The Tria 4X is the only FDA-approved home laser hair remover. I recommend it for hair-free results on face and smaller areas done in 30 minute sessions. It's safe for lighter skin tones, and works on dark hair. But it has some real cons, so it's not for everyone.
Best, most powerful home hair removal laser for longest lasting results
👍 Recommended for face & small areas, for light skin tones
Charge the battery every month to extend the life. You’ll get several years of zaps.
Intuitive, easy to use, but takes extra time, concentration and precision. Limited to 30 mins of use per battery charge.
It works! 8 treatments every 2 weeks for smooth results, then top-ups to stay that way.
- Most powerful home-use device for longest lasting results
- 60-day money back guarantee from Tria & 90 from CurrentBody.com
- Tria’s long & strong reputation
- Can hurt for some
- Takes ages with several charges to zap large areas like legs
- It’s quite heavy
- Demands committment
Price from £219 to £350
The Tria X4 is diffrent because it’s a diode laser hair removal device. You can use it on body and face. After each treatment fewer hairs grow back, and what does grow back grows slower, lighter and finer. You’ll eventually be smooth and hair-free. Occasional treatments maintain your results.
Related: how laser hair removal works in home laser hair removal 101
Both laser and IPL hair removal give excellent results. But the Tria is the most powerful home-use device, 3x more powerful than the leading IPL. This increased energy promises longer-lasting results. Therefore, once you’ve completed the regimen and got to hair free, you’ll need fewer treatments to maintain these results.
However, this additional power means more heat so it hurts for some. And the laser covers only a tiny area of skin with a pulse. Learn more in the full review.
The Tria 4X laser is clinically proven safe and effective. It’s also FDA-cleared, and has CE certification to meet EU safety standards. Tria Beauty, Inc. manufactures the Tria 4X. pH Beauty own and manage Tria Beauty, Inc. The Tria 4X is the latest laser model released in 2014.
Tria recommend you treat your hairs a total 8 times at 2-week intervals taking 3 months. This gives you substantial reduction in hair regrowth. Tria Customer Support advise it’s after a few subsequent top-ups, or 12 treatments in total, you’ll see ‘permanent results’. Then do the occasional spot treatment on new hairs.
Wearebodybeautiful tested the Tria 4X over several months. This detailed review shares how easy it is to use and what you can expect. You’ll learn tried-and-tested tips, pros and cons, and our testers hair reduction results.
In this Tria 4X laser hair removal review:
- What’s it like? First impressions | Before you start | Easy to use? | Lamp lifetime | Is it safe? | Battery charge
- What to expect? During treatments | Does it hurt? | Skin reactions | How quick are results? | How much effort is it? | Permanent hair removal?
- Online ratings & reviews Reviews overview | User results in detail
- In summary: Should I buy it? | Pros & Cons | Where to buy it
–What’s it like? —
The box is compact, matt-white, attractive and surprisingly heavy. On the front and sides are images of the Tria 4X. This European edition has information printed in English, French, German and Dutch.
The box notes the safe-use skin tones and it’s effective on light brown to black hair. It clearly states the Tria is clinically proven and it gives permanent results. There’s a section that says it uses the same diode laser technology as professionals. However, it’s much reduced laser power making it compact and safe for home-use.
There’s a flap that reveals more detailed information. It explains how the laser works and what results to expect during the regimen. It notes the Tria 4X’s key features, that dermatologists prefer laser to IPL, how frequently to use it and briefly how to use it.
All this is actually a white sleeve surrounding a smooth, sturdy green and white-lidded box. Printed on the top and side of the lid is a silver Tria Beauty logo. It’s beautifully done and I can’t wait to see what’s inside.
With the green box sitting flat and secure, gently and slowly slide up the white lid. Don’t do it the other way or you risk the laser device rolling out!
Inside, nestled in a white plastic moulded bed is my Fuchsia Tria 4X. Slowly pull the green ribbon to lift it out. Beneath is the charging cable in a small green Tria branded cardboard box and the small square user guide booklet.
What’s in the box?
- The Tria 4X laser hair removal device
- Charging cable
- Tria Instructions for use booklet
The Tria 4X laser is heavy but it feels balanced in my grip. It’s solid, functional. what it lacks in style it makes up for in character.
Overall this little guy has quite a bit of character. It reminds me of someone but I can’t quite think who?
Before you start
Plug in the Tria’s charging cable, then that to the mains and sit down to read the instruction booklet.
Read the instruction booklet
The user instructions look inviting. Tria have designed them beautifully. They’re well laid out, logical and easy to read. The tone is clear and simple.
The manual concisely explains how the Tria works to reduce hair, uses diagrams to show the features of your Tria 4X, clearly outlines what results to expect and tells how to use it step-by-step.
Please pay close attention to the list of risks, warnings and contraindications or reasons you should not use the Tria 4X. You can view a pdf copy of the user manual on Triabeauty.co.uk. Read it there before you buy it!
Clinical study results
The user manual also details the Tria clinical study and results for 79 subjects after only 3 treatments. This is the origin of the attention-grabbing statement as follows on the website and the packaging:
“Tria reduces up to 70% of unwanted hair after just 2 treatments in as few as 3 months.” Tria Beauty
This sounds great and sets expectations you’ll see fantastic results and fast. But that’s not the case for everyone. Please keep reading to the round-up of the online feedback to learn more.
