Newbie with Concerns

Hi everyone, I am a 38 year old male who is a skin type II. The hair on my chest is coarse and dark as well as my upper back. I have signed up for laser hair removal with American Laser Centers in Las Vegas. My first treatment was on June 4 and they used the Amerilase with settings of 36-50 and a short pulse. I am told that this is a high setting and I have to admit it was very painful. Two weeks removed and I am not excited to go back in 6 weeks. Here are my concerns, my back is doing great, very little hair growth and I assume shedding. My chest on the other hand is experiencing growth with little shedding. I am 17 days removed and I am starting to itch from growth and I still have red pimple looking spots on my chest. The hair doesn’t seem to pull out and I am nervous its done shedding. Thoughts? Should I shave it again or do you think I will shed some more? How / when will the pimple red iritations go away? The clinic also offers emax and IPL.
Thanks for your input. - about halfway down they start talking about the Amerilase… 36-50 I’m assuming is the joules, but you also need the spot size to tell if it’s high.
If your hair is coarse, like pubic hair, it should shed very easily - actually in most cases it should have started shedding before this.
I’m not familiar with the Amerilase, but haven’t heard a lot of good about American Laser Centers. - here’s another link. Actually, I would advise you to just run a search on Amerilase/American Laser Centers on here to get a feel for the company and their services.

Also, have you been shaving? Usually you don’t shave after a laser treatment so that you can see the shedding.

Thanks for your response Emilily. I read both posts and while there was nothing glowing to say about ALC there was nothing saying they were horrible either. Plus those post were from 2004, the info is relevant but I would love some updated info. The frustrating thing is I did research ALC and they have good reviews in Las Vegas plus they advertise so heavily on this site.

So the Amerilase I used was a Diode should I try the IPL next? I have typ II skin and it seems like that may be a fit for me. Hopefully less painful but I think next time I will take a painkiller.

Oh, there are plenty of posts here about them being horrible :slight_smile: Don’t worry. Just run a search here or a Google search. Basically, service may differ by location, but generally their approach is somewhat similar to a used car salesman. They sell you a package of treatments at a supposed discount and have a no-refund policy. Then people end up going for years, sometimes with little results (because they will take money from anyone regardless of whether they’re a good candidate), sometimes with average results in way more treatments than necessary.

At least they’re using their diode on you. Amerilase is just a proprietary name for their Syneron machine called Comet elsewhere. It’s a diode with RF technology (gimmick) in one. I would ask to turn the RF function off altogether during treatment. And hopefully, you can request the tech who’s been there longest or has the most experience (there is a high turnover usually).

At the 3 week mark, you should have almost complete shedding. It doesn’t sound like that’s happened, especially on the east to treat area like the chest. I would go in and ask for a free touchup by some most experienced there. Diode is not the easiest machine to use so it becomes even more important.

Make sure they’re ONLY treating patches of very coarse hair on your back or the treatment may induce the finer hair to become worse.

Here’s an interesting complaints board thread I found where past techs and customers as well as owner argue. Generally, what you find common is that techs leave the facilities after they get sick of lying to their customers and draining them of money. (Though there have been a few reports of several clinic locations where the owner is a decent person. In many of those cases, they still kept the LightSheer diode machine and didn’t completely switch over to Syneron’s machines).

I don’t understand how this company is still in business if they are not satisfying enough people. I know that a few of my clients did not get results with ALC lasers. One had light colored hair and they strongly encouraged her to continue treatments anyway at the ALC business she chose in her locale. You can try anything you want. IPL’s appear to offer longer-term benefits as waxing would. There are better light-based devices. Light-based systems are hit or miss businesses - what works well from many may not work well for you.

Thanks for the replies and info. This is frustrating as I prepaid a package. Prior to finding this site.

Truth be told the ALC in Vegas has good reviews but from what I see here I shouldn’t expect much. That said should I continue, it’s been only 1 treatment? If so should I use the Amerilase with the RF turned off as LA Girl suggests or one of their other lasers?

Well, you already paid, so do it. You can try asking for a refund, but I doubt they’ll give it to you. I would just make sure they overlap properly. Missing spots is a common issue. And I would keep your expectations modest. You SHOULD expect almost complete shedding each time though after 3 weeks. And you should make them do a touchup for free at that point if more than 10% remains.

I would make sure to ask for the most experienced tech when you make an appt. I would also ask if they still have a LightSheer (you can call other locations in Vegas and see what they use too).

Where are you finding reviews btw? Make sure they’re not fake. Some of these people go to great lengths to promote their businesses.

Thanks for the advice LA girl. I called the clinic & spoke with the manager about the lack of shedding. She claims that after the first treatment there would only be a 10% reduction. It makes sense that if the laser only kills 10% then there would be regrowth. Why should I see complete shedding? It makes sense but I assume this is flawed thinking.

I saw some reviews on yelp & ALC looks like a major sponsor of this site.

Although the laser may not disable 90% of the follicles on the first round permanently, they follicles will still have been at least “stunned” and you should have FULL shedding always. To be honest, you should probably kill closer to 20-25% of the hairs per treatment on an area that is ideal. Still 100% shedding either way though. ALC is awful according to everybody I’ve heard who went there. The only good reviews I’ve seen were either fake, or were written so close to the treatment that the reviewer had no way of knowing the actual results yet.

They also get your email address and spam you like crazy, and they try and push IPL on people (IPL is not laser and doesn’t give results like a laser, plain and simple). The comparison to used car salesmen is too kind.

If you’re a type 2, you should have gone for an alexandrite type of laser (like GentleLASE). Diodes are okay, but typically reserved for people who aren’t quite light enough for the really effective alex lasers. A diode will still be moderately effective (assuming they use it perfectly, which seems unlikely), but you missed an opportunity for a much more appropriate treatment.

Laser heats up all the hair and it all should shed. The reason it takes multiple treatments is because hair grows in phases, i.e. you only see less than 33% of all the hair you actually have at any point. The rest is dormant or on the way out. Only a third is in anagen, when it can be killed. So technically, up to 33% of it can be killed every time if the treatment is absolutely perfect and every hair showing at the time of treatment is in the right phase of growth (this is only possible if you had waxed prior to treamtent and synchronized the hair). 10% is a very low estimate. Given your treatment, I’m not surprised though. At least they’re trying to keep expectations low. But you should expect more!

This is in our FAQs below, which I wrote. Read them when you have a second. Very important.

Hey man, it’s too bad that you did prepay, though I’m sure businesses like that almost force you into it. I had pretty much 100% shedding from my first laser appointment… my second one is at the end of the week. While the hair reduction might be closer to 10-20%, you still should have full shedding.

I would definitely do what LAgirl suggested; 1. use the Amerilase with rf turned off, and 2. try finding an ALC with the old LightSheer. Though it’s been that many years since they rolled over to the new equipment you might be out of luck.

Maybe you should ask them about touch ups. These are usually done around week 3/4 when you find out what has and hasn’t shed, and then ask them to retreat areas with less shedding. Though, since the manager claimed that you only get 10% it sounds like they wouldn’t go for that option. It depends on the type of person you are as to how much you’d be willing to raise a stink about their crappy service - in front of potential clients all the better I would say :stuck_out_tongue:

Goodluck with your treatments… maybe you should take some before/aftr photos so you can keep track of how the treatments are going

Definitely take photos if you can. I wish I had!

Thanks for all the advice and support. This was an expensive lesson. I will continue with the treatments & just hope. FYI when I spoke to the manager who is a kid and you can tell zero life experience she was fighting the info all the way. Place really shows their true colors once they have your money.