The Laser Hair Removal Learning Curve: Overrated?

The Laser Hair Removal Learning Curve: Overrated?

Experience is a Safe Guide – William Penn

I would like to tell you a personal story about living the learning curve as an inexperienced young doctor.

I will never forget my first night on call as a surgical intern. After four years of medical school, I had all the knowledge required to care for patients but not a lick of experience.

One night a patient came into the emergency room with a butcher knife sticking out of the middle of his chest. He had tried to commit suicide. He had pushed it all the way in – down to the handle. The wooden  handle was pulsating with each heartbeat. I can still see it.

Because I was the only surgical specialist in the hospital that night, I got the call.  I had absolutely no idea what to do. They never taught that in medical school.

I knew how to treat exotic tropical diseases, take blood pressures and start IVs but this wasn’t part of the curriculum.


As I was calling my senior resident on the phone for help, the man became impatient. He felt that nobody was doing anything. So he just pulled it out himself as I stood there. My jaw dropped.

He did not die. In fact, he acted as if nothing had happened. The correct thing to do would have been to take him to the operating room and remove it while he was asleep in a controlled environment.

I lucked out. Someone early in his or her learning curve might have tried to pull out the knife right there in the emergency room. That would have resulted in a disaster if the knife had hit vital organs or blood vessels.

The moral of the story is anything can happen early in a learning curve. Experience is invaluable in treating patients. Experience can only be learned outside of a classroom.

The Laser Hair Removal Learning Curve is Not Steep

A steep learning curve implies that the learning is quick. Complicated procedures require more time and practice to master. The laser has a multitude of settings including pulse duration, intensity of power (joules) and focal length. These settings determine the success or failure of your laser hair removal procedure.

Learning which of these variables works best on different skin tones and hair colors is an art. That takes thousands and thousands of procedures to master.

National laser chains give their new laser employees a short training course. Often it is taught by the company who makes their laser. Don’t be duped. They consider you fair game.

These novices are let loose on an unsuspecting public. In addition, as laser operators come and go each laser hair removal operator will have different levels of experience and training. You could be an easy mark for these companies.

You want a foolproof method of choosing the best medical place for hair removal. You must remember that lasers are medical instruments. Procedures require learning curves. Through experience, we have verified what works and discover what doesn’t.

That is true for all medical procedures. Don’t be on the early part of some novice’s laser hair removal learning curve. You don’t want to be a guinea pig.

The laser is a medical instrument. Many people take laser procedures too lightly. Serious laser complications can occur when a laser is operated in the wrong hands.

Why Do National Laser Companies and Med Spas Call Their Patients Clients or Guests?

When a person picks up a laser and uses it on someone, that person who is receiving a laser treatment is a patient. They are not a customer, a guest, or a client. There is a sacred duty towards every patient.

That is why I feel strongly that laser procedures should only be operated in hospitals or qualified doctor’s offices. Spas are for facials and massages. Med spas and laser chains have crossed the line.

The line was crossed when they performed medical procedures without a responsible physician on duty in the building. In my opinion, any harm done in that circumstance is negligence.

What is Exactly is Experience?

Randy Pausch wrote in “The Last Lecture”

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.”

At Happel Laser, we have that valuable experience. We have the longest experience doing laser hair removal in the city of Pittsburgh. Volume centers like ours have lower adverse affects.

Compare our experience to other places that have to offer Groupons and need to advertise to maintain enough business to pay for the huge overhead of a laser practice.

When considering laser hair removal, you must ask yourself:

Am I basing my decision on the best treatment option and not on price alone?

Purchasing medical services with coupons is not a good idea.

You are Not Going to be on Our Laser Hair Removal Learning Curve

Don’t be fooled when a company says that their chain has performed hundreds of thousands of laser hair removal procedures.

You need to know how much experience the actual person has who is going to do your laser procedure. You need to know if you will get a different laser operator for your next appointment. Who will treat you after that? At our center, you will have the same laser professional for every one of your appointments.

Don’t you want the same trusted person doing all of your laser hair removal treatments? At our laser center, you will have the same laser professional for all of your appointments.

At Happel Laser, we use evidenced-based protocols. People want to base their decisions on trusted data. Today patients are increasingly self-informed decision-makers.

People come to me with information that they have already researched about laser hair removal on the internet.

Our laser hair removal expertise is unsurpassed. We have been doing laser hair removal longer than any other place in Pittsburgh.


Lessons learned from prior laser hair removal experience are invaluable. Better outcomes are a result.

You can be assured that our experience performing laser hair removal is the most extensive in Pittsburgh.

At Happel Laser we believe in transparency. That means truth, no fudging the facts, or exaggeration. We deliver on our promises.

We have the know-how to get you the results that you want at an affordable price. We don’t push expensive packages. We don’t use deceptive sales tactics or have a marketing team.

As a respected well-established medical practice, you can feel comfortable that you will get the best laser hair removal experience possible. You need someone you can trust. Not a place that could fold up their laser hair removal tent like American Laser Skincare Center did.

Read our reviews and learn more here. Contact us at 724-969-066 to make an appointment today.

About The Author

Dr. John Happel

Dr. John Happel has been in practice as a surgeon since 1986 in the Pittsburgh region. He specializes in vascular surgery and has subspecialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1999. Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and recertified in vascular surgery in 2012. He was chosen in 1985 to fulfill the position for the vascular surgical fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.

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