Best Laser and IPL Hair Removal at Home Machines for 2018

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Shaving helps you maintain that outer glow. Unfortunately, it’s not a chore that anyone looks forward to going through. It can be tedious, tiring, time-consuming, and expensive. As a matter of fact, women spend approximately 72 days of their lives shaving. But that’s just half the story. Over their lifetime, they spend a whopping $10,000 on shaving products.

The good news is there’s a long-term and more permanent solution to removing unwanted body hair – laser hair removal. And no, it’s no longer an expensive luxury reserved for the high and mighty. The best at-home laser hair removal machines will save you from making costly and inconvenient trips to clinics and salons.

At the moment, there are close to 400 laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) hair removal devices on the market. Most of them are FDA cleared, meaning they’re safe for use. Many also use cutting-edge technology and have medical-grade quality and performance, delivering excellent results. It can be challenging to find the ideal product to suit your body perfectly. But don’t stress, our reviews of the top 6 hair removal products available right now will help you choose the best possible option for your needs.

What’s the Best Hair Removal Machine for You?

Are you a good candidate for at-home laser hair removal? Knowing this before purchasing a laser hair removal machine will save you lots of frustration and rushing to declare the technique a scam simply because of not understanding the science behind it.

You’ll get the best hair removal results if you have dark hair and pale skin. Don’t have these qualities? Don’t panic. You just need to find out which devices will maximize your results the most.

So how do you know whether a product will work effectively on you? Read on to learn more about the main factors to consider.

What’s your skin tone?

You need to know your skin tone before going to buy a laser hair remover for yourself. You’ll then need to ensure that the device you choose works well on your skin color.

Clinicians typically categorize skin color based on the Fitzpatrick skin tone scale. The scale classifies skin tone into 6 types, based on the amount of pigment (melanin) on the skin. These include:

  1. Type I (Northern, European, British): this skin type is pale white in color, always burns and never tans in the sun
  2. Type II (European, Scandinavian): this skin type is fair white in color, usually burns and tans minimally in the sun
  3. Type III (South European, Central European): this skin type is medium white to olive in color, sometimes burns mildly and tans gradually in the sun
  4. Type IV (Mediterranean, Asian, Latino): this skin type is light brown in color, burns rarely and tans easily to a moderate brown in the sun
  5. Type V (East Indian, African, Native American): this skin type is brown or dark brown in color, burns very rarely and tans very easily in the sun
  6. Type VI (African, Aboriginal): this skin type is very dark brown to black in color, never burns and always tans darkly in the sun

Very dark skin contains more melanin hence falls in type VI (6) whereas pale skin belongs to I (1). People with skin tone types I to IV have more laser and IPL hair removal products to choose from. That’s because paler skin tones absorb less light than dark skin, and as a result, there’s more light available for absorption by the hairs to cause damage to them and prevent regrowth. However, some devices have been specially invented for use on darker skin.

What’s the color of your hair?

Hair color is also an important factor when it comes to choosing your ideal hair remover. Hair removers are usually sensitive to a particular range of hair color, so you should ensure the color of your hair is within that range. The light of a laser hair remover is attracted to the dark pigment of the hair known as melanin. For that reason, the device works best on dark hair. However, some newer laser and IPL devices work well on light hair.

The Top At-Home Laser Hair Removers

Now that you have an idea of the main factors that affect laser hair removal, you can move on to our reviews. We’ve reviewed a number of laser and IPL hair removal machines and compiled a list of the best ones to help you find the best product for your needs.

If you’d wish to learn more about laser hair removal before checking out our top reviews, you can skip directly to our buyer’s guide to help you make a better-informed decision.

1. Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 3001
  • 2 Intensity Levels
  • 250,000 Flash Capacity
  • Mains Powered
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Skin Tone Coverage 1-5
2. Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X
  • 5 Intensity Levels
  • Unspecified
  • 30 Minutes Battery Life
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Skin Tone Coverage 1-4
3. Iluminage Touch Permanent Hair
  • 3 Intensity Levels
  • 120,000 Flash Capacity
  • Mains Powered
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Skin Tone Coverage 1-6
4. Remington iLIGHT Pro
  • 5 Intensity Levels
  • 65,000 Flash Capacity
  • Mains Powered
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Skin Tone Coverage 1-4
5. Philips Lumea New BRI956
  • 5 Intensity Levels
  • 250,000 Flash Capacity
  • Mains Powered & Battery Powered
  • 2 Year warranty
  • Skin Tone Coverage 1-5
6. Veezy Ultra light Face
  • 5 Intensity Levels
  • 350,000 Flash Capacity
  • Mains Powered
  • Unspecified
  • Skin Tone Coverage 1-5

Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 3001

EDITOR’S CHOICE: The Venus Silk-Expert 3001 offers fantastic value for your money. It’s FDA-cleared, meaning it provides safe and effective treatment. Most users get excellent results within the first 3 months. Its comprehensive settings ensure that it works at the level of intensity and mode that best suits you. We believe it’s an excellent choice for at-home hair removal due to its adaptability, speed, and precision.

