Best At Home Permanent Laser & IPL Hair Removal Machine 2018

Shaving your legs is never enjoyable. It’s a chore that never goes away. In fact, it is estimated that women spend an average of 72 days of their life shaving. That’s 2 months of our lives dedicated to what is also apparently our most hated beauty task! Even worse, over the course of our lives, it is estimated we spend $10,000 on shaving-related products! But rest assured, there is a much better long-term, even permanent solution, and you can do it in your own home! The answer is laser hair removal, and contrary to popular belief, it is no longer limited to expensive salon appointments.

At this time of writing, there are nearly 400 laser and Intense Pulsed Light hair removal products for you to buy. Most of them are FDA cleared, so you know they are safe, and many use cutting edge and medical-grade technology which gives fantastic results. No matter what your skin tone and hair colour is, there is a product for you. To make it easier, we have reviewed the top 6 laser and IPL products on the market to help you decide which one is the right one for you.

Table Of Contents

Which Hair Removal Machine Is Right For You?

Laser hair removal is not a one-size-fits-all. You are probably already aware that you will see the best results if you have pale skin and dark hair – we’ll talk about why later – but if this isn’t your colouring, don’t give up. There are laser and IPL hair removal machines for every skin tone, you just need to find the one that suits you best. So how do you know if it will work for you?

Skin Tone

Clinicians often use the Fitzpatrick Scale to classify skin color. This puts skin tones into 6 categories, based on how much pigment (known as melanin) is present in the skin. If you have pale skin, you will be given a score of I (1), while if you have very dark skin, which contains much more melanin, you have a score of VI (6). Paler skin absorbs less light than dark skin does; therefore more light is available to be absorbed by hairs, damaging them to prevent regrowth.

While all of the products we have reviewed are effective on skin tones I-IV, not all of them are suitable for dark skin. If you have darker skin, look at the Illuminage Touch, which is very effective on all skin tones, and the Braun Gillette Venus Silk Expert, which is great for skin tones I-V.

Hair Color

You already know that people with dark hair see the best results, but with the right laser or IPL device, you can still treat your light hair. The Illuminage Touch works very well for blonde and red hair.

Fitzpatrick Scale

At Home Laser Hair Removal Products

Here is our list of some of the leading at-home laser hair removal laser and IPL products which we have compiled and reviewed to help you decide which product is best for you:

Braun Gillette Venus
Tria 4X
  • 5 Intensity Levels
  • Unspecified
  • 30 Minutes Battery Life
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Skin Coverage 1-4

    Skin Tone Coverage 1-4

  • Hair Color Coverage: Light brown, medium brown, dark brown, black

Remington iLIGHT
  • 5 Intensity Levels
  • 65,000 Flash Capacity
  • Mains Powered
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Skin Coverage 1-4

    Skin Tone Coverage 1-4

  • Hair Color Coverage: Light brown, medium brown, dark brown, black (light blonde & red - less effective)

Illuminage Touch
  • 3 Intensity Levels
  • 120,000 Flash Capacity
  • Mains Powered
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Skin Coverage 1-6

    Skin Tone Coverage 1-6

  • Hair Color Coverage: Blonde, dark blonde, red, light brown, medium brown, dark brown & black

Tria Precision
Silk’n Flash&Go Luxx Hair Removal Device

If you need more information about permanent hair removal before looking at our reviews, we included a buyer’s guide which will help you make a decision.

Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 5001

EDITOR’S CHOICE: The Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL device gives you safe, effective treatment with very fast treatment times, without compromising on results.  In fact, 94% of users in trials found they had noticeable results after just 3 months! Save yourself a huge amount of time and treat even large areas (such as a leg) in just 8 minutes! With fast, precise treatments and different energy settings, we think this is a great choice for your at-home IPL hair removal.

This IPL model is thought to be the fastest hair reduction system available – it can treat your whole leg in as little as 8 minutes! It also achieves permanent hair reduction in as few as 4 treatments, so you will see progress very quickly. It is FDA cleared for you to use in all over your face and body, and you will find it virtually painless to use.

Adaptive Technology

The developers of this IPL device recognise that skin tone not only varies between different people, but also different areas on the same body. Therefore, they gave it a skin tone sensor. This means that as you move it across your skin, it will modify the treatment it gives – much better for you, especially compared to other products which frustratingly just shut off.

