Back hair removal (pic included) - Indian male

Hi all

First off just want to say what a great resource this website is. Countless people on here offering really good advice and I’ve been reading around the forums for some time now trying to make up my mind on laser hair removal.

I have an excessively hairy back (see pic!) and it continues onto my shoulders, upper arms and chest/belly area. The hair is long and pretty coarse too so good for LHR, but wondering about my skin tone? Am I too dark for treatment to work effectively?

The hair on my back causes real confidence issues - esspecially during the summer. I’ve tried waxing before but my back just breaks out in ‘bacne’ for a good 3/4 weeks afterwards and isn’t a viable long-term solution.

I’m based in london and looking for clinics which cater for indian skin. I’ve so far come across ‘viva medical clinic’ and ‘harley laser specialists’. Anybody have any experiences with them?

Really sorry if my post is rambling now. Just want to be totally sure before I commit.


…More than happy to post a closer picture if required. The hair in the foreground gives you some idea as to the density on my shoulders.

Thanks for your message and helpful photo.

Be sure to read the FAQ on laser treatments.

As an Indian, you’re at least a type IV. Your best bet would be an Nd:YAG laser.

Reviews of London clinics abound on HairTell. Run a search. Also, you might PM fellow contributer stoppit&tidyup. I recall from her posts she’s a type IV and has had Nd:YAG laser treatments in London.

Brilliant, thanks for your reply. I thought I would most likely be a IV based on my research. The thing I’m concerned about is my lower back which has hair but isn’t nearly as coarse or dark as my upper back. In the past I have just had my upper back waxed and it looks strange - like a ‘block’ of paler skin. If I am to get LHR I would get the whole back for the sake of completion but worried about the possibility of induced growth. What would look even more stranger is a relatively hair free upper back and hairy lower! Any thoughts?

Really appreciate any replies. It’s taken me a while to build up the courage and seriously think about going through with this.

You’re probably between IV and V and definitely need a Yag laser.

The hair on most of your upper back and on the sides is coarse as well as the hair all the way down at your lower back. But the parts in between are finer. I would ask the clinic to only treat the areas with coarse hair to avoid stimulating more growth on areas with finer hair.

You’ll need to follow up with electrolysis on the remaining finer hair after you’re done with laser, but I think you’ll already be very happy with the bulk of hair that laser will remove.

Yes, there are lots of discussions on London clinics here. You need one with a Yag laser, who is aggressive with settings.

Thanks for your reply laser girl. The hair on my torso grows in a strange way as the finer hair wraps around my body to the front/chest area. That means that even if I get the finer hairs on my back destroyed through electrolysis, it leaves a line of hair/non-hair from under my arm downwards if that makes sense??

Either way, I really think that its about time I get my upper back/shoulders/upper arms done as it isn’t really conducive to t-shirt wearing, let alone swimming!

Is it true that shoulder hair is particularly stubborn to get rid of?

And one final thing, what is the soprano xl laser like? A clinic I phoned recommended that and they say they treat indian people regularly and have had positive results.

Upper arms and shoulders can be stubborn in many cases, even when the hair is ideal. Usually more of an issue in the 20-30s crowd, as hair continues to develop.

As long as it’s coarse and thick, you’ll get results.

In my case (8 GentleLASE treatments), the back and shoulder hair became much finer and much less noticeable (85% reduction). My upper arms, however, got a 50-60% reduction.

Nonetheless, since the follicles were already partly disabled by the laser, electrolysis was a breeze.

Ahh thanks for that. I reckon a course of 6 laser treatments (or whatever the clinic suggests), and see how it goes. Result-depending (and money too!) I may just zap the rest with electrolysis.

That’s the trouble with my hair, it’s so bloody coarse and dark that it is so much more noticeable. It’s also quite long however. Can LHR reduce the length of hairs??

Although I can tell this treatment is going to cost a lot of money, it has been such a burden on me up until now that I think it will be fully worth it.

Thanks again for all your replies. Will aim to start a ‘diary’ too to keep you all informed with how it goes.

Electrolysis treats hair one at a time, so you can always get things blended in to look natural later. Just get treatments on the patches with coarse dense growth now.

No, LHR doesn’t reduce the length. It can make hairs finer or disable them altogether.

Soprano is not a great machine and it’s not the best machine for your skin type since it’s a diode. You need a YAG laser type.

Thanks for all your help guys. Any suggestions on what sort of strength and size I should get for my test patch? Want to make sure they are doing it right.

You should be asking them. Then post the settings here and we can tell you whether they’re aggressive enough. You want an experienced clinic who will use aggressive settings.

