The woe that is dealing with body hair, especially when you live in a warm climate and wear skirts/dresses all the time. No longer do I have the security of jeans, or the excuse of cold winters, to be lazy when it comes to hair removal.
I've owned and being using on and off, the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X for a year, an at-home machine you can use for the long-term removal of body hair. You can use it on your upper lip, chin, arms, underarms, legs and bikini area.
I've mentioned in the past that I have had IPL on my underarms (link). I left the UK with it about 75% gone, growing slowly and weakly to the extent that I could ignore it because you would have to be very close to notice. The intention was to use this machine to finish the job, and work on my legs too.
Briefly, laser hair removal works by using a “diode” laser to permanently disable the hair follicle. It relies on there being a colour difference between the skin and hair follicle, so the lighter you are with the darker the hair; the better. People with light and medium toned skin can generally use this, but any darker than that and you risk doing damage as the skin absorbs too much of the light. A handy function of the Tria is that it has a built-in sensor on it and if your skin is too dark or unsuitable it will not even switch on for you to able to use it.
The machine retails for around £375 – I got mine from QVC and took advantage of easy-pay. This, of course, is pricey, but considering the cost of laser hair removal in beauty salons, I was paying £60 a session just for my underarms, it quickly becomes apparent that it's actually quite cost effective.
Although the literature on it says to use every two weeks, the presenters on QVC said you can use it once a week safely. The device is handheld and is really easy to use. Once you unlock it, you choose between the five intensity setting (I vary depending on the body area, and my pain threshold that day) and then you turn it on and meticulously make sure to zap the area of hair you want to get rid of. You need to shave the area first, I like to do this a day or two before (my theory is I want hairs to be in the active growth phase when I do the treatment). To make sure I cover all areas I use a white eyeliner to mark out boxes to work on and then cross them out as I go through.
The downside? You need patience, not just when using it for each session but between uses too. Half a leg can easily take me an hour if I go about my super meticulous way and it goes from fully charged to flat in about half an hour. So you can see this quickly becomes a whole night activity.
I've never experienced any irritation after using the machine, and even after using the highest setting my skin has never burned, which I did experience with IPL treatment.
I'm currently in the phase where my lower legs are extremely patchy, in parts the hair has gone completely and I even notice the difference in treating these areas as, regardless of the setting, I don't feel anything when I pulse in that area. Presumably because there is nothing to work on.
It is rewarding to see that in so few treatments I am getting results and now it really is just a case of patience and making the time to keep treating the areas that remain. If you would like me to keep you updated, let me know.