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#78782 - 09/25/10 01:05 PM Laser a scam? Or just not for me?
connor_15 Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/21/10
Posts: 68
Loc: London, Toronto (Ontario)
Is laser a scam?

I’m wondering whether or not laser hair removal is a “scam.” I know many of you have great success stories, but the negatives seem to outweigh the positives. I just received my first laser treatment yesterday, and although excited, I am quite skeptical, as I have heard many people who have had excessive amounts of treatments, but aren’t seeing satisfactory (if no more regrowth) results. I’m 16 (I know that is very young for laser, but it is a very big self confidence issue), and I’ve tried absolutely everything.

I’m getting my chest and abdominal area treated (dark black hair – not coarse on stomach, coarse on chest and below belly button.) I go to a spa in my local town here, as a student, rates were a concern, and my laser therapist seemed to understand. However, I do see that people are saying that a chest and abdominal area generally take the better part of 30 – 45 minutes. She was finished in 5 – 7 minutes. She put the gel on my stomach and simply dragged it across at a slow, steady pace. I could definitely feel it, however, after we were all finished, I didn’t really feel like we had quite “zapped” every hair.

I’m just questioning right now whether or not electrolysis would be more feasible. My chest has a steady amount of hair, and I know after I lost my tan that it was an ideal place to treat with laser. My stomach, however, is not as coarse, but I still do get soft stubble on it. What do you guys think?

Thanks a lot,
- Connor

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#78783 - 09/25/10 01:28 PM Re: Laser a scam? Or just not for me? [Re: connor_15]
emilily Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 367
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Sounds like the lightsheer diode, where the best technique to use is compression rather than the gliding technique. It's funny that you seem to feel yourself well versed in laser but haven't mentioned settings or the machine used.

I think chest, and under belly button are usually "more" ideal than anywhere else on the front part of the torso as they are the places with dark, thick hair that will have enough melanin for the laser to pick up.

Make sure the hair all sheds within three weeks. Anything still growing should be regarded as missed patches. Find out if your clinic will redo these places for free. Make sure you don't prepay for packages. Try to find out if they have any qualifications/how muhc experience they have. It's worth doing your research first. Read the FAQs posted at the top of this forum.
5 sessions on underarms, brazilian starting 07/05/10 (GentleLASE)
4 laser sessions on tummy starting 07/05/10
70 minutes of electrolysis in 2010 (Blend)

Current (Apilus Platinum):
Chin, lip, sides: Starting 30/08/13 1420 minutes
Tummy: 1 hr 21/09, 1 hr 30/09/13, 1.5 13/01, 1.5 08/04, .5hr 26/06, 1 hr 17/11/14,.25 hr 09/03/15, .25 31/07/2015
Chest/underarm: 2 hr 12/10, 1 hr 21/10, 1.5 hours 12/12/13, 1.5hours 11/02, 1.5 08/05, .5hr 26/6, 1hr 05/08, 1hr 17/11/14, .75hr 09/03/15, .5hr 13/07/15

Most recent: 45mins 08/10/2015, 30mins 02/16, 1hr 24/06/16, 1hr 11/10/16, 45 mins 18/09/2017

#78785 - 09/25/10 04:35 PM Re: Laser a scam? Or just not for me? [Re: emilily]
odi Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 05/08/09
Posts: 380
I bet it's an IPL.

Problem with the whole "Laser hair removal" market is that everyone wants a piece of the cake so you have way too many places that just get any kind of machine that they were told works. As a result they offer cheaper treatments (machine is cheaper) and usually with very little results so the whole market gets a bad name that it "doesn't work".
Laser Hair Removal Toronto (my own clinic)

#78788 - 09/25/10 06:13 PM Re: Laser a scam? Or just not for me? [Re: odi]
LAgirl Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 9994
Loc: New York, NY
Laser hair removal is absolutely not a scam. That said, there are plenty of uneducated or undereducated clinics and technicians out there who think they can just buy any machine and zap away, making thousands of dollars. Of course they can do it, but that's not how you get results with laser. Laser is great on a certain type of hair, with a certain machine at certain settings. Everything else produces average to minimal results.

Are you male or female? Can you post photos of the growth? It doesn't sound like you've done much research on the type of laser and settings you should use. You seemed to have only looked at prices, which is a huge mistake many make.

5-7 minutes is only enough time to cover a small area like the underarms. It's definitely not enough time for the area you're talking about.

Please read our FAQs at the link below. They will help you decide how to proceed. I hope you didn't prepay for any packages at this clinic.

#78803 - 09/26/10 01:46 AM Re: Laser a scam? Or just not for me? [Re: LAgirl]
connor_15 Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/21/10
Posts: 68
Loc: London, Toronto (Ontario)
Hey guys, thanks for all the replies.

I have actually done a lot of research, and I've been poking around these forums since around the beginning of the summer (mid-June 2010.) The laser being used is the IRIDEX Apex 800 Diode Laser. I believe the settings used on the machine were 23 joules at 9 mm spot size, and 2.0 Hz between each pulse? I could be wrong, but I would assume that that's around what the settings were.

I'm male. I have European descent, but aside from that, I'm primarily "white" and French Canadian (currently residing in the GTA - Greater Toronto Area.)

And I see what you mean, LAgirl. I'm thinking of just either packing up and doing electrolysis on the entire area (I've been doing electrolysis on my eye brows and my neck with great results.) I feel almost pressured, awkward, and anxious when I'm in the salon getting it done. The lady I work with seems to be rushed by everything, and it is by no means relaxing. I just felt timid, and I guess a little "jipped." She told me that with my growth and my skin type (I'm between a 3 and a 4 - however, I do believe I'm a 3. I'm very pale in the winter, tan very well and hardly ever burn during the summer), I would be able to achieve an 85 - 95% reduction.

As for the patches, I know that she went over my entire abdominal area, as with my chest, but I'm not sure about the thoroughness. I will post some pictures in the coming days when I see some hair, but for now, it's either small specs, or nonexistent.

Again, thanks a lot for your support guys, it's greatly appreciated.

#78813 - 09/26/10 02:29 PM Re: Laser a scam? Or just not for me? [Re: connor_15]

Why don't you just take the Go downtown and get laser done at a clinic recommended on here? There's so many in Toronto especially with alexandrite. Diode is still good but 9mm spot size I think is just so small that it's just asking for missed spots.

#78822 - 09/27/10 05:00 AM Re: Laser a scam? Or just not for me? [Re: ]
LAgirl Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 9994
Loc: New York, NY
Did she glide or she actually picked up the handle and covered the area while overlapping by 10% or so? I'm guessing in 5 minutes, she would have had to glide, which isn't very effective. 9mm is a pretty small spot size, so the settings are on the low end. You don't mention the pulse width (not the 2's likely between 5 and 100ms).

I don't think you should give up on laser if your hair is coarse dark and dense. It will save you a lot of time and money to kill the majority of it with laser.

However, you should find a clinic with a good alexandrite machine with a large spot size, and a clinic that would use max settings your skin can handle.

You should be seeing shedding of all treated hair in 3 weeks. Let us know what happens at that point.


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