How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
First, a refresher on removal in general. Laser hair removal is a process that works by directing concentrated light from a laser beam into the hair follicle; the hair's pigment attracts light and converts it to heat, which then prevents the follicle's ability to grow hair.
Is At-Home Laser Hair Removal Safe?
Devices designed for at-home use are created with lower levels of energy output than those you would find in a salon to ensure that they are safe in the hands of non-professionals, however, caution is always recommended when performing this style of procedure on yourself.
While the decreased energy levels are a mandatory safety measure, this does mean you will generally need to increase the frequency of your at-home 'appointments', as the results offered by DIY devices won't be as long-term as the ones you would obtain from a salon visit.
What Precautions Should Be Taken When Using At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices?
We recommend beginning the process by patch testing on a small area. It's best to allow 24 to 48 hours time before continuing on remaining skin to ensure no complications or skin irritations arise as a result of use.
It's also imperative to closely follow the instructions associated with your specific device, as these guidelines should specify whether it is suitable for your skin tone—this is no time to skim the fine print, as burns and dark spots can occur if the device mistakes skin for hair.
The greater the difference in depth of colour between your skin and hair, the more effective your laser hair removal results will be. The closer in colour the pigments are, the more confused the laser becomes. For example, if your skin and hair are both quite light, the laser will have increased difficulty deciphering between the two, as is also the case if both skin and hair are on the darker side.
Does At-Home Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
Chances are, if you're in the market for a DIY device at the moment, you're familiar with the process (and pain level) of laser hair removal, and looking for an alternative while visiting your salon isn't an option. However, if you're new to the treatment, note that it tends to sit around the 'rubber band flicking against skin' degree of discomfort.
Areas of the body where skin is thinner and closer to the bone, such as shins or ankles, tend to be toward the more painful end of the spectrum, whereas sections of skin with extra protection or cushioning, such as calves, are more tolerable.
The Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices To Shop?
Silk Expert Pro 5 PL5137 IPL Hair Removal System by Braun, $589 at Harvey Norman
Featuring two treatment modes (a gliding option for faster treatment on large areas, and a stamp mode for enhanced precision on smaller, sensitive ones) its SensoAdapt sensor works to automatically adjust settings based on skin tone.
Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal System by Philips, $799 at Philips
This device offers individual attachments for body, face, armpits, and bikini to ensure each area is treated effectively, while also harnessing Skin Tone and SmartSkin sensors to detect skin tone and accordingly select the optimal setting.
Hair Removal Laser 4X by Tria, $304 at Current Body
Suitable for skin tones ranging from light to dark, the colour of your hair will be your only limitation here, as it's not suitable for blonde, white, grey, or red hues. However, if you're brunette, results will be visible after just two treatments.
i-Light Smooth Sense IPL Hair Removal System by Remington, $449 at Harvey Norman
Built for convenience, this device was designed with an Infinity bulb that doesn't require replacing, and comes with interchangeable attachments for both face and body. It also completes a full body treatment in just 15 minutes.