For the past couple of months I’ve been trialling something different when it comes to hair removal. The Tria 4x Laser Hair Removal At-Home device. Now that I’m a good few weeks in I wanted to cover it off in an in depth post that covers off a Tria 4x laser hair removal review along with a few questions that people wanted to ask across Instagram and a few bits of advice if you’re planning to invest in at home laser hair removal. It’s a long one, so you might want to grab a drink for this one and sit somewhere comfy.
Trial sponsored by Tria.
I’ve dabbled with at home laser kits before – a few years ago but after an initial positive feeling I felt the results didn’t last and it was more hassle than other ‘traditional’ hair removal methods like shaving or waxing. One of the challenges I have with my skin tone and hair colour is that often at home laser gadgets aren’t a fit for me. I have pale skin (which is ideal) but I also have light or reddish hair in areas but darker in others. This is something to be realistic about if you want to invest in an at home kit because at the end of the day, if your colouring doesn’t work with the gadget you’re not going to get the results you want. For me, I just opted to treat the areas with darker hair (under arms and bikini line) but not treat other areas where it wouldn’t work for me. The Tria website makes this really easy to work out and doesn’t make a false promise if your hair colouring or skin tone doesn’t work for it (i.e. it doesn’t say it ‘might’ work, makes it clear that it’s not suitable).
The gadget itself is so simple to use. So simple in fact that I worried I was missing a step or not getting it right on my first try. On the base of the unit there’s a skin tone scanner that ‘unlocks’ it – so you press the button on top to turn it on then hold the base of the unit against the area of skin you’re looking to treat and it will unlock. Then all you need to do is hold the narrow flat point against the area you’re treating and it will pulse. I’ll be honest and say I was nervous at first in case it hurt (my previous experience of laser hair removal treatments have been like a snapping hot elastic band on the skin – not comfortable but not seriously painful) this though was pretty much pain free. It was on the lower levels to start with – but with five intensity options you can dial it up to the highest you can handle. The higher the level, the better/quicker you can expect to see results.
I can’t say for sure, but I suspect the darker the hair contrasted with paler skin and you’re more likely to feel more of that snapping sensation of the laser as it concentrates on the pigment so logic would suggest that darker means more pigment which would mean potentially a more intense feeling. But as my hair is more brown I didn’t find an issue with pain at all. I did squirm a bit whilst getting used to treating my under arm area – it’s just so easy to get nervous and flinch when your arms are up in the air! It doesn’t actually hurt, I was just nervous whilst getting used to it – imagining it would be more of a ‘snap’ than it actually is!
If you are more prone to pain/discomfort you can always use the Laser Hair Removal Smoothstart Calming Gel. It’s a gel you apply to skin (clean shaven) ahead of treatment to cool and keep comfortable as when going over an area the heat can build. You then remove any excess gel from skin and the laser gadget after you’re done. I found this was a nice to have but non essential step – how much you want something like this will likely just be down to how sensitive your skin is and your pain threshold.
At Home Laser Hair Removal FAQs:
When I first started testing the Tria 4x Laser Hair Removal system I put a little post up asking for your own question about at home laser hair removal and the Tria gadget specifically. The majority came under three categories – does it hurt, does it work, how much does it cost. So I’ve popped a few key questions I got below with answers:
Q: How does it compare cost-wise to getting it done professionally? (from @percyandpeaches)
A: The Tria 4x Laser Hair Removal Kit (deluxe including the Calming Gel) is currently priced on the Tria Website at £340, having looked at a UK nationwide high street clinic to treat underarms for an 8 session course it’s currently priced at £570 or bikini area at £690. There’s no denying that the at home version is the cheaper option as once you have invested you have the kit to treat and re-treat as necessary. It’s fair to say that the in-salon lasers used will be more intense and likely have more dramatic results – as is any professional level treatment – but the combination of lower cost and convenience of the at home device gives it huge plus points.
