After waiting for 5 days you look down and still see hair. Before you fret, let’s take a look at why your hair didn’t fall out after laser hair removal. It turns out that there’s a wide range of reasons (such as the Anagen stage, different hair growth, number of treatments, etc) and after reading this, you’ll hopefully be able to understand what you need to do next.
What If My Hair Didn’t Fall Out After Laser?
Laser hair removal has many benefits which eliminate the daily need to shave, wax, or pluck unwanted hairs. The process uses a laser light to get rid of unwanted hair from the body. The laser in hair removal also uses intense heat to penetrate through the skin to target the root, which is the hair follicle, under the skin to remove the unwanted hair.
Following this, the hair follicle will be unable to grow new hair once permanently destroyed. The average hair growth rate after the laser is about a half an inch per month. Typically hair grows in cycles between 8-10 weeks and it differs from area to area. On your face, it grows in 4-week cycles. On your legs, it grows in a longer cycle of every 8-10 weeks. To understand this, let’s look at the hair growth cycles:
Hair Growth Cycles
The Anagen cycle is where the hair is visible on the surface of the skin and this is the most ideal stage for the laser treatments to work.
The hair must be in the growing stage for the laser to grab a hold of the growing hair and move through it into the hair follicle, making it the most successful time laser hair removal.
The Catagen cycle is the stage of the hair cycle before it falls out naturally. This stage is not because of the laser hair removal treatment, but a natural stage that hair goes through before falling out.
The Telogen cycle completes the hair growth cycle as it is known as the resting stage where the hair is not growing or developing under the skin. The hair is not normally showing above the surface of the skin at this stage and that’s what makes it the worst stage for laser hair removal as treatment cannot be conducted.
Hair growth cycles can vary depending on the age of the person, hormones, and natural hair growth processes, resulting in individual differences.
Common signs that people see after laser hair removal:
- After the laser hair removal session, the hair bulb will start to protrude out as your body will push the hair out of the follicle. This can happen over a 7-30-day period and causes redness and bumps like ingrown hairs. Sometimes the hair is trapped under the skin, which is what causes the redness or bumps. It is best to use cortisone on any red areas.
- It is common to think that the hair is growing when in reality it is the body pushing the hair to the skin’s surface to remove. If hair growth does occur, never tweeze the hairs because then the hair will not be there to remove the next time.
- The dead hairs can be exfoliated at home using a soft cotton and a circular buffing motion.
- If the hair didn’t fall out after laser, it is ideal to wait until they are naturally expelled from the body, or you will cause further irritation.
- If the hair didn’t fall out after laser, know that every individual hair may be in a different hair growth cycle. Not all hairs within the same area will be in the same cycle making it important to target areas with the laser more than once.
- Patients can see slightly pink skin for 1-2 days; in others there is no pinkness after laser hair removal.
How long does it take for hair to fall out after laser hair removal?
It takes 5-14 days. Hair follicles begin to fall out in 5-14 days and may continue to do so for weeks.
Why is my hair growing back after laser?
- After laser hair removal treatment, it is common for hair to regrow as it is part of the growth cycle. As we have discussed above, not all hair growth will be the same and so the hair that wasn’t on the surface will still come out.
- As we’ve discussed above, there are three types of hair growth stages. Hair in the anagen stage is ideal for the laser. The hairs in the catagen, or dormant stage won’t make a difference to laser treatment and grows when it goes to the anagen phase. This may be why you think all your hair didn’t fall out after laser.
- To destroy hair follicles, the laser used during the treatment focuses a beam of low-energy light on individual hair follicles underneath the skin. This energy absorbs melanin (responsible for the pigmentation in hair) and heats up the follicle and destroys its structure. The growth cycle of each hair is different, which is why some hair will not be damaged by the laser and continue to grow.
This is why it is recommended to go for at least six cycles of treatment to expect a significant reduction in hair, with each session conducted after every four to six weeks so that the hair keeps growing. Yes, it has to grow in its natural way, it doesn’t all spurt out and regrowth treatment can be conducted every six to 12 months.
The rate at which the hair regrows depends on the individual, with various conditions affecting the rate of regrowth. This includes: skin tone, hair colour, and where the hair is located. Did you know that only a 10 to 20 percent decrease in hair growth can be expected after each treatment, according to the American Academy of Dermatology? So if your hair didn’t fall out after laser, don’t panic. It will grow but there is good news: it will return much finer thanks to the treatment.
Is it OK to pull hair out after laser?
Do not tweeze or wax during laser hair removal treatments. Doing so removes the hair follicles that the laser targets.
How can I speed up the shedding after laser hair removal?
Exfoliating frequently (scrub or continued shaving) will help speed up the shedding process. Hair growth will be less after each treatment. Laser targets the pigment in the hair. The darker the hair the better the result.
What happens if you wait too long between laser hair removal?
Do not wait too long between cycles of hair growth (more than 2 to 3 months) because you may “miss” a period of hair growth. The laser only works on growing hairs (anagen phase). Not all hairs are growing at the same time (telogen and catogen phases) and so not all hair falls out during a given treatment. This is why it’s important that you continue hair removal for several sessions and months even if you start seeing results.
Look, it’s okay to have a bunch of questions popping up in your head if your hair didn’t fall out after laser. It’s better to call an aesthetician or whichever practitioner you’re seeing to talk about your concerns. Yes, googling this stuff can help you with some answers but as your doctor deals with patients day in and out, they’ll have a better understanding of what to do. Please remember to be patient with yourself like you were when you were endlessly shaving or putting an hour aside to wax. That history of dedicated patience will be your ultimate grooming strength throughout your laser hair removal journey.