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AT HOME IPL HAIR REMOVAL home laser hair removal device
AT HOME IPL HAIR REMOVAL
I accept that everybody has body hair, including me. But that doesn’t mean I have to love it.
The world has gone through countless changes over the last 2 years. In the past, there were plenty things we assumed needed to be done outside of our cozy homes, long-term hair removal being one of those things. That is no longer the case, and today, we’re talking about it.
I’ll start by saying that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with body hair. In fact, body hair is just another one of those nifty updates evolution gave us in order to, you know, make sure we survive another day on this treacherous planet. We have to give it to Ms. Evolution for that. She just wants what’s best for us. Unfortunately, what was best back in the (prehistoric) day isn’t necessarily what is best for us *today*. Now that clothing is commonplace (a massive understatement), body hair for protection and warmth just isn’t needed.
All that being said, I also don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to remove some or all of your body hair. You can denounce the social pressure imposed on women to maintain a standard of beauty that is honestly nothing short of a target strapped to the back of a hunting cheetah, but at the end of the day, can’t denounce anybody’s choice to do what they please with their body, regardless of how they came to their decisions.
So whether you just want to spend less time razor-in-hand, or if you want to live life slick-like-a-fish, at-home IPL devices are a great option for semi-permanent hair removal that won’t break the bank, and also won’t require you to spend hours in a salon with goofy goggles over your eyes.
Read on to find out more about at-home IPL hair removal devices, why are aren’t lasers, and which models are best for your specific needs!
We've all seen the *miracle* at-home hair removal zapper-majigs everywhere, but do they really work? And more importantly, are they safe? Click To Tweet
Table Of Contents
- Do IPL hair removal devices really work?
- How quick are the results?
- How long do results last?
- Is it painful or dangerous?
- Best IPL pick: most cost effective
- Best IPL pick: most painless
- Best IPL pick: fastest results
- Best IPL pick: most permanent results
- Best IPL pick: most compact for travel
- Best IPL pick: best for hard to reach areas
Do IPL hair removal devices really work? home laser hair removal device
do these at-home “laser” devices really work?
The short answer is, YES! they actually do work. But, we need to get a few things straight before you toss your razors and epilators out your window in rejoice. First, the devices you can buy for at-home use are not “laser” devices; they are actually IPL, or intense pulsed light, devices.
In short, a laser and IPL devices use different types of light in order to “target melanin in the hair bulbs and outer zones of the root sheath of hair follicles, aiming to cause permanent damage to hair stemcells while limiting thermal damage to surrounding tissues,” as described by Jian Chen et al. (2012) in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology. The distinction may not matter to you since both technologies will provide similar results, but the more you know, right?
How quick are the results? home laser hair removal device
how quickly can you expect results?
Now, I’m not saying that you should follow my advice to a T, but here’s my experience. The instructions on the IPL device that I purchased told me treat the desired areas once per week, and that I would see full results in 12 weeks. Because I am impatient, I’ve been doing treatments every five days for the last six weeks or so.
By my totally un-scientific calculations, I estimate that my lower legs are growing about 40% of the hairs they used to. This blows my mind! I cannot wait to see the results after the full 12-week regimen. The response in my underarm area hasn’t been quite as dramatic, but I do notice that the hairs are growing much more slowly than they used to. These days, I shave only before I will perform the IPL treatment, so every five days, and that is a tremendous change from my previous shaving routine.
How long do results last? home laser hair removal device
how long do results last?
There have been multiple studies over the years testing the effectiveness of IPL treatments. According to a sampling of studies, the rate of hair reduction hovers in the 70% to 80% range after a six to eight treatment regimen lasting from 12 to 16 weeks. Basically, results aren’t “100% permanent hair eradication.” However, even a 70% to 80% reduction in the amount of hair is a huge deal and will make your hair removal routine much more manageable for however much hair refuses to clear out.
Also, these studies assumed that users will complete the recommended treatment (let’s say, 12 weeks,) and then never use the device again. There is no where in the IPL device manuals that says that’s how it works in real life. (At least none of the manuals I’ve read.) The manuals state a timeframe for “full” results, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue using the device consistently for “touch-ups.” Yes, you probably will still grow some random hairs which you will occasionally need to shave and zap. Over time I imagine these leftover hairs will become less and less, and your touch-up sessions will become increasingly infrequent. I’d be totally happy with that outcome.
Is it painful or dangerous? home laser hair removal device
is it painful? is it dangerous in any way?
Many people liken the sensation to a rubber band snapping on your skin, which I agree with. More specifically, you feel a little burst of heat that isn’t painful for more than a split second. For comparison, the pain felt after ripping off a wax strip can last multiple seconds, if not minutes. The IPL zap is nothing like that; the pain is gone instantly. If you are pain-adverse, like me, then IPL is a good option for hair removal.
