Laser Hair Removal Can Cause More Hair Growth, Is It True?

In some women, laser hair removal treatment paradoxical laser-induced hypertrichosis is real phenomenon! This occurrence has been reported on various forums, although it has not yet been medically proven. It is a rare occurrence and appears to happen only when treating the chin, sideburn and neck area of middle eastern or indian women who is darker skin types (IV V VI), very few to men's back, shoulders or upper arms. But the risk can be reduced by using a longer-wavelength laser.

Current research indicates that the leading cause for the stimulation of hair growth is treated with the wrong laser or if it's on the wrong setting. Heat stimulation can activate dormant follicles and the fine hairs will absorb a certain amount of energy, causing some damage. If using the sub-optimal energies lasers to remove hair, they can not enough to completely destroy the follicles. In trying to heal this damage, the follicles can be strengthened and increased hair growth! This is why laser is never good to treat at low settings or too fine hairs.

One possibility why this may be more prevalent in darker skinned patients is because practitioners may be hesitant to use appropriate settings or do not have the correct technology such as long-pulsed Nd: YAG. That being said, a laser does do minimal exfoliation which can initially cause what may seem like a sudden growth in hair. This is because your hair grows in 3 different stages, Anagen Catagen and Telegen. Some client may notice the hair growing out pretty much immediately, others it may appear that the hair is grown more. Relax, hair removal is a process and will take time to achieve results.

Laser Hair Reduction Can Cause More Hair Growth, Is It True?

Results vary from client to client. There are many different circumstances that can limit or change the laser hair reduction results, such as Hormonal, possible medications, underlining conditions. Remember to be open with your provider to anything that may limit or change your results. There is another research in a single-center :

Staff assessed the prevalence of apparent laser-stimulated hypertrichosis in a population of 489 patients who had received at least 1 LHR with a long-pulsed alexandrite laser (755-nm) over a 4-year period. They also sought to identify patient variables predictive of a higher risk of developing postlaser hypertrichosis.

Out of 489 patients, 3 showed clinical evidence of postlaser hypertrichosis in laser treatment sites during a 4-year treatment period (prevalence of 0.6%, 95% confidence interval: 0.01%-1.9%). All 3 of these subjects had black hair and phototype IV skin. Although additional variables such as age, sex, treatment settings, and number of treatments did not appear to differ between this group and the controls, the small sample size precluded adequate statistical analysis. One 39-year-old woman who showed signs of post-LHR hypertrichosis on her face was of Mediterranean descent; she received 13 laser treatment sessions without apparent improvement, and had a negative work-up for hyperandrogenism. The other patients were both men: one 30-year-old white man undergoing back and arm LHR, and one 21-year-old Chinese man undergoing facial LHR. This latter patient had also started finasteride for androgenetic alopecia prior to noting the increased facial hair growth.

So if you feel your condition is getting worst during this treatment regimen, then


  1. Stop the regimen.
  2. Review the issue with your dermatologist, and make sure nothing else, like a hormonal imbalance, is being missed.
  3. Consider using another long-pulsed laser technology, like the Nd-YAG.
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