LHR GentleLASE settings

Firstly, great forum! There seems to be loads of good info here and plenty of helpful folks. With that in mind, I have a question regarding settings on the Candela GentleLASE.

I’m a 31y/o male Type II skin looking to reduce the amount/density of my facial hair. I have dark and coarse beard hair with pale skin and I would like it to actually look like I shaved after 20+ mins with the razor! I had a consultation & test patch done at a clinic near here and thought I might get some advice on the settings they used. They did three zaps, each at 12mm, of 26, 28 and 30 J/mm² each.

From reading this forum, my instinct is that this is too low an energy setting for the spot size. Am I right? I asked what settings a course of treatments would use, and the nurse said they would only ever use 12mm and would start at 26J/mm² taking 3 or 4 sessions to get to ~36J/mm². From my calculations 36J/mm² at 12mm is similar energy to 16J/mm² at 18mm.

The clinic is one of the few I’ve found near here that actually uses a good laser rather than IPL or a diode. Should I keep looking for a clinic that will use a larger spot size and higher energies, or could I get good results with these settings?

Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

Did they give you any reason not to use the 18mm or the 15mm spot sizes? They have the ability, unless it’s a really old GentleLASE, and even then it has a 15mm spot size.

Larger spot sizes help penetrate deeper, which is important for this area where hairs are deep, especially around chin and lip areas.

Yes, max on 12mm is 40J. Those are not horrible settings, but you can definitely handle the higher range if you’re a true type II and will be using sunscreen throughout the treatment process.

Another potential issue with the smaller spot size is the coverage, i.e. it’s more difficult to avoid missing spots with a smaller handpiece, and on this area overlapping is already very important due to density of the hair and high potential for patchiness.

If you consider other clinics, I would only consider a diode, not IPL. And it needs to be someone experienced with beards at any clinics since it’s a hard to treat area. Also, diodes are harder to use, so they need to know their art well.

A Yag laser would also be good for you since you have very dense and coarse hair. GentleYAG or Coolglide would work well. Pulse width is adjustable on those, so you need to make sure it’s set low.

You can also look for Apogee machines, which are alex machines or Apogee Elite model which is alex and Yag in one.

Thanks for the reply.

The only reason given for 12mm was that it was “Company Policy”. I think they get guidelines from head office and have to follow them, and the instructions say to use no more than 12mm on a male face with this laser.

I did mention to her the fact that coverage could be an issue with the 12mm spot size and she said that they don’t tend to have problems with missing areas. I also mentioned the lower penetration with the smaller spot size and she claimed they had a history of good results with the 12mm size on male faces.

So you think that starting out at 26J/mm² isn’t too low? Obviously the quicker the energy is raised through a course of treatments the better, but is it possible to increase energy levels too slowly?

Thanks again for your time.

12 is a waste of time. I have average male facial hair and its far too small to reach the areas on my chin, I had virtually no shedding there. Even at 15mm it wasn’t enough, only the Yag with the deeper penetration at 15mm was able to hit the roots and cause that hair to shed. It’s also much easier to be patchy with 12, since its a much smaller area per shot. Company policy sounds more like either safety precaution or they know you’ll be back for more treatments with such a low spot size.

There is no benefit to starting at lower settings. The benefit is for the clinic to not scare you away from more treatments due to the pain.

I agree. It would be one thing if they said 12mm only but at least did normal settings, but to start low and use 12 it’s insane. I don’t see any reason at all to do 12mm on the face. On upper lip sure but even then I’m treated with 15mm on my upper lip with no problem. Did you check for anyone using Cynosure’s Apogee? It’s an alexandrite as well, not just GentleLASE.

Ok, so even though the energy level isn’t too bad, the spot size isn’t large enough to get good depth penetration on the trickier areas? Shame, as the upper lip is the part where my stubble is most noticeable.

I’ve not been limiting my search to just the GentleLASE, but this clinic is the only one I’ve found so far that has an alexandrite laser. Sounds like I should keep on looking and go further afield.

Well just some experience with myself. I was treated with the 15mm on GentleLASE not sure what settings but I had literally no shedding on the tip of my chin or upper lip, but did everywhere else. I switched to Apogee Elite, and same thing, even with re-doing the chin and upper lip 2 weeks later it absolutely would not shed, and again not sure what settings but they were as high as she could safely go (hurt like crazy). First session was 12mm second was 15mm. Last time we switched to the Yag on the Apogee Elite. Yag has a deeper penetration than alexandrite and we did 15mm again, FINALLY I had about 95% shedding maybe 98% on my chin and upper lip but only with the Yag none of the other settings or lasers would hit the root there.

I would recommend looking for a Yag laser operator as well. Any of the following models would be good: Apogee, Coolglide, GentleMAX, GentleYAG, Sciton…

Have you looked at our FAQs and the part with links on how to find a clinic near you? You don’t mention your location in your profile here.

Yes, I’ve read the FAQ (it’s very useful!) and found quite a few clinics near here, but most of them use IPL, with one or two using diode lasers. There is still another couple I need to call to find out what they use, though their prices look quite steep :slight_smile: I can also try some of the other towns & cities round here if I don’t find something local.

I was hoping to find an alex laser, though it sounds like I could consider a diode or a YAG. Can you elaborate on why the diode lasers are harder to operate? Does it mean the results won’t be as good with an inexperienced operator, or do the risks of side effects increase? Thanks :smiley:

We provide links specifically to GentleYAG and other manufacturers. That’s the reason I mentioned looking at the link. See the third link below “how to find a clinic near you”.

If the person knows how to use a diode, results will be good, though it also doesn’t penetrate as deep as a Yag (and male facial hair is deep). With a diode, like most popular LightSheer, some techs tend to use gliding and not use compression, because doing it properly slows down the treatment and they want to do it fast.