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Unread 03-15-2008, 12:46 AM   #1
Undici
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Question New to Laser Hair Removal

Hello to Everyone & Thank You for All the Information,

I've been reading all the posts about Laser Hair Removal; & I have to say that I'm a bit more skeptical about trying it than I was before I read them. I have a gazillion questions & don't know where to go to have them answered ... !!! Here are just a few of them:

1) How do I know I'm getting someone that is professionally qualified to proceed on this type of treatment? What types of credentials should I keep in mind when searching for the right physician?
2) Where do I find information on who I can find in my area (that is qualified ...)?
3) How do I know what type of laser is necessary for my particular skin type?
4) What is the likelihood that this will be "permanent" hair removal?
5) I read something on one of the posts about ingrown hairs being unaffected; does this mean that the lasers don't get rid of hairs that are ingrown, or does this mean that the laser don't cause ingrown hairs?

I mainly would like to get the hair from my legs removed. My skin is pretty light; as I am embarrassed to show my legs most of the time; so, I don't get very much sun. Also, my hair is very thick & black & grows almost immediately after I'm done shaving. (Sometimes I think it grows back on one leg while I'm shaving the other.) I am a very cold-natured person; & when I get goosebumps the hair that grows back actually makes my legs bleed a little as it's breaking through the skin. At these times, when I run my hand over my leg, it feels like tiny razors all over; it's very painful! I have to soak in the tub for at least an hour before I even try to shave just to soften the hair.

I am very interested in getting this hair permanently removed & don't mind paying for it as long as I can be sure my skin won't be damaged in the process. Can anyone offer any insight into some of these questions? I am very appreciative of any help!
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Unread 03-16-2008, 06:07 AM   #2
Figgy
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1) How do I know I'm getting someone that is professionally qualified to proceed on this type of treatment? What types of credentials should I keep in mind when searching for the right physician?

Difficult question. In the state of California (where I live) you must be qualified to perform laser: I think only PAs, MDs, and RNs can do it. Most places use RNs. Be very wary of places that don't have an RN performing your treatment. See how long they've been in business. Many of the cheap, sketchy places in my area are only in business for a few months or years before disappearing, often with many clients hardearned $$$ with them. Use the internet to check up on them: check the physician's license for any medical malpractice suits filed about them, complaints filed against the physician of office. Most importantly, ask your friends. If you can find a friend who will recommend a place, that's great. Otherwise, check out the office's reviews on sites like yelp, citysearch, yahoo, and insiderpages. If you don't live in a city, find an experienced, young-ish dermatologist who doesn't do laser, go in and pay for a consultation and ask for their recommendations. They'll likely steer you to the right provider who is good for your skin type and is qualified.

2) Where do I find information on who I can find in my area (that is qualified ...)?

Where do you live?

3) How do I know what type of laser is necessary for my particular skin type?

What skin type do you have? This is likely a question you should resolve before seeing a provider; because of the cost of lasers (100,000 or more for the top end ones) the offices I've spoken to only have one (or two at the very most) lasers and they need to make those lasers pay for themselves.

IANYD, YMMV, etc, but based on my research and having spoken to my dermatologist and doctor and family members who are MDs, the Candela GentleLase Alexandrite Laser is the best and most effective laser on the market for pale or Mediterranean skin, closerly followed by the Coherent LightShear (new company owns Coherent, I forget who) and the Mediostar diode laser. For darker skin, the Nd:Yag is usually recommended because it penetrates the most deeply.

Some people say the Nd:Yag is the best for all skin types, some say for lighter skin it is hotter, more uncomfortable, and provides the same results (on pale skin) that the others do.

Do some more research on the individual lasers to see whose reviews you like the best and decide from there.

4) What is the likelihood that this will be "permanent" hair removal?


I'm only beginning the process, but based on my conversations with people post-treatment, 85-95% hair removal is defined as "optimal". If you really really want those last 5-15% hairs gone, some of my contacts have done electrolysis to eliminate them, others have just done pulse-by-pulse laser cleanups.

If you don't pay for one of the good lasers, there are really good chances that you will have sub-par results. Don't do IPL. It just won't work. I can't find anyone who has had good results with IPL. It's just cheaper.

5) I read something on one of the posts about ingrown hairs being unaffected; does this mean that the lasers don't get rid of hairs that are ingrown, or does this mean that the laser don't cause ingrown hairs?

My treatment provider (RN) says that the laser will eliminate ingrown hairs entirely. If you think about the process, it makes sense that it would- the hairs that are in angen when they get zapped will never grow again, so all you might have to do is remove the ingrown hair that time and never be troubled again. Of course, if you frequently get ingrown hairs, you'll likely get them until you finish your treatment, thinking logically: you still have hairs growing in that were unaffected by the previous laser, which could easily become ingrown.

Best of luck. I'm blogging every Friday about my laser experiences at: http://twochinchillas.blogspot.com/2...-blogging.html
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Unread 03-27-2008, 04:01 AM   #3
Undici
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Smile Thanks for All the Help!!

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to address all my questions; I know there were a lot of them. I am definitely doing my research before I decide on any specific clinic. Oh, by the way, I live in Austin, TX; there are quite a few spas here; but, as I said before, I've heard so many horror stories ... I was beginning to think that I would have to live with shaving cream & razors forever. Thanks to you, I can see there's still hope!! Is there the offchance that there's anyone here you'd recommend? Thanks again for all the help!

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Unread 11-11-2008, 08:51 AM   #4
katlover
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Figgy - thanks for your info here...I know I didn't ask the question but I found it very helpful and I enjoyed your anecdotal blog. (I also enjoyed the kitty cat adventures).

Do you know of any good places in Kansas or any good "chains" or certification associates? I am trying hard to do my research, but the midwest just seems to be behind.

Also, are you still glad you did it? Any new bits of wisdom?
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Unread 05-15-2008, 01:17 AM   #5
mtrent
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Thanks for the information on this. This is really something that I will be looking into.
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Unread 05-15-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
Green-Moo
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that's a great response figgy. I think it's helpful to everyone here! It's certainly helping me with some of my queries.
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Unread 05-16-2008, 12:43 AM   #7
riskey58
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I am new to this. So I want to thank you for all the information. I am interested in having it done, but want to know all about it before I do.
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Unread 06-01-2008, 10:39 PM   #8
ammulu
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Great response Figgy. It is of great help to just not me but to many on this forum. Thanks for helping us all out.
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Unread 06-02-2008, 02:52 AM   #9
riskey58
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Being new at this I think it helps to have all the information you can, It is better then walking in blind.
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Unread 06-02-2008, 02:57 AM   #10
mbtaluka
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Thank You for the information you provided Figgy, it is of great help to everyone of us here.
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