Doing Laser on Neck, Back, Shoulders

So I just went in for my first treatment at a place in SF that is supposedly very popular and has high ratings on yelp. They have GentleLASE, GentleYAG, and Lightsheer Diode. I am a type III or IV (middle eastern) and I assumed they would use the Lightsheer on me but they took me to a room with the GentleLASE.

I voiced all my questions and concerns about having high enough settings and induced hair growth for males on the back and shoulder area. I also asked if I my skin color is too dark for GentleLASE. Basically, she was nice and answered my questions but said that she didn’t think I needed the YAG and she said the GentleLASE would hurt less than the Lightsheer and would be most effective (although she did say we can always experiment with different machines).

During the actual treatment I asked what settings she was using and it was 6 and 7 joules at different times. I didn’t get the spot size, but I’ll ask next time. From reading this forum I realize that even on 18mm that is considered very low, even useless. I don’t know what to do thought because after I asked this she said very confidently (maybe almost dismissively but not rudely) something along the lines that she’s been doing this for 4 years, she knows what she’s talking about. You can’t believe everything you read online, settings are so individualized that there’s no way you can make generalizations about them.

I’m writing this just hours after the treatment. It did hurt although not unbearably, and there is redness and swelling around the follicles, but considering the setting I don’t know if it’s any good. She told me to expect shedding after about a week or so and that it would hurt less each time because the hair will be less and finer.

What do you guys think of this? Do I need to go elsewhere? I thought I had found a good place but now I’m not so sure.

6 to 7J will not get you any results whatsoever (even on the largest spot size.) If you’re a type IV, you shouldn’t be using the GentleLase at all (if you’re a type III, it’s ok, so I’m wondering if she thinks you’re a type IV and is trying to use gentlelase on you… i.e., the settings will be made to not burn you but then you won’t see results). Are you positive it was 6 to 7? At a minimum it should be 14-16J to get results.

Be extremely careful about shoulders and back… there area lot of reports of induced growth (back is ok if it’s coarse enough based on what I have seen). I haven’t noticed any induced growth on my upper arms or shoulders, but I haven’t really seen much of a reduction either, but I know a lot of people report induced growth on the shoulders, so yea…

Neck you can pretty good results on (at least I have.)

If it was me, I would search other places and go in for test patches and see what settings they use.

Oh, actually she said 6 joules at the beginning and part way through she said “I think I can put it up one.” I guess I assumed this meant 7 but she never actually said 7 joules. So it must have been 6 and 8 joules then.

Anyway, should I do a test patch at 14J next time? Or maybe just go for the Lightsheer instead. But what would the minimum effective setting be for Lightsheer? Or a GentleYAG for that matter? I don’t want to waste any more money on super low settings that are useless.

Do you think the settings were low enough that I could ask for a refund? Or to be re-treated?

14J would be effective, but if you’re a skin type IV, you run a high risk burning your skin.

Most places will do a free consultation, and during your consultation, they can probably give you an idea of what sorts of settings they would use.

For lightsheer, I believe the general recommended settings is 25J+ on the max spot size (which I believe is 12mm) and auto pulse width. For the YAG, I want to say 20J+ but that’s kind of a guess (it’s very difficult to give appropriate settings over the internet). You’re best bet is to go for a consultation and report here what settings they are willing to use on you.

If you want to avoid any risk of inducing growth on the back/shoulders, you should just start with electrolysis. Laser on the neck normally gives a good even reduction when done appropriately.

Lastly, I would recommended running a search on the forum for laser places near where you live. I’d imagine the Bay area has a number of places (I tend to find the best luck in dermatologists’ offices)

I can post some pictures in the morning when I have better/more natural lighting

here they are, please excuse the funny chest hair, it was just a quick shave for the laser treatment which only went down to the collar bone.

you can make them larger for more detail too…

unfortunately i am shaven so you can’t see how coarse my hair is but you can tell from the front (which is trimmed believe it or not) that i am quite hairy. it pretty much goes right up and over though not as heavy as it is on the chest. i’m considering just laser-reducing the chest/abdomen area a little bit to blend more naturally, but i wanted to focus on the back/shoulders/neck for now.

this is the morning after and you can see their is still redness around some of the follicles. if shedding occurs, i can post more pictures of the new hair that grows in.

Def looks like skin type 4 to me. YOu’d get good results with a yag since the hair looks dark and coarse. GentleLase at right settings is probably okay but you’re pushing it and if they won’t go beyond 8 then she’s not going to go to 14. If they actually knew what they were doing then she would know that 6 or 8 won’t give any results, so I highly doubt she would say sure lets try it out at 14 joules.

My goal is to get rid of the hair on my neck/shoulders/back, and somewhat reduce the hair on my chest/abdomen.

I’m willing to do electrolysis as well, but for reducing the bulk of the hair, do you think a GentleYAG or Lightsheer would be better in my case?