10 treatments/terrible results

Hello. I am new to this forum and I am so glad I found it. I have learned a lot of good information.

I am a 28 y/o female with fair skin and dark hair. There were some hairs I wanted to get rid of on my sideburns and chin (as well as my bikini), so I decided to get laser done. I went to what I think is a good place. They use an alexandrite laser (Gentle Lase Plus). I had excelent results in my bikini area after just a few treatments. However, my face has had terrible results.

I have treated the area 10 times and I have had massive hair growth…hair I never had before in my life. I guess I was a bit naive to have gone 10 times, but every time I told the technician that I was growing more hair, she would explain it was because she needed to go higher and would treat me each time with higher power.

I don’t have PCOS or any hormonal imbalances.

I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced something similar?

Is this normal?

I just hope I haven’t done any permanent damage. I am going to look into having electrolysis done.

Sorry for the long note, but I am just really concerned.

I wish I could look like I did before.

What type of hair did you have on your face, thin or coarse? What fluence and spot size was used, same or different compared to your bikini?

The hair was light and fine, with a few darker hairs mixed in (which is what I wanted to get rid of). I have no idea what the fluency or spot size was. I know they were using higher power on my face than on my bikini because the tech told me. Now they are using 30 on my face…not sure what that means.

Electrolysis is always better for selective treatment of thick hairs that are surrounded by insignificant hairs.

Unfortunately, I learned that the hard way.

Light thin hair should not be treated by the laser. It just does not absorb enough energy to be burned. Gentle Lase Plus is a good laser, but in the hands of a professional, not just someone who wants to make money.

maybe IPL works better for fine hair of light colour than laser?

I repeat, for selective removal of hairs, Electrolysis is the best choice. Light based removal efforts can’t help but treat sections of skin that are not a part of the wanted treatment area. This can lead to unwanted side effects including darkening hairs, lightening skin, and increased hair growth in the treatment area.

Well, the hair growing in now is dark, long, and a lot thicker than it was before. Yet the laser does not seem to get rid of it. Wouldn’t this kind of hair make me an ideal candidate for laser?

Maybe I should start reading the electrolysis forum.

Hi I am a new user and have had a similar experience to this. I tried the Intense light pulse laser as a beautician near by was having a promotion. It worked great on my bikini, legs and under arms… i had been doing eletrolysis for years and whilst the results were good they were slow. I tried sideburns and when doing the treatmenst she also did my china nd further down my neck.

After a few months i started growing dark course hairs - i’d never had these previoulsy and they were growing so qthat i wasnt able to keep up with the electrolysis. Also, as alot of hairs had grown on my neck, id get red marks which lasted a long time. 4 weeks later and i still have some marks.

A new salon has opened up and uses a machine called luminex - square intense light pulse. I cant keep un with electrolysdis as the money im spending and the pain is not paying off - i did an hour recently and got rid of most - 10 days later it was all back. Im going to give this a try and see how i go - i am waiting on blood test results to see if any of this is hormonal - you’re not alone!

Well, it’s nice to hear I am not the only one. But do you really think a different laser will make a difference?

How many treatments did you do with laser already?

I really think laser just stimulates more hair in certain areas. No matter how “high” they go, the hair just keeps coming back.

Maybe you didn’t go to a good electrologist.

The electrolysis forum on this website seems to have a lot of success stories.

Well, let me know how the new laser treatments turn out…if they get rid of your hair then maybe I’ll try it.

I’ve only tried one so far - I have had many many eletrolysis treatments - previously, the marks would heal afetr a week or so - but it seems that on my neck, where the layer of skin is much thiner, the marks take much longer to clear up…

I will keep u updated on the laser treatment and how it goes, not sure if it is new, teh website if u want to have a look is www.luminex.com.au

people practicing and promoting hair removal with lasers should all be put in jail and be treated like common criminals. i have had a similar experience on my face. i curse the moment i ever had laser and the person who thought that touching fine light coloured hair with lasers was the right thing to do. don’t have high hopes in electrolysis either. it is highly unlikely that you’ll get no pits no matter how skillfull the electrologist is. i say to myself that what we are going through now is our punishment for not accepting ourselves the way we are.