Of course, there are warning associated with IPL devices, but they are not dangerous. In fact, many devices are FDA approved.
In order to ensure safety, it is important to understand how the devices work. IPL devices work by emitting broad-spectrum light across the treatment area which targets the melanin in hairs. As described by The Global Beauty Group, “When the pigment in the hair follicle absorbs the IPL light, energy is converted into heat, resulting in thermal damage to the hair follicle.” Since the light targets melanin, the light can cause burns on darker skin tones or dark spots. People with many moles or dark spots, darker skin tones, or light blond, red, or white hairs shouldn’t use IPL devices. Be sure to check the coloration chart associated with your chosen device to make sure it is aligned with your needs. And according to Body Laser Clinic, IPL doesn’t contain UVA, UVB, or ultraviolet rays, so IPL treatments are considered skin cancer safe.
The final risk factor is burns caused by hairs on the skin surface singeing with the heat of the IPL. “It is typical to shave either the night before or the morning of laser hair removal treatments. This is to get the best results in eliminating the shaft and not just the hair follicle,” states Dr. Jason Emer MD in response to a question on Realself.com. I find that shaving about 24 hours prior to treatment works best because it allows the hairs time to grow just enough so you can see them and know where to target the light.
Best IPL pick: most cost effective
most cost effective
Artolf IPL Hair Removal is currently most inexpensive IPL device I have found that still has great reviews. Yes, there are cheaper devices, but what’s the point if can’t eradicate your toughest hairs? Satisfied reviewer Katy Demirjian says, “I have been paying what I paid for this device MONTHLY at a laser salon and I’ve never thought about just ordering my own device! when [sic] I received this I used it on an area I’ve never had professionally lasered before (arms) and I’ve noticed just as much of a difference as I do when I get professional hair removal in a new area for the first time.” (One thing to note: it appears that the actual device differs from the display images, but reviewers are pleased with the product nonetheless.)
Best IPL pick: most painless
The Aopvui At-Home Hair Removal Device features nine flash energy levels, and you only have to use the highest level you are comfortable with. If you are nervous about the “snapping rubber band” pain that people often talk about, then this IPL device is for you. Reviews say things along the lines of “literally barely feel pain,” (Milena) and “not painful at all,” (Lara Dortignac.) You can also customize your treatment for different areas depending on sensitivity level, so no body part will be left out due to sensitivity.
Best IPL pick: fastest results
The SmoothSkin Pure Intelligent Ultrafast IPL promises visible results within 4 weeks, although multiple reviews claimed to see results even sooner than that! “I’m shocked at how well it works. Within 3 treatments, I started to see a decrease in hair. I’m getting almost the same results that I did when I went to a salon, but for a fraction of the cost” says reviewer The OG Elf. The device comes with three “comfort” levels which may affect the speediness of your results, but hey, as the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. I say do whatever you need to do to be comfortable, while also practicing your patience.
Best IPL pick: most permanent results
most permanent results
As the most well-known brands on this list, we expect that the Braun IPL Hair Removal Device will provide lasting results. Braun claims that users can see permanent results starting after just 4 weeks of use! Reviewer James W Ahlemeier says, “I have been using this device for 6 months now and I am extremely impressed and practically hairless. I used to have to shave every single day.” (To be clear, I assume that the term “permanent results” is referring to and individual hair follicle no longer producing a hair. It doesn’t mean that other nearby follicles that haven’t been receptive to the light won’t grow hairs in the meantime. Just keep that in mind.)
Best IPL pick: most compact for travel
most compact for travel
The Aimanfun IPL Hair Removal Device‘s smooth and compact silhouette means it will slip discreetly in your carry-on without creating any awkward protrusions. We’ve all had to pack those items, (I’m looking at you, hair dryer,) and it’s really not fun. Not to mention, this is the only IPL device on this list that includes a travel case, which is a great bonus. And it’s actually pretty cute, IMO. Reviews are impressed with the beautiful presentation and extras included with the device. “It came in a pink thick cardboard box, then inside the box was a very nice pink case with slots that can be adjusted to make a larger/smaller area for something else.” says reviewer WW. I can see myself giving this as a gift for someone, or buying it for my own personal travel use.
Best IPL pick: best for hard to reach areas home laser hair removal device
best for hard to reach areas
The BioSidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal Device features a swiveling head and long handle, making it perfect for accessing hard-to-reach areas thanks to the device’s nearly endless contortions. Reviewer Kayla Denise states, “The revolving head makes it so easy to reach every spot at whatever angle needed to zap those follicles.” Even better, BioSidin claims that you may start seeing results within three treatments. This is awesome for obvious reasons, but even better, wouldn’t you want to deal with treating those awkward as few times as possible? A win-win in my book.
That’s all for now!
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