IPL Hair Removal Side Effect – Facial Hair Regrowth

Fine Fuzz Hair Regrowth After IPL Treatments

In this post we will try and cover one side effect of IPL hair removal treatments which is quite rare but worth to know. In some cases when treating the facial fuzz hair with IPL, the hair growth is stimulated instead of slowed down. This side effect is also known to occur in laser hair removal treatments.

When women do IPL hair removal treatment over facial hair, they need to take into their consideration some more factors. Some of the hair growth is due to hormonal changes like PCOS.

IPL Hair Removal & Regrowth

The IPL hair removal devices like the Remington IPL, Viss Beauty and Silk’n SensEpil all function by the same technology of heating the hair bulb by transferring heat through the hair follicle.

When the light energy gets to the dark hair melanin it turns to heat. If the hair is connected to the bulb, the bulb will be heated until destruction.

At each treatment only 10%-20% of the hairs are connected to the bulb, and only these hairs will be disabled. This is why IPL (and laser) treatments should be done a few weeks apart, so the light can reach new untreated hairs. After completing 4-6 treatments, hair growth should be reduced by 80%, and this is a success!

IPL hair removal is a safe method used by millions of people around the world. But like any other hair removal procedure IPL has it’s known side effects. One of which is excessive hair growth instead of hair reduction.

Light & Heat Can Stimulate Hair Growth

If you ever had the chance to read the manual of the men’s laser hair growth devices, you will see that they refer to the effect that heat can stimulate hair growth. Dermatologist Sandy Tsao, an instructor at Harvard Medical School has referred to this issue at the New York Times:

Lasers have been primarily used to remove hair–not encourage regrowth. However, Tsao indicated that when lasers were used to remove hair at inadequate energy, hair growth was noted. “So now the theory is, if you can stimulate the follicle to reactivate hair cells, you can get new hair growth”. Read more..

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) – Was found by an Hungarian physician who experimented laser to treat skin cancer found that shaved mice grew hair faster when when treated by Low-level laser therapy (LLLT).

Most IPL devices work on low light energy flashes 3-5 joules per square cm of skin. This is a low light energy compared to the 24 joules of the TRIA laser or the professional lasers like the DM6050 or DM7050 lasers which is 96 joules or 130 joules per square cm of skin.

Reducing The Risk For Hair Regrowth

Even the doctors have not found a 100% proof way to eliminate the unwanted hair regrowth. But there are some guidelines which may reduce the chances of these happening.

Do Not Treat Fuzz Hair

Fuzz hair growth on the face is in many cases a hormonal hair growth. This means that laser or IPL will not prevent it from regrowing. The best solution for long lasting fuzz hair removal would be to do electrolysis. The downside is that doing electrolysis is a slow procedure, but the tiny needle will eliminate the bulb permanently. There are low cost electrolysis kits which will help you do this kind of treatment at home.


Use IPL at a Higher Energy Level

It is recommended to begin the facial hair removal at a low energy level. Though IPL should not hurt, the main objective is not to avoid pain but to remove hair. Use some numbing gel and raise the IPL light level one-two grades higher. Higher level is more effective than low energy at removing hairs.

Use Laser Not IPL For Facial Hair

Now this is a tricky advice, we  recommend you to follow the manufacturers safety instructions the TRIA laser is not approved for facial use. But hundreds of women do use the TRIA on facial hair and comment about it at hair removal forums and at the TRIA website forum itself.

If you do not have a TRIA laser buy it HERE.

Many of the comments are that the process was successfully without regrowth side effects. DO NOT TREAT WITH LASER NEAR THE EYES.