First of all, sorry for the super long hiatus. I have a long list of excuses, but who really wants excuses? Anyway, this post comes as a response to an email I got from my sister. She asked:
"Have you heard of that new laser hair removal you can do at home? Is it safe? It's called Epila. Look it up and let me know what you think."
So here is my response:
I just looked it up. The laser I used in the salon was a 800nm diode laser, while this one is a 808 nm diode laser. My guess is that it wouldn't be much different. The thing is, at the medical office, I had to adjust settings per client, with the shortest wavelength being by far the most effective, but unsafe for darker skin types. The Epila says it is safe for all skin types so I would think their automatic setting would be at the longest wavelength setting, which would require more treatments for it to work well. And it is only ever going to work the best on dark coarse hair, on light skin. The laser is attracted to the melanin in your hair. Also, do not go over moles!!!!
Some of the reviews I read were people freaked out by the smell of burning hair, but that is definitely common with the medical grade laser. Also some people complained of scabs sometimes, and that is possible with professional treatments as well. With a professional service, you must have shaved prior to treatment, because any hair above the skin will certainly burn badly. Some of the complaints I read online sounded like people didn't shave beforehand. I would certainly say "no" to buying a home care service for treating your face. Also from my reading online, it sounds like you need to use a surge protecter as well for even usage.
It also sounds like the head of the Epila laser is pretty small, so it will take a lot longer to treat an area. But it is true that a lot of what you are paying for in the salon is the time of the professional. On the other hand, usually laser hair removal is pretty straightforward with little risks, but I did see some bad reactions and a tattoo that opened up into a huge wound (which should not have happened! But that was the reaction...) This is not a risk-less procedure, and is certainly painful, no matter what anyone tells you. But it is do-able, especially if you are getting permanent hair reduction!
Also I can't emphasize enough that you must have coarse hair for this to work. Even in the bikini area, after a few treatments and most of the hair is gone, I was surprised to find fine, blondish hairs that weren't going anywhere. Also you must not be pregnant when doing this treatment. In the office, we had protective eye gear for both the patient and practicioner. I would be afraid to do this without that. This laser can seriously damage retinas if shot towards the eye. Actually, it can damage quite a few things if the trigger is not depressed when the laser is flush with your skin. In a professional environment, we also used ultrasound jelly to help the laser glide along the skin, conduct energy, and minimize pain. If I used an at-home laser I would try to obtain that as well.
Anyway, let me know if anyone has more questions about lasering.