Can Lasers Stimulate Hair Growth?

Can Lasers Stimulate Hair Growth?

One big concern for people requiring permanent hair removal is can lasers stimulate hair growth?   The answer is yes, but….it is very rare!

Almost every electrolysis website has an article whether a laser can stimulate hair growth.  Working with lasers for over 10 years and electrolysis for 23 years, I love both modalities of treatments.    This enables me to give my clients the best options possible.

Paradoxical laser hair stimulation is the technical term whereby laser treatments that normally would reduce the amount of hair growth has increased hair growth.  According to Dr. Sunil Kalia, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.P., assistant professor, division of dermatology and skin sciences, University of British Columbia, “It is a rare side effect, but there is the possibility that patients can develop paradoxical hypertrichosis after a treatment like laser epilation. Most research about paradoxical hypertrichosis is retrospective, so the data must be interpreted with caution.”

The above link is one the most quoted studies on websites.  The study was done at University of British Columbia where 489 patients underwent laser hair removal with and 755nm Alexandrite laser.  Of the 489 patients, a total of 3 patients had increased hair growth after treatments.  This represents 0.6%.  One of the commonalities between the 3 patients is they were a skin type 4 with dark hair.  This would mean that treatment levels with an Alexandrite laser would be extremely low to avoid surface damage. The Alexandrite laser is extremely color sensitive and is not recommended for more than a skin type 3.   This could possibly have induced hair growth.

Low-level laser therapy was first used in wound healing and was found to increase hair growth around the wound area.  Studies have now been done to determine whether low-level laser therapy treatments would increase hair growth.  Results from the investigation did find that patients treated with low levels of laser did experience thicker and increased hair growth. Great news for people with female and male pattern balding!    Hence the HairMax LaserComb by Lexington, International!

 Is it possible that people experiencing paradoxical hypertrichosis are not being treated at laser levels high enough to cauterize the lower hair follicle capillaries and papilla?  Is it also possible that the laser facilities are treating skin types and hair types that should not be treated by laser or with the wrong laser?   Remember, if the clinic has no other option for permanent hair removal they will recommend what they have.

From different sudy results, we can conclude:

  • Paradoxical hypertrichosis is rare.
  • Paradoxical hypertrichosis mainly occurs in facial areas for women and the shoulders, back and upper arms for men.
  • Vellus, blond and white hair should not be treated with laser hair removal.
  • Type 4 skin types should only be treated with laser if the lasers are capable of achieving a treatment level high enough to destroy the follicle without doing surface damage. This includes suntanned skin.   The laser recommended for darker skin types is the 1064nm yag.
  • Laser hair removal of the face and neck should be done only on the dark terminal hairs. The fine, soft vellus hair should be treated by electrolysis.
  • Laser hair removal works well  for all body areas where the hair is dark and thick.
  • Paradoxical hypertrichosis information and expectations should be managed before laser hair removal treatments are started.

If you having laser hair removal treatments and are seeing an increase in hair growth, discuss your concerns with your professional.   If electrolysis is not something they offer, perhaps they can recommend an experienced electrologist in your area.

Can laser stimulate hair growth – it is possible!  But at Palmer Laser and Electrolysis, we offer both laser and electrolysis to our clients for the best results possible.  Affordable and private, we would love to hear from you.

Contact us

(905) 773-0350

35 Blyth Street.
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4E 2Y2