Thursday, June 03, 2010

Laser Hair Removal At Home? I Try Out the Silk'n Sens Epil

At Home Laser Hair Removal, How it works
At Home Laser Hair Removal, How it works, Silk'n sens epil review
First of all, let me start this post by stating that I am spoiled rotten by my husband. I did not get this product for free, a discount, or even as a loaner. My husband let me go to Sephora.com and spend big bucks on the Silk'n Sens Epil (which was cool, because I got Sephora VIB status with this purchase). He knew how tired I was of shaving every day, that I wanted to try laser hair removal at some point, and that at home laser hair removal was a cheaper option. So, you all have my hubby to thank for this review!

I think before I explain how to use this little wonder machine at home, some explanation about hair follicles and how laser hair removal works are in order. Then you'll understand why you may (or may not be) a good candidate to use this, and why it will take a long time (weeks) before you see results. This isn't instant hair removal and you'll need more treatments than when you go to a pro for laser hair removal.


how at home laser hair removal worksFirst, what is the hair? Basically the hair follicle (simplified off to the right) dives down into the dermis of the hair. The papilla is a bunch of hair matrix cells that give rise to the hair shaft as these cells divide and multiply. Off to the side you'll see the bulge, which is just a collection of hair matrix stem cells. You need to kill off both the papilla and the bulge in order to achieve permanent hair removal.

Not all hair follicles are continually growing hair. There are 3 phases, and this part is important:

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. Only Anagen phase hairs are subject to laser hair removal.

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!


What the Laser Does
Basically, when you direct the laser at the skin you are directing energy into the skin. You are hoping that it passes right through the skin cells of the epidermis and dermis and travelling to the hair follicle. Once it hits the hair follicle the dark pigmentation of the hair absorbs the energy, converting it to heat. The heat is then dissipated out to the bulge and the papilla, and if there's enough heat there, these key areas will be killed off. That's the idea anyways.

So, how do things go wrong/not work ideally?

1. Laser Energy doesn't reach the hair: First, you are counting on the energy of the laser reaching the hair and finding a perfect place to be absorbed. If the skin cells are dark (they don't even have to be very dark for this to happen, just have to have melanin present), the skin cells could absorb the energy. This means that there won't be enough energy even in ideal circumstances to kill off the papilla and the bulge. That means the treatment doesn't work and your hair sticks around.

But, there's also issues for the skin itself. Why? All that laser energy went somewhere. Yup, into your skin. It gets converted over to heat, and that can result in skin burns. Ouch!

How to avoid this issue: Easy enough- the lighter skin toned people will be better candidates for laser hair removal because of this issue. If you're not a super pale Irish girl like me, you might want to skip the at home treatment and be treated by a dermatologist for this reason. Any source of melanin in the skin, from the olive skin tone of being Italian to a tan (yes, this is why you need to not tan before laser hair removal) can result in this problem. In the office it can be overcome with sophisticated changes in wave length and energy, but you will want a dermatologist monitoring your treatment.

2. The hair doesn't absorb the laser energy: So, if the energy actually does reach the hair, there can be another snag. The whole process somewhat depends upon the hair follicle being dark, and therefore being able to convert the energy over to heat to destroy the papilla and the bulge. But, what if your follicle is blonde? Or just light brown? Or red? What happens then? It's somewhat hard to say. You likely won't absorb all of the energy, and it can be iffy whether there is enough heat for the procedure to work. Some of this can be overcome by the experts (another reason someone may not be an at home candidate), but not all of it can be overcome. It may be simply impossible to laser off light blonde hair.

3. There is no hair there to absorb the energy: Scroll back up a second and read that stuff I said about hair stages.

Bottom line with all of those different growing phases? You can only kill off the hair follicles that are in Anagen phase. This is why you can't be treated once and be done with it. You'll need a series of treatments spread out over months to achieve near flawless perfection.


So, by the time you look at all of these pitfalls, here's the perfect candidate for at home laser hair removal:
-Pale, with no tan
-Dark hair, especially if you can see it under the skin's surface
-Not afraid of a little pain and willing to spend the bucks to do this at home


Silk'n Sens Epil at home laser hair remover machineMore about the Silk'n Sens Epil
Now that you know more about the theory behind laser hair removal, let me tell you a bit more about the Silk'n Sens Epil. The machine is about the size of a shoe box and weighs a few pounds. When you plug it in the first thing you notice is the fan. This thing generates quite a bit of heat, so the fan is relatively heavy duty. You can have a normal conversation over it and watch tv while you work without an issue, but it's not exactly quiet. The light wand sits in a cubby on the top and needs to "charge" itself for about 20-30 seconds before you are able to select a level of treatment and get started.

