A Theory About Internet Forums Confirmed?

People often comment that it seems like Laser doesn’t work based on so many problems posted on this Forum, and I and others have said that this is not a scientific way to determine success rates, as people with problems have a need to look for Forum’s like these, and people who are happy with Laser treatments just go about there lives. I came across the following post on another Forum, and it seems to partially explain the mentality of people that either don’t ever post or dissapear from the Forum.

"I just wanted to quickly relate my story of success, offer advice, and shout out to all nervous newbies that laser can and does work.

i came to the site a couple of years ago, completely ignorant and freaked out, and after many weeks of posting and research here, i was able to make an informed decision about how to proceed. i would like once again to thank the Moderators, as this site was the SOLE reason i was able to make that informed decision.

my advice to everyone starting out - do your research! preferably here. before i discovered this site, i was about to make an appointment with a very expensive dermatologist using a sh*tty machine.

anyway, i found the right technician with the right machine, and i have had spectacular results on my feet, arms, hands, and shoulders, using the gentlelase plus. i’ll admit, my first time, the pain caught me off guard, but every time after was relatively easy, and i discovered the old ‘two beers right before ya go in’ method, which works wonders (for me, anyway).

also, i would like to add that as soon as i got results, i stopped posting here. i remember many people voicing concerns that sometimes it seems like laser only poses problems. but message boards are places to dump problems, so if it seems like laser is more bad than good, remember that many people who are happy with laser never come back!

good luck to everyone, keep level-headed, have a positive attitude, and do your homework!

and if anyone has any questions about my experiences and/or treatments, i’d be happy to oblige… I’ve probably been in for six or seven treatments total, on different places. I’ve always had a sort of mish-mash approach, like “I’ll pay 200 dollars. I want less hair in these areas. Hit me where you can!” Different parts of the body yielded better results than others, but from my point of view, there’s no part of my body that wouldn’t end up relatively hair free with enough treatments. The feet were the best - I had two or three quick treatments there, and not a single frickin’ hair has grown back in like three years. It’s almost like I have forgotten that once I was ashamed to take my shoes and socks off at the beach…

I have not been in for a treatment in many many months. Not really in the budget at the time being. But now that I have taken care of my real problem areas, I can live with where my body is at. The best part of LHR is knowing that I can get it in the FUTURE! Even though I still have hair that I’d prefer to be rid of, I am no longer sick with the helpless thoughts that I will be uncomfortable with my body for the rest of my life. Just knowing that LHR is an OPTION that I can seek when I have the money, is HUGE load-off. Remember this, newbies! The worst part of the whole ordeal is the worrying at the beginning. I cancelled my first appointment – I was too embarassed and sketched out. But once I started going, it became no big thang, and I am now LHR’s biggest fan.

Of course, nothing was taken care of in one single treatment. But I can say that I had NOTICEABLE IMPROVEMENT with every single time. And the places, like my feet, that I was able to get hair free, have remained completely hair free this ENTIRE TIME (three years now!)

Patience, education, a tech who knows what’s up, and of course a certain monetary commitment. That’s what ya need."

[ April 19, 2004, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: redhead ]

Is this a post from consumerbeware? If it is, the story may be different. I didn’t spend much time reading that forum, so my impression of it may not be whole. But it seems like that forum is not unbiast consumer posts, but rather it promotes pro-laser agenda. It is highly sensored, and posts which do not correspond with that agenda (that of Catherine, also known as Kittie) get modified or deleted. So that website is not purely posts from many different people that represents a wide range of experiences and opinions like this board. If you want to personally experience Kittie’s biased sensorship, just post on that board and say that you found a great website and forum about true facts on hair removal at www.hairfacts.com and www.hairtell.com respectively. See what happens.

It is absolutely correct that people who get what they want from hair removal and are happy will not usually post on these forums. Rather, it’s mostly people who are looking and/or need advice. But there is a scientific way to determine success rates (somewhat). For this, it is wise to examine clinical published data which is based on scientific experiments conducted by third parties (not sponsored by a biased side). It will tell you what you can expect in the best case scenerio. Andrea has some good clinical data on hairfacts.



[ April 19, 2004, 07:37 PM: Message edited by: yb ]

That’s not censorship, that’s a feud. There are people on that Forum, consumers, that do nothing but complain about Laser all day long and call all technitians liars including the moderators, and their posts are never censored. Why can’t you debate your extreme ideas on that Forum without worrying about mentioning hairtell.com.? I doubt very highly they would censor you, but I guarantee you would find people with many years of experience as Electrologists challenging your statements vigorously. In fact, the Electrologist that I am using now has a Laser, and loves it, and feels exactly the same way many, many Electrolgists feel. That Laser is great, for the consumer, and plays an important role in hair removal. Whatever censorship exists at Kitty’s and whatever their alledged shortcomings are as indaviduals, I have never seen them censor an argument because it is anti-Laser, never! One final thing. This Forum exists for consumers, and I feel like posting information from other Forums adds just as much to the experience as any anicdotes you see fit to post about what former Laser clients you see, or any other stories about Laser disasters or Electrology miracles. Why wouldn’t consumers on this Forum want to hear about ALL consumer experience with Laser, even if it is posted on another Forum? In fact, your stories about clients you see are not only hearsay, but they are filtered through your own beliefs and biases. A consumer report carries much more weight in my estimation.

