Advanced Laser Clinics

Well, I’ve done a bit of shopping and test-patching, and I believe that the best deal in my area for full leg laser hair removal comes from Advanced Laser Clinics, a chain with a couple of offices near me (San Francisco). The operator at the clinic I went to for a consultation is an R.N. who has been using lasers for many years, and who has had extensive laser hair removal done on herself. ALC offers one free treatment if I pre-pay for 4; legs are $400, so I would pay $1600 for 5 treatments. Also, if these 5 treatments are performed within the recommended time frame (about 12 weeks between each), I get a 2 year “warranty” which alows me to be re-treated in the areas I paid for if hair grows back within 2 years. My questions for the forum: is it a good idea to pre-pay? I do wonder what recourse I would have if ALC were to disappear before my treatment was complete. Also, has anyone else in the SF Bay Area been to ALC or another practitioner that might be worth investigating?

Thanks for any replies.


Pre-payment is always a bit of a risk. Many lost prepayments when big chains like Vanishing Point went under. I don’t know much about the solvency of Advanced Laser Clinics, but if you plan to prepay, you might see about getting something in writing regarding their guarantee, even if they change names or whatever.

Hi Steven,i live in Oakland, i had my 2nd treatment last week ia Advvance laser clinics. My first treatment was in Walnut Creek, the people was very nice but the damaged my skin pretty bad (face)i had pictures, and also they didn’t have the cream after treatment, so i called to the main clinic in San Mateo and they asked me to go there for the second treatment, wich was good much less painful and no damage at all, but i don’t think that was effective.
i still have 3 more treatements, i recomend you Bonnie at San Ramon, and try to use more than 25j

Steven, is me again i made a mistake at the end of the mail, the clinic is the one in San Mateo

I’m in Sacramento and I’m just now scheduling two consultations, one with Advanced Laser Clinics and one with a local medical group that is very highly recommended, but also extremely expensive! I like the 2 year guarantee, too…

I’m planning to have upper leg/bikini done (I’m female). Not sure how that will work out if I have to do the treatments on their time frame to get the guarantee, though. I wakeboard in the summer, and while I often wear long men’s board shorts, I don’t always. I had hoped to skip treatments during the summer…

Do you know how long ALC has been in practice? They seem pretty big.

It has been my experience that a good electrologist can get first clearance of both legs in 12 hours, or less, and that future clearances will take less time. Since the legs are less sensitive than other areas, treatment is very comfortable, and the only reason to have a first session limited to 3 or 4 hours would be boredom.

Since the legs usually have less than 100 hairs per square inch (off the top of my head I think I see 25 to 50 as the norm in my office) the number of square inches that can be done per hour is very good indeed. I usually get both legs cleared from the ankles to the knees in the first appointment.

If you can find someone who does thermolysis well, there is no need to dismiss electrolysis out of hand. The risks are less than laser anyway. You just have to find a good practitioner.

I will have my first full legs treatment in a week and a half… I’ll post about how it goes. BTW, I’m skin type 3-4, probably closer to 4, with dark brown hair. About the ALC 2 year guarantee: you have to have your 5 paid-for sessions within a certain time of each other – for example, legs have to be done with 12-14 weeks between each session. So, you can’t skip all of summer and still have free touch-ups, unless you don’t consider late May and early September to be summer. Too bad; I would skip summer tratments too.

Hey Steven,

I am thinking of doing advanced laser clinics and I am a type IV. Ive heard alot of great thing about them. Are you planning on using any of the numbing cream like the treo or emla. Also I belive there is a discount if you book on-line that gives you a discount off the package ask for details and to see if its still available. Please let us know how you did and fared.

I had my first appointment today for full legs…I am not aware of any online discount. I paid $1600 in advance for 5 sessions, with a 2 year no-growth guarantee (free treatment for up to 2 years on the treated bodypart if there is regrowth after the 5th session). The nurse used 30 joules; I didn’t use any anaesthetic, and the pain was no problem – about the same discomfort as waxing. I’m a skin type 4 or perhaps a bit less. I’m pretty sure the nurse may increase the setting for subsequent treatments.

Hey Steven,

I went for a consultation and I got the same price you did minus a 5% discount for booking online I don’t know if its a promotion down here or not but it may be worth asking for. I’ve never tried waxing but you said the pain is tolerable right without any of the creams and how long did it take? If possible give me more details on how things went and the details from start to beginning and for full legs how high do they go up and what preperation is required and what did you wear during the procedure and after beacause i believe they put some kind of gel after they finsh. Also why did you do your legs do you lift weights or ??? Sorry about all the questions just curious beacause I am scheduled in 3 weeks for it too.