The machine has 5 different levels of treatment. If it is your first time do not go over level 1! I will repeat this, because it is important. Do not go over level 1 for your first treatment. Thinking that you will start higher and just really kill off all of your hair follicles is asking for a skin burn. Start at level 1. For subsequent treatments you can start to slowly work your way up the level scale to a 5 if your skin can tolerate that. You position the little window over your skin, hit a button on the wand and a very bright flash of light will come out and you'll hear a popping noise. I don't recommend looking at the wand when you do this, you'll see little flashes. I cup my free hand around the unit to shield some of the light. While the unit charges up for the next light flash (a few seconds) I reposition the window over the next area of skin.

Does it hurt? At first it did. The analogy of a rubber band snapping is definitely true. With time you get used to it. I'm now about 4 treatments into using the machine and I don't feel anything with level 5. As you slowly are able to increase your level of treatment it is very important to pay attention to how much pain you are experiencing. If it hurts, don't go up to the next level. Rather than treating the hair follicles you will just be more likely to have that energy absorbed by your skin, which means a skin burn. Ouch! The machine does have a sensor to detect your skin pigmentation (the machine will actually refuse to fire if it thinks you are too dark), but even fair complexions can get burns from using this machine. So, if it hurts- stop and don't go up a level.

What is the deal with the levels? As you go up you're basically adding more energy. The energy level is the only thing that can be modified with this at home unit, and for safety reasons it doesn't go up very high. If there are issues or you aren't getting results, I recommend checking in with a dermatologist and having in office laser treatment instead, where they can change wavelength and all sorts of other parameters in addition to monitoring your treatments closely.

As you work on your skin you'll notice that the little light window is getting hot. It can get really hot actually. If this is happening, turn off the unit and lay down the wand so it is exposed to air (I lie it on its side next to the unit), allowing it to cool off for 5-10 minutes.

As you continue on your treatments you will notice that the areas you've treated might sting a little, and hair follicles might look irritated/pink. Some stinging is normal as is the irritation, but not a lot (if you have a lot, go down a level). If you didn't shave all treatment areas before getting started you might notice that the hair shafts above your skin look singed. This is also normal, but smells funny and took away some of the laser energy before it could do its real job. Make sure you shave first so all of the energy can go down into the follicle and kill it.

My entire treatments last about 45 minutes, and the treatment process can get very boring. I suggest a book or movie to keep you occupied! The hairs won't fall out right away, but rather will slowly come out over time. It will take at least 2 or 3 treatments to notice a difference.


Does it work?
Silk'n recommends a treatment plan that lets you take advantage of those hair growth cycles so that you can kill off more follicles. They recommend every 2 weeks for the first 3 months, and then monthly for 3-5 months, finally as needed to keep up the results.

They have done some clinical studies looking at how well it works. In the studies they used 3 treatments at 2 week intervals (so, not even the full recommended course). Long term they've found a 54-68% reduction in hair in the legs, underarm and bikini lines. True, that's likely not enough to free you completely from your razor, but it will likely be very different from pre-treatment.

80% of users have said they had "noticeable hair reduction after 3 months". Notice that's only 80%. That means for whatever reason, the machine simply doesn't work well for 20% of users, who probably were pretty good candidates. While it will take a few treatments for you to notice any difference, it is possible it won't work for you.


Did it work for me?
Actually, it did. I've now completed about 4 treatments 2 weeks apart, and I'm kicking myself for not taking good before pictures. Pretreatment I hated wearing shorts and skirts, because even if I shaved everyday it didn't look like I did. You could see the hair below the surface of my skin (gross!) and if I happened to get goose bumps it was all over- I was stubbly.

Post treatment I now longer have noticeable hair under the skin, I now shave every other day or every two days and am still pretty smooth on those days. I don't worry about goose bumps. My legs have about a 50% reduction in hair density, my bikini area and underarms about a 60-70% reduction in numbers of hairs.

