What kind of hair growth process follows immediately after first laser treatment?

I had my first laser bikini treatment 5 days ago. The area was shaven before the laser treatment was done. After the treatment by bikini area was a bit red and the shaven hairs were still visible. Is this how it should look? Is it correct to assume that these hairs will continue to grow and then fall out? Once fallen out, new hairs will grow and those hairs will be the hairs to have a second session of laser treatment applied?

Doctor Answers 2

Post-Laser Hair Removal

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This is a normal reaction and no cause for concern. Hairs that were treated, although still visible, will shed over the next 1-3 weeks and should not grow back for about 1-2 months. It is important to remember that only hairs that were in growth phase at the time of treatment were affected (all hair is never in the same phase at the same time), thus multiple treatments are always needed. It sounds like everything is going according to plan, just be patient.

New York Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Hair growth and laser hair removal

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Hair growth occurs in 3 stages.  Laser hair removal works on hair in the active growing stage (called anogen).  During this stage, there is plenty of pigment and moisture in the hair follicle to act as a target for the laser light.  The next phase of growth, catogen, is less affected by the laser light and only some of the hair follicles in this stage will respond to treatment.  Hair in the final stage of growth, telogen, will not typically be affected by the treatment.  Because not all of your hair follicles are in the same stage of growth at the same time, multiple laser treatments are required to treat a single area.  Following each treatment, hair in the final 2 stages of growth will remain unchanged (you may be able to see it if you shaved it, but it will not grow back until the old follicle falls out naturally and the hair re-enters the first stage of growth) but most of the hair that was in the anogen (growing) phase will fall out and not grow back.You will likely find that you don't have to shave again for a couple of weeks following a treatment because the remaining hairs are not actively growing. After a couple of weeks, some of those hairs will fall out naturally, and new hair will begin to grow.  In the next 4-8 weeks (depending on the area of the body being treated) a second laser treatment will be effective in destroying additional hair follicles.This cycle will repeat until most of the hair in the treatment area has been addressed.  This could take 6-8 treatments and you may need additional "touch up" treatments from time to time.

Suzan McGary, MD
Williamsport Thoracic 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.