My Hair Removal "Journey"
As a brief recap, here are the weapons I have used so far in my battle against body hair:
- Shaving: Cheap and fast, but it doesn't last very long. It is also very uncomfortable a few days after you do it as the hair grows back.
- Nairs "Wax Strips" plus shaving and tweezing: This was much better than shaving but still left a lot of hair for the razor.
- Professional Waxing Salon: If you can find a good one, this is a great (if expensive) solution.
- Home Waxing: With considerable practice, this could be as good as a professional waxing salon. My first and only attempt was not a great success. If you want a laugh, you can read about it here.
- Epilating: This has been my method of choice for a couple of years now. It delivers waxing salon smoothness at a fraction of the cost. It does hurt (but so does waxing).
All of the above methods suffer from one glaring defect: Not even a Yoga Master can get rid of the hair on their back with any known DIY method. So, when people asked for my number one recommendation, I would always say that if money was no object, a high-quality waxing salon was the best, easiest, and most pleasant choice. But, for most of us, money (and time) is an object, and my second choice was epilating. None of these are perfect. They all hurt, take a lot of time, and the hair grows back inconveniently fast. Even when I was spending the money on a salon, it was hard to find time to make an appointment, which meant I walked around feeling gross and disgusting for a week or two,
Hair Removal Heaven
But I am now in heaven. Hair-removal heaven. The hair-removal angels are singing. I am singing. I spend about 90 minutes every four weeks removing my hair. And every four weeks, there is less hair to remove! It's wonderful!
This is all made possible by a wonderful device manufactured by Philips called "The Philips BR1956 Prestige". SheDaddy sent me a video about it last August (about 6-months ago), and I was intrigued enough to purchase one. It works using light (IPL - intense pulsed light). I had seen these devices but was skeptical about them. Not anymore. After the first use, my hair reduction was so obvious that I didn't wait to write an in-depth review: you can read it here. And if you are like me and enjoy understanding how things work, check out The Science of Hair Removal in the menu.
For the details, please read my review, but here's a quick intro to using the Lumea: Epilate or shave to remove your hair. Set the Luema to the appropriate intensity for your skin and hair color, then drag it across your skin. That's it! Once in a while, there is a slight "sting," but the pain is vastly less than any other hair removal method (except shaving).
Repeat this four or five times at two-week intervals, then move to four-week intervals. Philips claims that you can eventually move to eight-week intervals and that some people can go hair-free for as long as six months!
As with everything, there are drawbacks.
Not everyone can use it. There are some skin colors and hair colors that the Lumea won't work on (details in the review).
Upfront costs are high. The Lumea lists for around USD 600. It comes with a two-year warranty, but Philips claims it will last for at least 15 years and perhaps longer. If you are a waxing-salon aficionado, the Lumea will pay for itself in one or two months. If you're a home waxer or if, like me, you epilated, the economics are murkier. I paid 110 USD for the Braun Silk-epil, and Braun advises changing the head every 18 months, costing about 40 USD. That means that in 15 years, you'll change the head ten times (because (15*12)/18 = 10), which will cost you 400 USD making your total cost over the 15 years 510 USD.
Superficially, that sounds almost the same, but the money you spend today costs you more than your future money because you could invest today's money, having more in the future. You could take the 490 USD you saved by not buying a Lumea and put it in a savings account somewhere. At 3.2% interest, assuming daily compounding, in 15 years, you would have $793.29, and that's the amount you save by not buying a LUMEA. Unless you go to a waxing salon, you aren't going to find a great economic justification for buying one.
The LUMEA will save you hours of your time, and your time is worth money. Adding this into the financial mix would make it look equitable. But it's hard to escape the growing feeling that the LUMEA is a luxury. The best thing about the LUMEA is that you can walk around for weeks without hair. Not even waxing gives you that.
It doesn't solve the back issue. You will still have a hairy back. If you have a partner, they can help. Or you can pay someone to do it for you.
The Lumea is fantastic. It is expensive. It's a luxury but one I would not want to live without. Hopefully, the success of the Lumea will generate interest from other companies, and competitive pricing will make IPL hair removal devices more affordable. I hope so because they are wonderful.
Here's the table from my waxing article, updated to include the Lumea. One thing this chart doesn't reflect is the hair reduction that the LUMEA provides. When you re-wax every four weeks, you get rid of the same amount of hair each time. With the LUMEA, you have less to remove every time. Here's the chart:
|Philip's LUMEA||Pro Waxing||Home Waxing||Home Epilating|
|Recovery Time||Instant||4-5 days||4-5 days||1 day|
|Pain||Almost none||Ouch||OUCH||OUCH OUCH OUCH|
|Ease of Cleanup||Nothing to it.||Not Bad||Pain in the butt.||Nothing to it.|
|How long does it last?||Potentially: 6-months||3-4 weeks||3-4 weeks||3 weeks or less|
|How Hard to learn?||Easy||NA||VERY Hard||Easy|
Thanks for reading!
I hope this has been helpful. I'm always happy to get good suggestions and nice comments. If you have some, feel free to write me!