Questions? - Laser affecting negatively

  1. When does one know if laser will trigger hair-growth for someone?
    — Is it after the first treatment? If yes, how long?
    — Or, is it only after one stops getting treated with laser for few months, and realizes that it has been more harmful than successful?

  2. Are there any particular brand or type of lasers that have induced more hair-growth than others?

  3. Is it foolish for a person with fine hair to even consider laser at the moment?

laser doesn’t generally “induce more hair growth”. This is a rare occurence and I’ve only seen posts about it with people getting it on 2 areas, woman’s face and men’s shoulder/upper arm area. also, in all instances, this happened usually with an unexperienced tech who treated areas that either had sparse fine hairs, blond hairs, or very fine hair in general AT LOW SETTINGS. The thing to avoid is the tech hitting any areas with laser that don’t have a solid amount of hair, and better if it’s just more coarse type of hair. And no areas should be treated at low settings. Maximizing on settings so that you’re treated at whatever is highest that your skin can handle without getting burned is the most effective and efficient way to actually kill the hair. and you need an experienced tech for that, so finding that is most important.

I concur with everything LAgirl said. I had a long discussion with my laser tech about this very subject–the possibility of laser induced growth. The clinic I go to has actually not been in business for very long, but the techs did go through extensive training, a hundred hours as I recall, and this was with the Lightsheer Diode(originally they were with the Advanced Laser chain). Anyway, she was aware of the possibility of laser induced growth on exactly the areas LAgirl mentioned–womens faces and shoulders/upper arms on men. She also stated that to her knowledge, this was happening with the use of the Alexandrite laser at LOW settings. Now, she is probably biased in her assessment of Alexandrite vs Lightsheer, but this not the only time I had heard this. The key thing, is the LOW settings, though.

Prior to my settling on going with my current clinic and use of the diode, I had gone to two dermatologists that used the Alexandrite lasers for consultations. BOTH of those places would have started with 15 joules.–maybe its and issue of liability but I think its more an issue of training. But in any case, this would have been too low of settings and god only knows what results I would have had. My current tech started me at 34 joules with the diode!(this proved to be a tad intense for my first visit, but the subsequent visits have never gone below 30)

I have heard of some women getting stimulated hair growth NEXT to areas where they were treated with laser. In my case that would be areas next to the chin and upper lip. I have had NOTHING of the kind–my treatments started early September. If something anomoulous were to occur, I think that it would have by now. I will say, tho, that I have asked specifically that she not treat areas with fine hair.(like my cheeks and parts of my neck)–no sense in tempting fate.

I found this article…

Laser hair removal can stimulate hair growth

Paradoxical hypertrichosis after laser epilation.

Alajlan A, Shapiro J, Rivers JK, MacDonald N, Wiggin J, Lui H.

Division of Dermatology, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

OBJECTIVE: Hair removal using lasers or broadband intense pulsed light has become one of the most ubiquitous medical procedures. At our center a small proportion of patients have spontaneously reported what they believed to be increased hair growth at sites of previous laser epilation. We sought to retrospectively review the prevalence and features of this paradoxical effect.
METHODS: This was a single center, retrospective study that included all patients who underwent laser hair removal during a 4-year period with a long-pulsed alexandrite laser. All cases of laser-induced hypertrichosis were assessed clinically by history, examination, and laboratory tests, and confirmed by review of serial clinical photographs taken during the course of the laser treatments. The clinical features of patients with postlaser hypertrichosis were compared with 50 patients randomly selected from among all those who had undergone laser hair removal at our center (n = 489).

RESULTS: Of 489 patients, 3 (0.6%, 95% confidence interval: 0.01-1.9%) treated with the long-pulsed alexandrite laser (755 nm) reported increased hair after laser hair epilation. There was a trend for this adverse effect to occur in darker skin phototypes (IV) and with black hair as compared with the unaffected comparison group (n = 50). However, the small number of cases (n = 3) did not provide sufficient power to adequately test factors such as age, sex, treatment settings, and number of treatments statistically.

CONCLUSION: Post laser hair removal hypertrichosis is a real but rare occurrence in our experience.

Thats an interesting article, but not very conclusive since by their own admission they did not take into consideration things like “treatment settings”, let alone underlying health issues of the patients, etc. I am surprised it was only 3 out of the 489 that had the regrowth problem! If anything, this speaks fairly favorably of the efficacy of lasers—to my everlasting relief.:wink:

I am only three sessions into my six session package deal with the Lightsheer Diode, so the jury is still out on its long term results. I had an obnoxiously dense coarse hair problem on my chin. I would estimate that I have about 75% clearance. My only personal scientific “control” is that I had a lone dark hair on my jaw that was zapped first visit and it has not returned since.(from early Sept) So, I dunno, I figure if that’s gone for good, my other clearance has got to be permanent as well. I may be mindlessly optimistic, but this is like a freaking miracle!


How much did you pay for those six sessions? Were they just for your lower face?

laser hair removal is very expensive and ineffective. it was in my case anyway. i found a really cheap place to get it done in new york city. but just like every other hair removal method i’ve tried, this was really expensive and just not worth it. yes the hair is turned from thick to fine but what difference does that make if hair comes back anyway? i’ve already done 14 treatments and hair still comes back fast and i regret ever getting it done.

Ginger-I paid about $1000.00 for a package deal that includes 6 sessions, generally spaced about 6-7 weeks apart and a 1 year guarantee, ie free touchups 1 year after my 6th treatment. The areas I am treating are upper lip and chin(and under the chin). As mentioned, I am using the Lightsheer Diode laser, settings have ranged from 30-34 joules, 12mm spot size.

This price may seem high, but it was the best deal in my area. They were briefly part of the Advanced Laser clinic chain, but decided to go independent. I went to a couple of dermatologists for consultations, they were MUCH higher priced per session and offered no packages, no guarantees. A package deal is not necessarily a “must”, but I felt that given my dense hair problem, especially on my chin, that it would probably be a good idea. No regrets, so far.