Do a skin test patch
The user manual advises a test patch at each of the 5 intensity levels in your treatment area. This is both to try which levels are tolerable and test you’ve no skin reactions.
Charge your Tria 4X for 2 hours. Shave a small test area big enough for 5 spaced out pulses. Start at level one. Place the laser on a test area until you hear 2 beeps. Lift it from your skin. Using the power button move to level 2, position on a new skin patch and wait for the beeps. Repeat this for all the intensity levels but stop if you’ve reached your comfort limit.
Wait 24 hours and if your skin is normal continue with your full area treatment at the highest level you’re most comfortable with.
Shave your treatment areas immediately before start. Tria say don’t epilate or wax.
You want a good, clean shave. Your treatment areas must be totally smooth with no hair above your skin. If there is, it can sting! The laser energy must be absorbed in your hair follicle (the bit below your skin). This is important because you want all the energy focused there. It’s how IPL works to give you hair reduction.
Once shaved, make sure your skin is dry. Don’t apply any moisturisers or deodorant to your skin!
- Use a good, sharp razor
- Use shaving cream for a close shave. Try using hair conditioner – it does the job!
- Take your time to get a close shave without any nicks!
- If you don’t want to shave your face, try this instead
PICK A COMFORTABLE SPOT
Next, choose a comfortable and private spot to do your treatment.
Some people set up in front of the TV in the living room. Others don’t have this much privacy so choose the bathroom or their bedroom. Whilst it depends on which body areas you’re treating, there are a few tips to help you get started.
- In front of a mirror: I like to have a full length mirror. This is very helpful for a thorough bikini line and underarms.
- Find privacy: back to the bikini line again! It’s far from elegant and not something you’ll want to share with housemates, kids, window cleaner etc.
- Find an assistant: it’s easier with a helpful assistant for hard to reach areas such as the backs of legs.
- Choose the right time: you don’t want to be rushed or interrupted, so choose 30 minutes when kids are tucked up in bed.
So, if you’ve got all that sorted, you’re ready to go.
Is it easy to use?
The Tria 4x is very easy to operate, but it demands concentration and precision. These are the simple steps to get started.
- Shave before every treatment (unless there’s no hair left!)
- Press the power button then test your skin tone with the red sensor
- If it’s safe the Tria 4X beeps, unlocks and sets to intensity level 1
- Select your intensity level
- Press on your skin at a 90-degree angle until you hear 2 beeps
- Lift, reposition and repeat on the next spot. Cover your skin in an overlapping pattern of circles the size of the circular nose.
To power-off, long-press the power button until the Tria turns off.
If you move the laser before the pulse finishes it buzzes at you. It sounds like it’s blowing a small raspberry at me. I find this quite amusing. But it’s probably just me. If this happens try again on the same spot.
As the Tria heats up you’ll hear a cooling fan start up inside. This operates intermittently as you use it. It’s not too annoying.
You won’t see any flashes of light escaping from the Tria because the laser focuses down into the skin.
I’ve used the Tria to treat my chin and upper lip, a few stray hairs on my legs and bikini line. Here’s my thoughts and feedback. I hope you find it helpful!
The Tria 4X is battery operated so there’s no cord to get in the way. The LED display sits on top along with the power button. There’s a skin tone sensor on the bottom of the handle. With no other controls, it’s not in the least bit intimidating for a laser device.
It weighs just under 600g so is one of the heaviest devices. Reviewers who use the Tria 4X on smaller areas say it’s heavy but handy. Others mention it gets overly heavy if you use it on larger areas. But both agree it’s intuitive and easy to handle.
“It is weighted nicely and feels good in your hand.” Amazon.co.uk, Tria 4X review
The white plastic case has a slight sheen and it’s smooth. It doesn’t creak or bend. The long handle feels a bit hollow but I like the pink silicone-type grip and the fluted flat bottom so it stands up on its own.
It feels solid and a quality build, but I’m mindful to treat this expensive bit of kit with care. Some feedback from online reviews suggest it’s easy to knock over, and if it breaks there’s no repair service available from Tria.
LED display & controls
The LED screen is under a protective plastic shield. Below it is the power button. You use these to control the device. It’s simple and straightforward.
When unlocked the LED screen displays the laser intensity levels, the battery status icon and a pulse counter starting at zero.
The user manual provides an estimated number of pulses per body area so you can compare and see if you’ve zapped enough.
5 intensity levels
The Tria 4X has 5 intensity levels, 1 is low and 5 is high.
Tria call them ‘comfort levels’ (which makes me instantly apprehensive this is going to hurt! More on that later).
Once the skin tone sensor has validated your skin tone it automatically sets to level 1. You’ll see 1 power bar on the LED screen. You simply press the power button to cycle up the levels and back to level one.
The power density output ranges from 7 to 22 J/cm2. That’s the strongest of all home-use light energy hair removal devices. Based on the acknowledged fact the stronger the intensity the better your results, it follows that the Tria promises the best results of all home-use laser and IPL hair removal systems (if you use the highest settings).
