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Home of the Laser Messiah® -the World's Greatest Laser Helmet for Hair Loss

Diffused vs. Undiffused (Dot) Laser Diodes for Hair Loss: Are Diffused Diodes More Effective? [...and why you should shy away from cheap generic diodes]

Illustration of diffused vs. dot lasers --you want DIFFUSED LASERS when you are fighting hair loss!
Ok, ok... not exactly the work of a professional graphic artist, but it DOES illustrate the point pretty well!!! :)
Lens caps remove power, cover less area, and we found devices with lens caps to be less effective.

...but it's sure helps the mass-marketed, inferior device companies from having to deal with customer problems!
Lens caps remove power, cover less area, and we found devices with lens caps to be less effective.

...but it's sure helps the mass-marketed, inferior device companies from having to deal with customer problems!
I thought I'd better address this since it get's an occasional question. People wonder why I chose to use diffused diodes vs. undiffused diodes, and if I think the "scatter" under the skin of undiffused laser energy is as effective as the "blanket effect" of undiffused diodes (please see "An Overview of Diodes, Power, Wavelengths, and Other Terminology!" for an explanation if you don't know what I'm talking about).

Well, it's patently obvious to even just the casual observer that the "diffused" pattern covers much more area and would be the most desireable (and yes, you've seen this picture before!):

Diffused vs. Dot -you want diffused when fighting hair loss!
Spoiler alert: you want the one on the LEFT when you are fighting hair loss!

What ISN'T patently obvious is that lens caps also make the diode WEAKER! Yes, the lens cap blocks and/or absorbs a significant amount of power!!! Wow... who knew?!

Lens caps significantly reduce power

We had a couple of AiXiZ professional grade 5mW/650nm diodes and one 5mW and one 10mW (for fun) cheap generic diodes tested by an independent third party company called "The LED Museum" (http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/). This is what they found:
Aixiz diode laser module #1 3.4596mW (lens on), 5.1708mW (lens off)
Aixiz diode laser module #2 3.5433mW (lens on), 5.0592mW (lens off)
Chinese diode laser module #1 3.9153mW (lens on), 10.7787mW (lens off)
Chinese diode laser module #2 1.8600mW (lens on), 4.0083mW (lens off)

So, wow, look at that. The AiXiZ 5mW diodes --the GOOD, PROFESSIONAL ONES-- were reduced to 66.9% power and 70.04% respectively. That's a solid 30%, or somewhere around 1.7mW!!! To put this in common terms, a lens cap takes away 30% of the power, and you might not even know it.

It's worse with the cheap, generic Chinese 5mW diodes. First of all, the output was only 4mW to begin with. Yes, these can vary, of course, but it's a full 1mW lower, and I don't think that is a fluke. Well, lookie lookie... it's reduced to 46.4%?! OVER HALF is taken away?! Wow...

So, another point here... these cheaper diodes that have flooded the market in recent years (which ARE NOT what the laser THERAPY industry wants --the word "therapy" being important here!) have less power, and the lens caps reduce even more energy. Also, many of these diodes are "dot" --meaning you can't remove the lens caps at all. So, BE WARNED --and I'd never touch them!

Ok, so if you know a lot about laser therapy, you could say "But OverMachoGrande... don't you say that you don't want strong diodes for mammalian skin/tissue?" Yes, that's true... but there are reasons why 5mW diodes are chosen. They penetrate to the depth of the hair follicle, and they are well tolerated by human skin/tissue. When you take away a lot of that power, you are going to lose that depth! Depth is a function of both wavelength and diode strength, and if you change one of them, you are going to impact things.

Also, perhaps more importantly, I speculate that these mass-marketed inferior device makers (that pretty much exclusively leave the lens caps ON their diodes, without fail!) probably don't even know any of that. In fact, the more I see their recommendations, their "funky math", etc., the more I'm appalled, and the more I realize that maybe I ventured into the wrong profession because I hate being sickened all day long!

So, with a weaker diode as a result of having the lens caps still on, you can increase the time to compensate (..but do the mass-marketed companies even know that?! I don't know.). You still are losing some depth, so it's not ideal.


Illustration of Dot vs. Diffused Laser Scatter -you want DIFFUSED for fighting hair loss!
I've left instructions that after my death, my artwork will be put on display in the Louvre.
First, let's look at this graphic, which is a basic interpretation of laser scatter under the surface of the skin.

