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Everything about laser hair removal at home

A Brief Guide on Laser Hair Removal at Home: should I try it ?

For both men and women, hair removal has been one of the greatest areas of concerns, as it is not that easy to carry out this quite regular task. While several solutions exist, including those claiming to achieve permanent hair removal at home, most of them are inconvenient, painful, temporary or all of them. A few significant ones are also pretty expensive. Going to the spa, visiting a clinic or approaching parlours regularly, are all expensive methods in the long run. To overcome these issues, laser hair removal at home has come up as a good alternative.

Although not completely soothing, this swifter procedure method involves comparatively minor discomfort and ensures lasting results. By lasting results I mean a permanent reduction in growth. The at home laser hair removal  method has become the best solution for  permanent hair removal at home. This is because the professional service is simply very expensive. In fact, in small neighbourhoods, the price tends to be at least $500.

Laser hair removal at home

Well, the good news is that laser hair removal machines are now cheaper, more accessible as well as more effective. And they  actually  do work, as they are founded on the same principles that professional laser removal employ.

As a beginner, the very first question striking the mind can be: is laser hair removal at home an effective and reliable technique ? Let’s find out.

at home laser hair removal

Laser Hair Removal At Home Devices

Laser hair removal at home involves using a specially designed optical unit.  This employs laser technology for conveniently discarding all unwanted hair at your own comfort level.

These devices not only remove those strands but also contribute to steady hair reduction every time you use. They block the re-growth of new strands for months after treatment with the least possible pain or trouble.

Unlike the costly equipment used in a dermatologist’s clinic, these devices are economical and deliver pretty fast results.

But why a laser hair removal at home device? 

Most people believe that treatments such as waxing are long lasting techniques of hair removal. However, it’s not only about removing hair, it’s about permanently removing hair (as much as possible). The latter part is something that the laser technique takes care of. Its focus is on permanent hair reduction, which is perhaps the biggest benefit of using a laser removal device at home or at the clinic.

Using such a machine results in actual changes of the skin and follicles. The skin gets softer while the hair follicles, smaller. As a result, the strands’ growth is impeded until almost vanishing completely.

In simple terms, the softer skin gives a feeling of no follicles when touching the laser treated area. You really can’t feel hair in that area any more. Just after a couple of removal sessions, you will notice the reduction of hair growth, meaning sparser strands. Treatment leads to hair so thin and light that you can hardly spot. This will happen even if you don’t have the time to constantly use a laser hair removal device.

Apart from it’s obvious affordability ensured by the one-time investment in the device, here are a few benefits of using laser hair removal at home:

laser hair removal at home device
  • Convenientyou can use the time spent on clinic trips doing what you love;

  • Flexibility, as you can treat yourself at your own pace, an appealing idea to those having a busy schedule;

  • Privacy, as you now feel comfortable in treating the more intimate areas;

  • Safe: take care of reading all instructions and warnings;

  • Pain control, as you can adjust the device’s intensity for obtaining a perfect balance between the results and a tolerable level of discomfort;

  • Effectiveness, as hair follicles are targeted to impede growth;

  • Wider area treatment, as there are no restrictions on which area to cover and how much to cover in one session;

  • Ensured results, as other techniques and products either do not give the best results or are only effective only 50-80% of time.

Sounds interesting, right? However, does this mean that at home laser removal machines are just as effective as the professional equipment? Let’s find out!

laser hair removal at home costs

How Effective Is Laser Hair Removal at Home?

The overall efficiency and effectiveness of permanent laser hair removal at home vary from device to device. A few are capable of delivering truly long-lasting effects, while some give results that may last only for some months.

Apparently, the assurance of permanent removal of hair is quite attractive for many people. As per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons2013 report, laser hair removal is the fourth most widespread technique used in dermatology clinics, along with botox, chemical peels, and fillers (in no particular order).

However, like all clinical methods, laser hair removal is costly, regardless of the targeted area. Typically, two sessions of this treatment are required to get a visible result. But it can even go to eight sessions for genuine, long lasting results.

Many brands attempted to come up with an at home hair removal device for a cheaper price. The first device destined for laser hair removal at home was released by Tria Beauty in 2005, a brand currently admired for handheld and laser-emitting units.

How effective is laser hair removal done with this early device? Well, I actually haven’t tried it. It’s helpful to know that it was FDA-approved by 2008. But its latest version, the Tria 4X, claims 50% better results than the previous model, which indicates amazing evolution. These and other similar products are pretty expensive but are cheaper than what one ends up paying for two to six clinic treatments.

