This post was originally written on Wednesday, 14 May 2014.
As I’m writing this post, I am relishing this warm weather we are getting this month here in Oregon. It is not every day that we reach ninety or so until we get to June. To-morrow I am headed for my next laser appointment, and to stay on the safe side, I am staying away from the sun until I can get approval from the operator who will be administering the treatment.
So, the first question is, do laser at-home systems really work as well as the professional ones? Like electrolysis, people are trying to invent portable versions of the real thing, claiming that it’s light-weight flexibility will allow you to treat all areas without having your hands and arms getting tired. They also say that these devices can be used anywhere, any time. There are already systems that use Alexandrite and diode lasers, but some may still use Ruby (no longer used) or intense pulse light configurations, thereby making it harder to use on people with different skin-hair combinations. Some are using broadband laser technology, which is the best that one can get because they can be made to use in any kind of circumstance, including uses not related to hair removal. Currently, the most popular items being marketted today are the No!No! System, the Tria Beauty system, the Remington and Silk’n systems. Find the latest here: https://heavy.com/beauty/2018/10/best-at-home-laser-hair-removal/ and http://www.beyondtalk.net/home-hair-removal/#comment-41942 For the purposes of this post, however, I will only be discussing the Tria and NoNo systems.
No!No, by Radiancy, claims that it can treat all skin and hair types, but a lot of people in this video said that it was like using a lighter on their skin and buffing the result with a large sandpaper. http://youtu.be/NaSiTMLzUSE
Based on my previous laser treatments, I should point out that treated hair roots should be left to grow and fall out on its own. Manipulating the hair can be painful and will also result in other problems with the hair follicles, such as increasing the chance of getting ingrown hairs.
To find out what was real and what wasn’t, I decided to do some investigating to see how the mechanism of action worked for these items and compare them to professional machine configurations. You might be thinking, after having read my previous post, that it would be nearly impossible to install a five-hundred-pound machine in your house with an examining table when you could just rest in your own bed and use a smaller version of the same system. I had the opportunity to test out the Tria Laser Precision, and I examined the technical specifications on the back of the manual to look at the numberings as well. If I could interpret the schematic diagram on it, I would’ve known more about its limitations.
The Tria Beauty Laser Hair Removal Precision that I tested was equipped with three treatment levels, which determined the pulse intensity and duration that it would administer. On low, the device emitted a pulse that lasted about a hundred twenty-five milliseconds. On mediumm, the pulse was about two hundred fifty milliseconds long, and on high, five hundred. However, this device could not burn any hairs on or underneath the skin because it was not using the recommended principle of using small bursts of heat to gradually build up the temperature. For this reason, the Tria did not cause burnt hair odour.
I tried to use this device with a numbing gel called Greencaine, but the result was that the contact sensor, located underneath the treatment window was blocked, so that it caused the device to send out flashes even if it wasn’t placed on the skin. I could have inhaled nitrous oxide, but I read that sparks from one of these devices could ignite it. Plus, I didn’t have a canister available at the time.
This unit only had one button, which was used to activate it for the first time by counting the number of dits, power it up, shut it off, and change the treatment levels. The only way I could tell which treatment level it was set to was by placing it on my skin and feeling the pulse, which would not be the best way unles I wanted to risk getting burned. It would be useful if Tria made it more accessible by making it possible to hear the tones. For example, a low tone would indicate that you had it on low, and a high tone would mean that you had it on high. Another way would be to emit one tone for one, two tones for two, three tones for three, and so on.
I was surprised that the unit came with a USB cable, which made me wonder if it were possible to hack into it and change its parameters, but when I plugged it into my laptop, my computer didn’t make any sound to let me know that a new device was plugged in. Instead, it started charging the unit.
The Tria Beauty Laser Hair Removal Precision was shaped like a cylinder, with a rounded treatment window that was curved, making it easier for one to put on their skin. It also came with a cooling fan, which was turned on immediately when I unlocked the unit with the skin sensor, also located underneath the treatment window.
When I looked over the No!No quickstart guide, it stated that topical preparations and any other skin products should not be applied prior to treatment. The thermal discharge could spark many flammable objects like alcohol-based sanitisers. It also indicated that having a stubbly area to begin with would be preferred than an area full of hair.
I asked myself this question. Could an experienced laser operator use a professional laser system and treat themselves with it? Yes, they can, according to my laser operator. So, what kind of configuration do these lasers use? Take a look at the web site to learn about the different kinds of configurations that are out there. I don’t know if it lists any particular manufacturers that make state-of-the-art systems, but you can at least begin from there. http://www.realself.com/question/whats-best-laser-hair-removal
From what I can gather, the No!No uses special thermicon tips, which are capable of administering thermal energy within the infra-red spectrum–I may be wrong on this, but here is another link that can explain more in depth. It’s not a professional resource, so I cannot guarantee its accuracy. http://www.slideshare.net/KennGee/the-thermicon-effect-a-nono-hair-removal-secret-find-out-how-it-works It’s primary focus is compressing the heat into as much as possible before delivering the pulse to the hair. I am convinced that the No!No is no more painful than lighting hair on fire, especially since their web site claimed that the procedure would be painless, but nothing is painless unless a person was immune to pain itself. Another disadvantage of the No!No is that it is so small that I cannot imagine that it would last long if one were to use it for quite a while. The thermicon tips certainly don’t last long at all. If you wanted to replace your tips, you would end up having to buy an entirely new No!No system. I do not recommend this product to anyone, unless they wanted to test it and make modifications to it. Like always, professionally-tested equipment tends to work better than cheap and little ones, since the primary focus is on making money by preying on anybody who would be foolish to believe anything without proof. No!No can burn your hair with smoke and give you that familiar burnt hair smell. Hair is made up of proteins just like meat, and this is one of the reasons why this kind of material releases aroma particles into the air that we breathe when it is set on fire. That protein, by the way, is called kerotin.
Why do we have different skin colours and types than other people? If you look back at the time you studied anatomy and physiology of the skin, you might remember that sunlight is mainly the reason people adapt, and depending on the regions of the world, people will have more resistance to ultraviolet radiation than others. Obviously, people with darker skins have better resistance than those who have lighter skins; they produce more melanocytes. Those with higher melanocytes produce more melanim, which gives the skin a tan. Those with fair skins do not produce as much melanim, and therefore they would burn more easily. Human skin is never black and white, according to Neil Harbisson’s Human Colour Wheel. It is always between red and yellow, or light and dark shades and tints of orange. Bone structures and shapes are also dependent on racial backgrounds, all of which get genetically predisposed into future gametes. It is believed that all of humanity derived from Africa, so we’re essentially coloured in some way.
So, light amplification by stimulating and emitting radiation uses compressed photons to target only the dark areas, but at the same time, leaving the light ones intact. With newer equipment, broadband lasers and IPL’s can go deeper into the skin and target dark and light hairs, and a somewhat dark or olive-coloured skin combination. For a person to understand this concept, one must know a bit of physics involving how atoms and molecules work, in terms of nuclear fusions and eventually come up with a raport between the client and the laser technician.
As stated in Mom, I need to Be a Girl, electrolysis and laser hair removal are more of an art practice than a science, but I would say it is both, hence the term STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).
This post was originally written on Wednesday, 14 May 2014.