My Laser treatments, everywhere, Type 3, L.A.

I’m getting laser hair removal treatments at the Calidora Clinic in Santa Monica, L.A. area. RN performing it is Jennifer Sheu, on GentleLASE by Candela, 14 joules, 18mm spot.

Areas treated:

–Full legs - coarse, dark hair
–Bikini extended (but not the triangle itself, just all the hair around it) - coarse, dark hair
–Lower abdomen - finer dark hair
–Arms - finer dark hair
–Lumbar area - medium fine dark, long hair
–Underarms - coarse dark hair
–Face - coarse dark hairs, touch up from years ago

Okay. A few notes about the above: I had my face done years ago, and the results were fantastic until I briefly switched from Yaz to another BC pill (I take them to control my PCOS, and Yaz really halts the new hair growth for me). Jennifer hasn’t treated my face yet because I just decided to go for it, and only stopped tweezing a few days ago. I’ve been warned that on finer hair areas, I can only expect a minimum of 30% reduction, while on coarse areas I can expect 50% minimum.

I got a special where you buy one area, get another free. They also counted the abdomen and lumbar area as one, because neither has half as many hairs as they’d normally see in either area. Their rates are not cheap, but their specials can make it very competitive.

I chose Jennifer Sheu because she asked loads of questions, really looked my hair over, and explained things thoroughly. At first she told me she’d do test spots at 10, 12 and 14, and I’d read in this forum that 14 was the minimum effective amount, so I tried other clinics/medspas… but no one was willing to go above 14 and no one would do a test spot. I called Jennifer to ask what her thinking was, and she explained that she would use the highest setting that didn’t burn me, and as time went by, my skin could tolerate higher settings. This made sense to me. In the end, she decided 14 was good: the skin reddened, you could smell the burnt hair, and I could feel the snappy feeling. She took those as signs it was working.

So far I’ve had one treatment in each area (but split into two sessions, one yesterday, and one the Saturday before that). I believe I’m seeing a bit of shedding on my legs already - haven’t seen any hairs coming out, but there do seem to be some hairs missing. The hair is definitely “growing in” more slowly after treatment.

Um… that’s all I can think to report right now? If you have questions, fire away.

I’m in Los Angeles and have Type 3 skin as well with dark coarse hair. I’m currently getting my underarms done at The Stevens Institute in Marina del Ray through a deal from Living Social but I’m interested in getting my bikini area done eventually too. What are the prices per session at this Calidora Clinic for bikini/brazilian? Good luck with your treatments and can’t wait to hear your later updates :).

  • At good settings, all coarse hair should be removed just fine (90-100%). Fine hair won’t be removed at any setting and laser can actually induce finer growth to make it worth. This is a risk on the face. If you don’t have patches of really coarse growth there, I wouldn’t touch it with laser and leave it for electrolysis. Laser only works well on coarse dense growth.

  • Those settings are ok. It’s the minimum we recommend. If your skin can handle at least 16j/18mm, I’d go with that.

  • Let us know how she3dding goes after 3 weeks.

Thanks for the detailed report. Looking forward to more updates.

@ckdancer98: I’m not sure of the price per session. I suggest you call them and ask.

The patches on my face are intensely coarse. I didn’t develop any new hairs of any sort from my treatments in 2007. I may look into electrolysis, though. I had absolutely no reduction from many hours of it in the early 90s, but someone here told me I must’ve been growing new hairs? (Likely, with hormone imbalance.)

It will have been 3 weeks since my leg/underarm treatment on Saturday. At first, as I expected, the singed hair grew out like normal, so I shaved. Since then, I’ve not needed to shave my underarms at all (I used to shave daily, as the hair was painfully coarse). There is still hair there, but it’s always as short as if just shaved.

There’s also still hair on my legs. It’s “growing” out much more slowly, but I’m still shaving once a week or so. I haven’t seen any hairs coming out in the shower or notice a difference after rubbing it with a washcloth like she suggested, but I have found that sometimes with longer hairs, I can just gently pinch them between my fingers and they come out. Not quite sure what to make of it all, whether hairs have been missed, or this is just the process. She took her time and seemed to me to be very thorough, with good overlapping. She would cover the area systematically, then go in closer and look for missed hairs and zap them again.

The treatment was pretty painful in some areas and not bad in others. I definitely “felt” it, and had redness which took a few hours to resolve (she applied hydrocortisone after treatment). She said before that my skin might adapt and be able to take higher settings in later treatments, so I’ll ask her to test spot 16j next time. There were areas where I really don’t think I could’ve stood it this last time, so I think 14 probably was the right setting, at least for then.

  • With electrolysis, could be a combination of new hair and unskilled electrologist. We have a bunch of recommended ones in LA on the forum that you can try.

  • You can try to stop shaving to help the hair fall out. You’re at about 11 days since treatment now? It takes up to 3 weeks. Keep exfoliating and scrubbing in the shower and try to avoid shaving to speed things up. If you can pull the hairs out without resistance, that’s shedding.

Pain shouldn’t prevent you from getting aggressive treatments. You should consider using a numbing cream to handle highest settings. As long as your skin can handle them, you’re good.

No, I’m at three weeks tomorrow (that was in my third paragraph).

Pain is not what stopped her from going higher. She said the skin was reacting as it should on 14. I was only offering the point about the sensation to show that the settings at least seemed to have some effect.

I’ll try to stop shaving, but my hair is coarse as a wire brush and literally keeps me from sleeping (thighs rubbing against each other, or hair rubbing under pajama pants - nothing helps).

The electrologyst who worked on me in the early 90s was the very best in the city I was living in then - she worked on a lot of celebrities and had lots of experience. I don’t think skill was the problem. My hair has always resisted removal methods (pro waxers couldn’t even remove it) far more than most people - except for LHR. That’s the only thing that’s ever worked for me.

It’s really impossible to visually tell if the treatment is effective. Just because the skin has a bit of some type of reaction doesn’t mean that the settings are the best you can handle. The skin can be affected and the hair not affected at all. It’s really not a good way to tell anything. The settings can be good enough to even cause shedding, but not permanent damage to the follicles. That’s why we recommend the highest settings your SKIN can handle SAFELY. This is in your best interests.

There are plenty of electrologists with 20+ years of experience who don’t actually kill the hair and their clients go to them for years and think that’s normal. We have many recommendations of good ones in LA on this forum. You will need to do it anyway if you want 100% removal on any area. Laser reaches diminishing returns. Good electrolysis treatments take 12-18 months to complete. There are several methods and various machines around. Lots of variables.


I was wondering what your progress has been on the hair on your abdomen - basically the finer hair! How’s that coming along with the laser?

Laser doesn’t work on fine hair.