I love my skin feeling silky soft. It makes me feel better, it looks better and does tend to boost my confidence. There is just one thing – I normally have to get through the lengthy and painful process of hair removal. Sometimes life gets in the way and I wish my unwanted hair just magically disappears with a snap of a finger.
Looking at more permanent solutions that will save me about an hour and a half on a weekly basis, I started researching laser treatments and the ever so popular Intense Pulse Light (IPL) devices for at home. What attracted me towards removing my unwanted hair in the comfort of my own home was not only the price but also the fact that IPL and similar types of technologies have really advanced over the years. Many reputable brands have brought up a number of new and improved hair removal devices that are not only safe but also as effective as professional strength lasers used in salons. After some through research and Tria laser 4x reviews later I picked up my device of choice and deiced to document my journey of hopefully cutting down hair removal time to a minimum.
Tria Beauty Laser 4x is one of the premium at-home laser hair removal systems on the market that comes with few magazine awards and many happy customer reviews. Unlike its competitors, the Tria laser uses a slightly different type of laser technology called Diode – a single spectrum of intensely concentrated pure light which targets the dark pigment in the hair follicle to disable its ability to regrow hair, resulting in permanent hair removal. In comparison, the IPL technology uses broad spectrum pulse of light which means that only small percentage of IPL energy is effectively absorbed by the hair follicle to reduce and slow down hair regrowth. Diode technology was designed to be far more efficient in precisely targeting the hair follicles which essentially make it more effective in permanent hair removal. Further readings about this new technology gave me more confidence in the results after treatment. Before I go over my experience with the device there are a few technicalities that are worth mentioning for those of you considering any laser treatments at home.
- Make sure the particular device you choose to use works with your skin tone and hair color – For this type of treatment to work you need to consider the tone of your skin (light to medium) and the color of hair (medium to dark) you want to remove. On the packaging, I find a very useful diagram that goes into great detail about safety procedures, recommended areas of treatment and most importantly skin and hair color charts. In short laser hair removal type of devices tend to work best on light to medium skin tones with medium to dark hair, avoiding any sensitive areas (where the skin is thinner) and areas with hyperpigmentation (dark spots, freckles, moles).
- Consider the size and area you want to treat – depending on the brand, the treatment window of each device varies in size. If you are planning to remove hair on larger areas such as arms and legs, perhaps looking at devices with larger treatment window size can save you time. For smaller areas on your face, armpits or even bikini line, the actual design and shape of the device are to look out for. On our body, there are many curves and tricky folds so devices with sleek design and comfortable grip do tend to be more user-friendly. another personal preference of mine is for the device to be cordless.
Now onto my experience with Tria Laser 4x*. The product arrived is a sleek white packaging, simple design and small book with a brief, to the point instructions. The device itself much resembles the size of a travel hairdryer but slightly heavier and with a good grip. In terms of functionalities, it has one button controlling a number of different options.
The large display on top gives an indication of battery life, intensity levels and whether the device is locked. Once on it is very easy to set up and use right away. The device is cordless and operates on rechargeable batteries mounted inside. It unlocks once on and the red light on the bottom get in contact with skin. That same light also determinates whether the area you want to treat has the right skin tone for the system to work. This feature can potentially save you money if you are unsure that your skin tone is appropriate for this device to work. The intensity of pulses varies from one (low) to five (high) which can be adjusted depending on one’s level of pain tolerance. By default, the intensity is set to one. To stat treating the area hold the device against the skin and move it along, about 1/4 inch once it beeps twice.
For the record my skin tone is fair and hair color is dark brown. Since I wasn’t sure how much pain I could handle I decided to start treating my legs first, then move to armpits and bikini line last. To prep the areas I shaved my hair and waited for about a day or so for the hair to grow back. The area on my legs is quite large, so I was fully aware that going over each leg will take quite a bit of time. To keep myself motivated and on track with the treatments I picked up a TV show to watch during treatment, that airs once a week and it is about 30-40 minutes long. This seemed like a great idea that will not only remind me to use the device regularly but also is a strategy to keep things consistent over time. According to the website after consistent use results should be visible in about 3 months after regular use (once a week). Another trick I have is to subsection the treatment area, especially if is a large surface such as on arms and legs. My plan was to treat one leg at the time so I went ahead and sectioned the surface area with a pen (pick any other color than black or blue). Making some sort of guideline helped me keep track of the already treated sections, and also help me (most of the time) avoid treating the same patch multiple times. After treatment, I wanted to get rid of all the pen marks left on my limbs. Like with most hair removal methods, showering right after treatment is an experience you really do want to give a miss! I found that taking care of my skin after treatments is no different compared to other methods of hair removal (excluding shaving I guess).Normally skin feels a bit a bit more sensitive, which will go away in just a few hours. Showering immediately after treatment can cause discomfort and will definitely sting. I had a very similar experience once I took a shower right after waxing. Lesson learned! Best thing to do is to wait a few hours or if time allows it, to postpone showering for the next day. Once my skin felt comfortable I also used some mild body exfoliator and applied body lotion right after showering.
So far used the device regularly over two weeks and there are a few things that made my first impressions. Tria is easy to set up and use. I normally use the device on intensity level 4 or 5 which makes the battery last no longer than about 30 minutes. Recharging the battery takes a bit of time so I normally stick to one long treatment session per day. Stay tuned about my six and 12-week update!
*PR sample, all views are my own.