Facial Hair Loss Permanent After IPL?

I currently went through and IPL treatment it has been three weeks since the treatment. I still have facial redness in spots which is highly magnified since my facial hair will not grow back and has left huge patches in my beard. This is very troublesome to myself as they patches are very noticeable even after a shave my facial hair grows very fast and i cant stand the empty patches all over my face. I had IPL for acne scars years ago various treatment never losing hair is this permanent?

Doctor Answers 4

Hair loss after IPL

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IPL has been used for hair removal and it can damage follicles, leading to hair loss. However, your hair may grow back as the weeks pass. 

Sparse beard growth after IPL treatment

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Though IPL is commonly used for the treatment of brown and red discoloration on the face, it can also be used for hair removal/reduction. That being said, it is not unlikely to experience diminished hair growth in areas treated for red and brown spots.  This is definitely something we consider and discuss with our patients (especially men) before treating.  Three weeks is definitely too soon to say anything definitive..the hair may merely be 'stunted' for a short while (a number of weeks) and then slowly regrow, there may be an overall diminished growth (thinner, lighter hair and more sparse in its distribution)  If diminished hair growth on the face is of significant concern to you, I would consider exploring other laser options for the treatment of reds and browns that have less of a chance of effecting hair growth (Fraxel, Pulse Dye lasers, Nd:YAG)


Dr. Grant Stevens      

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Hair loss after IPL in men

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The IPL treatments are often used for hair removal purposes and this is a standard discussion I have with male and female patients undergoing IPL for redness or brown spots etc.  Most men dont mind the potential for hair loss since they would prefer not to shave and the women find this just to be a bonus for them.  In your case, the patchiness of your hair loss may not be acceptable to you.  You should discuss this with your treating doctor and see what can be done.  That being said, no hair removal lasers are truly permanent and hairs usually will grow back . It may take years, however, and they will likely be thinner and less dark if they do come back. For you to be able to grow a full beard may be unlikely.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist

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Facial hair loss can be caused by IPL treatments

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The primary reason patients pursue treatment with IPL is to reduce pigmentary irregularities (ie brown spots and blood vessels).  Since the target for IPL is color a pigmented hair follicle can absorb the light energy and be destroyed.  It is unlikely that the areas of hair loss will regrow and more likely the loss will be permanent.

Pamela Carr, MD
Sugar Land Dermatologic Surgeon

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.