Lindsay (dragonzuela) wrote,

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Adventures in Hair Removal

So I bought a "no!no! 8800" and received it in the mail this past Monday, and I thought I'd journal my experience with it publicly since the reviews seem to be so mixed.

I like being androgynous to some extent. I have never been into makeup and I am one of a rare breed of straight women who don't shave their legs. (And I have a mix of Western European and Syrian ancestry, so the hair is quite noticeable. But I'm in Northern California, so when I wear shorts in public I think I just make other women jealous that they aren't as free-spirited/anti-establishment/one-with-nature as I am. Really, I just do it because I like my legs better this way.) But facial hair is where I draw the line. Some coarse, dark hairs started popping up on my chin during my senior year in college. (Really, body? Scoliosis, feet that turn in, a big crooked nose, acne, and now this?) When I started grad school a couple years later, there just happened to be an electrolysis place just down the street from where I lived, which was enough impetus for me to give it a try. I had five treatments in 2007, and then I went back for two more in 2009 because I wanted to look nice for my college reunion and my first experience as a college instructor. But right now I feel like I am back where I started in terms of how much hair is there, minus the one hair on my cheek that seems to be gone for good. A single electrolysis treatment seems inexpensive, but I realize now that it would really add up if I went all the way with it.

I don't shave because I don't want to make the hair even more course, and I don't wax or tweeze because I'm a wimp with pain. All of those methods are supposed to screw up electrolysis anyway. I just cut the hair short with scissors every few days and give it angry looks. Oh, that reminds me of another disadvantage of electrolysis: having to grow the hair long for a week before treatment.

I heard about no!no! from TV and from the Skymall catalog (usually I just flip through Skymall for laughs when I'm bored on a flight). I spent lots of time reading about it online because I'm not one to make impulsive purchases. I was a little nervous because there were some good reviews and a lot of bad reviews, but it seemed like most of the bad reviews were from people who had not taken the time to learn how it worked or what it was supposed to do. (And then there were reviews that said they hadn't even tried no!no! because they had read so many bad reviews of it. I think you're missing the point, people.) Bought it, $270 for the basic kit plus $25 more for a couple extra Thermicon tips. If it works, it's cheaper than more electrolysis would be ($40-$50 per visit), and if it doesn't work I can supposedly get a full refund.

It was supposed to require a five-hour charging before its first use, but the light indicating a full charge came on after two hours. Okay. I took it off the charger and it seemed to work fine.

So, how it works is that there is a hot wire enclosed in a comb, and you run it across the hair to burn it and mess up the growth signaling in the root. There is a small cylinder that rolls as you move it across your skin, and this allows the device to measure your speed and light up if you are doing it right. I ran it across my upper legs a few times and got it to behave correctly. The face was a little tricker, and the first time I tried it the light flickered a bit, and when I did the corner of my upper lip I think I burned myself slightly (there was smoke and a little bit of pain but no mark). This was Tuesday night, and when I tried it again last night (Friday) I was much better at it. It does smell like burning hair so I believe that it's doing its thing, although it definitely leaves a lot behind and I can't get the "buffer" to work right for scraping off the burnt hair (the "buffer" seems like it is optional though). Tonight (Saturday), curiosity got the better of me and I tried one pass at a higher heat setting. There are three heat settings, so I moved up from the lowest one to the middle one. It seemed to be much more effective at burning the hair, with the same brief and very mild discomfort in the skin. I think I will try it at the middle heat setting for the next couple treatments, then move up to the high heat setting.

2-3 times a week for 4-6 weeks. I am looking forward to seeing how this turns out! I may attack my bikini line after I am done with my face, but the face is top priority and so I don't want to waste tips on my bikini line just yet.
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