I am extremely happy about these differences, and am hoping that as I continue with treatments things will be even better. I know that I likely will never have complete freedom from the razor to be as smooth as I want, but given how much my shaving frequency has gone down already, I'm not really sure I care.


How much does it cost?
That little machine costs about $450-$500. You can occasionally find it on-line for less than that, but I strongly recommend that you go to a store with a liberal return policy and good customer service.

I bought my machine from Sephora.com since I knew they would be willing to work with me if I developed issues. When you are buying the machine you will want to buy some extra lights. They run about $50 each, and one light typically will last you about 1 body treatment (legs, bikini area, arm pits and arms). Once the light has reached it's max pulses it will cease to work. So buy a few extra. (Note, I bought my machine at Sephora but am now buying replacement lights from SkinStore.com. They sell the lights in a 2 pack for $90 and frequently have 20% off everything, so this brings the cost down.)

Update
I've also tried out the Silk'n Flash and Go since this review. You can see my Comparision of the Silk'n Flash and Go with the Sens Epil and an update Silk'n Flash and Go Review


At Home Laser Hair Removal, How it works, Silk'n sens epil review


Silk'n Sens Epil




I have no affiliations with any of the companies mentioned above and get nothing if you use those links. They're there to be helpful. :D

Image of woman- via Wikimedia Commons

81 comments:

Teri said...

What a thorough review, Christine. I am interested in hearing how it works after more treatments, so please follow up.

Sonya said...

I'm just curious if you know about how safe it is for your eyes to be exposed to that light from the laser? I recently had an IPL laser treatment at a med spa to remove hyperpigmentation on my face (which worked GREAT btw!) and had to wear goggles to protect my eyes. It sounded similar- a VERY bright light even with eyes closed under goggles and a pop, and the aesthetician said it would feel like a rubber band snap (but felt more like a stun gun to me!). To be honest, with all of the risks of burning yourself and not using the laser properly (so many people tend to be careless and not read or follow directions) I'm actually surprised that they have a machine like this on the market. But kudos for you for having such awesome results, and it really does seem like a great thing for those who are willing to learn how to use it properly! Great review!

Natalia said...

very interesting!!!
nice blog!

Christine said...

Sonya- According to the company they've done some research into it and the laser in this machine is safe as long as you aren't using it above the level of "the cheek line", which makes it safe to use on your chin and upper lip. They don't really go into any more detail regarding how they tested this.

While the Silk'n uses pulsed like similar in technology to what you had done for hyperpigmentation (and that's really great it worked! yeah!), typically the wavelengths are different depending on what you're trying to target. So, it would be different for hair vs melanin vs blood (which you would target for a port wine stain), and so on. I can only think that the different wave length and the lower power involved with this unit are what makes it "safe"

Honestly though, I have been wearing polarized sun glasses when I do my treatments. Do they do anything? I don't know. Makes me feel better though.

On the Glam said...

great review. i have gotten laser hair removal, but haven't had the cash to go in to get other body parts zapped. have tried the no-no to mixed results, so maybe this is what i'm looking for...

Christine said...

OTG-
I tried out the No No as well, and after a couple of months when I wasn't getting anywhere and I was tired of smelling like burnt hair I stopped using it too.

Miss Krimson said...

Hey Christine,
Just came across you blog and I am loving it! and I am now a follower! Been reading now for quite a while :)
Anyways I am so happy that you did a review about this kind of stuff because this is one of my concerns. I hate shaving and waxing and I am too cheap to dish out that kinda money if I am unsure of the result for laser treatments! And well frankly I am scared to do it too. I am curious to see how your progress goes going along your treatments. But a question! Was your hair thick to start with and did you have very much?
I am so happy to of found your blog because I also like you love to educate people about this kind of stuff. I mean I don't have the same schooling as you but I do have quite a bit as well.
I hope that you have time to check out my blog as well http://vividfusion.blogspot.com/
Take care and I can't wait to read more!
Maricela

Christine said...

Hey Maricela!
Your blog is pretty great, I just added you to my blog list off to the right (everyone else, check it out, she's a Makeup Artist in Canada for Smashbox!)

