Hair removal; the bane of many a woman's existence. As a particularly hairy woman myself, suffering from hirsutism* due to hormonal imbalances (thank you, PCOS), I find hair removal to be a never ending chore of tedium. I hate shaving, it leaves me in a soggy, shivering rage of knee knicks. I would never consider waxing as I couldn't self inflict such pain knowing I'd have to do it again once it's grown back. Similarly, I would never pay someone to wax me lest my reflexes take over and I punch them in the face. I've thought long and hard about professional laser treatments, then my bank balance laughed long and hard in return. Luckily, I was offered the chance to try the Phillips Lumea Precision Plus, an at-home IPL device.
Admittedly, I was initially concerned with the safety an at-home device could provide. When you see professionals in lab coats and protective eyewear, one doesn't automatically picture oneself using such a device while sitting on their couch watching Adventure Time and snacking on apple pieces. Actually, this speaks volumes as to why I was concerned for myself. However, after raising my concerns with some friends who are exceptional at the science (they're microbiologists, which I don't actually know a lot about but it sounds fancy and they wear white coats in a lab much like toothpaste commercial dentists, so I trust them) they assured me the point of IPL is to cause mild surface tissue damage, but only in the hair follicle when it is in an 'active' state. That's how it works, though when they explained it, there were much bigger words.
Unfortunately, very pale people with black hair cannot use this device. On the other end of the spectrum, people with very dark skin also cannot use the Phillips Lumea Precision Plus.
Using the device is simple, in fact I actually do use it while watching Adventure Time and eating apple pieces. First, I shave the areas I want to treat. This still leaves me in a soggy, shivering rage of knee knicks, however I am finding I need to do this less frequently with my slowed hair growth... In summer, I used to shave my legs every second day (hirsutism is fucked). Now I only shave when I am going to use the Phillips Lumea Precision Plus. This does mean I run a razor over my upper lip and 'sideburn' area which is odd and makes me feel masculine, however I used to have these areas threaded which leaves the follicle empty. The follicle needs to have a root in it for the Phillips Lumea Precision Plus to zap.
The next step is to fire up the device and go to town. ZAP ZAP ZAP WEEEE! I try to treat my legs once a fortnight, alternating weeks with forearms, armpits and face but hope to drop down to once a month for each target zone to maintain the effects.
I struggle to be patient with this step, which is an absolute must as it has meant patchy regrowth on my legs and forearms from missing places. This does show the effectiveness of the device; there is immediate difference in growth rate and thickness between treated areas and untreated areas. In an attempt to not miss patches, I rule out grids with white eyeliner (white deflects the light, black would absorb it and render the treatment less effective).
I use the attachment for the facial area, so the treatment isn't as harsh. Facial hair isn't as coarse as bodily hair, thus does not require the same strength zap. The skin on the face is also much thinner and more delicate. Even with the attachment, I am careful to only use it in necessary places. Just in case.
Now that we're acquainted, I could not be without my Phillips Lumea Precision Plus. If (heaven forbid) we ever parted ways or its five year lifespan ran its course, I would not hesitate in the (albeit large) investment of a new device. While it is expensive, retailing at A$1299, I believe its long-term effects are worth it when you factor in the dosh you spend on monthy, sometimes bimonthly hair removal at salons, add to that the convenience of being able to use it at home.
*Please be kind, I am sharing this embarrassing fact about myself in the hopes of helping others in my situation. I'm by no means a fully-bearded woman, but I am very self-conscious of my lady goatee.
*Phillips Lumea Precision Plus was kindly supplied for consideration. This does not impact my review.