Why is laser hair removal not working for me?

I am Caucasian, pretty fair skin tone. My hair is very dark and coarse. I do have a bit of red and blonde mixed in. But the majority is dark brown. I am a young male in my early 20's. I'm not on any medicine or have any health problems. I've had about 11 sessions on my face and neck. My skin reacts well to the laser as the hairs come out. It usually goes away for 3 weeks, but then grows back. What is wrong with me? Why is my hair still doing this? I believe the laser machine is called ACynosure?

Doctor Answers 7

Laser Hair Reduction for Male

Nothing is wrong with you. Remember, laser treatment works best with dark hair. Fine hair follicles have less pigment making it difficult to absorb the laser energy to be destroyed. 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 need the laser set at higher setting. Please talk with your treating physician about your concerns. 


Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Laser hair removal for ineffective hair removal

Ineffective laser hair removal may be a result of inappropriate wavelength, underpowered laser (low fluence or hand piece that requires replacement), underlying medical or hormonal condition (i.e. testosterone levels, et), or provider with not using appropriate technique or settings.  Consider mixing up the types of lasers as well to see if your hair responds better to other types of systems.

There is no single best laser system, but characteristics of a good laser hair removal office and laser are as follows for the best hair removal

-Experience with hair removal- Staff must be knowledgable about hair removal and understand how to treat it.  If the fluence is too low, more hair can result (hypertrichosis) rather than hair loss

-Proper wavelength- Diode and Nd:YAG and Alexandrite are the  best lasers for  hair removal.  In my office, we prefer the diode as it requires less sessions and tends to be more effective in targeting and treating hair (more hair removed per session) and is extremely versatile.

-Appropriate cooling- All laser systems need cooling to provide safety and comfort.  Uncomfortable laser hair removal tends to result in lower laser hair settings and can cause actual more hair to occur rather than less hair.

Hope that is helpful.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Male Laser hair reduction

Male's backs can take many treatments to achieve desired results. It appears that you are getting results but may require more treatments. I would speak to your physician about your concerns and determine if the settings they are using are optimal for you. You may just need further treatment.

Pamela Stuart, MD
San Jose Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Laser on face in male

Your hair that are not not dark will not respond to laser. Due to testosterone, 100% reduction of hair is not realistic. You will likely require several sessions and maintenance sessions idefinitely.

Ram Chandra, MD
Edison Physician

Getting the Results You Want with Laser Hair Removal

It always takes a series of treatments for Laser Hair Removal and is dependent on each individual. You are getting results, it just seems as though you require more treatments for maintenance. See an expert in laser hair removal for best results. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Laser hair removal for men

There is not set numbers of treatments for men, due to testosterone and genetic hair follicle setup men have, specially for face. Nothing is wrong with you, continue to do laser for a maintenance, be consistent with your appointment timing and ask for gradual increase of therapeutic level of laser energy. 

LHR not improving neck and facial hair

As you probably know, red and blonde hairs will not respond to the laser at all. Dark hair should. It might be the laser needs to be higher energy. More treatments should improve this. The goal is 75% improvement with laser hair removal. 100% is not possible.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 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.