Snipping Better Than Shaving Prior to Laser Hair Removal

Postmenopausal women with hirsutism are less likely to experience paradoxical hypertrichosis following treatment with an alexandrite laser if they snip their hair rather than shave it prior to treatment. Researchers Robabeh Alijanpour, MD, and Fatemeh Aliakbarpour, DDS, randomly divided 129 premenopausal women affected by hirsutism into two groups. Group A (66 patients) shaved their hair prior to laser treatment and Group B (63 patients) shortened their hair using scissors.

Each patient received six alexandrite laser therapy sessions every month for six consecutive months. Chin hairs in a 5 × 5 cm2 zone were counted, and the paradoxical hair regrowth was evaluated four times during the study: once at baseline, once before the third session, once before the sixth session, and once six months after the last laser session.

They found that alexandrite laser therapy was very effective in reducing hair counts in both groups. Prior to the third laser session, the hair counts were 15.06 ± 5.20 in Group A and 13.07 ± 4.44 in Group B. Before the sixth session hair counts were 2.80 ± 1.16 in Group A and 2.71 ± 1.12 in Group B. Six months after the last laser session, the counts were 11.27 ± 9.30 in Group A and 8.15 ± 3.12 in Group B. But at one-year follow up, paradoxical hypertrichosis was only observed in the shaving group, affecting three patients of Group A and zero patients in Group B.

The study was published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (March 2017).

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