Braun Gillette

You still choose between two intensity settings – normal or gentle, and then the device adapts the treatment within a range to suit your skin, adjusting the energy output between 10 levels to give the best result for that area of pigment. The skin tone detection happens 80 times a second, and therefore gives you the optimum effectiveness of the device and delivers safe treatment.

This is the first at-home IPL device we have come across to modify the treatment like this.

App

To help you get the most out of your Braun Silk Expert, there is a free app for you to use alongside it. It contains an easy-to-use treatment calendar to guide you through sessions, plan your regimen and follow your progress. It is a great system and your results are sure to improve if you use the app. It also gives useful information, for example explaining how the adaptive skin sensor works.

Users

The Braun Gillette Venus Silk Expert IPL is highly effective and is suitable for a wide range of users. You can use it if you have a skin tone between I and V on the Fitzpatrick Scale and for any hair colours ranging from brown to black. Ladies, you can use it on your face from your eyebrows down and you body, and gentlemen you can use it on your body.

Braun Gillette What Users Thought

Final thoughts

This is a great IPL device. You will feel little to no pain when using it and will see great results. It is particularly good if you suffer from hirsutism, for example, due to PCOS as it successfully reduces hormonal hair growth. It promises to reduce hair growth as soon as 4 weeks after treatment.

The instructions say that you are not required to wear safety glasses when operating the IPL device, but we always recommend investing in a pair and using them throughout every treatment session. This is because the glare from the flashes is very bright and may cause you some discomfort.

Benefits

  • Adaptive treatment for different skin tones
  • Use it alongside the complementary app
  • Fast treatment
  • Quick results
  • No downtime for recharging
  • Comes with a Gillette razor for use before treatments

Negatives

  • Those with grey, very blonde or red hair very dark skin tones may take longer to see results.

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X

EDITOR’S CHOICE: The Tria 4X is the first and only FDA-cleared laser hair removal device that you can use in your own home. It delivers the same technology as dermatologists use, giving you effective hair removal at a fraction fo the cost of in-office prices. You can use it on your face and body to permanently disable the hair follicles. It gives you three-times more hair-destroying energy that other at-home hair removal devices, so it is hardly surprising that 9 out of 10 dermatologists prefer this technology!

The Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X is the first FDA-cleared laser kit which was made available for home use. It uses the same diode laser technology to focus on hair follicles that dermatologists use, damaging them, so that hair regrowth is slowed and even prevented permanently. It was designed to produce professional, permanent results and can be used on the face and body. It is backed by dermatologists who have used it and rate it for the technology, quality and effectiveness.

It comes in 2 different color options – green and white or fuchsia, and is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which is included in the package. It features a comfortable grip handle. Unlike professional salons who recommend leaving between 4 and 12 weeks in between treatment sessions, the manufacturers of the Tria Laser 4X recommend repeating treatments every 2 weeks until you achieve your desired result.

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X

It features an interactive LED display which you can use to help you through each treatment safely and successfully. This displays the following features:

  • A pulse counter to aid the accuracy of your treatment coverage.
  • A treatment level indicator so you can choose your intensity level.
  • A battery life indicator to let you know when it needs charging.
  • A skin sensor indicator which lets you know when it is ready to be used.
  • A comfortable grip for easy use.
  • A safety lock which unlocks when the skin sensor is ready.

Tria User Opinions

Who Can Use It?

The Tria Laser 4X can be used by women on most areas of the face and body, including the bikini line, but not on the scalp or genitals. Men should not use it for facial hair, but it can be used in most other areas. It is important to be aware of how your hair and skin color will affect its effectiveness. Not all skin and hair types are suitable for using this product. Unfortunately, it will not be as effective against blonde, red or grey hair.

Darker, courser hair against fair skin will get the most noticeable results.

Similarly, it should not be used on large freckles, birthmarks, moles or tattoos as these areas will absorb too much of the light from the laser which could potentially result in skin burns. Be sure to check your skin tone is suitable for this device, as the skin sensor will prevent you from unlocking the device if it is not deemed to be safe.

The Tria Laser 4X is intended only for use in adults as tests have not been completed for users under the age of 18. It is designed for personal use, so it is also not recommended to share the product with others due to hygiene risks, particularly when it is used for treating the bikini line.

Final Thoughts

The Tria Laser 4X proudly leads the way in laser hair removal.