If you’re looking for cutting-edge technology and effective hair reduction without having to break the bank, this IPL device may be all that you need. It’s FDA-cleared for use on both the face and body, and it works in a virtually pain-free way. Its lamp life is 250,000 flashes, which is equivalent to 10 or more years of full-body sessions. That’s probably way more than the treatments you’ll ever need. It treats small areas like the face, forearms, underarms, bikini line, and tummy quickly. It also doesn’t take long to cover large areas.

Advanced Sensor

It’s common knowledge that skin tone varies from one person to another. But, there’s one more thing that shouldn’t be ignored: it also varies on different parts of the body. The manufacturers of the product acknowledged this important fact and gave it an advanced skin tone sensor that uses a bespoke SensoAdapt skin technology.

All you have to do is to move the device across your skin. As you do so, the SensoAdapt sensors scan your skin 80 times each second. It then chooses the safest and most effective level of intensity for each different tone. In the normal mode, there are 3 intensity levels that range from 3 J/cm2 to 4 J/cm2. You’ll know the intensity level that the skin tone sensor chooses by checking the power indicator on the side-strip. In the normal mode, you can treat your lower leg in 10 minutes.

In case the normal mode feels uncomfortable, you can switch to the gentle mode by pressing the small round feather button. This mode lowers the energy output. It’s good for sensitive parts like the underarms and the bikini line. It’s also ideal for beginners. If you’re a little worried about IPL, you can use the mode to ease yourself into the treatment method. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll get faster results with the normal mode.

Users

Professional dermatologists have clinically tested the IPL 3001 and proven it to be effective in hair removal. It works on the skin types I to V and brown to black hair colors. Men can only use it on their bodies. Women can use it on their faces from the eyebrows down to the rest of the body.

Final Verdict

Despite it being the earlier version of the IPL 5001, the IPL 3001 delivers permanent and efficient hair removal treatment. It automatically adapts to variable skin tones, eliminating the uncertainties that accompany color matching. It’s a fantastic buy for people with hirsutism, as it successfully decreases hormone-related hair growth.

The flashes produced as you treat yourself are very bright but harmless. The user manual recommends looking away during each flash. This can be tiresome and uncomfortable, so it’s best to invest in safety glasses that you can wear as you operate this device to protect your eyes from the glare of the flashes.

Without a doubt, this is one of the best at-home hair removers on the market.

Pros
  • It features SensoAdapt skin technology to adjust treatment to suit different skin tones on the body
  • The ergonomic design makes it easy to handle
  • It offers a gentle mode for highly sensitive skin as well as beginners
  • It has a generous lamp life of 250,0000 flashes
  • Its mid-range price is attractive
  • It comes with a Gillette Venus razor that you can use prior to treatments
Cons
  • Results for people whose skin tone is very dark or hair is red, very blonde, or grey takes longer

Check Price & User Reviews on Amazon

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X

EDITOR’S CHOICE: The Tria Laser 4X was the first laser hair removal device to be cleared by the FDA, so you can trust it and confidently use it in your home. It safely and effectively gets rid of unwanted hairs on the face and body by permanently disabling the follicles. The technology it uses is the same one that 9 out of 10 dermatologists prefer using, delivering fantastic results at a price that’s way below that of professional treatments. It’s no wonder this device offers three times as much energy for hair removal as other at-home hair removers.

The Tria 4X is one of the most well-known hair removers on the market. It’s been around since 2013. In fact, it was the first laser hair removal system to gain FDA approval, which means it has enough features to ensure safe home use. It uses the diode laser technology that the pros use to damage hair follicles, slowing down hair regrowth and even permanently preventing it. It works on both the face and body. This product is highly rated by dermatologists due to its professional-grade technology, effectiveness, and quality.

