If you've been following this personal series in laser hair removal with me and American Laser Center, you will have noticed that I skipped a post about my 9th appointment. That is because nothing happened after that appointment, and even I was bored with writing about it. For my 10th appointment, which was booked for 2 hours, you can imagine that I was finally a little ticked. I appreciate the lengthy time session, but come on. I can't keep doing this. If you've been following earlier comments and posts, you'll see that I'm really an enthusiast for laser hair removal, and for my American Laser Center office, that used to be on Central Park West but is now on W. 57th Street, just around the corner.
Sadly, I have become one of the frustrated American Laser Center people who find this series when researching on Google. Aside from the fact that nothing happened after my 9th appointment, which used a "new" machine that went up to 50 instead of 30, and I insisted on being at 40 which had been unprecedented in that office before, I finally got the defensive treatment from "management" that so many other girls complain about, as expressed in this review article, for example. Here are some great review comments from customers who did good research, and here are some more truthful review comments where people get upset, and I think I lost a reader. :(
To recap: I am having my thighs, bikini and little love trail done. I'm blond with dark leg hair (if guys are reading this, just know that this is not the article for you, so move on please, unless you are considering laser for your back, for example). The thigh hair has gotten much softer, but there is a lot of little active follicles that are not going away. I used to say 80% gone, but really, it's like 70%. Or maybe even more depressing, 60%. The bikini is truly 85% gone, but again, it's my 10th appointment, so in my opinion, it should be 100% gone. American Laser Center quotes 6 appointments, and then "gives" you 2 extra years, which I thought was a great cushion. But now am realizing that it might be a sad reality. Even more frustrating is when I hear success stories from friends who go to other laser companies and are done in 4 appointments. My Syrian friend, for example, did her face and arm pits, and the hair was gone in 4 appointments. She has just started her arms.
The laser has never hurt me, and I have never seen "hair shedding" or "hair falling out". My last appointment on the supposedly stronger and new machine did finally hurt, and I was on a setting that most others do not go to, or so I was told by the technician. That was for my 9th appointment, and I saw no results. Zero.
As to why I'm mad, and am now an angry American Laser Center customer? The office manager became very defensive with me when I stated a complaint, and blamed me for my poor treatment. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Do other girls take 10 appointments to get rid of hair?
Office Manager: Yes, it varies. Some do.
Me: About how many of them are there? Am I in the minority? The majority? How many other girls take 10 appointments?
Office Manager: Have you been double-something (I forgot the term...means to go over the area twice with the laser)?
Office Manager: Well, you should have been double-something. You are booked today for the double.
Me: I didn't know the double-something existed. I only know that when I booked this appointment, a girl booked me for 2 hours, and that is the first time I've ever been booked for 2 hours. And I was on the new machine last time.
Office Manager: Well, you should have been doing the double, so you are booked for it, and that should help. Next time, just make sure you note that you want the double-something. You're not booked on the new machine this time.
Me: I'm not a laser expert. I did not know about the possibility of the double-something, I just know that I am here for my 10th appointment. And why aren't I on the stronger machine?
Office Manager: If you have been unhappy with your treatment, you should have told me.
Me: I tell the technicians every time I am in an appointment. I ask them every single time if it's normal for others to be here for this long. They just say that it varies, they take a little picture of my skin, and file it away.
Office Manager: Well they have not told me. I should tell them to come to me when clients are unhappy. And I've just had a turn-over of all of my girls, so everyone is new.
Me: I have told all of the girls twice. I told X, I told Y.
Office Manager: Well X and Y aren't here anymore.
Me: I realize that, but they new, twice each of them, and another girl, because I have had so many appointments.
Office Manager: The next time you have an appointment, just make sure to note that you want the stronger machine and the double something.
The conversation kind of fizzled out after that. There was no "I'm so sorry..." or "We should have been doing this..." or "About 10% of people take 10 or more appointments" which leads me to believe that most of them take this long. Which is a damaging way to present a case when you are considering a $2000 investment that thank goodness I have paid off, so now get to be angry.
During my appointment, I expressed, again, these concerns to the technician. I was on my second round with her, meaning, I had had her the last time on the stronger machine. She suggested that perhaps the stronger machine was not good for me, since I had seen zero results, and to maybe continue on the old machine and double up. She said that she has seen differences with the two machines - that some people see results on it while others don't, and vice versa with the old machine.
I'll wait a few weeks before posting again, to see what kind of effect there was. The technician also suggested exfoliating the areas to work out the dead hairs that may be stuck under the skin. Fair enough. Stay tuned, and chime in if you've had a similar experience, or if you've found success under 6 appointments, or if 6 is just a myth.
See all posts about my laser appointments and findings >
Disclaimer: FashionMista, nor its author, are qualified to give medical advice and cannot be held responsible for anything that may occur. Should you have a medical concern, please consult your physician.