Tria Beauty Hair Removal Beauty Laser 4X Review
As a woman, nothing bothers me more than my body’s odd habit of growing hair where I don’t want it. What drives me even more nuts than the hair itself is the fact that I have spent so much time and money dealing with the issue.
Like everyone else, I’ve just accepted that shaving my legs, bikini area and armpits is simply a fact of life. My big problem, though, is that my upper lip appears to have been transplanted from a lumberjack – the hair growth there is rapid and disgusting. After spending a fortune looking for a solution, I decided to give the Tria Hair Removal Laser System a try. Here’s what happened.
Side note – for alternatives to the Tria see Groom+Style’s Top 5 Best Home Hair Removal Devices Review.
The Tria Beauty Company has a Solid Reputation
Before I spend a decent amount of money on a beauty product, I always take time to investigate the company behind it. If you are older than 15, you’ve undoubtedly tried various expensive beauty products only to find they didn’t work and were being sold by some company run out of a post office box in Boca Raton, Florida. The Tria Beauty Laser Hair Removal System costs more than $400, so some investigation and a detailed review seemed justified.
I found that the company, Tria Beauty, actually exists. Tria was started in 2003 by Tobin Island, a Stanford graduate who is one of three people credited with inventing the first home hair removal laser. The company has multiple patents for its laser technology and appears to be a leader in the field. In short, it’s a real company started by a real person – a graduate of Stanford, no less. I wonder if he is married…but I digress.
The Tria Laser Hair Removal Device
So, just what is this hair removal device? The Tria Laser Hair removal Laser 4X is pretty much exactly what the name suggests – a laser for zapping unwanted hair on your body. The Tria works by applying a laser tip directly to the skin. When activated, it sends brief pulses of energy directly into the hair follicles under the tip of the device.
The Tria device uses a diode laser, the same tool used in dermatologists’ offices, to zap the follicles of the hairs you target. When you apply the laser tip to an area of the skin, it sends pulses of energy down into the follicles. The energy targets the melanin at the base of the follicle, deactivating the hair so it no longer grows. The pulse is strong enough to impact hair growth, but not strong enough to damage the surrounding skin. The laser is built into a device I can only describe as looking like a hair dryer. With the Tria, however, there is no nozzle for hot air to come out. Instead, the nozzle is replaced by a cone which tapers down to a flat point roughly the size of a penny. This is where laser pulses leave the device, hitting the area of skin you want to treat.
The Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X Product is FDA Approved
You probably know (or could guess) that there are a few million beauty products claiming to produce just about any result you could hope for. You probably also know that unless the product has been tested and approved by the FDA, the promises are as likely to be kept as those made by the charming, cute guy at your best friend’s wedding reception.
That is why I was pleased to see that, unlike some products supposedly “certified” by some agency you’ve never heard of (and which may not even exist), the Tria is certified by the United States Food and Drug Administration. In 2008, the FDA approved the Tria hair removal laser as the only certified over-the-counter laser hair removal product available in the United States.
In 2009, the Agency gave further clearance to the same 4X product I tried in this test. In granting the certification, the FDA reported:
The FDA certification was enough to entice me, so I purchased the Tria Beauty Laser Hair Removal System to see if it could solve my lip hair problem once and for all. While I was at it, I wanted to try it on the usual spots where we all need to remove hair – the bikini line, legs and underarms. Here’s how things went.
How To Use the Tria Beauty Laser Hair Removal System
I ordered the Tria Laser 4X online without any problem. When the product arrived, it came in nice white packaging, roughly 10 inches high by a couple of inches in diameter and in good shape. Opening the box, I found the laser pre-assembled with a short set of instructions. Batteries were included with my order, which made things convenient. I’m not the most technologically advanced person in the world, so I was really happy to find the Tria Laser is very easy to use, and the included instructions were precise and correct.
The goal when you use the Tria is to create an overlapping pattern of circular pulses on the desired area. Think of your skin as a piece of paper and a drinking glass as the laser. The process is like dipping the glass into water and setting it down on the paper, making a circular mark – then picking up the glass and setting it down again so that the second mark overlaps the first and extends out into a fresh section of the paper – and so on. At the end of the process, the paper would be covered completely by overlapping circles, just as the treated area of your skin will be “covered” by the overlapping circles of the laser pulses.