Manufacturers of the Tria 4X recommend its users to repeat treatment on the same area every 2 weeks until they get their desired results, which is unlike salons that require a period of 4 – 12 weeks between hair treatment sessions. The product comes in 2 color options: fuchsia or green and white. The lithium-ion battery that powers it is rechargeable. The handle offers a comfortable grip to make the device easy to move around.

There’s a wonderful digital user interface on the Tria 4X to help you go through treatments successfully and safely. This interactive display offers the following features:

  • Battery level indicator to let you know when the machine requires charging
  • Laser pulse counter to record the number of pulses you’ve administered during your treatment session
  • Treatment intensity indicator to allow you to choose between the five strength settings
  • Skin tone sensor indicator so you can know whether it’s safe to use the device
  • Safety lock that unlocks once the skin tone sensor is ready

Who Is It For?

The Tria Laser 4X can be used by both men and women. Men shouldn’t use this device on their facial hair but can use it in most other parts of the body. On the other hand, women can use it on different areas of their face apart from the scalp. They can also use it on most areas of their bodies including their bikini line. The product isn’t intended for use on the genitals.

This laser hair removal machine will produce the most conspicuous results on dark, coarse hair against light skin tones. It won’t be equally as effective on grey, red, or blonde hair. If you have dark skin, you’ll have to look elsewhere. As a matter of fact, this product comes with a skin tone sensor that only activates on fair skin tones (Type I – IV) to protect those with darker skin color from damage.

People below 18 years of age shouldn’t use this product because it has only been tested on adults. You shouldn’t use it on large freckles, moles, birthmarks, and tattoos because you risk experiencing burns as a result of the excessive laser light that such areas tend to absorb.

The Tria 4X is designed as a personal care product. Therefore, it’s advisable not to share it with others to prevent hygiene risks, especially if you’re using it to treat your bikini line.

Final Verdict

The Tria 4X is head and shoulders above many other laser hair removal products. It’s highly effective in eliminating your stubborn hairs. It boasts professional-grade technology that dermatologists are raving about due to the ease of use, precision, and efficiency. The technology may give you some discomfort during treatment, but you can rest assured that you’ll get optimal results over time. The product will greatly benefit all people, but especially those with hirsutism from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

While you may see results after a few sessions, denser hair will require more time and patience to get to the desired results. Just remain committed, and you’ll get that silky smooth skin eventually. Many users have reported getting maximum results within 2 – 3 months, and we have every reason to believe you will too. What’s more, there’s a 90-day money back guarantee to give you that extra peace of mind.

 

 

Pros
  • It has a digital interface that’s easy to use
  • The built-in skin tone sensor ascertains suitability
  • It’s cordless so you can operate it without worrying about it getting tangled up
  • You can use it every 2 weeks
  • It has 5 different energy settings
  • It doesn’t require cartridge replacement
  • It has an ergonomic design
Cons
  • You can’t use it while it’s charging

Illuminage Touch Permanent Hair Reduction System

If you have light body hair and dark skin tone and have been searching for that elusive product that will suit your needs, you should check out the Illuminage Touch. It’s the first and only at-home hair remover to combine radio frequency (RF) and IPL energies to destroy hair follicles on all types of skin. The patented dual-energy technology delivers safe and effective hair removal that’s relatively painless compared to other hair removal devices.

It has been clinically proven to be effective. Users in a clinical study reported as much as 94% hair reduction after 7 weeks. The users were followed up a year after undertaking the complete treatment plan.

The recommended treatment plan is using the gadget once a week for a period of 7 weeks. After that, you can perform occasional touchups if necessary.

Users

This machine will work on you regardless of your skin tone and hair color. It’s the only IPL machine that’s been approved by the FDA for home use on all skin types. It’s been clinically proven to work on a wide variety of hair colors. You can even use it on lighter hair, such as red and blonde, provided you epilate or wax just before using it. What’s more, it isn’t painful to apply.

Power Supply

The product is powered by mains, unlike some other laser and IPL hair removers. As a result, you won’t have to wait for it to charge before starting a treatment session. You also won’t have to deal with the inconvenience of inconsistent output during your sessions, helping you achieve the best results.

You’ll be able to continuously move the device over your skin without needing to pause. This will not only save you time but also deliver fantastic hair reduction.

Replacement Parts

The quartz cartridge that comes with the device lasts for around 120,000 flashes. You can purchase a replacement quartz cartridge, along with a precision head to help you treat those hard-to-reach areas. Cartridges for the epilator that comes with the device are also available for sale.

