I am a 39-year-old caucasian male with dark hair and thick beard. I'm evaluating laser hair removal for removing my beard.

Is the hair removal permanent, or will hair eventually grow back? How many treatments are generally required to fully clear the face—the normal 5-6, or more? Should the entire beard be treated at once, or in stages? Some people report a patchy or grid-like regrowth during the treatments—will this effect eventually disappear as the hair is diminished? Are there areas that cannot be treated, like right above or below the lips? What lasers are best suited—is the Elos laser a good option?

Doctor Answers 5

Facial Hair Removal with Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is not permanent. It takes 6-9 sessions of laser treatment to reduce 70%-90% of the hair. This is because not all hair is in its active growth phase. You may require touch up treatments every 6 months. Please consult with a laser hair removal expert with your concerns.

Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Facial hair removal with laser or IPL

This is a great question and we currently have a male undergoing facial hair treatment with our Prowave, which has been extremely effective for hair reduction for our female population.  The first thing one should know is that hair treatments are for reduction and not permanent removal, however some devices are more effective than others. Usually patients need 6-8 treatments every 6-10 weeks but you should start seeing some reduction after a couple treatments. The hairy people with dark, thick hair, may need even more treatments. We customize our discussion and treatments based on each individual hair assessment.  We re-evaluate just before each treatment. There can be patchy areas of regrowth and you might need touch ups. Some people still need to shave but it is every usually once a month or every couple of months for our ladies. For people with underlying hormonal issues, the hair follicles are always stimulated and it may be difficult to get some clearance. The nice thing about the procedure is that the pores look smaller and the skin is soft.  If there is some hair growth, it is usually softer, finer and lighter in color.  However, our Prowave can only be used in relatively light colored patients since the device targets the pigment in the hair but it can also target the pigment in the skin. We also have a YAG laser that would be good for touch ups in difficult to treat areas, like around the lips since it has a smaller tip. Fortunately this YAG, laser can be used in darker skin types. Good luck on your adventure and just make sure that you really do not want the beard or facial hair anymore since it will never be the same.

Elisa A. Burgess, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Beard removal with laser hair removal treatment

I suggest seeing an expert for treatment options.  This area is easily treated with laser hair removal and will require a series of treatments, but will give you better results after each session. Diode lasers are typically the best treatment for laser hair removal.  I typically have patients do every 4 weeks for the first 3 times and then every 4-6 weeks for 3 times after. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer.

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

Find an Experienced Provider with Good Equipment that is Regularly Calibrated

Newer lasers have features built in (such as sapphire cooling tips) to make them more comfortable.  Some of the newer technology is also more efficient, allowing for lower energy settings to be used with better results and less discomfort.  For any laser treatment, safety is the most important consideration.   In the state of Texas, every new laser patient has to be seen by a medical practitioner.  At that point, they can determine if you can be safely treated with their laser.

We recommend finding an experienced and reputable provider in your area with updated equipment.  A consistent overlapping technique is the key to avoiding patchiness in LHR.   Calibration and power of the laser is important for a safe, comfortable and effective treatment.  Find out what laser they will use and if it is under a maintenance contract.  If their laser isn’t calibrated on a regular basis or is underpowered, your treatment may be painful or inefficient. After a series of 6-8 initial treatments, you may need a touch up every 3-5 years.

We can't comment on the laser you mentioned.

Laura Riehm, MD
Fort Worth Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Hair removal in beard area

I would say that most are not happy with the results of this. It almost always is patchy. To make it very clean, it might take 10 or more treatments. The Elos is not a good choice. LightSheer, Gentlemax are good ones.Touch ups are always needed with any hair removal laser.

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