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Does at-home laser hair removal sound too good to be true? Check out the products to find the best match for you.
- Best overall: Silk’n Infinity | Skip to Review
- Best for coarse hair: MiSMON Laser Hair Removal | Skip to Review
- Best for precise treatment: BoSidin Pro | Skip to Review
- Best for sensitive skin: COSBEAUTY IPL | Skip to Review
- Best for small areas: Gillette Venus Silk-Expert | Skip to Review
- Best for efficient treatment: Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 IPL | Skip to Review
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.
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.
- $ = under $200
- $$ = $200–$400
- $$$ = over $400
- Price: $$$
Pros: It’s a cordless device that doesn’t require any cartridges. The company also says the product is painless and safe, though new users are still encouraged to use the lowest setting during the first trial.
Cons: Like the Iluminage Touch, the Silk’n Infinity has a higher price tag. Some customers have pointed out that the results may be slow considering the price tag, but others have noted that they have had good experiences overall.
Details: The Silk’n Infinity helps reduce hair growth with eHPL technology that is said to help target hair roots to prevent new ones from coming in. While this is a corded device, it also comes with a skin tone sensor, and you don’t need to change out cartridges. The company also says it’s possible to achieve 92% in hair reduction after 8 uses, or about 15 weeks.
Best for coarse hair
- Price: $$
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
- Price: $$
Pros: It comes with five different attachments each designed for the face, underarms, and arm area, as well as the legs and bikini area. Positive reviews also point to reduced bumps due to skin smoothing technology with this device.
Cons: While most of the reviews are positive, some users stated that it took several treatments to start seeing results.
Details: The BoSidin Pro is designed for removing hair in multiple areas of your body. The company touts salon-quality results due to five attachments that stick close to your skin for precision hair removal, along with skin smoothing technology. Also, this device has a cooling element to make hair removal more comfortable.
Best for sensitive skin
- Price: $$
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
- 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
- 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.
|Device||Price||Areas treated||Hair/skin colors treated|
|Silk’n Infinity||$429||all over||all hair colors and skin tones|
|MiSMON Laser Hair Removal||$239||not suitable for the lip area||black to brown hair,|
olive to fair skin tones
|BoSidin Pro||$389||all over||all hair colors and skin tones|
|COSBEAUTY IPL||$229||all over||black to light brown hair,|
white to beige skin tones
|Gillette Venus Silk-Expert||$150||all over||black to light brown hair,|
light brown to fair skin tones
|Braun Silk-Expert 5 IPL||$329||all over||black to light brown hair,|
light brown to fair skin tones
Laser hair removal works via IPLs or high-heat lasers. Both work by heating the hair follicles, which then shed any current hair you have while preventing the growth of any new hair. The laser emits a beam of light that targets the melanin in the hair follicle and then vaporizes it. The heat from these lasers will destroy the hair follicle as well.
Over time, the hair follicle is destroyed and doesn’t grow back. While it takes about six treatments from a dermatologist to destroy a follicle, the hair will grow back thinner and finer after each treatment.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), laser hair removal is not permanent on a woman’s face, but men can permanently eliminate their beards with laser hair removal. And since the melanin in light-colored hair is lower, laser hair removal will not work on blonde, white, gray, or red hair.
If you use at-home laser hair removal, you’ll need to use the device for a lot longer to see results. You’ll also need to use it periodically to maintain results. While sometimes the names are used interchangeably, these methods work in different ways.
Most at-home laser hair removal products are classified as IPLs. These work with the use of a high powered light that penetrates your skin where it then heats your hair follicles.
While it’s always a good idea to talk with a dermatologist before use, IPLs are generally considered safe for most people. IPL treatment should be done cautiously with people who have more melanin in their skin as it can
Laser treatments are more invasive than IPLs because they consist of a stronger wavelength that can penetrate deeper into the skin. For this reason, most true laser treatments are used in clinical settings only.
“IPL also bypasses the epidermis and mainly targets the dermis, which means patients have less downtime after each treatment since the top layer of the skin is intact,” she says.
Dr. Paul also notes that a true laser is usually only administered in a clinical setting because there are lots of safety issues, making it harder for a patient to buy one.
A reputable at-home laser hair removal product should contain specific instructions on how to prepare for your treatment, as well as any contraindications. But as a general rule of thumb, you can prepare for your at-home laser hair removal session with the following steps:
- Clean and dry your skin before use.
- Avoid tanning, sunless tanners, or excessive sun exposure
- Discontinue the use of topical retinoids or other products that may increase your risk of burns. Keep in mind that some antibiotics can make your skin sensitive; this should be discussed with your prescriber or healthcare professional before deciding to stop taking any medication.
- Check the treatment area for any rashes or acne — you’ll want to avoid these areas of skin.
- Avoid plucking or shaving the treatment area ahead of time — this will reduce the efficacy.
- Wear safety goggles or glasses to protect your eyes (some of the above kits come with these).
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.
It’s important to avoid excessive sun exposure following at-home laser treatment, including tanning. You may also consider avoiding the use of potentially irritating products, such as sunless tanners, retinoids, or alcohol-containing skin care products.
Also, apply sunscreen to the treatment area before going outdoors. Use a water-resistant sunscreen that contains an SPF of at least 30 or more.
While you should take extra care in applying sunscreen immediately after laser hair removal, you can protect your skin year-round by making it a part of your daily skin care routine.
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 your hair color and skin tone: Ideally, the product should come with a guideline on what intensity levels to use for your hair color and skin tone. Some at-home laser hair removal devices also come with automatic skin tone sensors. If you have darker skin, this may be ideal to help prevent burns, pigmentation changes, and other side effects.
- Varying intensity levels: Your natural skin tone dictates how much intensity you ought to use during each laser hair removal session, with darker skin tones requiring less intensity. Also, if you have sensitive skin or are new to laser hair removal, starting out at a lower intensity can help make the process less painful.
- Flash capacity: This refers to the capacity of IPL or laser wavelength. The higher the number, the longer the device is expected to last.
- Different attachments: If you’re looking to remove hair from different body parts, you may consider a device that comes with multiple attachments that are suited for each area of skin. This may include attachments for the bikini area, underarms, face, and more.
- Features for during use: At-home laser hair removal devices may either be battery-powered or attached to an electric cord. Battery-powered devices are mobile and easier to use, especially in small areas of your body. However, if you want a longer-lasting device without the hassle of changing out batteries, an electric cord-operated device may be better.
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 $150 or more.
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.
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.
Also, while at-home laser hair removal kits can work for some people, these aren’t as potent or long lasting as professional laser treatments from a dermatologist.
Even then, keep in mind you’ll need at least 4–6 initial laser treatments, as well as occasional maintenance sessions.
At-home laser hair removal devices are generally safe for most users, but you should see a doctor if you develop any side effects such as:
- redness or swelling
- blisters or burns
- bumps or nodules
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.
How long does laser hair removal last?
While professional laser hair treatments are considered semi-permanent after at least six sessions, you likely won’t see the same results with at-home versions. This is due to the fact that the devices are less potent.
Once you notice hair growing back, you may repeat your at-home laser hair removal treatment.
When should you not use laser hair removal treatment?
You should not use laser hair removal on sunburnt skin, or if you’ve recently tanned. Also, consider avoiding using these devices if the desired treatment area has an active breakout, infection, or rash.
If you’re concerned about at-home hair removal, it’s best to first talk with a dermatologist.
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.