Final Verdict

You’ll find this product easy to use and its treatment sessions quick. You may not notice results straightaway, but you’ll need to be patient and consistent as certain skin tone and hair color combinations take longer. Even though progress may be slow, you should see results in the long run.

Pros
  • You can use it on all skin tones
  • It’s useful on a range of hair colors, including those that are usually notoriously challenging to treat like red, blonde, and dark blonde
  • It’s mains-powered, so there’s no need for charging it
  • Treatment is fast thanks to the large cartridge head
  • It’s painless to use
  • The optional attachments allow you to wax or shave during treatment
Cons
  • Fair-haired people are required to epilate or wax first before treatment

Remington iLIGHT Pro

The Remington brand is well known for its shavers, razors, and trimming products. The Remington iLight Pro is an excellent, entry-level machine for those looking to get started with at-home laser hair removal. It’s designed for treating areas below the neck, which include the arms, underarms, stomach, chest, bikini line, and legs. The ergonomic shape and large head make it easy to apply it on large areas like the legs and arms. It shouldn’t be used on or around the neck, eyes, ears, face, or head.

The iLight Pro comes with a glass bulb that’s capable of 1,500 flashes before needing replacement. The number of flashes is relatively low, which explains the significant difference in price when compared to other Remington IPL devices.

There are 5 levels of intensity that you can choose from. Remington advises new users to use the lowest level at first to get their skin used to the new sensation. When the flash doesn’t feel uncomfortable, they can move up to the stronger intensities.

Who Should Use It?

The Remington iLight isn’t effective on the darker skin types. Its base device has a skin tone sensor to determine the compatibility of your skin. In fact, the device won’t power until you satisfy this condition. You shouldn’t use the device on dark spots on the skin or tattoos.

The device is best suited for users with darker hair. It’s less effective on light blonde and red hair colors, but it’s possible to get results on such hair. That may require setting it to the highest level of intensity, but there’s no guarantee that the device will work. The iLight Pro won’t work on white and grey hair.

The manual recommends committing to 6 – 12 weekly treatments to get good results. According to clinical tests, these results are expected to last 6 months.

Final Verdict

Because of the corded operation of the Remington iLight Pro, you’ll enjoy consistent output during the treatments. The low-flash capacity means you’ll need to purchase replacement glass bulb cartridges a little quicker than you would with other hair removers. However, at its price, it offers great value.

The large head will make treating large areas and arms easy and quick. If you have red or blonde hair, the device will be less effective. You’ll need lots of patience to get desired results.

Overall, the product is easy to use and provides results that last for months, hence offers value for money.

Pros
  • It’s relatively affordable
  • It’s easy to use because of its ergonomic shape
  • It causes hair reduction for up to 6 months
  • The skin tone sensor evaluates whether the product is safe for use on your skin
  • It doesn’t require recharging
  • It’s clinically tested and FDA-approved
Cons
  • Its flash capacity is low
  • It can’t be used on dark skin and is less effective on light-colored hair

Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956

Philips conducted over a decade of research before developing the Lumea Prestige. This product looks and feels like a premium product. It uses professional IPL technology to target the hair follicle and break the regrowth cycle. You can choose from 5 intensity levels that range from 2.4 J/cm2 to 6.5 J/cm2. It works at a higher power than other hair removers, so it will work fast to lower your hair growth. You’ll experience significant smoothness after about 4 – 5 treatments. It provides a whopping 250,000 flashes. You can use it with the mains-power or cordless to treat the hard-to-reach areas.

Gun-Shaped Design

The ergonomic gun shape makes it comfortable to hold and easy to use. On top of the gun, you’ll find simple controls that include a power button, SmartSkin sensor button, check-select button, battery indicator light, and 5 intensity indicator lights. The flash trigger button is perfectly placed, so the device feels balanced in spite of its weight and is intuitive to position.

Unique Curved Attachments

The standout premium feature of this product that makes it worth its price is the curved specialist attachments. As a matter of fact, it’s the first IPL machine to come with curved attachments. These interchangeable attachments are for the body, face, underarms, and bikini line.

The unique curve allows the attachments to fit the contours of your body for perfect coverage during treatment. For instance, the face attachment is a tiny 2cm2 flat window that can allow precise positioning even on your upper lip. The body attachment measures 4.1 cm2 and curves out, making it easy to cover your legs and knees quickly. It’s one of the largest flash windows on IPL devices.

