Is Laser EVER Ok?

I’m a MTF transgendered person. I’ve had my facial hair removed by electrolysis, but though my body hair has thinned out a lot since my orchiectomy last May, it continues to be a problem. I am considering laser on the chest/stomach area, but have been terrified by spook sites like Susan Laird’s that claim that everyone who has laser has horrible things happen. I know laser doesn’t removal every single hair, and I am ok with that. What scared me was the graphic descriptions of permanent dark shadows left under the skin by exploding hair follicles, and assorted nightmarish complications.

What should I do? I don’t want to make anything worse, but I also think trying to use electrolysis on such a large area would take forever and be impossibly expensive.

Hi wearenotafraid! The things you have read about laser hair removal is just lies. Of course if you have to high fluence you can burn the skinn with laser and IPL, but you can also burn skinn with the tove and the iron. And also some women and men experience new growth due to laser and IPL, mainly on the face and shoulders. But the other things you write about, shadows and stuff, are just exaggerated. Most of the time the skinn is just fine after treatment, only temporary redness and swelling around the hair roots. Sometimes the shaving before treatment is more bad on the skinn than the actual treatment, at least in my case. I am brown and I haven’t experienced any hyperpigmentation either, but I have only been treated with IPL. But it shouldn’t be that much difference in side effects.

You say you’ve removed your beard with electrolysis, has it been permanent? How long can you go without treatment?

Laser doesn’t cause any of the effects you’re describing under normal circumstances with proper treatment. Any discoloration or burns can ONLY happen when someone who should not be operating the laser machine treat you, i.e. someone who doesn’t know how to use the machine properly. But that goes for anything in any industry, including electrolysis. Finding a good practitioner is most important.

If you have light skin and dark coarse hair, you will get the best possible results. On the areas you’re talking about you should be able to achieve a considerable removal with proper treatment. What is your skin and hair type? Where are you located? You can find some recommendations for good techs in your area on these forums.

Yes, electrolysis is permanent. I do not have to shave now at all, though sometimes I clip long hairs between appointments. It’s taken a long time to get to this point, though. I’ve had my entire face and eyebrows done, am working on the back of my neck, and plan on finishing up my fingers/toes when the facial work is finally completed.

As to what skin type I have, I am pretty fair and always burn, never tan when I go out into the sun. My hair is brown, not too coarse, and as I mentioned, somewhat finer than before. I shave it every two weeks or so, at which point it’s pretty visible again. I’m pronse to razor bumps and cannot shave some areas at all, alas.

I will keep looking in to laser, and I know I should’t have been scared off by someone who’s agenda includes scaring everyone into believing that every hair removal operator other than herself (even other electrologists) will leave you mutilated. I think I have realistic goals. I’m just afraid it won’t work at all.

you should start with getting a spot test done at a few different settings to see if you experience shedding of the treated hair. best lasers for you are alexandrites or diodes. I would get test spots at around 25-30 joules and up. laser works best on dark coarse hair, so you need a few test spots (which they will do for free) to see if it’s worth for you to pay for the entire treatment. so do that first to see if laser can work on you. high settings are necessary for finer and lighter hair than black/coarse combo like yours.