Laser hair removal stimulating hair growth, should I try another technique?

I had three full body laser hair removel session. My arms, under arms and bikini have shown great results. However i am seeing more hair growth on my chin and neck then befor I started the treatment. I have read about the double pass techniqe being effective for this problem. Should I go for that or stop the chin and neck treatment altogether?

Doctor Answers 5

Laser Hair Removal Stimulating Hair Growth

I would stop treatment immediately. The face is a difficult place to treat. Facial hair is very fine and is difficult to attract to the laser. The laser might be stimulating hair growth, known as Paradoxical hair growth. I do not treat facial hair that often for this exact reason

Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Paradoxical hair stimulation on face

What you are describing is called "paradoxical hair stimulation". The paradox here is that instead of hair getting less you get more hair growth after the treatments. The exact cause of paradoxical growth is not known. However we know that some areas are more prone to develop paradoxical growth than other areas. Its almost unknown in Bikini, underarms or legs. Jawline, neck and cheeks somehow are typical sites. Some centers see it more often than others. In these cases its to do with the power of the laser used. Suboptimal power will just stunt the growth of the hair rather than "killing" the hair. Similarly some poor quality IPLs (which by the way are NOT lasers, though some advertise it so) can produce the same. All IPLs are not made the same. We have seen good response with upping the power; again there is also higher risk of side effects, and hence experience matters. Certain prescription creams for reducing hair growth are expensive and useless to the least. Hope that helps. 

Ram Chandra, MD
Edison Physician

Getting the results you want with laser hair removal

It can take a series of 3-6 laser hair removal treatments for great results. I typically have patients do every 4 weeks for the first 3 times and then every 4-6 weeks for 3 times after. It takes a series of treatments for improvement in hair reduction. I suggest you see an expert. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Treating neck and facial hair is tough

These hair tend to be smaller in diameter and thus have less target for the laser. If the laser is not a max settings, the hair can get injured but not killed. This can lead to more hair growth. Make sure settings are maximum, but in the safe zone. If this doesn't work, I'd forego further treatments and try Vaniqa.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

LASER hair removal stimulating hair growth

If the fluence of the laser is too low (energy is too low), patients can experience hair growth instead of hair removal.  Make sure the type of laser is appropriate for your skin type and that it is able to deliver the correct fluence for effective laser hair removal.  

Face and chin hair is often the most resistant to laser hair removal.  The double pass technique (also used with IPL) allows patients to receive enough energy over two sessions rather than one.  For some patients, variants of technique have helped patients see improved results.  

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 166 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.