Users

The Philips Lumea works safely and effectively on a variety of skin and hair colors. It works well on very white to dark brown skin tones. It’s not suitable for use on very dark skin (Type VI). The SmartSkin sensor suggests the best setting for your skin type. If your skin is too dark, the ready light will show red, and the device won’t flash. That will let you know that you’re not an ideal candidate for the device.

It’s effective on naturally dark blonde, black, and brown hair. You can’t use it to treat light blonde, red, white, or grey hair.

Final Verdict

It’s only the Philips Lumea Prestige that has different curvy-shaped flash windows to conform to body curvatures. That shows the impact of the years of research that Philips put into the product. It’s perfect for small areas, full body treatments, and your face too. You can treat your whole leg in less than 7 minutes when used corded. It has CE certification to show that it meets EU safety standards.

You can’t purchase replacement cartridges so you’ll have to throw it away at the end of its useful life. However, the 250,000-flash capacity makes it a long-lasting investment.

If you’re looking for an IPL device that’s packed with premium features and have a larger budget to match, the Lumea Prestige BRI956 is worth considering.

Pros
  • The ergonomic design makes it easy to handle
  • The curved attachments fit different body areas perfectly
  • The 250,000 flashes it provides is quite impressive
  • It allows for corded and cordless operation
  • You’ll hardly feel anything when using it
  • The manufacturer provides a 2-year global warranty
Cons
  • You can’t use it on light hair and the darkest skin tones
  • It’s expensive

Veezy Ultra Light IPL Laser Hair Removal System

If you’re on a budget and looking to remove hair permanently at home, you can opt for the Veezy hair removal system. It’s affordably priced and removes unwanted hair fast and efficiently. Clinical tests have shown that it can help you remove as much as 80% of hair after only four treatments. It has a 350,000-flash capacity. The distance between your skin and the filter is optimized to increase the effectiveness of the device in hair reduction as well as minimize pain.

Automatic Lighting Mode

The light pulse applies itself automatically as the device slides through your skin, making treatment a passive task. Therefore, you can do other things during your session.

Users

You’ll find the Veezy hair remover to be most effective if you have a lighter skin color. It will also be perfect for you if your hair is naturally black, brown, or dark blond. It’s ineffective on grey, white, red, or light blond hair.

You can use the device on your chin, lips, armpit, arms, bikini line, and legs.

Pros
  • It’s affordable
  • It’s simple to use
  • It has a long lifespan of 350,000 flashes
  • The automatic lighting mode makes treatment effortless
  • The Anti-Scald technology makes it a good choice for people with sensitive skin
Cons
  • It doesn’t work for black and dark brown skin colors as well as light blonde, red, grey, and white hair

What’s The Average Cost of Laser Hair Removal at a Clinic?

Many dermatology clinics, salons, and spas offer laser hair removal, but it isn’t cheap. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), it costs an average of $293 per session to cover the surgeon or physician fee only. It goes without saying that this price increases if the size of the area to be treated is large.

Other factors that can come into play and affect treatment costs include the qualifications and expertise of the specialist, geographic location, and the number of sessions. To give you an estimate of costs, let’s look at what you’d have to part with if you were to have 8 treatment sessions in one of the most popular clinics in the United States:-

For Women:
  • Face — $875
  • Neck — $700
  • Underarms — $1050
  • Full Arms — $1400
  • Belly — $525
  • Full bikini — $1400
  • Full legs — $2800
For Men:
  • Face — $1050
  • Neck — $700
  • Underarms — $1050
  • Chest — $2450
  • Full Arms — $1750
  • Stomach — $1750
  • Full legs — $2800

Unfortunately, health insurance usually doesn’t cover laser hair removal due to it being a cosmetic procedure.

Is it possible to get salon-quality results at your own home instead?

Yes, it’s definitely possible to get the same results you would when visiting a salon in the comfort of your home. At-home laser hair removal devices use the same technology that clinics and salons do, but are specifically developed for safe home use by untrained people. What’s more, they do so at a fraction of what doctors usually charge.

To help you establish whether laser hair removal is ideal for you, we’ve taken the time to put together a comprehensive list of everything you should know about at-home laser and IPL treatments.

Why Is Laser Hair Removal At Home So Popular?