How Does An At Home Laser Device Work ?

The machine basically slays down hair follicles which absorb both light and heat from the laser. However, for averting re-growth you should do this during the active growth cycle of hair.

While this method of removal is technically everlasting, you should know that every single strand grows in a separate or distinct cycle. This is also the reason why it requires more than one treatment. It’s pretty hard to slay down all of them at once.

According to Dr. Gerstner, some females are fine with only hair thinning and finishing the job by shaving. She also mentions that changes in hormones, especially during and postpregnancy, have a role to play in hair growth in formerly treated regions.

Regarding safety, most laser hair removal devices are very safe but you should be careful to purchase an FDA-approved one.

You also need to use it in the right way. The major factors that decide the safety of any laser hair removal at home device are hair color and skin tone. This is because not every laser device can be used on any hair color or skin tone.

How laser hair removal works

The Hair Color

  • Before you judge how effective is laser hair removal treatment delivered by a particular device, it’s essential to know the color of the strands you wish to remove. In case the strands have distinct shades along its length, consider the color nearest to the roots as the right choice.
  • The laser treatment is most effective on shades ranging from light brown to black. Lasers deliver, at times stinging, light pulses into the melanin beneath the skin to target dark hairs and impede their follicles from generating new strands.
  • In case of red or blonde color, the device might work but will be a bit ineffective, as it shall take longer to deliver the desired results. However, this might not be true for those with blonde hair having light brown shade close to the roots.
  • In case of grey or white hair color, at home laser hair removal devices with prove to be ineffective.
  • In case you have a color such as grey patches with brown shaded strands, the result will also be mixed.
  • Nevertheless, if you wish to remove the obvious dark colored hair, chances are high for laser treatment to work.

The Skin Tone

  • Most laser devices for at home hair removal treatment come with built-in sensors measure how suitable your skin tone is. So, in case of doubt, just hold the sensors on a small skin patch to verify suitability.
skin type
  • The laser treatment from at home devices are effective as well as safe for skin tone ranging from white to light brown.
  • The follicle absorbs light only if there is a contrast between skin and hair. This means an individual with dark hair and light to medium skin color is the ideal candidate.
  • In case of medium brown or darker tones, most devices prove to be unsafe. Because the laser aims to target dark areas, it can result in de-pigmentation and even damage to your skin. However, recently, a few devices are out in the market (like the Iluminage Touch, Verseo eGlide or Me Smooth) that work safely even on dark skin tones.

There are some more things to know and bear in mind while choosing laser hair removal at home as your treatment:

  • The laser treatment requires time to achieve lasting reduction in hair growth. You need to use the device repeatedly every few weeks for up to a few months. While removal may not be fully complete at first, it tends to become so over time.

  • Most hair removal devices are meant for use on legs, arms, underarms or bikini areas. It may not be safe to use it on the breasts or chest, face or genitals. Nevertheless, there are some devices designed for face use, like Silk’n Flash, as it deals smartly with the fact that laser light can damage your eyes.

  • Using a home laser devices feels like a minor warming sensation, which is painless or with a minor discomfort at most.

  • Overall, the laser removal devices for home are not cheap, although they are relatively cheaper than the in-clinic treatments.

  • At home laser hair removal devices are not directly analogous to their salon or professional equivalents. This is because the at home ones are less powerful, so it will take more frequent use to obtain the same outcome. However, this is insignificant for those who are money conscious rather than time conscious.

  • You need to use an at-home device with diligence, as it’s essential to cover all zones from where you need to discard the strands. In case you miss any one of those strands, the chances of an irregular shape patch growth shall increase. So, ensure you know how to use the device to prevent this consequence.

  • Hair thickness might affect how fast you can get results. Generally, the thicker the hair, the quicker the results. This is because thicker hair possess more surface area as well as color or pigment to soak in more laser light than finer hair. This means treating fine hair calls for more patience as well as more sessions. As a tip, you can choose a stronger laser device for finer hair, rather than a Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) device.

  • Each user will gain different results, as each one of us is unique. Furthermore, as mentioned, the results are dependent upon several factors such as root hair color and size and shape of follicles.

Laser Hair Removal at Home: before-treatment checklist

  • Research well about the different available devices and look for some genuine customer reviews.

  • Consider skin tone and hair color.

  • Clean your skin thoroughly before the treatment, so that all lotions, creams and any dirt are removed. Remember, anything left on skin reduces the laser’s effectiveness.

