Does At-Home Hair Removal Work? | Hair Removal Q&A
Does At-Home Hair Removal Work? | Hair Removal Q&A
Do At-Home Hair Removal Devices Really Work?
If you’re tired of spending time and money on hair removal tools that don’t provide you with lasting results, it may be time to make the switch over to at-home laser and IPL hair removal devices. Chances are you have seen the hype and heard the reviews about laser hair removal. They’re known for being relatively painless, cost-effective over time, and for leaving you with permanent results. This means no more stubbly legs, razor burn, expensive salon waxing, or painful epilator sessions.
Before you purchase your own at-home laser hair removal device, it’s important to understand a few things first. What are they? How do they work? Is it safe? What kinds of devices are available? Doing research beforehand will ensure you get the best device for your skin type and needs, so be sure to read on as these questions get answered below.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal uses concentrated light energy to damage hair follicles and reduce hair regrowth. This was first developed in 1970s, as scientists discovered how lasers could be used to remove hair permanently. They realized this as patients being treated with light therapy was resulting in permanent hair loss. Thankfully, this technology has been developed over the years and is now available to the public.
The discovery of lasers being used for hair loss piqued interest in the beauty community, and fully developed laser hair removal machines were being produced and made available to the public in the 1990s. Since then, more and more companies have developed the technology to make laser hair removal available for the public, and have even come out with at-home devices.
Laser hair removal is currently one of the most popular hair removal methods available. According to a 2016 study, it is speculated that more than one million procedures were performed to help clients achieve permanent hair loss. Since then, at-home devices have been taking over the market, eliminating the need for regular costly procedures by a professional.
What is IPL hair removal?
IPL stands for “intense pulsed light.” It isn’t quite the same as laser hair removal, but it does use light technology to slow down hair regrowth. Unlike laser hair removal, IPL uses a broad spectrum of light with multiple wavelengths. This light is less concentrated than laser technology, making IPL a gentler option. It also has technology to filter out and target specific pigments, making it effective at treating pigmentation caused by superficial broken capillaries, rosacea, and facial flushing.
Typically, IPL treatments require more treatments and may produce less immediate hair loss results. New laser technologies are further developed than IPL technologies, making it a better choice for a wide range of skin and hair types.
How does laser hair removal work?
Laser and IPL hair removal devices work by using concentrated light energy to slow the regrowth of hair on the body and face. Light targets melanin in our hair, meaning that it detects dark pigments produced by hair. The cells in each hair follicle absorb the laser’s light, which then converts to heat which damages the hair follicle. The follicle then is damaged and cannot continue to grow hair.
What is the difference between professional and at-home laser and IPL hair removal?
While professional laser and IPL hair removal methods gained popularity in the 90’s and early 2000’s, multiple companies ventured into the development of at-home hair removal devices. However, with this development, the question arises: which treatment type is best?
Professional treatments offer a more advanced type of laser technology that can be used on different skin and hair types. Traditionally, since devices’ light targets melanin, any skin tone that already contains high levels of melanin has a more difficult time seeing results. Certain professional machines are designed to identify and separate the difference between skin cells and hair follicles.
The power of professional machines is also much greater. A professional laser hair removal device is much stronger than an at-home option, for obvious reasons, so results will be different. At-home devices typically need more treatments over a period of time, whereas a professional machine might get the job done in half the number of sessions.
Professional treatments give you the longest-lasting results with one single treatment. Results can last years and some people don’t even need touch-ups after professional treatments. At-home devices are weaker so they need a higher number of treatments. Additionally, regular touch-ups will help maintain lasting results.
Professionals recommend getting six to eight sessions with six weeks of rest in-between sessions. This is to ensure each follicle is targeted each time a new hair growth cycle occurs. For at-home treatments, it is recommended to do between four and twelve sessions with two weeks in-between, with touch-ups after. Professional results will occur after eight to nine months, while at-home devices offer results after twelve months.
Both methods of laser and IPL hair removal methods give fast, smooth results that last way longer than traditional hair removal methods.
Is at-home laser and IPL hair removal safe?
