Contradicting laser facts doide vs alexandrite

I’m 37 female with light olive skin, dark hair. I went to American Laser Centers for almost 3 years 14 treatments, I have no idea what they were using on me cuz they have their own lasers, but I’m assuming they were IPL. I still have hair and my last treatment I was burned pretty bad on legs and bikini. 1 year has passed and I want to laser my upper legs. I have not done upper in the past, but I’m afraid after my bad experience that I will be wasting my money and feel I need help deciding. I was told that IPL is not the best for hair removal. To use cynosure Alexandrite apogee elite 755? I also hear a diode is good. Lumenis? what part of this is true and not a sales pitch. I’m done with wasting my time and money for no results. The facility with the Alex is more expensive than the diode, but they say their machine is the best and most advanced lasers.
advice??? please help.

Sheesh, another American Laser Center horror story. I can’t believe this chain is still in business.

Anyway, if you’re light enough for an alex laser then that’s the best bet. Next best thing is diode but I have no experience with it personally. Diode is still waaaaay better than IPL though. What’s your number on the Fitzpatrick skin type scale?

Also, it may be that the hair is not coarse enough for laser (needs to be thick like armpit or bikini hair to see decent results, usually upper legs are not a suitable area for laser despite what laser salesmen like to say).

If you upload a photo, we can advise you a bit better based on skin and hair type.

  • We need to know your skin type. What’s your ethnicity? Can you post a photo? Olive could be light enough for alex, or not. If not, you’d need a diode or a Yag, and you may not be light enough for a diode either. Once again, we need to know the skin type. The Fitzpatrick scale is in the FAQs below and you can Google it too.

  • What type of hair do you have on the areas you want to treat? Laser ONLY works on COARSE DENSE hair, such as hair on bikini, underarms, and most lower legs. It won’t work on finer hair no matter what.

  • This chain clinic mostly uses Syneron machines, which they branded with their own names. They’re either IPLs or diodes with RF. Some locations still use LightSheer diode too.

I think I’m between ad 3&4 on the Fitazpatrick scale. My hair used to be really coarse in those areas, but now after ALC it’s fine in patches. I just shaved my upper legs, which have never been lasered, so it’s hard to see how coarse my hair is, I’m Italian, it’s substantially coarse. I rarely go out in the sun anymore, but when I did, I would only burn if I spent hours out without sunscreen. Being from the East coast originally, I did that too often.
I don’t know how to add an image. can anyone help?

Hope this works:

bottom image was part of my burn healing after ALC. I’m not as red as the 2 above images, I’m in between the 2 images, not as white and not as red. I hope that gives you a better idea of my skin type.


Hey for what its worth. I am male and was considered a “great” candidate for laser. Started with several years of IPL and switched to Alexandrite several yrs ago. I have had NO reduction and possibly more hair than when I started. Switched to electrolysis and hoping for results.

I wasted thousands. think it through before u continue Laser.

Do you have any photos of the hair itself on the thigh from before you shaved? It’s really hard to tell how coarse it is in those photos… It looks really thin/fine to me, because with coarse hair you can normally still see each hair even after a shave.

If you continue treatment with laser, just be aware that the results may not be what you expect. If the IPL truly gave you a reduction in hair thickness, then you’ve possibly reached the “point of diminishing returns” which means the hair is getting too thin for laser and the rest must be done with electrolysis.

(As an aside, this is why I think it’s best to start with the strongest laser on great settings, because you want to kill it while it’s still thick. Once it grows back thinner, then you’ve completely lost your opportunity to kill it.)

Yeah, it’s really impossible for us to tell if the hair is coarse enough since it’s shaved. Maybe you can post photos of actual hairs when they come out in a week or so.

JD42 - it sounds like you didn’t have the right type of hair for laser. No machine will work on hair that’s not coarse and dense.

I will post more pics once it’s grown back longer. I didn’t realize the thickness of the hair was this much of an issue. Nobody talks about it and with all the technology why such limitations? I have light skin and dark hair, is that not what’s most important? Where are you getting these facts? Are you doctors or nurses or laser technicians etc?

Personal experience, hundreds of examples of anecdotal evidence and just about every scientific study I’ve ever read all prove that laser success is HEAVILY correlated to the thickness of the hair. The laser can target it better, and it also transfers significantly more heat to the follicle.

Color is the most important factor. Thickness of the hair is a very close second. Just hang around this forum and you’ll see all of the lower leg, armpit, and bikini treatments tend to work beautifully. But all of the upper leg, tummy, or shoulder treatments tend to disappoint the client.

