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Best at home laser hair removal. Let’s start this article with a disclaimer: the decision to have or remove body hair is completely up to the individual and no one should ever feel less attractive for having or not having bodily hair!
All the same, hair removal has long been an inconvenience for men and women all over the world, of all ages and with all types of hair. Shaving, waxing, threading and epilating all come with their own drawbacks: from rapid regrowth to eye-watering levels of pain.
For many, the possibility of laser hair removal or IPL is a breath of fresh air. Much less painful and with long-lasting results, many have begun sessions of laser hair removal at their dermatologist to get rid of body and facial hair for good.
However, treatment can be seriously pricey, with the required number of sessions often reaching and even exceeding the $1,000 mark. Fortunately, with new advances in technology, it is now possible to purchase an at home laser hair removal system for a fraction of the price, and carry out the treatment safely in the comfort of your own home.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal involves directing light into the hair follicles in order to break them down and prevent them from producing new hairs. Although not guaranteed to have permanent results, this method of depilation does promise a serious reduction in the amount of hair regrowth.
Before you choose your at home laser hair removal equipment, it’s important to understand the two different types of technology: diode laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL).
Diode laser hair removal is scarce among at home equipment, due to FDA restrictions. It is the most effective type of laser hair removal, targeting the melanin (pigment) in the hair follicle and works best where there is a greater contrast between the pigment of the skin and the hair.
Only one of the at home laser hair removal systems on our list uses laser technology, while the rest use IPL. IPL is less painful, but less powerful as the light is more diffused than diode laser treatment. This also means that it is cheaper, but that results can vary massively.
Choosing your at home laser hair removal machine
Before choosing your at home laser hair removal machine, it is important to take a few things into account:
It does not work on all skin and hair colours.
Most machines are only effective on light skin tones and dark hair, as this is where the colour contrast is greater. Make sure to check the machine’s hair and skin colour guidelines, which we will mention in our list.
It might not work instantly, or at all
Be prepared to exercise your patience when it comes to at home laser hair removal. Most machines promise results after two or three sessions, so don’t expect immediate results. Equally, some hair and skin pigment combinations will take longer than others, and on some skin types it may not work at all.
The machine will not last forever
Although at home laser hair removal machines require a substantial initial investment, you will need to replace either the flash cartridge or the entire machine depending on the model. Check the flash capacity before buying to understand how long the machine or cartridge will last before a renewal is needed.
It might not work on all parts of your body
Some areas of your body are much more sensitive than others, for example your face, armpits and bikini line, which are more susceptible to burning and scarring. Some machines completely advise against their use on these areas, so it’s a good idea to see if your chosen machine will be effective on your target areas before purchasing.
Also, don’t forget to consult the aftercare advice provided by the manufacturer, which may involve staying out of the sun in the days following treatment.
Now that you have all the information you need, let’s look at the best at home laser hair removal devices in 2020.
1. Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser
This is the only machine on our list that uses diode laser technology. It is one of the few true laser hair removal machines that is FDA-approved as safe and effective for home use. It is by far the best machine currently on the market.
Although it takes two or three sessions at the highest power level to see results, the Tria machine really works.
The FDA found that 100% of their test subjects were satisfied with the results and that the machine effects a 73% average reduction in hair growth, with the remaining hairs reported to be significantly lighter and finer, and results lasting over one year after stopping treatment.
The Tria is expensive, retailing at around $450. Yet if you put the price into perspective against the annual average cost of waxing or getting laser hair removal in a dermatology studio, it is more than worth the investment.
Ease of use
The machine is cordless with an ergonomic design and a nice LED screen. It is incredibly simple to set up and use; it’s just a question of removing it from the box, inserting the batteries and turning it on.
However, the part of the machine that is in contact with your skin is small, and so sessions can last a long time. Expect to spend around one hour per full leg. In addition, because the Tria uses diode laser technology, it is more painful than IPL treatments.
This means it can be a bit intense at the highest setting, particularly on sensitive areas such as the underarm. You can choose to lower the power level in these areas, but this will require you to carry out more sessions.
One feature that makes the Tria stand out amongst its competitors is that there is a finite number of flashes – around 90,000 – and when they are used up, a new machine must be purchased rather than having replacement cartridges like other models.
However, the capacity is incredibly high and the machine should last a couple of years.
- Highly effective diode laser technology
- Lasting results
- Simple to use
- Sessions take a long time
- More painful than IPL
- Doesn’t work on all skin types – Tria explicitly specifies that it does not work on dark skin or light hair pigments.
