I really need help, please!


#1

Hi, this is my first post, so I should start off by thanking Andrea for assembling such an informative website and forum, and everyone who has posted for sharing their experiences. I’ve found it all extremely helpful.

I’ve got a few questions though, if anyone would care to help me out.

Basically, I’m in my mid-twenties and I live in Sydney, Australia. For several years, I’ve been troubled with a lot of thick black hair on my chest, back, shoulders etc … just about everywhere. It has made me very self-conscious … so much so that I have deferred finishing my university degree so that I could work full time (and overtime) to save up enough money to do something about it.

While I think I now have enough money to get started on this, I really don’t have that much extra to spare, so I would really like to get this “right” and not waste money on ineffective options, if possible.

Glancing at a local magazine, I notice that, in the space of 2 pages, there are no fewer than 6 advertisments for places offering ‘permanent hair reduction’ – most offering either the Lightsheer Diode (or other similar Diodes), or IPL. One also offers an Alexandrite laser. All seem to claim that theirs is the best/most effective/least painful etc. While I’m glad I have a few options, I really don’t want to make the wrong choice.

A final bit of background: as I said, I have a lot of very thick/coarse and very dark hair, and my skin is very pale (I get teased at work for having a ‘moon tan’), so I’m encouraged to learn that I might be a ‘good candidate’ for hair removal.

Okay, with all that out of the way, my questions:

  1. A lot of people seem to be singing the praises of the Lightsheer Diode around here … is that generally regarded as the most effective laser for my skin and hair type? I notice that Alexandrite lasers have more published data in favour of them, but is that simply because they are older? And what about IPL? … the ads seem praise it non-stop (but that’s to be expected, I guess), and what I read online seems to be either very much for or very much against.

  2. I’m a little confused about what to expect in terms of results. Most places seem to imply all the hair will be gone forever, but, from this site, I know that is not true. However, even on these boards, there are people who have had 12+ treatments with only about 40% reduction and others who have had fewer treatments and 90%+ reduction. Does it really vary that much from person to person, or is it a case of some people being treated with older less effective lasers/devices or by practitioners who are not as experienced as others?

  3. Does the fact that I have quite thick/coarse hair mean I will need more treatments (because there is more hair) or fewer (because it will respond to treatment better)? Is it even realistic for me to imagine that I will ever have this under control?

  4. If there are any posters here from Sydney … can you recommend a good place??

I’m planning on doing a phone around this weekend to a few places, so I wanted to ‘arm’ myself with some facts from unbiased people who did not stand to gain thousands of dollars from me. (I am pleased to see that one centre – offering the Lightsheer, and boasting to have done thousands of procedures – has a branch in the same medical clinic where my family doctor is. I’m very tempted to go with them as I find the idea of my doctor being a few doors down very comforting, although I fear they will also be the most expensive.)

Anyhow, I’ve got heaps more questions, but I’ve bored you all enough.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH to anyone who replies.

:smile:

[ November 14, 2002, 05:06 AM: Message edited by: need_help ]


#2

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>2. I’m a little confused about what to expect in terms of results. Most places seem to imply all the hair will be gone forever, but, from this site, I know that is not true. However, even on these boards, there are people who have had 12+ treatments with only about 40% reduction and others who have had fewer treatments and 90%+ reduction. Does it really vary that much from person to person, or is it a case of some people being treated with older less effective lasers/devices or by practitioners who are not as experienced as others?</font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>I would have to tell you that is really depending on each individual. You will be all right with Laser as long as your skin is lighter than your hair. (you said you have black and thick hair.)

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>3. Does the fact that I have quite thick/coarse hair mean I will need more treatments (because there is more hair) or fewer (because it will respond to treatment better)? Is it even realistic for me to imagine that I will ever have this under control?</font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>I would say thick/coarse hair would respond better and hence probably less treatments.

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>4. If there are any posters here from Sydney … can you recommend a good place??</font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>I am from Sydney Australia. Well, I only tried The Australian Laser Clinic, I am quite happy with it. There might have others better? who knows?


#3

I too only have so much money to work with and came to this board to do research and get a general idea of what might work the best for me.

I think all of us who have decided to take control and do research first… well we all rock! :relaxed:

The Lightsheer Diode has been working EXCELLENT for me. Pale skin and very dark hair is usually very promising in terms of treatment with Lightsheer though.

I have not tried the Alexandrite laser but I hear that it is just as good as or a close second to the Lightsheer. I have heard that hairs will fall out faster after treatment with the Alexandrite, which is a good thing for anyone who is shorter on patience. From what my dermatologist says, IPL is weaker than a Diode or Alexandrite laser. For some people that may be ok, but for those of us who have a big problem, something more industrial may be in order.