It is a fantastic laser hair removal device that is extremely effective at getting rid of your unwanted hairs. It is the first device to offer at-home laser hair removal, boasting professional-quality technology, alongside its Precision counterpart. While this means you may experience some more discomfort when you use it, you are sure to see fantastic results, quickly. This is a great benefit for anyone, but specifically for those who have hirsutism from PCOS.

You will find areas of denser hair will naturally take longer to achieve the optimal results, but keep going with it; you will be silky smooth in no time. We think you will be thrilled with the results from this laser device.

Benefits

  • Easy to use with its digital screen
  • Cordless
  • Skin tone sensor for safe treatments
  • Locks when not in use
  • Can be used every 2 weeks
  • Range of energy settings
  • Ergonomic

Negatives

  • Cannot be used while charging

Remington iLIGHT Ultra Face & Body Pro Hair Removal System

The Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System is an FDA-cleared system which uses the same technology as that used by professionals. It uses a quartz lamp that is safe to use on the (female) face and body (male and female) and using it can result in permanent reduction of hair growth by up to 94%, even after as few as 3 treatments!

The kit comes with 2 different treatment caps, one for use on the body and one for use on the face. This is a key feature as it helps keep the device hygienic when being used in different areas, as well as aiding comfort. The system has a skin contact sensor which prevents it from flashing when it is not against suitable skin.

The ultra-fast flash means it is very quick to use. You can treat the bikini line or underarm regions in as little as a minute each. Once the initial treatment plan has been completed, simply use the product as and when you need to top up.

Remington iLIGHT

To aid use of the Remington iLight System, developers have also created an app which is available in the iTunes store and Google Play. This app is designed to maximise the results that can be achieved when using the iLight System by enabling users to track and manage treatments. Potential buyers can download the app as well, to establish whether their skin tone is the correct color for successful treatment.

The system comes with one treatment cartridge, which is capable of 65,000 flashes, with no bearing on which energy level has been used. Once the cartridge has reached 95% capacity, a warning light will illuminate on the display screen, indicating that the cartridge will soon need replacing.

Final Thoughts

Remington Reviews

We love how this kit works alongside an app, so you can monitor you progress and get the most out of your session. Also, while this is less portable than other kits we have reviewed, by being mains-powered you will get a consistent output throughout your treatments.

Plan to put in more time if you have blonde or red hair – it is less effective on hair will less pigment in, so expect to wait longer before you see results.

Overall, we think this is a great product which is easy to use, effective and looks great on your shelf!

Benefits

  • No downtime for charging
  • Has separate heads for use on face and body
  • Skin tone sensor determines whether the skin is appropriate for use
  • Works alongside a specially developed app
  • Fast and easy to use

Negatives

  • Less effective on light blonde or red
  • Cannot be used on dark skin

Illuminage Touch Device

This is the first at-home hair removal device to combine IPL with radio frequency (RF) waves. The result is effective and long-term hair reduction and removal for all hair colours and all skin tones. It is a patented technology that results in safe, face and effective hair removal, without pain!

It boasts the ability to reduce hair by 94% in only 7 weeks, based on a clinical study which followed up one year after the full treatment plan was undertaken – this really works.

The suggested treatment plan for you is weekly sessions for 7 weeks, and then the occasional maintenance treatment if they are required.

Illuminage Touch

Replacement Parts

The initial quartz cartridge that you will first receive with the device will last for about 120,000 flashes, which is plenty. If you want to buy another cartridge though you can, as well as cartridges for epilating shaving or a precision head for treating hard-to-reach areas with IPL.

Power Supply

Unlike some IPL and laser devices, the Illuminage Touch is mains-powered. This means you don’t have to wait for the battery to charge before you start a treatment session, saving you time. It also means it has a consistent output throughout your treatment, giving you the best result.

You will also find that treatment sessions are quicker with this device, as you can continually move it across your skin, not having to pause for each flash, again saving you time but delivering excellent hair reduction.

Users

No matter what skin tone you have, this device is right for you. The complementing dual-energy technology means that this is the only FDA-cleared IPL device that is highly effective on all skin tones. The device has also been clinically proven to be effective on the widest range of hair colours – even blonde and red hair which is notoriously tricky to treat with light! Even better, it is not painful to use!

Illuminage Reviews

Final Thoughts

You are sure to be thrilled with this dual-energy IPL device. If you don’t notice it straight away, don’t lose hope – just keep going, some hair colour and skin tone combinations take a little longer, and it’s worth the wait!