Sounds great! Loads of people choose the Tria over IPL hair removal systems because it’s most powerful. They want the best possible results in the shortest time.
However, the battery life and speed of treatments may disuade you.
Small laser aperture
The laser aperture is very small – just over 5mm. You need about about 40 pulses per 10 squared centimetres or 25 pulses per square inch. In other words, it takes a lot of pulses to cover your skin.
Loads of the reviewers use the Tria to treat their chin, neck and jawline. For these areas the small aperture is not an issue. But for larger areas or multiple body areas it’s a time-consuming business.
Several reviewers say their treatments take ages. One reviewer explains that treating full legs is an ‘extremely tedious task’. But they are also prepared to do it saying it’s “tedious…but worth it to me.”
And it demands close up concentration. A few reviewers say it’s difficult to position for precise coverage on the backs of legs. And men using it on their chest and back seek a helpful assistant to zap their hairs.
They also share it’s difficult to remember where you’ve zapped, especially on large areas when you must stop to recharge the battery.
30 minutes of power per charge
In addition, each battery charge lasts for around 25 to 30 minutes of use (around 600 zaps). Then you must recharge the Tria 4X for about 2 hours. You can’t use the Tria whilst it charges.
This means it takes extra patience, time and commitment to complete multiple and large areas. This is a common complaint in the user reviews, especially for people using it on larger areas like arms, legs and torso. Several say it’s good for small areas, but not ideal to treat legs.
Suits smaller areas
There’s a helpful treatment guide in the user manual. It suggests how many pulses you need per body area and how long it’s likely to take. Based on this information, and feedback from the online reviews ,you can treat your face and a couple of small areas with one charge e.g. your upper lip, chin, jawline and a pair of underarms or both sides of the bikini line.
Those who use it on small areas don’t criticize the battery life. Tria say:
“This battery life allows users to stay focused and conscious of overlapping during treatment.” Tria Beauty
That’s true. 30 minutes is just right for the high precision and concentration you’ll need. So, it works well for smaller areas and the face. And, if you can do everything with one charge, that’s perfect.
Harder for legs & large areas
However, for larger areas like legs you need much more time, patience and commitment. I don’t recommend it for that. Here’s why:
You need more than one 30-minute session to do a full leg. It’s also much harder to reach all areas (like backs of knees). So it’s difficult to get good coverage and keep track of where you’ve zapped.
“It’s a little hard to figure out where you used it if you’re trying a big spot at a time.” Amazon.com review
Plus, you may run out of charge at an inconvenient moment. Then, after recharging, it’s tricky to remember where you zapped. Especially if resuming the treatment on a later day.
Here’s an example of the time commitment needed:
Tria suggest you can complete one full leg in a total of 1 hour from 2 charge cycles. This obviously depends on how curvy you are – the reviews share it takes between 2 to 4 treatments to cover a full leg. So, for both full legs for one complete application that’s between 2 to 4 hours total for laser treatment, plus 8 to 16 hours of charging.
Then repeat for 8 treatments, 1 every 2 weeks for 3 months. Ouch.
Other reviewers take a different approach. Instead of attempting multiple charges and treatments in one day, they use a single charge at a time and alternate their body areas over the recommended 2-week cycle. Although they’re limited by the battery life, the patience and commitment is orth it to them to see the end results.
Therefore, The Tria 4X on large areas is not for the commitment shy, lazy or those with precious little free time.
One reviewer shares this helpful advice:
“The advice I’d give first-time users about is to Take Your Time!! This is not a quick solution, but it will work if you keep at it. Don’t try to do every area, head-to-toe, every time you do a treatment. Start with small target areas (the face or the underarms or the lower leg, etc.) so you don’t get impatient and make mistakes.” Amazon.com, Tria 4X review
Helpful charging TIPS:
- Charge the Tria 4X immediately after use so it’s ready to go next time.
- Leaving it plugged in once fully charged won’t damage the battery
- The fan activates during charging. If you don’t want this, long press the power button to activate ‘Quiet’ charge mode (N.B. this takes longer to charge).
How long will it last?
Tria say you get a minimum 300 battery charge cycles. Each charge cycle gives you between 500 and 600 pulses. So, assuming 500 pulses from the 5mm aperture each charge, you can cover a minimum total body area of 75,000 cm2.
The more body parts you use it on the more charge cycles you’ll use. You may get many more battery cycles than 300, but I’ve used this minimum to calculate a cautious device lifetime based on pulses.
According to Tria you’ll need 12 sessions to see ‘permanent’ results (there’s more on permanency later). Let’s use this as a gauge and assume you’ll need infrequent top-ups after this.
Full body treatments
Based on my rough calculations the Tria gives at least 18 full body treatments (full legs, tummy, bikini line, underarms, forearms and face). So, that’s the 12 covered and a few extra full body top-ups. If you get the best possible results you’ll only need occasional top-ups. Therefore, it lasts at least 1 year of use, and most likely several more.
The manufacturer warranty lasts 1 year too. So, if you stick to the 12 sessions you should reach your best results before the warranty expires. This gives peace of mind as you can return it to Tria for a replacement should the flashes ‘run out’ or any other fault develop.
