Contradictory indications abt hypertrichosis' risk if laser treatment. What next?

Hello everyone!

For starters, thank you very much for this forum. I discovered it almost one week ago and since that moment I’m spending a few hours reading your interesting threads each evening. It’s providing a lot of help and hope. Furthermore, as a Frenchman (26), it seems almost unbelievable to alone conceive the mere possibility of an interaction between professionals and patients, all the more so deep, reliable and knowledgeable. Here in France corporatism, secret and knowledge retention rule.

So much for the introduction – in a nutshell, all my gratefulness. I have eventually decided to post here because I would like to get feedback on the probability of paradoxical hypetrichosis after/during the LASER depilation of the back/shoulders/back of the neck.

I have been having a major complex w/ my hair in those zones for now 6 years, but it’s admittedly not relevant to go into detail, at least for now. Since I am now working after long studies and earning enough to allow me to deal w/ this critic problem, I decided to finally undergo a long-run and radical treatment in the hope of being one day done w/ the hairs. As a result, I have booked several appointments in LASER clinics for some free consultations w/ (alleged) medical advising and (mainly) cost estimate. As most of you do know - mainly through the precious feedback and work of Adrien, whom by the way I also owe substantial acknowledgement -, there is a lot of laserists in France but scarcely a single affordable electrologist. By unaffordable I don’t aim here at the price per hour dedicated but at the number of hairs done, and overall at the time-framing of the method, which, if I understood you properly, would rather require at best daily or weekly marathons. Anyway, here in Paris I must practically restrain myself to “laserists”, ie physicians of which just a few are dermatologists (there are some nutritionists, generalists, surgeons and a lot of other medical first and main specialties, I guess) but that in practice do not operate but just supervise carelessly from afar the work of probably badly-paid female practitioners who, of course, have experienced and understand a lot more.

I have already seen two laserists this week and, as they have expressed diametrically opposed diagnostic over my hair-type (and as a consequence over the suitable treatment!), I would like to get some advice on this forum, since as said earlier I am convinced that you are not only more experienced and knowledgeable but also far more reliable and honest on those matters. So :

-the 1st doctor I saw yesterday told me that my hair on those 3 zones (back/shoulders/neck) aren’t dense and stabilized enough to be lasered efficiently and durably ; it would just even the type of hair, which is now threefold (vellus, intermediary, terminal), in vellum, probably more dense, hence numerous. However he didn’t speak of paradoxical hypetrichosis or anything alike. Accordingly to him, I should or 1) make 2 laser sweeps on those zones per year to make the hair less visible or (rather) 2) just wax and wait 5-12 years. It was deeply frustrating but maybe more honest.

-The 2d doctor, that I saw today, told me that my hair were perfect for the laser, although I was under the slight impression that he would have said that anyway before me even unbuttoning my shirt. When I dared to inquire about possible paradoxical effects he just dismissed my concerns by saying: “hypertrichosis almost only appears to women w/ PCOS and you don’t ovaries, do you (sic, incredible!)?”. And then, ostentibly face-pulling: “where have you seen this information?”. He then reassured me without committing himself in any way: “I don’t say that it cannot open but here we reason statistically and there is just about 10% chance that laser triggers biostimulation, ie nothing”. To my mind, 10% is not nothing (!) and now I just don’t know what to do. I overlooked specifying that this second clinic was one of the only 2 Parisian ones that do both electrolysis and laser depilation. When at the very beginning of the consultation I told the physician that I would tend to think of electrolysis as more suitable and would prefer it, he dismissed it likewise, saying that it would last for uncountable years, that I am far too hairy (when the first clinic said on the contrary that even a lot of my hair are coarse, long and black they are not really dense in comparison w/ the clients they are used to treat, and added that they reject 2 of 3 males under 35 or so).

What do you think? Would you say that the first doctor is right and that the hypetrichosis risk is high? I would of course prefer electrolysis but it’s difficult here. Electrolytic treatments are rare and I assume very costly and uneffective in the long-run, again because of the time-framing, not because of the therapeutic method itself.

Sorry for the length of the post and thank you for every advice or feedback. Again thank you in any case for all the valuable info you share here.

Best regards!

PD: I’ll be trying to upload some pictures very soon if you need them. I just got a call from another center that this time want to submit me to a consistent and free skin (phototypic) test prior to establishing a cost estimate without commitment. I hope it will be interesting too: 1st doctor didn’t let me see which phototype he ticked in his medical sheet; 2nd doctor told me that I was between phototypes II and III.