Anyways, I think I was fairy average in terms of the hair that I had. I'm ethnically a mutt (mostly Irish, some English, Scots and Potawatomi Indian), but the hair on my legs, underarms and bikini area was thick but not too course, pretty dark and my skin is definitely very fair. Overall I'm pretty much the perfect candidate for this machine.

I'll update everyone in a few months! So far I've already had very dramatic reduction in hair density and my hair grows back much, much slower than it did previously.

I'm pretty sure that I'll never be full razor free (I like areas to be completely smooth, and I do have some blonde hairs in areas that I know won't be lasered off, for some reason my thighs are blonde but the hair on my calves was almost black).

jaimehwkns said...

Hi Christine! This is a dumb question - but what about moles? I have a mole or two on my legs - will the extra melanin there cause a burn? Should I simply avoid those with the laser? Thanks for the info! :)

Christine said...

Hi Jaime!
That is a good question actually. I honestly hadn't even thought about it. I didn't have any moles in the areas I treated, but I did have some fairly dark (and big) freckles, and I went over them without a problem. I'd suggest trying those areas first with the level 1, and if it hurts just don't go back over it.

Huguette E. said...

Thanks for sharing. I had been going to laser hair removal for my face, but after over $1000 (monthly for a year) my facial hair is still there. I not sure if it's the place I was going (just opened) or it was just me. I'm very light skin and my hairs are dark. I was thinking of buying one for at home, can't waste my money more than going there. This sounds great!

Miss Krimson said...

:D wow thanks so much christine!
can't wait for the update!
Maricela

Roxy said...

I know ... it takes a while to really see results and have confidence it's actually working. But it does!

And had the same thought after I posted my review as I could kick myself for not taking before and after photos, as I've done with so many other items reviewed that should have the benefit of before and afters.

Such a great, thorough article - thanks so much!

xo

Olga said...

Christine, this is deep. I haven't seen any review anywhere more detailed than yours. Very impressive, I just had to tell you this. I wasn't brave enough to buy this thing at Sephora because of the price, but, thanks to your review, not only I learned a lot of info, but also feel that it, actually, worth the money. You did an incredible job.

Henna said...

Thank you thank you for the review. The description of your legs matches mine, so if this worked for you, I'm going to try it too. And it is wayyy cheaper than getting treatments at the spa, so may as well.

Thanks again, Christine!

Tara said...

Maybe when I'm making more money and I can afford to swing it, I'll try this machine. I'm absolutely tired of my hairy legs. I'm very pale and have very dark hair. And, like you, the hair can be seen under the skin. The very same day I shave, not a few hours afterward (or shorter if I get goosebumps), I have stubble. And with being able to see the hair under my skin, it makes it look like I haven't shaved for weeks after just one day without shaving. So I'm pretty much used to wearing very long skirts and jeans in summer and spring unless I plan to spend half an hour and shave my legs. It's too bad though the window is so small, it looks like it would take quite a while to do your whole leg. My thighs stay smoother for longer, but from just above my knees to down to my ankles, it's a forest.

Celeste said...

my legs have blonde hair so i couldnt laser them but i was wondering if since i am extremely fair and the hair on my bikini area is black would i be a good candidate?

Laser Hair Removal Side Effects said...

Laser hair removal is an excellent way of removing unwanted hair and it is fairly safe when all safety protocol is followed and the treatment is done by a trained and licensed professional. However, laser hair removal is not a permanent hair removal treatment but a permanent hair reduction treatment. Many individuals post comments after only couple of sessions that their hair has disappeared. By far, this is not enough time to judge the result as with many cases the hair can grow back after few months - although much less and not as thick.

Kai said...

Hey!
I thoroughly enjoyed your review, it was quite fair, unbiased and informative.

I can't afford it right now, but maybe you'd like to let your readers know that Daily Candy is having a promotion with Silk'n SensEpil. You can get 25% off this machine if you buy it straight from the company and use the coupon code XMK9224XM. The total comes out to like $374 or something.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I used the coupon code it works!

http://www.silkn.com

Laser Hair Removal said...

What a great post, I had laser done a few years ago and now need a touch up as the area isn't completely cleared. I think, due to the hair growth cycles. I looked at both the Silk 'n and the Tria Beauty product and ultimately went for the Tria product because it was FDA approved. Thanks for all the information about the Silk 'n!

Shane said...

Can you use it on you face?

