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Laser Hair Removal

nkc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
212
Can you share your experience with laser hair removal?
What type of laser did you try? Did it work?
Are the results permanent to some extent? When was the last treatment you've had?

I've tried it a couple of times. The results lasted for a few months but I do not believe that they were permanent.
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,317
Can you share your experience with laser hair removal?
What type of laser did you try? Did it work?
Are the results permanent to some extent? When was the last treatment you've had?

I've tried it a couple of times. The results lasted for a few months but I do not believe that they were permanent.
My daughter had it five to ten years ago on her arms and maybe her legs. She had had electrolysis when she was younger (10 years old and a teenager) on her sideburns and under her nose. I was skeptical about the laser treatment, but it seems to have done more than I thought it would on her arms.They are no longer hairy. She shaves her legs. I would have to ask her if we did laser treatment on them. I assume I would have been reluctant to pay for that!

I don't recall much more, only that up until then I had only believed in electrolysis. I have very fair body hair on my legs and arms, though. I never had to deal with what my daughter had to. I am glad the laser worked on her hands and arms!
 

kgizo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,642
Are you having it done professionally or doing yourself? I had it done 10-12 years ago professionally on legs and bikini area. Hair grows in cycles and I believe I did 5-6 treatments spaced out at their recommendation. I would say 80-90% of hair permanently gone which is wonderful. A few years ago I bought a Silk’n for my underarms. It isn’t as powerful and I wasn’t as good about timing it so hair loss is maybe 50-65%. What has grown back is finer. Because you are having results last a few months you may need to adjust the frequency to get each cycle of hair growth.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,038
I had it done a long time ago (14 years ago). I followed the treatment schedule exactly and it was not permanent for me. It was also very painful. Hopefully the lasers are better now. I also had two babies since then so maybe there is hair growth with hormone changes.
 

SandyinAnaheim

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
973
I had it done professionally from 1998-2000. I went once a month and had 4-6 treatments per area. The hair on my face, arms, armpits, hands and fingers, bikini area are 98% gone, and what is left is lighter and soft. My clinician used a numbing cream on the sensitive areas covered with saran wrap for 20 minutes prior to treatment and I felt very little, except for the mustache and armpit areas. It is the BEST money I have ever spent in my whole life. I am of Italian heritage which caused me to be hirsute, and when I turned 18 I was given very strong birth control pills that made everything grow like bushes....It was very traumatizing. I could see the shadow of the dark hair under my skin ALL THE TIME.

Prior to that I had painful electrolysis for 6 years, but that DID NOT work for me in any meaningful or permanent way.

If you have hair issues that bother you, I would not hesitate.
 

737lizakg

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
Messages
371
I did it in 2002 for my underarms. 12 sessions of IPL pain. Hair free for 5 years then had to get a top up, just one session. The tech evolved in that time and I was able to afford true laser removal that time. Another 5 years later I had electrolysis to remove a handful that had grown back. Now, it is back again but i would say only about 10% (7/8 thin hairs each side), but enough that i have to shave. i still think it is worth it because I used to get painful unsightly ingrowns and was willing to spend any amount to avoid them.

I also did my bikini, but i used a groupon for IPL, which is not laser. It saved me money. But was not worth the savings. I invented swear words during my sessions the pain was so bad. Get true laser removal.
 

Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
1,682
It did not work at all. I did it for 1.5 years religiously. I am the ideal type with dark hair and fair skin.

I ended up in ER after the last time. It was the only time they tried my arms too. I suffered 2B degree burns on my arms, underarms and bikini area. It took over a year to heal and I spent a summer in long sleeves. Never again.

If you Have sensitive skin and/or allergies beware. On top of it all, there was no positive effect of it and of course this is an incredibly painful procedure.

My derm said if you get it done, only get it done by a doctor. BTW, she also mentioned to get the true laser done that is available today. She thinks it would help my ingrown hair.

