well, first, the place you mention is a mall chain with horrible reviews AND they use an IPL, not a true hair removal laser, which in general is not very effective for hair removal. especially since your hair is not black, you should have used an alexandrite laser like GentleLASE or Apogee. second, hair removal lasers do NOT produce any type of unhealthy radiation. it’s a completely different light that is not harmful to the skin. third, there are tons of discussion regarding permanency and the reason it’s approved for ‘permanent reduction’ is because it works in varying degrees depending on many factors with each person and it usually won’t achieve 100% removal. most need to finish with electrolysis because hair gets too fine and doesn’t have enough pigment for laser to target. and that’s besides the point, but electrolysis hasn’t been approved for permanency because of any tests or studies. it was grandfathered in for the same reasons that it’s hard to determine one single result for everyone since everyone is different. in addition, it’s hard to tell if underlying medical conditions are preventing good results because noone is forced to get tested or report what they have. once again, hard to make conclusions. finally, there are tons of places out there who are just in it for the “easy” money, like the place you went to, where customers are treated as subjects and they SELL you packages with hard-sales tactics while they have huge employee turnovers (so techs who don’t know what they’re doing) and bad machines.
anyways, i think it would be helpful for you to do some research and read some posts and FAQs on the laser portion of this forum at least to get more informed on lasers in general. if you decide to dismiss it, that’s fine. but you should do the research first. i’m not advocating one of the other. i am doing both myself. it just makes sense to do laser for some financially and with certain types of hair on certain areas. and it does work as you can read from others’ experiences on this and other forums.
here’s a good post from someone who has been running a clinic for over 8 years that should explain your permanency concerns:
"All the laser manufacturers have created a series of charts for their lasers. This is what they use to teach new people what settings to use. Most of this training is through preceptorships, either at someone’s office or a nurse will come to your office. These last a day or so and it really is impossible to go through a lot of clients at that time. So it only teaches the bare minimum. Plus they also have to teach the mechanics of how to use their machine (ie, where is the on/off switch, how you calibrate, etc).
Now there are two things that can go wrong when you pick a setting.
- You will cause a complication.
- You will not effectively treat the hair.
Of the two, #1 happens immediately and can make the client very unhappy. #2 will only be apparent after many treatments and can be caused for a number of reasons that are not related to the settings. But this can make the client equally unhappy.
Now an unhappy client, may go and talk to a lawyer, who will happily take the case. The lawyer, will of course, sue the operator. But will also sue the manufacturer of the machine (deep pockets).
So you are a manufacturer and you want to limit your exposure to liability. Your best bet is to make sure that you never get sued for #1 above. In other words, you don’t want someone to burn a client using a setting that you gave. That is hard to defend, whereas it is easy to defend that it is not your fault that the person was not successfully treated with your laser. (which by the way is one of the reasons why laser manufacturers haven’t really tried to get the FDA to promote laser hair removal as permanent. Rather they are happy with “permanent reduction” because it decreases their legal exposure for clients who don’t have good results).
Basically, the settings that the laser manufacturers provide (and in some cases are chosen through some sort of computer system) are incredibly conservative and designed to protect the manufacturers from lawsuits.
Now realizing that there is a balance between great results and complications, you have to decide if you want to work with a operation that weighs that balance away from great results in an effort to eliminate complications."
the above can be found at: