Electrolysis or LHR for the face? Images included

Hi everyone, I have been battling excess hair growth ever since I was a little girl. I am 23 years old now and it has gotten much worse over the years. The hair on my head is thick, I am not overweight, I have very clear skin, my periods are very regular but I am VERY hairy. In my blood work, my androgen levels were a lot higher than the normal female so my endocrinologist put me on diane-35 and spironolactone 50 mg/day since he said I have late-onset CAH. And every 6 months, he will double the dosage if I am reacting well which I am so far.

Ever since December 2012, I have been taking these medications religiously and I have been noticing that my body hair takes longer to grow after I shave or pluck. Also, some of the dark hair on my breast/nipples and stomach are thinning out. Sadly, the area of least improvement is my facial hair which I read is common when taking anti-androgens.

About 3 years ago, I did 4 LHR sessions on my face but I did not follow my techs recommended schedule of having the sessions spaced out every 4-6 weeks. After that, I could not afford more sessions so I stopped and just kept shaving. However, I still have patches of no hair growth as you can see in the images.

Now, I am really serious about removing my facial hair. I just don’t know whether I should choose LHR or electrolysis. I know that people with coarse/dark hair and light skin are ideal candidates for LHR and I think I fit that bill. However, I am scared if the laser induces any further hair growth since it is possible it can happen on the face.

After looking at some facial hair removal with electrolysis, most had redness and scabs after their sessions. I am really not sure how I can deal with that if I go to school 5 days/week. Also, there is a chance for scarring which I think is the worse outcome.

I am just not sure if I should go with LHR or electrolysis for my face. Any advice/comments are appreciated.

Here is my facial hair COMPLETELY grown out with no plucking:

Thank you for the excellent pictures.

So you had laser before and you still see a reduction, which is great. If you choose your electrologist carefully, you will not scar. It is not a common thing to get scarring, but we certainly hear about the fear of scarring enough around here.

When I look at your pictures, I can say that if you gave me 3-5 hours of your time, I could clear you, send you home and see you again in three to four weeks to clear the next group of hairs. If you keep a schedule similar to this to get new hair as it emerges soon there will be no more obvious hairs to treat. You need to be loyal to good schedule, with a professional electrologist, for 12-18 months to bring this under control. After that, with your hormonal situation, you will need short cleanups, 1-6 times a year perhaps.

To start with, you can go on a Friday afternoon, so you have two days to recover from your treatment. My clients may choose to do this in the beginning, but they soon discover that when the worst is behind them, they can have their appointments any day of the week.

Laser? You could try that again, but only if you are willing to take the risk of induced hair stimulation. You may be just fine. This doesn’t happen to everybody especially if high fluences are used in the beginning.

Personally, I know what I can do for my clients with electrolysis and I know there are many other great electrologists doing the same thing for their bearded ladies. The skin reaction doesn’t keep them in down time mode for long. For a marathon session, to clear the face, swelling is felt more than noticeable redness and scabs, but the swelling subsides within a couple days. I am very anti-scab for facial work, but if a few pinpoint scabs show up on day two, they are usually gone by day seven and that’s what I call a slam dunk outcome.

With electrolysis, the hair is treated and lifted out of the skin. With laser, you have to wait 1.5 weeks to 21 days for the hair to shed. You are on the table longer for an electrolysis session. Laser is over in less than an hour and you don’t need as many appointments. Electrolysis means complete hair removal, whereas, laser means a certain percentage of hairs will permanently be reduced. Either way, make sure you have the funds, so you don’t have to interrupt your plan to get rid of the hair.

I heard from my Armenian client yesterday that Diane-35 has been banned in Europe. Any of our European friends know anything about this?

Good luck in your decision making and I really mean that!

Thank you so much for your reply dfahey. So the first time I will see my electrologist, I should remove ALL of the face hair which would take about 3-5 hours. And then I will wait keep shaving and go again 3-4 weeks later to remove all the hair that grew out. Is that the ideal method all electrologists use?

Also, I read one of the electrolysis posts on this site mentioning that scabbing is a good sign that the treatment was more affective. Is that true?

Good grief … I’m “that” electrologist and NO … scabs do not mean a better or more effective treatment! … especially on the face. (I was talking about heavy MALE body work.)

Also, the 3 - 5 hour “clear the whole thing off” strategy is only one strategy. There are other ways to do this. Let your electrologist do this for you. Let her decide; not you. (I would probably not clear the whole face, myself. A lot would depend on what skin reaction I see going on at the time I’m treating you!)

Again, please don’t read a few comments and try to generalize and then “instruct” your electrologist. There are lots of strategies and they all work. All of this depends on the electrologist’s own strategy and method that she has found works for her.

Yes! There are many strategies for getting the beastly hair off.

There appears to be not too many electrologists that are willing to do more than an hour at a time for any area. It may be physically too demanding for them or they may think it is too much for the skin.