This isn’t even some secret factor, and it’s not debated at all in the scientific community. Ever laser tech I’ve had told me at the consultation that my results will depend on how coarse the hair is and NOT just color (it’s why I didn’t laser my arms).

EDIT: If you’re serious when you claim that no laser tech have EVER mentioned that the thickness of the hair matters in any way, then you are going to the wrong laser centers. That’s beyond ridiculous. Find a place that knows what they are doing. Where do you live? Maybe we can send you to a reputable clinic.

You have to understand how laser works to actually kill hair to understand why it being coarse is so important. Laser works by being attracted to pigment, i.e. it only “sees” pigment and heats it up. That’s why light skin gets better results – it’s safe to use high settings without burning the skin because the skin doesn’t have much pigment (unlike darker skin which will burn). The heat disables the follicle from producing any more hair. Two common issues are treating hair that doesn’t have enough pigment for this to happen (hair too fine) and treating at settings that are too low (not enough heat to disable the follicle permanently).

This is all explained in the FAQs at the link below in detail. You should really read them first.

I guess my hair was thick enough originally that nobody ever mentioned it to me, but Yes this is the first I hear of it, so I’m glad to learn this before I spend more money. I had to shave my legs again, so it will be another week or so before it grows back in to see it’s thickness in photos, but I would love names of a reputable clinic near me. I live in Santa Monica, ca (Los Angeles County) I spoke will ALC, they told me they used 2 types of laser on me the Amerilase(diode) and Amerilight(IPL) I’m not saying I still have tons of hair, but I think they started with the wrong laser and went back an forth so much that now I have some fine hair that wont go away. It should have been hot hard at the start to avoid this result.

This chain gets a bad rep constantly because people working there usually have a high turnover and rarely know what they’re doing. Amerilase is basically the Comet by Syneron, i.e. diode with RF and Amerilase is the Syneron IPL.

There are literally hundreds of clinics in LA. I used to live there and got treated there. You won’t have a problem finding one with a good laser. Just have realistic expectations for non-coarse hair.

I just need to know which laser is right for me. I have found lots of clinics, but who can I trust to know what they are doing is the issue at hand. Everyone I speak with has a different opinion based on what laser they use. If IPL and Diode was not all that successful at ALC, do I try another laser or what is just the facility that did not know how to properly treat me?

If you’re pale enough, an alex laser is always the best choice. If you’re kind of tan, a diode may be more appropriate. If you’re pretty dark, then you’d use a yag laser. In order of highest effectiveness to lowest, it goes alex, diode, yag. IPL is not even decent enough to be worth mentioning.

I would figure out which laser is best for you (alex or diode, not a yag obviously), and find a clinic (not a chain store) that uses the laser you need. Make an appointment for a consult, find out what settings they will use, and then bring that info back here and we can see if it sounds effective. Make sure that the technician is experienced of course.

This is in the FAQs. I think we mentioned above that laser type depends on your skin type and it sounds like you need an alex laser. So I would only even have in-person consultations with those using an alex, i.e. GentleLASE, GentleMAX, or Apogee are the most common ones.

Run a search for Los Angeles here. There have been past discussions with recommendations too.

You really should read the FAQs and also print out the form below so you know what questions to ask once you go in for consultations.

Also, you haven’t mentioned whether any of the hair you have left is actually COARSE and DENSE. If not, no laser will work no matter what they tell you to try to get you to buy something.

Thank you, I’m waiting for my hair to grow back so I can post pics, I think it’s not super coarse but not fine either. I posted pics of my skin type, I’m pretty pale, so I’m thinking Alex is best. A clinic I spoke with suggested the Alex apogee. I will look in FAQ for more info and do a search for clinics as well. Last I checked I didn’t have an easy time finding a clinic with the Alex, but I’ll try again :slight_smile:

Candela’s website allows you to run a search for places that use GentleLASE (an awesome alex laser) in your area, if you still need help locating something. :slight_smile:

Los Angeles has tons of clinics with alex lasers. Yes, Candela Corporatation makes GentleLASE and GentleMAX, and has a provider search using a zip code right on their website. You can also try different zip codes to get more results. It only shows the 6 closest to that zip code. LA is so spread out with so many zip codes, that you can get even more results by trying different zip codes from nearby neighborhoods.

Apogee is also a good alex laser.

Finally, even Googling “GentleLASE Los Angeles” or “GentleLASE Santa Monica” will give tons of results.