Some say there are more side effects with Lightsheer, and others say there are more with the Alexandrites, tough to say. So far I have not experienced any side effects with Lightsheer, just results.

A note on Lightsheer, it is a very powerful laser. If your hair is dense, then the tech should start on a lower setting until the density thins out, then get more agressive as treatment progresses. If your hair is dense and the tech starts zapping you with too many joules, it’s possible to get burned.

A good technician will also use “compression” by pressing the hand peice against the skin, that will push blood away from the area and bring the follicle closer to the surface.

Also, after a first treatment, it may take up to 2 weeks to see the results and your regrowth may be patchy. Its difficult to get all of the hair treated the first time because the light is distributed in a cookie cutter circular fashion from the hand peice.

Good luck :grin:

[ November 14, 2002, 10:19 AM: Message edited by: Jgirl76 ]


#4

Thank you very much, ants and Jgirl76, for your responses!

ants: the place I mentioned that had a clinic where my family doctor practices (and where I am leaning towards) is actually the Australian Laser Clinic. So it’s great to hear that you are happy with them. I was actually planning on giving them a call in the next couple of days, for a consultation. If it’s not too personal a question, can I ask what areas you had done and what price they quoted/charged you … so that I can see if they’re offering me a good deal when they quote me a price? If that is too personal a question, then that’s cool too.

Jgirl76: thanks for your words of encouragement. I’m really glad to hear that you are getting good results with the Lightsheer. Yeah, it is good to be informed before you walk in the door … I know of a few people who allowed themselves to be seduced by practitioners who promised them everything, took their money, and gave them nothing back. As for starting off slow, and waiting for results, then I’m happy to do that … as long as I get good results in the long-run, that’s the most important thing.

:grin: 

[ November 16, 2002, 01:06 AM: Message edited by: need_help ]


#5

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Originally posted by need_help:
<strong>ants: the place I mentioned that had a clinic where my family doctor practices (and where I am leaning towards) is actually the Australian Laser Clinic. So it’s great to hear that you are happy with them. I was actually planning on giving them a call in the next couple of days, for a consultation. If it’s not too personal a question, can I ask what areas you had done and what price they quoted/charged you … so that I can see if they’re offering me a good deal when they quote me a price? If that is too personal a question, then that’s cool too.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>About the areas, I don’t mind telling you, I have my underarms, stomach, and pubic areas, and it would be easier if you can visit the “Mature Topics” section.
About the price, it really depends on how big the treatment area is… The best estimation from this page: Aus Laser Clinic
click on “Detailed Informaiton” then on the bottom of the page, you will have price list.

[ November 16, 2002, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: ants ]


#6
  1. Flashlamp/IPL has issues with effectiveness and side effects. Alexandrite and diode both have given good results with rare side effects, but there are no guarantees. practitioner skill is much more important than laser type.

  2. Results vary significantly by person, and can even vary on one person by body area. They still can’t accurately predict why it works better for some than others.

  3. Thick/coarse hair will respond to treatment better). You may be able to get reduction, some of which may be permanent, and you may be able to go back 1 to 6 times a year for maintenance and be fine. Or you might not have any permanent result. There are a lot of variables, but a good practitioner with diode or alexandrite can usually make a good dent in things for someone with light skin and dark hair.

  4. not from Sydney-- sorry!

Thanks for the kind words about the site, and please keep us posted. :smile:


#7

So I had my consultation today … I was very nervous going in, but the technician (who was a registered nurse) was very friendly and managed to put me at ease. She managed to work out pretty early on that this was a big issue for me (I guess it is with most clients) and she was very emotionally supportive, and seemed to know just what to say.

I let her do the talking first, and was pleased that much of what she said corresponded with what had been said here, and what is said in the published literature (ie, she seemed to know what she was talking about). She managed to strike a good balance between not overpromising results and making me feel enthusiastic that I would see good results, too. She also used (and preferred) the Lightsheer Diode, so that’s good as well.

After she’d finished, I ended up grilling her with all the questions on Andrea’s Hair Facts checklist, and some info from this board. I think she was quite surprised how much reseach I’d done.

She gave me a price which was high, but actually quite a bit less than I expected, and was well within my price range. So that was good too. Am very relieved that I can afford this!

Then came the test patch. I was pleasantly surprised by how little the first “zap” hurt. But when I said so to the RN, she replied something like "you just wait … ", and I tell you what … ow! The laser seemed to have a cumulative effect: it felt like being stung by a swarm of bees. Basically, I’ll be using Emla from now on, I think.

