My Ideal Image Hair Removal Consultation Today

I had a free consult with Ideal Image this morning about laser hair removal. While I feel like a complete hypocrite for going (having been a huge supporter of electrolysis only for a long time) even I realized that it would take many, many hours via electrolysis to remove all the hair I want gone. After having about 200 hours on my face (an area I would NEVER use laser) I am not sure I want to spend that amount or more on body hair.

I have to say, I was very impressed. The clinic looked professional, nice but not gaudy, and I was given a complete tour. They offer both the Alexandrite and YAG lasers (both made by Candela) and, best of all from my standpoint, ALL treatments are performed by certified nurse practioners. No dubious “laser techs” here; these are medical professionals. This was very important to me, since I want someone who knows how to handle complications or medical emergencies.

Being a transsexual, I was also pleased with how they handled that. Having had unfortunate experiences before, I wasn’t sure how it would go but they were very professional. Though I look rather androgynous at this stage, I was given the women’s prices which I greatly appreciated.

Speaking of prices, I found them very reasonable. You can either pay session to session, or pay all at once for an area. This last seems best, since it includes 5 sessions, a YEAR of free touch-ups, and a lifetime membership which offers vastly discounted re-treatment if hair returns years later.

I went in about some breast/stomach hair removal and bikini line work. However, they also offer a “full body” package which isn’t much more the the combined total of the other areas I had selected. While it would still be a stretch to pay for it, I could if I saved for several months.

HOWEVER, I am not stupid enough to blow huge sums of money on something that might not work. I think I am going to buy a small area (like hands or feet) and see how I do. If it works and I don’t have any skin problems, I’ll then try and get the full body work done. I am still nervous, however. I don’t make much money, my transition is already very expensive, and I am afraid of wasting limited resources. A best case scenario, it works great and all of my unwanted hair problems are a thing of the past. Worst case, it all grows back, my skin is damaged or burned, and I will have wasted thousands that could have helped pay for my sex reassignment or facial feminization surgery. Remember, my face is hair-free via electrolysis and I don’t need any treatment in this area.

What does everyone think I should do? Buy a cheap area and gauge my results, pay for an area I really want and hope for the best, or try and save up for the full body and pray I get the results I want?

First of all, I sincerely wish you luck, but your luck factor increases when you do your homework and strategize, just as you are doing now. So I’ll throw in a pat on the back just for being smart about this. There is nothing hypocritical in what you are wanting to do. A combination of eletrolysis and laser has been a wonderful savior for many people. I just get a bit riled when the consumer is falsely mislead by unscrupulous laser promises, but personally am open to using both for certain areas.

I totally agree with you about electrolysis on the face and laser on the body. If I were in your shoes I would choose a couple areas where laser has a better track record and start small and pay as you go. Just creep into all this slowly and see what happens. Can they just treat a 6" x 6" area on your abdomen, for example, 6-8 times and see how that works? Maybe if you contract for an area that has better results with laser, after they lase that area they can then move over to shoot a small area of the abdomen for a nominal fee. If you like the results on your abdomen after several trial treatments on the same spot, then you can go full force with your abdomen when you see that things look promising. I’m not sure you are wanting your underarms done, but just gave that as an example because that is an area that responds well for most people. For the amount of money we are talking about, a test drive would be nice. No? If your hairs are really deep, having that YAG laser as a option sounds good.

Hands and fingers can easily be handled by electrolysis, by the way.

How long has Ideal Image been in business? Are you able to call any consumer references who successfully had hair removed from areas you are considering and who can tell you about their exeperience with this business? Maybe you can actually arrange to see their results and ask them how long they have been hair-free or close to hair-free.

Thanks for sharing WNA.



Fortunately, my fingers are already done via electrolysis (which I have had on my face, nape of neck, eyebrows, and fingers.)

Ideal Image’s pricing is actually so reasonable that I can afford to get a small area done and see how it works. They offer in-house financing, so you can pay them a fee every month instead of plunking down a large sum at once (there’s a 25% service fee, though, so this doesn’t pay on large areas.)

