Tools & Accessories

The Best At Home Laser Hair Removal in 2017 Review

Everything you need to know about the Best At Home Laser Hair Removal Machines in 2017. We have a comprehensive review of the most effective devices in the market today, plus: a detailed product comparison chart, FAQ, video reviews, user guides, and safety reminders for first time users.

This guide can help you find the perfect device to suit your needs and get you the best value for your money.

 

 

Pain from waxing, epilating, bruising, cuts, ingrown hairs, razor burns, itching, bleeding, infections…

These are just a few of the things we’ve had to suffer on our endless quest for smooth and hair-free skin.

If you’ve been at this long enough, you may also be experiencing some of its long term consequences. These conditions can be hard to fix like loss of skin elasticity from pulling, wrinkles, skin darkening, thicker and coarser hair as it grows back, the list goes on and on.

Can you imagine having flawless and silky skin without going through all of this?

You’re here now and you’re right–with laser hair removal, you can definitely can. 🙂

Having laser or IPL can eliminate these risks by permanently reducing hair growth without damaging your skin. With regular treatments, you can get great results without any of these side effects.

But as with all beauty treatments, this means maintenance and regular, expensive trips to the clinic.

Save yourself all that money and time by getting yourself an at-home device.

An IPL or laser hair removal machine is one of the best beauty investments you can buy.

You can have as much treatment sessions as necessary (as soon as they start to grow!) without forking out a fortune every single time. You can do it at your own convenience on your legs, your arms, underarms, bikini areas, upper lips, and other parts where you need treatment.

It’s a lifetime of hair removal for a fraction of the price of in-office treatments.

It can well be your holiest of holy grails once you achieve optimum results.

The first step however, is finding the right product for your needs and lifestyle.

On our quest for a permanent solution, we’ve curated the best at-home laser hair removal machines on the market today and laid it out in a comprehensive guide below for you, our readers! 🙂

Hopefully, this can help you on your way to a pain-free, flawless, and hair-free future.

Our recommendations for the best at home laser hair removal are based on our comprehensive analysis of the product’s formulation, claims, value for money, and consumer reviews. We make an effort to be as objective as possible and give advice in good faith; however, our reviews may still contain conjectures and opinions based on our research and personal experiences.

It’s important to know that as with any product (especially cosmetics), what may be perfect for you may not be right for the next person. So as much as we want to guarantee that these will be everyone’s next holy grail, results can still be affected by individual factors like your current skin condition, the environment you’re in, use of the product, reaction to your other skincare, and so on. For best results, make sure to choose a product that is suited for your skin type and skin issues.

This website is for informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Product or service details are collected directly from the manufacturer and other reputable sources during the time of this review, and cited in the Resources section. We try to keep on top of new formulations when we can, and update our data accordingly.

At the end of every review, there will be a link for you to check current discounts and other customer reviews on Amazon. These, along with some other links that redirect you to third party sites, are affiliate links where we earn a small commission if you do decide to make a purchase. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you and will help in maintaining the quality of the site.

This website is our passion project, and our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. The choices we make take extensive research (which we actually enjoy because we’re weird and nerdy like that), including data from credible academic papers and user sources available.

Bottom Line: We objectively review a laundry list of top performing products, pick the best ones based on our results, and present them to you with all the key info so you can choose the most suitable one for your skin. If you decide to buy something, we earn a commission that helps cover site costs like hosting, design, research materials, etc. You don’t have to of course, thank you for visiting us nonetheless. 🙂

An IPL or laser hair removal machine is one of the best beauty investments you can buy. It’s a lifetime of hair removal for a fraction of the price of in-office treatments.

POWER

  • DL (Diode Laser)


  • 1 year

  • 7-22 J/cm2


  • Battery-powered, 30 mins.


  • Yes, via manual digital checking upon opening the device.


  • Once every 2 weeks, up to 3 months or until necessary.


