By KATIE CWAYNA and LEE FERRAN
Nov. 6, 2008
Take Aim at Unwanted Hair at Home for Cheap
Ever since hemlines started creeping up in the early 1900s, women have been searching for the best way to get rid of the hair on their legs.
Today, waxing, shaving and doctor’s office laser treatments represent a $10 billion industry. Last year,1.4 million laser hair-removal procedures were performed by doctors and trained professionals.
But now the FDA has approved at-home, do-it-yourself laser treatments for almost permanent hair removal. “GMA” technology correspondent Becky Worley put her own leg hair at hazard and tried out two of the products: the Silk’n and the Tria.
According to her experience, the Silk’n system, which uses a band of light to targets the hair, worked very well and the Tria, which utilizes a true laser, also showed some success.
“The idea of using a laser at home is a little scary,” Worley said. “But the convenience and cost savings compelled me to give it a try. And oh yeah, the promise of never shaving my legs again? Bring on the lasers.”
Perhaps even more than time, Worley saved big bucks.
Experimenting With the Laser
Introduced in the mid-1990s, laser treatment promised permanent hair removal, but at a steep price.
According to dermatologist Dr. Doris Day, a doctor’s office treatment can cost anywhere from $100 to $150 per visit, meaning up to $3,000 for comprehensive treatment, depending on the surface area.
Performed by a doctor or a trained esthetician, high-intensity light is directed at the skin to destroy the hair follicle.
But the FDA has now made doctor visits optional by approving two at-home products. Both the Silk’n and the Tria cost less than $1,000 and promise safe and permanent hair removal.
According to Day, the lasers work best on people with light skin and dark hair and are not approved for use on the face.
“The FDA approved it’s safe,” she said, “but I believe it should be done with medical assistance. The risks of any device are burning, redness, even scarring if done inappropriately.”
Worley braved the potential hazards and to conduct her experiment, she used each laser every two to three weeks, blasting the left leg with Silk’n and the right with the Tria.