My Story - What now??

So here’s my tale. About a year and a half ago I was at the cosmetic dermatology department of my “big” HMO getting some spider veins on my face lasered, when I noticed a flyer talking about body hair removal. To give you a little more info about myself, I’m a middle aged very hirsute male, with hair everywhere, back, shoulders, chest, legs, etc. and more importantly I’ve never liked being that way. I spoke to the RN who was doing my spider veins about the hair removal services they offered, and she told me I was an “ideal candidate” with dark hair and light skin, (even though I have some gray hairs mixed with the dark hair), and she said that one treatment would “probably” be all that would be needed. So I made an appointment in April 04 to get my back and shoulders done.This was about a two hour session and cost about $1100. And it was pretty painful. About 3 weeks later, I had my chest and stomach done, at a cost of around $1200. Btw, the unit used was a GentleLase. And either the areas on my chest were more sensitve, or I was having a bad day but the pain was on the order of “child birth” in some spots. I waited about 8 weeks before going in the sun, and then followed one glorious summer where I went to the beach, pool with only a short (but unfortunately growing) amount of hair on my upper body. It quickly became clear, that “one” treatment was not going to be nearly enough as the hair on my back, shoulders, chest, and stomach continued to grow back with abandon. Fast forward to today 15 months later, and the hair has almost grown back entirely. I know this because I made the decision to not remove hair on my arms, the “opera gloves” so to speak, and I can only detect the slightest difference between the grown back hair and the original on my arms. So I’m a year older (and wiser thanks to this site), wondering how I can remove this hair permanently, and where I go from here. Go back to laser?? If so what are the realistic expectations I should have about results, and the time and money investment needed? Or because I have about 20% gray hairs, would electrolysis be a better option? Here again, what is realistic in terms of results, time, money? Or a blend of both? And I quess this turns out to be a electrolysis versus laser question. Sorry about that. And I hope nobody yells at me for posting in both forums. <g> So I’ve been to Dr. Berman in Palo Alto for laser. Any comments pro or con? Any other recommendations for either laser or electrolysis in the San Mateo area on the peninsula?? TIA


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That is a horror story, both in terms of the monetary price you paid and what was promised to you. I’m sorry to hear such a thing.

What would give you the fastest clearance would be a speedy thermolysis electrologist, but you are on the west coast, and they are rare in that part of the country. Blend would give you permanent hair removal, but would not do it quickly. It might take a long time for you to have enough hair removed to feel that you are making progress. Thermolysis, on the other hand would be done in about 75 hours for permanent removal on the hairy back. It would take another 75 hours or less for the chest

I have no experience with laser, so I can’t speak to that. I can tell you, however, that I saw Cindy Greene, an electrologist on Cambridge Ave. in Palo Alto, for about six months last year and was favorably impressed. She did blend on me, and was pretty efficient. And I know she also does thermolysis on other clients. (I don’t know if she does flash, however.) She’s very nice, as well, and will do a free consultation beforehand. Cindy’s phone number is 650-327-2404.

As for cost, you’re looking at about $70-80/hour for electrolysis in the Silicon Valley area. Hope that’s helpful–good luck!

Since you have so much hair to remove, I would start with laser and finish with electrolysis.

Look for a practitioner that uses the Lightsheer. It is much better better than the Gentlelase. One treatment is not enough, and from your description, you were undertreated in that single treatment. The Lightsheer would be less painful than the Gentlelase. The Lightsheer has a superior cooling system, and the use of compression helps too.

Get rid of as many of the dark hairs as you can then worry about the grey ones later.