Do at-home laser hair removal devices work?
April 3, 2015 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Have you used the Tria 4x? Does it work?

It has been a while since these questions were asked, and I'm curious if there are any new answers regarding the efficiency of at-home laser hair removal devices. I'm particularly interested in the Tria 4x.
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The HairTell forums are still the best source on this sort of thing. Reviews there seem to stand a reasonably high chance of being actual reports by actual people, rather than astroturfing bullshit.

When last I read up, the consensus on at-hope laser gadgets was that they work okay for hair reduction on some people, but that you could still get better results by (waiting for a Groupon or some other discount deal and then) going to a professional.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:00 PM on April 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

The laser part is tiny so it takes freaking forever to make any headway. I would put the money toward professional laser treatments if I had it to do again.
posted by cecic at 3:45 PM on April 3, 2015

Don't waste your money - they are terrible.

I am extremely pale and have dark hair, which is the ideal scenario for laser hair removal. Professional laser treatments have almost always been successful for me. I purchased a similar at home system (not Tria 4x) a few years ago and it was a total waste of money. Although I used another system, there was barely any reduction and the number of charges went extremely quickly.
posted by seesom at 5:06 PM on April 3, 2015

I've really gotten a lot of value out of my Tria. It stopped working after 4 months and they replaced it with no hassle. The main downside is that it hurts like hell. I was self conscience about a few dark hairs above my lip which are now almost completely gone. I still have to do a maintenance zap every once in awhile. I've only been able to tolerate it there, though, I still can't do my bikini area and arm pits. I've tried a couple of times with no results and way too much pain. I think it would work better if someone was doing it too me, so that I could get properly drugged up first. I have an extremely high tolerance for pain but the high level on this (which is what is needed to get the coarse hairs) is too much for me.
posted by myselfasme at 9:24 PM on April 3, 2015

I have the Tria for face.
It's much less powerful and much less painful than pro laser treatment.
It is pretty much painless even on the highest setting.
I got it about 4 months ago, and my hairs are thinner, but not all gone. I use it every 2 weeks. I can't tell if any are gone, and if any are, they might come back.
It's almost as effective as the pro sessions but much cheaper.
I think it's a bargain compared to the expensive pro sessions I had.
I don't really know if the hairs will ever be all gone but they are reduced.
I would buy the Tria instead of any pro sessions.
posted by littlewater at 9:54 PM on April 3, 2015

I would recommend under certain conditions. I have a similar item called the Iluminage Touch, and when I am consistent about it, it works very well, and is not painful in the least. (I would not consider myself to be very stoic or very sensitive when it comes to pain tolerance.)

But it does take many applications. Since I was never that good at shaving my legs and waxing my lip before getting this, it hasn't been as effective as it may have been if I used it regularly. (I am pale olive complexion and dark hair, btw.) But I do notice a difference- fewer hairs, thinner hairs - within a few weeks if I am consistent.

So if you have the right skin/hair combination for it to be effective, if you hate going to appointments (as I do) and having strangers tend to your body parts (as I do), if you believe that you can be consistent in the application of the product, and you have the money, give it a try. It's better than shaving and better than going somewhere to be zapped, imo.
posted by hiker U. at 5:29 AM on April 4, 2015

We looked into this a little while back, but based on the so-so reviews and that doing so was only very slightly more expensive, my partner opted for professional lasering. Your location may be different, but the laser places here are always advertising specials and there is more competition all the time. The home devices didn't pencil out for her.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:08 AM on April 4, 2015

I had a Tria; the battery only lasts 20 minutes on the highest setting and quick hands, and takes about 2 hours to recharge. 20 minutes is about enough to cover 1/4 of 1 leg.

Spent about 7 months doing 8x 20 minute treatments pretty much every weekend (listen to audiobooks; can't watch TV); shave one leg on Sat, shave another on Sun (or shave half a leg one day and the rest of the leg on the next, or spot shave 1/4 leg if I only have 20 minutes).

It hurts. Marijuana helps. It was really satisfying seeing the hair roots come out over the next days after showering. Exfoliating regularly might help (get a closer shave, smaller volume of hair = more energy absorbed/volume hair = more dead follicles).

It's been a few years out and I've had permanent reduction of the coarse hairs by about 70%. I also have thick and dark hair and not-dark skin.

Was it worth it? Yes, ish. I've been considering giving the remaining 30% another pass. If I could afford it, I'd have the remaining 30% removed professionally.

If you can afford it, professional high-power lasers might make more sense unless time isn't an issue with you.
posted by porpoise at 1:59 PM on April 5, 2015

Forgot to mention; the 20 minute "sessions" are a poorly implemented feature. I had thought about wiring it up to a DC power supply, but decided that I probably didn't have the discipline. The head of the unit gets pretty warm by about 20 minutes. I guess the limited battery life is to preserve laser life.
posted by porpoise at 2:11 PM on April 5, 2015

I recently got the Tria 4x. Very little pain in general - so much so I didn't think it was working. (almost no pain on legs, little pain underarms, lots of pain on bikini line). Still too soon to say if it is effective. Will try to post in a few months about results.
posted by troytroy at 9:17 AM on July 15, 2015

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