What are some cheaper alternatives to electrolysis? I’m looking for a more permanent hair removal system now that summer is coming around.
Come summer, we all start craving silky smooth skin – without having to touch it up daily! Still, some people don’t want to shell out the $1031 for electrolysis (source: RealSelf) or $1665 for laser hair removal (source: RealSelf).
Enter two of my favorite methods, both available for under $250: The no! no! Hair Removal System ($270.00, www.trynono.com) and the Braun EpiSilk Hair Removal System ($82.80, Amazon.com). I love the no! no! for facial hair and small regions, like the bikini line and underarms, whereas the EpiSilk is tremendous for legs and arms. .
Yet don’t feel you need to purchase both: Either one is designed for use on legs, arms, and bikini lines. Here’s what you need to know:
The no! no!
The no! no! Hair Removal System uses a heat technology known as Thermicon to remove hair. Thermicon is a technology based on three steps:
- First contact. In first contact, the thermodynamic wire in no! no! transmits a thermal signal that separates the hair shaft at the point of contact. (Like clipping your hair with heat instead of a scissors.)
- Crystallization. In crystallization, the thermal signal hits the uppermost part of the hair shaft, which makes the hair temporarily feel prickly at the touch.
- Disruption. This is actually, in my opinion, the beauty of the no! no! system, as no! no! is believed to disrupt cell communication between the hair bulge and root, which is essential to hair regrowth. Over time, repeated disruption of the cellular communication between the bulge and root is believed to lead to lower hair density and regrowth.
Does it work?
After personal use of the system on my legs, I found that the amount of hair was significantly reduced after a months’ use. However, the system is not for the impatient: You have to slide the no! no! system over your legs at a 90 degree angle very slowly, as the light needs to be kept green on the system. If you go too fast, the light will turn red, indicating that the system is not working properly. In addition, after treating each area, you have to use the provided buffer to exfoliate the skin.
The process with no! no! system needs to be repeated 2-3 times per week; however, I will admit, the process got easier and easier (and hence faster and faster) by my third or fourth use.
It is relatively painless, so long as you use it correctly. Despite its nickname for “No hair!, No pain!,” if you hold the system over one area for too long, you will indeed experience a bit of pain as you burn your skin. Still, if you are careful, this is an effective method for hair removal.
The Silk Epilator
I’ve been using the Braun EpiSilk Hair Removal System ($82.80, Amazon.com) ever since I was 16 years old or so. As with the no! no! system, hair will grow back thinner and less often, due to the fact that hair is removed by the root, disrupting the connection between the hair bulb and follicle that stimulates regrowth.
The Braun EpiSilk Hair Removal System will remove hairs as short as 0.5 mm. So unlike other epilators, you don’t have to wait 2-3 days between each use. If you want perfectly smooth legs the day after you use it, if you still have any hair at all, it’s good to go.
How does it compare to the no! no!?
The advantages of the Braun EpiSilk Hair Removal System over the no! no! system are that it is cheaper ($90 versus $270) and takes slightly less time to use (about 10 minutes versus 15 minutes for legs). However, the disadvantage of the Braun EpiSilk Hair Removal System is that it is painful when you first use it! No matter how careful you are, having 5-6 tweezer-like discs pulling your hairs out by the root hurts, especially when you’re not used to it. I’ve been using mine for over a decade now, and I rate the initial discomfort as a 7/10 in the beginning and a 3/10 now.
Laser hair removal is obviously the best method. However, if your budget allows for more than shaving but less than in-office treatments, both the no! no! and the Braun EpiSilk Hair Removal systems are fantastic. Both will leave you with less hair to shave, less often in about 2-3 months of regular use. And, of course, the more often you use them, the faster you will see results.
Of the two, the no! no! system is far less painful but a bit more pricey, so it’s basically a matter of your own personal preference. Both give a cleaner, closer hair removal process than shaving. I can honestly say I have used a combination of both for the past four years and almost never feel stubble anymore – just wispy hairs – whenever I need to do a treatment. And that I believe is worth the price – or the pain!
- Photo source: Maite Perroni Hair Style, a photo by Jean Nieves on Flickr. About the author: FutureDerm.com is proud to introduce Dr. Hanan Taha, M.D., on our staff as a Contributing Writer. Dr. Taha received her MD from Kuwait University in 2002, and a master’s degree in Dermatology from the University of Alexandria in 2010. …
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