  • Built-in laser - 300 battery recharging cycles or 90,000 pulses


  • .81 cm2


  • 3.5 secs


  • - The first and ONLY FDA-cleared at-home professional-level LASER hair removal device(vs. IPL, RF)

    - The only device that uses diode laser, the most effective (and expensive) type of hair removal technology used by high-end clinics and dermatologists worldwide

    - Has the highest energy fluence of any at-home device

    - More portable and safer to use in the bathroom since its battery-powered


  • - Precision lasering; perfect for small areas like upper lips and bikini lines

    - Very dense and coarse hair where IPL may be less effective

    - Thick skin (DL penetrates deeper than IPL)


  • - Small flash window size, inefficient to use in larger areas like legs and arms

    - People with low pain tolerance may need to use a numbing gel during treatment because of its high energy levels

    - Needs re-charging


  • Most Powerful At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device

  • $$$$
FLEXIBILITY

  • IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)


  • 2 years


  • 8 J/cm2


  • Corded, Electric


  • Yes, via manual digital checking upon using the device.


  • Once every 2 weeks, up to 3 treatments or until necessary.


  • Replaceable cartridge - 65,000 flashes


  • Body cap - 3 cm2, Facial cap - 2 cm2


  • Body cap - 3 secs, Facial cap - 4 secs

  • - Uses FDA-cleared IPL technology used by salons

    - Flexible; like professional machines, it has separate caps for the face and body for precision and full body treatments

    - Sustainable; replaceable lamp cartridges to extend the device lifespan

    - Longest warranty

    - Doesnt need re-charging

    - Quickest forecasted results at just 3 treatments

    - Has the LumaRx app to help you log your treatments


  • - Face and full body treatments

    - Precision and broad coverage for different areas with the facial and body cap

    - Extended years of continuous treatment


  • - Needs light cartridge replacement after 65,000 flashes

    - Can be inconvenient to use with alternating 2 caps


  • Most Flexible & Sustainable

  • $$$$
COVERAGE

  • IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) + RF (Radio Frequency)*

    * A patented hair removal technology called elos

  • 1 year


  • 9 J/cm2*

    *Max elos energy (IPL + RF)

  • Corded, Electric


  • Yes to skin contact sensor; No to skin tone sensor as theres no need since it covers all skin tones.


  • 6 weekly treatments, follow-up as needed.


  • Replaceable cartridge - 120,000 flashes


  • 1.5 x 3.5 cm


  • 0.9 sec


  • - The only FDA-cleared at-home device to use the patented hair removal elos technology (an IPL + RF combination) thats clinically proven to be effective and safe on ALL skin tones

    - Unlike most devices, you are allowed to wax or epilate before treatment

    - Sustainable; replaceable lamp cartridges to extend the device lifespan

    - Fastest rate at just 0.9 sec per flash, which means you dont have to go slow just to wait for it to reload

    - Uses a universal voltage, which means you can use the system all over the world. (Make sure to check the electrical wall outlet though, if the plug shape is different you still need an adaptor.)


  • - Fair hair or darker skin tones that is out of all other devices coverage

    - Different skin tones on the body, no need to check with the sensor every time

    - Face and full body treatments

    - Extended years of continuous treatments


  • - Repeated flashing. Unlike the other devices where you only have to flash once over a patch of skin, with TOUCH you have to go over it 2-3 times, eg. youll have to glide the device in two directions--either left-right or up-down for full coverage.

    - Needs light cartridge replacement after 120,000 flashes


  • Fastest, Widest Skin Tone & Hair Color Coverage

  • $$$$

Additional Safety Tools & Skincare on Amazon:

  • Numbing or calming gel – One of the side effects of laser or light treatment is a tingling sensation similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin. The higher the power or energy fluence, the stronger the sensation. For those with sensitive skin, a numbing or a calming gel might be needed to reduce any stinging or redness caused by the treatment. (e.g. Clinical Resolution Non-oily Numb Master Topical Anesthetic Cream)
  • UV Resistant Glasses – The devices emit flashes of light that direct exposure may potentially be harmful to eyes. It’s actually recommended on the manual that you look away from the device when it’s activating (which is annoying and inconvenient). You can use these UV resistant glasses as a precaution. (e.g. IPL Safety Glasses 200-1400nm Laser Protection)

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X

A tried and tested device with over 500 reviews in Amazon.

It is the first and ONLY FDA approved at-home hair removal device that uses professional level laser technology (diode laser, as opposed to IPL or RF). It’s an innovative device that is basically a miniature, handheld version of those bulky machines found in skin clinics (You might have seen them–they look like a spin dryer with a screen on top and a long cord on the side.).

