Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Hair Removal Laser For Home Use

You can get laser hair removal done at home, but it might not be as effective or as safe as you think.

Laser hair removal is a procedure that uses lasers to remove unwanted hair. It works by targeting the pigment in the hair, which then breaks down the follicles and inhibits future growth. The process requires multiple treatments over an extended period of time. There are two types of lasers that are used for this: Alexandrite and Nd:YAG. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, but both can be used at home with proper training from a professional.

Right here on Cosmeticsurgerytips, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on how often to do at home laser hair removal, how to use hair removal laser at home, how long between at home laser hair removal, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Hair Removal Laser For Home Use

Confession: I’ll cut any corner to avoid shaving my legs during the winter. I hate it! That’s why I was so excited to get my hands on the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X (Buy It, $449, triabeauty.com) — a handheld device that promises to zap away your hair for good, and do it just as well as an in-office treatment. (FTR, what you do with your body hair, armpit hair, and pubic hair are your choice, and there’s nothing saying you must get rid of it.)

If you’re not even sure how laser hair removal works exactly, here’s the gist: Lasers use pulsed light to target hair, which then converts to heat and breaks down the dark pigment in the hair follicle. Zap the same pigment over and over, and it’ll damage it enough to prevent future growth, which is the name of the game of any kind of at-home laser hair removal treatment or device.

So what can you expect when you DIY? Specifically, does at-home laser hair removal even work?! Well, I can only speak from my experience testing the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4x, but through the process, I learned a handful of things you should know before giving any at-home laser hair removal a try.

Tips for Successful Laser Hair Removal at Home

Be prepared to spend now, but save later.

Most laser hair removal at-home devices will cost you about $400, but the in-office option can clock in at $150 per visit — and most people need between five to eight sessions for complete results. And waxing the recommended once per month can cost up to $500 a year; razors and shaving cream add up to thousands of dollars over time. The tl;dr: You’ll spend more up front with an at-home laser hair removal kit, but less total cash over time.

Know that laser hair removal at home won’t work for everyone.

Important disclaimer: You should only use an at-home laser hair removal device if you have light or medium skin with dark hair. If your complexion is even slightly deeper than medium, the pulsed light won’t be able to distinguish the dark hair from your dark skin, which could lead to discoloration. On the flip side, lasers can’t pinpoint grey or blonde hair either.

You’ll need to have patience.

As mentioned, you’ll need anywhere between five to eight sessions — no matter if that’s at the salon or with an at-home laser hair removal device — to let the hair fall out naturally after each growth cycle. You can treat the area as little as once every two weeks.

It might hurt a little.

Mid-armpit zap, you’ll likely be cursing your parents for your hairy genes, too. It just feels a little like someone with tiny, claw-like nails is pinching you…over and over again. Bony areas (such as your shins or ankles, for example) will hurt a lot more than spots with more cushion to them (such as your calf). That’s because the skin closest to the bone is thinner, but it doesn’t mean that hair is more difficult to treat.

But here’s the reason to suck it up: higher intensity levels (the Tria at-home laser hair removal device has up to five settings for strength levels) yield much quicker results. So instead of it taking eight sessions to reach hair-free status, you could be done in half that. Plus, your skin adjusts to the sensation, so after a few zaps, you’ll be used to it.

Don’t even attempt to do at-home laser hair removal on your pubic hair.

Sounds obvious, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read the directions three times find a reason why it wouldn’t be that bad to try at-home laser hair removal on my privates. But I’m glad I didn’t try this at home and kept that task to the professionals: The skin down there is extra-sensitive, so you can target the bikini link but I just wouldn’t get into the triangle.

You can shave a few days before an at-home laser hair removal treatment.

Unlike waxing or shaving — where you want hair to be grown out and long enough to pull or cut — laster hair removal works by targeting the hair follicle or root at the surface of the skin, so hair shouldn’t be so long that the laser can’t find the root. On the other hand, you shouldn’t wax for at least a month before at-home laser hair removal treatment, since waxing typically removes the root of the hair, and the laser needs to be able to find that to effectively get rid of it.

At-home laser hair removal does work

…but that doesn’t mean it’s always permanent. You’ll likely need touch-ups every so often after you reached your desired results. If you notice a stray hair growing a year after treatment, it means that either the follicle’s natural growth cycle wasn’t finished when you stopped treating the area with laser hair removal at home, or the hair was too fine for the laser to target in the first place.

