Out of all the summer hair removal options out there, lasers sound the most appealing…in theory. A few zaps and you’ll never have to touch a razor again? There’s a reason why 1.4 million people underwent the procedure in 2013, according to this report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But then there’s the not-so-appealing part: the price tag. One session of laser hair removal can cost hundreds of dollars, and some people will need almost a dozen sessions to get rid of their hair for good. Yikes. Enter: at-home laser hair removal. If the thought of zapping yourself with lasers sounds scary (or exciting…to each their own), keep reading—we’re sharing everything you could ever want to know about this high-tech, at-home hair removal innovation.
Laser hair removal works like this: when a laser is aimed at your hair, the pigment in your hair follicles absorbs the light and is subsequently destroyed. At-home laser hair works in the same way—a futuristic-looking device emits a laser pulse that targets your hair follicle, heats it up, and prevents it from growing new hair. The Tria Hair Removal 4X ($449) is the first and only FDA-cleared at-home hair removal laser that uses a diode laser (the same ones a derm would use if you went in for an in-office treatment). Other at-home laser removal kits, like the Remington i-Light Pro ($250), uses IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), which mimics the effects of a real laser, but isn’t actually one. Another at-home option, the Silk’n Flash&Go Freedom Hair Removal ($199), uses HPL (Home Pulsed Light) technology, which they say is superior to lasers and IPL because of its wide spectrum of wavelengths, larger spot size, and lower pain levels (you can read more about it here).
Because the laser needs a high contrast between your skin and your hair for it to effectively target the hair follicle, devices like the Tria 4X and Silk’n Flash&Go work best on people with light to medium skin and dark hairs. The
It depends on the at-home laser treatment, but generally it works like this: you point the device wherever you’d like to banish hair, allow it to target your hair follicle, and move to another area. Each area requires a certain number of zaps (or pulses, which sounds less intimidating). The Tria 4X comes with its own Pulse Counter, which helps you track the number of pulses per body part so you know when you’ve effectively treated the area.
Basically, anywhere you would get an in-office laser treatment: legs, arms, bikini area, underarms, upper lip, stomach, feet, hands…the list goes on. One thing to note: if you have a low pain tolerance, it might be best to stick to smaller areas, like your underarms or bikini area, since the feeling of using a laser has been described as “a rubber band snapping against your skin.”
According to a study done by Ronald Wheeland, M.D., at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X resulted in a 70% reduction in hair re-growth after just two treatments. The M
Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X ($449)
Silk'n Flash&Go Freedom Hair Removal ($199)
Remington i-Light Pro ($250)