First of all, I’m not advocating laser. It seems that results depend on many factors and variables. I’ve had a few treatments with GentleLASE, and the results are very good so far (about 90% of hair gone), but I’m not expecting them to not come back yet. I will evaluate my personal results after I’ve had all 5 treatments or so and will have waited at least 1 year. I’ll post here about those then.
However, after reading many postings on here, I feel that I need to write this to share some information on lasers that many (like me a year ago) come lookin for, and don’t find (at least not on the forum – the other areas of the site are great). Most who respond to questions here seems to be electrologists and advocate electrolysis without giving laser a chance, or even just explaining the facts of laser to consumers who come here in search of knowledge. I don’t think it’s really helping to avoid the issue and blindly send them to find an electrologist. There are several other forums, where both electrologists AND laser technicians answer questions about lasers and give recommendations based on their experiences. If anyone looking for more information is interested, check out Kitty’s website (consumerbeware.com) and and the cosmeticenhancements.com forum.
After doing some research, you will probably find as I did that laser results vary a lot more than electrolysis from person to person, but it’s not a reason to discount it if you’re a good candidate. Because there are so many variables involved, it’s a lot more difficult to compare different patients’ results. They can depend on the machine used, skin type, hair type, tanned/non tanned, hair color, etc etc.
For example, I found that electrolysis is probably better for face (at least for women), because there are more fine hairs that can be activated instead of killed by laser based on some reports, leaving you with more hair or darker hair than you started with. Or that IPLs are not lasers even though most places that use them sell their services as such. That’s just one variable in many “personal experiences” that people post, since it seems that most people using IPLs are reporting negative results. And a lot of others that are using IPLs don’t even realize that they are not being treated with a laser and post bad experiences about lasers “in general” for others to read.
The general consensus seems to be that alexandrite and diode lasers work best on light skin and dark hair types, and darker individuals should only be using Nd: YAG lasers to avoid skin damage. Also, dark course hairs seem to react best to treatment. This is just some information that you will find by reading through various postings.
Final thought is that laser might be a much more effective solution that electrolysis for those people on whom laser actually works, so it shouldn’t be discounted. But it’s definitely important to do your research before you commit to it, both on the system used and the person performing it.