Societally, women are often expected to be hairless. (Whether or not that's fair is hotly debated.) Biologically, my body disagrees, as it tends to sprout new hairs every single day.
The most daunting part of my grooming routine has to be shaving my armpits, which I do every day to avoid looking like a hairy girl, so when I learned about Ulike's brand-new Sapphire AIR3 ($379) hair-removal device, I was immediately intrigued. Similar to professional laser hair-removal treatments, with continued use, this at-home tool promises to not only get rid of your hair but also cause it to grow back more slowly over time.
My underarm hair is pretty average in terms of density and is a dark brown colour, so to be honest, I'm over having to shave before hitting the gym or a Pilates class every day. (It's a real fear of mine for people to see my armpit hair. Don't ask.) With the Ulike Sapphire AIR3, which utilises cooling technology and intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy, you can expect to reduce your shaving sessions. And that sounded right up my alley.
Continue reading to see how it went when I took the tool for a road-test.
About the Ulike Sapphire AIR3
- This hair-removal device comes with three operating modes for different parts of the body: soft (for your face, upper lips, and bikini); body (legs and arms); and power (chest and armpits).
- IPL uses beams of light to target the pigment in the hair follicles, which then heats up to remove the hair.
- The tool is equipped with a cooling sensation (at 20 degrees Celsius) to minimize any pain from the zap.
- The packageing also comes with safety goggles and a razor.
What I Like About the Ulike Sapphire AIR3
I'll be honest: I was afraid of the pain going into using the Ulike Sapphire AIR3 device, but to my surprise, it was virtually painless. All I felt were little zaps, which felt like a little tickle or tingle to my skin. The device itself is lightweight and easy to handle, and I also appreciated that the directions were super easy to follow.
I can't speak to the decrease in hair density or the reduction of hair count quite yet because it requires multiple uses, with one or two weeks in between each session, but I have high hopes that after continued use, I'll be seeing results in just a few months.
How to Use the Ulike Sapphire AIR3
This was my first foray into laser hair removal, so I was shocked to learn I needed to shave all visible hair before using the laser. (I later learned this is so the light can target the dark hair follicle.) After using the provided razor to remove the visible hair on my armpits, I connected the adapter to the handset and plugged it in. From there, I popped on the ultrastylish IPL safety goggles — which honestly just look like black sunnies — and was ready to get my laser on.
Since I decided to focus on my armpits for this review, it was recommended to use the Power operating mode, and that's exactly what I did. After switching it over to my desired setting (and doing a skin patch test), I pressed the treatment button and got to work. The light would go off, effectively zapping the area I had the device on, and I'd move it over to a new area each time.
I wanted to ensure I got each and every area, so I pressed the button each time I wanted to activate the laser. However, I would like to note there is the option to hold the button down for two seconds, which activates the "gliding" mode. I think this is better suited for larger areas of the body, like the legs.
What to Consider Before Trying the Ulike Sapphire AIR3
Like many other laser hair-removal devices, it's important to note that this one won't work as well on all skin tones and hair colours. The Ulike Sapphire AIR3 isn't deemed safe for those who have deeper pigmentation (like dark brown, brown black, and darker skin) and is considered to be ineffective for people who have light-blond, white, grey, or red hair.
My skin tone and hair colour fall under the "safe" and "effective" scales, so I was able to accurately test it out, but I do think that's something the brand can work on for the future to be more inclusive. I'm sure there's a bunch of science behind it that goes beyond my comprehension, but it would be nice to see an option out there for people with darker complexions and lighter hair.
Is the Ulike Sapphire AIR3 Worth the Splurge?
At $379, the Ulike Sapphire AIR3 is not cheap, but when you factor in how much you spend on razors and shaving cream each month, in the long run, it might actually save you money. Plus, if you were to go to a treatment centre to get laser hair removal, you'd be spending thousands of dollars and have to go multiple times. This at-home option might require more sessions than if you were to go to a professional, but to me, this is a great alternative and worth the splurge.