Dealing with unsightly body hair can be an annoying (and over time, costly) part of your beauty routine. Professional laser hair removal sounds like it gives you the chance to do something once and be done with it, but the price tag and long list of side effects have you second guessing whether or not it’s right for you. Fortunately, at-home hair removal machines give you the ability to deal with stubborn hair easily and safely.
- All About At-Home Laser Hair Removal
- What is At-Home Laser Hair Removal?
- Different Types of At-Home Laser Hair Removal
- At-Home Laser Hair Removal vs. Professional Laser Hair Removal
- Risks and Side Effects of At-Home Laser Hair Removal
- Is At-Home Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
- So Does At-Home Laser Hair Removal Really Work?
- How to Choose an At-Home Laser Hair Removal Machine
- The 5 Top Rated Home Laser Hair Removal Machines on the Market
- And the Winner is… The Tria Hair Removal Laser 4x!
- Final Words About At-Home Laser Hair Removal
All About At-Home Laser Hair Removal
What is At-Home Laser Hair Removal?
We’ve all probably heard the radio commercials advertising laser hair removal at a local dermatologist’s office and wondered how it worked (as well as whether or not we should try it.) Laser hair removal, professional or at home, both work the same way: by targeting the hair follicles, destroying them and preventing future hair from growing. This sounds like a simple enough process, but it can take a couple of tries before you reach the hairless results you desire.
At-home laser hair removal brings the dermatologist treatment to your fingertips at a fraction of the price. There are several hair removal tools on the market that women spend massive amounts of money and time on. While a laser hair removal system may come with a higher-than-normal price tag, consider it a beauty investment. You can toss the razors, get back that time you spend shaving, waxing or otherwise removing hair, and give yourself the smooth, hairless look you’ve been after for years with a few simple treatments. Now that you’re ready to give it a try, let’s look at some different types of at-home laser hair removal systems.
Different Types of At-Home Laser Hair Removal
Like most products, several different at-home hair removal lasers have been developed since they were first approved by the FDA in the mid-1990’s. This means that they each have their own unique properties that may work better depending on your hair color, thickness, skin type and skin color. We’ll look at how to choose an at-home laser hair removal device later on, but for now we’ll focus on the kinds of lasers you may run across while shopping for devices.
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)- Most home laser hair removal systems feature this type of laser, which isn’t really a laser at all. This system emits short bursts of light at high speeds, which can be controlled easily.
- Diode Lasers– Diode lasers focus a beam of light and heat into hair follicles, which is in turn absorbed by the pigment of the melanin contained within. The pigment is destroyed as it absorbs the laser, inhibiting hair growth in these follicles.
- IPL and Radio Frequency (RF)– This is ideal for those with dark skin. IPL works by targeting the melanin in hair follicles, which is why it is commonly suggested for those with a light skin/dark hair combination. The added RF technology allows the IPL to bypass the melanin in dark skin and instead focus on that of hair follicles.
At-Home Laser Hair Removal vs. Professional Laser Hair Removal
As with all aesthetic beauty treatments, there’s a vast difference between doing it yourself and having a professional do the work. While visiting a dermatologist may seem like the better option for those with stubborn hair that has overstayed its welcome, it can be quite expensive. Some laser hair removal treatments may not be covered by insurance, which means each visit to the dermatologist could cost you hundreds of dollars or more each time you go. Since it takes more than one treatment for a laser hair removal treatment to be totally effective, you can see how fast those visits will put strain on your pocketbook.
At-home laser hair removal machines were designed to circumvent this problem while eliminating multiple trips to the dermatologist for a fraction of the cost. You can buy a machine for the price of one trip to the dermatologist (or cheaper, in some cases), repeat the procedure in the privacy of your home as needed, and enjoy the smooth, hairless skin you’ve always dreamed of having without having to break the bank. With the abundance of at-home hair removal devices on the market, you can find one that fits your needs exactly and within your budget as well.
Risks and Side Effects of At-Home Laser Hair Removal
There is a certain amount of risk involved with any sort of minimally invasive treatment procedure, and in the case of at-home laser hair removal there are some risks and side effects to keep in mind. While you might come away from a visit to a professional with more of a chance of side effects such as blistering or redness, the IPL devices available on the market have been designed with your safety in mind. However, that does not mean they are completely fool-proof and 100 percent free of risk.