I can tell you as a kid my mom lasered me, I thought I would die but surely today the tech is a ton better. The horrid burns were IPL I believe.
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
679
I got it done about 5 years ago at the dermatologist. I moved from where I was, so I didn't get a chance to complete all of the treatments. It thinned out the hairs at first, but since then it's mostly grown back. It was also super painful, I found taking Advil beforehand and using the numbing cream they provided in advance helped. (Please consult your physician before taking/using any medicine!) I chose to do it at a dermatologist because I am very cautious and felt they would have better medical training and protocol.
 

nkc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
212
My daughter had it five to ten years ago on her arms and maybe her legs. She had had electrolysis when she was younger (10 years old and a teenager) on her sideburns and under her nose. I was skeptical about the laser treatment, but it seems to have done more than I thought it would on her arms.They are no longer hairy. She shaves her legs. I would have to ask her if we did laser treatment on them. I assume I would have been reluctant to pay for that!

I don't recall much more, only that up until then I had only believed in electrolysis. I have very fair body hair on my legs and arms, though. I never had to deal with what my daughter had to. I am glad the laser worked on her hands and arms!
Thank you for this information.
Do you recall what type of laser? Does she have to go on a regular basis for touch ups?
 

nkc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
212
I had it done a long time ago (14 years ago). I followed the treatment schedule exactly and it was not permanent for me. It was also very painful. Hopefully the lasers are better now. I also had two babies since then so maybe there is hair growth with hormone changes.
What type of laser was used? Do you have blonde or very light hair?
 

nkc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
212
I did it in 2002 for my underarms. 12 sessions of IPL pain. Hair free for 5 years then had to get a top up, just one session. The tech evolved in that time and I was able to afford true laser removal that time. Another 5 years later I had electrolysis to remove a handful that had grown back. Now, it is back again but i would say only about 10% (7/8 thin hairs each side), but enough that i have to shave. i still think it is worth it because I used to get painful unsightly ingrowns and was willing to spend any amount to avoid them.

I also did my bikini, but i used a groupon for IPL, which is not laser. It saved me money. But was not worth the savings. I invented swear words during my sessions the pain was so bad. Get true laser removal.
Yes, I've heard that IPL does not work.
I'm glad that you've had good results with other methods.
 

nkc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
212
It did not work at all. I did it for 1.5 years religiously. I am the ideal type with dark hair and fair skin.

I ended up in ER after the last time. It was the only time they tried my arms too. I suffered 2B degree burns on my arms, underarms and bikini area. It took over a year to heal and I spent a summer in long sleeves. Never again.

If you Have sensitive skin and/or allergies beware. On top of it all, there was no positive effect of it and of course this is an incredibly painful procedure.

My derm said if you get it done, only get it done by a doctor. BTW, she also mentioned to get the true laser done that is available today. She thinks it would help my ingrown hair.

I can tell you as a kid my mom lasered me, I thought I would die but surely today the tech is a ton better. The horrid burns were IPL I believe.
What type of laser? How many years ago did this happen?
 

Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
1,682
It was a while ago, I would say ten years? But it did not even touch the hair in most areas anyhow despite the horrid pain and me really following up about every three - four weeks. Regardless of tech changes I would not do it period. Best to err on the side of caution. There are always other methods though I am allergic to most others too by now.

I do have to say it did work on one area: my under arms, I still have little hair growth there and what there is is fine. I rarely shave there and do not really have to much. It is definitely not like the 12 hour shadow I had before. It had absolutely 0 effect on the other areas. Especially bikini and that is the most horribly painful.
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,317
Thank you for this information.
Do you recall what type of laser? Does she have to go on a regular basis for touch ups?
I don't recall the type of laser. If she had touch-ups they were soon after the initial treatments and I considered them part of the initial treatments. Once the hair was gone from her arms, it was gone. Once in a great while she goes back to an electrologist to get a hair or two removed, but so do I! She may get a stray hair in her sideburn area or under her nose. I tend to get a white hair or two on my chin every six or nine months. So when she makes an electrologist appointment she asks me if I am ready to go again. Once she had hair on the finger on which she wears her engagement ring and she freaked out. The electrologist dispensed with that in 60 seconds.
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,405
Just curious if you've tried sugaring? I've done it for 2 years, and can say that whatever growth I've had in these covid times is significantly less and finer.
 