The product is easy to use and hassle-free, and you will love how quick the treatment times are.

Benefits

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Effective on a wide range of hair colors, even blonde
  • Optional attachments mean you can shave or wax during treatment
  • Painless
  • Mains powered – no charging time
  • Fast treatment
  • Cartridges can be replaced

Negatives

  • It is recommended that fairer-haired users wax or epilate first

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser Precision

The Tria Laser Precision comes from the creators of the Tria Laser 4X. It is similar in that it uses the same diode technology as the 4X, which is also used by professionals. It is FDA-cleared for safe and successful treatment which gets permanent results. It delivers more than three times the amount of energy to the hair follicles than its IPL device competitors, meaning you should notice faster results.

It is intended for use from head to toe, although it should not be used for scalp hair or men’s facial hair as these areas are too dense. It is considered to be of professional strength and is preferred by 9 out of 10 dermatologists. It can achieve 70% hair reduction in only three months when used once every two weeks.

Tria Precision

While its larger counterpart, the Laser 4X is designed for use on larger areas, the Tria Laser Precision is instead designed for quicker use over smaller areas. The technology behind both products is the same. However, the Tria Laser Precision is better suited to smaller and more sensitive areas such as the bikini line, underarm and women’s’ facial area. It should not, however, be used above the cheek line for the eyebrows or men’s facial hair.

No Replacement Parts

Just like the Tria Laser 4X, the Tria Laser Precision does not have any parts which can be replaced, not even the battery. It also has a finite number of flashes, but once these flashes are used up, the device cannot be repaired.

Users

Like its larger counterpart, the Tria Laser Precision cannot be used on all skin tones or for all hair. It will be less effective on blonde, red or grey hair and those with darker hair on fairer skin are more likely to achieve the best results. It should not be used on people with very dark skin and dark hair.

Final Thoughts

Tria Precision Reviews

We think that the Laser Precision is a great choice if you are looking for a laser hair removal device that treats smaller, harder-to-reach and more sensitive areas. It is perfect for the bikini line and underarms, and despite being smaller than the Tria 4X, you will see brilliant results.

It has very high maximum output, particularly considering it is a battery-powered product. While this means you will get excellent results, you should expect some discomfort. To minimise this, make sure you start with lower settings even if you have used laser hair removal before and work up as required.

Overall, we believe this is an excellent product that will not disappoint.

Benefits

  • Lights to indicate the remaining battery life
  • Ventilation keeps the device cool while it is used
  • Slim, ergonomic design
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Shape means it can get hard to reach areas easily

Negatives

  • Small treatment area
  • Cannot be used while charging

Silk’n Flash&Go Luxx Hair Removal Device

The Silk’n Flash&Go Luxx Hair Removal Device is designed to be used on the face and body. It uses a patented “Home Pulsed Light” (HPL) technology that targets growing hair. It is capable of producing professional-level results at a much lower cost of visiting salons or physicians. It has been clinically tested and 90% of the test subjects said they would recommend HPL to a friend.

Flashes

The device includes a “lifetime” cartridge which lasts for 120,000 flashes. This is many more than other versions of the Flash&Go, which need replacing after 5000. This should mean that you will not have to replace the cartridge.

Silk’n Flash&Go Hair Removal Device

Trimmer

The Flash&Go Luxx even comes with a discreet hair trimmer that effortlessly removes hair in preparation for treatment with the IPL. It can also be used on the few areas which are not suitable to be treated by the Flash&Go IPL device, such as eyebrows.

Users

The Silk’n Flash&Go Hair Removal Device should not be used on recently tanned skin or dark skin tones due to the pigment of the skin. The device contains a built-in skin color sensor which ensures that the skin it is being used on is appropriate for treatment. It tests the skin at the start of each treatment session and intermittently throughout the treatment session, preventing pulses if the skin is considered too high in pigment so that it can prevent burns. It should also not be used on tattoos, scalp hair or men’s facial hair. The device works best on those with fair skin and dark hair.

Final Thoughts

Silk’n Flash&Go

You will be thrilled with this IPL device. You can get results in as few as between 2 and 4 treatments, as shown in the clinical trials.

We love that is comes with a “lifetime” cartridge, so once you have bought it you don’t need to worry about buying replacements or parts. It is also great that it comes with a trimmer – the set contains all that you need for your hair removal session!

You are sure to be pleased with the Silk’n Flash&Go, smooth, hair-free skin is not far away!

