My Laser Experience and Reviews at American Laser Center

I started this review series of my laser experience with American Laser Center (ALC) in August of 2006. My first review was the night of my consultation, where I signed up for a $2000 laser hair removal of the thigh, bikini area, and love trail. Even though this particular post was published in 2006, I update it when I learn something new about American Laser Centers, their financing program with GE Care Credit, or with laser hair removal in general. I do blog a review about each laser appointment I have, and followup posts if I notice anything new.

All of my reviews with American Laser Centers.

When I decided to invest in laser hair removal, I had done no online research. I spoke to friends who had gone through it and saw results of no hair. I responded to an ad on Daily Candy, featuring a contest where you could win different levels of prizes. I have since come to learn that basically everyone wins the lowest level of $300, and you may win even if you don't enter.

During my consultation, I was told by the office manager that the process would take 1 year, which equals 6 appointments. American Laser Centers includes a 2 year extension, where you can continue your appointments for up to two years. I am into my 1st extra year, which means that as of March 2008, I had completed 10 appointments and was unhappy with the results. I had far too much hair left, since I was led to believe that I would have minimal hair by the 6th appointment. PLEASE NOTE: Everyone reacts differently and has different skin types and hair color. This is just my experience.

My decision was based on math from waxing. Every 3 weeks, which is 17 times a year, I paid $32 (which includes tip). I have invested at least $544 a year, times 6 years is $3,264, only to have to repeat forever.

Overall, I am glad I made the decision to laser. My hair is less coarse, I don't get ingrowns, and I feel more comfortable in general. My main wish is that American Laser Centers did not lead me to think I would be done in 6 appointments, with a 2 year cushion. If I did not have this 2 year cushion, I would be quite upset. As you research and review American Laser Centers, or lasering in general, I've included some basic questions below.

What's the process for laser with American Laser Center?

Your own laser experts should walk you through the procedure, as it may vary. I can only tell you what happened to me. A technician spreads the lasered area with the jell used when performing sonograms. The jell is cold, and is the worst part for me. The laser comes from a plastic head with a trigger on it. Here's a picture. The technician pulls the trigger and a little laser zaps dark hair follicles in the area. The laser is attracted to pigment, so the ideal skin type is fair, untanned skin with dark hair.

There are different levels of the lasers power, depending on what stage you are in. Lasering the hair doesn't make it fall out right there. It just damages the follicle. Apparently, the hair falls out after the appointment. In my experience, I have never seen my hair fall out. For about 3-4 days after, I have to put special soothing lotion on the area. American Laser Centers sells lotion from AmeriPur, and it's wonderful. It's actually the best lotion I've ever used. My skin doesn't absorb lotion very well. But this lotion is absorbed well. You may see red dots on your skin after your appointment. In my experience, when I applied the lotion to the red areas, the redness was soothed.

Does laser hair removal hurt? I heard it's like getting a tatoo.

I've heard that too. I've also heard it feels like rubber bands hitting your skin. So far in my experience, the laser did not hurt, although perhaps it should have, hence why it's not gone. I did notice on some coarse patches on my thigh, the feeling from the laser was stronger. My Syrian friend is going through it, and she has hair coarser than I do. Her experience is painful. She is not going to American Laser Centers, and I don't know what kind of laser they are using on her. I have been told that the ideal skin type is fair skin with dark hair. If you are tan, I would not get lasered. I would take the summer off from laying out.

American Laser Center's Financing Program

I financed my laser treatment with the GE Care Credit Card. The American Laser Center office manager told me that the card offers 0% APR, which is very attractive. I signed up, and agreed to pay $180 each month to pay it off.

The fine print, which was not stated by the manager at the time of signing, is that if you are late on one or two payments, you will lose the 0% APR. Almost more important, and definitely not stated in the appointment, is that the interested from the APR is deferred and is owed by you if you do not pay it off in 1 year. That means that after 1 year, if you do not pay off this card, you will have to pay deferred finance charges, which could be as much as $500 or more, depending on the amount you got credit for. Big surprise. I learned of this when I had 2 payments before the year ran out. For some reason, I read the fine print where this was stated. I looked on other bills, and it had been there all the time, but the most recent bill had been redesigned, so I noticed it more.

As with all credit cards, beware. I wrote a more detailed review of the GE Care card here). In the end, I paid off the credit card before the end of the year and as of this date, avoided the deferred finance charges.

Also note, and this is very important, each American Laser Center office has the power to quote you a different quote, based on how much they think you can pay. I have experienced the negotiation, and so has this person, in a more grotesque way. It may be that you can negotiate with all laser companies.

Where should I go for the laser treatments?

NOTE: This paragraph has been edited after 10 appointments with American Laser Centers.

As far as American Laser Centers is concerned, do your homework. If you are having many areas done, consider splitting it between a dermatologist and a place like American Laser Centers. ALC has offices nationwide, so check to see if there is one near you. Your doctor (dermatologist, gyno) may also offer laser treatments. Visit the office first to make sure you are comfortable with the location and people. Keep in mind, lots of people ask me about the American Laser Center contest that they've "won." The consensus is that everyone "wins," so it's a gimic to get you into the appointment.

Best of luck, and stay smart.

American Laser Center Reviews

Laser Hair Removal Review: Appointment #11, The Doublepass
Laser Hair Removal Review: Appointment # 10. Yes, 10.
Laser Hair Removal Review :: Appointment #8
Laser Hair Removal Review :: Appointment #7 for pics of technicians
Laser Hair Removal Review :: Appointment #6
Laser Hair Removal Review :: Appointment #5.5 for Bikini
Laser Hair Removal Review :: Appointment #5
Laser Hair Removal Review :: Appointment #4
Laser Hair Removal Review :: Appointment #3.5
Laser Hair Removal Review :: The Second Zap
Laser Hair Removal Review :: The First Followup
Laser Hair Removal Review :: The First Zap
Laser Hair Removal :: War of My Legs Part 1

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.

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