Paradoxical Hypertrichosis & Retreatment. Will laser hair removal be effective elsewhere? What types of laser would be best?

I'm a well female, late 20s, >50% Middle Eastern w/ fairly light skin. In 2011, I had laser facial hair removal at a spa. Prior I had only bleached. The Tx was 8 consecutively, spaced q4wks. The hair was thin/dark brown/soft. I terminated the procedure due to no reduction. Sessions were ~20mins each and very tolerable. Machine used: Lightsheer Diode. Within 3 years, I had more hairs: darker/courser/longer. Now having electrolysis since 10mos. I'm extremely leery to try laser again on my face.

Doctor Answers 3

Paradoxical hypertrichosis in a Middle Eastern Patient

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


A common issue for many patients, not just Middle Eastern,  is hypertrichosis.  The number one cause of hypertrichosis is that the fluence (power) is set too low.  Many of the older lasers do not used advanced cooling and some do not have enough fluence to treat thicker coarser hair with darker skin.  Hormonal factors are another cause of hypertrichosis and can influence your outcome as well.  

There are a variety of lasers which can be used for Middle Eastern Skin.  It is important  to chose a laser clinic with physicians and staff who work with ethnic skin as the margin of safety is much lower than with lighter skin types with thinner hair.  

Both newer diode lasers (with advanced cooling) as well as Nd:yag lasers (with cooling) are possible treatment options offering good results with the right settings. Alexandrite lasers will not be as effective for Middle Eastern Hair/Skin combination.  

The advantage of the Diode is that it typically represents more efficient hair removal in less sessions.  Advanced diodes with cooling tend to be safer for Middle Eastern patients.  Nd:YAG lasers tend to not be as efficient as Diode lasers and require multiple sessions, sometimes 5 to 6 more.  The combination of laser therapy can be helpful for some patients using Diode initially and then when the hair characteristics  change treating with Nd:YAG if necessary later on.  

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 171 reviews

Paradoxical Hypertrichosis After Laser Hair Removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
you need treatment with vaniqa and a different laser hair removal device. Consider an internal evaluation for hair growth.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Laser hair removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
First it is possible that is an underlying endocrine problem as poly cystic ovary syndrome. -an examination with a gyn will confirm if that is a possibility. Oral treatment with alma tone or vanilla or waxing two weeks prior to laser treatment will improve the efficacy of laser hair removal. A safe option is the candela yag which can be used on any color of skin. 

Morris Westfried, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.