Phoenix Hair Removal said...

This could not be written any better! It was indeed a very good review. @Shane: I guess it can be use on your face but you need to wear some protective goggles which emit light from Silk'n for it may damage your eyes permanently.

Micha said...

What did you do after a treatment till the next one in 2 weeks? Did you shave or do you have to wait for the next treatment??

Christine said...

Micha- I shaved in between. It's actually better to shave right before a treatment if you can. You want the energy to go into the hair that is below the surface of the skin, not the hair that has already emerged.

Christine said...

Oh, and Shane you can use it on your face. The company says that it's fine for this, and actually because it is a lower energy level than a professional laser no goggles are needed. Having said that, I would try to direct it away from my eyes, and when using it on my face I put my hand in front of my eyes to help more.

Karen said...

Christine, just curious how the hair removal is now that it has been about a year? Did you ever get more than just a lighter amount of hair? Thanks!!

Christine said...

Unfortunately, since you can't use it while pregnant I had to stop using it too soon to get the full effects. And then the hormones of pregnancy, which love to rev up every dormant hair follicle available, brought out all sorts of issues. So, I'm now back to where I started from. Which was disappointing given I was down to shaving every 3-4 days! I really think it was pregnancy that set me back. I have more lights and I'll be buying more. I'm hoping to start up again to get back to every 3-4 days, I'll post an update!

Danielle said...

Christine,

I really loved this post! I have also been looking into laser hair removal but going to get it done at a clinic is way too expensive for me! I'm 20, so they don't allow financing plans for people without established credit--bummer. This device is something I plan on saving for. Right now I epilate and while it's getting less painful, I don't want to epilate for the rest of my life. I think i'd be a good candidate for this as well so thank you for such a thorough review!
--Danielle from http://thescoopbydanielle.blogspot.com/

Houston laser hair removal said...

very interesting post. Looking for more updates from this review. Think, should try it

home laser hair removal said...

Hi,
thanks for your informative article. I'm creating a website about home laser hair removals and I wish to have there articles like yours. Anyway, could you tell me how do you promote your articles(or do you even promote)? I found on the Internet lot of blog posts relating to your review. thanks

Christine said...

I don't really promote. I do link exchanges with other beauty blogs, but that's about it. The secret is to write an informative article that is easy to understand. :D

hlhr said...

thanks for you answer Christine. I will try to do a little link exchanges and work on my articles:) thanks

Anonymous said...

Christine,
I read a review about the Silk'n Sens Epil on another site and it said over time, it will result in permanent hair removal. That is provided a person has the correct type of hair color and skin color. Do you find that is true or know if that is true? Thanks!

Christine said...

It will result in certain hair follicles completely dying, yup permanently. However, I don't think you'll ever really be able to reach 100% of them with dormant follicles and I think it really would take a very long time to truly get everything down.

I used my Silk'n a lot prepregnancy, and then once I became pregnant in spring 2010 I had to stop using it. Every dormant follicle in my body went crazy, and pretty much I was back to square one before I hit 2nd trimester! My daughter is currently 6 months old and I haven't found enough chunks of time to start using it again fully, so I've been sneaking in treatments of my bikini, underarm and facial areas (my legs take about 45 minutes, she rarely naps that long). I've used it twice (only a few days apart, I may have cheated some), and it's already helping me again.

I've only reviewed the Silk'n since I purchased it, but since that time the Tria has come out as well. I haven't check it out, but it works with the same ideas/science and should also result in perm hair removal. It doesn't require replacement lights as far as I know, and I've seen it on sale more frequently on sites like Gilt and Hautelook. Look into getting one of those, it will be cheaper for sure.

Hair Removal Solution said...

Hello Christine, Thanks for your great review. I have a Silk’n Sensepil and I LOVE it. It worked so great and I could see a noticeable different after only a few applications. Plus it wasn’t really painful. It’s totally worth the money and totally works.

FOREVER Laser Hair Removal said...

Torn between the Sikl'n and the TRIA as I've heard good reviews for both. Do-it-yourself laser hair removal is definitely great for those who don't have the time and money to get it done professionally and for those who prefer to do it in the comfort of their own home!

Anonymous said...