8 Best Devices for At-Home Laser Hair Removal

If you’re sick of shaving, tweezing, or waxing, you might consider more permanent methods of hair removal. Laser hair removal offers the longest-lasting results. Though not completely permanent, you might go weeks without having to redo your treatment.

Laser hair removal works with the help of high-heat lasers or intense pulsed lights (IPLs) that dissolve hair and temporarily disable hair follicles. That way, the follicles won’t be able to produce new hairs for up to several weeks.

You used to have to visit a dermatologist for laser hair removal. While our experts still recommend seeing a professional, you might consider advanced at-home laser hair removal devices you can use at your own convenience.

How we chose

We reviewed these devices based on their safety, efficacy, and price. While only two are true laser hair removal devices, the rest are IPL devices that work in a similar way.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $200
  • $$ = $200–$400
  • $$$ = over $400

Best overall

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser
  • Price: $$$

Pros: People say it really works.

Cons: Some people report that it hurts to use the device, and it takes a while to see results. Others weren’t happy with the limited battery capacity and the fact that the laser targets a very small area.

Details: The Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser is one of two devices for laser hair removal cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This laser claims to have three times the hair-eliminating energy than other devices.

Best for coarse hair

MiSMON Laser Hair Removal

MiSMON Laser Hair Removal
  • Price: $$

Pros: Users report that the device is effective, particularly on thicker, coarse hair.

Cons: The downside to this device is that it’s only suitable for dark hair and fair-to-olive skin tones. You also can’t use it on the lip area.

Details: This device uses IPL technology for hair removal, which is said to be gentler and more effective than other methods. The MiSMON offers a one- to five-level range and 300,000 flashes. It also received an FDA safety certificate.

Best for precise treatment

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser Precision

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser Precision
  • Price: $$

Pros: It delivers the same power and efficacy as the larger Tria laser hair removal device.

Cons: As with the original Tria, the treatments can be painful, and it may take time to see results.

Details: This device has the same technology and FDA clearance as the original Tria laser, but it’s designed for targeting smaller areas such as the upper lip.

Best for sensitive skin

COSBEAUTY IPL

COSBEAUTY IPL
  • Price: $$

Pros: A skin tone sensor can automatically adjust the light intensity suited to your skin. The majority of user reviews report that the device reduces unwanted hair with consistent use.

Cons: Some people have commented that they see no change using this device and that the battery life isn’t ideal.

Details: The COSBEAUTY IPL is an FDA-cleared device that claims to treat a leg or arm in only 8 minutes.

Best for small areas

Gillette Venus Silk-Expert

Gillette Venus Silk-Expert
  • Price: $

Pros: The size makes it ideal for smaller areas such as the face, underarms, and bikini area.

Cons: The biggest downside to this product is the higher price tag. Customers have also complained that it’s ineffective for dark skin and that it takes a long time to see results.

Details: As a well-known brand of razors, Gillette also has its own product in the growing laser hair removal niche. The Venus Silk-Expert uses IPL technology and is smaller in size compared with other at-home laser devices. It also comes with a face cleansing brush to exfoliate the skin beforehand for more effective results.

Best for efficient treatments

Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 IPL

Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 IPL
  • Price: $$

Pros: The Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 IPL is equipped with a feature that’s said to naturally adapt to your skin tone, so you’ll see fewer side effects. It should also take less time to see results than other devices.

Cons: This device has a higher price tag, and it doesn’t come with an LED display like some of its competitors do.

Details: If you’re looking for slightly faster results in an at-home hair removal device, consider the Braun Silk-Expert 5 IPL. The brand promises full results at just 4 weeks, which is less than half the time of most other brands.

Most versatile

mē Smooth Permanent Hair Reduction Device

mē Smooth Permanent Hair Reduction Device
  • Price: $$

Pros: Users say this device is small, convenient, and easy to use. Most report significant hair reduction with consistent use.

Cons: Users say it takes many treatments and a lot of time to see results, and others report not seeing results at all.

Details: This FDA-cleared device claims to work on any skin tone and on a broad array of hair colors.

Best for painless laser hair removal

BoSidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal Device

BoSidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal Device
  • Price: $$

Pros: Users report 90 percent reduction in hair growth in just 3 weeks and healthier looking skin after 8 weeks. The device also includes a cooling technology to help reduce pain.

Cons: Device may not work well for blonde, gray, or red hairs. Some users report poor customer service.