Benefits

  • No downtime for charging
  • Skin tone sensor determines whether the skin is appropriate for use
  • Comfortable grip
  • Little pain
  • Small and portable
  • Lifetime cartridge

Negatives

  • Will not work on fair hair, e.g. blonde, red or grey
  • Not suitable for darker skin tones

How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost At A Clinic?

Laser hair removal is offered by many dermatology clinics, spas and salons, but it is not cheap. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that the average cost of laser hair removal is $306 per session just to cover the surgeon/physician cost. The price, of course, will increase when treating a larger area. Unfortunately, as laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure, it is usually not covered by insurance.

How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost
Example salon costs for 8 sessions of laser surgery in a popular clinic in the USA.

Can You Get Salon Results At Home Instead?

Yes, at home laser hair removal gives you the freedom to treat yourself in the comfort of your own home. The devices and systems have been created so that you can give yourself safe, effective hair reduction treatments at a fraction of the cost that doctors charge. They use the same technology as the doctors and clinics do, but are developed specifically so they can be used safely by untrained users in their home.

To help you decide if laser hair removal is the right choice for you, we have compiled a list of everything you need to know about laser and IPL hair removal.

Why At Home Laser Hair Removal Is So Popular

At Home Laser Hair Removal Is Popular

Hair removal has been a hot topic for a number of years. While other hair removal methods are effective, most have annoying side effects and require a considerable amount of time over the course of a lifetime. Shaving lasts for only a few days and can result in razor burn and irritation, while waxing is not only expensive, but you also have to wait for the hair to grow out between sessions. Plus, the added inconvenience and pain of ingrown hairs and bruising can mean you want to cover up anyway.

Laser hair removal is getting more popular because of its long-term and even permanent results which are evident from just a few sessions. Now, you can even do laser hair removal from the comfort of your own home, getting professional results at a fraction of the cost. If you are considering getting laser hair removal, read on to find out more about it.

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Take?

The time taken for each treatment session depends on the area being treated. For example, treating the underarms or bikini line will be much quicker than treating the legs. More than one hair will be targeted with each flash of the laser, unlike other hair removal treatments like electrolysis, so a single session should not take more than an hour unless you are having more than one area done in a single session.

How Many Sessions Of Laser Hair Removal Are Required?

Laser hair removal can be extremely effective, with most patients reporting permanent hair loss of the treated areas after only 3 – 7 treatments. According to ASAPS, clients can expect to require between 1 and 10 sessions with an average of 6 being necessary for a satisfactory result. This will be dependent also on the hair type. You may need an occasional top up after that, but it is unlikely that your hair growth will ever return to its original thickness and density.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work To Stop Hair Growth?

A focused beam of light is aimed at the hair. The pigment of the hair absorbs this light energy, which transfers as heat energy, causing damage to the hair follicle. This results in the destruction of the hair at the root which prevents or at least slows its regrowth.

Warning! We are about to go into detail about the science and risks of laser and IPL hair removal.

As the laser flashes, its transfers light energy to the hairs. The hairs contain a pigment called melanin. Darker hairs contain more melanin and the more melanin that the hairs contain, the more light energy they will absorb. As they absorb the light, this energy becomes heat energy, which burns the hair, damaging it. It is this burning which deactivates the hair. However, because of their growth cycle, the hairs will not always be as responsive to the laser due to the amount of melanin they contain changing.

Cycles Of Hair Growth

Hair originates from follicles, which are effectively the root, which sit in the dermis layer of skin. They do not grow continually but instead in a three-part growth cycle. Each hair you have will be at a slightly different stage of this cycle.

The cycle length differs for different people, so while hair removal methods may last a month for one person, a second person may find it lasts only a week or two. This can also be affected by hormonal fluctuations such as those due to pregnancy.

The three stages of the hair growth cycle are known as the anagen, catagen and telogen phases. It is during the anagen phase when the hair is actively growing from the follicle. The second stage is the shorter catagen phase, which is when the follicle shrinks rapidly and the hair stops growing. Finally, the telogen phase is the resting phase, when a new follicle begins to grow and will form around the old one. The new follicle will expand downwards, weakening the anchoring point of the hair which will be easier to remove.

Body hair remains in the telogen phase much longer than scalp hair, so it spends much more of the cycle without the nutrient-providing blood supply. It also has a much shorter anagen (growth) phase. These reasons combined mean that body hair reaches a much shorter maximum length that scalp hair.