However, I don’t recommend the Tria 4X laser for full body treatments or large areas because it’s tediously slow and requires several charges to complete them. Home IPL is much faster and manageable for larger areas.
Face & small areas
The minimum 75,000 cm2 equates to at least 50 complete small area treatments. That includes face, underarms, bikini line and forearms.
So, for the face and smaller areas the Tria 4X is excellent value. It covers the initial 12 sessions and then roughly a further 3 years of monthly top-ups. With the best results possible you’ll only need occasional top-ups much less frequently than monthly. Therefore, it’s going to last several years of use.
N.B. I’ve used only the minimum battery cycles shared by Tria and the guideline number of pulses per charge to calculate the years of use. General usage, battery care and wear and tear can also affect how long the machine keeps working.
A few online reviewers share, over time, their Tria 4X doesn’t hold its charge as well so you get fewer zaps to treat your areas. To help maintain its life,follow these tips:
- If not in use for long periods of time, charge the Tria 4X every couple of months. This takes care of the battery and stops it degrading. If you don’t it may stop charging altogether which means you can no longer use it.
- To prolong the overall life of the battery, use and charge your Tria at a cool temperature, so the battery doesn’t overheat.
In my user manual dated 2015, it states the expected service life of the Tria 4X is 3 years.
Is the Tria 4X safe?
Yes, the Tria 4X laser is clinically proven safe and effective for home-use. It’s FDA cleared too, which is additional reassurance. It also adheres to international and CE safety and manufacturing standards.
It also protects your eyes and won’t flash if your skin is too dark. Learn morenext.
Skin tone sensor
You can’t use the Tria 4X laser without at first unlocking the device with a safe skin tone. Power it on and the skin tone sensor glows red on the flat base of the Tria.
When you power up the Tria the LED screen illuminates and shows the battery power and a padlock icon to tell you the it’s locked. A sensor icon then appears to tell you the skin tone sensor is ready.
Place the red light on the bottom of the Tria handle against your skin in the area you’ll treat. The sensor scans your skin and if it reads a safe skin tone (Fitzpatrick I to IV) it beeps confirmation and then both icons disappear.
If your skin is too dark it won’t unlock and you can’t use the Tria because it’s not safe.
The Tria laser is also a Class 1 laser. This means it’s safe and poses no hazard to your eyes when in use. However, Tria have added an eye safety mechanism. The laser only pulses when the whole laser aperture is touching your skin. This prevents accidental pulses near your eyes.
Or read on to learn what it feels like and if it really does hurt!
— What to expect? —
What to expect during your treatments?
The Tria 4X communicates with a series of beeps and buzzes. It’s unlike all home IPL devices and it adds to the Tria’s character. It’s efficient and reminds me of old ATARI computer games!
When you power-on the Tria 4X, it beeps once. When you unlock it via the skin tone sensor it beeps in sequence like a little victory call – “duh-duh daah!” And each time you press the pink power button to cycle through the intensities it answers you by beeping once.
Once against your skin, each successful zap is signalled by 2 descending, staccato beeps – “beep bup”! The pulse counter goes up to.
If you move the laser before it’s finished a zap it sounds its annoyance with a “beep-buzzz”. I find this quite amusing because it sounds like it’s blowing a small raspberry at me. If this happens, try not to be amused and do the same spot again until you hear that affirming “beep bup”.
The cooling fan inside only starts up when the laser heats up. It’s intermittent so not too annoying.
Unlike home IPL devices, you won’t see any bright flashes of light escaping from the Tria. That’s because the red diode laser focuses down into the skin. This means you won’t need to look away with each pulse. So it’s easy to move the small precise head with accuracy.
So, what does the laser pulse feel like, and…
Does it hurt?
For some people, yes. The Tria 4X laser hurts more than the advertised ‘rubber band snap’. Why is this?
All levels of the Tria are safe for up to medium skin tones (Fitzpatrick type IV). Tria advise you use the highest power you can tolerate as this gives best results. A clinical study suggests the higher levels are 2 to 3 times better than the lower ones.
Your hair follicle absorbs this powerful laser energy and converts to heat. It’s this increased heat which means it can hurt more than just a bit. However, it should reduce after a few treatments as fewer hair follicles are active.
What do Tria say?
Understandably, Tria don’t dwell on pain on their websites and videos. It’s not even mentioned in the FAQs, despite being such a key conversation point in the online reviews. They do say it varies by user and the sensation for some may be like “a rubber band snapping against the skin, or a warm pricking feeling”.
So, is this accurate?
What users say
The reviews confirm it does vary by user.
Some report it’s painless and some say mild to moderate discomfort. Many don’t mention it at all. But a noteworthy amount of both negative and positive reviews, say it hurts much more than advertised.
Some say it’s a sharp burning pain that ‘bites’. Others say it’s “effective but painful”. Whereas some simply use the lower intensity levels, other users numb their skin with ice or lidocaine before use. But others resort to having helpful partners use it on them because it’s hard to inflict the pain on themselves. A few reviewers even return it because they can’t bear the pain.