Hi all. Just thought I would upload a few more pics of the areas I want to get treated. Since my last post I have been doing a fair bit of research on the forums and talking to a few members. I’m just about ready to go for a consultation/test patch but just want some advice on a few more things. Firstly, induced growth…Been a lot of talk on here about it and a number of people have experienced it making the area a whole lot worse. However, the hair on my shoulders and upper arm is, I think, quite coarse/dense so will this be an issue for me? Also, if you take a look at my back picture, the top left of the back has very fine hair which I think will probably become induced if shaved and lasered off. When I have my consultation it is advisable for me to just have the ‘patches’ or coarse dark hair even though it will strange once the hair falls out and I’m left with an area of fine (although dark and noticeable) hair and then areas of no hair? Tbh, its the sort of length I wouldn’t mind the hair I’m trying to remove to be.

If you could take a look at the pics and leave any comments/advice/suggestions I would be extremely grateful! Quite nervous about induced growth as I really don’t have the money to follow it up with electrolysis if it all goes wrong.

One last thing, I’m going travelling in august/september next year (a good 18 months away from now). My goal is to be less hairy by then. Is this achievable? My worry is that I have laser up until a few months before and then need electrolysis to tidy things up but end up running out of time before I have to fly out. And I’m away for 6 months!

Sorry for this post has rambled a little. Just have a few things in my head I need to share before I start this process. Hope you understand!

top view of shoulders


back of shoulders/upper arm

upper arm

Thanks for the update and helpful photos.

You should be able to get at least 6-8 treatments within 18 months.

I do think, at a minimum, your upper arms would be better off with electrolysis. Very tough area to treat.

If you want to have all the hair gone by the time you leave, another idea is to forgo laser and start electrolysis NOW (preferably flash thermolysis). If you’d be willing to commit time up front to get clearances, you could be pretty much done within 18 months (perhaps earlier).

I know, after doing research I’ve realised that if I had delayed this any longer it may have been too late. I would love to get electrolysis done completely but there is no way I could afford to do it. Looking around it seems to cost around £50-60 an hour and I’ve read on here how long it can take. There’s just no way I could find that sort of money. If I did I would have a hairless back but wouldn’t be travelling anywhere!!

I take your point on the electrolysis for the arms though. Looking at prices on the internet upper arms are costing around £400 for a course of 6 treatments. Anyone know what the corresponding price for electrolysis would be? I know there are many many variables involved so difficult to accurately predict, but any sort of ball park figure would be great. Only this is, I don’t want to end up with hairless upper arms, then a diving line between that and my shoulders!!

So based on the photos, do you think the possibilities of induced growth is low? It’s pretty hairy now, I don’t want to tempt fate here but surely they can’t get any worse!!

Thanks again for your replies.

Electrolysis kills, on average, 5-10 hairs per minute. Since hair grows in cycles, and since the hair you see now is roughly a third or a quarter of what you have in total, you can get a rough estimate of the cost.

Electrolysis removes one hair at a time, so getting natural ‘fade’ wouldn’t be a problem - the electrologist can do that.

Induced growth is a phenomenon that has been observed, but cannot always be predicted. In general, it has been reported to occur in certain regions (upper arms, shoulders, face, etc) and in areas where growth is fine and sparse.

I would probably opt for good laser treatments on the coarse areas (like the flanks of your back), and concurrently begin electrolysis on the finer areas. That’s probably the most economical.

I like your i phone pictures. Laser for this area is a gamble. You will have to weigh things for yourself. If you could find a speedy electrologist, like Jossie from Spain, this would be knocked out for a full, first clearance quite nicely. It takes money either way. It takes 9-18 months either way. Electrolysis is for all colors of hair, all structures of hair, on every color of skin. There is no gambling with with induced hair growth either.

JMISR, you are indeed very helpful. Are you personally doing LHR?

I’ve seen Jossie’s work on here - I wish I lived in Spain, I would be signed up to her in an instant. But unfortunately, money constraints mean I will have to stick with laser for the foreseeable future. I think the flanks of my back, along my spine and along the top (in a ‘T’ shape) will be lasered and then as JMISR mentioned, enquire into electrolysis at the same time. Renew medica who I was looking at for laser also do electrolysis and they are the first people I’m booking a consultation with so can kill two birds with one stone and ask questions there.

Only thing I’m concerned about is how will the electrologist know what to blend from my upper upper arms to my shoulders if that makes sense?? Electrolysis may finish before my shoulders are done and then it will look odd.

Really appreciate your speedy replies btw. I know it’s incredibly difficult to give advice over the internet and especially with something as personal and with so many variables as hair removal. So thanks!

Thanks, Dee. Currently, I’m not doing LHR but may do so again in the future.

@divingin A competent electrologist will know how to blend the hair for a more natural look. It’s something you should discuss with whomever does your treatments.

Renew Medica’s electrolysis is hideously expensive as far as I know.

Yes, agreed. You can be involved as well while she/he is doing electrolysis, guiding the feathering process so all goes well. Talk to her/him about your involvement before you start. She / he should appreciate your help, after all, this is a partnership and you are the paying customer.