I purposely chose my words above carefully, team 90, saying that is my strategy and method - it may not be what other electrologists may do. With my set up, I routinely clear face cases like yours, but your electrologist may choose to break it up in sessions. Women don’t want hair on their faces in between sessions, so they have to do something to hide the fact that they have a beard. Clipping is better than shaving, but if you can’t clip, then to ahead and shave, we will still be successful in the end. In the beginning, I like sessions spaced out every 3-6 weeks because that is about the limit where the woman is noticing the next group of beastly hair. With this strategy, I see minimal to no scabbing, just swelling for a couple days, but not awful. First , few sessions are the “worst” and then after that everything is much better.

I hope I explained this well enough. I have great success with this plan, but I do know when to recognize any signs that tell me to back off and continue that first clearance in a week or two. Doesn’t happen very often, but one must always think and observe and know when to continue or take it easy.

Yes! Mr. Bono is correct - it is best not to micro-manage any electrologist you decide to hire. I hate it when people try to do that with me. I have a woman who has a horrible case of upper lip hair. Oh, my God you would gasp if I posted her picture. She will only let me get five hairs per side each time she comes. At this rate, she will be with me for five years, when it should only take a few hours within a 9-12 month period. I asked her why she won’t let this wild mustang (ME!) loose to just get her cleared of all the bothersome hair and she said she did not want to be red. I told her she will be pink to reddish for minutes to hours to a day or two, if that. Just the thought of that sends her head in a spin, kind of like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

As electrologists, we are taught to strive for perfect insertions and to protect the skin, as we permanently disable the hair follicle. I explained my way of doing that which works beautifully for me, with my skill set and tools, but what I do is not what James, Michael, Jossie, Beate and all my other esteemed colleagues do. As the saying goes, “There are as many paths to God as there are people living in this world” and likewise “There are as many paths to permanent hair removal, via electrolysis, as there are electrologists living in this world”

Thank you for the comments dfahey and Michael Bono. I now understand that every electrologist has their own unique technique for removing hair.

If my electrologist decided to NOT clear my entire face+neck in one session, will they remove random hairs all over the face/neck and leave others for the next session, OR will they completely remove my chin and mustache hair and leave the rest of the areas for the next session?

I don’t know? Either way that you mentioned is not incorrect. Most would probably want to scatter the treatment, I would assume, but if you asked me to clear the areas that bother you the most, I would be glad to do that and I assume others would do the same.

Have a good discussion with at least a few electrologists about this. My mantra is, people want the the hair off as soon as possible, they don’t want it to hurt too much and they don’t want very much skin reaction on their face. I don’t either because that is like a walking negative advertisement against electrolysis. It scares people away from the ONLY thing on earth that will free them from Hair Prison.

I know that the area that I want gone FIRST is my chin hair since it is the area that I cannot completely cover up even after shaving it really well and a ton of concealer.

I will definitely visit some electrologists in my area and have a few sample hairs removed before I commit to having full treatments with one.

I know that I will most likely have some degree of scabbing or skin pigmentation after electrolysis treatments and my partner will most likely want to know why. He still does not know I have excess hair growth but I suspects he knows and does not want to mention it because it might embarrass me. We have been together for 2 years now so I think I am going to tell him about my hair problem and the real reason why I take the diane-35 and spironolactone. I just hope he will still be attracted to me and not run away :frowning:

You may be surprised. Your guy may not care that much about your hair problem. Many men love their women regardless of hair.

You say you may expect some degree of scabbing of skin pigmentation, by it is not an inevitable outcome. Let us know what happens in your case.

Please! Coming to this forum with questions and does not automatically mean that one is seeking to micromanage the electrolysist! Usually we’re just happy when we find a competent one never mind managing them! This forum is a place to ask questions of all kinds, and Hopefully become a little more aware and a little more educated, but it doesn’t info that that’s been taken into the electrolysis office with attitude! Ask away !

Oh, you are are correct, Danika . Questions are fine - any question for that fact! This is a forum where we want you to ask any question about hair removal and we want to give you emotional support to boot! There would be no need for Hairtell if we tried to micro-manage the consumer side either, so it works both ways.

Having a hair problem is all consuming and people come here apprehensive and highly sad because they don’t know which way to go when they are beginning the process of ridding themselves of this curse. As one of the electrologists doing my level best to answer questions honestly, I try to relate what I do in my practice, reporting my outcomes. I don’t mean to come across with the impression that my way is the only way. All I have done in the past is report what equipment and tools I use and how my clients react sensation-wise and skin reaction-wise and I will continue doing that with the intent of helping the consumer understand, in detailed way, so they can compare and contrast what they are experiencing with others. I like to consider myself a forthright person, but it doesn’t always please some. I don’t apologize for that.

So, I guess the word “micro-manage” has been the bothersome word here. I don’t equate questions with one micro- managing anyone, but if someone comes to me and tells me how to do what I do best, then I do get irritated.

Does that explanation help?