That it hurts is by far the most common criticism of the Tria 4X. The pain-factor feedback is a much bigger percentage relative to home IPL reviews. However, many Tria users still leave positive reviewers as they feel the pain is worth it for the end results.
Tria also sell SmoothStart Calming Gel to numb your skin before treatments. (Hmmm. I guess they’re aware some feel at least heightened discomfort). However, reviewers share they use ice and lidocaine gel to numb their skin because it’s much cheaper than Tria’s alternative.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know how you’ll feel, but be aware it’s possible and weigh this up in your decision.
IMPORTANT: The Tria still works at the lower power levels. However, several users claim it’s not worth it and are determined to use the highest power despite enduring significant pain. Don’t let these mislead you. Many reviewers use the lower settings and still get super results.
Common skin reactions
You may have no reactions following your sessions. Or you may find your skin is a bit red and itchy, but this should fade within a few hours. To soothe it, use an ice pack or a wet face. Cooling water sprays are good too, as is Aloe Vera gel or a non-scented moisturiser.
There are some rare but possible side effects reported with laser devices too.
Rare side effects
Here’s a list of possible but rare side effects. If they don’t fade within the times detailed below, go see a doctor.
- Skin redness that doesn’t fade within 2 to 3 days. Go see your doctor
- Increased hair growth after the first session. If it continues after several sessions go see your doctor
- Skin swelling around the hair follicle. If this doesn’t stop within 2 to 3 days then go see your doctor
- Blisters are very unlikely if you have a light to medium skin tone. If you do get a blister, stop using the Tria 4X. Treat it to avoid infection and go see your doctor if necessary
- Temporary or permanent skin discolouration. Light or dark patches of skin can show. Stop using the Tria 4X and go see your doctor
What results can I expect?
You need 8 treatments every 2 weeks, or until you’re satisfied. It takes up to 3 months to see significant results. Then you can do touch-ups or additional treatments as you need them.
I found Amazon review comments from Tria Customer Service saying it’s after a few additional top-ups totalling 12 sessions when you’ll see ‘permanent’ results.
So, what can you expect during this time?
There’ll be no change to your hair after the first session. Hair won’t suddenly fall out as it can with professional sessions.
Shave before your next treatments, and / or in between sessions as you need to.
Usually around session 3 or 5 you’ll see a gradual reduction in the number and thickness of your hairs. Hair grows slower and becomes finer, softer and lighter too.
Keep going. Shaving becomes much easier because there’s less and softer hair. You may not even need to shave in between sessions.
Bald patches appear until eventually your skin is smooth. For some this may happen before or after the recommended 8 sessions.
Then, do additional treatments or top-ups as necessary to keep your skin smooth. Tria don’t share how often, so it’s up to you to decide. I suggest monitoring your skin and zapping it every 1 or 2 months, or sooner if you notice soft regrowth appearing.
Although Tria say you don’t need regular top-ups after 12 sessions with the Tria, some of the user reviews share they do. So, it seems the top-ups are still important because hair can grow back without the right amount.
Our test results
In our test, hair grew slower after the second and third session. Then after 4 sessions, bald patches appeared. Most of remaining softer and finer hair eventually disappeared after 5 and 6 sessions. For the remaining 2 sessions there was very little, barely visible hair to shave.
Our tester said “I did a few more sessions at 4-week intervals because Tria say it’s after 12 sessions you should see permanent results. So, I’ve done a total of 11 now, the last over 2 months ago. My underarms are still gloriously smooth.”
How much effort is it?
Let’s start with an example for your face and one small area e.g. underarms, done within one battery use of 30 minutes.
- A session takes 30 minutes
- You need up to 8 sessions over around 3 months
- 8 sessions x 30 mins = 4 hours
- So, that’s 4 hours over 3 months (or 14 weeks)
You’ll need to double this at least for several small areas at 8 hours over 14 weeks.
This is a lot more effort than most home IPL machines, but is still manageable if you can commit.
I don’t recommend the Tria 4X for large areas. But, to be thorough, let’s add legs to the mix:
Based on the user reviews and Tria’s guidance, it takes between 2 to 4 charge cycles, or 1 to 2 hours of zapping per leg. So, both full legs take between 2 to 4 hours of zapping, plus 4 to 8 charge cycles at 8 to 16 hours.
- You need 8 sessions over around 3 months
- 8 sessions x 2 hours = 16 hours
- 8 sessions x 4 hours = 32 hours
- So, that’s 16 to 32 hours over 3 months, plus charging time.
Yikes. You must be very committed to stick to this.
Related: home laser vs home IPL with the Tria 4X vs the Lumea Prestige comparison
Tria 4X laser: permanent hair removal?
Triabeauty.co.uk say because the Tria 4X is a laser it gives you ‘permanent hair removal’. That’s compared to home IPL devices, which give ‘permanent hair reduction’. They dedicate a whole web page to laser vs IPL and why they say the Tria laser technology is superior to home IPL.
“Tria’s advanced hair removal devices offer a safe, at-home permanent hair removal solution, whereas IPL offers permanent hair reduction .”
