Max settings not strong enough?

I am starting to dwell on this setting issue. Laser nurse at my clinic seems to dance around a lot of questions, it’s getting to me.
Cynosure alex 9300. I was told the laser can not go over 25j. All other sets like pulsewidth and spot can change but it will not go past 25j. This really means there is a max strength they can use, right? If no results after 5 tx should I consider another place/laser?
Nurse has gone from 21j/.2msec/18spot to 25j/.1msec/15spot over last four tx. Shoulders/upper arms have shed and grown back the same if not denser over these four treatments. Back is better with much thinner-lighter-less dense hair.
Nurse states she has never heard of laser induced gowth in these areas. She states it will take more treatments…it will work…so she says.
If no change after 5 treatments-why should I expect different after 10 treatments?

Here we go
Next “satisfied” laser costumer. How many more till you all see the light?

I am slowly walking toward the light…and all my hairtell friends were there as well…

Seriously-can the difference between 10 treatments and 5 be that significant? If were talking growth stages of hair-they should’ve all been hit in anagen after 5 treatments-approx 9 months.

on upper arms and shoulders laser CAN stimulate hair, especially at those settings. and yes, it can be killed with more treatments eventually, but it’s up to you if you want to go that route. it’s been discussed here before. after 5 treatments, some hairs were killed, some are new hairs, some are those that were in the wrong phase before etc. it also depends on what kind of hair you started with. if you started with something other than coarse hair on that area, then settings need to be higher AND there is a much higher chance of stimulating growth before killing it with laser. either way, any man should count on at least 8 treatments on any area, but especially more on upper arms/shoulders, AND only do laser on those areas with coarse hair. on other areas, you should see a significant 80% or so difference after 5-6 treatments already, but would need at least 8 to be close to reaching diminishing returns. if the hair is shedding every time (almost all hair treated should fall out every time), then you should be seeing less and less hair come in with every treatment. are you seeing shedding? are you seeing a significant amount not come back?

also, yes, they can go higher than 25 joules. if they decrease the spot size, they can increase the joules, and they should. if they’re not willing to, i would switch, and hopefully to a more powerful laser like GentleLASE and someone who actually admits to stimulated growth (if she doesn’t, she’s either in denial or doesn’t have enough experience in this yet)

I have had shedding everytime. Other than small spots that were missed I have reacted the way I should-shedding, slightly red with slight edema, follicles appear fried but recover in 3-5 days. Ingrowns 3-5 wks which resolve in 6-7 weeks after session. Then hair kicks in and stubble starts with no change to density on shoulders/upper arms. Hairs may be a bit thinner on shoulders/up arms but really not much different.
I did call clinic and was told they may need to change the hand piece to get more strength. I am just frustrated, especially when nurse said she can’t go over 25j-no matter what cause the machine won’t let her. Sounds like a load of crap. I’m still open to laser but ticked to have to be at the will of a nurse/tech who may have $ rather than my best interest in mind.
Thanks for all the advice and letting me vent.

it sounds like this person is just not knowledgeable on the best way to remove hair. if she doesn’t know to change the heads on the laser to up the settings, it worries me. and this area is a difficult one to treat already. are you stuck in a package deal here? can you switch to someone with GentleLASE? Also, you’re saying you have stubble come in after 6-8 weeks…usually the new hair that comes in is finer and more sparse and soft, not stubbly…

It worries me as well. I did get a package for 5. My 5th will be in sept and then I’m sure they’ll push for more. The nurse has been doing this for 5 yrs. My gut tells me she knows what she’s doing but chooses to stretch the visits out to max out the clinics profits.
The reaction you talk about is happening on my back. I am sort of happy with the results on the back thus far. The up arms and shoulders are not stubble, but still thick like before I started. Nothing like the thinner growth on my back. Shoulders and up arms were sparser after 1st treatment than they are now.
If I assume my back is reacting good, then shoulders and up arms are definitely not even close to a positive result.
They stated different handpiece-this means different spot size right? They also talked about hertz-I assume this is just the speed at which laser fires not strength.
On the fourth treatment she lowered to .1 msec. She stated she thought hair may be a little to coarse for this but I was on her case to get some kind of result. Thanks for listening.

