Dr. John Happel | Oct 14, 2018 | 0
What No One Tells You About Laser Hair Removal Clinics
Why Are Laser Hair Removal Offices So Inconsistent?
In this article, I’ll walk you through the 5 most important tips and tricks when looking for a laser hair removal facility.
If you’re worried that you’re not savvy enough to navigate the minefield of laser hair removal clinics, I promise that this post will help you.
As an experienced laser surgeon, I will deliver on my promise to help guide you.
Let’s start with some basic background information.
Let’s call it – laser hair removal 101.
Being armed with these essential facts will get you started in the right direction.
They will also will save you a lot of money and heartache.
I wrote the following popular article, Five Hidden Truths about Laser Hair Removal, with the Pittsburgh consumer in mind. It also applies to people who live in major metropolitan areas.
Take the time to learn about this new technology and the people who operate the lasers.
Now that you’ve got those basics mastered, let’s move on to your next lesson.
#1 Different Laser Environments (Med Spa vs. Doctor’s Office)
Let’s start with some fundamentals.
Every office greets you with an initial consultation.
It should be used as an educational visit.
Hopefully, a short demonstration of how the laser feels and works is included.
At the end of your initial consultation, you don’t want to listen to a sales “closer” who gives you a hard sell like the people who peddle time share vacations.
Don’t be an easy target for a smooth talking salesperson.
You also need to know at your initial consultation – Is there a high turn-over rate?
It’s not difficult to find out.
Check out www.Glassdoor.com if you are considering a big chain laser hair removal office with satellites throughout the country to learn the truth about what their employees have experienced.
High turn-over rates result in a greater chance of a novice treating you with a laser.
Lack of experience also increases your chance of laser settings being set too low for fear of burning you.
Newbie laser technicians who are just beginning would rather have you come back for extra treatments (more costly for you) instead of risking a skin burn or scar with more aggressive and effective settings.
Now we come to the edginess of things.
Laser chains operate with a supervising doctor that isn’t even in the same state as you.
What if there is a medical complication?
Read Laser Hair Removal Chains vs Doctor’s Office for Laser Hair Removal to learn more.
The cruel reality of a buying laser hair removal contract is like the harsh eye-squinting fluorescent lights that come on after the last call.
Once you finally get home and read the contract’s fine print, it’s like swallowing the final bite of a reality sandwich.
A good rule of thumb is never to never prepay for any service. You can’t change your mind later!
Contracts for laser hair removal are as legally binding as house or car payments. If you miss just one payment – no matter what the results of your hair removal are – your credit rating will be damaged.
Easy financing is usually available.
Don’t fall for it.
Signing a financing agreement is bait to lure in the naïve, the innocent, and the gullible.
Financing is usually offered at chains and plastic surgery offices. Nuff said.
Laser hair removal is a luxury.
You shouldn’t be doing it unless you have disposable income.
Don’t let someone talk you into something that you really can’t afford no matter how much the Kardashians love it.
These types of places are reluctant to tell you their prices on the phone.
They are depending on a strong sales pitch to make you feel that you are getting a good deal.
70% off and deep discounts are part of the enticing sales pitch.
These kinds of places generally advertise heavily and employ marketing professionals who are trained to manipulate people.
You are told the offer is for that day only so that you can’t go home and think it over. If they have your number, you can bet on getting phone calls and emails if you don’t commit that day.
Be aware that some laser offices:
- Rent lasers because of their low volume
- Buy used lasers that no longer work properly
- Buy low quality, cheap, substandard Chinese, Philippine, Vietnamese, and Cambodian lasers
- Utilize intense pulsed light machines and advertise them as lasers
- Fail to maintain and calibrate their lasers because they can’t afford the expensive maintenance contract
- Carry their lasers from one office to the next in their van or trunk
Always ask for a laser hair removal demo first to see how it feels before you sign anything.
There is some discomfort involved with laser hair removal. Everyone’s pain threshold level is different. You don’t want to find out after you’ve committed your money that your sensitivity won’t let you follow through with it.
Home lasers are not powerful enough to give acceptable results. They are designed so that you can’t hurt yourself.
Would you consider taking out your own appendix?
Lasers are medical devices intended for use by medical professionals.
#4 Training, Qualifications, and Experience
Qualifications for performing laser hair removal are sketchy. The scope and toll of the training problem is enormous, yet it remains largely hidden.
Because a laser doesn’t break the skin’s surface, most states do not require that trained medical professionals perform laser treatments.
When a laser is purchased from a company, that laser company gives an obligatory introductory course on how to operate that particular piece of equipment.
It varies from a few hours to a couple of days introduction on how to operate their laser. It teaches operators how to adjust the settings. Mastering the settings according to the person’s skin type and hair color takes years to master.
The basic laser company’s introductory course is not by any means comprehensive or complete.
Inappropriately, some laser offices just use that one day mini course to train new technicians who have no formal laser training.
Virginia recently implemented a law after a janitor was caught operating a laser that resulted in a severe burn injury.
There are likely none with the exception of a few doctor’s office that are accredited. That leaves safety and quality control up to you. It is very likely that there is no agency or regulatory body is checking on the cleanliness and sterility of the laser.
Remember, that laser has come into contact with other people’s genitals. Bikini and Brazilian laser hair removal is very popular.
You need to speak to a laser technician who actually does the laser procedures (not the salesperson) and ask:
- How do they maintain a hospital-like aseptic environment?
- Where are the sanitary germ-killing wipes and solution kept that they use between patients? If they are in another room, that’s a tip-off that they’re not being used.
- Ask how the lasers are maintained and calibrated.
- Do they wash their hands between treatments?
- Does the bactericidal solution that they use conform to OSHA regulation killing hepatitis and AIDS viruses like in a hospital?
- Do they even know what OSHA is?
Ask to take a close look around the premises after your consultation.
Rate the treatment room for cleanliness.
Is the treatment table clean?
They use trained marketing sales experts to try to convince you to sign before you have a chance to think it over.
Most push expensive packages for more treatments than you need.
Most sit you down and give you a hard sell on day one.
Inspect the laser facility before you commit to anything.
My Final Pieces of Advice
There are two final important things to keep in mind when choosing a laser hair removal facility in Pittsburgh.
- Read reviews on the internet ahead of time. All laser hair removal offices have a digital footprint. Check out and read any complaints on the Better Business Bureau web site. Or just type in the name of the place where you are considering having your laser hair removal followed by the word, complaints.
- Reliability, trust and good reputations are built over years.
Patterns of sketchy business practices can be readily discovered with a little due diligence on your part.