I am so confused, AFTER consultation!

I really appreciate any help and advice.

Today I went to a clinic to do all the stuff prior to starting laser treatment on face area (to see if I was a good candidate, do a test patch, see the costs etc…)

I had read a lot on the internet on laser (pros AND cons) and its efficacy.

However the consultant told me that doing it always has a 20% risk of ‘triggering’ hair growth in neighbouring follicles which do not have the hair problem. Thus making me worse than prior to treatment. He said my problem was not serious enough to justify taking the risk - though if I insisted he would do it just the same.

Now I had never heard of this anywhere! It’s true I would be needing full face treatment but the hairs are quite sparse due to previous electrolysis.

Also, he told me it is not true that only some 6 sessions would be needed and that’s just marketing hype. Some people have over 70 sessions, he said.

Now I’m just so down and don’t know what to do.

I did the test patches.

He told me full face treatment would be around USD 130, so 6 sessions would be USD 780.

I can’t understand why the doc was so discouraging… Maybe he’s afraid of lawsuits or maybe he’s so busy he’s not eager to get new clients?

And I had been all hyped up especially after having read that I was an ‘ideal’ candidate with a fair skin and dark brown hair… <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

the doctor is right. there have been cases that you can find on this forum of this happening in rare cases usually on women’s faces and with one or both of the following:

  1. the hair was originally sparse and fine rather than coarse and laser was an overkill
  2. settings that were used were too low and triggered more growth rather than killing hair altogether.

as you yourself say that the hair is sparse, I would continue with electrolysis if I were you. Laser works best on COARSE hair. So if you don’t have a lot of that on your face, I wouldn’t risk it either. But it’s up to you.

Thank you for your post Lagirl.

I do have coarse hairs, but most of it is like ‘medium’ - I mean not as coarse as a man’s beard but enough coarse to be felt a bit prickly when touched.

And their density is a bit like this:
. . . . . .
. . . . . . …
. . … …
… . . .

lol looks like morse code but the density is varied - I have areas with 3 hairs close to each other, then a ‘bald’ patch with fine hair, then a couple of coarse ones, etc…
(sorry for the tmi).

Also, today the doc saw MUCH less hairs than I actually do have - because I obviously take care of the problem (use Finally Free nearly every day - gimmic but feels better in a placebo manner than tweezing LOL)

I had been doing electrolysis fortnightly since I was 14 - kept on doing it till age 27 - am 30 now… Didn’t seem to have much success huh? Maybe I had been killing some follicles and others kept cropping up? But that is why I don’t wish to waste more money on a method I already had some 340 sessions of…

I also had a blood test to check my hormones, but that was when I was 19 or so. I had marginally high testosterone and the doc had put me on the pill and gave me a course of injections which hurt like hell (the liquid in the syringe was thick like oil… ouch!) I don’t know if that treatment did have long term effects - I don’t think so.

Also, wouldn’t any hairs which would be triggered into growing be removed by subsequent laser treatments?

it’s a tough situation. based on what you describe, there is probably some underlying medical condition that is causing the growth. and I would check into that first before committing to any treatments and spending money at this point. if you continued to have electrolysis and hair kept coming in, it usually means that there is something triggering the hair growth. sometimes those things are hard to detect. go to an endocrinologist i believe…someone who is very experienced in this kind of thing and can run the correct tests. if you have pcos or something similar, there is medication to control it. then you can start on that, and afterwards get the treatments, whether electrolysis or laser. from what you described, I personally wouldn’t risj laser. you just can’t target 3-4 hairs here and there with it without hitting area around it, which can stimulate more growth (especially if you have underlying medical condition). if you have a condition, you will see the same thing after laser as you did with electrolysis. so it’s important to look into it. unless you had a series of bad electrologists, which i doubt, it wasn’t because electrolysis doesn’t work that you didnt get results.

I wish I could convey to you the suffering I have gone through due to laser induced facial hair growth. It has been one of the worst experiences of my life. I hope that I have learned a valuable lesson and can help other people with my devastating and humiliating experience. Now, I know that some people have had success, but for me it was awful. Just ask yourself if it is worth the risk. Are you willing to spend thousands of dollars to grow a beard if you happen to be in the 20% your doctor spoke of? My doctor never told me of that risk or I never would have done it! I also have light skin and dark hair. I wish I had discovered this board before I had laser. Good luck and I wish you success with your decision.

  1. the hair was originally sparse and fine rather than coarse and laser was an overkill

Actually (thanks to previous electrolysis) my hair is quite sparse, but coarse…

But then not really sparse enough - my last electrolysis sessions used to last between 45 and 60 minutes.

And treatment was practically from all over the ‘male growth’ pattern except the cheeks. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> ie moustache, side-burns, lower jaw & ‘goatee’… <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

Yes its true,some people like myself make very little
progress in some area’s. I have had 20 treatments on
my upper body and just about all area’s are the same,
My lower legs have about a %50 reduction after 13
treatments. Im sure it killed a few back hairs so
that only leaves about a million dark hairs left,
just a complete rug.So im finally gonna give up
on laser and get my back waxed a few times…
Then I guess I will join the circus

rcrules - What laser did you use for your back?

My first 8 were with the gentlelase, tried all the
settings,then went to sona laser and had 12 more
with the apogee,I even insisted we raise the joules
all the way a couple times to see what happens,
same thing over and over.My hair never really falls
out, it gets disable and just regenerates after 8-9
weeks.I get maybe 1-2% reduction in some area,s
and 0% in most area,s. I must be the toughest
case in the world.Maybe someday i’ll rob a bank
and try another laser.

Or, how about a really novel idea. Stop wasting money and go for the one proven permanent hair removal method – Electrolysis.

If you find a good practitioner, you can get noticeable results in a short period of time. You will be a new person in three months or less.

I forgot to add, had about 4 years of electrolysis
and basically made little progress,i have been to
4 differant places and each place said they were a
expert. There’s no hope for a guy like me. Plus
when you have a million hairs all over why try
any more

have you had your hormones etc checked? if hair keeps regenerating, there is something causing it. there might be a medical condition that can be treated or controlled with medication. both of you need to look into that…

If there is some medication that will not make hair
grow Im pretty sure we would have heard of it.

there is medication for those who have hormonal issues, pcos etc that helps control hormone levels and thus excessive hair growth. those who have pcos for example have heard of it. there is no medication for those for whom it’s heriditary. that’s another story.

rcrules, haven’t you even seen that your hairs have become much much thinner? Are they just as coarse as before you ever underwent treatments?
You say that your hairs never realy fall out, do you mean that you don’t see shedding after treaments? Can you explain better how you meen? Thankyou.

My upperbody,chest arms neck, maybe 10% reduction,never
really killed any hairs. My back…20 treatments maybe
30% reduction. Most of my hairs get embedded under my
skin after each treatment and just sit there for 2 months
then start to grow again.Most of my hair is still very
thick and course. The nurses are in shock when I show
up for treatments cause it looks so bad.

If there is some medication that will not make hair
grow Im pretty sure we would have heard of it.

There are some medications that can increase hair growth. The problem is, it usually causes body hair to grow and not hair on the head. So much for a male pattern baldness cure. The same hormones that make men go bald also cause excess body hair. Mother nature can be cruel sometimes.

Are there people that don’t respond to electrolysis? I would think that is very rare. The laser/IPL reps told me that about 10% of people that seek laser hair removal simply do not respond. It would be helpful to know why. But we may not know that for some time.


usually the stuck hairs are pepperspots that can be gently squeezed out after exfoliating the area. probably tough to do yourself on the back. have you tried exfoliating? what laser was used on you?