What is happenening?

Today, I was suppose to have my Follow Up for my 1stlaser appointment for full legs. The laser tech(the lady) looked at my legs and said that we should wait another week before we do anything. I had my first laser appt about 2 weeks ago. She said that some people shed their hair a bit later, in about 3 weeks She said that I might be one of them. I shaved my legs before I went to the appointment but it was stubbly and all the pepper spots were apparent. I told her that I didn’t notice anything fall out during the 2 weeks. She said that she will see whats going on next Friday. She said that if my hair do fall out until then, then she will do a follow up session and if my hair don’t fall off until Friday, then she will do a full treatment and increase the joules upto 14J. For my first session she used 12J. I have a feeling that she should have increased it from the beginning. My skin isn’t dark and she said that I am a type 3 skin. My question is this normal??? Do some people shed their hair in 3 weeks after their first laser treatment? By the way, I’m getting treated by a candela Lase machine.

Thank you for replying. I called the clinic just now and the guy who is in the front desk pulled my chart and told me over the phone that my settings were 18, 12. I’m assuming these settings align with spot size and pulse width. I asked him if pulse width meant joules and he said he wasn’t sure. (He’s not the tech) but I didn’t bother further questioning him or asking him to ask the tech. I guess they were busy. Are those settings good for a type 3 skin? I’m scared now since I already paid money in advance for 6 treatments and enough energy wasn’t being used. I will have to tell her to increase the joules next time!!! I do have very thick/black/dark/coarse hair. I believe L.A girl had 18 joules done on her and she has lighter skin type than I. So shouldn’t I land around somewhere between 14-16 joules?? The machine that was used on me was from Candela and its called the GentleLase.

Gentlase has fixed pulse so you shouldn’t worry about that. 12j on 18mm spot is too low to be permanent. Ideally you should look at starting at 16j on that spot size and increasing the settings with sessions, as long as your skin type can handle these settings!! If a tech is starting you at 12j 18mm spot on legs, one has to wonder how inexperienced they are in assessing your skin type and being confident with treating you with proper settings from the beginning? Whatever you do, don’t just start treating with higher settings based on internet recommendation without first doing test spots at the actual settings that are desirable.

ok so what should I tell my tech? I don’t want to sound rude to her. I want her to increase the energy though since you guys are saying that my current settings are too low for permanent reduction results.

Where are you going Audrey for your laser hair removal ???

Hi Romeo, thank you for replying. I am going to Advanced Derma Laser. It is on Madison Ave. Do you know which place I’m referring to? I saw that they have good reviews and the owner Jennifer the owner also had series of laser done on herself. Her story was quite inspiring since she also had hair “issues”. The clinic itself is pretty trendy. The prices aren’t cheap but yet reasonable.

Anyhow, now I’m worried since the tech used lower settings. Before she started I even brought up to her that if she can use the highest possible settings for my skin type. She agreed. Now, I will have to have a conversation about settings with her next Friday.

Unfortunately a lot of times there isn’t much you can say. From my experience, techs are pretty set in their ways. Either they KNOW they need high settings and will start with fairly high setting from the start and then listen to you when you tell them you want as high as possible, or they are the total opposite, using super low settings and refuse to go higher no matter what you say. What is the follow up even for? The hair should shed by 2 weeks and there should be no need to come in for 8-12 weeks for legs after that.

Your choice of center is a better one from what is available out there. Yet, their laser has fixed pulse width so they start you with lower energies.

The touch ups are for in between each session. Since I purchased the whole package at once, I qualify for touch ups. Therefore, my package consists of 6 actual treatments and 6 follow up or touch ups. The tech told me that the touch up is for the hair that she missed last time. I guess its the new hairs that weren’t present last time. The touch ups are done 2 weeks after each actual treatment.

Romeo can you please explain what you mean by this. What is fixed pulse width? She said she can increase the joules but she has to be careful because she doesn’t know if my skin will tolerate higher energy.

I find a place that has “touch ups” in between as part of the deal a bit weird, it’s like they’re admitting they’re going to miss spots. My clinic uses a grid and she tells me if any area is missed to call her and come back to have it fixed for free but I’ve never had to. To have it an automatic thing where you go back seems a bit odd.

Fixed pulse width means the machine is set at a low pulse width and can’t change. A higher pulse width can mean a less effective treatment. For example if they increased the joules a lot on another machine but also increased the pulse width then it’s sort of like having a low pulse width and low joules. You want a low pulse and high joules. Because GentleLASE is fixed at a low one, any increase in joules is beneficial.

What I mean Audrey is that with the older Gentlelase pulse width is fixed. Therefore, the only way you can give a better treatment is to increase the energy only. However, if your skin can not tolerate it, a higher setting may give you adverse effects on your skin. By having an adjustable pulse width, you can increase the pulse width and up the energy without hurting the skin. It is the proper combination of
spot size, pulse width and energy that gives the optimum results.

I had my 2nd follow up session yesterday. Like I said earlier, much hair didn’t shed. This time she increased the joules to 14 because I requested to do so. I asked her to increase the joules to 16, but she said no because I might get pigmented. She said I am border line type 3 skin and she doesn’t want to take the risk. Is she right??? Can a type 3 skin handle 16 joules or not???

Ask your technician about using low fluences and laser induced hair stimulation.

Dee, can you please explain what you mean by that???

There appears to be a correlation between using lower settings ( lower fluence or power) and increased hair growth. I know you have a type three skin and she is trying to be careful, but this could have unintended consequences. Ask her what she thinks.

oh ok. I will ask her and will let you know what she has to say about this. Thank you for replying.