Laser hair reduction?

Im curious as to what “hair reduction” is defined as. In other words, when the term permanent hair reduction is used, does it mean a reduction in the total number of hairs, or just a reduction in the thickness/coarseness of hairs?

Ive had two sessions on my chest/abs and Ive noticed that all the hair comes back, although alot of it is lighter and finer. Is this what most people are experiencing, or are people actually seeing a reduction in the total number of hairs?

I’d like to hear others comment as far as what their results have been.

Hi Quik!

You ask a coimplicated question which I discuss at length here:

Hairfacts: “Permanent hair reduction” defined

Your laser results are typical. Hair usually comes back finer in texture and lighter in color. In some consumers, this result is permanent. The effectiveness of treatment is highly variable, though, and no predictions can be made about someone’s outcomes.

Keep your fingers crossed, and keep us posted!

[ September 15, 2002, 04:23 AM: Message edited by: Andrea ]

I have had both. I’ve had my chest back, and upper arms treated with alexandrite and diode lasers. Most of the hair is gone and it does not appear it is going to come back. I have had maybe 5-10% regrowth which is very good. My chest was extremely hairy, like having a wool sweater. It is not just about appearance, it is about comfort too. The hair that has regrown is much finer than before and many are lighter too. The rate of growth seems to be a lot slower too.

I have some white hairs on my chest that of course the laser did not affect. I may get those removed with electrolysis. They are very coarse compared to the other darker hairs.

So to answer your question most of may hair has been removed permanently and the hair that did grow back is much finer and lighter.By the FDA definition it would be called permanent hair reduction.

RJC 2001


Do you think that my results, by not having any reduction in the number of hairs, is based on the fact that I have been treated at a much lower fluence(18J,20J) level than you? Why is it that they tell me that increasing the fluence level to, say 30J would be risking burns, where you can be treated at 45J with no adverse effects? Why were the same level of precautions not taken with you? It seems to me that at the present energy level the laser is damaging the follicle but not destroying it. I consider myself to be the “ideal” candidate, where as my skin (type III) doesnt burn easily and my hair is dark. Id appreciate advise from from you, since you’ve had good results and have had numerous treatments.


It sounds like you are being treated at too low of a fluence level. My practitioner is very experienced and knows how high of a fluence level to use without causing skin damage. Before she raises the fluence level she will do a few test spots.

IMHO redness and swelling are normal and some people panic when they see it. A certain amoun of pain is normal too. Maybe your practitioner lacks experience to know how high of a fluence level can be used. Again, it goes back to the old saying, there is no substitute for experience.

I had a different less experienced technician for one treatment on my upper arms. I was treated at 28 joules and the results were disappointing I didn’t feel anything dduting the treatment either. At the next session I had my regular technician and the treatment was at 40J with much better results and eventually I worked my way up to 45J.

You have to find the threshhold to find the highest fluence you can tolerate just below where skin damage would occur. I am almost tempted to say no pain no gain. I do not use an anesthetic either.


Quik, while fluence can be a factor, it does appear that some consumers do not respond to laser treatment. It’s still a little early in your treatment to tell, but results do vary widely and no guarantees can be made.

Quik, did you feel any pain during the treatment? Did you have any post treatment redness? If not, I think you were definitel treated with too low of a fluence level. Also, how long did it take for the hair to grow back?



Yes, the treatment was rather painfull. I think mainly due to the fact that my chest hair was very coarse and dark. After the treatment, the treated area did get red, and stayed that way for maybe 2-3 days. As far as fallout, I really didnt notice much at all. It took about 4 weeks before I noticed new growth.

I just havent noticed a reduction in the number of hairs I had before the treatments. The hair “seems” to be a bit lighter and finer, but its too early in the growth process to say that definately. I guess my ultimate goal is the same as yours… no hair.

Any suggestions?

Subsequent treatments won’t hurt as much if the remaining hair is finer, so maybe a higher fluence can be used.

For some reason the laser treatments on my chest did not hurt as much as the back and the base of the neck. Now that hurts! My chest hair was very coarse too, much more so than my back. My practitioner told me I must have a higher pain threshhold than average. She said that most guy cannot tolerate 45 Joules because of the pain.

When I switched over to the Lighsheer from the Apogee I could feel the pulses reaching deeper into the hair follicle. But I had less post treatment pain and redness thatn with then Apogee at 40 Joules. Both lasers did a good job but I feel that the Lighstheer is better, especially on the finer hairs.

One important thing with the Lightsheer is that the technician use compression. That’s where they press down firmly with the laser handpiece. That causes the hair follicle to rotate closer to the surface of the skin and temporarily forces blood out of the nearby blood vessels so the heoglobin doesn’t absorb the laser energy. This makes a big difference! If they are not using compression, they are probably not very experienced with the Lighsheer or they have not received sufficient training from the mfr. Compression also results in less pain as the cooling system is also more effective when compression is used.

Hope this helps.