Efficacy of fractional lasers in treating alopecia: a literature review

Marina Perper, Adam S. Aldahan, Rachel A. Fayne, Christopher P. Emerson, Keyvan Nouri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Hair loss stemming from different types of alopecia, such as androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata, negatively affects over half the population and, in many circumstances, causes serious psychosocial distress. Current treatment options for alopecia, such as minoxidil, anthralin, and intralesional corticosteroids, vary efficacy and side effect profiles. It is known that low-level laser/light therapies (LLLT), or photobiomodulations, such as the US FDA-cleared HairMax Lasercomb®, He-Ne laser, and excimer laser, are relatively affordable, user-friendly, safe, and effective forms of treatment for hair loss. While less is known about the effectiveness of fractional lasers for combating hair loss, research suggests that by creating microscopic thermal injury zones, fractional lasers may cause an increase in hair growth from a wound healing process, making them potential therapeutic options for alopecia. A literature review was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of fractional lasers on hair regrowth. The specific fractional laser therapies include the 1550-nm nonablative fractional erbium-glass laser, the ablative fractional 2940-nm erbium:YAG laser, and the ablative fractional CO2 fractional laser. Additional randomized controlled trials are necessary to further evaluate the effectiveness of the lasers, as well as to establish appropriate parameters and treatment intervals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1919-1925
Number of pages7
JournalLasers in Medical Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Ablative
  • Aerata
  • Alopecia
  • Androgenic
  • Fractional
  • Hair loss
  • Lasers
  • Nonablative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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