Although societally, the world has come a long way in accepting body hair – or the level of body hair men and women wish to keep – some people still choose to remove their body hair, and if you want a more permanent solution, laser hair removal treatment is one of the best options on the market. But there are things you need to know before having laser hair removal treatment. Let's explore.
#1 You have to see if the laser is compatible with your skin type
Whether you're going to a salon for treatment (check out our page on IPL versus diode laser) or if you're selecting one of the many devices available on the market, not every laser is compatible with every skin type.
Our Tria Beauty 4X laser has a skin checker sensor so the laser will not work if your skin type is not compatible (brilliant, eh?). Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X is intended for use on light to medium skin tones and light brown to black body hair. It does NOT work on white, grey, blonde, or red hair. The laser includes a skin sensor in its base to help ensure your skin tone is suitable for treatment. The skin tone chart is only a basic representative of the actual skin tones and hair colour the laser can treat.
#2 It takes time to remove the hair
Whether you visit a salon for treatment (which is often more expensive) or use an at-home device, unfortunately, you cannot have one treatment and say goodbye to shaving, waxing, and plucking forever. You'll need a course of treatments over weeks or months to see the results you want, so be realistic in your expectations when it comes to hair removal.
With the Tria laser, you'll embark on a series of six treatments over twelve weeks. You can then continue top-up treatments if you notice regrowth. The laser really does kill the hair follicles it treats but A) the laser has to zap all of the hairs at the right stage of the growth cycle (i.e. when the hair has that little plug on the end and is not in a resting or shedding phase), B) some hairs may not be in a growth cycle within the treatment window, and C) our bodies are amazing at repair and they may recover and regrow (which is particularly notable during and after hormonal changes).
But the good news is, once you've bought your laser, it's yours to keep so you can top up as many times as you need until the hair is gone. Goodbye, landfill razor and expensive waxing!
#3 It isn't painful but you can feel it
The level of discomfort you feel will depend on your skin's sensitivity and your pain tolerance threshold. Most laser treatments are not painful. The Tria laser treatment feels "hot" but the sensation is over quickly and your skin kind of adjusts to the sensation. It's a little more uncomfortable on areas like the upper lip and the bikini line as the skin is thinner in these parts. You can also read my Tria hair removal diary here where I talk about my experience during my hair removal journey. I'd say my pain tolerance is more "medium." I didn't find the treatments painful but a little more uncomfortable on more sensitive areas; however, on my arms, legs, bum, face, fingers, toes, and underarms, there was very little discomfort if much sensation at all.
#4 You have to know about pre- and post-care
Some laser treatments can make you more susceptible to the sun, so during and around treatments you’ll want to stay away from retinoids, glycolic acids, chemical peels, and the like. Since laser hair removal treatment requires the hair follicle to be in the first stage of the hair growth cycle, other hair removal methods (such as plucking, waxing, and sugaring), aside from shaving, should be stopped a few weeks before your begin with the laser. Incidentally, this is the same advice given by professional UK laser clinics. Shaving is a must as the hair needs to be below the surface of the skin, but if you prefer hair removal that plucks the hair from the skin completely, laser treatments will not work for you.
#5 Once the hair is gone, you may have to top up periodically
Tria advises that you'll see a reduction of up to 70% of unwanted hair in as few as two treatments as this was the experience studied during their clinical trials, but there are some caveats to this, for instance, it will take longer to see a difference in your skin in hair-dense areas, and the laser will work optimally on the higher treatment power levels. As discussed above in point number two, the hair may repair itself, it may have been missed, or it may have been zapped in the wrong stage of growth, so you may see super-smooth legs for weeks on end and then a pesky patch pops up. So, you'll have to top up your treatments from time to time. (Please excuse the alliteration!)