Though its name may indicate otherwise, iGrow ain't your momma's Chia Pet. In fact, it's a high-tech hair growth system in the form of a laser-light helmet. And while it's been in the works for a few years, it's now the proud recipient of approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
More than 35 million men in the U.S. are afflicted with androgenetic alopecia, a condition commonly referred to as male pattern baldness, though it does occur in women as well. In men it can begin as early as the late teens, and it eventually affects more than half of men over the age of 50, while in women it doesn't usually kick in until after menopause.
The iGrow Hair Growth System works via 51 low-level red laser and LED lights to essentially re-energize cells in the follicles -- an approach called low-level laser therapy (LLLT) -- and has been shown to increase growth up to 39 percent after 16 weeks of therapy. Developer Apira Science says this is nearly twice as much growth at more than twice the speed of other LLLTs on the market.
It has been approved specifically for the promotion of hair growth in males with androgenetic alopecia and by prescription only, but Apira CEO Nicholas Brox said in a news release that the company is working on getting clearance for iGrow to be both over the counter and extended to women.
iGrow certainly has a lot going for it. It's hands-free, noninvasive, and boasts no known side effects, and it even comes with headphones so you can listen to your favorite tunes or talk shows while under the, er, laser.
The catch? It costs $695. But that includes a six-month money-back guarantee. Which is music to my ears.