Female Facial Hair Laser Not Working Help = (

I am a 25 year old female dealing with embarrassing facial hair on my cheeks, chin, upper lip and the small lower lip area. In 2002 I decided that I’ve had enough and I went for LHR for my entire face. I was 18 at the time and made the big mistake of not doing research on laser on my own. I was desperate and thought laser is new technology and the new, improved way of removing hair. I went in for a consultation and settled for a place that used the Lightsheer Diode Laser. I’m skin type II (possibly III) and had fine dark hair on my cheeks ( the areas where I never touched) and course black hair on my chin and upper lip ( due to threading, waxing).

I went for 5 sessions and after each laser session I would get shedding but the hair would all grow back in the following weeks. I thought as long as the hair is shedding it must be working so I kept going back but then I realized that the fine hair on my cheeks had turned into black course hair and my chin and upper lip had no improvement and I pretty much looked like I had a man’s beard. On top of that, I also had a few hairs growing on my neck. I stopped going and told them about this but of course they told me that laser can’t cause more growth and can’t change the texture of the hair. After reading this site, I know I’m not crazy and it CAN happen if low settings are used on fine hair.
Here are the settings used on my face :

1st trmt: 15 J 30ms
2nd trmt: 17 J 30ms
3rd trmt: 12 J Auto
4th trmt: 13 J Auto
5th trmt: 16 J Auto

So at the point I had dark course stubbly hair all over my cheeks, chin, upper lip and lower lip and I started waxing, tweezing, nair, bleach, shaving, threading, anything to be hair free for a couple days so I could leave the house and get through school. Of course all of this only made the hair stronger, thicker, and worse than before. I was extremely hesitant on trusting another laser after what had happened but I was so desperate and in 2006 I went to another laser specialist. She used the Cutera Coolglide. I had 6 sessions for my entire face with this laser. The settings used were:

1st trmt: 52J 20ms
2nd trmt: 60J 20ms
3rd trmt: 61J 15ms
4th trmt: 62J 15ms
5th trmt: 60J 10ms
6th trmt: 62J 15ms

My last session was in 2008 and I stopped going because I wasn’t getting any good results on my upper lip or chin. I told her this and she changed the pulse width to 10 ms which she told me was extremely risky but even with that, the hair still kept growing back course, thick, black and plenty. I talked to her about this and she told me that this is very rare and she doesn’t want me to waste my money because I should have seen results on my chin/upper lip by the 6th treatment. Also, I got nice results on my cheeks but now 2 years later, I’m seeing new dark hairs coming out on my cheeks as well. Since I’ve stopped laser, I’ve been shaving everyday and the hair is very obvious and I need help.

My questions are: For the Lightsheer diode, where the settings used on my face good or were they too low and this caused more growth, courser hair? I don’t really know what the proper settings are for skin type II?

How about the settings for Coolglide YAG? Were they in the right range for my skin type?

After reading this forum, I understand now that YAG is actually better for darker skin types and I would have gotten better results if I went with GentleLase. I don’t understand why this is? Does that mean that I would need more sessions with YAG in order to see the same results as I would get if I had gone with GentleLase? Is this because the settings used on the YAG laser are too low for my skin type to prevent burning me? Because I have to say that it sure did hurt and I thought this pain meant that it’s working.

Thank you so much for any help/advice/answers you can give me.

Yag lasers supposedly hurt like heck on light skin. Not because they work so well, but for some other reason I’m not personally familiar with. So I’m not surprised you felt pain.

Also, if your hair was fine, then it doesn’t matter how good or bad the settings were. Fine hair can’t be properly treated with laser, and that’s just the fact of it. Though I’m sure there are people here who can confirm if those settings were bad ones if you’re curious.

Are you getting electrolysis? You should be. 100% permanent removal, no real side-effects when performed correctly, and certainly cheaper and faster than a dozen laser treatments.

I love laser for large areas of coarse dark hair because it’s fast and cheap, but once you start investing in ELEVEN treatments it’s no longer fast OR cheap. For your face you need electrolysis. It will reverse all the damage the laser did. :slight_smile:

I too am having laser done on my face, but not full face, just jawline near neck, upper lip, and chin. I’ve noticed an improvement, I no longer have to shave everyday. Maybe ever 2nd or 3rd day just cause it starts to feel dry in those areas so I like it to feel smooth. I’m doing electrolysis on my full face (areas that are not being treated with laser)
this is helping so much, I would suggest electrolysis 100% for facial hair. DO NOT LET A LASER NEAR YOUR FINE FACIAL HAIRS. It will only make it worse.
Hope this helps =)

Ugh…where to start…

As you already know, laser shouldn’t have been used on your finer hair. That caused induced growth. On top of that, those are VERY low settings on LightSheer, especially considering your skin type. You were severely undertreated, which didn’t help the issue.

