My experimental nature is never more evident than in the pursuit of bodily hairlessness; I am to hair removal what Joan Rivers is to plastic surgery and, honey, I’ve tried it all.
Through testing, I have learnt that when it comes to hair removal, as with so many things in life, you can’t have it all. While daily shaving may offer constant silkiness of leg, it is also a damn pain to maintain (and promotes ingrown hairs and bobbles on the leg as a result of the healthy freshly-sliced head of the hair waiting to spring forth). Waxing is costly, epilating painful and, ultimately, both require constant bloomin’ maintenance to stop hairs from blooming.
In the continuing spirit of experimentation, I have taken a new avenue and acquired a Tria to road test. A what, you say? A Tria: a laser for home use that is the first of its kind – cordless, as effective as a salon laser (clinical tests showed up to a 70% reduction in hair growth after two uses), and a pretty nifty little model all round that requires nothing but a charge and a hairy surface to do its work.
That’s reductive. Apologies, I am excited. Two specifics are important prior to using the Tria: firstly, that your skin leans towards the paler end of things and that your hair is dark(ish). If you are wondering whether you qualify, pop into a Space NK and ask them to do the spot test on your skin – the base of the Tria has a sensor that checks whether you are compatible in an instant. If you are (I was), you then need to shave the area that is to be Tria-d. Once you’ve done those two little things, you’re good to go.
I decided to go full hog and attack all my sites of unsightly hair growth. They were multiple, so I started on my upper lip (the Tria is lip/chin compatible but cannot be used on eyebrows). Now, the pre-shave was a bit of a hurdle here – yes, I wanted to rid myself of lip fuzz forever but, no, I didn’t much fancy face stubble. I clung to the promise of significant hair reduction and set the Tria to level 3 (there are 5 – 5 being the most intense, 1 the most gentle).
Once set, I pressed it to my upper lip where it started its automatic beep/zap action – the Tria, when held over skin, automatically goes to work. All you need to get it going is to turn it on, place it on the area you wish to treat and wait for the beep and flash of light. You then move it along slightly on the skin and wait for it to beep/zap again. I found working in straight lines helped ensure I wasn’t covering the same ground twice.
Does it hurt? Hurt is perhaps the wrong word. It is an odd sensation, akin to a little elastic band pinging against your skin coupled with a burst of heat – not painful per se, but equatable to a little electric shock. Perfectly manageable on level 3, a little more painful on the level 5 I used on my underarms. I completed four areas on the first charge, recharged, and tackled two on the second before inspecting my skin: there was minimal redness (quite a feat – my skin is fairly reactive).
We need to talk about the sordid topic of coin. The initial outlay for a Tria is £375. An awful lot, I know. Having said that, once bought, you need spend no further money whatsoever to keep it running. You can use it to your heart’s content over and over until your legs/arms/bikini line/underarm sprout no more then store it away for the odd patch of regrowth. It is also undeniably cheaper than the equivalent treatments in a salon (see Tria’s estimation of costs for salon treatments v Tria cost below).
You can also share the Tria (and cost) – I’m sure somewhere there must be a little warning against this, but as the nozzle that touches skin is a little flat glass tip and can be wiped, I see no reason not to share both the price and laser with others, provided you see them weekly for a handover. Several of my loved ones have already taken me up on this (though, perhaps unsurprisingly, not yet coughed up – AHEM). We are all equal parts excitement at a summer free of the drudgery of hair removal and thrill at the ease of use. So maybe you can have it all. I will report back.