nkc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
212
I don't recall the type of laser. If she had touch-ups they were soon after the initial treatments and I considered them part of the initial treatments. Once the hair was gone from her arms, it was gone. Once in a great while she goes back to an electrologist to get a hair or two removed, but so do I! She may get a stray hair in her sideburn area or under her nose. I tend to get a white hair or two on my chin every six or nine months. So when she makes an electrologist appointment she asks me if I am ready to go again. Once she had hair on the finger on which she wears her engagement ring and she freaked out. The electrologist dispensed with that in 60 seconds.
This is great news. I wish I can get the same results.
 

Diamond Girl 21

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
633
I had laser hair removal on my face and neck. I was very hairy and it really worked wonders for me. I don't know what kind of laser it was, but it was best for lighter skin and darker hair. I went to a plastic surgeon to have it done. I went for 6 treatments every six weeks. After that I just had touch ups. I haven't been back for 5 years because the hair is gone. It was amazing for my self esteem.
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,405
I have light skin/dark hair. I bought one of the at home ones from Costco. I use it on my face and underarms. It's not perfect but it got me 90% to where I wanted to be for $150 at home. I touch up whenever I notice something new.
Wow that's an amazing savings there! I had a friend who lasered head to toe. She said that every few years she needed a touch up bc "new follicles" can form.

Does the costco laser hurt?
 

Asscherhalo_lover

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
4,695
Wow that's an amazing savings there! I had a friend who lasered head to toe. She said that every few years she needed a touch up bc "new follicles" can form.

Does the costco laser hurt?
Not really. On the highest setting is a bit of an "I felt that" but nothing to make me stop using it. It's probably a much lower strength overall to what you'd get in an office.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,362
A male of the species here... but I have been getting lasered as it was a total PITA keeping things tidy :lol: and ingrowing hairs just make things look a total mess.

I'm 7 into a block of 8 sessions (just waiting for Coronavirus restrictions to let the business start operating again...) and so far I'm pretty happy.

It's not 100% perfect, and I think I will need to get another block of four to finish off, but what does grow back seems a lot less in number and thickness, and it seems to take longer to grow, so there's not that annoying spiky stubble only a day after shaving.

On that basis I'd recommend it, but caution that it should *technically* be considered as a method of hair reduction, not hair removal - IIRC in the USA only electrolysis can be called the latter because only that has been tested to show permanent hair removal.


We also need to be careful with the terminology - plenty of places are using the term 'laser' when they are using IPL. The former does not require a gel and the laser head is not held directly on the skin, whereas the latter requires both.

IIRC laser uses narrow-band light wavelengths to target hair follicles in particular, whereas IPL only uses bright wide-band light (I presume on the basis that lots of it will have an effect on hair follicles, but with greater potential risk of adversely affecting pigmentation in the skin?)

IPL is much cheaper, hence you can buy the (lower power) kits to do it at home, whereas Laser requires enormous machines costing loadsamoney.

For me, the main benefit of a 'proper' laser job (having tried the home IPL kit for a while previously) was that it was more immediately effective and MUCH quicker. Waiting for the zapper to recharge makes any home effort take aaaaages if you're doing an area of any size, plus it's much messier faffing around with chilled gel and having to wash your hands every 5 minutes :lol: lol
 

nkc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
212
A male of the species here... but I have been getting lasered as it was a total PITA keeping things tidy :lol: and ingrowing hairs just make things look a total mess.

I'm 7 into a block of 8 sessions (just waiting for Coronavirus restrictions to let the business start operating again...) and so far I'm pretty happy.

It's not 100% perfect, and I think I will need to get another block of four to finish off, but what does grow back seems a lot less in number and thickness, and it seems to take longer to grow, so there's not that annoying spiky stubble only a day after shaving.

On that basis I'd recommend it, but caution that it should *technically* be considered as a method of hair reduction, not hair removal - IIRC in the USA only electrolysis can be called the latter because only that has been tested to show permanent hair removal.


We also need to be careful with the terminology - plenty of places are using the term 'laser' when they are using IPL. The former does not require a gel and the laser head is not held directly on the skin, whereas the latter requires both.