Cycles Of Hair Growth
The 3 Stages Of Hair Growth

When Does Laser Hair Removal Work Best?

Laser hair removal works best on hair which is in the anagen phase as this is when the hair contains the most pigment, known as melanin. More pigment means that more light energy is absorbed and therefore the follicle will be heated to a higher temperature by this energy which will impair the growth. This is support by many studies, including one by Eremia et al. in 2001 which found that best results from laser hair removal were demonstrated in individuals who had untanned, fairer skin.

Over time, the hairs in the impaired follicles will fall out. With every hair being at a slightly different stage of the cycle, multiple treatments will be required to catch all the follicles in the anagen phase.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?

As the laser is moved over the body its light energy is absorbed by the hairs because they are areas of higher pigment. For this reason, laser hair removal should not be used on moles, tattoos or birthmarks as they too are areas of higher pigment. Laser hair removal is therefore safe when used correctly because it will not target anything but the hairs.

Does Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer?

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe

You may be concerned about radiation and its effects. There are many different forms of radiation, which are demonstrated on the electromagnetic spectrum. Radiation used in medical imaging uses ionizing radiation, for example, gamma waves and x-rays. Ultraviolet light from the sun is also ionizing radiation. Ionising radiation has enough energy to be able to break the bonds between (ionize) molecules, which can mean DNA in cells can be affected.

However not all radiation has enough energy to be able to do this. Non-ionising radiation has similar properties to ionizing radiation but does not have sufficient energy to break the bonds in the molecules. The radiation used in laser hair removal is a form of non-ionising radiation, so it will not cause molecules to break or cells to mutate. Laser hair removal has, therefore, has not been found to cause cancer.

What Are The Risks Of Laser Hair Removal?

While the radiation used in laser hair removal has not been found to cause cancer, it still needs to be used with care. The main risk is that the heat transferred can cause burns if it is not used appropriately. This is of particular concern on areas of the body such as freckles, moles and tattoos. Such areas have a greater amount of pigment than other skin and therefore can heat up causing painful burns.

If you have melanoma, epilepsy, herpes, keloid scarring, skin trauma, lupus, scleroderma, vitiligo or have recently used medications such as Accutane or tetracycline, then we recommend conducting more research and if required, seeking medical advice.

Due to the lack of information on the effects on the fetus, we do not recommend using laser hair removal while pregnant. You can use it once you have had the baby and are not breastfeeding.

What Are The Side Effects Of Laser & IPL?

Skin irritation is a common side effect, which may manifest as itching, discomfort, tingling, redness and swelling. These are considered normal and typically only last a few hours though as with other hair removal methods. Occasionally the pigment in the treated area may change. It may get darker or lighter, but this is usually only temporary.

Rarer side effects include blistering, crusting or scarring. The hair may turn grey or in some very rare cases may cause hair growth to increase. It is important to keep the area clean before and after treatment to prevent infection, which is also a rare but possible side effect.

Laser Hair Removal vs IPL

IPL, which stands for Intense Pulsed Light, is another form of hair removal very similar to laser hair removal. The principle for both treatments is the same and is based on using targeted light energy which is absorbed by the hair follicles, damaging them, so that it eventually prevents hair regrowth. IPL therapy, however, does not use lasers. It instead uses a broad spectrum of light wavelengths that cannot be focussed like a laser can.

IPL does not penetrate the skin as deep as lasers can, which may result in more heating of the surrounding skin. By being less focussed, IPL takes longer to affect hair growth. However, it is a cheaper alternative.

Laser Or IPL

There is also VPL hair removal, which stands for Variable Pulsed Light. Like IPL this uses a broad spectrum of light rather than lasers, but the settings can be changed so that different types of hair can be targeted. It has been argued that because VPL hair removal is more precise in the targeting of hairs, it gets better results. However, because it is less targeted down into the hair follicles, you will likely need to have more treatments for effect than laser hair removal.

How To Prepare For Treatments

Plan Ahead

If you have been taking any antibiotic treatments, delay your laser hair removal session until two weeks after you take your final dose.

You May Shave

Unlike when you have waxing or threading, you do not need to have surface hair for the laser treatment to work. In fact, shaving within 12 hours before your laser treatment will prevent the hair from being singed on the surface by the laser.

