Skin Type V, facial hair removal (beard)

HI, I just got my 5th laser treatment (beard) yesterday.

1st to 3rd treatments:
IPL (Palomar) - Settings: 31 Joule, 10m/s
4th treatment: IPL (Palomar) - Settings: 37 Joule, 10m/s
5th treatment: Elite Nd:Yag laser with Pulse Width: 30ms, Spot Size: 12mm, Energy: 25Joule…

Basically, after 4 treatments on the face, I had almost 70-80% reduction on the cheeks and neck, and 20-30% reduction on chin/lip area. The 5th treatment focused on chin/lip area with above settings (YAG).

Can you kind people please confirm if the setting with Nd:Yag are good enough for me? I used to get crusting/scabs with IPL. With Nd:Yag (anesthesia + cooling air used), I didn’t get much side effects (swelling, of course), as of now (15 hours after treatment)…

thank you!

Got some white heads and swelling + difficulty in shaving!

We can’t help without knowing your skin type. What settings you can handle depend on how light or dark your skin is.

How long did you wait after your last treatment to judge reduction? That’s really too few treatments for this area, so I would expect to see regrowth soon (within 3-4 months). You can only judge true permanent reduction once you wait 4-6 months.

hello LAgirl,
I am skin type V. Is the YAG settings alright for my skin type? Do you mean I need more treatments on face?

The got laser on following dates:

  1. November 5, 2009
  2. December 8, 2009 (about 1 month)
  3. January 16, 2010 (about 1 month)
  4. February 8, 2010 (about 20 days, more like touch ups)
  5. March 8, 2010 (Nd:Yag)


The settings are alright on skin type V. You may be able to go higher on the joules. You’d have to test the skin.

Yes, you would need more treatments. At this point, you haven’t waited long enough to judge true reduction.

You should probably start spreading out treatments to once every 8-10 weeks.

Touchups should always be done on any hair that doesn’t shed at 3 week mark.

thanks Lagirl. Really helpful.

My beard looks really patchy, and that is the reason I am getting the treatments every 4 weeks.

I got white heads, and swelling… so I still go higher joules? What value do you recommend? I used 31joule and 37joule with IPL and 25joule with Yag. Is there any relation?

I am treating CHIN/LIP/JAWLINE - should I increase/decrease any parameter? thanks again…

Not much related between IPL and YAG in terms of joules.

Dense male facial hair often experiences side effects for a week or so after the treatment. You should be careful with the area, apply witch hazel and/or aloe vera and don’t use any products with chemicals on it. Also, don’t shave if you can avoid it and let the hair shed. And icing the area helps a LOT.

Patchiness is mostly caused by treatments that do not overlap well. That’s why touchups should be done on any hair that hasn’t shed. These should be free at 3 weeks. You shouldn’t be paying for treatments every 4 weeks. Those are not treatments, you’re basically paying for touchups, i.e. for them to retreat the hair they missed the first time around.

LAGirl, I think for a man’s beard it works a bit differently. A few laser places I spoke to all said for the first few treatments it should be 4 weeks apart. I told my place they’re wrong that there should be no hair left to shed at 4 weeks. I’ve done GentleLASE and Apogee Elite both on almost highest settings for the spot size used. At these settings on my underarms, forearms etc, I get pretty much 100% shedding after a few weeks. However when I’ve done my face, it’s been the same thing. The entire face is treated and hair sheds like crazy from everywhere. However it seems like I’d say only 60% of the hair actually sheds. It’s not patchy, it’s completely uniform, except on chin and upper lip where far less sheds. I then waited the 4 weeks, went back did my entire face again, and pretty much got 100% shedding, except for again areas on my chin and upper lip. Now chin and upper lip are a different animal, the hair is deeper there and it’s just harder to treat.

Either way my point is that at least in my experience on skin type 3 with 2 different Alex’s, I had the same results. My very first session I had 60% shedding or so, but I still waited 8 weeks. I then switched to Apogee from GentleLASE, once I had all the hair back. After 4 weeks only 60% again had shed, so I went again and got full shedding this time. That was actually about 6-7 weeks ago now, and the hair is only starting to come back now, I’ve barely had to shave. So from my personal experience, it seems like the first 2-3 sessions at least actually do need to be spaced 4 weeks apart. After that it seems like it comes back in line with the rest of your body. I can report back again in a few weeks when I have enough hair back for another session, but I’m definitely a believer in the every 4 weeks thing. I only pay around $70 for my entire face and neck at my clinic as I get a good deal from giving so many referrals and having so much treated, so for me paying $70 every 4 weeks anyway isn’t really a big deal.

NOW, having said that, if you are actually patchy, as in after a few weeks you can clearly see circles where hair is gone, with hair surrounding it, or you have random chunks of hair, then yes that’s definitely missed spots and you should go back. You really shouldn’t have these problems though, someone experienced in male beard removal should know how to treat the face properly.

Edokid, my previous IPL treatments were at a different place. I am almost definitely sure that I got my Nd:Yag session from the same place as yours. They seemed nice! I am waiting to see results (this is 3rd day). Hoping for the best

Like I said - I am skin type V, and I had IPL treatments (not the best deal, I know now). Also, my clinic might not be that efficient dealing with beard area.

So in my experience, 4 weeks for first few treatments is a great option. But once the results are less patchy/ or less noticeable, I would definitely stick with Lagirl’s advice (8-12 weeks).