Now, given the choice I’d choose permanent hair removal over permanent hair reduction, right? That’s because it sounds, well, more permanent. If something’s removed, it’s no longer there. And if it’s permanently removed it can’t come back.
So, ‘permanent hair removal’ is a powerful claim.
But I have a few concerns to share with you. Here goes.
#1 Professional laser hair removal
Most reputable aesthetic clinic website’s say laser hair removal gives permanent hair reduction results. Some say up to 90% “permanent hair reduction that lasts”1,2. It’s an accepted industry term.
The Tria 4X uses the same (but less powerful) diode laser technology as in some of these clinics. So, how can it claim permanent hair removal and they don’t?
#2 Intact hair follicles
To confidently say hair is permanently removed, the hair follicle must be destroyed entirely. Then there’s no way the hair can grow back. And only electrolysis does this3.
Laser hair removal sends focused light energy to your hair root, which heats up the melanin there and in turn damages the follicle. This causes the hair to stop growing and enter the dormant stage (called Telogen phase). This process is called selective photothermolysis. Intense Pulsed Light uses the same process (but with a broad-spectrum light energy). The end result for both is the same. A dormant hair follicle in the resting phase.
But the hair follicle is still intact. Therefore, with laser and with IPL it can become active again and hair could grow back.
#3 Tria website disclaimer
Earlier, I mentioned the ‘Laser vs IPL’ information on Triabeauty.co.uk.
On the whole the information on this page is correct. Although it’s presented to imply home Laser results are superior to IPL. But there’s a small and interesting disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
The disclaimer says “Using the Tria Hair Removal Laser as directed for at least 12 treatments, most users will achieve a substantial visible reduction in hair regrowth, and additional treatments may result in additional reductions. Depending on skin tone, hair colour, body part, treatment level, and other factors, individual results from laser hair removal may range from complete reduction to little or no reduction.”7
So, after 3 months of use, at best you’ll get awesome hair reduction results. At worst, it may do nothing. Or anything in between. Because results vary by individual.
It seems Tria Beauty are covering all bases, but heavily promoting only the very best outcome. I think this sets potentially harmful expectations based on the promise of ‘permanent hair removal’.
#4 FDA definition
In the US, home IPL and laser hair removal machines are regulated by the FDA. They also control the claims they can make about results.
Some manufacturers get permission (or clearance) to market their devices for ‘permanent hair reduction’4.
“Several manufacturers received FDA permission to claim, “permanent reduction,” NOT “permanent removal” for their lasers. This means that although laser treatments with these devices will permanently reduce the total number of body hairs, they will not result in a permanent removal of all hair. “ FDA ‘Laser Facts’ consumer webpage
This is what the Tria 4X laser has, FDA clearance for permanent hair reduction. So, in the US, that’s how Tria can promote it. There, Tria don’t say the 4X laser gives permanent hair removal because they aren’t allowed to.
In the UK, there’s no such regulation. Tria Beauty UK can say the Tria 4X laser gives permanent hair removal if they want to.
So, what the..?
Yep, it’s no clearer. According to the Adverting Standards Authority, Tria Beauty should ‘hold evidence to support their claims’ for permanent hair removal5. So, I asked Tria Beauty UK to help clear it up.
Tria’s supporting info
I got a quick response with a description of the differences between laser and IPL. It strongly implies laser gives superior results. But it lacks sources and evidence. However, Tria also shared a 2012 clinical study (it’s available on the website too).
Here’s a summary.
Wheeland Clinical Study 2012
The study is called “Permanent Hair Reduction with a Home-Use Diode Laser: Safety and Effectiveness One Year after Eight Treatments”6.
In this 2012 study, the Tria 4X laser was tested on 13 subjects. Each had 3 test sites on their leg, 1 per intensity level plus an untreated control site. They had 8 monthly treatments, with intervals of follow up hair counts up to 12 months after the treatments. The study is interesting, comprehensive and thorough with reassuring results.
Mean Average hair reduction percentages:
|Time after 8 treatments||Low intensity (7 J/cm2)||Medium intensity (12 J/cm2)||High intensity (20 J/cm2)|
The key results are a mean average percent hair count reduction of 44%, 49%, and 65% at 12 months after the last treatment at intensities of 7, 12, and, 20 J/cm2 respectively.
Also, 38% had more than 80% hair reduction at 12 months after the 8th treatment. This includes 1 subject who has 100% hair reduction. Impressive.
But does this prove permanent hair removal?
No. This proves permanent hair reduction at 12 months post treatment. Or as the study concludes, this means the Tria 4X “effects a stable, long-term reduction in the number of hairs that meets the FDA and industry definition of permanent hair reduction.”
The study conclusion does go on to summarise other benefits based on the reassuring results.
It suggests that after 8 sessions at the higher intensities most users will need to shave less, if at all. That’s because of the high hair reduction rate and evidence that regrowth is finer, lighter and less noticeable. It also notes these results appear to be of a ‘permanent nature’ and by that I interpret ‘long-lasting’.
The study also recommends you can do more than 8 treatments to get even better hair reduction results.