Here the pictures of the zones I would like to be targeted. Hope the resolution is not too bad, sorry for the contorsions.

back left%20shoulder low%20back middle%20back neck right%20shoulder top%20back%20(2) top%20back%20and%20neck%20close top%20back%20and%20neck top%20back%20close top%20back

Hello and welcome! I am so glad the forum has been helpful and interesting so far. Based on your photos you appear to be an ideal laser candidate. You have dark hair and fairly light skin. I recommend doing some test patches before committing to a series of treatments. My best guess is that you will see about 2/3 reduction after a series of 4 to 6 sessions performed correctly.

Hi there ,

I would agree with Andrea. It is extremely rare to get paradoxical hypertrichosis on European men - I’ve only seen one European guy with laser stimulation in my 15 years of practice . You also seem to have developed your hair growth potential so it doesn’t have much room to get worse. However, looking at pictures and at the actual skin are 2 different things and i can’t be 100% sure, but I’m keen on doing laser on this area first and finish it with electrolysis.
With regards to which doctor to work with, go with you gut feeling , it never lies.
Good luck.

The risk of laser induced growth in men is very hard to tell. Yes it does happen but how many robust studies are out there that track this to predict the probability? My guess is that there is no epidemic of laser clinics creating all these side effects on mass scale otherwise we would see it by now.
You don’t have very dense hair but your hair is dark and skin is light so I’d say it would not be bad to try. You have to accept that laser will not give you smooth results but you will see a reduction. Since you’re in contact with Adrien I assume he has given you options electrolysis costs etc… near your region.
Do this, start treatment on one side of your body for 6 months. If you don’t see sudden changes, then you can assume you won’d develop more hairs. When you complete all treatments, be prepared to do annual treatments once or twice a year to keep hairs away. That is still better than regular waxing. The difficult part is finding clinics that use good laser technology and not just IPL and use aggressive settings to increase chance of successful treatments. With correct settings, you will most likely need numbing creams because if it doesn’t hurt, it’s not killing the hair follicles.

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Bienvenu sur le forum !

Laser induced paradoxical hair growth can appear on male, especially on shoulders and back. I am still very young in this profession, but I already saw 2 cases of LIPHG on young male after the attempted several laser session.

In France, if you ask about paradoxical hair growth, almost no doctor know it, or they will tell you it is so rare… however I treat so many case of young women suffering from LIPHG, I wonder why doctors are still blind about this serious issue.

Laser is a great technology, but treating hormonal related areas (zones hormono-dépendantes), especially on young people, is very difficult and without any guarantee.

I hope Electrolysis will be more accessible in France in the future. Maybe for the next generation?

I agree to Geri that you “seem to have developed your hair growth potential so it doesn’t have much room to get worse”

Just ensure to do patch tests for different areas at least a few days before commening the real session. The most important thing is the therapist use high efficacious settingS


with my research on Laser, you are correct, there is a 10% chance of stimulation. The latest paper I had researched on Laser, pointed out that reduction means reduction in the size of the hair. Personally I would treat your back with Galvanic Multi probe and have no risk and 100% result.Yes, it will take time, 12-18 months, however you are then done for life. its about choices that work for you.

Having just completed a case that included face and entire torso ( front back and shoulders/nape) in 24 months or less in a case here the client had experienced advanced paradoxal laser hair stimulation beforehand, with monthly treatments averaging 6 -8 hours of treatment per month using thermolysis, I wonder how this claim with galvanic stacks up in comparison wise when you consider total treatment time.How many hours of treatment total? I would have to check my records, but I calculated the worst case scenario for thermolysis at 194 hours TTT. when I know in reality it was closer to 150. All with perfect results and perfect outcome and one VERY happy client who early in the process had taken semesters off school so she wouldnt have to be seen with the hair. She graduated this spring and can be proud of her results both academically, and in increasing her own perception of self worth. She deserves that big smile.

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I find it interesting when people quote percentages risk of paradoxical hypertrichosis when the risk varies widely between Fitzpatrick skin types, ethicity, age, area and most importantly , the hair growth texture and density to be treated.
The clinic i used to work for 14 yrs ago were among the first to describe the phenomenon . Luckily, we had computer database , so we could easily enter the data and use it for analysis .
Highest risk of paradoxical hypertrichosis have people skin type 4 and darker , Mediterranean and darker, who have fine or mixture of fine and coarse growth on hormonally-sensitive area like face, shoulders, sides of torso, who have not completed their growth, or under 25.
All male clients i have treated with paradoxical hypertrichosis on the back, had really fine hair before laser treatment and just dark patches on the shoulders , but went for the whole back as it was the same price. They are either Mediterranean or Asian ( Indian, Pakistani).
However, i see many clients with growth that has gotten worse with laser due to poor laser technician skills, hence many new laser techs believe that there is no such thing as laser hair stinulation, just incompetent laser technicians.

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