Average Rating 3.7/5
Review by RavenBeauty
I know that a lot of people have been waiting for a review on this, so I thought I would get the party started. This is a very expensive gadget, however when you compare this to what it will cost to do even one small area at a laser center such as your upper lip, it pays for itself rather quickly. As someone who has spent nearly $11,000.00 in my lifetime on laser hair removal, I can attest to how outrageously expensive treatments can be. The worst part about spending this type of money is that the hair is never completely gone (you are lucky if you get good reduction and yes some area's may be cleared even more so, but it is not always fully cleared and it is not forever). Back in the early nineties when these were first coming out and they were telling people that hair removal would be permanent (they have since changed their tune due to pressure from the FDA), my mom loaned me the money to do area's on my face that were bugging me (I was waxing and even shaving, which is something so many women do but are too afraid to discuss even though it affects millions of women all over the world). I spent several grueling sessions undergoing painful treatments only to have it come back years later (and it was never totally gone).
When prices came down and the lasers were said to be more powerful, I plunked down more money and had my face re-treated (and areas such as my bikini line, arms and even legs done). I got wonderful reduction and the hair does grow in much finer, however I realized at this point that I would need to keep doing this throughout my life to keep up any kind of decent result and I was running out of money here! I was ecstatic when the FDA approved this home laser. I bought mine from Nordstrom's because of their liberal return policy.
When you receive it, you will need to call TRIA and they will walk you through the steps to get the laser set up (very simple). There is a tiny sensor laser that comes with this that you press up against your skin and test to see if your skin is suitable for treatment (this laser is for use on fair to medium skins only). If it turns green and gives you the go ahead, you simply activate the hair laser by running the tiny sensor across the laser panel like a price gun and it unlocks the laser for use making tiny beeping sounds (you must do this every time as a mandatory safety precaution). This way if you got a tan recently, it would not work until the tan fades (otherwise you could get burns).
The laser feels a little heavy in your hand, but not too cumbersome. The only thing I did not like is that you have to roll it back and forth sometimes to get it to beep and send out a pulse and that's because the three contact points must be completely flat against your skin for the laser to send out a pulse (another safety precaution). It makes things a bit more time consuming for fatty or bony area's as you will need to sort of work the laser back and forth to hit the contact points correctly in those areas, otherwise you can pretty much fly through the treatments.
I bought this mainly for my face even though they tell you not to use it in this area (ironically the same EXACT TRIA Laser is sold in other countries such as the United Kingdom and their manuals differ slightly by actually giving you instructions on how to use this on the face, so apparently the FDA was just not ready for us to do so here). The laser uses a very small window, so area's like the face, underarms and bikini line are a breeze, but larger area's will be more tedious. I am used to the searing pain of hair lasers so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is not as intense on the 1st and 2nd level, however the third (and best because the more powerful the joules, the more powerful the treatment will be) was a different story. I bought some OTC LMX Cream to apply and that helped to numb it beautifully (do not use LMX cream over large area's of the body as this can be dangerous-there have been deaths from people applying this all over their legs)!
So far it seems to be working quite well. Its wonderful to be able to simply zap the hairs that come through saving me a fortune doing this at home! If I walked into my local laser hair center, they would charge me $500.00 for one treatment to the face alone! Although this can vary depending on what part of the country you are from, it is VERY expensive. This will save you a fortune if you have been going to laser centers like me! I just ordered the Silk'n today as I am going to use that strictly for large area's since the window is several times the size of the TRIA's and you can do much larger area's very quickly.
You could use the TRIA all over (although again they caution you to not use this on the face), however it would be extremely time consuming and you would wear out the life sooner and need to buy a new unit faster as it works off a battery charging system and is cordless. I would rather save this for small and tedious work like the face, under arms and bikini line and use the Silk'n for arms, legs and stuff like that. I have also read a lot of the research and the TRIA seems to keep hair off the longest and more permanently since it is a real Diode laser and not a light system which is what the Silk'n is. I think both have their place and serve their own purposes depending on what your needs are (also the Silk'n's window is too large for small area's of the face and can activate dormant hair follicles, so they warn you to not use the light on your face). Please note that I am not advising anyone to go against TRIA'S recommendation and use this on their faces! That was a personal choice I made for myself ONLY
Editing to say that although effective, this is not as powerful as the lasers I am used to. Patchy regrowth. Very painful at level 3 (the only truly effective level). This is still a bargain, but I would use this for small areas only.