Safety FirstAfter charging the system, you have to activate it. Either by calling 1-877-321-TRIA or by doing so on-line (only once) to ensure you can safely use it. Otherwise it will not turn on.
First, I had to make sure my skin was light enough. You place the skin sensor on your skin and then turn it on- if it turns green you're within the right skin tone. If it turns red, your skin is too dark and you can't use it. For good reason, dark skin tones can't use Tria with possibly of getting burned, scarred or blistered. I was sure my skin was well within the skin tone range, and the light did turn green.
Your skin tone is so important that the green sensor is placed on the panel on the front of the Tria to unlock it for use. Although this system is definitely not a toy, it made a special beep when it unlocked. I felt special access with a 'key', like on Star Trek.
A patch test is recommended 24 hours before using, to see if you have any adverse reactions. I tested it on my bikini line, and didn't have any reactions that day or the following.
Let's Get StartedI decided to try it on my bikini line, and shaved the area before using as per the instructions. You can't wax or use any other method that pulls out the hair follicle six weeks before using because the laser needs some hair underneath the skin to target.
You place the system on your skin and it will 'beep', keep holding it there with complete contact with the skin, and then it will 'beep' again- letting you know that section is completed. If what should be the second 'beep' is a 'buzz', then the laser wasn't completed on that section of skin, and you have to re-do it. You then can work your way through the area moving horizontally (right or left) by overlapping what you just 'zapped' by ¼". Once you finish horizontally, then you do the same vertically (up and down) so you are less likely to have missed a spot. If you cover the area thoroughly, the company says you will have about 50 beeps per 1 square inch of skin.
It doesn't take an exhausting amount of time, I did my bikini area in about a half hour or so. But if you're impatient and are not holding it down all the way down on the skin and getting 'buzzes' instead of 'beeps', then it will take you a lot longer than necessary. A large area like your legs could be pretty time consuming.
See Tria in action. Watch a step-by-step of how Tria works.
Did It Hurt?I never had professional laser hair removal, so I didn't know quite what to expect as far as pain. The bikini area is a bit more sensitive than other parts of the body. I want the best results, so I used the highest setting and the one more likely to feel the burn. (Update: the system had three settings, but now has five.) It felt like a small snap, and a bit of heat- but not what I would call pain. However, when I got to the last inch deep into my bikini line, I did turn the setting down one level because it hurt a little.
Does It Work?After two weeks when first using the system on my bikini line some of the hairs started to come out, and continued to come out for the next week. Some hairs on their own, others with the help of sugar scrub. It was like you could tell the hairs that were going to fall out because they were shorter than the rest. I'm going to continue to use the system every three weeks for a total of six - eight times. The real test is going to be how long the hair stays away, or the thickness of the hair if it does grow back in, so I'll keep you updated.
Read about the results after using Tria three times in part 2 of my review.
As is common in the beauty industry, the writer was provided with the product for the purpose of reviewing it. The product was returned back to the company after she completed all of the necessary treatments. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.