Shedding after First Laser Treatment

I’ve recently spent hours reading all the posts on this website and just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has shared. The information provided has been invaluable.

So I went in for my first laser treatment on my chest and abs. I’m caucasion with olive skin, but was treated with the Gentelase rather than the Yag since I’ve been out of the sun for a number of months. My hair is black and coarse. I took a number of before pictures and will be sure to post them with the “afters” when enough time goes by. I have a question about shedding.

It’s been exactly a month now since my treatment and I still haven’t noticed much shedding. About two weeks after the treatment, I did notice some shedding (when I pulled on the hairs), but it was not much. Some of the hair is still protruding from the skin, but when I gently tug on them with tweezers, they don’t budge. I also have tombstones all over. So my questions are:

  1. Does this lack of shedding say anything about the effectiveness of the treatment? The hair is definitely not growing, but not shedding either.

  2. How long does it take for these tombsontes to disappear? Do they always fall out eventually or has anyone had them become permanent?


it sounds like you were treated at too low of settings because your skin is not light and GentleLASE will cause burns at higher settings than that. All hair that was treated properly sheds within 3 weeks if settings are correct. find out what the settings were, but you are probably better off with a yag. darker skin has pigment even when you’re not tanned. pepperspots do fall out but sometimes takes a month or two. you can scrub gently in the shower with a loofa to help the process.

lagirl as usual is spot on, it sounds like you did not have a high enough setting

I just had my 3rd treatment 2 weeks ago. I have never really shed. But I have noticed that:

1st treatment…Hair started growing back at about 5 weeks.
After 2nd…What hair did come in at 5-6 week mark were much finer.

Also if I tug very gently (NO PULLING) they come right out. But my skin is incredably dry. So if I take a baby oil bath and loofa they come out very easily. I have been chalking it up to dry skin.

Oh They are using the Gental Lase on me (Very fair skin and dark hair)

what you’re describing IS shedding. it’s hair sliding out easily without resistance, which happens 2-3 weeks post treatment. Hair that was dormant will keep coming in after each time this happens for at least 5-6 treatments. After that, you should only need 1-2 touch-ups per year to keep hairfree or you can also get electrolysis on the remaining sparse fine hairs.

  1. Does this lack of shedding say anything about the effectiveness of the treatment? The hair is definitely not growing, but not shedding either.

What it says is that you should’ve spent the money on your food or utility bills. Shedding is not a good indicator of effectiveness. Hair death and shedding are two different things. It doesn’t matter if the hair comes out easy if you pull it, the hair’s surface infrastructure has been damaged by the heat so it is going to come out regardless of whether it was kill or not. Chances are, it most definitely wasn’t. In a few words: you threw your money away. The hair has stopped growing because the intense heat has stunned the hair growth mechanism, but it will repair itself and the hair will return. What you’re going through is normal. People go in, ask for a laser treatment, get a treatment as painful as the clinic feels comfortable enough with giving you, and you leave there with some sparse to moderate shedding and no real hiar loss. I know, I did what you did but I did it four more times. Look at the science behind what is going on, wait and see if you have any real long term permanent loss for the money you paid, view things clearly.


but in this case, he says the hair didn’t even shed at all. shedding is a first sign of ANY disruption to the follicle. in his case, nothing happened at all, which means the settings were way too low and yes, money was wasted, at least on this one treatment.

I did actually have some shedding, just not completely and most of the hairs were too short for me to even grab (tombstones). My stomach and chest was tender as hell for a couple days though, so I don’t think the settings were ridiculously low … unless I just have sensitive skin.

Anyway, I called my clinic today to find out what my settings were. The doctor was busy, but the secretary pulled my chart and said my settings were 18/20/40/40. Unfortunately, neither of us knew what that meant. The laser is an alexandrite (Candela GenteLase). Does anybody know what these numbers correspond to?


18mm spot size, 20 joules. that sounds fine. sounds like you just got a lot of pepperspots. they will eventually come out, just takes a month or even 2 sometimes. they will also be burned on your following treatments. the way to help them come out is to exfoliate in the shower and gently scrub with a loofa.