very scared about patchy results on beard

hi there, im a guy with a thick dense beard… I decided to try lasering the bottom 1 inch of my neck to see how well it would react…im pretty sure they are using an alexandrite laser…anyways after the first treament it looked really good, just a couple small spots that had a few hairs in them…so i went back for a 2nd treatment and that cleared up the bottom neck entirely…looked fantastic…so I decided I would laser the entire beard with the hopes of reducing the density, get rid of the heavy 5 o clock shadow…

so I had 1 treament on the whole beard. about a week later a whole bunch of hairs fell out over the course of about 24 hours… couple days later and i notice that there are big patches of dark coarse hair that look like they havent been touched… SEE PICTURES

as you can see…its really patchy with some really dark areas around the goatee area that havent shed… now I just had a 2nd treatment on the beard the day before yesterday to try to shed the rest…

I went to the spa today basically worried sick that im gonna look like a freak like this forever…and they said to wait a couple weeks to see what falls out after the 2nd treatment…then any remaining dark areas she would just go over that area with the laser to try and touch it up and make things as even as possible…then i really think i should stop treatment and give it a few months to see what grows back…

on my lower neck i noticed around after 3 months that the hairs started growing back evenly, but not as dense as originally…

what do you guys suggest I do? i am very scared that this look could end up being permanent for me and that the spots that are bare will never grow back? what should I do, should I continue to treat the dense areas to try to even it out?? or will it just make it more spotty and patchy?? should I just stop now after 2 treatments, since its not that many, will it grow back after 5 or 6 months???

Don’t panic.

Beard hair is resilient. Some will come back, even in the spots that look empty now. I recall another person on this forum who did his beard said you must be prepared to look weird for a year.

But remember that people don’t really look at other’s people’s faces with as critical an eye as one does their own face in the mirror. You know when you have a pimple, but most other people don’t notice.

Until there is some regrowth (you said 3 months was how long your lower neck took), folks will probably just assume you had acne as a teen and have patches where acne scars prevented hairs from growing.

And one further word to help you relax about it:


His spotty beard never hurt him one bit.

so should i stop completely or try to hit just the dark areas?? basically im reading your comments as, dont worry about it, but all my friends are giving me shit about this, saying ive made the biggest mistake of my life… u say the bald areas will grow some hair back but if it doesnt grow back dense, compared to the dense areas its gonna still look completely messed…

at this point i just want to get rid of the dark areas, try to get it looking even…but i am worried if i do more treatments its gonna make regrowth much slower and maybe prevent it completely…

still very worried and scared. I understand im in the middle of the process right now, but jesus, if i knew this was gonna happen i never would have done it.

The pic is too low-res to really say what is going on in those darker areas but I suspect the dark areas are simply areas that were just so tightly packed with hair that the burnt hairs couldn’t be easily ejected…like passengers in a Tokyo subway car – even though the procedure may have successfully damaged those hairs just as well as the areas from which the fell out after only a single week.

But that is just an idea, a guess really.

I’d wait a couple weeks to see if the dark areas are slowly pushed out as your skin grows.

But wait for LAGirl’s advice, she knows everything.

And remember that if you find that the bald areas remain forever bald (even after a couple years) and the other areas still grow, all that means is that you have to follow through and eventually remove it all. A financial burden, yes, but not a situation for which you do not have a remedy.

PS I’m only emphasizing the “relax” bit because you are so stressed. Sorry it didn’t help. The hardest thing to do when one is stressed is to take no action and wait, and yet that is my advice. I know that will be frustrating! See if LAGirl says the same thing or not. And is possible to take a more macro pic of the dark area that would help her.

  • Please find out the exact name of the machine and settings being used. It’s hard to help without specifics. Ask for joules, spot size, and pulse width being used (if it’s GentleLASE, pulse width info is not necessary).

  • Shedding takes 3 weeks to complete. It doesn’t sound like you’re there yet. Please let us know what happens at 3 weeks. If you still have this much patchiness, that means two things: either the settings are too low or they missed a lot of spots and need to do a touchup on you. Or both (in which case the touchup needs to be at much higher settings).