The conclusion extract reads as follows:
“A significant proportion of subjects had sufficient benefit as to likely eliminate or reduce the need for other hair removal methods such as shaving and waxing because of (a) the high degree of reduction, namely, 65% normalized mean reduction and 38% of subjects with greater than 80% hair count reduction after 8 high fluence treatments, (b) the permanent nature of this reduction,(c) the fact that subjects reported that the hair that did regrow was finer, lighter, and less noticeable, and (d) the ability to conveniently perform additional home treatments to achieve additional incremental benefit.”6
So, I understand Tria’s angle here. They recommend 8 treatments every two weeks (vs monthly in the study) to see noticeable hair reduction results. But with up to double that you can get even better results. Thus, 6 months of treatments is the recommended optimum for best results.
This still doesn’t prove permanent hair removal though.
Home IPL vs laser
I also asked Tria Beauty if they had a comparison results study for the Tria 4X and any home IPL devices. They didn’t share anything. And trying to compare separate studies is frustrating because they have different approaches, timeframes and measurements. There’s no direct comparison.
What I can conclude is that all study subjects see good permanent hair reduction results with both home laser and IPL.
Tria also says with IPL “some users may feel an increased level of discomfort”. They say because the diffuse light energy travels through your skin creating heat. With the Tria on the other hand “some users might feel the sensation of a rubber band snapping against the skin or a warm pricking feeling, while others report no discomfort”. The Tria sounds favourable based on this, but I’m not sure it’s the full picture.
A few comparison studies of professional diode laser vs professional IPL systems show conflicting results on this. So there’s no conclusive independent verification. It does depend on the user. But don’t miss the section earlier in this review on ‘does it hurt?’ and also a comparison of the Tria 4X with a home IPL hair removal device here.
Will you get permanent hair removal?
The clinical study shows that one participant did get 100% hair reduction, and it lasted 1 year. But does this mean you will?
I think the online feedback is most helpful here.
We learned earlier that results vary by user. Some get significant results in a few goes and are hair free soon after. For others it takes much longer. Some never get to totally hair free. And results last different amount of times too.
For some the hair hasn’t grown back after a few months, for others it’s years. For others it grows back if you stop regular use. And some are still using it regularly a year or so later.
And here’s the kicker.
The results feedback for the Tria 4X laser matches most other home IPL devices. Check out the other reviews to learn more.
“Permanent hair removal” is an attention-grabbing statement. And some people will choose the Tria 4X laser over other choices because of this promise.
But I’m not convinced you get permanent hair removal with the Tria 4X laser. I don’t see the proof. Permanent hair reduction, just like IPL devices, seems more appropriate. So, don’t make a decision based on this alone.
In practise, user feedback shares the end results are similar with home IPL, if not the same. It’s true and proven through independent studies the higher the intensity level you use the better the results. So it follows the more powerful Tria gives faster and longer-lasting results. IPL may take more treatments to reach the same results. But don’t be blinkered by this alone because the journey is different with each too.
Make a more informed decision by understanding how they differ in use to see which best suits your needs. It’s a personal choice.
This review should help you decide and you can check out this comparison with the Lumea Prestige IPL too.
— Online ratings & reviews —
Online Tria 4X reviews overview
The overall score from the collated online Tria 4X reviews is a good 3.6 stars
As of July 2019, there’s over 700 online reviews for the Tria 4X. 63% of these are positive 4- or 5- star rated, 8% are neutral and 29% are negative 1- or 2-star reviews.
The reviews for the Tria 4X date back to 2014. They’re good quality but there’s a lot out there. It’s daunting and time consuming to get a good feel or confidence in the device. I’ve therefore rounded up the negative, positive and results feedback to help you decide.
- Several say they like the Tria 4X but they don’t leave any further detail
- Mode & operation suits the face & small areas
- Love the beautiful packaging and the helpful instructions.
- Cordless means no cables to get in the way.
- The Tria 4X is nicely made
- Many love it as an alternative to expensive and inconvenient salon visits.
- No expensive refill bulbs to buy
- Just a few reported faults, but no worrying trend
- Biggest criticism in both negative and positive reviews is it hurts! Like a sharp burning pain that ‘bites’
- Tria doesn’t hold a charge as well over time so you get fewer zaps to treat your areas
- A few more prefer professional treatments.
- Laser aperture is very small so it takes ages to cover your skin
- Need to charge it several times to complete multiple body areas
- A few more are unhappy Tria don’t offer a repair service, so if you knock it over or drop it, you’ll need to pay out for a new device
- Most expect very fast results after just a couple of sessions
- Several saw no results after only a few uses and were disappointed. They need to try for longer
- Some do see fast results with hair reduction within 1 to 3 uses
- Hair grows slower with each treatment. Then thinner, lighter and softer until bald patches appear
- Speed of results differs by body area
- A handful mention their results don’t last forever with hair growing back months after they stop using it
- Some users try for 3+ months and aren’t happy with their results
- A few don’t think it’s worth the price or their time commitment
- A handful prefer the results from professional laser treatments
- Some smooth results have lasted years with only occasional spot treatments to keep new hairs in check
Hair reduction results in detail
Of the reviewers who share it works most say it follows the Tria guidelines.
Tria recommend a treatment every 2 weeks for up to 3 months, or until you’re satisfied with the results. You can do more treatments beyond 3 months if required.