Undiffused, dot lasers have a thin, tightly focused beam of energy. Yes, it's energy scatters under the skin in an elliptical "U" shape. I've heard reports that say it can spread energy and positively benefit an area as large as a 1/2 inch radius surrounding the impact point. I don't know how accurate that is -it could be far greater or far less for all I know- but we do know for a fact that it does at least positively stimulate surrounding tissue. I tend to believe that it would NOT stimulate as much as a 1/2 inch radius, though. That sounds like a little bit much, and direct exposure with the light actually hitting the tissue is what triggers the "good stuff" to happen anyway.

Diffused lasers have more of a "blanket" over the surface. The energy is less concentrated, but it does penetrate as deeply (the test proved that AiXiZ diodes have 5mW), and it does cover much more surface area.

As you see by the footprint graphic up above at the top of the article, a diode without a lens cap covers A LOT more area. Tissue responds to direct exposure of laser light energy. As far as I understand, it doesn't respond when the light is shining somewhere else. Yes, there are regional benefits, of course, but I'd prefer to have light stimulating as much area as possible, minimizing gaps and overlaps --and that's what we, of course, found to be more effective!

Other than being stupid, why would a company want to use DOT/UNDIFFUSED laser diodes?

First, let me talk about my business. I absolutely love to help people, and when I make a Laser Messiah II for someone, they are like FAMILY to me, and I think of that helmet as a part of me! It does me absolutely no good for someone not to have a working helmet (and obviously doesn't do them any good either!), so I go out of my way to keep it that way.

Also... because of the way I build my helmet (yes, with those crazy looking wires on top!), it makes it so it's EASILY USER SERVICEABLE --not to mention customizible and upgradeable.

Why am I mentioning all of this? ...because a lens cap obviously can protect the diode. If I was someone that didn't care whether or not someone had a malfunctioning diode, I would be tempted to put lens caps on just to ensure that there would be less problems. [Look, though, the fact is these diodes last years and years, though, and you shouldn't concern yourself with that if you just take BASIC CARE of my helmet! It's not an issue.]

If you, however, have a big mass-marketed inferior laser device company with hundreds of devices being sold a day (actually, I have no idea here how much they actually sell, nor do I care except I feel very bad that I can't possibly reach everyone).

So, the answer here would be that it offers more protection, and keeps a company from having to have a HUGE OVERHEAD for repairing device ---SINCE THE CUSTOMERS CAN'T SERVICE THEM THEMSELVES!!! Make sense?

Also, they probably just don't know! Ha ha... although they'd probably tell you otherwise!

Final words

Ok... which is more effective?? Let me remind you that when my group of fellas discovered all of this info about laser therapy (and presented it publicly in the forums), we literally were testing dozens of designs. Some had diodes on the surface, some had lens caps on, etc. What we ALWAYS FOUND was that the devices with the diodes slightly elevated off of the scalp without the lens caps had MUCH BETTER RESULTS. I mean, based on those numbers from the independent testing and just visually seeing the coverage difference, this is totally logical.

Because of the way of the world, there have never been any head-to-head tests between two devices -one with lens caps, one without, one elevated, one on the skin, all else being equal. I know, I know... we all used to be so naive. We'd think that clearly these big companies would have all sorts of rooms of scientists with all sorts of devices, conducting double-blind studies and finding out which exact method was the most effective. It does not happen this way ever --period. Companies make the devices they can easily make. That's why I'm different --I made the device that was based on the END RESULTS of our findings! It's hard to make (which is why there aren't any mass-marketed device like it), but obviously this is my passion. My calling! So, don't feel sorry for me! :)

There is one other point that you might not be aware of, and it's that some devices --stand devices, and even professional ones-- sometimes CAN'T use diffused diodes. If you have too much distance between your head and the laser, then the power will start to drop, the diode footprints will start to overlap, and it can be a big mess. So, this can be problematic.

With a HELMET, though, you can bob your head up and down, and move it sideways, forwards and backwards... the lasers MOVE WITH YOU --fixed at the same height! They are still located over that "piece of scalp", and that helps ensure that this "piece of scalp" under each diode gets into the window of energy, which is where the MAGIC HAPPENS!


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