At-Home Laser Hair Removal Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars
When it comes to shedding unwanted body hair, many beauty pros swear by laser hair removal. Because the procedure works to destroy the follicle and promises a more permanent and much smoother result, laser hair removal is often pricey (thousands of dollars pricey).
Nowadays, beauty brands are coming out with at-home laser devices for consumers who might not be able to see a specialist in-office regularly. "If you do try this at home, you should consult a dermatologist beforehand, especially if you've had a history of skin cancers," says Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab director Birnur Aral. She adds that there is a risk of scarring if used improperly, and notes that some devices shouldn't be used on darker skin tones which are more prone to scarring and hyperpigmentation.
For this reason, our Beauty Lab pros have not tested at-home laster devices and say it's best to leave laser hair removal to the professionals. If you do choose to move forward with permanent defuzzing at home, here's what dermatologists want you to know:
Does DIY laser hair removal actually work?
In the long run and with proper use, at-home laser removal can save you thousands of dollars from expensive salon visits — but it has it's downsides. Dermapathologist Gretchen Frieling, M.D. adds that in-home lasers are comfortable to use, and shares a few tips that might help you decide if at-home laser hair removal is right for you:
- Make sure you're the right candidate. Users with lighter skin and darker hair will see the best results. Most machines won't be able to pick up lighter hair colors (blonde, gray, or red), or won't be able to differentiate dark hair from dark skin. However, some devices are an exception to this rule.
- Less expensive can mean less efficient. Since at-home lasers are smaller and cover less area than pro devices, they may take a longer time to achieve results.
- Don't overdo it. According to Dr. Frieling, the usage recommendations are every four to six weeks for the face and eight to ten weeks for the body. "You want to wait until the new hairs are in a new cycle so they are targeted appropriately," she says.
- Younger candidates should wait it out. The minimum accepted age to begin laser hair removal is 14 years old, but Dr. Frieling says that the treatment is most effective when hormone levels have somewhat stabilized, around 17 to 20 years old.
From facial hair removal devices to compact machines, here are the best-selling picks you can use at the comfort of your home:
"In-home laser hair removal devices are comfortable to use," says Dr. Frieling.