Tria recommends the following number of pulses for particular parts of the body:
It’s important to note that this is not a “one treatment” device. I noticed no changes after my first session and was really disappointed. Then I broke down and actually read the manual completely, which said it would take two to three sessions at the highest power level before any change would be seen. Sure enough, my lip hairs started to disappear around the third session, which seriously improved my mood.
If you are like me you probably will not read the instructions carefully, so let me cover the important stuff here. You need to perform one session a week for each area you are targeting. You must do this for three months straight and at the highest power level. If you need to turn down the power level, you can. Just understand it will take longer to have an effect.
Did the Tria Laser 4X Work?
Overall, I would have to say I am pretty happy with the results. As I mentioned, my main problem is my upper lip. My skin is fair and I seem to grow these “alien” dark black hairs there. Using the Tria laser, I zapped the skin across the top of my lip from one end to the other once a week for three months at the highest intensity. Now, the hairs are gone. This alone makes the Tria a gift from Heaven as far as I’m concerned, but I also used it on my underarms, bikini line and legs with mostly positive results.
The armpits proved to be a bit of a trouble area for me. The laser appears to work, but the sensation was too much to take at the highest power level. I had to drop it from five to three. I noticed no change in hair growth for the first two months, but am now starting to see small changes after three months. I’m going to keep going with the treatments for another month to see how things progress. If you can stand the higher intensity, the three month treatment period would most likely work for you.
The effect on my bikini line was a nice surprise. I expected the Tria would work, but thought it might be a bit intense since that’s such a delicate area. But it worked like a charm and was soooo much better than a waxing. If you hate shaving or waxing your bikini area, you are going to love this handheld laser.
As for my legs, the product definitely does the job. After three months of treatments, I would say 90 percent of the hair on my legs is no longer growing. That’s a very good thing, since the sessions can be a bit of a drag; you have to be prepared to spend as long as an hour if you are going to do both legs properly, from the bikini line down to the ankles. I just do from the top of the knees down which takes about 25 minutes.
Things I Liked about the Tria Laser 4X
Okay, let’s cut to the chase. Having completed the initial three month treatment program, what things did I like about the Tria? Well, the most important thing is it works. This isn’t really a surprise considering the FDA approved the product. Still, I’ve spent more money than I want to admit on useless hair removal products in the past, so it is nice to find one that actually works.
The second thing I really liked about the Tria is how easy it is to use. When I say easy, I mean you can literally pop it out of the package, turn it on and have at it. There are no lotions, strange directions or anything. I can’t figure out how to get my DVR to record my favorite shows half the time, but I have no problem using the Tria.
As odd as it may sound, I also really like the price I paid for this laser. At $400+ it certainly didn’t seem cheap – until I thought about how much I was paying for professional treatments for my lip hair issue. Depending on who I went to, I had to pay $375 to $500 for “permanent” treatments which were never permanent. On average, I was spending around $1,000 a year to get my Tom Selleck mustache removed. For less than half that amount, my Tria now does the job. To me, that’s a good deal. My armpits are very sensitive, so I also looked into getting them treated by a professional. The cost was $1,200! I could buy three Trias, and have one for each arm plus one for my lip for the same price.
Things I Didn’t Like about the Tria Laser 4X
Is the Tria Laser 4X perfect? Well, there were a few things I wasn’t so crazy about.
The first issue is this is a laser and works by attacking the follicles of your hairs, so the high power setting can be a bit intense at times. The only place it really bothered me was under my arms. You can turn down the laser intensity, but then you need to plan on spending an extra month or two treating the area. I’m a bit of a wimp, so you may be able to handle the highest power setting without any problems. Still, you should be aware this is a laser and there will be some discomfort. I would guess the pain was about 90% less than you experience when waxing, though.
The second issue is that the sessions can take a good amount of time, particularly on your legs. The laser only covers about a quarter of an inch of space, so you can expect to spend 25 to 30 minutes on just your lower legs each session. You only have to do one session a week, but this is going to take more time than just popping into the shower to shave your legs. Batteries can be an issue. The laser needs energy, and a 30 minute session on the highest power level can wipe out the batteries.
I have fair skin and tend to grow darker hairs, so the Tria works fine for me. However, the box clearly states the laser isn’t as effective with darker skin colors. If you have dark olive skin or are African-American, you probably should look into this issue further – see alternatives in Top 5 Best Home Hair Removal Devices Review.