Is IPL Effective for Male Thick Beard?

I'm having a full body treatment with IPL. i'm having great results in any part of body but not in face. I'm considering Laser Diode for my beard, would be more suitable than IPL? After 2 months of treatments every 2 weeks, i fairly seen hair reduction in the part of my chin and upper lip, but in cheeks it seems to work very good. why is this? Not enough energy?

Doctor Answers 4

Different hair lasers work differently.

The facial hair around the lip and chin on a man can have thicker, deeper roots than other hair on the body. Depending on the wavelength used in your IPL treatments, the IPL device itself may not be reaching the roots of those more difficult hairs. Diode or Nd:YAG hair removal lasers may have a chance of working better for you.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

IPL works for facial hair,

if the hair is darker. If a higher energy is used the treatment will be more effective but the risk for side effects increases as well.  

Robert Kasten, MD
Mainz Dermatologic Surgeon

IPL for Male Beard Not Recommended

IPL will work for facial hair and normally takes multiple treatments.  It is best used to shape the beard in men, not to remove the beard entirely.  I could not agree more with Dr Altman.  Men who have all of their beard removed with IPL just look strange.  I would highly advise against it.

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Is IPL effective for male beard?

The question to ask first is whether a man wants to have laser hair removal on the beard area. 

When the male beard is removed, it is not cosmetically pleasing as it interferes with a man being perceived as a man.  Even cleanly shaven, a man has some hint of facial hair.  When there is no hair, the brain perceives the face as that of a prepubescent boy or a woman.  That is not a good outcome.

If a man has pseudofolliculitis, that is ingrown hairs that create nodules and pustules, that result in hyperpigmentation, that's a good reason for laser hair removal in the chin/neck area.

Please consider what the cosmetic outcome of laser hair removal for a male beard is before proceeding to other options.

That being said, IPL used at correct settings should work for the beard.  The success of a laser or IPL hair removal depends on several things:

- how many hair follicles are in active growth phase at the time of treatment

- how big the difference between skin color and hair color is.  Laser or IPL is not effective for grey, blond or red hair.

- how regular the hair removal sessions are.  There needs to be regularity with a span of 6-8 weeks between treatments initially as it resets the hair growth cycles to the same phase, enabling treatment of a large number of hair follicles at the same time.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.