Trichologist Sally-Ann Tarver and Laser Therapy

sallyanntarver2As a practising Trichologist of 18 years, a degree of scepticism is healthy when considering new hair loss treatment to offer patients. I have been working with hair loss patients, both men and women since opening my own clinic in 1997 ( A lot of my focus has been in helping women particularly as it was my own hair loss which led to my interest in the profession as a teenager.

Many years ago I recall watching a documentary called Bald (channel 4 I believe) the program tested a number of hair loss treatments over a six month period including Minoxidil, Finasteride, hair restoration surgery and clinical laser therapy. In fairness, the test period was not really long enough, particularly for Finasteride and hair restoration surgery. The program showed the volunteers over the test period and how they felt about the treatments. The volunteers were fairly disappointed with their results (as the test period was too short!) except one, the laser volunteer expressed his satisfaction and willingness to continue with his treatment.

I had no experience of using lasers as a hair treatment and had expected the programs laser candidate to show little or no improvement. However, his before and after video shots were really rather impressive. My thoughts following the program were probably the same as every other Trichologist watching the program – the results must have been fixed!

Some months later a patient called in to my office to purchase some shampoo he’d bought at his last appointment. His hair looked thicker and I asked which of the treatment options he’d chosen following our last meeting. He replied none of them but had been visiting a laser clinic twice a week for the last 6 months. Although it had cost him a small fortune, his hair was quite obviously much thicker.

I started to research low level laser therapy (LLLT) as an alternative hair loss treatment to offer patients. The cost of these machines even almost 10 years ago was shocking. If I bought one I would need to charge more for a treatment than I was comfortable with and for it to be effective people would need to visit twice a week. Not really conducive to the lives of most working people and even less so to patients who travel from far and wide to see me.

There was not much available on the market for home use at that time. There were numerous hand held devices available, some powered by light emitting diodes (LED’s) which have no therapeutic effect on hair growth or loss – (and that’s not just me being sceptical!). The light emitted by LEDs is not focused in a beam like a laser – it disperses and therefore cannot penetrate the skin. With all my researching I found nothing I could comfortably offer to my patients.

Over time home laser therapy appeared to improve. Units came onto the market which enabled large areas of the scalp to be treated at the same time, more like a clinical machine. However, some manufacturers were still using LED’s or at least partially. Some got the wavelength and laser diode power right but then used so few of them that coverage would not be sufficient. Some used enough lasers but the units were so expensive I didn’t think many patients would benefit; the cost perhaps being deemed excessive to the average persons’ budget. I was looking for something which had enough lasers built in at the right wavelength (650 -670nm), the right power per laser (5mw minimum), rechargeable and hands free and realistically priced for the consumer.

Then one evening early 2014 while surfing the web, I found something exciting… I found Theradome!