The NoNo Pro is a handheld personal hair removal device that promises to zap away unwanted follicles, from peach fuzz to dense growth, on every skin type and tone under the sun. On the market since 2004, it has gone through several evolutions but the basic principles remain the same: the no!no! uses patented properties to remove your hair, and claims that repeated use will result in long-term hair removal.

With over 4 million units sold to customers in 55+ countries, it’s obvious that consumers want to believe there’s a better way to remove their unwanted hair. So much so that they’re willing to bite, despite the steep price. And who blame’s them? The alternatives for hair removal are awful: lasers, razors, hot wax, plucking… half of which aren’t even in the privacy of your home  (and that’s just dealing with standard hair growth, not the mustache fuzz variety).

But the online consensus can give would-be buyers pause: there seems to be one glowing review for every ten that bemoan the product’s failures. That’s quite a gamble! We’ll take a look at all the facts to see how it works, and more importantly, if it could work for you.

What You Need to Know to no!no!

When using the device, it’s important to start with clean, dry skin, and choose a Thermicon tip that’s appropriate to the size area you’ll be treating. Once the unit is turned on, press the tip to your skin and glide in smooth, steady sweeps. If you’re using the no!no! correctly, a blue signal light will appear. A red signal light means you need to adjust your pressure or speed.

It’s important to go in the opposite direction of your hair’s growth, so the no!no! can reach as close to the root as possible. Also, if your hair is long enough to curl slightly, you may need to trim it down some, but be careful not to shave completely, as some hair still needs to be present.

After use, the NoNo Pro will leave you with a burnt smell and an arm, leg, chin, or upper lip full of stiff stubble. This is the result of your hair being “crystallized” and requires buffing with the included pad to achieve the smoothest results.

To see a long-term difference in hair thickness and density requires that a user treats each area with the no!no! 2-3 times every week, for a minimum of 4-6 weeks. You must continue using the no!no! to maintain any hair removal results.

Buyers should also be aware that the unit tips burn out, and need to be replaced about twice a year. This costs $7 per tip, or bulk packs of three offer one for free, and should be factored in when considering the purchase.

“How it Works” vs. How it Works

The NoNo Pro device sends electrical pulses through a thin, coated wire. When each hair makes contact with the wire, it delivers a small shock down the hair shaft and into the follicle. That heat pulse results in the burning smell you’ll often read about in user reviews. It also can have an effect on the hair follicle over time, which we’ll talk about in a minute.

In the How it Works section of the no!no! site, this process is said to occur with the patented “Thermicon” heating element, which “works using the scientific principles of thermal technology.” Their site also uses the word “thermodynamic” often, which makes the product sounds more like something NASA had originally developed to fly rockets.

In reality, thermodynamics is just the branch of physics that’s concerned with how heat relates to energy, and how that can make stuff work. So sure, it can mean fancy-pants inventions that take us into space. But you know what else uses thermodynamics? Your stove.

So how does the no!no! actually remove your unwanted hair? The folks at no!no! call what happens to your hair "crystallization", but mostly leaves this process to the reader’s imagination.

However, research shows that a hair growth can only be stopped by destroying the follicle, and the no!no! claims to do this with heat, unlike lasers that use light. Singing each hair shaft explains the rough, stubbly feeling, and is also why the area must be buffed to achieve the desirable smoothness.

Buyer Options

There’s a few different models of no!no! available, although the inherent differences in each model seem to be more oriented in color choice than addressing hair removal needs:

  • The 8800: This is the newest no!no! Hair model, which includes a slimmer profile and a status screen. Available in pink, white, and black. Price: $270.00.
  • Classic: One of the original models. Available in black and pink. Price: $249.95.
  • Plus: Includes many of the same features as the Classic, with the addition of three different treatment levels. Available in pink, green, and black. Price: $250.00.
  • Hair Pro: Sleek, slim design. Available in pink, blue, chrome, and black. Price: $290.00–310.00, depending on color.

Each device also comes with one narrow tip and one wide, a large buffer, a tip cleaning brush, charger, user manual CD, and a quick guide to get you up and going.

Is no!no! Worth the Investment?

The NoNo Pro promises both short and long-term hair removal, so we’ll address the results in two stages:

After personal use of the product on my arm, I found the area to have noticeably less hair but was not pleased with the resulting texture. Much like the result of singing a thread to prevent unraveling, no!no! use left my arm smelling like something overcooked and feeling rough with stubble even immediately after treatment.

Long-term use is reported to cause a noticeable reduction in hair density by customers who spoke about their experience with the product, both on HighYa’s previous no!no! review and YouTube videos found by searching the product’s name. These reviews all emphasize dedicated use over a long period, and only some were pleased with their results.

What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About the NoNo Pro

The no!no! catches a lot of heat online because their marketing message promises faster, professional-level hair removal; but even in the positive reviews that report actual hair removal, the results don’t match the marketing hype. While there were reported results of thinned hair and satisfied customers, it’s difficult to find a review that claims this product removed their hair completely. It’s important to remember that you must continue using the no!no! to maintain hair reduction or removal.

The most positive reviews state that some who stuck to their routine past the several month mark reported a thinning of hair. One positive review on HighYa’s previous overview of the no!no! state that it has drastically improved her appearance, and she very happy with the result. The individuals who report the highest level of satisfaction with their purchase tend to be those who struggled the most with a combination of unwanted hair (typically facial) and sensitive skin prior to using.

Concerns raised in reviews focused on the claim that hair removal results would be seen in just a 4-6 week time frame. Many reviewers expressed disappointment in the lack of reduced hair after regular use during this initial window and were dissatisfied enough with their purchase to return the product.

Another common complaint is that the NoNo Pro is not contoured properly to be useful on the chin or underarms.

NoNo Pro's Questionable Return Policy

Finally, there are enough reviews to raise an eyebrow regarding the no!no!'s return policy: the site promises a money-back guarantee (minus the cost of shipping) if you're not satisfied within 30 days from the date your no!no! is received. However, they require you call their customer service for a return authorization number (RMA) before mailing it back.

Some reviewers report being told the product must be used for 60 days before returning and being denied an RMA, so it’s unclear how frequently their policies on returns change and if would affect the guarantee. They at least offer the security of a one-year warranty to cover mechanical failures.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that this product takes some serious commitment: Users who reported the best results claimed to have dedicated 30+ minutes per body area,  2-3 times a week for up to one year. So if you already spend several hours struggling with unwanted hair each week, but aren’t in the market for laser treatments, this product may be for you. For everyone else, it seems a little too steep an investment to be satisfied with the minimal results.