Diode laser remains one of the most effective in-office procedures for hair removal, and will remain to be so because it permanently and effectively reduces hair growth even in areas with thick and coarse hair.

Because this device uses diode laser instead of IPL, it’s capacity for energy fluence (the hair eliminating power) gives it a powerful edge over its counterparts. It maxes out at 22 J/cm2  while the rest averages at 8-9 J/cm2.

Unfortunately, it can also be painful for those who has low pain tolerance. The pulse is strong so it can sting and cause redness and irritation. If you have sensitive skin, you can start with a lower setting and work your way up. You can also use a numbing gel so you can tolerate the pulses better.

The laser window is also pretty small which means it’s very precise, but can also be a pain when doing larger areas like the arms or the legs. You’ll have to carve time in your schedule if you want to use this on those areas.

It’s battery-powered as well, which makes it a pro (more portable, no tangly cords) or a con (needs recharging), depending on your preference.

One of the most common limitations of at-home hair removal machines is their efficacy depends on the person’s skin tone and hair color. The Tria falls under this limit of being effective only on light to olive skin tones (Fitzpatrick Skin Tone I-IV) and only with naturally dark hair color. If you have darker skin or fair hair, your best bet will be the iluminage TOUCH.

The initial set of treatments that you’ll have to do is once every 2 weeks for 3 months. After that, just touch up as necessary.

Ideal for: Fine tuning small areas, very dense and coarse hair, especially where IPL has been ineffective, thick skin that may be unreachable by IPL, looking for a cordless and portable device

Check for current discounts & other customer reviews on Amazon

Video: No More Shaving?! OMG! Tria 4X Laser Hair Removal At HOME 2 Month Test Review!

LumaRx IPL Hair Removal Device, Full Body

LumaRx IPL Hair Removal Machine, Full Body

The LumaRX uses FDA-cleared IPL technology that is used by most salons for hair removal.

What makes the LumaRx unique is its flexible, detachable parts; namely the caps and the replaceable cartridge.

Like professional machines, there are two caps for face and body use. The flash window size, speed, and wavelength (IPL depth) varies between the two caps. This ensures that your at home laser hair removal for the face is precise and the IPL is adjusted for your facial skin. The body cap has a larger window size and stronger wavelength so it penetrates deeper into the skin and hair.

The replaceable cartridge extends the lifespan of what would otherwise be a machine that would need replacing as a whole once the flash lamp runs out. This means your device can last year in and year out as long as its kept in good condition. That is a lifetime of savings right there. Definitely one of the most long term cost-effective and best at home IPL machines in the market today.

It has the longest warranty out of all the top devices as well, which is especially important in this case because it has a lot of detachable parts.

This is virtually painless and very effective on normal hair types. It covers the normal skin tone and hair color range–light to olive skin tone (Fitzpatrick I-IV) and naturally dark hair.

The initial treatment is also the same as the Tria–once every two weeks and top ups as necessary.

To keep on top of your treatments, there’s a LumaRx app available that you can download on your phone. You can download it on iTunes and Play Store.

Ideal for: Face and full body treatments, precision and broad coverage on all areas, 

Check for current discounts & other customer reviews on Amazon

Video: My Experience with LumaRX Laser Hair Removal | Does it work? Does it hurt?

iluminage TOUCH Permanent Hair Reduction Device

If you have fair hair and dark skin, the search (and endless experiment) for an effective at-home laser hair removal is over!

The iluminage TOUCH is the only at-home hair removal device effective on ALL skin types and the widest range of hair color.

As mentioned above, at-home hair removal machines can only cover a certain range of skin tones (light to olive) and hair colors (dark hair). The iluminage TOUCH however, uses a proprietary technology that surpasses these limitations.

Their breakthrough elos technology combines IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and RF (Radiofrequency) to make the device effective on all skin types and most natural hair color (There is still an argument over white hair).

The way to use it is just like the usual IPL device, except that you have to glide over the area twice instead of once. You do this for a series of 6 weekly treatments, and follow up as needed.

The flash window is wide enough for body treatments and thin enough on the side for precision use.

It also has a replaceable cartridge similar to LumaRx, which means you can also extend the device’s lifespan. With proper use and storage, this can last you for years and years. A cartridge is loaded with 120,000 flashes.

