Long Term studies/surveys as to the effectiveness?

Does anyone know of any studies or surveys about the effectiveness of laser hair removal? What I mean is, the amount of hair that has grown back on the treated areas several (3+) years after the last treatment?

I’m not interested in studies about the amount of reduction 6 months or a year later.

Funny thing, the industry doesn’t seem to want to finance such a study. All the stuff the FDA based its judgments on were studies of a duration that could have proven waxing to be “permanent”.

James, you are incorrect. There have been studies done that show permanent removal. Would you say that electrolysis is not permanent if someone told you they had regrowth 1 year later or 3+ years later? No. You would tell them that it’s NEW growth their body developed. This isn’t any different for laser.

Here’s a study we have listed in the sticky post:

Carpet, how do you select the 3 year mark? There is a reason that no growth after 6-12 months is considered permanent removal. Hair grows in cycles. The longest hair cycles on the body are about 2 months. This means that all the currently active follicles will cycle through within 6 months or so.

There is absolutely no way the hair that was killed can just start growing again that much later. The blood supply was cut off to the follicle, preventing from ever developing hair. HOWEVER, the body has tons of inactive follicles and various things in the body can activate them. It doesn’t matter what method of permanent hair removal you use, electrolysis or laser, this fact wouldn’t change. If there is something in your body causing it to develop hair, it will continue to do so.

I haven’t had any treatments on several areas in almost 4 years now and I have zero new growth.

James: you are right, or at least, a 6 month or 1 year time span is obviously WAY too early to test for “permanent reduction”.

LAgirl: My hair took a while to grow back. Yes: GROW BACK. I would NOT be twice as hairy as I am now if I didn’t have laser hair removal, which is what you seem to be suggesting. Honestly, my amount of body hair is no indication that I am not healthy or have abnormal homone levels. A man can have a lot of body hair on his back can be a normal healthy person with normal hormone levels. YOU should stop trying to insist that everyone who is not successful with laser treatment has some strange condition. You admit that a lot about hair growth is not known scientifically, yet you INSIST that you know everything about my case.

Carpet, please call 212-750-2000 and ask for me so that I can pull your file and see what can be done.

Sorry carpet but I don’t think you can say “Grow Back” unless the results were never maintained for a period of time longer than the length of the hair cycle. In which case I’m sure you would have noticed something was not right and would have said at that point that “Laser does not seem to be working”.

I’ve been 95% hair free on my bikini for 11 months. If I start seeing hair come back, that is new growth.

For me, a part of the study published in 2004 by M. Haerdesdal, has little or no credibility.

His comparative analysis of laser and Electrolysis is based on two previous studies.

1- (18) http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bsc/dsu/2000/00000026/00000003/art09149

2.- (25)Görgü M, Aslan G, Aköz T, Erdogan B. Comparison of
alexandrite laser and electrolysis for hair removal. Dermatol
Surg 2000; 26: 37–41.

The first study:
[color:#CC0000]“No significant decrease was observed in the needle electrolysis” [/color]
[color:#000000][size:20pt]This is absolutely false.[/size][/color]

In the second study:

[color:#990000]“Görgü et al.,
• Alexandrite laser
3 tx
• Electrolysis 4 tx • n = 12
• Age: unmentioned
• Hair colour: unmentioned
• Axilla
• Skin types: unmentioned
• Unmentioned • 6 months after first tx • Significant better hair reduction with alexandrite
laser (mean 74%) than electrolysis (mean 35%)
• Alexandrite laser less painful than electrolysis
• 12/12 patients preferred alexandrite
laser to electrolysis”

[size:20pt]This does not correspond to what I see every day[/size]

Do you have an Alexandrite depilacelectr?

No, I have no one Alexandrite.
But I’m nearly 30 years practicing as a technician in Electrolysis. For this reason, I have enough authority to expose the falsity of this comparative study.
This 2004 study includes Electrolysis between temporary hair removal systems, (intended to confuse readers?).
Electrolysis is compared with the wax, when the two systems there is no analogy.
I do not know the source of information of Mr. Görgü, what I do know is that this 35% reduction after the first clearances is a monumental lie.

Dear Josefa,

(let me speak as the scientist i am/have been/whatever having published in peer reviewed journals)

Görgü’s study describes exactly what You see, at least if You as an electrologist do not try to reach full clearance in intense blocked session as it is usually the case.

Please have a close look what he is studying: clearance after 6 months of treatment. This means 3 “full” clearances with photoepilation versus 6 months electrolysis in a given schedule. With average efficiency of electrolysis this is a reasonable and realistic outcome.

Anyway, the study is tendentious in more than one way, foremost:

the time window covered is too narrow to draw valid conclusions. None of the treatments is finished, and after another 6 months the relation would be a lot different. A 2nd consequnece of the narrow time window is that nothing can be said about regrowth - time is simply to short to observe regrowth in the photoepilation settings, but most hair which might have been treated incompletely by electrology will be visible again.

A comparison of 3 “full” clearances of both methods, e.g. achieved by James’ approach would probably yield very different results. If these 3 clearances would be analysed at sufficiently long time later, the results would definitely look very different and probably favour electrolysis.

