I have been coming back to this site from time to time, since i first discovered it about nine months ago. I am interested in laser hair removal, but have been encouraging myself to procrastinate on actually having the procedure done, as the procedure seems relatively new and not well understood, and putting the procedure off leaves more time for the scientific community to develop a better understanding of it.
So, I have been searching the internet for statistics from clinical trials, so that when the understanding of LHR reaches the point where I feel comfortable having it done, i will know and have it done. Unfortunately, I have had little success (any search including the words “laser” and “hair” brings up reams of links to people trying to sell the procedure, another reason to be cautious… BTW, Hairfacts and this site is the only source I’ve ever found providing information for the sole purpose of informing, rather than selling… Thank you Andrea, you provide an invaluable service. I believe that people like you that do things like keeping this site really make our society a better thing to be a part of).
So, does anyone know of a site that keeps up to date information on clinical research being done on laser hair removal (hopefully one that does not have an interest in the sale of laser treatments)?
Also, perhaps this would be of some benefit… a poll on this website, where people who have undergone the laser procedure could describe their results (of course, it is a gross simplification to have to describe one’s experience w/ the choice of one of a few words… but w/ well chosen options for response, it could be informative… For example, there could be a list of major responses which one would have to choose from… then there could be subresponses w/in each major response, some even allowing numerical input (such as date of first treatment, number of treatments, etc).
For example, some possible options might be “[major response]: complete hair loss, [subresponse]: after (enter # of treatments), [another subresponse]: first treatment on (enter date of first treatment)”. Then, in the results of the poll, statistics could be compiled for each major response.
Given, one person’s definition of “partial hair loss” and “degree of hair loss” may differ from the next person’s, and it may be difficult to compose good poll questions for this case, but i think w/ careful thought it’s possible to write questions that will produce useful results, these results being particularly useful to people considering LHR.
The real difficulty w/ this type of poll would be to keep the industry that sells LHR out of the polled population. Perhaps a person, to be polled, should have their IP address recorded, and furthur polling from that IP address should not be accepted. (I do not know if this is feasable or useful, b/c i think a person can change their IP address).
Really, though, the only way I can imagine to ensure the authenticity and uniqueness of each response would be, at the very top of the poll, to explain the importance of the poll (lack of available statistics on LHR, the majority of people who have hade it done may be dissatisfied w/ the results and this is the only way to find out, etc), and then to explain the difficulty of establishing the authenticity of results… then ask them for the name and email address of the physician/organization that performed the LHR, and then have the polling program email a “form” letter, to the practitioner, asking for a reply email to verify that that person had received LHR treatment from them. (perhaps affirmations could go to one email address, and negative responses could go to another… w/ the patients name entered in the “subject” field in such a way that the polling program could automatically tell, by which email box it received the response in and by the name in the “subject” field, whether the LHR practitioner had responded w/ a “yes, this person had the procedure done, by us” or “no, we didn’t perform the procedure on this person” answer. Then the program could act accordingly, adding the person’s responses to the poll data if the LHR practitioner answered “yes”, or throwing them out if the LHR practitioner gave a negative response.
I am not a computer scientist, I don’t know how to write this program… and I’m not educated as a statistician either, but if two people w/ this knowledge linked up, i’m sure that this program could be created.
If it were created, I think that, w/ some tactful words used to convince people to participate in the survey, that people would participate. Also, I would think that the LHR practitioners would respond… and that the poll participants would encourage them to respond. (the success of this thing all hinges on making the LHR patients believe in the importance of the poll, w/ a tactful introductory statement to the poll. The statement would have to really make them feel good about being socially responsible and participating in the poll (which would be true)).
So, what do you think about this? I think that if a person w/ the knowledge to make the program and a person w/ the knowledge to write effective questions for the poll were convinced of its importance (perhaps a hairy statistician and computer programmer, who want to know this information just as badly as I do), they would do it just for the principle and information.