You may experience redness and skin pigment change, both which will fade over time. Skin can easily overheat from the light applied from the device, which can lead to burning, blistering or scarring. After the procedure, your skin will be susceptible to infection, so you need to keep it protected. If you get an infection, you should contact your physician for advice. To prevent complications from using your laser hair removal system, be sure to thoroughly read the instructions that come with it before you try it for the first time, and make sure it is designed to work with your hair color and skin tone.
Is At-Home Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
Being able to perform a few treatments and then never having to deal with body hair again would be ideal. But even in a professional setting, laser hair treatments require a few visits to conquer all that unwanted hair. This is because hair tends to grow at different rates, so one treatment will not get it all in one go. Add in hormones that can cause a surge of hair to grow in a previously treated area, and it’s safe to say that no amount of hair removal is truly permanent.
However, that shouldn’t be cause for despair. One of the benefits of using home laser hair removal is that it will help thin out hair growth, making your routine more manageable. Some areas may show significant results, while other hairs may refuse to leave. These, fortunately, can be dealt with in any of the other old-fashioned ways. You may not be able to see a total reduction in the hair in the area you wish to treat using home laser hair removal products, but you can expect to see a significant reduction, which is a move in the right direction.
So Does At-Home Laser Hair Removal Really Work?
The benefits of using a laser hair removal system seem tempting, but whether or not it works can still seem like a hard question to answer. In order to see the results from the best laser hair removal at home, it’s up to you to follow the instructions provided with your machine and choose a machine for your hair and skin to avoid complications or injuries. While it may show fast results after the first couple of treatments, it’s not an instant fix to your body hair problems.
In order to see results, you may need several treatments over the next few months (albeit weeks apart, which is already less frequent than your normal routine), with maintenance on a few stray hairs that may crop up. A reduction in hair growth in a certain area could indicate that your at-home laser hair removal treatment is working, so it’s definitely worth the cost. Just remember that beauty takes time, and this is one of those cases where it could take a bit longer to see results than you would like.
How to Choose an At-Home Laser Hair Removal Machine
There are several factors to consider before buying your at-home laser hair removal machine. What size is the area you are looking to treat? Some devices are better designed to handle larger areas, while others are smaller and better for more localized treatment. Since most hair removal devices are built with safety in mind, they will come with warnings about areas to avoid and how to use the device properly.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for your laser hair removal machine is whether or not it will work with your hair and skin color. Darker skin tones are more apt to be harmed by traditional laser hair removal treatments, and some devices will not work with them. Those with lighter hair colors, such as red and gray, may find that at-home laser hair treatments won’t work for them, either. Some machines have built-in sensors that can determine whether or now the device is safe for use on your skin by doing a patch test prior to use.
The 5 Top Rated Home Laser Hair Removal Machines on the Market
Knowing how to get the best laser hair removal at home begins with having an idea of the best products on the market. The following list includes the top five highest-rated laser hair removal systems on the market today. The following reviews include prices, benefits and the pros and cons of each system.
The Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X has reigned supreme in the world of at-home laser hair removal since it took the stage and received FDA approval in 2013. Unlike other at-home devices, the Tria features a diode laser over IPL, which delivers better results than competitors. The easy-to-use LED screen allows you to set the appropriate pulse and treatment level. The Tria also comes with a built-in skin sensor, which will prevent the device from being used on skin and hair types that could be damaged from laser hair removal.
- The first and only FDA-approved and dermatologist-recommended at-home hair removal laser on the market
- Rechargable and requires no ongoing costs or future parts, such as replacement cartridges, to maintain it
- Safe and easy to use, as built-in skin sensor prevents harm
- The Tria holds a charge for about 40 minutes, which is more than enough time to complete a treatment session
- Compact and easy to store; doesn’t take up a ton of space for storage
- The high price tag may induce sticker shock for some who may find the Tria a little out of their price range
- Those with a lower pain tolerance may find the Tria a little too much to take, even on lower treatment and pulse settings
- The Tria is not ideal for those with red, white, grey or blonde hair colors or darker skin tones
Remington has been a veteran in the field of beauty and hair removal products, so it’s no surprise to see their contribution to at-home laser hair removal. The I-Light Pro system uses FDA-approved IPL technology that helps bring you closer to achieving permanent hair removal. There are several machines in the Remington family and the I-Light Pro line, each designed for differing skin tones and hair colors. Each is affordable and easy to use and comes with a reliable name attached to it.
