I read on Wired’s blog that there are now two home laser electrolysis systems made for consumers, rather than solely for professionals as all previous machines have been. The best of these consumer laser electrolysis systems is the Tria, a laser-diode based unit. A cheaper competitor, the Silk’n*, uses an outrageously bright light rather than a laser, to similar effect — the toasting of dark hair follicles.
I’m entering any contest that Tria ever has, in an attempt to win one of these beauties, because at present it is beyond my price-range. (Though if I am employed again, it just might be within reach).
The strength of the laser is about half what it is at a salon, but, there is an advantage: privacy, and the ability to hit spots that an expert may have missed. I love Boulder’s “Barris Laser” (located off the Pearl Street mall), to be sure. Dana and her new assistant have mad skills, and they are conveniently located. But there are always little tufts of hair that were overlooked, which are too small to bother about really if the only choice is to make another appointment — but which could be treated at home with the Tria.
As such, it is touch-ups that I have in mind for my Tria, if I ever have one. But no discussion of home laser electrolysis systems can be complete without acknowledging that another reason why home units will be successful (even if they have less power than a pro unit) is our culture’s demand for privacy, as applied to how our bodies are seen by others — even by salon personnel. I’ve overcome some modesty the couple of times I’ve had my bikini-lines lasered (although strictly speaking, since I’m a guy who does not wear a bikini it needs a new name). But would I ever have the courage to ask if I could get my nuts polished? Un-freaking-likely. Well, maybe if I lived in San Francisco — I’m sure there’s many salons that cater to the gay population that wouldn’t blink twice at such a request. I’d act gay for a day to get the grooming. But here in Boulder, or really in any part of the country where most electrolysis salons are not necessarily catering to men, the possibility of being able to take care of small jobs (or not so small — I’m not pre-judging you) with a home kit is an interesting prospect.
I should note that laser electrolysis is not entirely permanent. There are always some stubborn hairs that refuse to die. But in my experience, dramatic reduction is possible. My advice to anyone, male or female, considering getting their underarms, or legs, or shoulders, or really anywhere lasered, is to try it at a salon first (a few monthly visits) to see if you get the results you want. If you find the experience as addictive as most people do, I predict you will ultimately also be considering buying a Tria to finish the job at home.
*The Silk’n is designed to cover large areas at once, and is being marketed as a way for women to treat leg hairs. It lacks the precision that would be required for men’s intimate grooming that the Tria affords.