From Remington, there are two home laser hair removal machines currently on the market: the iLIGHT Pro Plus Quartz and the iLIGHT Ultra Face and Body. Both use the same technology, but the latter is FDA approved for use on facial hair for women.
Remington uses IPL, rather than laser technology but the use of quartz light rather than ordinary bulb flashes make it the best performing option for at-home IPL. The Pro Plus Quartz can target a larger area, meaning sessions are quicker but less effective.
The Ultra Face and Body is gentle enough to be used on facial hair but, like the Tria, neither Remington model works on light hair or dark skin.
With the Pro Pluz Quartz coming in at around $400 and the Ultra at around $350, these are rather pricey options when it comes to at home IPL machines. Yet the quartz technology makes them more effective, which can justify the investment.
Ease of use
The head of the Pro Plus Quartz is large, meaning it is easier and quicker to target large areas such as the leg, but it is better to use the Ultra model for areas that require more precision.
The IPL technology makes the Remington models an attractive alternative to the Tria because they are significantly less painful to use, although results take longer to come into effect.
The iLIGHT systems are chorded, which means you don’t have to charge them in the middle of a session. They come with replaceable cartridges, with the Pro Plus Quartz cartridge delivering 30,000 flashes – about a year’s worth of use – and the Ultra delivering even more uses at 65,000 flashes per cartridge.
- Much less painful than diode laser technology
- Shorter sessions and no need to recharge mid-use
- Most effective IPL technology on the market
- The Pro Plus Quartz lacks precision
- Not suitable for dark skin or light hair
3. Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956
This machine is the only one on the market that comes with specially curved attachments for different body parts.
The Lumea Prestige BRI956 is incredibly powerful and works much more quickly than the Remington IPL model, with half a leg taking under 10 minutes. It can be used all over the body and face, however it does not work with lighter hair pigments or darker skin tones.
At around $500, it is an expensive choice. Yet offering a minimum of 250,000 flashes, it has one of the longest usable lives of the models currently on the market.
Ease of use
The skin tone sensor technology makes the Philips Prestige model very simple to use as it “reads” your skin tone and chooses the most effective power setting. It can be used either with or without a chord and the different attachments make sessions on every part of the body comfortable and simple.
The machine does not use cartridges, but with an incredibly high flash count of 250,000, you are guaranteed about 200 full body treatments, or around 15 years of monthly top-up sessions.
- Long usable life
- Highly efficient IPL technology means shorter sessions
- Easy to use on all body parts
- Requires a high initial investment
- Does not work on all hair and skin types
4. Silk’n Infinity
Known as an “HPL” (Home Pulsed Light) system, this machine claims to be both pain-free and suitable for all skin and hair types.
The Silk’n Infinity combines standard optical energy with galvanic energy, the latter of which temporarily widens pores to allow light to easily reach hair follicles without irritation. This makes it an incredibly fast machine, treating the whole body in around 20 minutes.
At around $300, this model is the best option in the mid-range price bracket.
Ease of use
Admittedly, the Infinity is not the most ergonomic of models, but you soon get used to the design. It has a skin tone sensor to prevent burns and irritations and it also comes with Bluetooth, meaning it can be connected to the Silk’n app which helps you stay on track of your hair removal treatment plan.
With neither a chord nor replaceable cartridges, the machine comes pre-charged with 400,00 flashes. According to Silk’n, this means an entire lifetime of uses.
- Innovative technology and bluetooth connect
- Amazing value for money
- Can be used on almost all skin and hair pigments
- Rapid treatments
- Slightly uncomfortable to hold
5. Tanda Me My Elos Syneron
Using a different FDA-approved technology called Elos, this model combines IPL and RF (Radio Frequency) to provide safe and effective results on the largest range of hair and skin colours.
The Tanda machine is powerful and works quickly, covering the whole body in around 30 minutes.
Tanda currently have the monopoly on the dark skin and light hair laser hair removal niche and so their machine is understandably pricey, costing around $600.
That being said, considering the amount of flashes it has – 500,000 – and that fact that it allows for permanent hair removal for those for whom this was previously impossible, it is not a bad deal at all.
Ease of use
The Tanda comes with a chord and can be used on all parts of the body and face. It has a large head for covering more sizeable areas and is relatively low on the pain scale.
- Can be used on all skin and hair types
- High flash capacity
- Most expensive model on the market
Say goodbye to painful waxes, ingrown hairs and expensive salon treatments with an ILP or diode laser machine. You can make your choice with confidence after consulting our comprehensive guide to the best at home laser hair removal devices.
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