38 year old male, lookin' for answers...

Hi all,

My 3 year old boy loves the pool at our townhouse complex. Problem is, his old man is waaaaaay too embarrassed by his furry back to take him swimming as much as I should.

I have fair skin (I do tan fairly well, but burn easily) with black, coarse (we’re talkin’ steel wool here) hair. After doing a bit of research, I’m convinced I’m a fairly good candidate for laser hair reduction, but… There’s always gotta be a ‘but’, doesn’t there? But… I’m 38, and alot of the hair on my chest and back has gone gray. White, really. And it’s still steel wool coarse. I’m looking to get rid of as much of the lighter stuff as I can. So far, it looks like the Comet laser might be a good choice. Can anyone else clue me in on what other lasers might work well? Another post on this board stated that a technician told him the Comet was painless. Is this true? Not that I, being a big strong man, would really CARE if it was painless or not ahem.

I (and my water lovin’ son) thank you for your help!

Anyone who tells you laser is painless is a liar. You will feel anything from mild discomfort to notable pain at levels required to cause permanent changes in hair. This can be handled through pain reduction methods discussed on this site.

Comet is OK, but practitioner skill is more important than anything.

If you are mainly concerned about visible hairs, the dark ones are the ones people will see the most. If you get done with a course of laser and want the white ones gone permanently, you’ll need to switch to electrolysis.

I often recommend people do a test drive by waxing first to see if you like look and feel. If you want to get right to it, find a practitioner recommended by someone who is done and happy.


Since you have light colored hair, your options as far as optical methods are limited. Yes, the Comet would be the best choice. I tried the Aurora and had some success at removing light colored hair, but I eventually needed higher fluences than it could provide. I believe the Comet would be more effective because it uses laser instead of IPL and both the optical and RF fluences are higher than those offered by the Aurora.

Mantaray, another member of this forum, is going to get his first Comet treatment in a few days. Hopefully he will report back on his experience soon.

BTW, I would not expect the Comet to be painless. My experience is that in order to get high enough fluence levels to kill hair follicles, it is going to hurt. I find the pain of lasers and Aurora to be tolerable.

One reason that someone considering laser hair removal shouldn’t wait too long to do it is because a lot of the hair will turn white or gray over time. And the lighter the hair, the harder it is to treat. The Comet, even if successful, probably won’t get all of the hair. But it can get a lot of it in a short period of time. Then you can finish with electrolysis.

I had some white hairs that the lasers could not treat. The Aurora got some of them, but it could not provide enough power to get the majority of them. The Comet should be better at this. I am finishing up with electrolysis and am very happy with the results.

Electrolysis does have its advantages. It works on all hair colors and skin types. But it will take longer and cost more because it treats each hair individually. But it can be used year round, even if you tan. I am type IV and spend a lot of time in my boat. I get very dark in the summer and cannot get laser treatments. But I still can use electrolysis.

You really do need to stay out of the sun while getting laser or IPL treatments. This will help prevent blistering and pigmentation changes. If you want to go to an outdoor pool, you will need to use an SPF30 sunblock.

Get what you can with the Comet, and finish with electrolysis would be my advice. You will be glad you did it. You will be a lot more comfortable in and out of the water, and you will be able to dry off more quickly when you’re done swimming.

Hope this helps.


The best option for your black hair is either alexandrite or diode family lasers. For white/grey hair, only eletrolysis. I wouldn’t recommend trying out a new laser that’s supposed to work on light hair without reading a lot of feedback from actual consumers on it, which doesn’t exist yet unlike the lasers above for dark hair removal. In general, it seems skeptical because the whole concept of how laser kills the hair is based on the fact that the hair is dark and the skin is light. I haven’t seen any good explanation or documentation of how it will actually work on those white hairs.

I would say, save your money, and just do the treatments on the black hair and wait for a system with positive feedback from actual consumers to come out that actually treats white hair.

When there is tissue distruction, there must be pain to some degree. If someone says “no pain” in any kind of hair removal their credibility is lost.

Laser is not Permanent Hair Removal. Yes, there are few cases where some degree of permanent hair removal has been reported. But this same reduction would have occurred if the hair was simply waxed or tweezed, especially on patients over 55 years of age.

How do I know this? I have observed this over 46 years of full time practice and working with over 3,200 patients not including my two sons and daughter’s patients.

Please click to ElectrolysisInformation.com and read it carefully before you do anything! Good Luck, FG

This website is run by electrologists. It is not really a good idea to take what a competitor is saying as a fact. Doing research means examining unbiased studies and websites.

In addition, there are dozens of laser devices on the market and even if a person uses the best one for his skin and hair type, results vary from person to person. You didn’t say what laser was used in “your experience”. I’m assuming you run that website with 46 years of experience in electrology, not lasers, considering how you’re advertising this site on every posting.

Having myself have had many waxing treatments before doing laser, I can tell you for a fact that it is not the same thing and that hair does not come back even remotely in the same time frame. I haven’t had any hair in the bikini area come back for 8 weeks after first treatment and so far none 3 weeks after second treatment. I’m not saying it’s not going to come back at all for 100% down the line, but I’ve definitely never seen these type of results from waxing.