Hi -
First off, I love your blog and your dedication to getting the whole experience out there. Second, congratulations on the baby. No better joy! Third, have you ever heard of The no-no? This is the link: https://www.my-no-no.com/nono-8800/nono-8800.asp
A male friend of mine swears by it. I can't figure out how it gets to the part of the follicle (I think it was the bulge, that needed to die off) though.
Best wishes.
Sincerely,
Kim

Christine said...

Hi Kim!
I have tried it! Here's my No No Hair Removal Review from long ago. :D It was ok, though I found that I was smelling like burnt hair for a long time and it wasn't reducing hair density so I stopped using it.

Anonymous said...

I wish I have a husband like yours.. :D

anyway, my mom bought this product im not sure if hairs have already fallen out since my first treatment was december 14 2011
december 28 my next.

george said...

Interesting :)

anele said...

I have used silken four times already and getting good results. I just found out I am pregnant. I am trying to figure out why it cannot be used during pregnancy on the legs, abdomen might be an issue. Will probably call The manufacturer for a scientific reason. It might be that they never tested on pregnant women. Who would offer to be a volunteer? I have scars from shaving, folicullitis from waxing, would absolutely looove to continue my treatment. Does anybody have additional info? Thanks

Christine said...

Really, it's because it hasn't been tested on pregnant women. The Silk'n doesn't even recommend that you wear goggles during use (it isn't really powerful), and there have been many case reports of lasers being used during pregnancy on women for other issues (including areas like the vulva. Which is like... right there.)
I discuss it a little bit more in depth in my Skin Care during Pregnancy post, but most conservatives would say to stop using it, but there are some derms that would say it is ok. I think it depends on what you're comfortable with.
I stopped using my Silk'n while pregnant last year and the hormones just amped up EVERY hair follicle in my body. It was like I'd never been treated. I need to start up again, but it's been hard to find the time to treat myself at home with a now 1 year old! Maybe that can be my 2012 resolution.

Congrats on the pregnancy!

Harshleen@BeautyTidbits said...

Wow....I just read this post! Thanks so much for the thorough review Christine. I have always wondered about laser hair removal and if it's safe enough. After reading this, at least I know that a home treatment will probably not be suitable for me because of my darker skin tone.

Christine said...

Yeah, no at home treatment for you. :( But, they can do all sorts of things in a pro environment, though I always recommend doing it at a location with a derm around, which isn't a medi-spa usually. They can aid quite a bit in determining which settings you'll need and help with any complications.

Joanna said...

I purchased Silk'N Sens Epil just before Christmas 2011 treated my legs and underarms three times, and I have not shaved either area since! This product really worked for me and I used to shave everyday, unless I covered up my legs. I am Asian with medium complexion and of course dark hair.

Anonymous said...

hi, i'm a new one here, i want to ask you Chrisyine if you know Epil Skin machine, it's called Venus Lasr home hair removal system CW-808? it's in France and it cost now 140 euros ... ans how are the results you saw so far, does it worth? thans in advance. Louha

Christine said...

Hi Louha,
I'm not familiar with that machine, so I can't speak about if it would be worth while. I haven't used my machine in almost a year. Since having my daughter I haven't had time to devote to the treatments, I need to start again! Prior to my pregnancy, I was seeing results and was very happy.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for at home hair removal laser for a while. I can't afford the office treatments especially since I'd want to do several areas. My main issue is that I get ingrown hairs, especially where I shave. They often get infected and painful,I have pulled 1 inch hairs out from under my skin, basically having to do self surgery to get to the hair...it's not only very painful, and can leave scars, but I am also always worried about worse infections. Anyways...going on to a less groce subject... I can also always see hairs under my skin because I am extremely pale, living in Texas it would be torture to keep wearing long pants and t-shirts past march (lol) but I am usually kind of self conscious about the showing hairs.
My question for any of you: a) the laser hair should help with ingrown hairs, right?
and b) I found a slightly more affordable version at sephora, the silk'n flash and go, any experiences with that one?
c) any experiences with the remington i-light pro??
and finally d) does anyone who has tested different ones have a number 1 system??

Christine said...

Hi!
Answer that I have:
1) YES, it will help with the ingrown hairs. If they aren't there to grow they can't ingrow, right?
2) I've only tried this version, and obviously there are a lot more on the market since that time. (This review is almost 2 years old.) I did some looking around and I wasn't able to find reviews for the other products that you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

What a load of shite and you're obviously getting commission!

