your experience with at home laser hair removal?
December 1, 2020 10:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm considering buying a tria 4x but would really like to hear from anyone who's used it, re its effectiveness and (especially) how it compares to salon lasering.

this would be specifically for my teen who has PCOS and is begging for help with the hair growth on her face and arms. I want to help her and I will, but hoping to hear from anyone who's actually used the tool, as I understand it's both pricy and painful, and I'd want some assurance that it's worth it. My dermatologist that usually fields my questions on this sort of thing has recently retired and I'm having trouble finding a new one to consult on this.
posted by fingersandtoes to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
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posted by Pineapplicious at 10:28 AM on December 1, 2020

I recently bought this Braun IPL at home unit after previously considering the Tria. I am in the 6th week of using it and am astounded at the results thusfar. I previously have tried salon lasering for my underarms through a Groupon, which worked well during the 6 months I was getting the treatments (4 sessions spaced 6 weeks apart), but when I stopped the hair grew back, albeit slightly less densely.

With the Braun laser, I have almost completely eliminated my leg hair already, and hair in my underarms and *ahem* other places has been much slower to grow back between weekly sessions and is much less dense than before. In some patches it looks like the hair has already been more or less permanently eliminated. The instructions recommend using weekly for 4-12 weeks and then monthly maintenance. I don't think my legs will take the full 12 weeks but other areas probably will.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with this. I don't find it painful, but it can sting a little in more sensitive areas. Small areas don't take long to treat so any discomfort is over fast. I have not tried this on my face or arms so I can't speak specifically to that, but in general if hair and skin tones fall within the recommended ranges it seems like a worthwhile purchase.
posted by Fuego at 11:02 AM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have the Tria and it's not painful (particularly) but I haven't found it super effective on my face. I HAVE found old-fashioned electrolysis VERY effective compared to lasers (even salon lasers) but obviously that's not a great option right now given the pandemic. Maybe something to put in y'all's back pocket for later, though. (I cannot speak to arm hair removal, only face.)
posted by Countess Sandwich at 1:14 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

salon lasering is EXPENSIVE for no reason. i have recently sprung for it for my underarms and upper lip and it is over $2000. if other people say these home options are effective, for under $500, i would 100% go for it.

in terms of pain, my armpits are nbd. my upper lip is super stingy for literally 1 second and then it's fine. as the laser power has gone up, i have "jerked" a few times during lip treatment, but it is so short it is tolerable.

if you do purchase, i would do some testing on a hidden body part (or at least not the face) to see how your teen's skin/body reacts.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:02 AM on December 2, 2020

I have had a bunch of salon treatments, but still have some trouble spots. I bought a Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 5001 and am shocked at how much the experience is like a salon one, and I can do tons of treatments for less than the price of one salon treatment.

One salon treatment might be useful if you can afford the splurge so she can get an idea of how to do it and how it should feel.
posted by cacao at 7:20 AM on December 2, 2020

I don't know the specific tool you're looking at, but my professional hair removal people used laser. It always felt like getting hit with a hot rubber band, and stung for about thirty seconds after
posted by Jacen at 8:56 PM on December 2, 2020

I just bought one and have done the first treatment on my upper lip and "beard". I was able to use it on the highest setting right away, but it's possible I just have a high pain tolerance. And I did have to pause for a moment between pulses on a spot with pretty dense hair growth. It does get warm pretty quickly, and the pain feels like tiny pin prick zaps where the hairs are. But it's not a lasting pain, and again, for me it was very minimal.

Obviously I can't vouch for any results yet, but if you want to memail me in a couple months or later to check in, please feel free.
posted by ktkt at 11:19 PM on December 5, 2020

I'm an adult woman with PCOS who has been doing a bit of investigation into various forms of hair removal recently - specifically for my face and neck. Much of what I've read states that hormonal hair is different from 'regular' hair. Arm hair, leg hair, armpit hair = regular hair. The dark, coarse hair on the face, from PCOS, is hormonal.

As you're doing research, make sure to include the PCOS part of the issue. Many people have said that their PCOS 'hormonal hair' didn't respond well to the various laser/IPL treatments - or that it comes back thicker/darker, or that new hair growth is encouraged by the attempts to remove it with laser/IPL. Since the hormonal hair growth is due to hormones, even when some hair growth is reduced or eliminated, there will often be new dark hair growing in various places - which can make it seem like the treatments aren't working the way it would be expected.
posted by VioletU at 10:10 AM on January 5

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