Feet are only 633, or 66 dollars a month. Underarms are 1,058 or 110 dollars a month. I will probably start with one of these two area, since they are more or less cheap and if something goes wrong and my skin gets burned off, won’t show. If I do well after about 6 months, I would be willing to treat other areas. The hairs on my breast/stomach area, and bikini line are the ones I most want removed. However, I’d love to not have to shave my legs anymore (especially since I get awful razor burn) and if I think I am getting permanent results, I will try and get the “full body” package.

I am still nervous of lasers. Sure, it’s zapping hairs…but what else is it doing in there? Some people are afraid it might be damaging sweat glands, and I read a scary thing on here about people who developed permament skin irritation and a rash from laser treatment. Needless to say, I do NOT want this to happen.


I can throw in my 2 cents on what I would do. I would do one area, regardless of how much cheaper it might be to buy a package deal etc, and the area I would pick would be the bikini area since it has one of the best track records with laser and especially since it bothers you most. My second choice of one area would be the underarms. I believe you said you were type II or III, so the chance of any burning is slim, and “horribly burning” almost none, especially with the GentleLASE. But of course, it doesn’t hurt to be aware and expect the worst. The feet don’t normally have as coarse of hair, so I wouldn’t choose that as my first option. I would also try to pick the area that’s the least tanned. Burns etc are mostly even a possibility when the skin is not at its whitest. So an area that’s more hidden from the sun is best.

The other thing I would do is check out 3 other clinics with the GentleLASE machine and compare. There is really no way to know what kind of service others offer without checking them out. It also helps to check out a private clinic versus a chain to comapre. You might also find better pricing, and even if you decide on this one in the end, you would know you did your research and picked the best one. Also, if you have a Smooth Solutions locations in Dallas, I would check it out as well. The owner is a very educated and helpful dermatologist doctor on the cosmetic enhancements forum. If you read some of his posts on the subject (sslhr), you’ll see what I’m talking about. They also have a policy of refunding money for any unused treatments if you don’t finish a package.

Can you please list the prices you were quoted for certain areas you’re considering treating for that one treatment? We can give you an idea of whether you may find something better. If that $1050 price is for 5 treatments of underarms, that’s on the pricey side. Underarm treatments usually range $50-150 per treatment for both. I paid $100 per treatment (no contracts) and only needed 5 for 95% removal to give you an idea. And this wasn’t the cheapest around.

Thanks Christiane and what a beautiful name you have.

The price for the underarms sound too high. If your underarms are treated 4-6 times, then I’m remembering from here and other sites that $100- $150 for both arms is a fair price. Maybe lagirl can help me out on this one.

Many wonder about the long term safety of repeated lasering to the skin, but I’m seeing conclusions to recent studies that consistently state that lasers used for hair removal appear to be safe and efficient.


Great analysis, Christiane. Have you checked out other similar LHR clinics? DFW has several that are similar to Ideal with those lasers, packages, and the like. I have not used Ideal, but they certainly are advertising alot and have a far better reputation that ALC and others.

I agree on testing a small, less-public area to determine efficacy; I went for my underarms first ($99/ea or pkg of 6 for $400 at Smooth Solutions). Is that their best price? Do they have monthly specials or other discouts? Shop around to get a feel for your local pricing scale.

The hard-part is waiting! Your plan is to try 6 treatments and analyze the results. Well, that will take 40 weeks (or more) to get to the final treatment (#6) and then longer (maybe 20 weeks?) to REALLY know how much reduction you have. I was impatient and could not wait a YEAR for this “experiment”. Thus, I started other body areas in parallel. I do not reget this, but, as my results have been minimal, it is something to be aware of.

If you want one full treatment first, though, then don’t pay for a package and see if you burn, hurt too much, don’t shed, get good support from the clinic, etc. Then, you can decide upon a package (and some places will let you apply the first treatment cost directly to the package pricing).

Also, check their refund policy carefully. Keep us posted as you decide; you can clearly see that many folks on the forum are very willing to “chime” in. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

tex, how have the results on your underarms been? how many treatments have you had there now? spaced how far apart?