Christine said...

That's an interesting hypothesis, but since in the US you have to disclose such a thing, I'm not. I'm a doctor, I make WAY too much money in my real life to risk being fine $11,000 for a commission of what, maybe $20 in all? Unfortunately for you, everything I've written above is true, and I've only spent my own money on this system. Thanks for swearing at me though.

Kimberly Purcell said...

Sounds like too much work! I'll stick with my Groupon for 6 treatments at $99. After 2 treatments, I have very few hairs coming in.

And the commission comment...what's up with her?

MarciaF (Beauty Info Zone) said...

Boy I wish the place I went to for laser hair removal had your knowledge. None of this was explained as thoroughly as you did. I also am glad that one of your commentators mentioned that it's not permanent but that it lessens the hair. I thought it was something wrong with me!

Anonymous said...

Groupon has a great deal on the Epil right now, $249 plus some $5 fee.

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine

I'm a male looking into this form of home laser hair removal. If this worked out to genuinely be worthwhile I would be over the moon. Getting the procedure done professionally is ridiculously expensive. Would you reccomend this for a male with plenty of areas to test it on? Furthermore... what be the effects of perhaps, using the device weekly as opposed to doing it every few months when the hair grows back? I know it's optimum to do it at these times however... how would this in fact affect the hair growth?
Thanks.

lylaburns123 said...

I had laser treatment done years ago and I loved it. I want to get in and get it done again soon, although I'm always out of town for work. I would love to be able to do it myself until I can get home and have it professionally done. Thanks for this information!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information. The one change I HATE about getting older is the growth of facial hair on both sides of my chin. It is SO EMBARRASSING! I have tweezed but I just can't keep up with it. I've heard how expensive it is to get treatments with a dermatologists and don't know how people pay for it on an on-going basis, especially if it is not permanent. I've also heard that once the hair turns gray laser will not work. For this reason I am getting concerned about finding a solution before this occurs for me. So, my question, you talked about shaving before you begin, since I do not shave my face, would you tweeze first or no? I'm not sure about my skin type, I have age spots so not sure if it would be safer for me to go in to a dermatologist for laser treatment. I just do not know how anyone can pay the $1000 a month which was mention from one of the readers. A few readers mentioned groupon, so I will check that out. Question 2, any idea how dark age spots are affected by this home laser system? Thanks for sharing.

Christine said...

Hi Anon-
Because the laser depends upon having the hair be dark with the surrounding skin being pale (it absorbs the energy of the laser, gets hot and basically kills off the follicle), if hair has turned grey it won't absorb the energy and it won't work. Along those same lines, DON"T pluck the hairs out, you need that hair to be there under the skin surface to grab the laser's energy or it won't work. As much energy as possible needs to go to the hair follicle that is under the skin.

Depending on how big your age spots are and the location, it might complicate using a laser for treating the hair. Dark spots will absorb the energy of the laser, and the skin can get burned easily. For that reason you might want to consider going the pro route where they can work around any spots and you'll get less likely to have issues.

While it isn't absolutely permanent, you should have a big effect very quickly with a laser treatment. You shouldn't need more than a few treatments and then any touch ups at the most every few years, if at all. I wouldn't expect $1000 a month, it is much less expensive for a smaller area.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I post this comment as I wait for the wax on my face to dry =\ I've been looking into this, and you gave me everything I needed to make a decision.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. Do you have to shave the area you want to treat prior to using the machine? I was thinking of buying a home laser removal machine to use on forearm hair, but don't want to have to shave my foremarms. The hair there is fine but brown and bothers me.

Christine Mikesell said...

You don't absolutely need to shave, but it would prevent the laser's energy from singeing the hair on the surface and redirect it to the follicle under the skin, which is where you want it to go. I think you could certainly try it without shaving first.

Anonymous said...

IS IT BAD TO USE IT EVERY WEEK OR IS IT FINE? SORRY FOR THE CAPITLES THE SHIFT IS STUCK.

Christine Mikesell said...

It depends on the settings and such. I think you might be more likely to burn yourself and there wouldn't be an advantage to doing it so often, the hair cycles haven't changed much by then.

Anonymous said...