Just for reference, the first post was taken from Kitty’s Consumer Beware:

http://www.consumerbeware.com/forum/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=3&Top icID=2977&PagePosition=1

I don’t censor opposing views, and you can mention other forums by name without being banned (unlike “Kitty”). I think that says a lot.

As I note on the front page of the forum, posts by consumers, pro or con, are not scientific and are no substitute for published clinical data.

There is no evidence that people with good results post less often than people with unsatisfactory results. We have many consumers who have posted about either experience as well as in-between. If anything, I believe it is more likely that people who get bad results do not post. I take as an example weight loss. Everyone knows people who try various fad diets and swear they are working, but over 9 out of 10 people are at or above the same weight a year later. Like weight loss, permanent hair removal requires a commitment and long-term follow-up. If people who first tried, say, the Atkins diet in 1970’s proportionally discussed their long-term results, it probably wouldn’t keep coming back into fashion.

Weight loss and hair removal are the same in other ways. You have to stick with the program on both for optimal results. Most people don’t, so all they have to report is their results when they haphazardly dabble with something.

Laser hair removal can and does cause permanent hair reduction in some people. There are ways to improve effectiveness discussed here and on hairfacts.com. However, almost no one will have complete removal on all treated areas where they can go one year without supplementing laser with more treatment or a complementary removal method. That’s fine for a lot of people.

The important thing is to manage your expectations and decide if the amount you’ll pay is worth it. For instance, would you pay if it permanent reduced your hair by 10%? How about 50%? Everyone will have a different threshold of what it is worth for them, and every consumer will have a different response to laser. If you have light skin and dark hair, you will see the most dramatic improvement with any hair removal method.

As long as everyone understands that one person’s results, or even 20 people’s results will not be an accurate predictor of what you can expect, I have done my job. Long-term follow-up greatly improves the value of a report, but always press the poster for as much information as possible: type of laser, name of practitioner, consumer skin and hair color, amount paid, dates of treatment, etc. The more quantified data like that you can get, the more valuable the data is.

Unless the anonymous poster on the internet is lying. Nah, that never happens! :wink:

Seriously, though make sure that consumer experiences are only one facet of your research. the more you know, and the more specifics you have, the better your chances of success.

[ April 19, 2004, 07:58 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]

I thought I’d post this quote from James Walker from a thread questioning why Electrolysis seems hopeless based on consumer reports on this Forum, “Does it occur to you that a person who was done and happy would either not be reading this board, or not checking in on any regular basis? After all, a person who was done and happy would not be seeking any answers, and typically would not be looking to find places to volunteer their experience either.” Sound familiar? Thanks for your advice Andrea, and I should add that personal experience night be the most important facet of all.

[ April 19, 2004, 08:17 PM: Message edited by: redhead ]

Redhead - You bring up a VERY valid point.

A year and a half ago, I got breast implants. I am extremely happy with my decision and was completely Amazed at how easy my whole surgery and recovery was. I was off painkillers in 2 days. I had my surgery on a Thursday afternoon and by Saturday I was out shopping and went out to dinner.

I posted for almost a year on a breast implant forum before getting my surgery. And guess what? The vast majority of posts were about PROBLEMS and complications! That’s why I expected the worst and was shocked at getting the best, because I had read all these horror stories on the implant bulletin board. “Oh the pain” “my boobs are too small” etc, yet none of that happened to me.

The forum moderator frequently reminded us that those who are happy with their results (the vast majority of women) don’t feel a need to post. Only those seeking advice for problems and complications will post the most (kind of like here!)

And you know what - since I got my breast augmentation, and since I’ve been problem- and complication-free, I don’t post there anymore either! I have no reason to. Sure I hung around for a bit dispensing advice to other newbies, but obviously I can’t spend the rest of my life posting on an implant bulletin board, I had to stop sometime!

I made quite a few friends from that board, all of whom I keep in contact with via email now, but none of whom post there anymore either. They’re happy and out living their life!

This information about internet forums posting a disproportionate amount of upset stories I believe, is completely true. It holds valid for a vast array of topics on the internet!

It sure helps to go to the Forum before your treatment to do research, then to look for a Forum because something went horribly wrong. I had most of my experiences with Laser and Electrolysis before these Forums were around, and I paid the price. Since I started coming to this Forum I have found out about the Aurora, which has worked great for me, and am confident with my Electrolysist that was recommended by a member here.
Thank you for sharing that story, and I only have one thing to say… go back to that Implant Forum and tell them about your success!!

[ April 21, 2004, 12:58 AM: Message edited by: redhead ]

I second Redhead’s motion! Post your long term follow up on that board and give your practitioner a referral in their referral section, if they have one.

This is the kind of information these forums are made for, and so often don’t get.