Reader Beauty Question of the Week: Which Hair Removal Laser Works Best?

Q. I've done some research on both the no!no! Hair and the TRIA Laser Hair Removal System.  Which is better, more permanent, or is there anything else I should consider?

A. The no!no! ($270, uses mild heat to send gentle pulses to the hair follicle through a small wire inside the gadget. These pulses separate the hair from the root and burn it, which interrupts the growth process, making hair thinner (you can check out our review here: The Tria ($495, also uses heat to zap the hair, but the heat comes from a laser—which means it hurts more, but it also works better. And, of course, getting laser hair removal at a doctor’s office is your best, most permanent hair removal option, however sessions can total thousands of dollars. If that’s out of your price range, here’s more about both at-home options:

The no!no! doesn’t hurt, you can use it on your face and neck, it’s easy to glide across skin, and it’s less expensive. But it won’t get rid of your hair completely and you’ll need to keep using it to maintain your results.  

The Tria does hurt a bit—and because you zap each individual hair follicle, each treatment takes a long time (think: 30 minutes to treat your legs, which you’ll have to do twice a month for four to five months). You also can’t have dark skin; in fact, the device won’t even turn on if your skin is too dark (the laser could cause dark skin to permanently lighten in spots). This is why it’s a good idea do start your laser treatment in the winter, when your skin is at its lightest. What I like about the Tria is that I can shave in-between treatments, and the results can be permanent; though I didn’t complete the treatments (I’ll get to that issue below), there are areas on my legs where the hair never grew back.

Which leads me to my main point: If you’d describe yourself as incredibly busy and very impatient, neither of these devices are worth your hard-earned money. That’s because you have to remember to do these treatments, and you have to stick with them even when you don’t see results for the first month or two. But if your body hair drives you crazy and you will do what it takes to reduce it, then these at-home heat devices are definitely worth trying.