IIRC laser uses narrow-band light wavelengths to target hair follicles in particular, whereas IPL only uses bright wide-band light (I presume on the basis that lots of it will have an effect on hair follicles, but with greater potential risk of adversely affecting pigmentation in the skin?)

IPL is much cheaper, hence you can buy the (lower power) kits to do it at home, whereas Laser requires enormous machines costing loadsamoney.

For me, the main benefit of a 'proper' laser job (having tried the home IPL kit for a while previously) was that it was more immediately effective and MUCH quicker. Waiting for the zapper to recharge makes any home effort take aaaaages if you're doing an area of any size, plus it's much messier faffing around with chilled gel and having to wash your hands every 5 minutes :lol: lol
thank you for this information. Do you have light or dark skin? Do you know what type of laser was used?
When was your last treatment?
I realize IPL is not effective. However, I'm curious about how long the results of actual laser would last. I would like to know if the same follicles recover eventually (after a year or so) and we're back to where we started from or if the reduction is permanent.
As for electrolysis, I think it is only permanent if done right. As some people here mentioned, it is possible not to see good results in some cases.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,362
thank you for this information. Do you have light or dark skin? Do you know what type of laser was used?
When was your last treatment?
I realize IPL is not effective. However, I'm curious about how long the results of actual laser would last. I would like to know if the same follicles recover eventually (after a year or so) and we're back to where we started from or if the reduction is permanent.
As for electrolysis, I think it is only permanent if done right. As some people here mentioned, it is possible not to see good results in some cases.
Skin colour is so hard to judge against colours on a screen - it's worse than trying to work out paint colours while standing in a DIY store :lol: lol

I'm basically a 2 to 3 on the Fitzpatrick scale, maybe even a 4 in some places - some people seems to have a totally even skin colour across their whole body, whereas the parts of me that rarely see the sun generally always stay pale but other parts tan pretty well... which makes it a PITA for the laser operator, I'm sure!


I'm not 100% sure on the laser machine but I believe it's an all-singing, all-dancing machine that can do different wavelengths as required - e.g. it can do long wavelengths for those with dark skin but the shorter wavelengths for those with very pale skin. I'll have to check the name of the unit out when I'm next there :)


I'm a year on since I started and things are definitely a lot less in number and a lot slower/finer growing when they do, so I think it's still worth it if one approaches it with the mindset of just wanting to reduce the frequency of needing to 'defoliate'.

I think my last treatment was about a month before lockdown started, so March? and I can get away with shaving every three to seven days now, instead of every day (or having to wait a couple of days for my skin to recover and spiky regrowth to stop causing bumps) so it's quite 'freeing' in that sense.

Some parts have done very well and don't need much attention, but other parts will need more work. For example, the very fine 'downy' stuff is difficult to shift, it seems - lack of follicle pigmentation means they are quite light and therefore don't react much. That is just me, though, and I think those with darker hair generally would see more results on that fine stuff. Areas of darker skin pigmentation have also been a bit less successful so far, but I think the operator might just be being cautious re: avoiding skin pigmentation changes.


Is there some 'follicle recovery' and unexpected/unwanted regrowth? I wonder if there might be, but then it might also be that the growth cycles of individual follicles don't entirely correspond with treatment cycles and those that grow afterwards managed to escape detection during treatment!

It might also be the case that the operator is being cautious to avoid any skin pigmentation changes, therefore using a power that is enough to zap hairs off but not enough to damage the follicle, but I'd rather start off gently and need to purchase a few extra sessions than have issues with pigmentation loss.


I sort of approached it with the mindset that if one buys treatment when there are offers on (I've seen 50% and 60%-off offers) it seems to work out not that different to getting waxed - and if you're paying that amount (and having about the same amount of pain), you might as well try to make it permanent in the process! :D


re: IPL and electrolysis - I did try the former at home and I think I have had some good results on a couple of areas, but it took sooo lonnnng... The latter I might look at if/when I reach the age that grey hairs (which can't be layered due to lack of pigmentation, of course) become an issue, lol.
 
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