  • Use a laser device when the strands are in the active phase of growth for obtaining a positive feedback on how effective is laser hair removal.

  • Shave your skin with new razors at night before the day of your treatment, so that the follicles are easily located at the time of treatment.

  • Wear protective eyewear.

  • Read and follow the instructions manual, warnings, and guidelines of the device you buy to avoid any side effects or injury. This might include buying goggles, calming cream, and numbing cream all designed for laser hair removal at home.

Keep these things in mind:

  • Stop waxing, tweezing, plucking, depilating, threading, and bleaching six weeks before your first session. This will make it easier to identify follicles as well as to allow active hair growth. You should’t use them even after the treatment. Shaving is fine, however.

  • Avoid tanning or going in the sun before the treatment and two weeks post treatment. Tanning can lead to pigmentation if laser is used on such skin. After treatment, if you must go in sun, consider using an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen.

  • Do not wear tight clothes during the treatment.

  • Avoid treating sensitive areas on your own for safety, for example, eyebrows.

  • Do not over-treat yourself by using the device daily, as that can lead to skin damage. It is suggested to use the device every two weeks on average.

  • Stop the treatment if you feel a burning sensation or see discolouration, as these symptoms indicate side effects. It means that the particular device is unsuitable for your skin.

  • Avoid swimming, steam, sauna, hot showers or jacuzzis for 24-48 hours after the treatment.

IPL Hair Removal versus Laser

IPL means Intense Pulsed Light, which is a kind of light therapy commonly used in different dermatological techniques, including hair removal. IPL devices are not lasers. Similarly, lasers are not IPLs. They are two different techniques.

IPL differs from laser because it generates a wide gamut of wavelengths between 500 and 1,200 nanometers spreading inside the skin to target the pigment. As opposed, the laser produces only a single wavelength from the diode. This is a quite important difference.

Laser hair removal devices offer a concentrated, single spectrum of light reaching directly to the melanin and follicle. This means that more light reaches the strand, and not just up to the adjacent skin tissue.

On the other hand, IPL devices are less effective on thick hair. Due to different wavelengths, it’s a hot debate if IPL devices are a bit ineffective compared to laser devices regarding permanent hair reduction.

IPL versus laser - how it works

The workings of IPL is analogous to a black attire absorbing heat. The hair pigment absorbs the light, which gets transformed into heat quickly. This heat finally slays down the growing cells responsible for generating hair. However, for this to work, hair should appear to be affixed by the bulb of growing cells. This means that while pulling a strand, its “jelly” bulb at the tip indicates if it is one of those 20 to 40% of living strands on your body. If there is no such jelly bulb, it’s a dead strand that could remain on skin for the next three weeks. This is also the reason why you need several sessions of laser removal to target all living hairs.

The small lamp in an IPL device transmits energy as a myriad of light waves. The light is less powerful, as is more diffused than laser energy. IPLs are also restricted for using on fairer skin tones and darker hair shades.

IPL is, therefore, restrictive and less comfortable. A laser device allows you to set it up in such way that it can adapt it’s wavelengths range to match an exact pigment. For instance, laser removes brown strands at 800 nanometers. This makes it much more comfortable and convenient to use a laser device.

On the other hand, most laser devices give a feeling of being tapped with a hot supple band, although this varies from one product to another. They are less painful. Those that create discomfort come with a cooling fan. The producers try minimizing that feeling, while others are virtually pain-free. However, your skin might show redness and scaling but they both vanish quickly.

Both IPL & laser hair removal treatments have two things in common: the goal of permanent removal according to skin type and hair type, and working through light emission. The real difference exists in the type of light emitted. Due to the difference in spectrum, they have different applications.

So as I briefly stated before, both laser and IPL hair removal machines involve producing energy in the form of light which is absorbed by the dark pigments of the hair. The energy causes damage to the hair follicle and stuns its growth, ultimately leading to permanent hair reduction.

Because the light energy targets dark pigments, it is always important for darker skin colors to be extremely careful when using laser or IPL devices as this may damage the surrounding skin tissue causing pigmentation.

So laser hair removal is preferred as it is a more effective solution. As less heat is absorbed by the skin than in case of an IPL device, risk for burning and pigmentation is reduced.

Best Laser Hair Removal Device: Buying Guide

At the time of buying a laser hair removal device for home use, there are a few factors and features worth consider. These are:

  • How safe the device is

  • How easy it is to use

  • How long does the device last, especially the included cartridges

  • How effective is device

  • How suitable is the device for your hair color and skin tone

Here are some of the best at home laser hair removal machines and cheap laser hair removal machines to consider, all of which are FDA-approved. However you need to thoroughly match them with your requirements, budget, hair and skin tone.

