I haven't posted here since 2006! I read this place for a long time, then fell away. I came back today to read about a home system that sounded promising (but is not, unfortunately).
I began in 2005 (Oct) with upper lip and chin. I had whatever the full package is (6? treatments?) Not sure of how many as I didn't keep notes on all of it.
Due to the lateness of the tech one day, I got a free underarm treatment. The results were so impressive that I signed up for the full package. That was in 2006-7.
I've had small bits done on the face, once or twice around the bikini area and around the bellybutton (twice).
Finally in April of 2010, I did the legs, followed by once more in March of 2013 just before I left Florida for good. I had touch-ups all around too.
I have very fair skin and very dark brown hair (well, I'm middle-aged, but lots of my hair is still dark).
The tech used the Alexandrite Gentlelase, set at 14 (I know...but it's what she used). Pain level for me is extremely high (I have fibromyalgia that doesn't help in that matter) so I used lidocaine ahead of the procedures after the first time.
This was through my gynecologist's office. I had two different techs (not sure why they got rid of the first one) and both were very good and I got my money's worth.
Results: For me, skin laser treatment, for the most part, was excellent, with one exception:
Upper lip. 99% hair gone. No issues there. Perfect results.
Underarms. I'd say 95% gone and what remains (about 5 hairs) is very light and thin and I just do two swipes of the razor when they return - like once a month or every other month. You can't even see them when they come back. Superb results.
Chin: The only area with which I'm unhappy. I still have all kinds of stray hairs which I now pluck. There are about 7 or 8 on my face too. Note that I'm a post-menopausal woman (had it hit very early when I was only 44. I'm 56 now).
Legs: In spite of only having 2 treatments due to cost and then running out of time (I ran in to get treatment #2 right before we moved out-of-state) I had super results. I'd say I had 75% hair reduction and what came back instead of being black and thick is light brown and thin. I can go a rather long time without shaving what's left and what is there is very light and hard for others to see.
So for me, for the most part, laser was awesome. I wish the legs were a bit cheaper to do. I hadn't thought of doing more, but after reading up here, perhaps I will but I have to find someone (I moved up to NC). If you've light skin and dark hair, GO FOR IT.
My mom didn't have success with electrolysis and for me, the pain factor would probably rule that out. The laser itself wasn't like a "rubber band snapping" it was like someone set that rubber band on fire THEN snapped it on my leg! *grin*
Ideally, before my hair turns white. I wouldn't mind 1-2 more times on the legs and a really good touch-up on the neck and chin. But other than the neck and chin, I'm 100% satisfied with laser and grateful I could afford a bit of it (it's expensive) and that I still had dark hair to target. My mom, who still has to deal with her upper lip, is jealous. I had my youngest, who has the same upper lip issue) go several times to get her upper lip zapped.
That's my story. I can't believe I joined this forum 9 years ago. Time flies.