Yag is definitely not a good type of laser for you either with your skin type. It works even worse on finer hair. Those settings are ok (too high really, which meant that it’s not the right type of machine for you), but it doesn’t matter given the above.

Can you post photos? We need to see what there is now to be able to judge whether you’ll benefit from any more laser treatments, even with an alex at high settings, based on what kind of hair there is there now. Most likely, you need electrolysis for most of it.

Yes the pain was intense for my upper lip (my face would twitch in pain) and along the jawbone but I was willing to put up with it if it meant no more hair. No MagicalPrincessKitty, I haven’t ever done electrolysis, but I’ve been reading this site a lot both laser and electrolysis section and I’ve learned so much (thanks to everyone). Electrolysis is the only thing I haven’t tried yet and it sounds way more promising than laser. But from what I understand you have to be careful finding a good electrologist cuz if they’re not good at what they’re doing then you’ll end up going for 6-9 months before you realize that you’re not getting results with that either and it’ll be a waste of money and that’s my biggest concern. I guess I’m going to have a really hard time trusting anyone to go near my face again. Wish I had read this years ago before spending so much money on laser but there’s nothing I can do about that now. Nobody ever told me back then that laser isn’t for fine hair or that Yag isn’t for light skin = ( . I see that you’re doing electrolysis on your stomach and arms but do you have facial hair and ever tried it on that?

I do have some facial hair (thanks to induced growth from a laser treatment many years ago), and I will be getting electrolysis done on my face. I may know an electrologist up in the bay area who did body work for me that I can recommend, but I forget where exactly she’s located.

I would go for test treatments and look for someone who removes the hairs without a plucking feeling. That’s the best way to tell if the treatment is working. After the zap, they pull the hair out with tweezers and it should slide out with no “pluck”. Also, you want minimal reaction (since the face is hard to cover up) so you would probably want to look for someone with a modern machine (not necessary but it’s my recommendation). An Apilus is a good one.

Sighh LAgirl I figured it must have been low settings, thanks for confirming. I guess I saw the fancy office building in downtown san francisco and the people sitting in the waiting room with me and I thought to myself, well this place must know what they’re doing. Stupid of me.

I don’t understand why the Yag laser didn’t even work on the course hair along my jawbone. It worked on the course hair on my cheeks, even though I see new fine hairs growing there now.
I mean if laser is attracted to melanin pigment and kills the hair follicles, then why didn’t it kill the hair follicles on my jaw where I had thick dark hair? How come after every session that area still looked the same. When I asked the technician this, she told me it’s because the jawbone area is very sensitive and stubborn area.

At this point I do have course, thick hair along my jawbone chin area that sticks out of my face. The rest of my face is finer hair but it’s very obvious. It’s really bad and I’m not over exaggerating. And I should add that I have gone to 4 different doctors for this problem, taken the birth control pills for a year which didn’t help and had all the blood tests which showed that everything is “normal”. I don’t think I really want to waste any more money on laser for my face and I’ve been reading a lot about electrolysis. I just don’t trust laser anymore (at least for my face). I do have lots of questions about electrolysis. I thought I would post my pictures up in that section along with my questions but if you’d like me to post them up here in the laser section as well, then I will.

I wish I had taken pics before I ever started laser but I didn’t. I have however taken lots of pics of my face during the past few weeks. I actually was pretty depressed and didn’t leave the house for a whole week and let all the hair grow out and took pictures. It grows so fast. Lagirl let me know where I should post the pics, here or the electrolysis section when I write a topic there. thank you.

MagicalPrincessKitty if you can remember her name, I can look up her location and see if it’s near me. I’ve made a list of electrologists in the bay area that people have referred on here, or through yelp reviews or my own research and I’ve looked up the number of years they’ve been doing it to call only the most experienced (although maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it).
I hope to start calling for consultations soon. So if you can remember her name, I’d appreciate that. thanks. And I’m sorry to hear that you’ve gone through the induced growth as well.

I know her name, but she is down here currently and will be starting a brand new practice up north. So I need to double check with her where she will be setting it up.

If you really only have that little coarse hair, you definitely need electrolysis. There are many you can sample in the Bay Area. Leave areas like bikini and underarms for laser (my friend got great results at Aura Skin Spa in SF).

Check out the electrolysis section of this forum. Many electrologists helping people out. To start, I would call around and look for someone using an Apilus machine and thermolysis (or faster microflash type of thermolysis) method. You’ll know whether it’s working. If the hair slides out without resistance after being zapped, it’s all good.