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Study of the Effect of Low Level Laser Light on Hair Growth on the Female Human Scalp

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01292746
Recruitment Status : Terminated (Recruitment and subject study compliance was difficult)
First Posted : February 9, 2011
Results First Posted : December 11, 2015
Last Update Posted : December 11, 2015
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Erchonia Corporation

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this clinical study is to determine if the Erchonia® ML Scanner (MLS) low level laser light device can help to regrow hair on the scalp of females experiencing hair loss or thinning.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Female Pattern Alopecia Device: Erchonia MLS Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Over 20 million women in the United States suffer from hair loss, and about 40% of those women are under forty years of age. The emotional aspects of hair loss for females include anxiety and depression, frustration and poor self-esteem. Androgenetic alopecia is a common cause of female balding and the most likely reason for excessive hair loss.

It is believed that light therapy of the scalp will provide an effective means to reduce hair loss and/or stimulate hair growth in females with androgenetic alopecia. Results of previous studies on low level laser therapy (LLLT) have demonstrated a variety of in vitro and in vivo effects including increased blood flow, accelerated wound healing, enhanced production of cytokines and other cellular mediators, increased cellular proliferation, among a panoply of other effects. Enhanced hair growth has been observed adjacent to treated areas in various animal models investigating the effects of LLLT. Uncontrolled studies in humans and spa-based therapies in Europe appear to show that the periodic application of low intensity light therapy reduces hair loss and appears to increase hair growth. The majority of these applications utilize light in the red and near-infrared portions of the spectrum.

The Erchonia MLS low level laser is being evaluated for its potential to improve the quality and quantity of hair on the female scalp. This may improve the quality of life as a result of improved self-image and may potentially delay or reduce the need for surgical procedures such as hair transplantation. A successful local therapy would mitigate or reduce the need for systemic agents such as minoxidil and finasteride, thereby minimizing the potential side effects of these therapies.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 14 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: An Evaluation of the Effect of the Erchonia ML Scanner (MLS) on the Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia in Females
Study Start Date : February 2011
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 2012
Actual Study Completion Date : October 2012

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Erchonia ML Scanner (MLS)
Erchonia MLS employs four diodes emitting 10 milliwatts (mW) 635 nanometer (nm) red laser light
Device: Erchonia MLS
The Erchonia MLS administers 4 diodes of 10 milliwatts (mW) 635 nanometers (nm) red light to the scalp area for 18 minutes, 2 times each week for 12 consecutive weeks for a total of 24 treatments.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Non-vellus Terminal Hair Count Across a 3 cm Diameter Scalp Area [ Time Frame: Baseline and 13 Weeks ]
    Non-vellus terminal hair count was calculated across a tattooed 3 cm diameter scalp area from digital photographs of the area by independent blinded evaluator employing macroimage analysis software.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Female pattern androgenic alopecia defined as:

    • discernable decrease in hair density on the top of the scalp relative to the sides and back of the scalp (ii) classifications I-3, I-4, II-1, II-2 according to the Ludwig and Savin Hair Loss Scale
  • Notable hair loss/thinning onset within the past five years.
  • Progressive/active hair loss/thinning within the last 12 months.
  • Skin type I through IV according to the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale.
  • Healthy, balanced scalp, determined as one that shows no indication of notable: dryness, flaking, dandruff (pityriasis), redness, irritation, inflammation, itching, greasy/oily texture, odor, lesions, scalp acne or other significant dermatological conditions.
  • PI or P2 on the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Physical Status Classification System.
  • Willing and able to maintain same hair style, length, color and hair care regimen throughout study participation.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Hair loss attributable to one or more of the following conditions: tinea capsitis, secondary syphilis, discoid lupus erythematosus: Inflammation, alopecia areata, trichotillomania, telogen effluvium, anagen effluvium, traumatic alopecia.
  • Use of any of the following medications presently or during the prior 6 months: minoxidil, finasteride (or any other 5ᾳ-reductase inhibitor medications),medication with anti-androgenic properties (e.g. cyproterone, spironolactone, ketoconazole, flutamide and bicalutamide),topical estrogens, progesterone, tamoxifen, anabolic steroids, medications that can potentially cause hypertrichosis (e.g. ciclosporin, diazoxide, phenytoin and psoralens), oral glucocorticoids (inhaled glucocorticoids permitted), lithium, phenothiazines.
  • Current use of other prescription and/or over-the-counter products known to affect hair growth and distribution (e.g. saw palmetto, fish oil, corticosteroids, antineoplastic agents, beta blockers, diazoxide, heparin, verapamil, warfarin, etc.).
  • Medical, physical, or other contraindications for, or sensitivity to, light therapy (e.g. porphyria, photosensitizing drug therapies).
  • Taking Hormonal Replacement Therapy.
  • Conditions that may worsen with light therapy.
  • History of poor wound healing.
  • History of keloid formation.
  • Prior hair restoration/transplantation surgery.
  • Prior scalp reduction procedure(s).
  • Other surgery to the scalp region (e.g. to remove a skin cancer lesion).
  • Active skin infection, wound, or other external trauma to the scalp evaluation area.
  • Active malignancy or any malignancy in the past five years in the scalp evaluation area.
  • Dermatological condition (dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, etc.) of the scalp other than female pattern hair loss.
  • Significant scarring (e.g. from burns) in the scalp evaluation area.
  • History of thyroid condition that may influence hair growth and loss.
  • Underlying medical condition(s) known to adversely affect hair growth or hair pattern, such as HIV, connective tissue disease, inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Current hair weaves.
  • Use of non-breathable wigs.
  • Hairstyle is a "buzz" cut, defined as hair cut to less than one inch in length.
  • Tattooing of the scalp target evaluation area.
  • Subject is pregnant, nursing, planning a pregnancy, or less than six months postpartum.
  • Serious mental health illness such as dementia or schizophrenia; psychiatric hospitalization in the past two years.
  • Developmental disability or cognitive impairment that would preclude adequate comprehension of the informed consent form and/or ability to record study measurements.
  • Involvement in litigation/receiving disability benefits related in any way to the parameters of the study.
  • Participation in research in the past 30 days.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01292746

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United States, Georgia
Advanced Gynecology Specialists of Georgia
Evans, Georgia, United States, 30809
Sponsors and Collaborators
Erchonia Corporation
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Principal Investigator: Paul M Thaxton, MD, FACOG
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Responsible Party: Erchonia Corporation Identifier: NCT01292746    
Other Study ID Numbers: EC_FA001
First Posted: February 9, 2011    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: December 11, 2015
Last Update Posted: December 11, 2015
Last Verified: November 2015
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Alopecia Areata
Hair Diseases
Skin Diseases
Pathological Conditions, Anatomical