Monday 30 January 2005 - Male beard, face and neck. Unit is the Harmony AFT (Advanced Fluorescence Technology). [They advertised as laser hair removal (“Ora Medispa uses the Sonata (810 nm diode laser, 10-400 m/sec) hair removal technology because of the effectiveness, comfort level, speed and accuracy of the laser. Groups of hair follicles are treated in rapidly successive pulses.” - www.oramedispa.com) and I did not know the difference until reading these forums then calling to ask with what had I been treated. Information on the Harmony AFT unit, for anyone interested, is available at www.almalasers.com.]
The doctor I consulted with prior to the procedure was concerned about a medication I take that has a rare side effect of photosensitivity so she advised me she would allow the treatment but at a lower intensity than she would have otherwise used. She also advised that if an aditional
treatment was required because of this the clinic would provide it with no additional cost. I was told to expect to require 4-6 treatments. My skin is Type-II. Hair is dark. I haven’t tanned for years so that wasn’t an issue.
The doctor smeared a cooling gel over my face and neck and covered my eyes with hard plastic eye-cups. The technician who performed the procedure asked me to rate the pain from each zap/pulse as she adjusted the unit. When I reached a 3-4 she said it was higher than they had planned to use but kept it at that (later I learned the level/fluence used was 17 and if I’ve researched the unit properly that’s close to maximum of 20 so that suggests a lack of communication between the doctor (who left once the tech began) and the technician who performed the procedure). I wouldn’t call it painful at all but then I do tolerate pain well. The sensation was like static electricity zaps. Stinging rather than painful. I was given a hose which blew cold air to whatever part of my face I pointed it at.
The cold air and the gel proved useful once the tech began moving across my face and it felt like I was being slow roasted with each new zap/pulse.
The tech stopped twice to ask if I was okay … I assume because I had put myself into a state of relaxation while she worked on me and I didn’t respond to each zap/pulse. When she asked me to tuck in my lips while she worked on the mouth area my concentration was broken and the first of
the pulses to that area surprised me into a slight jump.
The whole thing was completed in perhaps less than half an hour. Due to the cooking feeling I had I expected to look sun-burned but when I grabbed a mirror as soon as I was left alone there was very little redness. Guess the gel and cold air did their job. Only side/after effect I can say I had was a couple of days of the feeling of razor burn, especially on my neck.
The tech booked me a second appointment for 1 March 2006 but asked me to call and re-schedule the appointment later if I wasn’t seeing hair growing by then.
I’ll post a diary of sorts here for anyone interested in the Harmony for male beard.
Friday 3 February 2006 - I shaved Wednesday and again today which, since before I read from these forums I didn’t expect I’d be doing that also had me worried. Right now, after four days, it feels and looks like my beard is growing as if I’d had no treatment at all. A call to the doctor said it is expected and normal.
Monday 13 February 2006 - Two weeks since first Harmony treatment. Shaved yesterday (and quick shave few days before that). Beard appears to still grow.
Monday 20 February 2006 - Three weeks since procedure. Shaved last night. I’ve not had any noticeable shedding and so obviously no hair-free period. And if I’m right with the Harmony research the unit only does 20j and I was treated at 17j so that doesn’t leave much room for future treatments being successful either.
Thursday 23 February 2006 - It’s now 24-days since procedure performed (slight correction in days since my question post). Other than a possible bit of thinning to the treated areas I don’t see that this procedure has worked well at all. This could be due to the 17 instead of 20 setting, I could be a late shedder (though I doubt it), this could be unique to me or perhaps the Harmony AFT is not suitable to the male beard. I’ll update this once I see my doctor and/or tech and gather some updated information.