I wanted to come back to this forum and tell of my experiences so that others may learn from them. I can see why some of these former laser hair removal clients have not posted follow up posts on their success, or lack thereof, because after going through months of treatments, it’s a real negative experience to come back here and talk about how it failed. It makes me feel foolish, makes me feel like all the footwork I did in choosing the best clinic was a total waste of time, and one has to admit that somebody ripped them off. Okay, so all of those considering laser hair removal read this. It’s more towards the Syneron Comet, but it being a diode laser, I think this is at least probably true for other laser types as well.
There are people on this forum that are devout fans of laser hair removal. When somebody makes a claim that it didn’t work, they immediately start asking questions about, is the person a good candidate? Was an effective strength used? Or, how much time was allowed between treatments. The truth is, people have no business asking these questions. If somebody is going to take someone else’s hard earned money, brief them on a proceedure, then point a high-powered laser at their bodies while they are lying on a table, they, the practitioners should know all of these facts, should know them well, and should not be leaving judgement calls up to the patients. That’s like asking, ‘Did the MD use the proper Lidocaine I.V. drip rate when you got your surgery?’ Sorry, the practioner has full responsibility. Now, some may say, it’s too bad you got a bad apple, see another clinic. No, this Doctor and clinic has years of experience and is pretty much on par, if not better, than anyone else out there operating a laser.
So let it be known:
I have a degree in the sciences from a nationally known university. I went to medical school at a very well known school here in the United States that is a solid ‘Big Ten’ midwestern school. I did not tell the clinic this but wanted to be treated as a regular patient.
I went into the clinic and was briefed on the workings of the laser, what to expect, and what type of timeline i was to be put on. I listened intently.
I went to all treatments as schedualed. I recieved maximal doses, and was told that I should be expecting permanent hair loss.
I was told that six treatments were needed. It was extremely obvious, beyond any doubt, that no progress was made at five treatments. I decided I wasn’t going to pursue litigation, but would take another form of action, so I didn’t see any point in paying for a sixth treatment.
I have waited, monitored hair growth in all treated areas, allowed for any lagging hairs to grow. And can now speak with full, knowledgeable confidence. I know there’s something of a electrolysis - laser debate that sometimes surfaces here, and this is not to tilt the favor in any side. It’s to tell people plain facts. If somebody wants to argue this case, thay can try. But, I have the scientific judgement, I put down the money, I let them do what they considered effective treatment. AND NOW I CAN TALK THE TALK, AND WALK THE WALK.
The Syneron Comet Diode - RF laser does not work. It is not effective in gaining any real hair loss. hair lessening in between treatments should not be mistaken for hair reduction. These low hair growth periods are just merely time frames when the hair’s growth cycle has been disrupted due to the heating effect of the light and RF scources. The Comet is used in America, but in getting an approval, since it is an exterior, benign form of treatment, does not have to be proven as completely effective, just non-harmful. People can’t put a ‘medical’ type frame on it. It is more like Aroma-therapy, hot rock therapy, or fortune telling. You’re getting taken for a ride people, and most likely with some of these other forms of laser hair removal as well.
I was considered a good candidate:
I had dark coarse hair.
I had ghostly pale skin.
I recieved five treatments at maximal doses.
The doctor plainly stated that my treatments were at higher levels than most anyone.
I experienced periods of shedding, minimal hair growth, the doctor would not confirm nor deny this was a sign of permanent hair loss in casual conversation. But, it should be noted that people on this board that consider themselves knowledgeable on this subject, or at least knowledgeable enough to dispense advice to others, actually consider this shedding a sign of becoming hair free. It is not. Also, I clearly read once where one of these people actually called hair growth following a laser treatment ‘hairs trying to work themselves out’. This is erroneous. And fractured hairs coming out cannot be viewed as permanent hair loss.
I took special notice of the fact that as treatments went on, he and the other nurse that administered treatments would avoid making any real statements of substance. They never asked about progress. The general attitude was, ‘Let’s get going on this treatment. What do you want done today?’ Never anything asking about if I really did in fact feel as though there was hair loss occuring.
I also noticed that the clinic also didn’t seem as confident about their proceedures as time went on. They began to appear outright dodgy. I heard in the background once the receptionist arguing about a refund a patient was demanding. I heard a nurse trying to talk a patient into paying for a package deal when the patient first wanted to see proof. The waiting room was noticeably emptier as time went on.
Here, on December 28th, 2005, almost two full months after my fifth and last treatment with the Syneron Comet. Almost every bit of hair I had has returned. If there is any hair loss, it would have to be in the 5% range, and hardly enough to justify the $2500 I paid for the treatments. The claims they made were false, and if anything, and most importantly, the RF component of the Comet can lead to premature skin aging, vascular disruption of the dermal capillary beds (it appears as bruising, and it looks ugly), and an increase in skin dryness. To think that by bombarding your skin with powerful radio frequencies, that when used in somnoplasty proceedures actually kills off human tissue, isn’t having at least some effect on your skin, is naive. To say that it is approved by the FDA so it can’t harm skin is short sighted; first generation tanning beds, Veet, red dye number 3, and thalidomide were all approved too.
As someone who has the knowledge and the first hand experience to make this statement with fact, I would not recommend getting any type of treatments from the Syneron Comet, or any other diode laser. It simply does not work, or not near, anywhere near they want you to believe. People see this great looking, high tech machine, that works with a laser and another pioneer technology, and they immediately think that it has to work, that if it’s done in a clinic, that it has to be safe, that if you pay that much, something has to happen. Think again. People want your money.
To say that ‘It just didn’t work for me, but will work for others.’ Is an extremely scientifically flawed phrase. Either it obeys the laws of science and biology, or it doesn’t. Science just doesn’t stop working on one follical while continuing to work on others. A person with light skin and dark coarse hair just isn’t that much different from ten other people with light skin and dark coarse hair.
Epilogue: I’m not going to deal with getting any refund or additional treatments, I have my own recourse that I want to take. I’m not really bitter about any money put into treatments as that amount isn’t a real bother. True, I could have donated it to Katrina victims, but I’ll donate some anyway. What I’m more concerned with are some of these people that struggle with abnormal amounts of hair, desperately look for a way out, then these quack practitioners gladly take their money. I think it’s terrible. And now I see why there wa a nationally televised news program that exposed how these clinics work. And I’ve seen lots of posts at this forum that start with, ‘I don’t have the money for laser yet but can someone give me advice?’ And I think it’s sad people dispense advice to others when they themselves have had no long term proof to show.