It may seem that all this technology could be a risk to your own safety. After all, the term “laser” seems a bit scary. However, studies have proven that hair removal devices show no link to cancer or infertility. At-home devices are designed with lower intensities than professional treatments, a selection of intensity levels for different skin tones, and other safety measures to keep you safe. IPL devices have built-in UV filters to protect your skin, and machines have sensors to prevent accidental laser flashes that may harm the eyes. These devices also have automated skin tone sensors to ensure the right intensity is being used each zap.
Make sure to do sufficient research on your specific hair removal device before use. If used correctly, there is minimal room for any negative side effects. If you experience any of the following, follow up with a doctor:
- Burns, excessive redness, or swelling
- Lighter or darker patches of skin
- Epidermal heating
- Skin infection
Another big tip to help you have a smooth and pain-free experience is to avoid any and all tanning. Laser and IPL hair removal and tanning don’t mix well. Not only does it affect your machine’s ability to detect the hair follicle’s natural pigmentation, but it could also increase your skin’s risk of reacting poorly to treatments. To protect yourself, ensure you avoid the sun or any tanning procedures while performing at-home hair removal.
How do I prepare for at-home hair removal?
Before starting any treatment, it’s very important to read the user manual thoroughly to learn about your machine. Once you’ve done this, here are a few tips to get you ready to use your laser or IPL hair removal machine.
- Do a patch test. Most devices suggest you perform a patch test to ensure that the laser is safe for your skin. This will confirm that the treatment is safe, and you won’t have any side effects.
- Shaving immediately before each session will give you the best results possible. A close shave will ensure that the laser is picking up on just the pigmentation under the skin and is targeting the follicle only. You can shave in-between sessions, too, but always make sure you shave. Waxing and epilating removes the hair from the root, so this isn’t recommended before treatments.
- Get comfortable. Choose a comfortable position to do your treatments. Depending on the area you will be focused on, you may want to ask another person for help to get any hard-to-reach spots. It’s recommended that you have a mirror in front of you or nearly, have access to an extension cord, and find a bit of privacy.
- Avoid certain areas. When it comes to treating skin around the eyes, tattoos, moles, or any type of skin lesions, be sure to consult a professional to see if treatment should be conducted.
How long do results last?
Each brand of machine will have a different treatment schedule. These vary but generally suggest treatments either weekly or biweekly. If you’re unsure of what your specific device’s treatment schedule is, it should be in the user manual. If not, do some research online about your device to determine when you should be doing your treatments.
Depending on your hair type and device, you could see immediate results after the first treatment. The more treatments you do, the more results you will see. Most devices require between four and twelve sessions, and touch-ups when needed.
Are at-home devices really worth it?
For people with optimal skin and hair tone, at-home laser hair removal can be the best hair removal option out there. A standard machine can cost between $200-$500, but once you make the initial investment you can maintain those results for the rest of your life. Even if you have more tanned skin or lighter hair, there are devices out there for you. You may have to spend a bit more on a device that offers specific setting for deeper skin tones, but the device will be your only purchase. Look at it as an investment. It may seem like a lot, but think of how much money you spend getting waxed bi-weekly over the span of your lifetime.
Which devices are available on the market now?
With at-home laser hair removal being so effective, it’s no wonder why companies around the globe are releasing their own devices to the public. When considering which device to invest in, do your research on the brand and the device itself. While saving money is important, you don’t want to risk your own health by purchasing something from an untrustworthy brand. Top brands include Silk’n, Tria Beauty, MiSMON, Remington, Braun, and others.
Silk’n released the first IPL at-home hair removal device on the market. It also currently offers some of the best at-home IPL hair removal devices, ranging in price from $200-$350. All of their devices are dermatologists approved and even use their own patented Home Pulsed Light (HPL) technology. They offer a range of devices for anyone to use, with numerous settings to cater to your individual needs. Choosing from a well-known multi-national brand with thousands of reviews will ensure you’re getting the best device for your money.
How soon can I start?
It has been proven that laser hair removal is effective and loved by men and women all over. Thanks to new technological developments, the hair-removal treatment that’s been taking the world by storm since the 90’s, is now available at the click of a button.
Now that you understand what laser and IPL hair removal devices are, how they work, you need to figure out which device will be perfect for you. Then, you can get started towards achieving the results that’s led to the millions of other people to get hair removal treatments.