You've heard about it, you've waited for it: AS I…
TRIA, I love you so! How did this happen? It’s easy to find laser hair removal in L.A. at a cut-rate price. Not only are there laser deals, but we have Lasik, boob jobs, permanently tattooed makeup and more on Groupon and the like. “We get, like, pizza coupons on Groupon!” a friend in the Midwest exclaimed to me when she found out. “And it costs hundreds to get treatments at a Doctor’s office!” Then I told her about my TRIA. After a quick online order, she had a TRIA too. Forget about Groupon coupons.
The easy-to-use Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X ($449) means that no matter where you live and even if you never step into a doctor’s office, you can achieve great hair removal results – the new TRIA treats a wider range of skin tones and hair colors than before; previously only the fairest of skin and darkest of hair could be treated. The Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X is made for home use so anyone can use it. The law in LA states that only a nurse or MD can use a laser, and a physician has to be on site during laser treatments — although I’ve yet to see a physician present in any office where I’ve had treatments (yes, I’ve bought a few Groupons).
Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X is the only FDA cleared hair removal laser available for at-home use; the FDA has cleared the device for permanent results!
I love the fact that the unit can be used at home whenever I want to use it, and on anyone who wants to try it! If you buy one, don’t tell your friends unless you want lots of requests to zap bikini lines and armpits for your pals. Hopefully, good pals!
Watch this video to see how to use the TRIA, helpfully called: How to use TRIA Hair Removal Laser 4X (courtesy TRIA)
The rechargeable unit stays juiced long enough to treat several areas; I have never had it run out of power while using it and it recharges very quickly. It also packs a punch – at its top levels it feels exactly like an “in-office” treatment (although professional, in-office machines have the ability to treat much more intensely than the TRIA). In other words, it smarts for a second. That’s how you know its working! Most people describe the sensation as a rubber band snap, and there is some heat, too, that reverberates for a few seconds.
My main criticism, and it’s not a big one, is the weight of the unit. It weighs just over a pound, which is not heavy, but because it is top-heavy I sometimes feel that it may topple out of my hands, which it never has. I’d suggest a more textured grip, perhaps.
I’ll be posting a series of posts about treating white or gray hair, so stand by. The TRIA chart says that the laser will not successfully treat very light hair. They are wrong (sorry, TRIA!). See a bit of information below, and more on this later!
There’s no doubt that the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X ($449) is a great value when compared to in-office laser hair removal treatments. It may take a few more sessions, but you own the unit, so who cares? Amortize the cost of razor blades, shaving cream, waxing and other depilatories and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the TRIA pays for itself when you’re no longer spending money on other ways to depilate. You’ll still need to shave a bit for total smoothness, but once you’ve stopped your treatments, you won’t have to do it much.
The TRIA has a lock that can only be unlocked by holding the unit base to your skin. When it registers an acceptable, “treatable” skintone for itself in a little scanner on the base – there is a chart of skintones that can and cannot use the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X in the booklet that comes with it – the machine unlocks and is ready to use. After setting the treatment level by pressing the button on top, you simply hold the treatment tip where you want it, and if it is making proper flat contact and is ready, the machine will generate a small burst of light and a beep. Move the tip to the next, slightly overlapping area, and the machine will automatically blast again. Position it incorrectly and it won’t work. Pull away too soon during treatment and you’ll get a little honk instead of a proper beep. Sometimes a small fan will turn itself on to cool the TRIA, but it will still provide treatment. That’s it. Wait 2-3 weeks and repeat.
Another video about how and why the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X technology works: http://youtu.be/wnvk2-8V1uc
Here are my tips for achieving the best results, and I welcome your comments and further suggestions!
THINK LONG AND HARD ABOUT WHERE YOU WANT TO REMOVE HAIR. This is supposed to “permanent hair removal.” Not, “I think I want my private areas to be bald forever…until I don’t.” Certain places on your body have hair for a reason, no matter how the fashions change. Certain other places can lose that hair with no consequences to your future health or future relationships. Merkins aren’t cool. Discuss.
READ THE MANUAL. Read it twice to make sure that your skin and hair tone will allow the unit to effectively remove your hair. Although it is unlikely, if used incorrectly you can burn yourself, so learn to use the TRIA properly before you jump into hair removal.
HAVE CLEAN, DRY SKIN. Wash and dry your skin and remove deodorant and lotions. Don’t treat an area with shaving irritation or cuts; wait until they heal. I’d avoid treating areas where you’ve used topical acne treatments (like Retin-A), too.
KEEP A SCHEDULE OF YOUR SESSIONS. The TRIA works best if you treat every 2 weeks without interruption. I picked Sundays and that made it easy to remember, and easy for other hairy people to stop by!
DON’T DO ANYTHING EXCEPT SHAVE IN BETWEEN SESSIONS. No waxing, tweezing or even bleaching; just shave while you are on your hair removal schedule, and you can do that every day. Waxing and tweezing remove the follicle you want to blast. Bleach can penetrate the follicle slightly beneath the skin, so it defeats your aim of attracting the laser to dark hair and damaging the root. Remove any flecks of hair you’ve trimmed as the laser will zap those if they are on your skin, too.
TURN IT DOWN – BUT NOT TOO LOW. The TRIA has 5 levels, and I started with the lowest and worked my way up. Some areas are too sensitive to use more than a 3, but with more use, you’ll get used to a level 5. The stronger the laser blast, the better the chance that the hair follicle will be damaged and that the hair won’t grow back! So bite the bullet and try the stronger levels. Then back down if you must.
YOU CAN TREAT WHITE HAIR! BLONDE HAIR, TOO! Buy a temporary hair dye containing carbon (you can buy this on Amazon), apply it to white or pale hair (where shaved hair would be growing) and let it sit for 15 minutes until it penetrates the follicle. The laser will now recognize the hair follicle as normal, dark hairs. Blast those babies! This may take a few more sessions than normal dark hair, but works beautifully.
GET AN ANESTHETIC CREAM. Your doctor can prescribe a numbing cream, like EMLA, which is highly effective if you are too sensitive to use the TRIA. Apply the cream 30 minutes before you want to treat the area, covered with plastic wrap – this is a MUST – and then wipe the area dry.
GET SOME GOGGLES. TRIA says that the unit is approved and safe for home use without protective eyewear. I bought a red plastic pair of goggles like the nurse wears at the doctor’s office and a dark, solid pair with elastic for treating areas near the eyes. The latter pair are like sun-lamp goggles and can only be worn if someone else if treating you, because you can’t see at all. Each cost under $10. Do I need to? Probably not. Do I wear them? Yes!