Do Not Wax Or Thread

However, it is important also to not wax or thread the area in the month running up to your laser removal as this will disrupt the stage of natural hair growth and therefore significantly reduce how effective the laser treatment is.

Clean The Skin

Make sure that there are no cosmetics, deodorants, creams or other beauty products on the skin. Make sure that in the weeks running up to your treatment that your skin is sufficiently moisturized though.

Wear Loose-Fitting Clothes

You want to choose items of clothing to enable you to expose the treatment area comfortably and easily. You will also want to minimise any irritation to the area after the session, so skinny jeans aren’t a good idea if you are having your bikini line or legs lasered.

Protect Your Skin

Ensure that you are using sun protection liberally in the weeks running up to and after your treatment, even when you are just stuck in the office. Do not use sunbeds or even use fake tan, and stay out in direct sun in the weeks running up to and after your laser hair removal. This will dry out your skin, and make you more prone to burning. Tanned skin will also mean that the laser hair removal is less effective as darker skin will absorb more of the energy from the laser.

Aftercare

Once Again, Do Not Wax

By waxing or threading after your treatment, you may disrupt the follicle and impede the damage that the laser has done to the follicle. This could mean that you cause regrowth in areas that it may not otherwise begin in.

Use Sun Protection

You need to avoid direct sunlight and tanning booths for 2-4 weeks after treatment. You can apply sunblock but make sure it has a high SPF rating. Skin that has been treated will be more sensitive to the sun than normal, so use a higher SPF than you usually would.

Avoid Hot Baths And Showers

For at least 48 hours after your treatment, avoid showering or bathing in hot water as this can irritate the skin. Similarly, don’t use the gym or saunas at this time.

Avoid Use Of Makeup and Deodorants

If you have had your underarms or face treated, avoid using deodorants and makeup. Mineral-based products may be used if absolutely necessary but if irritation develops, remove it and moisturize with vitamin E to soothe the skin.

Do Not Scratch

It is normal for the skin to feel a bit itchy, but do not scratch it as the skin will be more delicate and more likely to scar if it is broken.

Exfoliate

After any redness has subsided, you can gently exfoliate the area. However, it is important not to do this too soon. Usually, you will need to wait at least 1-2 weeks following treatment.

Space Treatments Out

To give the skin a chance to recover, make sure that you leave between 4 and 12 weeks in between laser hair removal session, unless your instruction manual recommends otherwise. Remember though that over-treating your skin can damage it.

Benefits Of Laser And IPL Hair Removal At Home

Precision

Laser hair removal targets dark hairs without damaging the surrounding skin. The nature of lasers means that it can be focussed in small areas or cover a larger area depending on how it is used. IPL hair removal is not quite as precise as the light cannot be focussed down into the pore, like a laser can. However, it still targets areas of high pigment such as dark hairs against fair skin, so while it is not as precise, IPL is still very effective.

Effective

Laser hair removal is extremely effective with most patients achieving permanent hair loss with between 3 and 7 sessions. It is important to remember however that different types of hair are affected differently. Fairer hair will likely take more sessions as it will take longer to absorb the light and therefore require more energy to damage the follicle. The advantage of owning your own device is you can do it as many times as you want, without paying for more appointments.

Speed

Each pulse of the laser will target multiple hairs in a fraction of a second. It means that large areas like the legs can even be completed in only an hour. Plus think of the time you will save when you no longer need to shave regularly or book a wax appointment.

Cost-Effective Over Time

Using your own laser hair removal device is far more cost effective than paying for multiple salon appointments. You will no longer have to spend money on regular waxing or razors/depilatory creams. Over the course of your life, you will save a huge amount of money by not buying these items anymore.

No More Ingrown Hairs

This hair removal method is a good choice for people who suffer from ingrown hairs, as well as those who have sensitive skin prone to irritation from waxing or razor burns.

No Grow-Out Times

While with waxing and threading you need to wait until the hair is a decent length for effective removal, with laser or IPL hair removal, you can shave as often as you like between treatments.

Conclusion

The important thing to remember when buying an at home laser or IPL hair removal system is that everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for another.

While you may be able to achieve permanent hair removal, often you will need to have top-up treatments to maintain it. It is also important to understand what skin and hair type you have, and grasp which product is best for you and the areas that you wish to treat.

While the initial cost of an at-home laser/IPL hair removal device may be high, long term it works out much cheaper and saves lots of time!

Best At Home Laser Hair Removal Conclusion