Hair Removal at Home
What is the No!No! Hair Removal Device?
No!No! is a line of products made by Radiancy, a company that makes laser devices for home use. Their two main products are the No!No! Hair Removal device with Thermicon™ technology for use on the face and the No!No! Skin for home use to resolve acne. These are both available without a prescription. (1)
NoNo Hair Removal Claims
The No!No! Classic and No!No! 8800 series are both home-use hair removal devices. These are hand-held, and are primarily used on the face and neck (they are not for use on breasts or genitals). The 8800 series use the same technology as the classic, but also has a status screen with battery charge, when to replace the Thermicon™ Tips and adjustable treatment levels. (2)
According to the No!No! website, clinical studies show the No!No! hair removal lasers inhibit hair regrowth and can reduce hair density by up to 94% with “no pain, no mess and no chemicals.” (2) The ThermiconTM technology conducts heat down the hair shaft and into the hair follicle, but does not use any laser light. However, like laser and IPL treatments the heat gradually disrupts the hair growth cycle. (2) Due to the heat component with no laser light, the No!No! is safe on all skin types and hair colors (including blonde and gray, which usually do not respond well to laser hair removal.) (2) The No!No! promises “professional, pain-free hair removal”. (2)
How the No!No! Hair Removal Device Works
The No!No! Hair Removal device utilizes Thermicon™ Technology, which is a patented thermodynamic wire in the laser tip to transmit heat to the hair. Thermicon™ works on the thermal principle of heat transference, which means a pulse of heat is conducted down the hair follicle to where the hair growth occurs. (3) Thermicon™ works on the follicle in 3 distinct phases:
- First, the thermal wire from the Thermicon™ Tip touches the hair, burning it and removing it up until the skin.
- The thermal signal crystallizes (turns to ash) the uppermost part of the hair in the hair follicle.
- The thermal signal continues down the follicle and into the root where it is thought to disrupt cell communication considered responsible for hair growth. (3)
Thermicon™ uses no light and thus is different from the selective photothermolysis, which is how Lasers and IPL technologies remove hair. These technologies target the melanin in the hair follicle, which absorbs the laser energy and destroys the hair. Light colored hair (grey, blonde and white) has little or no melanin and is very hard to treat. Additionally, darker skin types have a significant amount of melanin in the skin. The melanin in the hair follicle may not be enough of a target to safely and effectively remove hair without burning the skin or creating hypo or hyperpigmentation (light or dark spots). (3)
Hair goes through growth phases, this reduction in hair growth only works during the anagen (or growth phase) of the hair growth cycle. The two other phases, catagen (the transitional stage in which the hair shaft begins to pull away from the root as hair growth begins to stop) and telogen (the resting phase) are occurring in some hairs while others are in the anagen phase. This means that hair removal using the No!No! will take 4-6 weeks to show significant results and multiple treatments are needed each week. (3)
Side Effects of the No!No! Hair Removal Device
The treatment sensation varies depending on the person and treatment area, and the more sensitive the area the more likely that occasionally the device might cause mild discomfort. (2) Additionally, some common side effects of hair removal are pain and possible folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle).
Studies on No!No! Hair Removal
There were no studies published on the No!No! home hair removal device in peer-reviewed journals. However, there are several studies available on the Radiancy website from 2003 that discuss hair removal with a combined light/ heat-based photo-epilation system. These studies utilized the flash-lamp device Spa Touch. (4) One of the largest was a multi-center study in which 67 patients ages 19 to 54 years and skin types I through IV completed the study that evaluated two treatment sites, and each patient performed two self-treatments, using the hair removal device on their designated body sites. (4) The first self-treatment was performed at the Investigator’s office by the patient while the second self-treatment was performed 4 weeks later at a hotel room. Follow-up visits to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the treatments were performed 2 and 12 weeks following the last self- treatment. (4) Results showed the mean hair reduction was 33.6% 4 weeks after the first self-treatment, 44.3% 2 weeks following the last self-treatment, and 32.3% 12 weeks following the last treatment. Side effects were mild redness, with minimal mild swelling (5%), hyperpigmentation (4.75%), crusting (2.35%), hypopigmentation (1.55%), and blistering (1.4%). (4)
However, it is important to remember that this study was not on the No!No! device, and that this device may have very different results.
