Few things are more irritating, both physically and mentally, than having to shave, depilate, wax, thread, or whatever your method of hair removal might be. Thanks to permanent hair removal techniques, such as electrolysis or laser hair removal, these regular practices have become less frequent and less taxing – at a hefty cost. Newer at-home technologies that are less costly than professional hair removal treatments are often convincingly portrayed as worth the investment, but are they really?
With a mass of mixed reviews surfacing on the Internet, it’s becoming entirely too difficult to know if a hair removal product will actually work, especially when it comes to devices. It also doesn’t help when manufacturer websites often have glowing testimonials seemingly written by the same person. And even if products do work for some, is it working on an individual who has three stray hairs on their leg that they just hate, or is it on someone who has to shave every other day to maintain a moderately smooth and touchable leg? As I identify more with the latter scenario, I feel if something works for me, chances are it will work for most. Not to mention, I’m also a wimp with a low threshold for pain, so if I can take it, that’s promising for most.
I have experienced great results with professional hair removal and am now a complete convert. Yet it would get too costly to use this method on every place on my body that I’d be interested in treating (pretty much everywhere). I’ve also tried an at-home device, which I regretfully saved up a lot of money for, only to find it was beyond painful for me to use – even at the lowest settings. It sat in my apartment for an entire year before I built up the nerve to return to it, by which point I discovered the device had stopped working and wouldn’t hold a charge. Conveniently enough, the warranty had expired. Bummer. Since that experience, I have only paid big bucks for professional laser hair removal.
Luckily enough, I was offered a trial with a brand new device that seemed promising – don’t they all? I began using the Silk׳n Flash&Go hair removal device ($299) with equal parts enthusiasm and skepticism. Would it hurt? Would I be able to tolerate it? Would it work? How much would this cost me to maintain?
Well, I’m beyond thrilled to report to all my fellow fuzzy peaches out there that this device works! At Truth In Aging, we test products for 30 days to give it a fair trial. I initially imagined I would need a lot more time to give a product like this an adequate review. However, after just four weeks in total, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Flash&Go.
I’ve been testing this on my arms, which has dark, unsightly hair that I’ve never been a fan of. This area has never been treated with any permanent hair removal technique before. As directed, I removed hair from both arms first using a razor, but only treated my left arm. Recommended sessions are two times a month for the first two months, followed by once a month thereafter.
After four weeks, I noticed significant reduction in the hair on my left arm. It was uncanny. I even waited an additional two weeks to really let the hair grow out so I can see the differences between the two. See the pictures of my untreated arm versus my treated arm below.
Note that Silk'n says this product may not be effective on dark skin tones or skin that is very tanned. In fact, now that I have a summer tan, I'll be unable to use the Flash&Go on certain areas until the fall.
The device is a lightweight handheld laser, which is released at the press of a trigger. The surface area of the laser is big enough to make treating larger areas easier yet small enough to get at more targeted areas, such as the face. There are five intensity settings on the device, though I’ve only made it up to 4. This device could not be simpler to use. You simply point the tip of the device flush against your skin, wait for the signal, and shoot. If you’ve ever played with a water gun as a child, you’ve had more than enough training to treat yourself with the Flash&Go.
Silk’n explains the technology behind light-based hair removal as the following: Light-based hair removal is based on the theory of selective photothermolysis, in which optical energy is used to disable hair growth. In order to achieve such thermal effects, the hair shaft needs to selectively absorb light energy and transform it into heat. This selectivity is achieved when high optical energy that is delivered to the tissue is mostly absorbed by hair shaft pigment, while the epidermis and the surrounding tissue is actively cooled (by a cooling mechanism). Melanin is the pigment in the hair shaft that is responsible for the absorption of the light, which generates the heat that eventually disables hair growth. When hair growth is disabled, hair removal is achieved.
The trick to laser hair removal is understanding the hair-growth process. The root of hair will properly be zapped away when it is in the growth (anagen) phase, but not during resting phases (catagen and telogen). To understand more about the different phases of hair, refer to Marta’s hair growth article.
As all hair will not be in the same cycle, it is recommended to begin with eight treatments and follow with maintenance treatments as needed.
While my sessions have only begun, I am very confident in recommending this to anyone interested in treating unsightly hair. I’m thrilled that it’s working, and seeing results so soon makes me feel this device is almost up to professional laser hair removal standards! At $299, it is well – and I mean well – worth the investment. As a bonus, the device comes equipped with one extra cartridge and multiple adapters for both U.S. and international use! I will continue my treatments as recommended and will provide an update later this fall.