In smaller print on the website they advise it’s after 8 uses (around 3 months) that most will achieve a substantial visible reduction in hair regrowth. Comments from Tria Customer Service on Amazon reviews suggest it’s after a few additional top ups making 12 sessions you’ll see permanent results. So, it’s a long process. Then do top-up treatments as you need them too.
N.B. It’s notable that a lot of users decide to use it weekly or even more frequently. This increases the chance of side effects and it’s unlikely it speeds up your results. Instead it serves to shorten the life of your Tria expending more flashes and battery charges.
Many share they’re seeing fast results at between 1 to 3 uses.
Initial effects are hair grows slower with each treatment. Then thinner, lighter and softer. For others bald spots appear and there’s less hair that grows back. This ranges from a ‘noticeable’ amount to a ‘drastic reduction’.
Shaving becomes less frequent, and it’s easier because the hair’s much finer and soft. So, no more stubble, shaving bumps, irritation or ingrown hairs!
“So far, I’ve used it twice and I’m due another zapping, but my legs feel smooth and I can’t see any hair regrowth despite not having shaved for a fortnight!!!!!” Currentbody.com, Tria 4X review
Others see results within the 3-month start-up stage.
Some take longer
However, the speed of and amount of hair reduction varies by person.
For example after just 3 uses, one happy reviewer is hair-free and has “a baby smooth stomach with no regrowth”, whilst another male user reports 60% less hair in his quest for a Brazilian. It takes 4 uses for one lady to see a 50% reduction in hair whilst another gets 90% reduction on her chin after the same time.
And a handful need more than the suggested 3 months’ worth of treatments to get their desired results.
“I have been using it on pubic hair and underarm hair and each time there is noticeably less hair left and what is there is thin and fine. It is almost entirely gone now but that is after 10+ treatments.” Amazon.com review of Tria 4X
And the speed of results tends to differ by body area too. But there’s no distinct pattern from the reviews.
Longer term results
A good number share their feedback after the 3 months start-up phase too. Some are hair-free or almost hair-free at 6 months and do top-up treatments to stay smooth. For others they still have hair slowly growing but it’s much lighter, softer and finer and they’re happy because they need to shave much less frequently.
“I am pleased with results after 6 months of use my hairs are much lighter and thinner and far fewer.” Currentbody.com review
Reassuringly, a handful share their results have lasted years. And they need only occasional spot treatments to keep new hairs in check.
In conclusion, the speed, amount and lifespan of results varies by person. Check your expectations, because it may take patience and time to get the results you want.
— In summary —
Should I buy the Tria 4X?
It’s a compelling choice. Manychoose the Tria because it’s the most powerful available for home use and it follows you get your best and longest lasting results.
The Tria 4X is the only laser hair removal device clinically proven safe and effective for home use. It’s cleared by the FDA too for extra reassurance.
It’s powerful, intuitive and very easy to use. A quality bit of kit. But bear in mind for some it hurts. And treatment times are slow and limited to 30 mins by the battery charge. So, you’ll need to plan around this. If you’re happy with this, I think it’s an excellent choice for treating your face and smaller areas like underarms and bikini area.
For legs and large areas I recommend one of the Best Buy home IPL machines.
Here’s a quick round-up of the pros and cons for the Tria 4X to help you decide.
- Distinctive, ergonomic and characterful design
- Intuitive to use, comfortable to hold
- Most powerful device for longest lasting results
- Cordless operation means no tangles and you can use it anywhere
- Skin tone sensor keeps your skin safe
- Great choice for face and smaller body areas
- Pulses & battery cycles to last 3 years of use
- The only FDA-cleared home use hair removal laser
- CE mark (EU declaration of conformity to meet safety requirements)
- Safe to use Class 1 laser
- No bright flashes of light to cause irritation
- 60-day money back guarantee offered by Tria
- Online reviews report great results
- Strong reputation and customer support from Tria
- Very expensive at full retail price
- A notable percentage of users find it hurts a lot
- Large areas take ages to cover and need multiple battery charges
- You’ll need a helpful assistant to treat your torso, back and back of legs
- Needs much time, patience and commitment especially on large areas
- It’s quite heavy because of the rechargeable battery inside
- Even if not in use, charge it every month or so, as the battery can degrade
- Not suitable for dark and black skin tones (Fitzpatrick types V & VI)
- Short 1-year warranty offered by Tria (however CurrentBody.com offers 2 years)
You can check prices or buy the Tria 4X laser using the links below.
Where to buy the Tria 4x laser
Tria Beauty 4X laser for body & face, 60-day guarantee
- Sk:n clinics laser hair removal
- Mayo clinic: Laser hair rmeoval
- FDA website “Removing hair safely: Epilators: Needle, Electrolysis, and Tweezers”
- FDA website “Laser facts: Hair removal”
- ASA website: Hair removal advice online
- Tria Beauty UK website: Permanent Hair Reduction with a Home-Use Diode Laser: Safety and Effectiveness One Year after Eight Treatments, Ronald G. Wheeland, MD, FACP
- Tria Beauty UK website: Laser vs IPL