I was very excited to try out Tria Laser and finally be able to perform hair removal at home. The system comes packed well, in a white carrying case, with a charger and a skin sensor. Because it's a high-tech device, there's an instructions packet and FAQ included, both of which are important. These are both things you need to read to know exactly how to use the system safely and correctly, so I made sure to read them both carefully.
First, I had to make sure my skin was light enough. You place the skin sensor on your skin and then turn it on—if it turns green, you're within the right skin tone. If it turns red, your skin is too dark and you can't use it. People with large amounts of melanin can't use Tria, for fear of getting burned, scarred or blistered. I was sure my skin was well within the skin tone range, and the light did turn green.
Your skin tone is so important, actually, that the green sensor is placed on the panel on the front of the Tria to unlock it for use. Although this system is definitely not a toy, it made a special beep when it unlocked.
With most products like this, be sure to do a patch test 24 hours before using to see if you have any adverse reactions.
Let's Get Started
I decided to start with trying it on my bikini line, and shaved the area before using as per the instructions. You can't wax or use any other method that pulls out the hair follicle six weeks before using, because the laser needs some hair underneath the skin to target.
When you place the system on your skin it'll let out an initial beep. Keep holding it there with complete contact with the skin, and then it'll beep again to let you know that section is completed. If what should be the second 'beep' is a 'buzz', then the laser wasn't completed on that section of skin, and you have to re-do it. You can work your way through the area moving horizontally (right or left,) only overlapping what you just zapped by ¼". Once you finish horizontally, then you do the same thing vertically (up and down) so you are less likely to have missed a spot. If you cover the area thoroughly, the company says you should have about 50 beeps per 1 square inch of skin.
Despite all this, it doesn't take an exhausting amount of time. I did my bikini area in about a half hour or so. But if you're impatient, and not holding it down all the way down on the skin, so you're getting 'buzzes' instead of 'beeps', then it will take you a lot longer than necessary. A large area like your legs will also obviously be more time consuming than the pubic region.
Did It Hurt?
I've never had professional laser hair removal, so I didn't know quite what to expect as far as pain. Admittedly, the bikini area is a bit more sensitive than other parts of the body. I want the best results, so I used the highest setting and the one more likely to feel the burn. (Update: the system previously had three settings, but now has five.) It felt like a small snap, and a bit of heat, but it wasn't what I would call pain. However, when I got to the last inch—deep into my bikini line—I did turn the setting down a level, because it did hurt a little.
Does It Work?
After two weeks, when I was first using the system on my bikini line, some of the hairs started to come out and continued to come out for the next week. Some hairs on their own, others with the help of exfoliating with a sugar scrub. You could almost tell the hairs that were going to fall out, because they were shorter than the rest. I'm going to continue to use the system every three weeks for a total of six to eight times. The real test is going to be how long the hair stays away, or the thickness of the hair if it does grow back in. I'll keep you updated.