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Can Lasers Zap Baldness? One Woman Thinks So

(CBS) -- Losing your hair? It happens to a lot of men and a surprising number of women.

Many people just live with it. Some try transplants, others medication. But CBS 2's Roseanne Tellez  looks at the story of a woman who was helped by a different option: lasers.

Dr. Anita Buckler lost her hair when she was treated for a brain tumor. But something amazing happened: Her hair grew back.

"Obviously, it was very, very successful," Buckler said. "I am ecstatic about it."

The success came from treatment with a low energy laser. It worked because she still had some surviving hair follicles. Anita spent half an hour a week under an array of over 100 laser diodes. Five months later, she had a full head of growing hair.

"It's about 90 percent effective to help people stop losing hair," says Dr. Robert Reese.

He also says the laser stimulates better circulation for patients who get hair transplants.

A hair follicle is an organ that requires a blood supply, Reese says.

The manufacturer, Sunetics, recently added a laser hair brush to its product list. The  Price tag is around $800, but it only has one-tenth the number of laser diodes.

Anita is tremendously relieved to have her hair back. 

"For women, it's really a big self-image thing," she said.

Because Anita  still had surviving follicles, skeptics might say her hair might have grown back, anyway. Dr. Kevin Pinski has been treating baldness for years and says while  results with the lasers have been impressive in the laboratory, he's still not convinced they help  grow hair on human heads.

"I think it holds some promise. But I wouldn't tell all my patients to go out at this point and sign up for the laser treatment for hair loss," he said.

Even Anita's doctor says  her results were incredible and not everyone would have such a dramatic outcome. Costs for the laser can be as high as several hundred dollars per half hour session.

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