laser treatment for male beard

Hello all,

I’ve perused some of the threads here that relate to my question, but it seems like there are so many different possibilities…I was hoping someone could synthesize all of this information to help me figure out what I ought to do.

I am a white male in my early twenties with dark brown hair, and am in the process of getting laser treatment on my beard, the results of which have so far been very mixed. Due to my location when I began treatment, the only practice I could reasonably access was a Sona Laser Center franchise, which claimed it had occasionally done work male facial hair. I have gone in for only two treatments so far, and have a third scheduled in a couple of weeks. I am skeptical of this schedule, though; while the “Sona Concept” says that treatments should be spaced pretty far out from each other (five months between visits, in my case), in reading of others’ experiences with hair removal of all sorts–including facial hair–at places other than Sona, it seems as though appointments are scheduled far more frequently. Have my sessions taken place so far apart that their effectiveness might be compromised?

My face has not reacted very well to the treatments, but I’m not sure if this is normal. Redness has lasted for over a week, and during that time shaving has been quite painful. Also, whitehead-like things have shown up in MASS quantities for quite some time following each treatment.

While the hair on my cheeks ultimately came out, perhaps within two weeks following treatment, the majority of hair around my chin never fell out. Sona claims that I should enjoy a totally hair-free period for a few weeks, but because the chin area seems to have largely resisted treatment, I have not yet been able to cease shaving at least part of the face every day. After a month or so passed following each treatment, there was enough regrowth throughout the face that I’ve needed to do a full shave every day.

I also don’t feel as though there has been very much hair reduction yet. Perhaps I am worrying prematurely; after all, I have only undergone two treatments. Still, if I skip a day of shaving, the growth is very noticeable–maybe a tiny bit more sparse across the cheeks, but virtually as it was prior to treatment everywhere else.

I am considering seeking treatment elsewhere, and wonder if people here think that would be wise. I’ve recently relocated close to Pittsburgh, PA, where there appears to be a branch of American Laser Center. Would this clinic be a better bet than Sona? Would it schedule appointments more frequently than once every five months–and would such scheduling make a difference, or is Sona’s schedule perfectly reasonable? Would this clinic–or any others people know of in this area–use different equipment that might be more effective on the face? Would my face react less violently to different equipment? Is there a particular type of laser that I should seek out (I don’t know what Sona uses–does it differ from franchise to franchise, or does someone here know what they use?)? Finally, would my hair/skin/anthing else suffer in any way if I stop the treatment cycle I’ve already begun and start a new set of treatments?

I didn’t buy a “treatment package” from Sona and have simply been paying on a per-appointment basis, so I have nothing to lose financially if I switch practices. I’m just looking to maximize my results and do so hopefully on a more frequent basis.

If anyone could comment on the questions I’ve raised with any advice, information, etc., I would truly appreciate it.


At least they admitted they have not had much experience treating male beards. That in itself is a warning sign.

Five months is way too long to wait in between treatments on the beard! On my beard we waited 8 weeks and that seemed to work very well. On the beard, my practitioner said 4 weeks would be OK too but we decided to stay with 8. Your experience makes me think a lot less of the “Sona Concept.” I think they got it wrong in your case.

What laser were you treated with? Since it is Sona, my guess is that you were treated with the Apogee Alexandrite. How dark is your skin? If it is type III or higher on the beard area, I do not think the alex is a good choice. The beard hair is so dense and coarse that you are likely to experience side effects with that laser on the beard. They must have turned the fluence down because of the side effects hence the lack of hair removal on the chin. The chin is the most difficult area of the beard to treat.

Yes, I would switch practitioners. You need to find a practitioner with a diode or preferably a Nd:YAG laser if you are type III or darker. You are much less likely to have those side effects with the YAG. Some examples of YAG lasers are the Coolglide, the Sciton Profile or IMage, and the Lyra-i. I have been treated with the Sciton and Lyra-i lasers on Type IV skin. I have had very few side effects, although the treatments have been painful (normal). After 6 treatments, spaced 8 weeks apart, I have a 75-80% hair reduction.

A week is too long for the redness to last. With the right laser the redness can be gone in a few hours to a day. Based on your side effects and lack of success I would say either the wrong laser was used or the practitioner has insufficient skill to pick the correct fluence and pulse width.


I would recommend that you go for several consultations before you committ to one center. So far, the only ones you mention are chains. There are many private practices that would actually be personally interested and invested in your results. explore those options as well.

agree, if you’re not a type I or II, so not pale, you should find a Yag laser to be treated with. The face is very sensitive, especially for males since the hair is dense. you will have less adverse reactions with a Yag and redness shouldn’t last longer than 1 day or so. Treatments needs to be spaced 6-8 weeks apart for most effective treatment and faster results. run a search on this and other forums for your area to see if any specific clinics are recommended.

My local Sona center has Alexandrite, YAG and IPL capabilities. Finding someone that has more experience would be the best bet and better yet has both laser types.