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#57584 - 11/13/08 05:44 AM Time dimension to understand LHR technologies
solar_c75 Offline

Registered: 05/20/07
Posts: 37
I donít even know why Iím writing this post downÖ just want to share my thoughts with you readers of this forumÖ

After I switched from Diode to nd:YAG for my LHR for both full arms and legs, Iím not sure if Yag is actually working as it should.

A bit of background: I started my treatment with Diode in Singapore, and after a very successful 5 sessions Iíve been forced to switch to nd:YAG because It is apparently the only option here un Dubai (UAE) after I moved due to job transfer. After 3 sessions (45J, 2ms and 1cm spot size), I think itís not working out for me.

Trying to do my own investigation about this kind of laser, as well as the machine models and settings, I ended up with an information-overflow. Some reviews and studies recommend Yag as the best and safest laser for HR, whereas another reviews conclude that in not even good for a short term hair reduction. Some medical studies actually recommend IPL over laser which is absolutely confusing to me.

Then I came up with a thought: ..ĒMaybe if I use the ďTimeĒ as a variable in my equation, maybe I can understand the LHR technology evolution..Ē

My educated guess is that IPL was the first technology used for hair removal. Eventually as this new market (hair removal) became more profitable, new technologies were introduced; specifically Ruby, then alexandrite and Diode. Once the hair removal market got a critical mass, the industry moved towards (1) making the machines easier to use, (2) capable to treat all skin types, (3) capable to treat large areas in few minutes. Then nd:YAG for hair removal came into the picture: the perfect laser for HR from the business point of view because it can treat all skin tones including type IV and beyond in a very, very ( Iíd say suspiciously) fast fashion. In few words: maximum return of the investment and no liabilities due to burned clients.

My above guess serves me to explain: (1) nd:YAG does not have any conclusive prove that it is effective in the long-run because is relatively new in comparison to IPL or Alexandrite, and (2) ALL the laser hair removal clinics here in Dubai use nd:YAG and indeed they are replacing the rest of the technologies. Here in UAE both clinics and patients can afford the latest technologies regardless the high price, YAG in this case, which I presume itís a very expensive machine.

My point is that unless someone proves me wrong, LHR technologies are evolving towards to a more easy-and-quickly to use (idiotís proof) machines sacrificing somehow effectiveness.

Based on my own (and only my own) experience, nd:Yag machines for LHR are a sort of toys capable to remove hair but in a very-slow rate, therefore itís necessary 10+ sessions to achieve ~70% or less. Iím pretty sure that similar results can be achieved using Diode with way less sessions. Iím a bit frustrated with nd:YAG

Just my $0.02

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#57588 - 11/13/08 12:37 PM Re: Time dimension to understand LHR technologies [Re: solar_c75]
Romeo Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 06/19/06
Posts: 348
Loc: New York, USA
Can you Email some pictures please ??? By the way, NDYAG lasers are cheaper to produce and therefore, cheaper than Alexandrite Lasers.

NDYAG lasers are good for tanned skin and/or very coarse hair. On finer, thinner hair, a lower wavelength is required to remove the hair. Perhaps they may have ADJUSTABLE PULSE ALEXANDRITE lasers in Dubai. With these, one can adjust the thermal relaxation and give you an effective treatment by raising the pulse width without hurting your skin.
Chris Karavolas
Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal
New York, N.Y.

#57596 - 11/13/08 03:31 PM Re: Time dimension to understand LHR technologies [Re: Romeo]
pdeco1 Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 109
What is your skin type? After 5 sessions you should be nearly hair free if the treatments were done properly. You should at least be to the point where continued treatments may be difficult to remove additional hair.

Yag lasers are most effective on people with dark skin and coarse hair. Great for people of African descent. It can be used safely on all skin types, but the Yag is not effective on all skin types. Finding an alexandrite in Dubai may be extremely difficult considering the general population wouldn't be able to use it.

LHR is not as easy as point and click. Practitioner knowledge is very important.

#57621 - 11/15/08 07:24 AM Re: Time dimension to understand LHR technologies [Re: pdeco1]
LAgirl Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 9994
Loc: New York, NY
Yags are effective. However, they're only effective on very coarse hair. What is your skin type and what type of hair do you have? And what areas are you treating? This, along with the skill of your technician, is what makes a difference. I wouldn't be quick to blame the laser itself, but rather the skill of the person treating you and/or the type of hair/area you're treating with it.

I don't know of any Yag that goes down to 2ms pulse. Are you sure that's correct? 10mm spot size is ok, though not the biggest available out there.

I suspect that most of the problem has to do with the type of hair you're treating, i.e. you're not really approaching the analysis correctly. Yags were created for people with darker skin because those people can't handle effective settings on more powerful lasers like alexandrites and diodes. However, the downside is that while protecting darker skin, they are also less effective on finer hair that those more powerful lasers. Thus, when it comes down to treating coarse dense hair, all of the above should be similarly effective at good settings. But as the hair gets finer after several treatments, results wouldn't be as good with a Yag. Once again though, people with darker skin as most people in Dubai don't really have other options. They need to switch to electrolysis once the hair gets finer, i.e. faster than people with lighter skin who can affect some of that slightly finer hair with a diode or an alex instead at high settings.

#57627 - 11/16/08 03:58 AM Re: Time dimension to understand LHR technologies [Re: LAgirl]
solar_c75 Offline

Registered: 05/20/07
Posts: 37

My details:
Male 33 being treated in full arms and legs
Skin type IV (Latino type)


Both, Hair density and skin tone are correct for YAG. There's no discussion on that point. You're right though regarding the technician skills (a dermatologist, by the way).

I've found a couple of very interesting clips in YouTube showing an undergoing laser session with the same machine I've being treated with (Cutera Xeo... or something) on the same areas. The technician performs the treatment in the video a bit slower than my Dr. Here in UAE. I presume that in my case by going that fast, many hairs are left untreated between spot sizes when the laser is beaming. That might explain why Iím having very little rate of hair reduction. As a matter of fact, my hairs start growing less than a week after treatment which did not happen with Diode.

I got most of my legs and arms cleared but Iím still have a very inconvenient and unnatural hair patches here and there. These hairs have the same length of the ones already eliminated, so they are not the ones that YAG can't target.

Do you think that the gliding speed could be the reason of my slow progress?


P.D: I donít remember very well the settings but I think youíre right, the spot size is 10mm, the other one is 45J and the duration is probably 200ms (does this make any sense?)

#57628 - 11/16/08 07:59 AM Re: Time dimension to understand LHR technologies [Re: solar_c75]
LAgirl Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 9994
Loc: New York, NY
You cannot tell what's growing back 1 week after treatment. Shedding takes 3 weeks and at that point hair looks like it's growing, when it's actually just coming out to shed. You can only tell what hasn't shed and won't 3 full weeks after your treatment. If they're going fast, they may be missing spots. So touchups at 3 week point are important if that is happening. Gliding can result in poor results and more missed spots. But some lasers are meant to be glided. I'm not sure about this one...but the Coolglide for example has to glide.

Pulse could be 20ms. 200 is too high. It's usually somewhere between 5ms and 100ms.

#57632 - 11/16/08 08:49 AM Re: Time dimension to understand LHR technologies [Re: LAgirl]
solar_c75 Offline

Registered: 05/20/07
Posts: 37
So in this case must be 20ms (I got a very bad memory for numbers and dates).

I'm going to give the Doc one last chance. I have my next appointment in 3 more weeks. If I dont get the results I'm expecting, I'm afraid I have to stop the treatment in a very inconvenient stage in which I am almost hairless but with some hair strips, specially in lower legs :-((((


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