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Capillus vs. illumiflow

There are many different brands of laser caps on the market today.

Before you buy your laser cap, you’ll want to make sure you understand the differences between laser therapy caps and helmets.

Luckily, we’ve done the research for you.

Capillus is a premium brand that was introduced into the low-level laser therapy market many years ago.

Capillus manufactures and sells many different devices—for the sake of an equal comparison, we will be comparing the Capillus 272 pro laser cap with the illumiflow 272 laser cap.

Number of Laser Diodes

illumiflow vs. Capillus 

Both the illumiflow 272 and Capillus 272 laser caps utilize 272 class 3R laser diodes, producing a 650nm wavelength at 5mW each.

This is the desired specification to treat androgenic/androgenetic alopecia.

The reason why the two products are equal in this regard, has to do with the fact that they are both FDA-cleared.

The specification is what all class 3R laser devices are judged against when determining FDA-clearance eligibility.

The illumiflow 272 laser cap’s FDA clearance was predicated upon the Capillus 272—in other words, in order to achieve FDA clearance, the illumiflow 272 laser cap had to meet the same specifications and requirements as the Capillus pro laser cap.

A series of lab tests confirmed that the performance of the illumiflow 272 laser cap matched that of the Capillus 272, and so it was granted its FDA clearance.

Both the illumiflow 272 and Capillus 272 emit the same laser light needed to help stop thinning hair loss—this has been confirmed by both organizations.

illumiflow and Capillus Value

illumiflow vs Capillus 

We are often asked why there is such a large price disparity between the Capillus 272 and illumiflow 272 if they are technically “the same.”

First, let's talk price:

- illumiflow 272 laser cap: $799 (detail here)

- Capillus 272 Pro laser cap: $2999

That means the Capillus 272 is nearly 4x as much as the illumiflow 272.

Perhaps you might be thinking that the reason is due to a matter of quality or technical differences, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Rather, the difference is in product distribution and marketing.

The primary differences between Capillus and illumiflow are price and distribution methods.

Since Capillus entered the market first, they were only able to distribute their products through brick-and-mortar retail locations (doctor’s offices, retail stores, etc.).

To accommodate these various levels of distribution, a higher market price must be maintained to ensure that each level of distribution is profitable.

This means that the Capillus 272 has several levels of markup.

For example: Capillus sells to a distributor (first level of markup), the distributor sells to a retail outlet (second level of markup), and the retail outlet sells the product to the end user (third level of markup).

Additionally, maintaining the various levels of distribution is very expensive. Capillus is very successful with this method of distribution, which is why they maintain their nearly $3,000 price tag.

Illumiflow does things differently, however.

Taking the alternative route, when illumiflow was FDA-cleared, it was decided that the model of distribution would be direct-to-consumer.

What this means is that illumiflow products are sold directly to the end user, with just one level of markup.

This is why the illumiflow laser cap is less than a third of the price of the Capillus 272.

Laser Cap Design & Usage

illumiflow (flashing laser light stream) vs. Capillus (continuous laser light stream)

Another difference between these two LLLT caps is that the Capillus laser cap must be worn every day for six minutes, whereas the illumiflow laser cap can be worn every other day for thirty minutes.

Why is there such a difference in treatment times?

If the laser quantity and output are equal, you may be wondering why this disparity exists.

Here’s the answer:

A manufacturer may choose either a continuous laser light stream, or a flashing laser light stream.

When a continuous laser light stream is utilized, treatment times may be shorter, but require daily use in order to receive the proper treatment on a weekly basis.

However, when flashing lasers are used, the treatment times are longer, but daily use is not required.

The truth is, one way isn’t better than the other; both methods provide the proper amount of treatment on a weekly basis.

Historically, more devices and clinical studies were completed with flashing lasers.

Additionally, flashing lasers allow for greater heat dissipation.

Illumiflow chooses to follow the historically documented method of flashing lasers.


Laser Quantity Laser Output Session Time Cost FDA Cleared?
Illumiflow 272 272 650nm @ 5mW 30 minutes, every other day $799 Yes
Capillus 272 272 650nm @ 5mW 6 minutes, every day $3,000 Yes

So there you have the differences between Capillus and illumiflow laser caps, which should make your decision pretty easy.

Again the illumiflow is less than 1/3 the cost and you can start shopping below.

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If you have further questions about LLLT (Low-Level Laser Therapy) for hair growth, or our products, product comparisons, please check out our FAQ section or contact us below!

Call Our Illumiflow Team at (800) 869-1503

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