Ideal for: Fair hair and dark skin that is out of coverage for most laser devices, face and full body treatments

Check for current discounts & other customer reviews on Amazon

Video: The iluminageTOUCH: How to Use

Runner Ups:

While not quite making our top 3, these products are affordable alternatives that are worth mentioning. They are still very highly-rated and among the best at home IPL machines at its price point.

Gillette Venus Silk-expert IPL 5001 (Intense Pulsed Light) Braun Hair Removal System

From the brand that makes it its business to keep you gloriously hair-free, comes their latest product yet.

The Braun Silk-Expert uses IPL technology with an energy fluence of 6 J/cm2. It covers the normal spectrum of skin tone and hair color (light to dark brown, dark hair).

It requires 4-12 weekly initial treatment. Once completed, you can top up once every 1-2 months for maintenance.

All of the above is more or less your average IPL capacity.

What makes it unique is its SensoAdapt technology that automatically checks and adjusts the device to accommodate your skin tone. This means unlike normal devices (save for the iluminage TOUCH), you don’t have to check the area every time you need to use it. This is a huge convenience if you have varying skin tones in different parts of your body.

Another plus is its built-in cartridge that loads up to 300,000 flashes–the most out of all the devices we’ve seen.

The speed is also pretty good, clocking at just 1-2 seconds. Combined with its large window which opens at 3 cm2, areas like your legs and arms can be done in no time. The noise level  compared to most machines is also much lower.

It also has an app which you can use to schedule your sessions or read up on how to maximize the device: check it out here in iTunesGoogle Play.

The 5009 version comes with a violet body exfoliator, while the 5001 version comes with a teal razor.

Ideal for: Full body treatments, looking for easy hair removal on the go, looking for a more affordable at-home laser alternative 

Check for current discounts & other customer reviews on Amazon

Video: Braun Home Laser Hair Removal Review

At-Home Laser Removal FAQ:


 

What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal machines emit pulses of light energy to deactivate the root of your hair. Once the root is deactivated, that hair follicle will no longer grow.

It is the most efficient and relatively painless method for removing unwanted hair in comparison to other contemporary treatments like waxing, plucking, and shaving.

Long term treatment is also more beneficial. Shaving causes hair to be wiry, thick, and itchy (just thinking about it makes me want to scratch my legs!). With laser or IPL however, hair that grows back will be fewer and finer than before–the direct opposite of shaving.

All in all, pretty sweet deal. 🙂

 

How does at-home machines it work? Pros and cons compared to professional laser hair removal?

The at-home devices above are smaller and more portable versions of certain hair removal machines used by professional clinics worldwide.

Achieving optimum results however, require multiple treatments over a period of time. Having your very own device is going to save you thousands of dollars in treatments. It will also be convenient because you can do it at home anytime you want.

As with any DIY treatment, there will be limitations. Even if you have the best home hair laser removal machine, there are areas in the face and body where only a trained professional is (and should be) allowed to use laser on due to safety reasons. This includes in between the eyebrows (Don’t risk damaging your eyes because of a unibrow!), the genital area, and other potentially problematic areas. Having it professionally done ensures safety in all aspects. At home, you’ll have to learn how to use the device properly and under what circumstances it can and can’t be used.

If this is your first foray into laser hair removal, no worries because we’ve got you covered. 🙂 The basics of what you need to know are enumerated below.

(Jump to: What to Expect, Laser Hair Removal User Guide, Safety Reminders)

 

Can laser remove hair permanently?

These machines are designed to break the cycle of hair growth. The laser or light energy will disable the root of your hair until it naturally falls out. However, as part of your body’s normal physiology, your hair will grow again.

One of the great things about laser treatment though is, unlike shaving or waxing, the hair growing back will be fewer and finer than before. And with continuous treatments, the results will be permanent hair reduction.

There are a few accounts of people reporting permanent hair removal i.e. their hair has never grown back again after a few sessions. Its likely though that their body has adopted to the treatments and their hair growth has been delayed much longer than they expected as a result of continuous use.

In any case, keeping a regular schedule is very important to achieve great results.

 

What are the main differences between these machines?

