Yes, I’m a little too short for a stormtrooper. But my head is just the right size for the iRestore Laser Hair Growth System hat / helmet / cap / thingy. Actually, they call it a dome. What is it and why am I wearing it? Keep reading to find out.
What is it?
The iRestore Laser Hair Growth System is an FDA-cleared laser hair therapy system for men and women who suffer from androgenic alopecia.
What’s in the package?
iRestore dome with attached controller
Design and features
The iRestore dome is made of white plastic. It has a built in head band that helps keep the dome in place during therapy sessions, and it has a handheld controller that is used to start and stop the sessions.
Inside the dome are 21 lasers and 30 LEDs that emit a specific wave length of light.
Also inside the dome are several soft cushions that allow the dome to fit comfortably on your head.
The controller has a small backlit display that shows a timer while the session is in progress and there are two buttons that control power, and start and stop the session.
Why would you want to use this goofy looking helmet?
Having very thin hair or balding areas on your head can be traumatic for some people because humans tend to judge others on their appearance.
The iRestore system claims to be able to promote hair growth in men ages 18-48 and women ages 18-60 who have androgenic alopecia. For men, this is usually referred to as male pattern baldness which is classified on the Norwood-Hamilton scale. The iRestore system claims to help men who fall in the Class IIa to V range and in the Fitzpatrick Skin Types I to VI range.
The iRestore Laser Hair Growth System is appropriate for women who have pattern baldness and fall on the Ludwig Savin Scale from Class I to II and have a Fitzpatrick Skin Type of I to IV. You can see the charts below:
Why am I reviewing the iRestore system? Because I’ve been dealing with thin hair since my cancer adventure 5 years ago. All my body hair fell out 2 weeks after my first chemo treatment. I was given what the nurses called the “Red Devil” (Adriamycin) chemotherapy drug. It actually came in a huge syringe and looked just like red Kool-aid. I had four treatments of that particular chemo and then I had four more treatments of another type of chemo that my Doc said shouldn’t make my hair fall out again, but it did.
I didn’t get that upset about my hair falling out due to the chemo. The first day it started happening, I called the person who cut my hair and she came to the house and shaved it all off. It was really pretty liberating. But unfortunately, it didn’t grow back as thick and full as it had been before all the chemo and another drug I was on for about 4 years.
I’ve tried a few different things with the hopes that it might make my hair recover. There’s Biotin, which I’m still taking once a day. I don’t think it’s really doing anything. I’ve tried some hair vitamins called Hairfluence for a couple months. They didn’t really help either. The latest test has been Biotin shampoo which I’ve been using for a month or so without any noticeable effects. So when I was offered the chance, I was totally game to try the iRestore.
Using iRestore is very simple. You just put it on your head like you see above.
The helmet isn’t very heavy or uncomfortable. The cord coming out the back gets in the way a little bit, but it’s not a huge deal because the sessions only take 25 minutes every other day. You just press the power button on the controller and then the start button.
The LEDs turn on and off for twenty-five minutes and you’re done. The controller beeps at the end of the session and the LEDs automatically turn off.
About 15 minutes into the first session I thought I felt my head getting hot, but it was probably my imagination because I’ve never felt that sensation again. Your head doesn’t get hot at all… at least mine doesn’t.
So is it working? It’s too early to tell because it takes 16 weeks before you know. Yes, that’s a long time, so I plan to do an update every 4 weeks.
This the top of my head where the thinning is the most noticeable. This picture was taken on 8/29/16 before my first iRestore session.
So far I’ve done 9 treatments and am not noticing any new hair, but I plan to keep doing the treatments every other day for the full 16 weeks and will continue adding photos and updates every few weeks. I’m pretty skeptical that it will help me, but I’m happy to take one for the gadget team and give it a try! So stay tuned and keep checking back for updates.
I’m a quarter of the way through the 16-week treatment window and have posted two more pictures of my hair from the last two weeks. After 15 treatments I’ve not noticed any new hair growth. However, I have noticed that I’m shedding less. How am I measuring that? Not by any scientific means. Basically, I am just looking at my pillowcase before going to bed to see if there are hairs on it from the previous night. In the past, I’ve always seen 4-5 or more hairs, but lately, I’ve only found 1 or 2 hairs. Is this evidence that the iRestore is actually working? I’m still pretty skeptical, but I’ll continue to monitor things with another update in 2 weeks.
It’s been two weeks and several more sessions since my last update. I’m still not seeing any obvious new hair growth. But like I said in my last update, I’m pretty sure that I’m shedding less than I was before.
I did receive an email from the PR folks for iRestore saying that they could send me their special shampoo and hair serum to try too. I declined that offer because I want to review the iRestore by itself. They also said that it might take as long as 24 weeks to notice positive changes. That differs from the information that came with the iRestore which says it takes 16 weeks. Right now I’m about halfway through the 16 week period. I’ll have another update in a couple weeks.
It’s been almost a month since my last update and as you can tell from the last two images above, no new hair… I’ve had an email from someone saying my pictures can be subjective and might not give the true picture. He suggested that I do a video around my head to show things better. I actually tried to do that but it’s almost impossible to do it by myself so I’m sticking with the pictures.
I’m disappointed that after almost 3 months that I’m not seeing any positive changes. I still have 5 weeks left in the 16 week test, but I don’t hold out much hope that I’ll see any new hair growth. Hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I will be at this point. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with another update.
It’s been 16 weeks since I started testing the iRestore Laser Hair Growth System. Every other day I’ve worn the helmet for a 25-minute session. I did miss a couple days when I was on vacation this summer, but other than that, I’ve been diligent in keeping up with the routine so I could do a real review to see if their claim of thicker and more hair in 16 weeks of using this product was true. As you can tell from the collection of images above, I don’t think the iRestore made my hair grow any faster or thicker and it did not as far as I can tell, cause new hair to grow in the thin spots on the top of my head.
Having said that, I can’t be 100% certain that anything can help my hair become thicker. I think my issues stem from the different chemo drugs that I was on. My hair has never been as thick as it was before it fell out 5 years ago.
So there is help that the iRestore can help people, I just don’t see that it helped me – at all.