Grumpy, can I ask you some questions?

  1. How much money have you spent so far?

  2. How much time has passed since your very first laser treatment?

  3. Are your goals thinning? Or complete, total hair removal?



the problem also is that Apogee alex laser is not as powerful and versatile as the GentleLASE where an experienced tech can adjust settings better to suit your needs if he/she knows how. i would get the 5th treatment and find someone with the GentleLASE if you can. how much hair would you say you have on your upper arms/shoulders? any way to post a pic? i’m glad the back is working out bettter for you. upper arms/shoulders on men is always a bigger issue.

Here you go Mantaray-
I’ve spent $1900 for a 5 treatment package which includes entire back, shoulders, and upper arms. Clinic was a Sona at start of treatments but has now gotten out of that franchise and is independently owned. All laser techs are nurses.
My first treatment was Jan 2006. Just finished 4th treatment in July 2006.
My goals are simply any help I can get. We all want total removal but I never anticipated that. Thinning to 75% reduction would be acceptable. How else can I say it-I want to take my shirt off at the pool and people 25meters away not to look and say “Look at THAT guy”…well maybe say that but in a good way <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
I have mixed feelings thus far. Happy and hopeful to angry and frustrated. Similar to lots of people here.

Is gentleLASE an alex or a diode? Could the penetration depth or whatever its called (750nm alex vs over 800nm diode) be why back is showing results and shoulders/arms are not? Hormonal control stronger in shoulders/up arms than back?
Upper arms/shoulders is pretty dense. I can’t braid it but it’s definitely not sparse. Back was similar and localized to the flanks on each side.
No pictures for now-too shy. Thanks for your time.

GentleLASE is an alex. It is just more flexible. It’s important to be able to adjust pulse duration, spot size, as well as joules depending on area treated. yes, hormonal stimulation is stronger on upper arms/shoulders for men. plus, that area usually starts out with more sparse finer hair, so you see some hair stimulated by laser first before being able to kill it. if you start out with dark coarse dense hair, those areas show better results faster as no hair is stimulated there.


I know how you feel, and I want to point out something very logical. Consider this; you spent $1,900 dollars. At the going rate of $70 dollars for an hour of electrology, that comes out to twenty-seven sessions. Once a week, that come out to about the same time you have dealt with it so far, about seven months. So what’s faster? Laser or electrology? Answer: It looks to me like if you sign up for another package, laser will be twice as slow and twice as expensive. And I’m leaving out the part about how ten sessions of a high-powered laser can age your skin.

Now, in that time span of twenty-seven treatments, you could have EASILY cleared 33% to 66% by visiting a good thermolysis operator. And this would be proven, real, hairs permanently gone. And it would’ve been even (non-patchy), and directed (bigger, darker hairs out first) hair loss.

Further, if you used a ‘rotating treatment area method’ like I use, that treatment time can be reduced down to a couple months, not waiting out seven. Just make sure you give each area about five days to heal before going back to treat that area’s neighboring area. you may look uneven for a week or so, but you just scream through treatments.

Anyway, let us know how it goes. Fill out your bio just to know what area of the country you’re in and maybe there’s a really good pro we can refer for checking out.


I tried to find a reference to the ‘rotating treatment area method’ and cannot find it. Can you elaborate (or link to a description), so we can understand it and review it with our electrolygist? Thx.

correct me if i’m wrong, but doesn’t that just mean having treatments more often when you just start to speed up clearance on all areas, where you’re treating areas that area next to each other, but not the same exact area every time to avoid too much irritation on any one area.

Rotating means that one doesn’t go in and work on the upper right arm, then wait a week, then go back and treat the upper right arm again.

You fastrack:
Monday - upper right arm
Tuesday - upper left arm
wednesday - lower back
Thursday - Upper right back
Friday… You get the picture

You get serious and make it part of your life. After first clearance is achieved, you wait a month or so, and treat the regrowth in the same manner, by the third cycle, you’re pretty hairless. And it costs the same as if stretched out.