Well, it is most difficult to gauge a “percentage reduction”, even with before & after photos! I think that it is necessary to allow considerable re-growth and recovery time in order to assess the real affects. So, I am not able to really provide that final thumbs up or down yet. However, to provide some answer, I would say that I have about 40% less hair at this time. This is less than advertised or typically reported by our peers. Although I don’t demand complete baldness, I would like to be smooth the vast majority of the time.

I have now had 7 treatments, starting every 8 weeks and now every 16 weeks. I started with the Apogee Alexandrite using 14J/15mm/20ms and am now on their Candela Alex using its max setting of 20J (apparently with a fixed & larger 18mm spot size and fixed 3ms pulse duration). I have dark brown hair on lily white armpit skin!

I have always experienced shedding about three weeks post-treatment of most (but not all) dark hair. I expect to begin electrolysis next month (first time) to eliminate the remaining hair (including the grey ones) and begin on hands, fingers, ears, etc. BTW, I am still getting treated for beard, neck, back, shoulders, and full Brazilian with laser. For these larger areas, I will likely continue with LHR under the “low cost” or free 1-year “guarantee” period.

The staff at Smooth Solution is always kind, efficient, and I see that they understand and execute their job duties well. I believe that the tendency to apply less “power” for initial treatments has yielded reduced results and is limiting my progress. The clinic will not really make more money (from my “extra” treatments) since I now get both pits for $29 (for 7th treatment and later), so this is more likely due to being cautious. I have never been burned or red for more than a day. The prices, as I stated earlier, are very good and the specials with discounts are hard to beat.

Thanks for asking; as you know, it is a pleasure to be of service by sharing our individual experiences with the group.

Thanks for sharing. It’s much appreciated. $29 per treatment is almost nothing! That’s how much you would pay for a waxing job at many places. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I agree that the 16 joules with 20 ms pulse on the Apogee machine were a bit low. That’s why GentleLASE is actually usually more effective, because of the 3ms pulse. The shorter the pulse, the better the results normally. So higher joules and short pulse at around 15mm spot size is optimal. If you only saw a 40% reduction, that was most likely due to the Apogee machine and those settings. If you’re only paying $29 now and they’re willing to use GentleLASE at 20 joules, I would get 2-3 more treatments with it and THEN go for electrolysis. Of course, you can treat the white/gray hair with electrolysis simultaneously as those won’t be affected.

Here are some of the prices. You can buy either individual treatments, or buy a package. The good thing about the package is that it includes one year of free touchups after the initial series, and life-time touch-ups at a vastly reduced fee. Individual sessions cost more than buying as a package would; for example, underarms are 243 dollars for one treatment, but only 1,058 for the five and touch-ups.

Chest and Abdomen: Indiv 931 Package 4,048
Brazilian Bikini: Indiv 402 Package 1,748
Full Back: Indiv 931 Package 4,048

Maybe the Dallas market is high, but this is less than I have ever been quoted anywhere else. Though I obviously don’t have endless money (far from it, paying for this would be a great sacrifice) it’s more important to me to find a good, safe place than simply go for whoever is cheapest. For whatever reason, I just have a good feeling about Ideal Image; it lacked the “storefront/shopping mall” feeling I have had from other laser places, and I VERY much like the idea of a nurse practioner performing the treatment. They seemed very professional and realistic ( they were quite frank that it wouldn’t be possible to get every single hair) and didn’t push a hard sell.

There is a Smooth Solutions in town, too. I will check that out as well before I spend any money.

Thanks everyone!

Those prices are pretty high regardless of the market, as they are about 2 times more than the average. I think you would be doing yourself a disservice by not checking out at least 3 other clinics, including SS and private ones. There are other educated people performing treatments. Mine is performed by a dermatologist, so an MD, even, and at lower cost. Let us know how other consultations go. The tough thing here is to allow yourself to explore all options before committing after visiting just one clinic. Most people just want to get started fast. I say since you’re doing this the right way already, do it all the way and have several more consultations.

Here’s a link to the GentleLASE provider search by zip code, so you can find at least several options with this specific laser near you: