Laser Hair Removal for Salt and Pepper Facial Hair?

I am 58 years old and have partially gray hair. The hair on my face is quite dense and mixed dark and white waxing is not for me and at this point I am forced to shave every day. Is there a laser hair removal treatment that would be effective? If not, would electrolysis work?

Doctor Answers 5

Laser Hair Removal for salt and pepper beard

Although it is not an ideal solution, we recommend a mix of laser treatments and electrolysis for those patients in your situation. We start the patient on laser hair removal and when all the dark hair has been removed, we refer the patient out to complete the removal of gray hair with electrolysis.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser Hair Removal for grey hair, blonde hair, red hair.

Laser hair removal is very effective if certain criteria are met. The process works by photothermolysis wherein laser light heats up and burns pigment in the hair follicle. Unfortunately, there is usually not enough pigment in a blonde, white, gray, or red hair follicle to generate enough heat to damage the follicle.

Patients with these hair colors should consider performing a spot test to evaluate their candidacy for treatment. Most professional medical offices should perform these at no cost on initial consultation.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Laser Hair Removal best for dark hair

Laser hair removal is your best bet but unfortunately the laser is most attracted to dark hairs. Once you complete the series of laser treatments we can then determine what would be best to try and disable the grey hairs.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Lasers are not effective for gray or white hair

There is still no reliable laser treatment that can predictably remove gray, white or blonde hair. Using a dye to change the hair color to black doesn't work either. Lasers would be an excellent choice for treating your darker "pepper" hair.

Electrolysis is going to be your best alternative for the "salt" colored hair, but it is uncomfortable, requires many treatments, and can be costly.

Take care, Dr. Groff

William Groff, DO
San Diego Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Dark hair good grey hair bad

The lasers that are avialbale for hair removal work best on dark hairs. The grey hair will not respond well if at all to the hair removal lasers. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.