Hair Removal Progress


I originally posted under a subject entitled “Reflections in NJ,” but decided to post a new thread regarding the progress of my hair removal sessions. Thanks to lagirl, I was able to find a cosmetic laser center near where I live in eastern PA that uses the Candela Gentlelase laser system. The following detail treatments for 3/4 back area,shoulders, and back of neck:

First treatment
18mm spot size
16 joules (14 joules for neck)
763 pulses

Second treatment
18mm spot size
16 joules (14 joules for neck)
700 pulses

The doctor is considering moving up to 18 joules next
session as he believes my skin can handle it. We’ll see
as I’ve been responding pretty well so far with the current

Happy Holidays,

third treatment
18mm spot size
18 joules (16 for back of neck)
640 pulses

fourth treatment
18mm spot size
18 joules (16 for back of neck)
660 pulses

The doctor upped the amount of heat as he said there are
certain areas on the back that need “more heat” like right
around the shoulder blades. I have been seeing results,
maybe 60% hair reduction just before the 4th treatment.
Though there is still work to be done. The doctor even
suggested going to 20 joules, which is going to hurt bad.
18 is barely bearable.

Hopefully, by the 5th treatment, there are more hairless
patches than hairy patches, which would suggest considerable progress.


what is your skin type? I’m a type II and have been treated with 30 joules on this machine (just have to decrease the spot size to 15mm from 18mm to be able to go higher). on those areas for a male, I would suck up the pain, and go with higher settings if your skin CAN in fact handle it to avoid stimulating any growth some a few have reported.

I think that I am skin type I. I have very white, freckled skin. Yeah, I might very well go with it if the doctor suggests bumping it up to 20 joules. I don’t know if it’s because I have very little body fat, but I feel significant pain at 18 joules around the shoulder blades and up toward the neck. So far, the doctor hasn’t mentioned decreasing the spot size and going past 20 joules. I think he seems to think that I won’t need it, but we’ll see I guess.

Where are you having the 30 joules of power applied? It seems that that heat would be impossible to handle.

30 joules is not proportonally more painful than 15 joules. It’s not a big difference. Areas where there isn’t much fat and right on the bone, as well as more sensitive areas like upper lip hurt more usually. I had 30 joules on stomach and underarms.

fifth treatment
18mm spot size
18 joules (16 for back of neck)
600 pulses

sixth treatment
18mm spot size
20 joules (18 for back of neck)
660 pulses

The number of pulses decreased somewhat during the fifth treatment, but because of some overlap increased again during the sixth treatment. According to the doctor, 20 joules is as high as he can go with the 18mm spot size. I suppose he could go higher with a smaller spot size, but he seemed reluctant to do that. The 6th treatment concluded my package plan.

07.31.06 Update
About 2-1/2 months later, much of the hair has grown back, though it seems finer, not sure. I will need to call for a touch up treatment. I must say that I’m slightly disappointed in the results after 2-1/2 months. I guess I was expecting better results lasting a longer period of time. It could also be that I need more than 6 treatments, or that I need more heat to get at the follicles.

what do you experience after every treatment?

Do you mean in terms of soreness from the laser?
I really have never felt discomfort after the treatments, though after the last treatment I felt slightly more “sore” for a longer period of time (not more than the rest of the day though).

Also, the entire treated area became pink with “puckered”
bumps (like goosebumps) after all treatments.

Was there something else you were meaning?

what type is your hair? coarseness, density, color? do you experience pain during treatments? do you experience shedding of all treated hair after each treatment? is there redness around the follicles for a few days after each treatment? if you do have shedding, how long does it take and how much hair grows “back”?

the hair is pretty coarse, dense, and a dark brownish color.
Yes, I did experience pain during the treatments from the multiple pulsations of the laser. Yes, there was some redness around the follicles after each treatment, though not a lot. I don’t know about shedding, though. I didn’t really experience that. There was basically no hair for 6 weeks or so until the next treatment, at which point the hair was beginning to grow back in. The growth did begin to come in “patches” after the 3rd treatment. However, since my last treatment 2.5 months ago, the hair seems to be growing in all places again, leaving no “patch” pattern.

is the regrowth the same on the back, shoulders and back of neck, or are shoulders having the worst regrowth? did you take pictures before starting treatments?

when you say coarse, are you talking bikini/underarm area coarse or more fine than that?

also, what is the doctor’s reason for not lowering the spot size to 15mm to increase the setting? if you’re a type I skin as you say, there should be no problem handling that and the treatments should be more effective on finer hair that way.

Also, patchiness is caused by missed spots. Did you notice some spots growing back faster than others, as soon as 3 weeks after treatment? That would mean those hairs were actually missed, not returned.

If you were skin type I , we would have started you at 15 mm spot size and 25 joules of energy, as we fell that the idea of successful long term permanent hair reduction is to apply the highest possible energy during the first sessions that is safe on your skin. As LAgirl says, a 15 mm spot size at 25 joules would feel approx the same as an 18 mm spot size with 18 joules, if not less.

the shoulders, back of neck, and upper back are having the worst regrowth, I would say. I was told beforehand that those areas seem to be the most stubborn.

In terms of coarseness, not quite as coarse as bikini/under arm hair.

You know, I did not take before/after pictures. I wish I would have. But, I do believe that, though the regrowth seems to be occurring in all original areas, the hair is not as coarse.

I’m not sure why the doctor is reluctant to go with higher power and smaller spot size, but I have an appointment with him later this month, during which I will discuss this with him.

Well, the patchiness was explained to me as being the result of not getting the hairs that were in either the catagen or telegen stages of growth at the time of treatment. But, I did not notice regrowth as soon as 3 weeks. Usually, by around 5 weeks, I started to notice some regrowth, just in time for the 6th week when I’d have the next session scheduled.

Romeo- so you would have started high power during the first sessions? Why is it that permanent hair reduction occurs when starting high? We started low to see how well I would respond to minimal heat, then gradually increased power when it seemed that my skin could handle more heat.

this thread kind of discusses why

Thanks for that link, lagirl

I think most men have gotten the same results on the shoulders, upper back, and neck. The laser just doesn’t seem to work on these areas very well. These might be areas for electrolysis instead of laser.

After 8 treatments, I got the same result as you in those areas. Nothing impressive. The growth really kicks in between the second and third month after treatment.