The No!No! Hair Removal System Review

I remember when this first came out in the fall, the blog-osphere was all abuzz, Sephora was going to sell something that offered permanent hair removal. For about $225. When you add up all of your razors and creams and such for a year or two that is actually quite the bargain. Unfortunately it isn’t quite that easy. It takes time, it isn’t painless and it does require refill cartridges. But, apparently it really does decrease your hair over time!

This graphic from Sephora shows how it works. The first step is the wire/blade hitting the hair, which heats it. The hair itself is then “crystalized” (aka-burned), and finally the heat helps to disrupt the signal between the “bulge” and root of the hair. According to the company’s website this signal is responsible for stimulating hair growth.

So, what do I think about all of this? Truthfully, I didn’t remember a “bulge” in images of the hair follicle in medical school. It took a while to find one mentioned in any of my medical textbooks or resources. I finally did find the bulge and a great explanation of it’s function and communication with the root of the hair. But, you’ll need to understand the cycle of hair growth first.

Anagen/Growth Phase
About 90% of the hair on your head is in the active growth phase at any given time. This phase can last for up to 10 years for follicles on the scalp, but as short as a few months for eyelashes or body hair.

Catagen/Involution Phase
About 1% of your hair is involuting at any time. What this means is that the cells stop dividing and the hair shaft stops growing. The shaft separates from all of the connective tissues around it and actually lifts up and slightly out of the follicle, the bulb will actually rise to the level of the bulge.

Telogen/Rest Phase
The remaining 9% or so of hairs are in Telogen at any given time. This can last for months. The hair shaft is still present within the follicle, but it is not growing and is easily displaced by a new hair growing as the follicle re-enters Anagen phase. It is normal to lose even as many as 100 Telogen phase hairs a day!

To restart the whole process and re-enter the Anagen/Growth phase, the bulge must respond to signals from the papilla. The papilla sends the signal and as a result stem cells from the bulge migrate down to the papilla and restart Anagen phase.

The No!No! Technology not only helps to destroy the hair on the surface of the skin, but it disrupts this interaction between the bulge and papilla. The result is a follicle that does not re-enter the growth phase, therefore the density of hairs in the treated area is decreased!

So, what is it like to use?
The No!No! is very easy to use. First you choose your blade size, which is based upon the length of your target hair. There are different blades for long and short hair. Once your blade is in place you simply plug in the No!No! and begin! I like to “rough up” the hair just by running my hand up and down the area. Run the No!No! across the skin but in the opposite direction of hair growth. If you are going the correct speed for the No!No! to make optimal contact the green light will go on and the blade will come down to contact the hairs. If not, the machine will not work. It takes a bit of practice to maintain the correct speed, but it is overall rather simple.

As the No!No! passes over the skin the heat from the blade will contact the hair, basically burning it and going through the whole process that I described in probably way too much detail above. It definitely hurt me when I first started, like a very hard rubberband snap but with some burning. Especially over areas like ankles and knees I had issues and at one point I had a burn on my knee that looked like I had skinned it. Yup, it was from the No!No!. It healed quickly, but the machine was functional at the time (meaning, I was not going too slowly). So, be extra careful around those areas. Don’t be surprised that there will be a scent of burned hair in the room afterwards. As well, your skin will smell like burned hair. No perfume covers the smell. I tend to shower after treatment with the No!No! to get rid of the smell.

Once done the area will have occasional hairs that are still against the skin or were too short to be treated, as well as remnants of the treated hairs. At this point you use the buffer, which is basically very fine sand paper on some foam, to buff the remaining hair off. The buffer does a good job of getting rid of most of the hair, but even with buffing I was not super smooth. So, I now shave after using the No!No! instead of using the buffer.

Why bother using the No!No! if I’m just going to shave anyways? Not only for the long-term benefits of decreased hair density but also because even though the hair was only destroyed on the surface of the skin, I swear it takes longer for the hair to grow back. Rather than needing shave everyday I can go more like every other day.

While I’ve only had the No!No! for a few weeks, over at distressedDERMA they have had it for months, and you can review her long term results, which have me very hopeful for decreased hair density in a few months!

I discovered that the “bulge” is, and I won’t go into it (I finally found it in cosmetic dermatology texts, none of the “basic” derm texts), but it definitely needs to be killed.

After using the No No for about 2 months I stopped using it. I had no change in hair density and was tired of smelling like burnt hair.



  1. May 16, 2008 / 6:27 pm

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  2. May 16, 2008 / 6:53 pm

    Is this anything like getting a laser hair removal treatment?

    I’m Pakistani, so I’ve always been worried with these types of tools that my skin will be too tan for the treatments, as it probably is with at-home laser treatments (such as Silk’n).


  3. May 17, 2008 / 7:08 am

    It’s curious that distressedDERMA said it’s pain-free. I guess it’s different from person to person?

  4. May 17, 2008 / 3:17 pm

    I’ve been contemplating this gadget for quite some time. I’ve read several horrible reviews, still not sure if I should get it. I think I might wait for Gillette’s Laser home treatment tool anticipated later this year.

    Great review!

  5. Anonymous
    May 18, 2008 / 6:10 pm

    After using the No No and knowing what you know after using it, would you go out and purchase the No No? Asking the same question another way, if you lost the free one you received today would you go to Sephora a buy another one?

  6. May 19, 2008 / 3:31 am

    FF- It’s quite a bit different than a laser treatment, which uses lasers to target the melanin within the hair shaft, heating up the hair and I believe that actually destroys the follicle itself as well as interrupting the communication between the bulge and papilla. The process is much more effective and safer when the hair is dark and skin is light. I’m basing that on memory though, i haven’t looked it up in quite a while. The no-no doesn’t need a difference in pigmentation between the skin and hair as the heat is directly transferred to hair.

    Rina- I think it does vary between people, I am definitely a wimp! It hurt!

    Vee Bunny- I’m excited for that as well! The dates I hear for that keep getting pushed back, so we’ll see….

    Anon- If my unit broke now I would repurchase it. I likely wouldn’t run directly to Sephora at that moment, but I would buy it again within a month or so.

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