Traditional hair removal techniques require a lot of your time and tend to have irritating side effects. Shaving, for example, can cause razor burns. You also must keep up with it to keep hair at unnoticeable levels. Waxing is expensive and requires you to wait for several days or weeks in between appointments for your hair to grow out. There’s also the issue of bruising and annoying ingrown hairs.

Do-it-yourself laser hair removal has become the technique of choice for many people because it delivers long-term solutions to hair reduction, which can be spotted after just a few treatment sessions. Nowadays, we have good devices that provide professional results at home and come at a price that’s way less than the cost of professional treatments — which can total to thousands of dollars, yet excellent at-home devices cost only hundreds.

Are you considering getting a laser hair treatment? Keep reading to learn more.

How long does a single laser hair removal session take?

The precise timing of a session depends on the area of the body that you want to treat. For instance, you’ll take a much shorter time to treat your bikini lines than to treat your legs. The flash of a laser device targets multiple hairs at a go, so the average treatment session should range anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. However, the session can take more than an hour if you’re planning on treating two or more areas.

How many treatment sessions are required?

Laser hair treatment can be highly effective. Many patients lose hair on the treated areas permanently after only 3 to 7 sessions of treatment. ASPS says clients should expect to take 1 to 10 sessions, with the average being 6, to get satisfactory results. This is largely dependent on the type of hair to be treated. After those sessions, you may need occasional top-ups. The good thing is that your hair is highly unlikely to ever get back to its original density and thickness.

How Does Laser Treatment Stop Hair from Growing?

Laser hair removal works by focusing a beam of light at your hair. The hair’s pigment known as melanin absorbs this light, which converts into heat energy. The heat damages the hair follicle, which is the tiny sac-like base of your hair. As a result, the hair is destroyed at its root thus preventing or slowing down regrowth. That’s how laser removal works for you in a nutshell.

A word of caution:
we’re now going into the nitty-gritty details of the science behind laser hair removal, but don’t panic because we promise to tone down the use of jargon.

Each flash of the laser transfers light to several hairs at once. The more melanin that these hairs contain, the more the light energy they’ll absorb. Darker hairs have the most melanin. As light is absorbed, the energy converts into heat, which burns the hairs. This burning is what deactivates and damages the hairs. The amount of melanin that the hairs contain changes due to their growth cycle, so they’re not always responsive to laser treatment.

Growth cycles of hair

To understand the technology of laser hair removal better, it’s essential to learn about the structure and growth cycle of hair. Strands of hair originate from the follicles that sit in the middle layer of the skin known as the dermis. They don’t grow continually. Instead, their growth cycle occurs in three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The length of the cycle varies from person to person, and that’s why a hair removal method that lasts for a week for one person may last for an entire month for another one. Hormonal fluctuations like those caused by pregnancy can also affect it.

During the anagen or growing phase, the hair actively grows from its follicle and protrudes out from the skin surface. At this point, the hair is directly connected to the follicle. In the catagen or transition phase, the follicle quickly shrinks, and the active growth of hair stops. At this point, the hair has detached from the follicle and blood supply. Lastly, in the telogen or resting phase, a new follicle starts growing and forms around the older one. The new hair that’s created is so small that it remains hidden under the skin.

Body hair stays in the telogen stage for much longer than the hair on the scalp. Therefore, it spends a more substantial part of its growth cycle without the nutrient-delivering blood supply. Its anagen stage is also considerably shorter. For those reasons, the full length of body hair is significantly shorter than that of scalp hair.

At what stage does laser hair treatment work best?

Laser hair removal is most effective during the anagen phase. Remember, during this phase, the hair grows actively and is connected to the follicle. It is also at this stage that it contains the most melanin. That implies that the hair will absorb more light, and the follicle will be heated to a much higher temperature and have its growth impaired as a result. Many studies have supported that, including the 2001 Eremia et al. study that found the best hair removal results to be in people with fairer, untanned skin. With time, impaired follicles fall out.

Each strand of hair is at a slightly different phase of the growth cycle. For that reason, you’ll need multiple laser treatments to strike all the hair follicles when they’ve entered the anagen stage.

How Safe Is Laser Hair Removal?

Most laser hair removal devices have FDA approval. That means they have passed rigorous safety tests to ensure they’re completely safe. For European manufacturers, a CE marking shows that the products have satisfied the requirements of the European health and safety agencies. However, laser hair removal will remain safe provided you use it correctly to ensure it targets only hair.

Are there any risks involved with laser hair removal?

