Tria Laser 4X, a cordless hair removal system, is the latest model from Tria Beauty. Cleared by the FDA it can be used on legs, arms, bikini line (hair outside a normal underwear line), underarms, feet, stomach, back, chest, hands, and women's facial hair from the cheek line down.
How it Works
A diode laser uses beams of energy laser target the hair follicles to disable them. It has five adjustable settings from low to high, with the highest setting (five) giving off the most heat. It requires multiple treatments to obtain the best results.
Hair and Skin Tones: Safety and Effectiveness
Hair. The laser targets dark pigment, the hair being treated needs to naturally be between light brown to black. It won't work on white, gray, blond or red hair.
Skin. Those with skin tones considered white, ivory, beige and light brown can safely use it for hair removal. A skin tone chart is included in instructions to check it against.
The device also has a built-in skin tone sensor and will only unlock if it's in a safe tone range. If a skin tone is too dark, the laser can leave it scarred, blistered and burned.
Changes to this Model
This is the first time the company says their laser can be used on the face. (See more information under the heading Facial Hair Removal: Yes for Women, No for Men.) The digital display window now has a pulse counter to track the number of pulses in a single treatment.
Precautions and WarningsThese are some of the basic safety and precautions. It's not for those under 18, pregnant or nursing. It shouldn't be used on tattoos, freckles, birth marks, as it might injure the skin from absorbing too much light. It's also not safe for hair removal on the ears, nipples or genitals. Skin in a compromised condition such as open wounds, cold sores, sun burns and anywhere that has had a skin peel or similar skin resurfacing treatment in the last six to eight weeks can be more prone to injury, and it shouldn't be used.
Facial Hair Removal: Yes for Women, No for MenPreviously, the company didn't okay using any of the lasers for facial hair removal. According to Tria Beauty, "The FDA has cleared the device for facial use (women's cheek line downward). The device has always had this capability, but we've now received official clearance to make this claim."
It's not to be used on the man's face, jaw or neck. The skin may be injured because the hair in the beard area is too dense.
While it can be used on women's facial hair, from the cheek line down, there is something to consider. Laser hair removal can cause increased hair growth (see more: Laser Hair Removal for Chin Hair?). According to the instructions booklet, "Based upon currently available data, the highest risk group for this response is females of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and South Asian heritage treated on the face and neck."
Growing, resting and shedding are the basic three stages hair goes through. All hair isn't going through the same stage at any given time. For the laser to be effective, it needs to 'zap' hair in the growth phase. This is why multiple treatments are necessary. The company recommends treating every two weeks for up to three months..
How's the Pain?
The discomfort varies. Everyone has a different tolerance to pain. It might feel more uncomfortable to those with sensitive skin or when treating very dark or thick hair. Sometimes the discomfort lessens after using it a couple of times.
The more heat it gives off as the level settings increase from one to five, which means more of that snap against the skin from a rubber band feeling. While it can be adjusted down to make the treatments more comfortable, to get the best results the company suggests using the highest that can be tolerated. (See more information under the heading Results.)
A new product from the company, which I haven't yet tried, is Smooth Start Calming Gel (buy direct). It's applied before using the laser to keep skin cool and make treatments faster, and when finished to calm and soothe.
Cost and Life
The Tria 4X released on January 11th 2013 retails for $449 and is available in blush or green (buy direct). The hair removal system has a window that displays if it's locked or not, treatment level, a skin sensor indicator, battery indicator, pulse counter and power button.
The company points out it has approximately 90,000 pulses/300 charges and say it's enough to typically treat an entire body. It doesn't take replacement cartridges like the home IPL hair removal systems (See: Home Laser and IPL Systems). Another device would be needed to continue treatments if all pulses are used.
They also have another more compact and less expensive model, Tria Hair Removal Laser Precision.
According to the instructions booklet, "In a clinical study, higher levels were found to be 2-3 times more effective. So for best results, we recommend you use the highest setting you can tolerate."
The company also states, "Proven through dermatologist-led clinical studies, the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X delivers up to 70% hair count reduction in just two treatments."
I tested out the original Tria Laser on my bikini line, which only had three settings and no display window. When the device was made with five settings, one was added below and one above. Basically the highest setting on the original model is about setting four on the 4X. I also used the original model both horizontally and vertically at each treatment (which is no longer done). I did a total of eight treatments (one every three weeks). Here were my hair-ridding results.
My assistant, Nicole, then tried out a later model that had five settings on her underarms. This is her experience and results.