Now my question: as expected, the skin has gone quite red (like a sunburn, as explained), and seems a little swollen/tender. But what I’m more concerned about is the little brown dots all over the test patch area. These dots look like tiny brown freckles.

These dots were apparent about an hour after the test, and right now it’s been about 5 hours since the test patch and they’re still there.

Is this a normal part of the process (ie, one of those things that takes 2 days to 2 weeks to resolve)?

Or is this one of those cases of hyperpigmentation that might last 6 months to 2 years?

Basically, should I be worried now, or should I wait the 2 weeks before getting concerned?

Either way, I guess, I’d rather live with the freckles than the hair, but it’s still something I’m a bit worried about …

Are there any precautionary steps I should take to prevent pigment change being long-lasting? I fully intend to stay out of the sun, btw.

Finally, I was treated at a fluence of 26. That sounded low to me, but the technician said that this was what she thought would be best for me, and she might try higher later on, but probably not … in light of the above, should I be trying for higher, or should I just trust her on this one?

Thanks again to all, and especially to Andrea!


#8

Hello Need_Help,
About the redness, it all depends on each individuals. The redness should last up to two days, but the change in your skin colour (darker or lighten) might last longer, if any. And remember not to have sun during treatments.

May I just ask which Australian Laser Clinic you went?


#9

Just got time to add my first time experience. (Australian Laser Clinic)

In my first appointment, I was only scheduled for one test patch. However it ended up as my first treatment of underarms and stomach (snail trail). The technician first told me how laser worked and the hair growth phase, the number of treatments I would expect, that took about 5 to 10 min to explain. I was just too lazy to tell him that I read the whole thing from the net.
Then he gave me a test patch (half of one underarm), and asked me how I feel, I replied fine, not too painful. Then he asked me if I wanted to have the full treatment. I was firstly a bit surprised and asked shouldn’t I wait to see if Laser worked for me or not? He said, it will definitely work for me, because my hair is black. Of course I went for the full treatment.

After treatment, I have about two days redness in my stomach (snail trail) area, followed by another 3 to 5 days of few scabs. Hair then fell off within two weeks time. I then had hair free period up to sixth week after treatment. When new hair was growing out, it was a bit itchy.


#10

Hey Ants

I wish after a treatment on my chest it would remain hair free for six weeks. I am lucky if by the time the shedding is done (2 weeks) I can have a few days till the dark buggers start rearing their ugly black heads :smile: I am finding that the chest is super resistant to the laser and grows at an amazing pace. It does appear to be thinning after each treatment but only like 5 percent at a time. The legs and underarms on the other hand are responding well and appear to be 25 percent thinner after the two treatments.

Chris


#11

Balius and Ants: If either of you are male,would you let us know what others(male or female) think of your having smooth underarms. I had my underarm hair removed by electrolysis. Before I started many people (mostly guys) said I was nuts to do it. Now many of these same people are wanting to do it also; especially when they found out most girls think it looks neat on a man. What has been your experience?


#12

Ok i had laser 1 year ago I dont know which one it was but I want to tell my results. I had my upper lip, chin, happy trail and bikini done. When I first went just for my lip and chin, I had 3 sessions (what the tech. recommended). I had a noticeable upper lip and a few hairs on my chin, I was a “great candidate” i have light skin and dark hair. After the face I went for lower treatments, it was $500 for each bikini and stomach session so I just had one and started to save up for the others. I regret to say 6months later my hair came back, all off it. It is no less visable just the same, now I just wax. But I just want to remind you these are MY results yours could be better, It just when I heard your story it sounded familiar. Good Luck!


#13

Sorry to hear about your bad laser resuls, Waxon-Waxoff! :angry:

need_help, sorry about the slow response-- if the little spots are the size of hairs, that’s probably what they are-- burned hairs.

You seem to be a pretty cautious person, so I suggest taking the extra time to see how the test patch resolves itself before committing to treatment.


#14

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Originally posted by Andrea:
<strong>need_help, sorry about the slow response-- if the little spots are the size of hairs, that’s probably what they are-- burned hairs.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Yup, that’s exactly what they were … they washed away in the shower a couple of days later, to my great relief!

I’m booking in my first treatment in the next couple of days.

Thanks for the replies!

:smile:


#15

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Originally posted by barrester:
<strong>Balius and Ants: If either of you are male,would you let us know what others(male or female) think of your having smooth underarms. I had my underarm hair removed by electrolysis. Before I started many people (mostly guys) said I was nuts to do it. Now many of these same people are wanting to do it also; especially when they found out most girls think it looks neat on a man. What has been your experience?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>I am male. When I asked a few of my other male friends, underarm hair seems not a proper topic to talk about. So far no one has made any comment about my underarms, and I do enjoy wearing tanktops more.