- Wired device, so no charging required, and no time frame for treatments to keep track of during treatments
- Works on a wider range of skin colors, except the darkest brown or black skin tones
- Provides an extra dose of power for gentle, long-lasting and more permanent hair-removal results
- Remington offers a variety of options for those with hair and skin tones that typically don’t respond well to laser hair removal, catering to those who would love to try it but normally cannot find a suitable product
- As a wired device, this machine can be bulky, meaning it can be hard to store
- The I-Light Pro uses cartridges that emit about 15,000 flashes per lifecyle. These cartridges can cost about $30 to replace. The I-Light Pro also requires replacement bulbs.
- The I-Light Pro may take up to six months before results are seen. However, given the price and effectiveness of the machine, this may be more of a non-issue than a con
At first glance, the Silk’n Flash&Go Hair Removal Device looks very similar to the Tria. But looks are about where the similarities end. The Flash&Go uses HPL technology (Silk’n’s way of saying IPL) to remove unwanted body hair. You get a svelte handheld device, but in this case it needs to be plugged into the wall to work. The Flash&Go tries to merge the best of both worlds of the Tria and Remington devices.
- An affordable solution, many women turn to the Flash&Go as their first foray into the world of at-home laser hair removal
- In combining the Tria’s handheld capabilities with the Remington’s plug-in power, the Flash&Go is perfect for travel
- Long-lasting cartridges ensure you can get several uses out of them before they need to be replaced
- This device is only safe to use if you have a light skin tone and dark hair: It is not recommended for use on any other hair or skin color
- It can take up to six months to see results after you start using the Flash&Go
- The Flash&Go can be powerful enough to light up an entire room, so to be on the safe side you may want to purchase a pair of laser safety glasses before you begin testing it
So far, every other laser hair removal machine has come with the safety caveat that your skin or hair color needs to fit into a certain range in order for you to use it without causing permanent skin damage. The ME Smooth by Tanda steps up to the game by taking on the challenge of reducing hair of ALL colors and for ALL skin tones safely and effectively without causing pain or damage. The ME Smooth uses IPL technology combined with radio frequency, which is Tanda’s secret to crafting a hair-reduction machine that is suitable for all women.
- Easy-to-use device that allow you to target all problem areas easily
- Handheld device and base are compact; great for storing out of the way and travel if needed
- No charging needed, so no need to worry about batteries
- Painless and quick; treatments take only minutes, allowing you to speed your routine. You may experience results in as little as seven weeks after the first treatment.
- Like most IPL devices, the ME Smooth requires replacement cartridges that only last about 6,000 flashes
- Tanda is very clear that this machine is about hair reduction and not removal. While it may work in reducing the growth of stubborn hairs, it probably won’t do the job completely, which is where it falls short of being a great device.
The last machine on our list is also the most affordable. The BellaLite is another offering by Silk’n featuring a larger flash area, ideal for removing hair from larger areas, such as arms and legs. However, the saying “You get what you pay for” definitely applies to this device.
- One of the most affordable at-home laser hair removal machines on the market to date
- Machine includes three replacement cartridges, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them too soon
- Larger head allows you to treat large areas quickly and easily
- The BellaLite is only worth it if you have the right skin and hair color: light-colored skin and dark hair
- The BellaLite has a built-in skin sensor, which may prevent the machine from working for you if an area tans a darker shade than normal
- The extra replacement cartridges are nice, but go easy on them: They only last 750 pulses, which is far less than other machines on the market
And the Winner is… The Tria Hair Removal Laser 4x!
If you’re seriously considering trying at-home laser hair removal, the best investment and most cost-effective machine is the Tria. While it tops the chart in terms of cost, consider it a beauty investment rather than a wince expense.
Final Words About At-Home Laser Hair Removal
All things considered, laser hair removal at home is a safe alternative to treatments received in office. Please be safe when using new machines, always follow the provided instructions and keep in mind that results won’t be the same for everyone. Good luck, and enjoy your new, smooth skin!