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  1. #11
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
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  2. #12
    Instigator, First Class LovelyAngel's Avatar
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    As usual, Jennifer has got just about all the information correct and organized. (^_^)

    I have medium tone skin (Asian) and very black, thick hair with large roots. The hair was very resistant to electrolysis - my experienced electrologist was astounded that it took about six "zaps" to take out a root (whereas one or two zaps are normal). It was a slow process, and didn't actually seem to be permanent (hard to tell with hair growth cycles). After many, many electrolysis sessions over the course of a couple of years I tried laser, and about seven sessions did the trick - surprising me by being permanent - as that was all over 10 years ago, and the hair hasn't returned. It was so long ago I don't even remember the name of the laser. (Yeah... a fat lot of help I am. o.O)

    Edit: Ah... I vaguely remember that it was a Cynosure laser... and it blew cold air to keep the skin cool. I doubt the model used on me is still in production, but the Cynosure Elite is probably a descendant.
    Last edited by LovelyAngel; 11-22-2010 at 05:29 PM. Reason: Additional information remembered
    "There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect."
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  3. #13
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Hey Fid! Just know that lasers hurt like a mofo and the machinery is more important that the technician. As long as they aren't incompetent what you want is the best laser for your skin/hair and budget. I asked for the highest setting so my hair is mostly gone in 3 visits which is almost unheard of, but again, it HURT LIKE A MOFO! This is with lidocaine cream and a horse size Advil given at a doctor's office. I was practically jumping off the table and screaming at some points and I have been waxing for years and have a high pain tolerance. But, I wanted the biggest bang for my buck so I asked them to put on the highest level that was safe. They can adjust settings for you. My goal was never 100% removal because I knew better but realistically I wanted to be virtually hair free. {edit: TMI portion deleted. } So yeah, 3 visits with the laser and I'm virtually hairless. Wheeee~

    The difference between electrolysis vs laser - electrolysis is only hair removal approved as 'permanent'. It is painstaking work and takes a long time. For finer hair or smaller areas I think this may be better. The skill of technician is more important here. For laser, most are still better for coarser darker hair against a lighter skin background. I found it not as effective for fine hair like facial hair but best suited for the body. That was the laser that I used. There are more lasers out there so when checking clinics, aside from looking only at ones with the best reviews from many people, check the kinds of lasers so you are comparing apples to apples.

    I'm very pleased with my laser experience but I also did not buy into a package. I have also paid for 1 time laser sessions from another place that did not have noticeable results - but the price I paid was so low (it was overseas) it was worth a shot. People say that sometimes it takes a few tries to see a difference but from my personal experience that is not true. If after 2 tries you see no results and they have adjusted the settings for you (and a good place will take before and after photos to document progress) I would not return. There are scammers and quacks out there and again, different lasers work better and worse for different people so do lots of research and proceed with caution!
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  4. #14
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Hey Fid! Just know that lasers hurt like a mofo and the machinery is more important that the technician. As long as they aren't incompetent what you want is the best laser for your skin/hair and budget. I asked for the highest setting so my hair is mostly gone in 3 visits which is almost unheard of, but again, it HURT LIKE A MOFO! This is with lidocaine cream and a horse size Advil given at a doctor's office. I was practically jumping off the table and screaming at some points and I have been waxing for years and have a high pain tolerance. But, I wanted the biggest bang for my buck so I asked them to put on the highest level that was safe. They can adjust settings for you. My goal was never 100% removal because I knew better but realistically I wanted to be virtually hair free. {edit: TMI portion deleted. } So yeah, 3 visits with the laser and I'm virtually hairless. Wheeee~

    The difference between electrolysis vs laser - electrolysis is only hair removal approved as 'permanent'. It is painstaking work and takes a long time. For finer hair or smaller areas I think this may be better. The skill of technician is more important here. For laser, most are still better for coarser darker hair against a lighter skin background. I found it not as effective for fine hair like facial hair but best suited for the body. That was the laser that I used. There are more lasers out there so when checking clinics, aside from looking only at ones with the best reviews from many people, check the kinds of lasers so you are comparing apples to apples.

