Especially now that it is summertime I am more self-conscious than ever about body hair. I always like to keep my legs, underarms and bikini area hair-free year round, but it is much more important to be on-point with it during the Spring and Summer as so much more of me is exposed. If I’m running late during the winter legs that aren’t shaved are not such a big deal, during Summer when I want to wear a cute skirt, it totally is.
In the past I did Laser Hair Removal Treatments at various spas and specialty hair removal centers, and I was happy with my results. I definitely saw a reduction in hair growth and I definitely didn’t have to shave nearly as much. However, the results were not permanent and eventually things started coming back. Those treatments were not cheap either, when I sat down and calculated how much I spent doing laser to my bikini area alone it was over $900. When I put in legs and underarms, I stopped tallying after I hit the $3,000 mark, because I really didn’t even want to know at that point.
I do not like having to shave regularly, especially after being spoiled by my laser hair removal results for 2 years, however, I also didn’t want to fork over another $3K plus for results that would not be permanent. So, I started asking friends what they do and most said that they wax or shave. For me, waxing has never been a good option as I get painful in-grown hairs and I usually get a bunch of red marks all over my skin that lasts for weeks, by the time they clear up the hair starts growing back, so there’s that option off the table. I had another girlfriend tell me that she bought the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X, Bold Lilac and that sparked my curiosity about IPL so I began doing research.
At-home IPL devices are different than Laser treatments performed at a spa. I could write an article just on the differences, but I will keep it short and sweet and focus on the pros and cons to at-home IPL treatments:
At-home IPL Pros:
- Can be done in the privacy of your own home, when it is convenient for you
- Cost is considerably less than spa Laser Treatments
- Effective at removing up to 75% of hair permanently in persons with fair skin and dark hair
- You can do more parts of your body that you may not have considered at a spa because it is cost prohibitive, or you feel uncomfortable, or even embarrassed having a Laser Technician working in certain areas
- At-home machines can not be used at high enough settings that could cause burns or serious injury
- With IPL you can shave your hair in-between treatments and even up to the day before a treatment
At-home IPL Cons:
- Does not remove white, gray, red or light blonde hair (light is attracted to the melanin in the pigment of the hair – it doesn’t work in the absence of high levels of melanin
- At-home IPL machines are definitely a larger up-front investment than waxing or shaving
- You must dedicate time to doing your own treatments and have patience
- Does not work well on darker skin and can be damaging to darker skin
- Can be a bit painful for some individuals, particularly in more sensitive areas
- Some areas of the body are difficult to do on your own, i.e., back of legs, a man’s back, etc.
After I completed my research I decided that I would be a good candidate for this as I had fair skin and dark enough body hair. I also decided that the full-size LumaRx Full Body Hair Removal Device would be my best option. (They also have a smaller size available – LumaRx Mini Hair Removal Device).
I chose the larger option because I really wanted to do my legs and thought that it would be way too slow with the mini device. It has been approximately 2 months since I bought this and today is my sixth treatment and I have to say that my results have been more impressive than I expected.
Here is a photo of my leg after four treatments, in this photo I had not shaved my legs in two weeks!
If you look closely enough you can see random hairs here and there, however, this is nothing compared to what it would normally look like. Also, in order to see those little hairs I used a 16x magnification lens which is also showing that piece of my leg 16x larger than real life!
Here is what the machine looks like in use (during my fifth treatment).
As you can see the LumaRX emits a red pulsed light to destroy your unwanted hair. Before you can begin using the device you have to swatch your skin at the base unit. If your complexion or hair color is not optimal, it will not turn the machine on to use. I think that is a really good safety feature. There are five setting levels that you can adjust between. Level 1 being the weakest, while Level 5 is the strongest. For my legs I can handle a level 4 or 5. On my bikini area I am mostly using a Level 1 or Level 2. My underarms I use a level 3. Not surprisingly, I have seen the greatest hair reduction in my legs. It is also important to note, that of the three locations I mentioned my legs also had the least density of hair to begin with. So there’s that to consider.
It takes about 30 minutes for me to do both my legs and I never feel irritated or get red there. On my underarms it literally takes less than two minutes and it does get a touch red, but only lasts about 15 minutes. My bikini area takes the longest to do (about an hour) because, a.) it is the hardest to get to and see what you are doing, b.) it is the most painful so I take longer in between each laser pulse, c.) there is a lot of maneuvering involved to get to all the places you want to go with it, d.) you are being more careful not to go over the same spot twice because you know it will hurt.
One thing I have noticed is that I don’t have any in-grown hairs in my bikini area like I usually get from waxing or shaving, and that has been a big bonus for me. I also feel like while this is time consuming, it is no more time consuming than driving to a spa, waiting for someone to call you in, doing the perfunctory chit-chat, and then getting your treatment, paying and driving home. I also, personally, never felt comfortable doing a full Brazilian at the spa and now I can do that privately at home without having an unknown Laser Tech all up in my lady business.
I am happy that I made this purchase and feel that the $449 I paid for this was worth every penny because the LumaRX IPL Full Body Hair Removal Device is said to work 65,000 times before it needs a bulb replacement, I don’t think I even do 200 zaps doing all three areas of the body, so this should last a very long time.
My only criticisms are, 1) it would be nice if there was a larger attachment for use on bigger areas like the legs, I think that would really make this fast to use, 2) I wish the power cord and hand wand cord were longer.
Click on the images below for more product information, or to purchase one of the LumaRX IPL models: