Top 5 At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices
Achieve silky smooth skin while preventing hair regrowth thanks to these spa grade at-home devices. While razors remain a tried and true hair removal method, many have been investing in at-home laser hair-removal devices to inhibit hair regrowth for long lasting smoothness. Our editors tested over 150+ laser hair removal devices and these are the overall best.
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What Are Laser Hair Removal Handsets?
First, a refresher: Laser hair removal is a process where light (aka the laser beams) is directed onto your skin in little pulses, targeting and heating up the hair follicle to destroy a portion of it with each treatment, says Dr. Akhavan. Compared to in-office treatments (which, although pricey, are done by board-certified derms or trained professionals who know exactly what they’re doing), at-home devices have a much lower energy output, which makes them safer for you to use on your own.
Using the same laser technology as the machines used by dermatologists, plastic surgeons and salon technicians, these powerful and portable devices target the pigments in the hair follicle to delay growth, resulting in permanent hair reduction over time. Laser hair-removal treatments also have a rejuvenating effect on the skin by removing dead skin cells and promote cell turnover, which will, in turn, improve firmness, texture and tone. Designed for safe and easy usage, laser hair-removal devices help eliminate common shaving woes such as razor burn, stubble and ingrown hairs and prevent irritation thanks to their various energy and intensity levels that are gentle enough to use on even the most sensitive of skin areas.
What’s the difference between laser hair removal and IPL hair-removal devices?
When selecting the best at-home laser hair-removal devices, making the distinction between laser and Intense Pulse Light devices is essential. Laser treatments use a single spectrum of light to target hair when it’s in its active growth phase and uses controlled pulses of energy to absorb melanin in the follicle, heating the hair down to the root without destroying its surrounding tissue or skin. IPL, on the other hand, uses multispectrum lights and offers a weaker intensity compared to laser treatments. These gentle pulses cause the hair to go into its resting phase and fall out, resulting in gradual hair reduction.
Both deliver results between six and eight weeks of frequent usage, but vary depending on your skin tone and hair color and thickness. It’s also essential to determine whether or not the device you’ve chosen is best suited for your skin tone and hair color as some models aren’t effective on darker skin types and blond, gray or red hair colors.
How to safely use an at-home laser hair removal device?
Laser hair removal devices work best on clean, dry skin, so it’s best to shave your legs beforehand to ensure that the skin you’re lasering is free of any creams and lotions. Shaving also helps improve the efficacy of the laser by allowing it to reach your follicles more directly. If you’re worried about skin sensitivity, it’s best to patch test on a small area of skin to see how your skin reacts.
Once you’re confident that you won’t have a bad reaction and have your safety sunglasses on to shield your eyes from the light, experts recommend beginning with the lowest energy setting and working your way up to your desired intensity as your skin becomes more comfortable with the laser. Starting on a lower intensity also prevents irritation as well. After you’ve lasered, follow up with a lightweight, fragrance-free lotion to soothe the skin in addition to locking in moisture and promoting nourishment.
Ready to upgrade your razor for one of the best at-home laser hair removal devices? Read on to explore the top-rated models that cater to a variety of skin tones, sensitivity levels and skin areas.
Are laser hair removal handsets safe?
“At-home devices tend to be generally safe, although a real potential for adverse effects, like scarring, does exist,” says Dr. Akhavan, who highly suggests going the in-office route if you have the means (although it can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,500). “If you’re using an at-home device, don’t use it on sensitive areas—like your face, neck, breasts, or bikini—and begin by patch-testing on a smaller area, then waiting three to four weeks to make sure there are no complications.”
And please read the instructions first. It’s important to know that some devices aren’t suitable for all skin tones, since not all lasers are able to properly distinguish between dark hair follicles and dark skin and can potentially burn you. A good rule of thumb? Speak to your dermatologist before you try any at-home laser devices to be on the safe side—it is your skin, after all.