I am really happy with the results on my upper lip with the Silk'n SensEpil. I After just a couple of treatments I started to see a difference in the thickness of hair. I found this device to be much more worth it then constantly having to go and get my upper lip waxed.

Anonymous said...

MY dear sisters with dark, Carmel, mocha skin tones basically what she is saying we are not a GOOD Candidate for this product. Its made for white women, oh sorry white women with no tan.

Christine Mikesell said...

Anon- Unfortunately, the way the technology works and with the limited ability to make changes in the intensity or wavelength of the laser, it is only recommended for yes, non-tan pale women (it would work for ethnicities besides just caucasian), with DARK hair. So, it excludes many from at home use based on where the technology is at this time.

This isn't much different from in a dermatologist's office, where women with more pigmentation will have a difficult time with laser hair removal, though at least in the office they'll be able to modulate the laser a little to avoid complications such as burns and get optimal results.

Hopefully at some point it will advance to be more appropriate for women of all colors and hair colors.

Anonymous said...

Can you dye your light hairs darker then use it on them?

Christine Mikesell said...

I suppose you could, though the hair that matters the most is what is under the surface of the skin. Much less of that energy/heat from hair on the surface of the skin is transferred to the bulge, which is why it is usually recommended to shave it first. I don't think it would really make any difference other than to add another step.

Anonymous said...

One person in your blog said that laser hair removal is not permanent. That is true. I have spent over $3,000.00 to remove my underarm, breast, lower legs, and almost a full brazilian (my husband likes a quarter size amount of hair left on the brazilian). It is not permanent, yet it s the best thing that I have spent my money on besides my Harley. I love having zero hair for as long as it lasts. Since hair grows in thirds, it take years to kill the last third of the hair. I still have about a sixth of my underarm hair left, but it is better than the alternative. I save my part of my monthly allowance money for hair removal. I have enough for two more sessions. I am going to go for two more before I buy this machine. I like the idea of the machine, but I want to have everything where I want it and then use the machine for maintenance. Does this sound reasonable?

Christine Mikesell said...

I think it does sound reasonable! I know there are some places that offer cheap rates for once or twice a year touch ups as well.

Thomas Strome said...

At last a Do-It-Yourself laser hair removal system. You can now only go to plastic surgeons New York city when gravely needed. This tool is so wonderful that you can even use it on your face.

Anonymous said...

Which machine is better Tria or Silk'n Sense Epil

Christine Mikesell said...

I haven't tried the Tria at all, so it's hard for me to say since I don't know anything about how adjustable it is. I do know that the window for the light is much bigger with both of the Silk'n products.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

I have previously tried two different professional lasers my face in an office with a professional. I have a diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome which unfortunately give me dark hairs with light roots. For those of you out there with polycystic ovarian syndrome, my experience was that the professional lasers did work but the results were not lasting. In other words all of the hair came back because of my diagnosis. Frustrating. I am now researching home treatments since I am in this for the long haul. Thank you so much for your write up. It is right in line with what I have been told by professionals. I am a bit nervous to try this on my jaw line but willing to give it a try. Thanks again!

sonia said...

My son has hair on his cheek bones, tried few times professional laser treatments, but it's very expensive. I came a cross this product and tried to search about it, I came a cross your blog, thank you sharing your experience. I would like to know if this product is safe to use at home to remove cheek bone hair?
I haven't purchased it, I wanted to know if it's safe to use on hair closer to eyes.

Thank you so much for your time,

Christine Mikesell said...

Hi Sonia,
Most of the at home laser aren't recommended for use that close to the eyes.

Sara @ Cosmetbeauty said...

This article is one of the best on home laser hair removal on the web. The not going over level one thing at first is so true. I thought I had a high tolerance for pain but ouch!

I used the new Tria 4x the other day (upgraded version of the normal Tria) and must say it's my favourite so far. But to be fair I've not extensively tested it over a long period of time.

Andi said...

The Tria laser hair removal is very effective. If we use it right, it DOES Work! I have been embarrassed with facial hair for many years and I have always carried a tweezer in my purse. After the 2nd session at least 1/2 of the hairs that were treated were gone. I am already thrilled by my results

It is now available at http://mommiesmall.com/product.php?asin=B00B0S7KUY

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried Tria for the legs or any large area? I'm worried that the small area of treatment and longevity of the battery will Tria a chore.

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