Apparently bald people would rather not be bald.  To that end, there are approximately a billion metric fucktons of products available to aid them in their not-being-bald-based goals.  I have no idea how many of them work, but I’m pretty sure that this one goes into the “does not work” column.

Is there a column for “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather just be bald than be seen in that?” Because it might go in that column too.

That’s the iGrow, the “world’s most advanced hands-free hair rejuvenation system.”  It says that it works by shining low level lasers on to your scalp, and it almost certainly does shine red lights on your head.  Does that mean that it will fix your baldness?  No.

The idea was started by a Hungarian guy named Endre Mester in 1967.  The basic story is that the first laser that emitted in the visible spectrum was invented in 1962, and Mester immediately decided to shine it on everything he could think of to see if it would make those things better.  He tried it on skin cancer, lung cancer, skin conditions, superficial flesh wounds, puncture wounds, and finally baldness.

“This thing is AWESOME. Bring me a wounded child.”

The makers of iGrow assure us that “Tests have shown that pulsing light can enhance the effectiveness of Low Level Laser Therapy,” which seems to be agreed upon by everyone except…people who study these things.  I decided to look through PubMed, a public database of medical studies, to see what they had to say.  There were several studies that indicated that a 308-nm laser does in fact help with hair loss, which would be great news for iGrow if they used that.  They don’t.  That’s a UV laser and they use a red one with FAR less power.  It’s also worth noting that on shaved mice, the hair grew back faster when treated with a low level laser.  That would again be super awesome if shaved hair was the same as balding hair, which—and this may shock you—it’s not.  As far as the iGrow laser goes, there are two quotes from two different studies you need:

“there is little scientific data supporting laser/light sources in hair loss.”


“none of these changes was statistically significant”

So that’s that.  But nearly as important as the fact that the product is basically a useless red helmet-thing is the way that IncredibleThings decided to report on it.  Let’s take a journey.

I hate to be the one to break it to you pops, but that weird stuff you bought at the drug store to cover up your bald spot isn’t working. It might feel like a quick fix for your hair loss woes, but you look like you rubbed shoe polish on your head. 

Yes, please talk down to me with condescending familiarity.  A dickishly insulting tone is the number two thing I look for in a website that’s telling me where to spend my money.

This is the number one thing. Obviously.
So before you write off laser hair treatments as crazy, take a look at yourself in the mirror. (Actually you need two mirrors, so you can see the back of your head).

You may not have known this, ladies and gentlemen, but the effectiveness of a product is directly proportionate to the amount of shame that drove you to buy that product in the first place.  That’s why everyone loves Fleshlights so much.  So if you don’t think laser hair treatment works, it’s because you’re too confident in things like “yourself” and “facts.”  Take it down a notch.

Much safer than hair growth creams and much more effective than wearing baseball caps all the time, iGrow uses lasers to stimulate hair growth. The science behind it has existed for decades, but affordable technology has just caught up, making laser hair growth treatments something you can experience while you watch TV on your couch or listen to MP3s through its built-in headphones.

Now there I can’t argue.  There is nothing at all dangerous about having small red lights placed near your head for a not-very-long time.  I’m not sure about the effectiveness as compared to that of wearing baseball caps though.  If your goal is to wear a baseball cap, I’m, like, 90% sure that shining lights on your chrome dome will not produce that result.  Check and mate.

I also can’t deny that science has existed for decades, and that neither lasers nor baldness are 21st-century  inventions.  So thank god that consumer technology has finally caught up.  Now you can get things that don’t work…for less.

Skeptical about whether or iGrow it really works? Well, what do you have to lose? Other than more hair that is.

I’m pretty sure that the writer had a seizure at that first sentence and momentarily forgot that words only work in certain orders.  But that’s not why I quoted this part.  It’s that “what do you have to lose?” section.  As though you can just wing it, not a care in the world, and if it doesn’t work, so what?  It’s not like you’re going to get more bald [note: you’ll probably get more bald].  I want to show you the original context of that quote via screencap.

Do you see it yet?  Let me zoom in one more time.

A word of advice to IncredibleThings.  The next time you so heartily endorse a product with little to no scientific support, all the while ridiculing its potential clientele, and decide to use the phrase “what have you got to lose?”  Maybe you shouldn’t put that phrase 154 pixels away from the exact gigantic dollar amount that you have to lose if this doesn’t work.

Just a thought.

3 Thoughts

  1. Dihydrotestosterone is the hormone responsible for male balding, and I can't think of any way lasers could affect the levels of this hormone being produced in the prostate. If they really wanted something snazzy, they should have shined lasers into the rectum.

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