No!No! Skin for Acne Claims
No!No! skin is FDA cleared for use on mild to moderate acne. It utilizes LHE (light and heat energy) and a hand-held device to target pimples at home. According to the website, the No!No! skin provides 81% clearance of targeted acne in less than 24 hours with “pain-free and fast treatments”. (5) The No!No! skin works in two consecutive treatments of 10 seconds each. LHE is also “clinically proven to clear lesions in 1/3 the time of conventional treatments.” (5)
How the No!No! Skin Works on Acne
Acne often occurs with build up of oil clogs in pores that trap oil, dirt and dead cells beneath the surface of the skin. This creates an oxygen free environment ideal for the growth of Propionibacterium (P.acnes), a leading cause of acne. (6) The No!No! utilizes a broad-spectrum of light (of which the most important are green and red light) and heat. The green and red light excites the molecules called porphyrins produced by the bacteria. Green light makes the porphyrin molecules release an oxygen radical that destroys the P.acnes cell membranes. The red light is thought to be anti-inflammatory and reduces swelling. (6) The heat intensifies the process and opens the pores to release the clog and further soothe the inflammation. (6)
Side Effects of the No!No! Skin
The No!No! Skin should not be used with photosensitizing medications like Accutane, and should not be used if pregnant or exposed to an artificial tan in the last month. The No!No! Skin should not be used on burned skin, rashes, open cuts, sores, blisters, or sun/age spots and scars. Rare side effects include blisters or burning. (7)
Studies on No!No! Skin device
There are no peer-reviewed journal articles specifically on the No!No! Skin device, however there are several articles available on the Radiancy Corp website based on the LHE technology for acne. These are on the ClearTouch product, which is based on the same technology as the No!No! Skin.
There is one study on the ClearTouch Light, which is for at home use but this was not published in a peer-reviewed journal. This study included 20 subjects, but only 13 completed the study. The device is “technically similar to FDA cleared Radiancy Acne System” with spot size 14×27 mm and wavelength of 430-1100 nm. It completes 8, 1 msec pulses and has a fluence (energy) of 6 J/cm2 per cycle. (8) The study was 3 months in length. Treatment time was 5-20 minutes daily, and the largest improvement was on pustules. Daily use of the device did not prevent acne, and overall the device was thought to be “a safe and moderately effective treatment for acne” and the best result seemed to be a 71.5% improvement. (8)
There are significantly more studies on the more powerful ClearTouch made by Radiancy Corp for office use, however these after different operating parameters and are under the control of a trained physician.
- About No!No! Radiancy Corp. Accessed May 31, 2011. http://www.my-no-no.com
- About No!No! 8800. Radiancy Corp. Accessed May 31, 2011. https://www.my-no-no.com/nono8800_about.asp
- Thermicon Technology. Radiancy Corp. Accessed May 31, 2011. https://www.my-no-no.com/technology-thermicon.asp
- Thomas E Rhorer MD, Vandana Chatrath MD, Paul Yamauchi MD PhD, Gary Lask MD. “Can Patients Treat Themselves with a Small Novel Light Based Hair Removal System?” Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 2003; 33:25-29.
- About No!No! Skin. Radiancy Corp. Accessed May 31, 2011. https://www.my-no-no.com/nono-skin-about.asp
- LHE Technology. . Radiancy Corp. Accessed May 31, 2011. https://www.my-no-no.com/technology-lhe.asp
- No!No! Skin Users manual. Radiancy Corp. Accessed May 31, 2011. https://www.my-no-no.com/Manual_nonoSkin.pdf.
- Amos Leviav MD, Anita Vilan MD. “ClearTouch™ Lite (CTL) Home-Based Acne Treatment Study: Summary and Clinical Results”. Department of Plastic Surgery, Kaplan Hospital. April 2006