Can a Laser Stimulate Hair Growth?

I have had laser hair removal with Lumenis Lightsheer for 6 sessions. I am not seeing any improvement after the 4th session. Actually, on the 4th session, when the doctor increased the setting, I noticed hair grow back more and darker. Should I continue the treatment? Or I should switch to another Laser or clinic?

Doctor Answers 6

Low laser fluences (energy) may lead to hair growth

Current research indicates that using sub-optimal fluences (energies) for laser hair removal treatments is a leading cause for the stimulation of hair growth – not a desirable effect when trying to remove hair.

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 (ex: long-pulsed Nd: YAG laser) for this group of patients.

We believe that a practitioner should not have to trade efficacy for safety if they are using correct technology, have a good understanding of skin typing, and choose safe, effective settings with each and every treatment.

Because we now see a growing trend in the use of low emitting diodes for the stimulation of hair growth, it’s plausible to consider that this concept would apply to treatments wherein sub-therapeutic laser fluences are being utilized. Rather than inhibiting hair growth, the negative outcome of using energies that are too low may be a stimulation of hair growth.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Hair growth with Lightsheer

Well, it has been reported that some of the laser technologies used to remove hair, have indeed induced hair growth at lower settings. First of all, if you feel your condition is getting worst during this treatment regimen, then stop the regimen. Second, I would review the issue with your dermatologist, and make sure nothing else, like a hormonal imbalance, is being missed. Third, consider using another laser technology, like the Nd-YAG or Alexandrite.

Omeed Memar, MD, PhD
Chicago Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Can laser stimulate hair growth?

Low dose lasers may stimulate hair growth (for example the laser comb that advertises hair growth).  The hair growth is generally very fine.  Lasers used for hair removal generally do not promote hair growth at the recommended settings for skin type..  Are than other factors involved (hormone, medication).?

Robert Sleightholm, MD
Brampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Hair Growth and Laser

Results vary from client to client. There are many different circumstances that can limit or change the results. (Hormonal, possible medications, underlining conditions) remember to be open with your provider to anything that may limit or change your results. The more your provider knows about you,  the better they are equipped as to what direction to take in order for you to have the best results. That being said, a laser does do minimal exfoliation during the treatment which can initially cause what may seem like a sudden growth in hair. This is because your hair grows in 3 different stages, Anagen (Baby stage) Catagen (Active stage) and Telegen (Resting stage).  Again results vary from client to client. Some may notice the hair growing out pretty much imidiately. Others it may appear that the hair is grown more. Relax, hair removal is a process and will take time to achieve results. The Lightsheer laser is equipped so that the provider can adjust the setting accordingly, Up or down. So as the provider is aware of how your skin reacted with treatments the more aggressive they can get during each session.



Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Laser Hair Removal Does Not Stimulate Hair Growth; Multiple Sessions Treat All Hair Cycles

Just to start with the LightSheer laser is the one of the gold standard lasers ever created and used for laser hair removal. It takes time and sessions for the lasers used to remove unwanted hair and even so, this does not mean you will never see hair growth again. Hair has cycles and it can be that some of the hairs that were not treated in the last of your treatments are now in their growth cycle and that new hair looks like is forming. This is a process – it is not a one-time treatment – and multiple therapies with skilled providers are needed.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Hair removal takes time

First of all, I truly doubt that any laser used for hair removal could cause more hair regrowth, especially if a very good laser like the Lumenis Lightsheer is used. Patients are sometimes unclear that even with lasers, hair removal takes many sessions and a fair bit of time to see improvement. However, comopared to old-fashioned electrolysis, it is more than 100 times faster.

Before switching to another physician or other laser treament center, I would speak to the doctor and ask him a few questons:

  • How many treatments does he think it will take before you see noticeable improvement?
  • How much will it cost?

I have a patient, who is not seeing me for his hair removal, who told me that he decided to get electrolysis to remove his fairly densely hairy back. He went every week for an hour over a 2 year period until it was declared that he was finished- that is over 100 electolysis treatments.

You just need to be patient and understand that hair removal is a process, but eventually you will get the results you are looking for.

Peter Goldman, MD (retired)
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.