Hi Isabel:

I had ten laser sessions on my face with the Lightsheer Laser Diode, and it did get rid of some of the hair which was pretty dense to begin with. I was getting a fair amount of dark regrowths and the white hairs stuck around.

But after that I switched to regular electrolysis. It is slower, since it takes hours instead of minutes. I am up to 52 hours and it seems to be doing the trick. It works, but aftercare is important as well as sticking with the schedule.

As for the other posters comment about being punished for not accepting ourselves. That is one way to look at it, but a bit negative. I try to look at it as something I need to do. Society does not look kindly on women with facial hair, and that is probably something wrong with society, but part of the world we live in. Also I am a TS, and society won’t accept me very very readily either, especially if I have a beard. It is bad enough to be a target for jokes without giving people more ammo.


StillTrying - I checked out the luminex website and it definitely sounds like something new or at least nothing I have heard of. Maybe you should post a message asking if anyone has heard of it or has had experience with it. I hope it works for you and I look forward to your updates!

Vanessa - I know exactly how you feel. My boyfriend (who I have a long distance relationship with) was visiting for the Holidays. One day, he slept over my house and when I woke up in the morning he said “hey, you have something on your face…looks like a black and blue.” I went running to the mirror and almost died when I realized I had stubble growing on the sides of my face. It looked like a 5 o’clock shadow!..something I had NEVER experienced before. I told my b/f it was a cream I had applied the night before, hid the stubble with my hair and went running to get a laser treatment. The people at the laser clinic were very nice and admitted this had occurred to a couple of clients. But this did not make me feel better. I had spent over $1,000 to be much hairier than I was before. I realized that I really wasn’t that hairy before and that I should NOT have tried to get rid of the few hairs I had. Just like you, I felt this was my punishment for being vain. I couldn’t believe no one ever warned me this could occur. I started to do research on the internet (something I should have done before I started laser - not after) and that is how I found this forum. After a few days I decided that being angry is not going to get me anywhere. I made a mistake and now I have to move forward. I remind myself and thank God that my only problem is being hairy. There are so many people out there who have serious problems like cancer or children who lose limbs from land mines or tsunami victims. I am optimistic that electrolysis will work for me (maybe you just haven’t found a good electrologist - the electrolysis forum has some really good success stories). If electrolysis doesn’t work then I’ll have to live with being hairy just like Frida Kahlo did. It is a shame that we live in a society that requires us to be hair-free.

Alicia - I am glad to know electrolysis is working for you after 10 laser treatments. I was a bit concerned because I heard electrolysis does not work as well with people who have done laser. By the way, do you live in the NYC area? I am looking for a good electrologist around NYC.

I believe that it is impossible for laser, or any other type of hair removal, to cause thicker and/or new hair growth. Many people think shaving causes thicker hair to grow in, but this is only perceptual; stubble looks thicker than longer growth. I have had 8 laser treatments on my legs, and am very pleased with the results. I have also had 200+ hours of electrolysis, mostly on my face, and am also happy with that. Both modalities have their place. If I were to start my face today, I would do laser and follow up with electrolysis as neccessary.

Hi Isabel:

I am sorry to hear about how being somewhat hairy has affected you. You are right though, that some people have more serious problems, compared to this, so we should put it in perspective a little.

I do think electrolysis will work for you, as I am sure my hair problem was much worse than yours is, and it is working for me. Just stick to a schedule and be patient.
If you follow the preparation and aftercare routines you will be fine.

I am from Canada, so don’t know New York. You may want to check out the referral section.

I am not saying that laser won’t work for some situations, but it doesn’t get rid of all facial hair permanently. I need permanent hair removal for my face.
I do think it may have reduced the amount of electrolysis needed in my case, but it is costly.


