. Judging from the available customer experiences, it appears unlike that HairMax laser or any laser product actually can improve hair growth.
Conclusion – Does HairMax Work?
HairMax has many products that are either intended to regrow hair for those with thinning hair, or to help provide a cosmetic enhancement via hair fibers and density enhancing products. Their most unique product is a series of lasers which are proven safe and said to help regrow any thinning hair. The only product they sell which can potentially regrow any bald spots is their Minoxidil product, but this only affects certain kinds of balding.
These items are all priced similar to other hair cosmetic products, but their lasers are the unique selling brand. There are many versions offered with different amounts of time required. The main issue with the lasers is that the majority of all reviews from users are negative. There haven’t been problems with side effects, only issues with a lack of any noticeable changes in hair growth. People even mentioned that they performed treatments for year long periods only to notice no changes.
Their other products fared better with the majority of users enjoying their hair fibers and also experiencing positive results with their density products.
There’s nothing offered by this brand however which isn’t similar to other products on the market. They do back up their laser devises with a great money back return policy. This allows users to try it for a long period before deciding if they don’t want it anymore. However, this is only available if purchased via the official website. Also, this comes with a expensive 20% restocking fee.
HairMax isn’t likely to support hair regrowth for those who still have hair, and it’s only beneficial to try their hair fibers for a cosmetic enhancement of hair. The company does seem reputable however, and they offer a long lasting guarantee.