    I'm very pleased with my laser experience but I also did not buy into a package. I have also paid for 1 time laser sessions from another place that did not have noticeable results - but the price I paid was so low (it was overseas) it was worth a shot. People say that sometimes it takes a few tries to see a difference but from my personal experience that is not true. If after 2 tries you see no results and they have adjusted the settings for you (and a good place will take before and after photos to document progress) I would not return. There are scammers and quacks out there and again, different lasers work better and worse for different people so do lots of research and proceed with caution!
    Last edited by fidelia; 11-29-2010 at 11:31 AM.
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  5. #15
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    My main problem is that there is a big contrast between my hair and skin colour, so it shows up much more than someone who has the same hair which is blonde.
    Yes, that's the negative about your coloration(s); the positive is that you're a prime candidate for laser.

    I would like to get my upper lip and jaw/throat done and I'd be pleased if it just thinned the hair and made it less noticeable. I've tweezed those areas for abou 20 years and I am sick of dealing with ingrown hairs and also think I've become a little obsessive about having tweezers everywhere. When the hairs grow back in, before they've grown out of the surface of the skin, you can still see a little dark spot and I don't like it.
    When you tweeze stuff, often you can rip/damage the skin and/or follicle, and it has a tendency to grow back twisted/crooked in some way, which can create issues later on for the electrologist. It also results in the ingrowns, which you don't want

    It appears that most places have a package of sessions that they require you to buy up front. In my case, I would expect that I'd need at least six sessions so that is not the end of the world. There's a clinic in my town, but the people there are very inexperienced. They did a small test patch and it burned my skin.
    Since you have a set goal and an idea of how many sessions, yes, it might be worth ranging out to larger cities that might have more experienced techs. Even if you have to drive, you know what you're getting and how many times you'll likely have to drive. If you spend the money, you do want results. I've known people who did not have good long-term results while spending far more money than I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peacebaby
    Have you looked at any at-home options, Tria or Viss for example? For your coloration, they may do the trick. BUT, there are positive and negative reviews for both, and I don't own either, so I can't give you any first-hand feedback. I have been tempted to try them though ... maybe someone else here on the forum has experience with one or the other and could share
    I tried a home option back in the 90's, with little result. The problem typically was that the energy output needed was not enough to kill the hair follicle. I have not researched these home models, but typically you just grab the hair itself in the tweezer and it zaps it? That just doesn't sound like it's going to kill the hair root -- not without a lot of electricity being applied. This is why the professionals actually stick a probe/needle into the pore and heat the follicle root directly; all the energy gets directed right into the root, and you can kill it with less energy. Electro hurts enough, I can't imagine how much power would be needed if all you are doing is grabbing the hair outside the skin; it would burn your skin, definitely, and I still don't think it would be permanently effective.

    Oh, and don't use those hand-held epilators on your face, either. Some people use them on body hair, but your face is not something you want skin damage to. From one epilator link I just found:

    Best Epilators
    Epilators: some love them, some hate them
    The first epilator, the Epilady hair remover, was invented in 1985 by two Israeli engineers. Instead of using blades to cut the hair off, epilators pull hair out of the skin. According to Australia's Choice magazine, a survey finds 40 percent of epilator users think they are "very" or "moderately" painful to use, and 43 percent experience irritation such as itching or redness. Still, epilators are popular among women who have previously waxed their legs, as they are seen as a less messy, more affordable long-lasting option -- especially for women who visit salons for hair removal. They also save money because they don't require shaving cream or replacement blades. Lastly, epilators can leave legs smooth for up to three weeks as opposed to just a few days with shavers and razors.
    You're basically yanking the hair out. Leg skin and hair is different than face skin and hair. But also note the epilator only works for a few weeks. The follicle root (if not ripped/torn) stays intact; the hair just grows back fresh, with a fine tip, instead of just being mowed down right under your skin and coming out quickly and with a blunt tip.
    Quote Originally Posted by czecze
    As long as they aren't incompetent what you want is the best laser for your skin/hair and budget.
    Uh... what do you consider the "best" laser? There are all types of lasers, for all different types of hair and skin colorations, and obviously the techs don't agree. I think maybe we can distinguish between older models and newer models (assuming the newer model is "better"), but I'm not sure we can desigate a "best".