Perhaps the message gets distorted around here because of all the back and forth. The beef between LASER and Electrolysis is that while Electrolysis is permanent hair removal, and proper treatment will kill every hair every time given the correct treatment schedule, LASER has a very different potential and less predictability. Form a marketing point, LASER advertising always makes sure that one can mistake what they are saying to mean “Come get LASER, or Light Based Treatment, and get permanent hair removal of all your unwanted hairs, at speeds electrolysis can’t match, and at a price that is worth it considering you will get the same or better results than electrolysis.” The truth is that most science says that the best you can do in the perfect situation is to get a 60% reduction of your hair problem, and then you will need to get electrolysis to finish anyway. A cost analysis sometimes (often?) says that one could have done the whole thing in electrolysis for what one paid the LASER person to do a portion of the job. On top of this, they call electrolysis outdated, and silly, when they are NOT ABLE TO MATCH OR BEAT what electrolysis offers.

Lastly, most places never tell those coming to their door what possible negative side effects they could experience until one happens to the client/patient. At least most electrologists tell their clients up front (though no one listens) that it will take time, one needs to keep the schedule to keep the treatment as cost effective as possible, and if anything goes wrong with either treatment or after care, some skin distress, including some long term (3 months?) problems can develope.

With weasle words and carful jumbling of sentences, LASER ads often say “LASER is your PERMANENT SOLUTION for your hair removal problem” without making it clear that they can’t remove all your hair, nor can they avoid treating skin that doesn’t need it when the problem is scattered hairs, which is what most people are seeking when they lay their money down. Hair Removal Clients want full removal of all the unwanted hairs, with no lasting side effect other than loss of the offending hair! When they find out about the Ifs Ands, and Buts of LASER treatment, they say, WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME THAT BEFORE I PAID $X.00 for a guarantee that means little in the real world?

If they advertised it as what it is, and not an idealized view of what people want it to be, we would not have such heated arguments here. For some people, LASER is an effective way to shortcut their journey to being totally hair free. It just won’t happen without a trip to the electrologist in the end.

I just don’t like the way that no one can tell you how the treatment will effect your skin prior to treatment with any certainty, and what ever happens is just something you will have to live with when it is done.


A few years ago, I asked someone for a quote on electrolysis, and got some person on the phone who seemed like they could care less. They gave me some ridiculous quote which amounted to $35,000.00 CDN.

I didn’t think that made a lot of sense economically, and besides that didn’t really care for the persons attitude.

Then close to two year ago, when I realized I had to get this done, I heard all of the laser advertising. I did do my research somewhat, and read that it actually is hair reduction, not removal, and the permanence was doubtful.

It seems like it will be promising if one has dark hair, but in spite of having predominantly dark hair with some greys, I still got what I would consider significant regrowth of dark hairs, plus the grey/white ones were still there in abundance.

I did a calculation on what I spent on the laser, and for that I could have gotten an additional 68 hours of regular electrolysis.

Neither treatment is really what I would call a treat, but I opted in the end for the electrolysis, since I need to be rid of all of the hair permanently. I felt the laser would have worked after 10 sessions if it was going to work. I followed the correct schedule and all too.

The positives are, that I learned something, and also that my electrolygist also did the laser, so I got to be familiar with her at least. That is better than starting with someone new who doesn’t know me.


I think that laser works great on certain areas like, bikini, legs and underarms where there is very thick hair. I had a great experience doing laser in my bikini area and I haven’t seen a hair there in many months…almost a year.

When I started doing laser I knew it was “hair reduction” not permanent, but what occurred to me was beyond it not being permanent. It stimulated hair growth. The hair began to grow dark, thick and long when originally it was thin and very light brown. And it really upsets me that no one warned me about this before I began laser. I never would have done laser on my face had I known it could stimulate hair growth.

And for the person who posted above saying it is “impossible” for laser to cause thicker or new hair…I am BEYOND convinced that it does. It is not my imagination… I have shown the hair to friends who haven’t seen me in a long time and they freak out and ask me what happened??? Also, the laser place I go to even admitted it has happened to some of their clients and that the face is very difficult to treat. I just wish they had told me that before I began laser - NOT after 10 treatments.