The only prep needed is to shave before treatment. I’m sure you know already that it is important to stay out of the sun for at least a few weeks before and after.

My legs took about 45 minutes; the time you take depends on your size. I wore hi-cut underwear, so the operator was able to treat quite high on my legs, up to where my inseam starts. After the session, aloe vera lotion is applied.

Again, I felt the pain wasn’t too bad, and that it wouldn’t be worth it to use a topical anaesthetic. You may feel differently. It was certainly much less painful for me than electrolysis, and I’ve had close to 200 hours of that!

As for why I am doing it… I just prefer the way it looks and feels.

Hey Im with you on the last statement I just like the look and feel. Beside being a cyclist I just feel once it grows it just doesnt look right anymore. Did they schedule you on a 12 week interval as I believe thats what she said I’ll have to do and let me know what they say about the discount. Also one more question how does it feel during the day? Thanks for the help and i do aplogize if I asked too deep of a question

Let me repharase the last statement what I meant to say is if I have it done in the morning how will my leg feel during the day will I have trouble sitting down do you use ice packs etc…

I’ve been going to an Advanced Laser Clinic for a year now, for both arms and legs. I prepaid for a package to get the 2 year guarentee.

After 1 year, I have about a 60% reduction in the pigment and thickness of my arms. That’s going every 3 months, starting at 28 fluence and increasing that by 2 every session.

Expect not to do anything the day of treatment, depending on how dark your hair is. If your hair is light, such as light brown, you may not have much pain and you’ll probably feel fine in a couple hours. If your hair is dark like mine, expect to be using ice packs for at least a day.

It takes 2 weeks for the treated hairs to fall out. This is not regrowth. However, some hairs will get missed by the laser, and start regrowing immediately. If you want perfectly smooth skin, you’ll have to shave starting a few days after treatment.

Hope this is helpful

[ January 28, 2003, 10:36 PM: Message edited by: vulpes ]

I am going to Advanced Laser Clinics in Sacramento (starting today). They told me that the guarantee is valid whether or not I prepay, as long as I do five treatments at 12-14 week intervals. I’m starting with upper leg, and if that goes well I’ll also do lower and bikini. You get five sessions for the price of four if you pre-pay, though.

I’m glad to hear from people who have had pretty good experiences with them. I looked at a very highly-recommended clinic near me (Laser Skin and Surgery Center), but it was SO expensive and the RN seemed a little pretentious.

I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

Oh, and thanks for the pain info. I’m trying the first session with no anesthetic. Did they use ice packs on everyone???

I hope things go well for you!! I have had a test spot only and suppose to go in 2 weeks for the rest of the treatment. The test spot does hurt like a rubberband while they were doing it and since I am doing the full thing i think I would be too much in pain since it takes about an 1hr or more. So Im opting for the treo which they said should feel like a tap instead. Ill let everyone know how it goes. You are also correct you do not need to pay the full package just follow the treatment plan and you will get the guarantee but make sure you ask. I do have a question though I am a Fitzpqtrick type 3/4 and for the test spot they did 25 joules and said since I am asian that my skin is a little fragile but they said they want to start lower than go up does this sound right?

Not sure how many joules would be right for you. I’m a Fitzpatrick type 2, and they started me at 28 joules, and they’ll go up 2 every time I go in unless my skin doesn’t tolerate it. I think 28 was a little low for me, but it did hurt! I only say low because while my skin feels rather raw, it’s barely red.

My technician (in the room privatly) told me to buy Emla from rather than use the Trio. She said the Trio works, but it doesn’t last very long so it can wear off before you’re done.

But, so far so good. There are definitely some dead hairs that popped out during the treatment. I had to use ice packs for about two hours (on and off) last night, but after that the pain has been tolerable. I do want to get some really comfy pants, though! I can’t really wear sweats to work.

Good luck!

I should also say that while it did hurt, it was tolerable. But since they use more power each time, I’ll opt for the Emla. It wasn’t nearly as bad as electrolisis!!! And it went pretty fast. She did both of my upper legs in about 40 minutes from when I walked in the room.

Hi everyone, I am glad to hear some of you have had good experiences with this company, I went for my consultation on sat. in San Mateo and they were nice, and up front with the cost, and the “warranty” and getting the 5th treatment free if I prepay for four. I was however disappointed with one thing and that is the fact that they did not do a spot test. Shouldn’t they do a spot test and check for different setting b/4 the day of treatment? My skin is type 3 /3.5 so could anyone share their experience as far the settings?
I am suppose to go in next friday for my first session.
thanks in advance

Thanks to all who have reported their experiences on this great thread, and please let us know how your progress goes!