Be Careful. More Than Worth It Some Areas, NIGHTMARE in Others
Hi all, I wanted to share my experience with...
- 13 Apr 2008
Hi all, I wanted to share my experience with others in hopes that it will help you. It's all about the area, and I would be very careful. I had laser hair removal starting about 7 years ago I guess, and went in for treatments for maybe 4 years. I had almost my entire body done (I was pretty hairy and sick of it being such a hassle in my life [including probs with ingrowns and scarring], not to mention self-esteem issues). I have olive colored skin (medium - medium/light) and dark hair. For me, it worked amazingly well in a few areas, and in others it INCREASED THE LENGTH AND THICKNESS OF MY HAIR SIXFOLD, and was not corrected DESPITE YEARS OF TREATMENTS. For the areas that it worked well, IT TOOK LOTS OF TREATMENTS, but it was truly life changing (though cons are that if your laser technician is not experienced or careful, you can get burn marks and hyper or hypo pigmentation that take a long time to go away (the hypo I think never goes away), which i did get a moderate amount of). For the other areas, it was an absolute nightmare and has cost me many, many thousands of dollars to try to correct the adverse effects. I had treatments with gentlelase and lightsheer lasers, which work differently but I would say both about on par with each other in terms of effectiveness for my skin type. Here are my results by area: LOWER LEGS: Great, great, great results after as little as 6 or 7 treatments (to the best of my memory), 8-12 weeks apart. I never even think about my lower legs anymore - once every blue moon use a trimmer to trim some very sparse and light hairs that I still have. Had one or two electrolysis treatments on a few stubborn patches. I would say 98% or more gone. UPPER LEGS and KNEES: Not as great results as lower legs but reduced hair by maybe 80%, with many more treatments tho, basically 3 or 4 years, 8-12 weeks apart. I can get away with trimming hair with a close-cutting trimmer once a week or less, and even if I don't, nothing is visible unless you get pretty close because remaining hair is lighter and sparser. Very happy I got it done. HAir seems to have to have been reduced more over time even after completion of treatments for some reason - used to have to trim it more often a year and a half ago, now not so much. BIKINI (brazilian): After 4 years of treatments, good results with each treatment but the hairs were persistent. Now I have long and dark hairs in still much of the area but aren't quite as thick as what I started out with (used to be just baby hairs a couple years ago but they have come back a little more and more over the years) but still more than worth the treatment. Some areas (closer in) almost completley clear (so I have kind of like the opposite of a landing strip, haha). I would say overall about 70% reduced. If I had continued to go in for treatments, may have gotten better results. Trim once in a while, but getting to the point where trimmed hair comes in thick and stubbly enough that I dont like just trimming. Considering going back for more treatments but worried about stimulating hair growth if I restart treatments now. NOTE: especially when you first start out and have tons of hair, VERY VERY PAINFUL. Like I-thought-I-might-need-to-visit the hospital-and-wouldn't-be-able-to-have-children painful when I got my very first treatment (but I was, and it was fine). GLUTEAL: started out with a a fuzzy butt, somehwat dark hair that was maybe two levels or so above baby hair. AFter 4 years of treatments, all hair is lighter and sparser, but some remaining hair is much longer. Not completely satisfied, but still glad I got it done. NOte: Also very painful area. ABS: After maybe 3 years or less of treatments or less, completely, completely gone. Had maybe 3 or 4 persistent light hairs that I had to get rid of afterwards, but very happy with results. SHOULDERS/UPPER ARM AND BACK: Um, NIGHTMARE does not accurately capture the trauma. I had fine but dark baby hair all over my upper arms and back, with it denser/darker and more visible along the middle line of my back and lower back (in fact it was so fine that I never felt the need to remove it beforehand, I just bleached it with creme bleach to lighten it once in a while). Went in for two or three treatments 8 weeks apart initially, and when the place that I was going closed down and I missed my next treatment, I noticed that my hair was coming in thicker, darker, and longer. In a couple months, I kid you not, I looked like I had a hairy man's back - I looked like a gorrilla. It was SO scary. I started to file a lawsuit but was told there was no way I could take on the huge laser companies, though I could try to take on the place that offered the treatments for not telling me it would happen (though due to owner's bankrupcy and state-line issues, we never carried the suit through). I was later told by the next laser treatment place I went that this sometimes happens to women in those areas (um, HELLO??? Nobody told me this BEFORE I had started treatment). I was so angry and felt like a freak of nature - I basically didn't let any dude touch my back (let alone show it in public) unless it was in just the right period after treatment when the hair had all fallen out and before it started to come back, or had to trim the entire area so the hair couldnt be felt. And when I got into a serious relationship, there was no way to hide it, I just had to be upfront. Anyways, after about 3 years of treatments 8 weeks apart, it did finally start to dwindle down. After 4 years of treatments, the hair was not as dense anymore, but def. still much longer and darker than the baby hair I started out with. I had issues with the place I was going and couldn't continue to go in for more treatments, and it just was taking so long for so little improvement that I had to start electrolysis, which is a very long and can be a painful process. I'm now, 7 years after starting laser treatment, still getting eletrolysis done regularly to try to correct this, and have been for two years now. I pay $60 for every hour and have 2-hr long appointments maybe about 20-25 times a year. So several thousand a year and will still be going in for at least one or two more years I would guess. Not to mention all the scarring and skin damage all of this craziness has cost, and that I have to awkwardly trim my entire back and/or shoulders/upper arms everytime I want to wear something that shows that area, like a tank top or bikini. For two years, couldn't even wear a t-shirt without trimming the hair, but finally my upper arms are near done so looking forward to not worrying about that this summer. DEFINITELY A HUGE REGRET getting laser done in this area. Ladies, if you REALLY insist on having this area done, please please please do a test patch with several treatments spaced 8 weeks apart (just like you would do for a full treatment) to see if you will have the same reaction I did. Don't know what the results are like for men, and I dont know what the results are with other lasers, though I think the reaction is more a result of any laser type of stimulation to that area. Note that I am very healthy and do not have PCOS or any such condition that would have contributed to the reaction I had. i checked the "worth it" box because of the good results I had in most areas, WITH SEVERAL YEARS OF TREATMENT though. Good luck to everyone