Best At Home Laser Hair Removal: Top Picks

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X review

Designed to give the best results, this one employs the same diode laser mechanism that dermatologists prefer. This technology gives 70% hair reduction in just three months, as per description and laser hair removal reviews.

You can use it on almost any part of your body, such as from cheek line to the downward area of the face, back, legs, underarms, arms, bikini, hands, feet, stomach and chest.

This device comes with advanced features such pulse counter, digital LED display, built-in skin sensor and an ergonomic design.

Pros

  • No power required

  • Clinical proved to remove regular shaving and waxing

  • 2x faster results even on face

  • No replacement cartridges yet professional device technology

  • Easy to use

 

Cons

  • Recharging required; lasting only for half an hour before needing a recharge

  • Not for dark skin and blonde, white, grey, or red hair

Tria 4x review

LumaRx IPL Hair Removal Device review

Delivering light at wavelengths between 650-1200nm, energy reaches the root scattering across a long length of pulse light. This mechanism makes this IPL device one of the best at home hair removal appliance for anyone who needs professional-grade, lasting outcome.

Both males and females can use it on arms, legs, underarms, bikini line, stomach and chest. However, females can also use it on their facial hair. It features a 3-second and 4-second flash speed for body and face respectively, ComfortFilter technology for calmness, two caps and 65,000 flashes per replaceable cartridge.

Pros

  • Up to 94% reduction in three sessions

  • Ideal for larger regions and intensive treatment

  • No recharging

  • Use on female facial hair

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not for darker skin tones

LumaRx IPL review

Cheap Laser Hair Removal Machines

The aforementioned devices are the more pricey or high range ones. If you are on a strict budget, consider one of the following cheap laser hair removal devices.

Remington iLIGHT IPL 6000 Pro Hair Removal System review

This one is Amazon’s best seller device for at home professional hair removal. Developed by one of the top dermatologists, this unit is clinically proven.

It employs the latest IPL technology that professional clinical hair removal treatments use along with proprietary ProPulse technology for ensuring lasting outcome for as long as six months.

The unit features one light cartridge giving up to 1,500 flashes. This could last for two to three full body treatments. It has a skin tone sensor as well as a contact sensor and can be used at five energy levels. You can use it almost anywhere on body but not on the face.

 Pros

  • Several flash options for targeting follicles as per skin type

  • Professional technology as well as output

  • Fast results without pain

  • Comfortable sensation

  • Six months of lasting result

Cons

  • Need of cartridge replacement although comfortable

  • Not highly effective as laser device; slow results

  • Not for face, lighter hair color or darker skin tone

Remington IPL6000F review

Philips Lumea Comfort IPL Hair Removal System review

This one steals your heart due to its aesthetics and virtually painless and continuous performance. It has a smooth design fitting like a charm in the palm of your hand.

It features a powerful lamp lasting up to 200,000 flashes or 4+ years of full body coverage. You also get a skin sensor, five power settings, and the ability to reduce hair by 75% in just 60 days or 4 sessions. It is well tested by over 2,000 ladies and is usable on any chosen body area.

 Pros

  • Compact design

  • Facial use

  • Highly durable

  • No replacement of gels or lamps

  • Easy to use and virtually painless

  • Adjustable settings with safety features including protection from UV light

Cons

  • It needs a cartridge replacement 

  • Corded

Philips Lumea Comfort

Silk’n Flash&Go Hair Removal Device review

This one is another IPL but innovative laser hair removal device for the entire body. It is packed with 5,000 pulses of light energy for delivering professional results at home.

The advanced high tech design enables you to target your skin area correctly regardless of whether the area is small or big. This unit is more reliable for sensitive areas or smaller regions such as underarms. Its pulse speed does the job quickly.

Pros

  • Less pain and good result

  • Ideal for sensitive areas

  • Quicker performance

  • Safe

  • Easy to use even on face

Cons

  • Needs replacement cartridges

  • Occasional left behind marks

Silk’n Flash&Go

Final words

At home laser hair removal is a reliable choice for those with hectic schedules and limited budget – a category in which most people will fit.

You can still get professional or better results with lesser sessions, if you maintain a high degree of preciseness in using the device. Hope this guide was useful to you. Don’t forget to leave a comment with your opinion!

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