Details: This BioSidin device uses optimal pulse technology (OPT) plus red light therapy to target hair and boost skin rejuvenation after treatments.

At-home laser hair removal device comparison

DevicePriceAreas treatedHair/skin colors treated
Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser$499All overBlack to light brown hair.
Light brown to white skin tones.
MiSMON Laser Hair Removal$239Not suitable for lip areaBlack to brown hair.
Olive to fair skin tones.
Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser Precision$329All overBlack to light brown hair.
Light brown to white skin tones.
COSBEAUTY IPL$219All overBlack to light brown hair.
White to beige skin tones.
Gillette Venus Silk-Expert$150All overBlack to light brown hair.
Light brown to fair skin tones.
Braun Silk-Expert 5 IPL$329All overBlack to light brown hair.
Light brown to fair skin tones.
mē Smooth Permanent Hair Reduction$269All overAll hair colors and skin tones.
BoSidin Painless Hair Removal$339All overBlack to light hair.
Brown to fair skin tones.

How to choose

Shopping for the right laser hair removal device goes beyond simply looking for the best reviews. You’ll want to make sure that a prospective device has the following:

  • a guideline for hair color and skin tone: The device should match your own.
  • flash capacity: This refers to the capacity of IPL or laser wavelength. The higher the number, the longer the device is expected to last.
  • varying intensity levels
  • an electric cord for longer usage or is battery-powered for ease of use
  • different attachments for varying body parts: This may include attachments for the bikini area, underarm, face, and more.

Your budget is another consideration, but you may not want to be too frugal or else you’ll miss out on important features. A good at-home laser device usually costs $100 or more.

How to use

Now that you have your preferred laser hair removal device, you’ll want to do the necessary preparation before use. Make sure the device is fully charged and read the safety instructions. Clean and dry the desired area of skin before use.

To keep the device in tip-top condition, store it in its original box or in a safe place, such as your bathroom cabinet.

The number of treatments you need depends on the device and your individual hair growth. The key is to be consistent about your use to see results.

While laser hair removal is often touted as permanent, the reality is that your hair follicles will heal and produce new hairs at some point.

It can also take a few sessions to see results. But you don’t want to overuse the device, as it can lead to skin irritation and hyperpigmentation.

Safety tips

Laser hair removal results are more predictable when done by a dermatologist. The FDA doesn’t regulate at-home laser hair removal devices, so the results and safety aren’t guaranteed.

There also aren’t enough clinical studies available to prove that at-home lasers are more effective than hair removal at a dermatologist’s office.

Other safety considerations involve your natural skin tone and hair color. Laser hair removal tends to work best on people with light skin tones and dark hair.

Hyperpigmentation, blistering, and irritation are possible side effects in all users. Make sure you follow all instructions included with your device.

While no downtime is required with this procedure, you’ll want to avoid direct sunlight for several days after using a laser hair removal device. Doing so will help reduce the risk of side effects.

With any at-home hair removal device or laser hair removal procedure in a dermatologist’s office, it’s important to avoid waxing or tweezing between treatments. Rather, shave only to preserve the hair follicle so that the laser or IPL device has something to target during your next treatment.

When to see a doctor

Not all devices are safe and effective for all skin tones or hair colors. Talk with a dermatologist to make sure the product is safe for you. They can provide tips for using the device and safety tips to prevent scarring.

Frequently asked questions

Is home laser hair removal safe for the pubic area?

Many at-home laser hair removal devices are safe to use around the bikini area. Avoid using them directly on the genitals.

What are the negatives of laser hair removal?

When used correctly, there are usually minimal side effects to laser hair removal treatments. However, sometimes you can experience blistering, scarring, scabbing, or other changes in skin.

Is at-home IPL safe?

When used correctly, at-home IPL devices can be safe and effective. At-home devices are created with a lower strength than the devices used in doctor’s offices.

If used incorrectly, at-home IPL devices can cause blistering and burns if used on the wrong skin type, so it’s important to be careful with these devices.

Does hair grow back after at-home laser hair removal?

The hair follicles that have been treated should stop growing hair. You should notice fewer hair follicles growing hair. The hair that does grow back will likely be thinner and more fine.

Takeaway

While laser hair removal is traditionally done at a dermatologist’s office, you may still be able to mimic some of the benefits at home. Take the time to compare available features, using this guide as a starting point.

Talk with your dermatologist for further advice on selecting the best hair removal methods for you.

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