Shaving battle scars such as ingrown hairs and bloody cuts might have you ready to try anything other than the usual razor. Enter the No No 8800 hair remover, about $285, a device that's all but unavoidable if you watch TV. According to its website, it lets users go "weeks without shaving" and is "painless and effective."
No No, which has low, medium, and high treatment levels, removes hair with a heated wire that stays above the skin. It can be fitted with a wide tip for removing hair on legs, arms, chest, and back, or a narrow tip for smaller areas such as the face or bikini line. You glide the device over skin at a 90-degree angle. A red light glows if you've gotten it wrong. Once done, you use the provided buffer because, the manufacturer says, "without buffing, crystallized hair remains in place, giving your skin a prickly feel."
Six female staffers who normally shave their legs at least three times a week let hair grow for a week. We took pictures (no, you won't find them on Instagram), then asked panelists to shave one leg as usual and use No No and its buffer on the other leg at least three times a week for six weeks. We compared before and after photos.
Panelists used words such as "prickly" and "hairy" to describe how their legs felt after No No. All six said the treated leg was never hair- or stubble-free during the six weeks of testing. Something else that panelists noticed: the smell of burned hair. The final straw? Using No No took far longer than shaving—up to 25 minutes per leg. None of the panelists said they'd want to buy the device, though some described it as "cute."
We tested No No units bought at Amazon.com but found out that the manufacturer won't back devices purchased from that retailer. According to the manufacturer, the only authorized retailers are Drugstore.com, HSN, and No No's website. We then tested No No devices bought at trynono.com and HSN, and they performed similarly.
This article appeared in the December 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.