The biggest risk involved with laser hair removal is the heat transfer that can cause burns when not used correctly. Laser targets areas with a greater quantity of pigment. Hair is an area of higher pigment. Freckles, moles, birthmarks, and tattoos are also higher pigment areas. Treating these areas causes the laser to attach to the melanin-rich cells, which can cause painful burns and harm the skin surface. For that reason, laser treatment shouldn’t be administered on any other areas with higher pigment apart from hair.

It’s important to do more research and seek advice from a professional before opting for laser hair removal if you have epilepsy, melanoma, skin trauma, keloid scarring, lupus, herpes, vitiligo, scleroderma, or have used medications like tetracycline or Accutane recently.

We strongly recommend against using laser hair removal during pregnancy because there’s no information on its effects on the developing baby. It’s advisable to use it after you’ve had the baby and aren’t breastfeeding.

Can laser hair removal lead to cancer?

The radiation in laser hair removal can be a cause for concern to some people. However, it’s important to note that we have ionizing and non-ionizing forms of radiation.

The radiation used in x-rays and gamma waves is ionizing radiation. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light is ionizing radiation as well. The energy in ionizing radiation is enough to break the bonds that bind molecules together. As a result, it can affect the DNA in your cells.

Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation have similar characteristics. However, the energy in non-ionizing radiation isn’t enough to break molecular bonds. Laser hair removal uses non-ionizing radiation, so it won’t break molecules or make cells mutate. Therefore, laser hair removal hasn’t been found to be a potential cause of cancer. Plus, the treatment only uses a minimal amount of radiation that’s only exacted on the skin surface. Even better, the procedure can treat certain precancerous lesions, according to the Skin Care Foundation.

Do laser and IPL treatment have any side effects?

Laser hair removal can cause some side effects shortly after the treatment procedure. Skin irritation is the most common side effect. It can manifest as redness, itching, discomfort, swelling, and tingling in the treated areas. If you have light skin, you may see darker spots immediately after treatment. If you have dark skin, you may notice light spots. These are the same effects that you may experience with other methods of hair removal, such as waxing. Fortunately, all these changes are minor and usually temporary. They typically disappear after a few hours. Rarely does laser hair removal cause more severe side effects.

Less common side effects include crusting, blistering, scarring, and greying of hair. Very rarely, there may be increased growth of hair in the area of treatment. It’s best to clean the area to be treated before and after the laser procedure to avoid infection, which is a rare potential side effect.

IPL vs Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a general term for laser light and IPL technologies. Diode laser and IPL hair removal devices are often referred to as laser devices.

Both laser and IPL treatments do the same thing. They both use light energy to heat your hair follicles in a manner that disrupts hair growth without causing damage to the surrounding tissue and organs. They’re safe and deliver good results as long as they’re used properly.

The difference between the two lies in the technologies and the type of light they employ to achieve hair removal. In reality, IPL therapy doesn’t use laser light at all. Instead, it uses broad-spectrum light that has multiple wavelengths and can’t be as focused like a laser. IPL doesn’t penetrate your skin as deep as a laser does. As a result, it takes more time to disrupt the growth of hair on your body. However, it’s cheaper than laser treatment.

There’s a technique known as Variable Pulsed Light (VPL) hair removal. It uses broad-spectrum light just like IPL. However, settings can be adjusted to target different hair types. Because it has more precision, VPL is thought to deliver better results. However, it’s less focused into the follicles, so you’ll probably need more treatments to get the desired results than with laser hair removal.

Preparing For Treatments

Avoid waxing or threading

In the month leading up to the treatment, you shouldn’t wax or thread the area you intend to treat. This is to avoid disrupting the natural cycle of hair growth, which can reduce the effectiveness of laser hair removal.

Postpone treatment

Have you been taking antibiotic treatments? If yes, you’ll need to schedule your laser hair treatment for two weeks after taking the last dose.

Keep the skin clean

Before treatment, ensure you don’t apply any deodorants, creams, cosmetics, or beauty products on your skin. However, it’s important to make sure your skin is moisturized sufficiently in the weeks leading up to your laser hair removal.

Protect the skin

In the weeks leading up to your treatment, use sun protection consistently even if you’re indoors. Don’t use a sunbed or fake tan, and avoid direct sun exposure in the weeks leading up to the treatment. This will make your skin dry out and make it more susceptible to burning. In addition, tanning darkens your skin, making it absorb more of the light from the laser device. As a result, it makes the laser treatment less effective. If you were to treat tanned skin, you’d need to use a lower intensity level, which is less effective than the higher intensity levels.

