My Dear Friends,
You may not know me. I have not been an active member on this forum. But I have been around for over a year now. Following all of you.
This is my story:
I am a 22 year old male of middle eastern background living in Australia. I decided to undergo laser hair removal when I was 19 years old. The areas that I had treated were my arms, facial cheeks, underarms, and shoulders. I had these areas treated with an Alexandrite Gentle Lase machine. On my cheeks I had approximately 20 sessions spaced a month apart. Everywhere else I had approximately 10 sessions spaced 8 weeks apart.
In all the laser sessions, I responded just as I was supposed to. My skin came out in bumps and whelks. This subsided by a day. And I would be left with red bumps all over for the next couple of days. The hairs would then gradually fall out of their own accord over the next few weeks. etc.
Unfortunately, the laser was not only ineffective but the areas treated are now worse than they originally were. The hair is now very dark, and much coarser. Particularly in areas that were not a problem beforehand. For example, my inside forearm hairs which were quite fine before are now very thick and dark. And my shoulders are really bad too. This response was generally noticed everywhere. There are a few small patches on my outer forearm where the laser seems to have killed off a few hairs.
This stimulation is clearly the result of laser because there are clear lines where the laser has traveled and created dark coarse hair next to light fine hairs.
I stopped after this many treatments and sought advice from doctors. To keep this short and sweet - they had no idea. One even burnt me.
I then sought the help of other laser therapist who may have come into contact with other people like me. No one was sure what had happened. One very experienced therapist had me go for two sessions of laser with her. She claimed that the laser had been on ineffective low settings. She raised the settings to extremely high (unbearable) levels on a Lumenis Lightsheer machine, to the point where I was shaking during treatments. With the help of Emla I had two sessions with her but this was also not very effective. However, I will give it to her, she didn’t burn me.
So by this point I was so upset and frustrated I decided to leave it for two years. But now the hairs are unmanageable. Because they are thick, waxing results in a field of ingrowns, sore bumps, pain etc. And shaving is much the same. And I haven’t worn a t-shirt in two years. Or exercised. I haven’t been happy. I spend most my time worrying about it. And the remaining time plucking. Sleep and awake time. Especially given that I never really had hair anxiety before laser.
But my solace has been this website. It is so comforting to know that this is a shared experience. That I am not the only one who cries. So thank you to all of you here. If it weren’t for you all, I would be in far worse place. Hairtell has been my daily home of optimism for the past year.
So above is the history. I am going to start my diary in the next post