  • Some areas like the chin tends to have deeper hair and may require Yag treatments to reach it.

  • Generally, this is a difficult-to-treat area that should ONLY be done by a professional that has experience in treating male beards and has a good device. It’s very important to overlap the area by at least 10% when treating to avoid patchiness. And it’s very important to use good settings. Hopefully, you can salvage this situation, but without information on machine and settings, it’s impossible for us to tell you if they know what they’re doing. If treatments are good, all treated hair should be falling out 3 weeks after each treatment.

LA girl I think they are using an Alexandrite laser…first time we did it setting was at 25, 2nd time setting was at 27…

willbfree is right…the areas that havent fallen out yet were extremely dense with dark hair…

so your saying normally, after the 1st treatment, if its done properly…all beard hair should fall out???

do u know anyone in Vancouver who can I trust??? I am going to get a 2nd and 3rd opinion at 2 other clinics tomorrow…

I guess I just need to wait another week or two and see if the rest falls out after this 2nd treatment (praying to God)

so is it possible that now after the 2nd treatment…all the remaining dark, coarse areas will fall out and it will look normal again, albeit with a lot less hair growth for a while…

or is it just gonna reduce it even further but still have the dark areas, just creating more patches?? and I will have to go back again and again targeting the areas that havent fallen out??

my goal is not to remove my beard completely, im not a transsexual or gay…i just want to reduce the beard so its not so full and i dont have to shave so often…but if I new that it wasnt gonna look natural with these dark areas, then of course i never would have done it…

im really worried, it looks so bad right now, my friends are giving me shit…didnt sleep last night :frowning:

also , if just small areas remain after this 2nd shed…is it possible/wise to just wax out the remaining areas so that I can at least make it look even?

  • We need to know which specific Alexandrite laser. Those numbers alone don’t mean much. We need to know both the spot size and joules, as well as pulse width. They all impact the outcome. I’m guessing 25 and 27 are joules, but without the other variables, it’s still impossible to tell much. Can you call them and ask for the rest?

  • Yes, all treated hair should shed within 3 weeks. Please read our FAQs at the link below in detail ASAP.

  • Read the FAQs before you embark on a search for another clinic. You need to learn what to look for.

  • Hair grows in cycles. With one or two treatments, you only affected some of the hair. There is more hair currently in other cycles that will come in later. This is in the FAQs.

  • If all hair doesn’t shed at the 3-week mark, you need to ask your clinic for a touchup with higher settings. If you don’t get a touchup, you’re at risk of permanent patchiness or at least patchiness that will take a while to get rid of with multiple treatments.

  • If your goal is to only reduce the growth, you may be better off with a Yag laser which will kill the most coarse hair and will make the rest more fine and easier to shave without a shadow. Only about 4 GOOD treatments would be needed for that result.

  • It’s technically possible to wax, but it doesn’t help you in the long run. If you don’t treat this hair again at the 3-week mark, it will resurface in patches again when that cycle comes up later in the year.

when u say touch up…do u mean just the areas that havent fallen out?..and with a proper touchup, those ones that hadnt fallen out previously should all fall out or just a %

they told me at the spa after my 2nd treatment to expect around 50% or less of the remaining hair to fall out…which im not very encouraged by…I have a feeling its just gonna create more spots…

Yikes this doesn’t look good… You don’t need a touchup you need a full treatment.

Something is wrong though. As mentioned facial hair is hard to treat, I’ve had tons of beard treatments (I forget how many, it’s in my signature which will appear when I post this but a LOT).

Chin and upper lip is very deep, usually only a Yag can reach deep enough to get it. For me at least, alexandrite only worked on my cheeks and neck but not my upper lip or chin.

The thing that concerns me though is that when I would go for a treatment, I would get even shedding, with little shedding on chin and upper lip. Sometimes it took 2 treatments spaced 4 weeks apart. So the first treatment after 2 weeks I’d have probably 60% of the hair shed, and then do a second and have the rest of the hair all shed out. The reason I am concerned a bit with yours is that you can see the laser pulses in circles on your face, which looks more like they missed a ton of spaces. Mine would shed evenly, I only had results like this once and it was when I used GentleLASE at a previous clinic, looked almost identical because they missed tons.