    I asked for the highest setting so my hair is mostly gone in 3 visits which is almost unheard of, but again, it HURT LIKE A MOFO! This is with lidocaine cream and a horse size Advil given at a doctor's office. I was practically jumping off the table and screaming at some points and I have been waxing for years and have a high pain tolerance. But, I wanted the biggest bang for my buck so I asked them to put on the highest level that was safe. They can adjust settings for you. My goal was never 100% removal because I knew better but realistically I wanted to be virtually hair free. {edit: TMI portion deleted. } So yeah, 3 visits with the laser and I'm virtually hairless. Wheeee~
    How long have you been hair free?

    You definitely killed three waves. Depending on the spacing of the visits though, it seems unlikely you caught the other 2-3 growth phases.

    Mine hurt like a bitch too. And I was typically very stoic and could endure lots of pain. (When I was ten, I actually got a cavity drilled and filled without novacaine, I just mentally focused on something else. Because I didn't like needles.) But after my first laser session, which was over a fairly big area, I went out in the car and then I started crying. It *can* hurt. I just told myself the pain would go away soon enough, and it did.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #16
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Uh... what do you consider the "best" laser? There are all types of lasers, for all different types of hair and skin colorations, and obviously the techs don't agree. I think maybe we can distinguish between older models and newer models (assuming the newer model is "better"), but I'm not sure we can desigate a "best".
    I meant best for Fid. I think as you do your research one or two lasers stand out as the best option for pain tolerance, budget, type of skin/hair, etc. The lasers you can choose from are basically limited to your geographic area so it makes it easier to narrow down the choices :P The one I used ended up being the 'best' because it was the cheapest and actually worked :P Other suggestions are to ask for a 'sample' or a single pass on a small area to test it out. For any kind of cosmetic procedure (like facial peels, etc.) if you keep getting consultations and speaking with practitioners you learn more in general about how XYZ works (or alternatives to XYZ), not just their particular brand of XYZ and I find eventually you find for yourself what is best for you. Honest practitioners will also tell you when something isn't suited for your type or goals.

    How long have you been hair free?
    Years, baby! Years! 2-3?

    I noticed say last year an extra errant hair or two grow back but it's nothing that makes me sign up for another session. I wouldn't mind another pass in one specific area where the doctor admits he might have forgotten to laser, but aside from the pain and cost the sessions are just time consuming and take some vinegar out of you for the rest of the day. You know what I'm talkin' about! My sessions were paced willy nilly apart since I was getting different areas done in groups and it started getting hard to schedule visits. Sometimes 6 weeks to 2-3 months to 1 year between sessions. I know this is funny coming from another 'P', but I'm horrible with time and remembering it correctly.

    Mine hurt like a bitch too. And I was typically very stoic and could endure lots of pain. (When I was ten, I actually got a cavity drilled and filled without novacaine, I just mentally focused on something else. Because I didn't like needles.) But after my first laser session, which was over a fairly big area, I went out in the car and then I started crying. It *can* hurt. I just told myself the pain would go away soon enough, and it did.
    I had a cavity drilled and filled too without novocaine when I was in highschool! I also enjoy getting piercings... :P But, yeah that laser is a mofo! People who compare it to a 'rubber band' or say it just is uncomfortable for a second are either lying, were coked up on good meds, got their laser done at too low a setting to be effective, or had one of the newer lasers that promises not to hurt as much.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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  7. #17
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Uh... what do you consider the "best" laser? There are all types of lasers, for all different types of hair and skin colorations, and obviously the techs don't agree. I think maybe we can distinguish between older models and newer models (assuming the newer model is "better"), but I'm not sure we can desigate a "best".
    I meant best for Fid. I think as you do your research one or two lasers stand out as the best option for pain tolerance, budget, type of skin/hair, etc. The lasers you can choose from are basically limited to your geographic area so it makes it easier to narrow down the choices :P The one I used ended up being the 'best' because it was the cheapest and actually worked :P Other suggestions are to ask for a 'sample' or a single pass on a small area to test it out. For any kind of cosmetic procedure (like facial peels, etc.) if you keep getting consultations and speaking with practitioners you learn more in general about how XYZ works (or alternatives to XYZ), not just their particular brand of XYZ and I find eventually you find for yourself what is best for you. Honest practitioners will also tell you when something isn't suited for your type or goals.

