Hair Regrowth in Young Men

OK, seems a lot of young men with regrowth problems here! I went to a top dermatology and hair center in NY and saw a team of MDs.

They believe that in young healthy males laser hair removal produces more of a temporary “laser waxing.” In young male patients they’ve seen most hair eventually regrew within two years.

They explained that even when the cells of the follicle and dermal papilla (root) are completely destroyed the cells lining the lower third of the hair shaft will migrate and regenerate the hair. This process is influenced by age, gender, diet, exercise, genetics, unknowns, etc.

It tends to happen in men since we have more cells lining the follicle, more cells in the dermal papilla, thicker hair to begin with, more testosterone, etc. Being young is perhaps a bigger factor since 1. cellular regeneration rate is higher and 2. the 20s is actually the time when most men experience the highest rate body/facial hair growth (although this an average and the age of maximum growth is highly variable depending on the individual). That would mean a lot of hair growth is new hair that was never targeted by the laser.

They said the process happens much slower in an older and female patients. They have less hormones, less cells lining the follicle, slower healing, etc.

They said one “problem” with lasers is that the majority of patients getting it are older women, on whom it is most effective. But when young verile men get the treatment they see poor results. Since so few young men get the treatment, they are often dismissed as those few percent of patient’s that “don’t respond.” The science of why is never looked at.

It is also never explained to patients what is meant by “permanent.” Permanent only means the laser company showed the FDA that it reduced the total number of growing hairs for one growth cycle! They said that longitudinal studies with every laser have showed increasing regrowth over time, but no studies measure longer than 18-24 months. Most of the MDs agreed that without touch-ups most patients (even female) would see complete regrowth within several years.

When I asked why electrolysis works they explained that the damage is delivered directly into the deep follicle and subcutaneously (beneath the skin). The follicle is thus scarred. They explained that with lasers, this selective and total “fibrosis” is very difficult to achieve. There reasons seemed to differ. One said it was because any amount of laser energy strong enough to scar the inside of the follicle, but delivered above the skin would scar the epidermis. Another disagreed with that and said since laser targets melanin in hair he thought it was possible to achieve the proper strength but that it would be far too painful, especially in sensitive areas like face and pubic. He also thought that since it is delivered above the skin it is unlikely to reliably reach the dermal papilla unless performed on areas with little subcutaneous fat and thin skin. Even then it is losing energy as it passes through hair and skin.

I was told since I saw regrowth at only a few months it was likely that I’d have a full face of hair again in a year or two. I asked about topical steroids to speed the process, but they said I really don’t need that. They said that given enough time everyone will see regrowth of lasered hair.

you are right that in their early 20s is when men develop most of their hair, so when you start lasering around that time, you might be seeing growth that would have grown anyways. it’s hard to tell what’s new and what is “regrowth” at that point. however, this only applies to areas that are stimulated by hormones, so for men that would be face primarily as well as several other areas. for those areas, everyone will need 1-2 touchups per year regardless, but not to “redo” the entire area, just to get the newly stimulated growth.

also, results are skewed by underlying medical conditions, in men just the same as with women. if hair keeps coming back just the same for some women, older or not, they often have PCOS which produces NEW hair growth which needs to be treated.

I also forgot:

The oldest doctor there who treats hair loss had a different theory. He said that there is a lot of evidence that regeneration of hair follicles has to do with blood flow to the area. Increasing the blood flow is all that minoxidel/rogaine does. He said that unless the capillaries feeding that follicle are destroyed or the follicle is badly scarred then it will eventually regrow. He also talked about a type of cell that floats around in the blood and helps regenerate the hair follicle, but I forget.

yes, that’s how electrolysis and laser work. they are supposed to damage the follicle so that it can’t feed on the blood flow anymore

They said that given enough time everyone will see regrowth of lasered hair.

That’s a bit of a strong statement. I had my back lasered (6 treatments, GentleLase) in 2000. It still hasn’t grown back, so I guess I have to wait more time!

it’s not true, it’s only for certain areas and for people with medical conditions. “they” in this case is that chain you’re planning on sueing right? they “say” a lot of things to get you to either become a customer or leave them alone if you’re not happy it seems.

“They” are the doctors at a clinic which has nothing to do with ALC.

I’m sure you have some regrowth on your back or you’ve been for retouchs since 2000 . . .

granted it’s only been about 6 months, I’ve had no regrowth on bikini area.

Well, it’s been three years since I’ve had any laser or IPL treatments on my abs. All that remains is the fine hair, most of it white, that was there 2 months after my last treatment. There has been no additional regrowth at all. And I have had zero touchups there.


RJC, aren’t you a transexual on hormones though?

no, he’s not and neither am I or NoHair

I am certainly not a transexual and my natural male hormones are strong enough to eliminate most of the hair on my head :frowning:

I was 45 when I had it done, so my hormones have pretty much stabilized (as compared to someone in their early 20’s).

I have not been for any touchups for 6 years. Yes, there’s about 10 hairs or so that I pluck and should have taken care of with electrolysis at some time (I can’t reach them for DIY), but they are so few that I can live with them. They may be “regrowth”, but chances are they could just as easily be new hairs that did not exist 6 years ago (even old timers grow new hairs). However, the other several hundred or thousand hairs that originally existed have not come back. I had a small triangular patch at the base of my back which was very thick and remain 100% cleared.

And this was from a nurse who was just learning the GentleLase equipment and kept referring to the owners manual as she worked on me. Her husband in the same clinic was a gynecologist and was also learning the equipment. I never bothered to ask her what settings she was using.