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Laser hair removal has long lasting results. At-home devices are less powerful than those that clinics use, but they can still be effective if a person uses them repeatedly over time.
Targeted lasers use high heat to destroy individual hairs and stop hair follicles from working as well. This means that over time, the hair appears finer, and it will take longer for hair follicles to produce new hairs. This can result in a gradual reduction of hair over weeks and months.
Using a laser hair removal device is cheaper and more convenient than undergoing treatment in a clinic. However, it does carry more of a risk, and the results are likely to be slower. Also, most at-home laser hair removal devices do not work on lighter hair or darker skin tones.
The laser hair removal devices in this article are safe to use at home, but it is important to read the instructions carefully. Incorrect use will not lead to the best results and can result in skin damage.
These choices all have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance.
When choosing a suitable laser hair removal device, it is important to consider the following:
Laser hair removal devices work by using intense pulses of light. A device will no longer work once it delivers a certain number of pulses, so it is important to look for a reasonably high pulse rating.
Laser hair removal devices either use a diode laser or IPL technology. Both target hair color in the follicle and damage it to prevent regrowth. Diode lasers are more targeted, while IPL technology uses light waves and is less powerful. IPL technology is generally more affordable, however.
Most devices will have enough pulses to last several months or years. As a rough guide, the approximate number of pulses necessary to treat the following areas of the body are:
Laser hair removal devices give long lasting results, but they are not permanent. Treatments need repeating over time for the best results.
Some devices are most effective on larger areas of the body, such as the legs, while others work best on smaller areas, such as the underarms.
All of the following product choices are based on customer reviews and have FDA clearance.
The following devices work best on larger areas of the body:
Tria laser hair removal devices use diode lasers. This is the same technology that many clinics use. This makes it one of the most effective devices on the market. The LED screen helps guide treatment and shows the remaining battery life.
The Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X scans skin and hair tone, only unlocking if safe to use. It also chooses a safe setting for each individual. Higher settings are more painful and more effective, but they are not suitable for every skin tone.
The Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X is available for purchase online.
The Silk’n Infinity hair removal device is small, portable, and easy to hold and use. However, its wide head may make it less effective on curved areas of the body, such as the underarms.
The Silk’n Infinity hair removal device comes with a free app. This helps the user schedule treatments for the most effective long-term hair removal.
It uses IPL technology, which can mean that it takes longer to see results.
The Silk’n Infinity hair removal device is available for purchase online.
This laser hair removal device is an affordable and lightweight option. It is one of the few models to come with safety goggles to protect the eyes from the bright light that comes with IPL technology.
The Mismon laser hair removal device relies on the user to judge the right setting for their hair and skin tone. This may increase the risk of burns or skin damage.
Many other devices detect skin and hair tones automatically, choosing the safest setting for the user.
Learn more about the Mismon laser hair removal device here.
The Braun Silk-expert Pro 5 has a wide range of intensity settings, and the user can easily adjust it to suit their individual pain threshold. It uses IPL technology and automatically adapts to a person’s skin tone for safety.
It is one of the fastest devices on the market. This means that it should be less time consuming to use and provide quick results. However, it may be less easy to track treatment, as the device does not have an LED display.
The Braun Silk-expert Pro 5 is available for purchase online.
The following device is optimal for targeted areas of the body:
The second Tria product on this list also uses diode lasers, but it targets smaller areas of the body. Its design works for the face, underarms, and bikini line.
Its 15-minute battery life means that the device does not last long between charges, but smaller areas of the body should need less time to treat.
The Tria Hair Removal Laser Precision device is available for purchase online.
The following devices are best for targeted and larger areas of the body:
This device measures skin tone for ongoing safety during use. It has a gentle setting for use on more sensitive areas of the body.
The SmoothSkin Gold uses IPL technology, with 60 pulses per minute. This means that it is faster than some other devices, but it may overheat with use.
The SmoothSkin Gold is available for purchase online.
The Remington iLIGHT comes with two heads, making it versatile for use on smaller and larger areas of the body. It also has a screen that gives instructions as a person uses it.
It delivers higher-powered pulses of light than other devices that use IPL technology, which may make the device more effective. However, the number of pulses it delivers is lower, and it is still the most expensive device on this list.
The Remington iLIGHT Elite is available for purchase online.
Laser hair removal devices for use at home can save time and money. The convenience of being able to carry out treatments at home is also an advantage.
This technology is still relatively new, and devices are likely to improve in the future. Current results often vary from person to person, and devices may not work on all skin or hair tones.
On the other hand, certified dermatologists have the expertise and technology to achieve better results. Results often last for longer, and there is less of a risk of sustaining skin damage in a clinic. Hygiene and safety must meet certain standards.
A person should use home laser hair removal devices with caution. Always read the instruction manual and follow the proper aftercare tips. Also, avoid using laser hair removal devices on tattooed, damaged, or tanned skin.
Lasers work by telling the difference between skin tone and hair tone. If a device cannot tell the difference, it may target the skin rather than the hair and burn it. This means that laser hair removal devices may not be safe for use with all skin or hair tones. It is best to do a patch test on a small area of skin to check for side effects.
For the best results, shave, clean, and dry the skin beforehand. Use the highest safe setting for the best results. In general, the darker a person’s skin tone, the lower the setting that is safe to use. Higher settings can be more painful, so be sure to choose a setting that is comfortable.
Some manufacturers recommend using a skin-numbing cream before use. Use these products with caution, however. Numb skin cannot feel pain, which makes it easy to damage it accidentally.
Not all laser hair removal devices are designed for use on all areas of the body. Avoid using on the genitals and near the eyes. For targeting hair on the face, use devices that are specifically designed for that purpose.
Some possible side effects of at-home laser hair removal can include:
Users should avoid sunlight or tanning after using a laser hair removal device. Also, it may be best to moisturize after removing the hair, use sunscreen, and wear clothes that cover the skin.
Performing laser hair removal at home is more affordable than professional treatment, but devices are still relatively expensive. As technology improves, laser hair removal at home is likely to become more affordable and more effective.
A person should choose a device based on the area of the body they want to target.
Be aware that users may not be able to control the settings, as some devices have inbuilt safety features.
Most people will need multiple treatments, so they should also consider how long the device is likely to last.
Laser hair removal is not permanent, but with correct use, these devices can significantly reduce body hair. A person should follow all instructions carefully and be patient, as good results take time.
Last medically reviewed on May 28, 2020
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