As a kid, I remember reading how-to-shave-your-legs-as-long-as-your-mom-lets-you tips in Mary-Kate and Ashley Magazine, wondering why I’d ever need to take my hair off. Fast-forward 14 years, and I’m trying anything that’ll make defuzzing fast and easy. And right now, that “anything” is zapping away at my own bikini line with an at-home razor. So far it’s working—just three more months to go!—but why does it take so long? Will the results last? Here’s a look at my experience with the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X, the most powerful and only FDA-cleared laser on the at-home market.
So here’s how this thing works: Hair follicles absorb energy from the laser, which is then converted to heat by the dark pigment found in hair. Over the course of as few as three months, the heat destroys the follicle and prevents it from growing new hair. The Tria uses the same technology found in my derm’s office, but it’s adapted to be safe for people who use it while eating frozen grapes and cursing their roommate’s cat for also trying to eat the grapes. In short, the laser is pretty much foolproof, even on the highest of five settings.
As both a brave soul and something of a professional shortcut seeker, I mesh with the Tria perfectly: It’s convenient (no working around my derm’s schedule), cheap ($400 up front hurts less than $150 every few weeks), and a good investment (if, after finishing on my bikini line, I decide to defuzz my armpits permanently, I can). The only downside is that I can’t squish the six months of biweekly sessions I need into, say, one month. Hair grows in cycles, so zapping it daily is like the equivalent of beating a dead horse. You have to catch it at least once in every cycle.
After three months of use at level two, my hair down there is extrafine, and in some areas, nonexistent. The anticipation of never having to wax again outweighs any minor discomfort. And the popularity of barely there swimsuits seems to make this whole dang thing a necessity. And, no, I won’t be Instagramming my progress—impressive though it may be—but I am here for advice and encouragement.
Would you ever laser your body hair?
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• The 10 Biggest Hair-Removal Mistakes
• The Head-to-Toe Guide to Hair Removal