I'm new and looking for help!

I’ve been hearing the radio commercials about laser hair removal and just made an appt today with Sona Laser Center for saturday. My appt is for lower legs and brazilian bikini. It’s a package thing - buy one, get one free. Anyway, I thought I’d better do some sort of research on the internet before I go through with it. I find this site/forum, which is amazing, but now I’m more confused than ever. I’m reading a bunch of different opinions, a bunch of words like “pulse”, “wavelengths”, “fluence”, “joules”, etc. I have no idea what they mean and don’t think I really care. The only thing I care about is that I get the right whatever. I’m also learning that there are a bunch of different types or brands of lasers, which I had no idea about. I’m wary about the clinic caring more about how much and how fast I’m spending rather than what’s right for me and what will have the longest lasting, best results. Is there anyone who can sum it up for me, real simple, without going into all these definitions and explanations of every detail? I just want to be able to make sure they’re using the best laser, and all that goes with it for me and am looking for suggestions on what I need to know about the clinic and their equipment before I go. So far, it sounds like I’m a good “canditate”. I’ve got type II skin (fair) and the areas I’m having done are course, black hair. And, I’m also wondering if the package, that includes 5 treatments for both areas, will be enough? I read somewhere someone said that 6 should be the minimum for the initial “start up”?

With your skin type you should definitely use an Alexandrite laser. There are different brands of Alexandrite lasers, the most common are Apogee and GentleLase. The most important information that you need to know is the energy being used. It is very important that you ask the technician to start with a very high energy. Low energy is a waste of time and sometimes can even stimulate more hair growth. So it is very important for you to do some test spots and see what is the maximum energy that your skin can tolerate. DO NOT LET THE TECH USE A LOW ENERGY!!! Unfortunately the first time I had laser treatment the energy used was very low, so I had a lot of stimulated hair growth. So I went to another clinic where I’ve been getting treatments at a very high energy and the results have been very good so far. The number of treatments you will need depends on how coarse the hair is. I’ve had 2 treatments on my chest, where I had very coarse hair, and I would say I’ve had a 50% reduction. If the hair is not so coarse and dark, you will probably need more treatments.

Now that’s what I’m looking for! Thank you very much!

I would recommend to stay away from that chain. There is a reason for why they need to advertise so much. You will find same or better deals most of the time by checking out several different private places. what you need to look for is someone who will care about your personal results as well as is knowledgeable about hair removal in general and how to achieve best results. you usually won’t find that at the chain clinics. finding the right practitioner is most important. it’s an expensive procedure that’s going to cost you thousands of $, so I wouldn’t go to just anyone. Have 2-3 consultations. You can find some recommendations for places in your area by running a search on this and other forums.

Overall, you need someone with a diode or alexandrite laser (most popular are LightSheer, GentleLASE, and Apogee models) for your skin/hair type. And the tech needs to be knowledgeable enough to treat you at the highest settings possible without burning your skin. (that’s usually 30 joules and up)

You will need at least 5-6 treatments. I would also look for places where you don’t pay for treatments up front. That way you’re not stuck if you figure out later that they don’t know what they’re doing. Lots of people have issues after paying up front. You should also know that you will probably need 1-2 touch-ups per year for any new growth (just because your body will always be developing new hair) after the initial treatments which will be spaced 6-8 weeks apart.

I did a search on Sona in this forum and only found one post, I think from you, that referenced a website of a guy who had a bad experience there. I appreciate the info he gave, but don’t always rely on just one experience out of so many others. I’ve not heard they were bad, but I will search for them and try to find more. It is payment up front. The package I’m getting is $1385 total, which I thought was a good deal. It’s not cheap, but it’s not thousands like I’ve heard other people spend either. I guess it is kind of dumb to pay that much up front, with no guarantees. I didn’t really think that through either. I figured they were all like that. Thanks a lot for the suggestions, I appreciate it.

there are 2 other forums. consumer beware and cosmetic enhancements. worth to check them out too. sona is a chain, so how good or bad they are really depends on each particular location. prices can vary as much as 100-200% if you can believe that. so it’s hard to tell if this is the cheapest you can get, probably not. but yes, paying that much up front is not a good idea in general.

if you type “sona” into the search box on any of the 3 forums, you will find lots of posts on various sona locations. but once again, hard to judge since it’s a chain. try typing in your city or state instead for some recommendations. and you didn’t mention what laser this place was using. the 3 lasers above that we mentioned are the ones to look for for your skin and hair type.

I checked their website and it doesn’t say what type of laser they use. The closest thing I could find was this part of a paragraph “…Using Thermokinetic Selectivity (TKS)-the latest technology in laser hair removal…”

Do you know what that is - TKS?

I got to Sona and I am very pleased with them. As others have said, the quality seems to depend on the individual places. I go in Virginia and they use an Apogee Cynosure, and I also have type II white skin and dark hair. I have had two full leg treatments, three underarm, two brazilian bikini, and one full arm treatment just because they threw that one in. I’m paying per treatment, not a package, just because I wanted to be sure it worked and it seemed cheaper to just pay as I went. Maybe a package would have been cheaper, but it seemed easier to spread it out than pay all up front. Sona is also good about touch-ups, retreating spots they missed. I’m going on Friday for a touchup on a brazilian laser they did on January 4; they missed a few spots, and the touchups are free.

I’ve read here that some people don’t like Sona, but I am extremely pleased with results. Just two or three treatments removed so much hair, if I never went again I would still be pleased. But of course, now I want everything removed. Good luck! Oh, and take a painkiller before you go.

You need to call the specific office in your area. they sometimes use different lasers at different locations. and yes, results vary a LOT from location to location. no way to know without checking out the specific one in your town.

Well, there certainly is a risk of throwing $1400 down on the table… if you don’t know much about the product that you are buying. That is what the research and references are intended to resolve. It may be a risk, but I have been satisfied with package pricing for my LHR. I find that reduction in the overall cost (package $$ are below half of the individual treatments $$) is significant and that I “like” having it prepaid so I don’t reconsider my decision every 8 weeks when I would have to pony up another $300 (can I still afford this???). It is similar to buying a season ticket, so you go to all of the games and enjoy it without thinking so much about the expense.