Do-it-yourself hair removal with at-home lasers

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by By JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 25 at 11:07 AM

Video: Home laser hair removal now possible

Laser hair removal can be expensive, but now there's a way to do-it-yourself. But are home lasers safe and do they work?

Until now, zapping hair away permanently with a laser meant going to a doctor's office or spa. Darcey Hart does it without leaving the comfort or privacy of home. She uses an at-home laser.

"I can use this when my kids go to bed at night. I don't have to go to a doctor's office and actually be exposed in certain areas, especially your bikini area," said Hart.

It's the Tria, the first laser FDA approved for at-home use. For years, doctors have warned of the dangers of lasers in unskilled hands. So we asked Dr. Lori Stetler to examine this small, rechargeable device and compare it to the heavy-duty machine she uses.

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"I actually think the device is very safe," said Stetler.

Laser hair removal works when high-intensity light destroys hair follicles. The portable version uses about half the energy of the professional one.

"You feel a little heat, but it's not painful," said Stetler.

But it still can be dangerous when aimed at the eyes or used on darker skin. Can you burn yourself?

"Absolutely. So, read the instructions very carefully. Do not use this if you are any of those skin types we talked about and absolutely no recent tanning either," said Stetler.

Hart says it has worked for her after only a few treatments.

"Definite reduction in hair," she said. "It's very effective.

At-home lasers cost about $800 - a series of five spa treatments on one part of the body

The Tria is available at Nordstorm in downtown Seattle and Bellevue Square or you can order online.

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