#16

As a female, I don’t know how men feel about hairless armpits on men, but I just luv the hairy ones!! (so long as they don’t smell…) :wink: you can bury your nose into them, and they are all soft and furry… Don’t think I would fancy bald ones - they would be too “little boyish” - sort of like cuddling a 12 year old - eeeek!!


#17

I agree, arm pit hair is attractive on men.
I think to the majority of het* women, the idea of a completely hairless guy is well, like fleabag said a tad too little boyish.

If you got too much for your liking, then take that excellent invention…I think it is called “scissors” and trim it?

If guys want to be smooth, no chest, face, under arm, or even pubic hair, nothing wrong with that maybe but it is “my” opinion(not always worth a lot in some cases) that its possible to go “too far”.

From reading “some” of the posts it appears that as some are addicted to getting tatoos or peircings, some peeps are addicted to hair removal? WOW!

Its completly understandable if a guy wants to do something about excessively hairy legs, chest and back/shoulders so he can walk around without a shirt on in summer without embarassment BUT “additional” talk of getting pubic hair, under arm hair and head hair removed…there is probably some neurotic thing going on UNLESS you are an olympic swimmer or the like and its the difference between the gold or bronze.

I will probably get a lot of s-h*t for saying this but if you are just the average joe and you have a desire to remove “ALL” of the hair on yourself, might wanna drop some money on a psychologist before you drop thousands on rendering yourself hairless.

Find out if there is some other underlying issue going on that needs to be addressed. ANYONE who is considering radical and permanent physical changes to their appearance might benefit from speaking with a mental health counselor to discuss the driving forces, explore those issues and determine if 100% hair removal is something you truly want.

This post is not meant to be un-supportive of anyone, it is only a caution not to be wreckless, REALLY think before doing.

And yes, I still have too much time on my hands right now and I will be gone soon :wink:


#18

Hello jgirl76,

If anybody wants 100% hair reduction they wont get it. If a man wants to be hairless after say 8-10txs in some areas he.s in for a surprise, maybe if he,s lucky he might get 50% but i would say 25% if he is real lucky.  It seems to me females respond better to laser than men do. I have had 9txs and no reduction.     Just my opinion.

#19

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Originally posted by Jgirl76:
<strong>If you got too much for your liking, then take that excellent invention…I think it is called “scissors” and trim it?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Well, some men have far too much underarm hair, scissors won’t be the best solution for them; because it will (1) look stupid, (2) itchy.
Waxing might be a cheaper method.

And as I said, I enjoy being hair free on my armpits. Not just wearing tanktops, but also more freely raising arms. Have you noticed now more guys shaving their underarms, especially European (young) guys. So far no one has given me any comments on my armpit.


#20

No I have not noticed more guys shaving their under arms :roll_eyes:

If my boyfriend can trim his pubic hair without any problems, then I don’t see why a guy couldn’t trim his pits? If someone decides that trimming them looks too uniform, then try texture scissors that don’t cut everything at one length. Waxing can lead to a worse problem - pussed ingrowns.

If a guy raises up his arms and has no hair “at all” or huge puss filled pimples, that would catch my attention more so than anything else to tell you the truth.

If someone is happy, that above all is the most important thing, but if you are a man people will either look at you and think “WOW its the missing link!” or they will think “WEEEEIRD that guy has no hair!” Of course they won’t say anything, but that doesn’t mean they won’t think it. Being on the extreme either way can make one look “off”

I am not saying your decisions are wrong* but only that men should think about pros and cons when it comes to removing hair on “certain” parts of the body.

Many WOMEN and MEN find under arm, chest, happy trail and/or pubic hair to be an attractive sex characteristic in males. I don’t think most women or men find completely hairless guys any more attractive than they do the missing link.

Either extreme is not generally attractive. Being ultra hairy carries a stigma, and so does being a man who is hairless. For as many men who feel odd about being really hairy, there are many men who feel just as odd about not having any hair.

If you are a man and attempt to remove chest, arm, under arm, leg, pubic, down to the hair on your big toes and you are not an athlete then you are addicted to hair removal, something obsessive compulsive is going on and chances are good that it is readily apparent in other aspects of one’s life.

But take what I say with a grain of salt, I am a girl who finds Alec Baldwin ultra sexy :wink:

This is my last post on this subject - I can just hear the sighing sounds and the “Thank God’s” haha

[ December 02, 2002, 02:42 AM: Message edited by: Jgirl76 ]