Bleaching allowed before treatment? Other advice?

I’m researching electrolysis and laser treatments for my dark facial hair. I’ve stop plucking my chin and am tiring of shaving there daily, and staying out of the sun here in Florida is starting to get difficult now, so it is time to take action.
I’ve done electrolysis before, years ago, but it’s all grown back now. I just don’t see getting my cheeks (beard) done by electrolysis, except the few very coarse, wiry hairs, just because of the sheer volume. Even when I was getting weekly treatments we never got past upper lip, chin, jawline.
So I’m looking for a good laser option but meanwhile I have to bleach about every three weeks. Is that a problem, or do I need to stop before laser treatment?
Thanks for the advice.

  • You’re not approaching this correctly. It’s not an “either or” type of deal. Laser only works on certain type of hair and skin. If you don’t have that certain type, then your only option is electrolysis. However, electrolysis is not undoable like you describe. There are various methods of it, machines, and skill levels of electrologists. You didn’t have a good experience, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to have a great one.

  • Now, laser only works on hair that’s BOTH dark AND coarse AND dense, i.e. if you’re female, you need to have pretty much male type beard growth to attempt laser. How many hairs do you estimate you have? How many of them are coarse like underarm hair and cause a shadow when shaving? Are they dense?

  • Did you have a hairfree period after you finished electrolysis? For how long? Did you go in for a year or treatments, regularly, when you had it? Hair doesn’t “grow back” if it was treated properly. However, if you have an underlying condition causing the growth in the first place and it’s not treated, your body will continue producing NEW hair. That will be a part of any plan you undertake, so you need to look into the root of the problem, pun intended. Have you ever seen an endocrinologist to get tests for PCOS, if you have the symptoms and seriously dense and coarse beard-like growth?

I will try to sort this out.
I got electrolysis probably 20 years ago at various locations (I was in the Navy and moved around a lot). Some good, some bad (paid plucking). Some once (bad), at the most maybe several months at one shot. Never have I been “hair-free” because that would take years of twice-weekly 30-min treatments, in my estimation.
I do have very coarse, thick dark hair and the worst is on my chin, where most of my electrolysis was focused. However, it is not very dense there, which I attribute to the “good” electrolysis I did get, and I definitely have reduced amount of very wiry hairs on my jawline. The upper lip hairs are a bit finer, but reduced in density as well. The cheeks are finer and longer but very dense and I have to bleach or else I do look like a guy who needs to shave. I do get a bit of a 5 o’clock shadow now on my chin because my hair grows so darned quickly, but I can live with it because it is not that dense. I’m too scared to shave my upper lip, so I just bleach. None of these areas are my definition of “fine” or “fuzz”.
I have had medical testing done but there was nothing conclusive and I don’t have any other symptoms of PCOS (especially in the area of fertility), other than being overweight, but that’s a fairly common problem. That was all military medicine, though, so my confidence level in my non-diagnosis is pretty low, however my current doctor doesn’t think I have anything either.
After all the reading here and the hairfacts website, it seems that electrolysis will be my best bet for my chin and maybe upper lip. Laser for my other shaved areas (underarm, bikini). I’m also tired of shaving my toes, but I haven’t seen pricing for that! Cheeks - I just don’t know.
Thanks for your help. It’s making me think about a good strategy.

  • I would look up who’s a good endocrinologist in your area and do some tests again, just to be sure. PCOS and hormonal conditions are hard to diagnose and many doctors dismiss it easily.

  • It sounds like only your chin would be fit for laser treatments, but since it’s such a small area and you still need to treat other areas on your face, I would just go for electrolysis there from the start. It won’t take years. Good electrolysis takes about 12 months of consistent treatments. And that doesn’t mean that you’ll be going in every 2 weeks for that year. You should schedule long treatments in the beginning to clear the entire area you want hairfree. After that, you come in about once every two weeks to kill the hairs that come in by then, so you always kill them when they’re weak and you’re always hairfree. After only a couple months, these treatments will get shorter and spaced less frequently. By the end of the year, you’ll only be coming in once every 4 weeks or so.

  • I would recommend looking for electrologists using newer computerized epilators like Apilus for example and those who use thermolysis method, which is fastest type of electrolysis. You didn’t indicate your location, but run a search here for your city and you’ll probably see some recommendations in previous threads.

  • Laser is great for areas with dense coarse growth like underarms and bikini. So yes, definitely do laser on those areas. They’ll probably do a shot on your toes for free.

  • Shaving does nothing to the hair structure.