Edokid, if you have some before/after pics, please do post it someday. It might keep some of us encouraged! thanks.

I can def post before and after pics once I get them for sure. I agree, 8-12 is better after, just saying for the first 2-3 sessions I think going every 4 weeks is completely fine. It would be different if you were going every 4 weeks because you had chunks of hair or spots that the person missed all together.

I agree that treating the beard more aggressively and more often helps. My point was that you probably shouldn’t be paying for these frequent treatments as “full treatments”. :slight_smile: It should be a treatment and then a touchup.

I think the difficulty of shedding has more to do with the depth of the hair rather than density, i.e. the depth all over the face varies in areas, so technically settings should be adjusted in terms of pulse width etc, but that’s hard to do.

I’d be more concerned with why are you scabbing like you said you were, never a good sign. It’s very rare, if treated by an experienced laser hair removal technician.

I am skin type V (Indian male) - treating beard area.

Summary: I had 4 IPL treatments on my “beard area” (Nov 5, 2009 + Dec 8, 2009 + Jan 17, 2010 + Feb 8, 2010) - and had almost 90% reduction on cheeks/neck and about 20-25% reduction on chin/upper lip area. 4th was more like touch-ups! My 5th treatment was on March 8, 2010 (Elite Nd:Yag laser with Pulse Width: 30ms, Spot Size: 12mm, Energy: 25Joule) for “chin/upper lip” area. I got 40-50% shedding in last 3.5 weeks (considering this is chin/upper lip, I am OKAY with results!)

Basically, I was hair free on chin/neck area for like 2 months now. I am seeing some hairs growing back on my cheeks/neck now! Does that mean those are new hairs? Or, does that mean that IPL wasn’t affective in permanent reduction … and what I was seeing in last couple of months was more like temporary hair reduction?

My Concerns are:

  1. Should I wait for another 3-4 weeks for the cheek hairs to grow back (last treatment - Feb 8, 2010)?

  2. I don’t mind some hairs on my chin and upper lip. I would actually prefer to keep some! Am I in the stage where Electrolysis is better option?

  3. I had some hairs just under eye (upper cheek area) - where I got IPL. Those hairs are not too dense. Should I get electrolysis there? Is there any good electrolysis place in Toronto?? (@ Edokid?)

  4. Should I get next Yag treatment at 30 Joule - with other parameters unchanged? Or should I change spot size as well?

  5. How many more treatments should I expect? I know this is probably a stupid question, but I am gonna ask anyway. I am just expecting an estimate. So that I can know how much I am done!

thank you very much.

  • It’s impossible to tell whether it’s new hair or hair coming back after IPL treatments. You’ve only had 4 treatments, so either is possible.

  • Face has shorter hair cycles, so waiting about 8 weeks between treatments is fine. You should really judge based on how much hair there is to treat. Also, you should get a free touchup at 3 week mark on anything that hasn’t shed.

  • You should switch to electrolysis when you get to a point where you’re not affecting the hair anymore with laser. Since you just had 40-50% shedding on your last treatment, I would say it’s too early.

  • You should get eletrolysis on any hairs that are relatively fine and not dense to avoid potential induced growth.

  • I don’t think the spot size is adjustable on Apogee Elite. So you can only adjust joules and pulse width. You should get treated at whatever is the highest joules and loweset pulse width combination your skin can handle safely. We can’t tell that over the Internet.

  • Once again, you switch to electrolysis after you are no longer getting value from laser treatments. For a male face, it usually takes 8-10 good treatments. I would also wait 6 months after the last treatment to judge true reduction.

Apogee Elite has 15mm spot size or 12mm, not sure about smaller but don’t think you’d want less. We usually do 15 on my face to get the deepest but have used 12 on upper lip a couple of times.

hello friends,

  • I can see some hairs on my upper cheek area. I am sure I didn’t have had any hair on those areas. I believe it got in contact with IPL. These hairs are really fine. Should they be treated with laser or electrolysis?

  • More hairs coming back on chin/neck area, which was more or less clear from last 8-10 weeks. I think I should wait for another 3-4 weeks, and get next LHR by end of April.

  • Important Question: if my laser treatment is in End-April. Can I go in Sun after say 3-4 weeks? I know I will get tan. And wont be able to get treatments until winter. But thats part of my Job (need to go out in the field)! Or will I get pigmented even after 3-4 weeks of treatment? I am concerned if I should delay my treatments until next winter, and just enjoy summers for now?

How much time should we wait before we can start enjoying Sun?

thanks everyone!

  • You shouldn’t treat any hair that’s not dense AND coarse like hair on underarms or bikini. Induced growth is likely fine, so only electrolysis will get rid of those hairs.

  • It sounds like you’re at a point where you need to go to electrolysis regardless, which can be done on any skin color and hair color or type. So I would stop laser treatments altogether and go straight to electrolysis.

electrolysis? so soon? :confused:

  • I still have hairs on upper lip and chin - which didn’t shed even once. Can I do Electrolysis on cheeks and laser on chin/lip? Like can they be done simultaneously?

  • Also I see 1 scar on my cheek. Can I get it treated with laser, and then do electrolysis (or laser) on the same area? Will it be safe?

  • Is there any recommended electrologist in Toronto area?

  • How much time should I wait before I can start enjoying Sun without worrying about pigmentation?