Hair re-growth! Bad sign or normal

I’m having my chin and the neck beneath the chin area done. It has now almost been 3 weeks, and i will go in for my second appointment on thursday but i’m already considering changing because it seems like all the hairs on the chin area have grown back, and as coarse as before! Is this normal?! i highly doubt it, and i do recall her mentioning that “baby hairs” may grow, which we will have to work on yet again, but this also perplexes me as i thought it would be permanent, and i worry this might damage the nerve and possibly cause scarring…Should i think of changing my electrologist? Isn’t it a bad sign that all the hairs on a certain area should grow back with a few others growing back in the area where they appear to not be growing though im unsure as already about 5 have, after the others fully re-grew. I also have scarring, i mean the skin is scarred, not simply red but scarred and i worry if this may not go away as miraculously as she made it seem. She mentioned i would not scar, well this is definately scarring, and if it is to last then i definately refuse to continue treatment! I’m so confused !

Properly treated hairs will not regrow. The problem is that some perrcentage of the hairs is missed (we cannot see under the skin), and the hairs in the shedding stage are not most vulnerable to treatment. So, let’s say, 20-25% will come back as finer hairs to be finished off the next time. This will take at least 8 weeks to happen. So assuming your electrologist does not just tweeze the hair (if she does, then that’s all you’re paying for), it would take 8 weeks for the regrowth to start showing.

But you have more hair than visible to the naked eye. Some hairs are waiting under the skin to sprout out, and some are in the shedding/resting stage and will not surface for a while. You are probably seeing those new hairs that weren’t there at treatment time. You’ll need to wait for all the active hair follicles to produce hair and get it treated. That is why the overall permanent hair removal process takes so long. But don’t despair, if you regularly clear the area, you will soon notice reduction in growth. It will become less and less untill all is gone.

The question of “regrowth” has been covered in great detail in these forums. Just search for that word, and you’ll find lots of information.

The short of it is that it takes a very long time - up to a year - to completely determine just how effective a treatment was. Fortunately, true regrowth, in which a treated follicle grows another hair, is not all that common. False regrowth, in which dormant follicles spring to life after the treatment, is extremely common. It varies across the body, but at any one time you may see only a small fraction of the total number of follicles.

This is hard for most people, me included, to fully understand, but is one of the most important aspects to understand about electrolysis or any other permanent hair removal method.

This regrowth cycle is why electrolysis treatments are often spaced close together initially and then stretch out over time. The electrolysis campaign often isn’t completed until more than a year has passed.

Sadly, one must often go on faith that the electrologist’s treatments are effective. This is hard for many to take, and is helped by getting referrals from satisfied customers.

Sophia, it is biologically impossible for a hair follicle that has been treated with electrolysis to grow back in 3 weeks. What you are seeing is hair that was very close to an already treated follicle, but could not be seen by you or your electrologist at the time of treatment. That hair has emerged or pushed through the skin’s surface and it appears to be regrowth, but it is not. It is new hair that must now be treated.

Electrolysis is permanent. Some thicker, coarser hairs that were treated the first time, may need to go through a breaking down process. That means, when it is removed the first time, it may be “done for” in that first treatment. If it isn’t totally destroyed the first time, that same hair will return in 4-12 weeks thinner, weaker and less deep (baby hair) than it had originally been. That second time around is the optimal time to permanently destroy that hair follicle when it is smaller and weaker. That’s why it is important to keep consistent appointments to catch hairs in the proper stages of growth and fragility.

Understanding the principles of hair growth and timing electrolysis to exploit that follicle’s weakness will increase your chances of achieving permanency more quickley.

I think at this early stage it is not possible for you to conclude that you already have scarring or (nerve damage?!). You have only had one appointment. I think you are confusing the healing process with scarring. I say this without seeing the condition of your chin, but honestly, one treatment it not enough to conclude that scarring has taken place. Scarring happens over a period a months.

Talk with your electrologist about your concerns. She is the one who can see your skin. You are only at the beginning stages of a long process. Learning from your electrologist about hair growth cycles, skin reaction and care, adjusting the heat and timing for your particular skin are things that happen in the early stages of electrolysis. It doesn’t hurt to test out several electrologists in your area, if you have the luxery to do so, but if the person you have seen seems reasonable, patient and willing to help you understand what is going on each step of the way, why not develop a relationship with her? She can not help you if you do not express your concerns and walk away. Most importantly, just show up for your appointments on a routine basis,as your electrologist recommends.


Well, she decided to treat the obvious, coarse hairs in that area, which i can notice and count. They all grew back, they are not baby hairs so it was sort of obvious, i read somewhere here that is one way to observe whether a treatment is working or not. The reason why i’m so confused is because she sort of dismissed my question about scarring and didnt think a test patch was necessary,i know feel that perhaps that was a bad sign and though my derm did recommend her she may not be the right one for me…i also sensed she tired the last 20 minutes or so but rather than stop she continued and apparently plucked away, with electrolysis! I’m still very confused and will go in for my second appointment today with many questions. Thank u for ur replies :smile:

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Originally posted by sophia5:
<strong>the obvious, coarse hairs in that area, which i can notice and count</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Getting back to why electrolysis can be so frustrating for clients: How have you counted them? Have you let them all grow, without plucking, for several months? If so, that would be a fraction - maybe half - of the total number of hairs. If it’s merely the growing hairs you observe at any one point in time, emerging from plucked follicles, that is a small fraction of the total number of hairs. I realize it’s maddening, but you can’t identify which individual follicle the hair is growing from without detailed photographs and fine measurements from nearby landmarks such as freckles or moles.

If the electrolysis site is clearly visible (as a red dot), and the hair is growing from the center of that red dot, that MAY be the same follicle. Even so, there often are multiple hairs from different follicles emerging from the same hole in the skin.

Here’s an example: My wife has a hairy mole on her cheek. She has always tweezed these hairs. Either of us would have sworn she has no more than two or three hairs there. Thus far, we have removed twelve hairs, and I can see three more emerging. Possibly some of these are true regrowth, but I am sufficiently confident of the methods to say that the mole has at least ten active follicles.

Again, I realize it’s terribly frustrating to have to go on faith. At the same time, however, since it’s a long process, it’s wise to get trial treatments from several different electrologists.

Good luck.

[ June 10, 2004, 12:35 PM: Message edited by: DIY’er ]

Sophia, after reading your last comment,I’m sure you don’t fully want to understand certain basic scientific principles in regard to hair growth cycles and skin healing. Your degree of anxiousness will certainly hinder any plan by anybody to help you with permanent hair removal. It’s as if you didn’t comprehend anything that yb, DIY’er or myself tried to carefully explain to you above about your concerns.

Maybe temporary measures of hair removal would be a better choice for now, as you continue to clear up your confusion in regard to really understanding electrolysis, what constitutes good treatment and just having patience to see this process through.