    How long have you been hair free?
    Years, baby! Years! 2-3?

    I noticed say last year an extra errant hair or two grow back but it's nothing that makes me sign up for another session. I wouldn't mind another pass in one specific area where the doctor admits he might have forgotten to laser, but aside from the pain and cost the sessions are just time consuming and take some vinegar out of you for the rest of the day. You know what I'm talkin' about! My sessions were paced willy nilly apart since I was getting different areas done in groups and it started getting hard to schedule visits. Sometimes 6 weeks to 2-3 months to 1 year between sessions. I know this is funny coming from another 'P', but I'm horrible with time and remembering it correctly.

    Mine hurt like a bitch too. And I was typically very stoic and could endure lots of pain. (When I was ten, I actually got a cavity drilled and filled without novacaine, I just mentally focused on something else. Because I didn't like needles.) But after my first laser session, which was over a fairly big area, I went out in the car and then I started crying. It *can* hurt. I just told myself the pain would go away soon enough, and it did.
    I had a cavity drilled and filled too without novocaine when I was in highschool! I also enjoy getting piercings... :P But, yeah that laser is a mofo! People who compare it to a 'rubber band' or say it just is uncomfortable for a second are either lying, were coked up on good meds, got their laser done at too low a setting to be effective, or had one of the newer lasers that promises not to hurt as much.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

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  8. #18
    Instigator, First Class LovelyAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    But, yeah that laser is a mofo! People who compare it to a 'rubber band' or say it just is uncomfortable for a second are either lying, were coked up on good meds, got their laser done at too low a setting to be effective, or had one of the newer lasers that promises not to hurt as much.
    I'm sure this varies widely by individual, by laser, and by technician. I took two Advil (ibuprofen) prior to my sessions... and, yes, the pain was comparable to snaps of a rubber band... and this was back in 1999 (so the laser is not a new one by any means). The area treated was my face, and the even on the most sensitive area (upper lip) the pain was tolerable (although, yeah, there it hurt like a big rubber band that someone had given an extra long stretch). The sting was transient, lasting a few seconds. I don't consider myself to have a high tolerance for pain – but maybe I do. The hair has been gone for over ten years, so the laser setting wasn't too low, either.
    "There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect."
    -- Nikki Giovanni

  9. #19
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Thanks so much ladies! It helps to have a variety of different experiences to compare. I'm going to do some checking today and I'll get back to you on what I found.

  10. #20
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I tried a home option back in the 90's, with little result. The problem typically was that the energy output needed was not enough to kill the hair follicle. I have not researched these home models, but typically you just grab the hair itself in the tweezer and it zaps it? That just doesn't sound like it's going to kill the hair root -- not without a lot of electricity being applied. This is why the professionals actually stick a probe/needle into the pore and heat the follicle root directly; all the energy gets directed right into the root, and you can kill it with less energy. Electro hurts enough, I can't imagine how much power would be needed if all you are doing is grabbing the hair outside the skin; it would burn your skin, definitely, and I still don't think it would be permanently effective.
    Oh, I think you misunderstood my post - Tria and Viss are at home laser / IPL treatments, not electrolysis. I think I put the links up there. Have you heard anything about them Jen?
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
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    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
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    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

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