I Did Laser Hair Removal on Myself and Lived to Tell the Tale

*Do* try this at home.

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There comes a time in every woman's life—unless she's decided for personal and/or aesthetic reasons that she's fine with her body hair—when she goes, "Man, I wish I could laser my whole body like Kim Kardashian did." But then she probably considered the cost, frequency, and the "snapping a rubber band against your skin" sensation—all over your body, mind you—and quickly abandons her hopes of becoming permanently smooth and slippery as a narwhal.

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But technology, in the form of Tria Beauty's Hair Removal Laser 4X, has made all things possible—at home, at a much more economical rate. Too good to be true? We'll see.

When the electrolysis system came across my desk by way of another editor who was too chicken to try it, I was all too keen to unbox the device, which is the approximate size and shape of a toy hairdryer and comes in several nonthreatening shades of pink and green. But before I could even power it on, two barriers arose that let me know this thing was not messing around: 1) The packaging implored so fervently that I read all the instructions before use that I could almost *feel* the third-degree burns I'd get if I didn't, and 2) You have to call or go online to register your laser. Like a dog.

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Even after all that trouble, you *still* might not be able to proceed if your skin or hair colors don't fall within the prescribed range or if you fail to meet any of the requirements concerning density and tattoos and the bikini area. (There's a sensor that only unlocks the machine after it deems your current shade safe, so at least that part's taken care of?) Somehow, I cleared the many restrictions and finally got to pulsing, which is where you hold the nose of the Tria to your (shaven, calming-gel-treated) skin, wait for two beeps, then repeat in an overlapping pattern as you try to numb yourself against the stinging/tingling/burning you *expect* to feel.

It's not that bad, actually. I did this on my underarms (100 pulses each), so unless you're daring enough to venture into the bikini-line zone even though the genitals themselves are outright banned (DON'T DO IT), it doesn't get much more sensitive than that. Though I might not be the best judge of pain tolerance, as evidenced by that time I had an alarmingly long needle jammed through my ear without a wince. (To all the disappointed viewers: I can do theatrics! Just shout next time.)

Discomfort, limited user base, and still having to track your Brazilians aside, the Tria really does work—in the three weeks I've had it, there's definitely been a noticeable difference in the amount (less) and texture (finer) of hair. Just know that even with the aforementioned obstacles, there's perhaps one that could end up tipping the scale for you: the device's small head, which is logically best suited for areas of a corresponding size. Otherwise, it's like painting a room with one of those spongey eyeshadow applicators.

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X, $404, triabeauty.com.

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