What can we learn from this?

o The validity of scientific results depends on questions being properly posed.

o From a customer’s point of view, where applicable, a few sessions of photoepilation performed correctly can drastically reduce the effort for the customer (in my eyes rather the exception than the rule, at least here in Germany).

o The study also suggests that the break even between photoepilation and electrolysis occurs pretty soon, after 3, at maximum 4 sessions of photoepilation electrolysis is probably more cost efficient.

o We as electrologists have to improve our methodology in order to remain in business.

Never in my life have I been more in accord with a statement, Beate.

But one thing is the personal ability of each practitioner and another thing is that the technique itself can offer. This is more than 35% in the space of six months. The area surveyed by Mr. Görgü, is an axillae. In this area the hair appear very quickly, which is why, at this time (six months), the results should be approximately 80%. Perhaps Mr. Görgü was based on the work of a single electrologist, and unfortunately, this is the most inept in the world.

February 2010. Before first clearance. 60 minutes of Thermolysis.

May 2010. After the only clearance.

Carpet, I’m not insisting or suggesting anything other than trying to help you understand HAIR GROWTH CYCLES. It’s pointless to have this discussion if you’re not willing to put some effort into at least reading about how hair grows.

Once you do that, you will understand that growth in cycles means that any one follicle continuously produces one hair, sheds it, then is in a dormant phase, and then produces a hair again. The cycle length differs depending on the body area, but other than the scalp (where 90% of the hair is in the growth phase at any given point), the longest hair cycle is several months long. This means that if you thought you killed the hair, but it didn’t actually get disabled permanently and is still producing hair, that hair would show up within those few months.

Perhaps the Görgü´s study should be revised to update her study Dr M. Haedersdal comparing the results of the Photodepilation and Electrolysis.

September 2009

May 2010

35% reduction? let me laugh…

Dear Joanna,

in order to remain serious we should only look at results sufficiently long after the last treatment, e.g. this breast in Mai 2011.
(BTW, i have had really good clearance of my own breast with only two sessions of IPL aboutn 3-4 months apart, not perfectly smooth, but that was neither attempted nor expected. There was more hair than on the photos You show…)

Anyway we agree that Görgül’s study is tendentious. So it is time to perform another, serious study and publish that in a peer reviewed medical journal (together with a dermatologist). That’s the appropriate place to diskuss the methodological deficiencies of Görgül’s study in detail, isn’t it?

In May 2011 this chest will remain hair-free for three reasons:

1 .- Because the Electrolysis is irreversible.
2 .- Because this man has nearly 30 years of age. Your body does not continue to develop more hair on his chest.
3 .- Because contrary to what happens to the Electrolysis (removal of all the follicle that produces hair), in many cases Photodepilation produces a miniaturization of the follicles.
This miniaturization is susceptible to further changes in the future, from fine hair to thick hair.

The only thing that will change is that the skin of this guy (who in recent months has not been tanning) will have a uniform pigment.

I agree that this is not the appropriate place to discuss the false conclusions of the study Görgü. But since this seems the preferred study to promote the sale of Photodepilation (is attached at many websites laser center), I think it is necessary to point out the glaring errors it contains.
On the other hand, the chances of publication of a study on the results of Electrolysis in a magazine dermatology are scarce, due to the economic interests of the dermatologists themselves. I tried myself without success. The dermatologist who dared such a feat, it would gain the enmity of many of his colleagues.

I apologize to Carpet, for having hijacked the thread. But I think everyone (especially him) must have access to all information, not just those published in these “rigorous” studies.


It is not about electrolyis alone, it is about a comparison of two methods. Although we can predict the outcome from our experience, we will have to wait sufficiently long for the results of both methods to settle down in oder to document it.

We all know.

2 .- Because this man has nearly 30 years of age. Your body does not continue to develop more hair on his chest.

BTW: Mine did. With 40+
Luckily, estrogen therapy had the desired effect on that late additional growth.

This miniaturization is susceptible to further changes in the future, from fine hair to thick hair.

One of the reasons to wait sufficiently long before comparing.

On the other hand, the chances of publication of a study on the results of Electrolysis in a magazine dermatology are scarce, due to the economic interests of the dermatologists themselves. I tried myself without success. The dermatologist who dared such a feat, it would gain the enmity of many of his colleagues.

Sad but true. But there is more: physicians are often quite arrogant about their profession and do not accept other people doing similar things better.

Moreover, psysicians are often educated that electrolysis is a matter of stone age (i frequently hear things like this if i seek out for cooperations on equal eye height), that they are already unable to even recognise the benefits.


Unfortunately, in the breast of the woman, the growth of new hairs is active throughout his life.

Unlike women, men can terminate the removal of hair on his body (except in the shoulders and back) at 30 years of age.

Ensure the removal of the beard of a person born biologically male, it’s easy if he/she has attained the age of 25. In this age, women are beginning the development of hairs on your face, neck, chest and back.

Can we move the electrolysis discussion to the electrolysis forum? This is a LASER forum and it’s confusing to posters. Posting photos of results that have nothing to do with laser is misleading.

Oh no, LAgirl! is just the opposite. People who reach the Laser forum to get accurate information should not be disappointed with half-truths based on corporatist studies.

My intent (if it has not been clear) is to demonstrate that the study of Dr. M. Haedersdal, contain errors (surely unintentional), since its conclusions are based on the experience of other.