Q: How different is it from the home IPL ones (like the Phillips Lumea that I have)? (from @cynthiavanzella)
A: This is a great question, as I’ve tried IPL in the past but not been sure what the difference was so I did a bit of digging around for information. In fact, Tria have a section of their website that addresses this exact question (I’m always a fan of brands who are totally clear on any comparison type questions like this). The Tria at home gadget uses a thing called Diode Laser Technology. This means it produces a single intense ‘spectrum’ of light that directly targets the melanin pigment in hair and disables it’s ability to grow. Which helps explain why this sort of gadget is tricky for anyone with light hair/light skin or dark skin as the diode will target the pigment meaning if you have dark skin you’re potentially going to burn your skin or if you have little or no pigment then the laser won’t have anywhere to go.
On the other hand, there’s IPL or Intense Pulsed Light hair removal. The IPL systems are designed to use a broader spectrum of light so doesn’t as directly target the melanin in the hair as diode based laser technology. Interestingly in looking into the differences to answer this question I found an article on The Telegraph that looks at the differences between Laser and IPL and says the same (that Laser is far more effective than IPL) with numerous quotes from Dermatologists. Bottom line, Laser is more effective as the light that’s ‘killing’ the hair growth is more targeted.
Q: I’ve read that this is extremely painful unlike salons plus costs over $600 (US)(from @jenniferbelcher23)
A: Everyone’s pain threshold is different, but as someone who has trialled laser hair removal in a professional clinic, trialled an at-home IPL kit and now tried this Tria 4x Laser Hair Removal kit too I can say that this is the least painful or uncomfortable of the lot. On the lower settings I couldn’t really feel anything at all. Then when I dialled it up all I could feel was a quick little bit of heat and that was it. No pain what soever. Compared to an in salon treatment which whilst not fully painful, is like a hot elastic band being snapped on the skin. It’s not bad either in my opinion. But the Tria 4x is one you definitely don’t need to be afraid of the pain with. As I mentioned above, if you have darker hair than I then there’s a chance it might be a little more intense but I can’t speak for this as it’s not the situation I’m in. I’d be interesting to hear if you have tried this and how you found it though.
The biggest question with any sort of beauty trial like this is all about the results. I can say I’ve been impressed so far – but I wouldn’t say I’m a 100% smooth, hair free goddess *quite* yet. But I started the process a few weeks ago and whilst enough of the way in (I think it’s seven weeks since I started now) to see that it’s definitely having a noticeable effect (I would say on my under arms where I’ve been trialling it I now ‘have to’ shave them around once a week, where before I was doing so with every daily shower). I still have a few weeks to go before I would describe it as being ‘finished’. That’s the best thing about an at-home kit – you can keep going for as long as you want/need to without knowing if you have over ‘X’ sessions it’s going to cost you more money. You can keep topping up and keep doing sessions for as long as your device lasts. One of the things about Tria is that it offers more permanent results than an IPL equivalent (with IPL you have to keep doing regular treatments for far longer) where with Tria you can normally stop regular treatments after around six months then just do an occasional top up as required.
My advice if you’re planning to invest in at home laser hair removal:
- Opt for diode based laser hair removal kit.
- Start early in the year if you want to be hair free for Summer. I started this trial back in mid Spring time and just about coming to the end of it now.
- Always shave the area you want to treat before using the device (this is factored into the instructions) DON’T WAX/PLUCK AT ALL OVER COURSE OF USING THE DEVICE.
- This is an ideal way to ‘top up’ at home if you have invested in an expensive in-salon laser hair removal programme.
- Be patient and stick with it. You can’t expect immediate permantent removal, it takes time but I started to notice a difference in six weeks.
- Be realistic about your colouring and the results you can expect. I’ve only used the device on areas where my hair is the suitable colour. There’s no point me using on my legs as the vast majority of my hair is too pale and it just won’t work. If you’re not realistic on these things you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment (at best) or a nasty burn (at worst).
I really hope this post has something useful in it for you if you are looking to invest in at home laser hair removal. It’s a longer process than a quick shave, but you really will be encouraged once you see the results starting to happen. I’m delighted with the change I’ve seen so far – it takes a lot for me to stick with a gadget – and I know I’m going to keep using this ongoing. It’s just so easy it would be silly for me not to.
If you have any questions at all about this kit or at home laser hair removal please leave them below (or drop me a tweet @beautyjunkieldn) and I can either answer directly or add as an update to this post.
For more information on Tria 4x Laser Hair Removal see the Tria Website: triabeauty.co.uk/laser-hair-removal-products
Trial sponsored by Tria.