FDA Approved Home Laser Hair Removal


Tria, Silk’N SensEpil and No No Hair Removal: FDA Approved, But For What?

Recently, several home laser hair removal systems gained FDA approval for permanent hair-reduction. Note: Unlike electrolysis, which the FDA approved for “permanent hair removal” these home laser treatments are only approved for “permanent hair reduction“.

Despite this difference in classification, many product providers – and those with a financial interest – claim these products offer permanent hair removal. To a certain extent, they do; some users report permanent results, though there is still insufficient data to make such a widespread promise.

The Bad News: Some People Cannot Use Laser Hair Removal Products

There are three groups of people who do not benefit from home laser hair removal:

  • People with light or non-pigmented hair: Blonde, light red, gray and white hair do not have enough pigment for the lasers to attach to. This makes laser treatment – at home or in a salon – an ineffective option compared to electrolysis.
    : this does not apply to non-light-based hair removal such as No!No! (read review below)
  • People with heavily-pigmented (dark) skin: Dark skin absorbs the lasers (instead of the hair follicles) which can cause skin damage. Note: this does not apply to non-light-based hair removal such as No!No! (read review below)
  • Non-Responders: Unfortunately, roughly 7 – 10% of people will find laser hair removal completely ineffective. There is no way to determine who these non-responders are before treatment. Therefore, it is advised that – if you decide to go ahead with laser treatment – try a home laser removal system with (at least) a 60 day money back guarantee to ensure laser treatment works for you.

Top 3 FDA Approved Home Laser Hair Removal Systems

The three main home hair removal systems with FDA approval are Tria, Silk’n SensEpil (pronounced “sense-appeal”) and No! No!. All three have been FDA approved for permanent hair reduction. For detailed reviews of each product please read our home hair removal reviews. The following is a brief discussion on the differences between these three systems.

Laser Vs. Light-Based Hair Removal

Though consumers often clump these three products together, they are in fact very different. Only Tria uses laser technology for hair removal; Silk’n SensEpil uses its patented Home Pulsed Light™ (HPL) technology and No! No! uses Thermicon™ technology(pure heat, no light).

Regardless of the fancy names, each system removes hairs through a variation of photothermolysis: a process where hair absorbs light (or laser), then heats the hair follicle and (hopefully) destroys it. Below are explanations of each, their intended benefits, and who can use each product.

Laser Hair Removal: Tria Beauty at Home

Tria is the only FDA approved method of home laser hair removal. Tria uses a powerful diode laser – the same technology used in clinics – which heats hair follicles in order to destroy them.

Expected Treatment Time/Results

Tria recommends two treatments a month, for six months (12 treatments). After this six-month period, permanent hair reduction is expected. Many users report results after two or three treatments (4 – 6 weeks). This time-frame is normal for hair removal products both in home and in the clinic.

Who Should – and Shouldn’t – Use Tria

Because it is laser-based, Tria does not work on light colored hair such as red, blonde and grey. It also will not work on dark skin tones, due to increased amounts of melanin. The ideal candidate for Tria is light skinned with dark (brown or black) hair. Fortunately, Tria has a built-in sensor which automatically shuts off if skin is too dark.

How Much Does Tria Cost?

At the time of writing, Tria costs $395. It runs on a rechargeable battery, which is a huge cost-savings over the Silk’n SensEpil. There are no ongoing expenses with Tria.

FDA Approved Light Based Hair Removal: Silk’n SensEpil

Silk’n SensEpil uses Home Pulsed Light™ technology for hair removal. In short, hairs absorb the light emitted from SensEpil, the light generates heat, which destroys the hair follicle. But it doesn’t stop there. SensEpil also uses an acoustic effect to ensure effective hair removal (which separates it from other light-based hair removal products).

Expected Treatment Time/Results

Silk’n SensEpil should be used every two weeks, for up to 4 months. Males may need to extend treatment to five, maybe six months if their hair is coarse. Results are commonly noted after two months, with noticeable improvements after four months.

Afer the 4 – 6 month treatment period, occasional treatments may be necessary for any missed hairs or regrowth.

Who Should – and Shouldn’t – Use SensEpil

Because SensEpil is light-based, it is ineffective on light pigmented hair. Therefore, anyone with gray, blonde, white or red hair should not use SensEpil. People with naturally dark skin should also avoid using SensEpil. Like Tria, SensEpil has a built-in sensor which prevents the device from activating on dark skin.

How Much Does Silk’n SensEpil Cost?

There are many pricing structures. SensEpil costs $499, but requires disposable light cartridges to work. The cartridges aren’t cheap: $45 for one or three for $115.

Alternatively, you can purchase Silk’n SensEpil with three cartridges for $599 (and thereby save $15 over the three pack).

Each cartridge will last for one, maybe two full body treatments.

FDA Approved Non-Light Based Hair Removal: No! No!

The No! No! hair removal system uses Thermicon™ technology to kill hair follicles through heat. Unlike Tria or SensEpil however, there are no lights or lasers used. This is a huge advantage, because No! No! is able to work on all hair and skin colors.

Expected Treatment Time/Results

For maximum effectiveness, No! No! should be used 2 – 3 per week for three months. Positive results are seen after 4 – 6 weeks. After the three month period, No! No! should be used to remove unwanted hair as they arise.

Regrowth is often seen after 3 – 5 months of treatment.

Who Should – and Shouldn’t – Use No! No! Home Hair Removal

Unlike Tria and SensEpil, No! No! works on all skin and hair colors. Another benefit is that – since No! No! does not use lasers or light – there is zero radiation emitted.

Coarse hair – particularly on men – is difficult to remove with No! No!. To remedy this, trim hair to 1 – 3 mm (stubble) prior to treatment, then shave afterwards. Note: do not shave before treatment; this renders treatment completely ineffective.

How Much Does No! No! Cost?

No! No! costs $250 for the device only. The hair removal tips cost $50, with refills costing $25.

FDA Approved Home Hair Removal Ratings

Upfront/Ongoing Costs
Works On…
# of Treatments
$399/no ongoing costs
Light skin and dark hair
2 per month
6 months
$499/$45 for light cartridges
Light skin and dark hair
2 per month
4 – 6 months
$250/$50 for removal tips, $25 for replacements
All skin and hair colors
2-3 per week
4 months

In conclusion, choosing the correct FDA approved hair removal system depends upon a number of factors, as seen above. Contact your doctor before beginning any at home hair removal treatments.

Remember: none of these are FDA approved for permanent hair removal, only reduction. The only permanent hair removal process approved by the FDA is electrolysis.  Learn more about hair laser hair removal facts.


Laser Hair Removal Articles

Discover the truth about hair removal from
Tammy Nguyen, Hair Removal Specialist.

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