 

Wear loose clothes

During your laser hair removal, you want to expose the areas of treatment easily and comfortably. You’ll also want to minimize irritation to these areas immediately after your session. That will only be possible if you choose to wear loose-fitting clothing. So skinny jeans should be a no-no if you’re going to laser your legs or bikini line.

Aftercare

Avoid hot showers and baths

Your skin is going to be more sensitive within the first 48 hours after your treatment. During this period, avoid bathing or showering with hot water and using saunas or gyms. This is to avoid irritating your skin.

Don’t wax

Waxing or threading soon after treatment can disrupt the hair follicle, interfering with the damage the laser treatment caused to it. Consequently, you may experience regrowth of hair in places that it would otherwise not occur.

Exfoliate

After redness and other similar side effects have worn off, you can exfoliate the treated area gently. However, make sure you only do so at least 1 to 2 weeks after the treatment.

You can shave

Waxing and threading require you to have hair on the surface. That’s not the case with laser hair treatment. In actual fact, you’ll prevent surface hair from getting singed by the laser if you shave within 12 hours prior to your laser removal.

Don’t scratch

You’ll probably feel itchy after your treatment. Remember, your skin will be more delicate at this point. Therefore, don’t scratch because you may break and scar your skin.

Protect yourself from direct sunlight

Just as protecting yourself from the sun before the treatment is important, so is it to continue doing so after the procedure. Avoid the sun as well as tanning booths for 2 to 4 weeks after your treatment. You can use sunblock to protect your vulnerable skin, but make sure it has an SPF rating of 30 or higher.

 

Avoid deodorants and makeup

If you’ve treated your underarms, avoid using deodorants. Similarly, don’t apply makeup to your face if you’ve treated it, for at least 24 hours. Only use mineral-based products if it’s extremely necessary to do so. If you develop irritation, soothe your skin with some vitamin E.

Spread the treatment sessions out

Occasional laser hair removal is safe. However, doing the procedures frequently can be problematic to your skin. To give treated skin the best chance of recovery, leave 4 to 12 weeks between treatment sessions unless the instruction manual of your at-home machine advises otherwise.

Benefits of At-Home Laser and IPL Hair Removal

Effective

Laser treatment at home is highly effective. Many patients get their desired results after 3 to 7 treatment sessions.

Precise

Lasers target dark hairs while leaving your surrounding skin unharmed. Due to their nature, lasers can be focused on small and large areas. IPL treatments are not as precise as lasers, but they still target high pigment areas like dark hairs on light skin, so they’re also effective.

Cost Effective

Professional hair removal treatment costs several hundred dollars per session. You’ll need several sessions to get complete results, so you can easily spend thousands of dollars in total. On the other hand, at-home devices can cost as low as half the cost of a single session at a salon. They help you save money on the costs of professional appointments as well as on the costs of regular waxing, razors, depilatory creams, and other shaving-related items.

Speed

Every pulse of a laser device targets several hairs in less than a second. Therefore, it can target legs and other larger areas of the body in an hour or less. Laser hair removal also saves your time by removing the need to book wax appointments or shave regularly.

Convenience

Having to make repeated visits to a clinic can be hugely inconveniencing, especially if you have kids or a fulltime job. If you purchase an at-home device, you’ll have the freedom of performing treatments yourself at times that best fit your busy schedule.

Eliminate ingrown hairs

Some people tend to develop ingrown hairs or have sensitive skin that is easily irritated by razor burns and waxing. Laser hair removal is a good option for such people.

Eliminate the need for grow-out times

Laser or IPL treatment lets you shave as much as you’d want in between treatment sessions, unlike with waxing or threading where you’ll have to wait for the hair to grow to a decent length to effectively remove it.

Wrapping Up

Unwanted hair can ruin your beach-ready bod. Laser hair removal helps you tackle this problem efficiently. The 6 products we’ve featured in our reviews can all help you get excellent results. However, it’s important to know that what may be ideal for one person may not work well for you. Remember, for you to find the right product, you need to understand your hair and skin type.

It’s possible to remove hair permanently with at-home devices. However, top-up treatments are often needed to maintain that. The initial cost of the devices may be high, but in the long run, they turn out to be significantly cheaper and save plenty of time. Our guide has also answered many other crucial questions about laser hair removal, so you can reread and get that smooth, hair-free look in no time.