It won’t be permanent, unless you keep going for treatments and they keep missing spots.

well i had a 2nd full treatment on it on saturday. so that hair hasnt shed yet…you said that 60% fell out first time for u, i would say its more like 70% for me…and then 2nd treatment the remaining hairs that didnt fall out the first time came out for u? is that correct?

that would be the ideal situation for me. then i could stop completely and just it regrow back slowly…but the spa is telling me that this 2nd treatment will probably remove less then 50% of the remaining hair, and I will probably need 6 treatments to completely clear the dense areas… is this legit and correct? or are they just try to sell me? i dont think shes gonna charge me for additional touchups and i made it clear to her this is no longer about money its about getting my beard even and natural looking again…

so basically i need to wait another 7-10 for the 2nd shed to occur and then see where i am at?? if there are remaining dark areas should I go and get just those areas touched up ? or should I just stop because i am scared that there will be little or no regrowth

heres some better quality pics… it looks like around 60-70% was cleared after the 1st treatment…i dont think they really missed areas and of course u can see some spots where nearly all the hairs have exploded out of the skin…

is it possible that these hairs could be in the anagen phase and thats why they didnt shed after the 1st treatment? and if so, shouldnt they all shed after the 2nd treatment( approx 2 weeks later) ???

Sorry but to me those are very clearly missed spots, OR a laser at too low of settings. You can clearly see the laser pulses as circles. When I said mine shed about 60% first time, it shed evenly everywhere. I didn’t have spots that were bald like you and some that were hairy, it was just a reduction. There’s a lot of hairy spots so I don’t think they necessarily missed those areas, it seems more like the laser was at too low of settings so some areas responded better.

Question for you, did it hurt like a mother #$@#$% during the treatment where you couldn’t wait for it to be over, even with numbing cream on?

its hurts bad. i had emla cream on and ice applied…

first time they turned it down a bit i remember cause i couldnt handle it. they did it at 25 the first time. 2nd time i guess she turned it up because of what you stated above and did it at 27…

i really pray to God, Allah, Buddha that these dark areas come out with the 2nd pass and it looks even…

do u think i should switch spas to a place that has more experience on mens beards if it doesnt all come out in the next couple weeks?

Do not switch spas!

The spa has a medical doctor underwriting the procedures (it does right?). “Give them the problem” and let them solve it. From a legal point of view, the second you have someone else work on your face it’s “no longer our responsibility.” If they actually have damaged you, you will have no recourse.

If you are seriously worried, go to a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. I always prefer the real board certified plastic guys — not so called “cosmetic surgeons.” They always give you a straight answer!

You are going to be fine, but PLEASE think ahead and start to “think like a lawyer!” Actual burns or infections are the problem, you don’t have that. Hang in there buddy!

this spa that i go to is relatively small, they dont have a medical doctor…very few spas ive been to have a doctor on staff… I am going to see one on thursday to get an opinion from him but i dont expect him to do much other then sell me treatment…

theres no burns or infections, my skin tends to react well to treatment all over my body. but i am just horrified by how it looks right now… and I am scared that doing ‘touch ups’ could potentialy make regrowth impossible? or at least much slower…

ideally i just want the dark areas that didnt fall out the first time to just fall out, and then i can leave it and stop worrying. if it comes back in full again fine, im back at square one but at least i havent done any permanent damage…but i am scared that the small little circles which almost completely bare, i am scared they will never grow in fully like before and i will have areas that arent as dense as other areas and that would just be dreadful :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

k i scheduled an appointment with my family physician and ill get him to refer me to a proper dermatologist.

i think i should cancel these appointments with these other clinics. i am sure they are just gonna try and sell me treatments with them.

I am going on what edokid has said and just do touch ups with my current spa on the areas that didnt shed. unless of course the dermatoligist tells me to stop all treatment immediately.

basically everyone i have talked to has said its gonna take at least 6 treatments to clear it up completely…they said its impossible to have gotten it all after 1 or 2 treatments…

edokid i dont know how thick and dense your beard was but mine was very thick and very dense.