  1. The technology used for hair removal (laser vs. IPL). Laser is more precise and effective, especially for dense and coarse hair. IPL generally needs more frequent sessions to achieve the same results.
    (Jump to: Diode lasers vs. IPL)
  2. Maximum strength of the hair-eliminating light energy (the higher the energy, the more effective it is).
  3. The design of the device (flash window size, corded vs. battery-powered, number of flashes, etc.). Refer to the chart above and choose the features that best suit your needs and lifestyle.

 

How many treatments are needed for laser hair removal?

Typically 6-12 depending on the skin, area of the body, laser used, hair density, and coarseness. Having a regular schedule is also crucial for success.

 

Can anyone use these at home hair removal machines on any part of the face and body?

No, there are certain limitations for different devices. These are usually:

  • Areas of the face and body – Some older versions of at-home devices are not suitable for facial use and in certain parts of the body. The devices above however, can be used for the face and body. Typical suitable male and female body areas include legs, arms, bikini line, underarms, hands, chest, back, and abdomen. For the face, most of these devices are recommended for use on women’s facial hair from cheek line downward like the cheeks, upper lip, chin, and neck.
    (Jump to: Safety Reminders)
  • Areas with skin conditions – Damaged skin (sunburned, tanned), inked or tattooed skin, irritated skin (peeling, redness), skin conditions (eczema, acne, psoriasis, herpes, active infections, wounds, etc.), areas with heavily freckled skin, birthmarks, warts, and dark moles, are some of the restrictions for use.
    (Jump to: Safety Reminders)
  • Certain skin tones – Most devices are suitable for light to medium skin tones, however there are some that can accommodate darker skin tones. The machines above has built-in safety sensors designed to check the skin tone before use. You can also manually check the skin tone guide as noted above if you fall under a suitable category.
  • Certain hair colors – The technology mostly works on darker hair because it relies on the pigment of the hair follicle to work. The higher the contrast between your skin tone and hair color, the more effective your treatment will be.

 

Diode lasers vs. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)?

Diode laser and IPL treatments are highly effective and safe. Both target the melanin i.e. color in the hair root and results are pretty much the same in terms of permanent hair reduction.

In clinical studies however, diode lasers were found to be more effective than IPL. IPL needs more sessions to achieve the same results as diode lasers.

This is down to the type of light used and the way it expels on the skin. This affects the light energy that can be used by a device and number of treatments required to achieve results, among other factors.

Diode lasers are more efficient, and the more expensive done in-office.

Because of the high energy used by diode lasers, the stinging sensation and inflammation you may experience will be more pronounced. Despite this, most patients prefer lasers over IPL due to its efficacy. You can always use numbing creams if you have sensitive skin or have low pain tolerance.

Laser – monochromatic and very high energy light source, focused only on the hair follicle. More suitable for darker skin tones. Faster results, more expensive.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Laser) – Broadband pulsed light source flashed on the hair and surrounding skin. Depending on the device’s light energy, may need more treatment sessions in comparison. More affordable alternative to laser.

 

At Home Laser Hair Removal User Guide

  1. Prep your skin – Cleanse, shave, and dry your skin before every treatment.
  2. Select a treatment level on your device – This depends on whether the device is manual or automatic. Check the machine’s manual for specifics on how to set this. Remember: the higher the energy level, the faster the results.
  3. Choose an area – Treat the face or body part as indicated. Continue treatments as necessary for desired results.

That’s basically it! Simple right? 🙂

The best time to get treatment is during the hair’s active growth period, so be consistent and follow a schedule. Since hair grows in cycles, you need to schedule your home treatments regularly. There’s usually an app that comes with each brand to help you keep track.

Tip: Perform at night so any lingering redness would disappear by morning. 😉 You can also shave in between your schedule, but avoid waxing or plucking.

 

What to Expect Before, During, and After

After: Hair won’t immediately fall out after the first treatment. Permanent hair reduction will happen after a sufficient amount of treatments, usually at least 6-8 on average. Results will still vary depending on the device used, energy level, skin tone, hair color, area of the face or body used on, denseness and coarseness of the hair, and how regularly the treatments are done. Hair should gradually fall off with each treatment.

During: Some users may experience some discomfort during the first treatment like warmth, tingling, or itching. Some users experience prickling in the skin, while others describe the sensation like a rubber band snapping. This is normal, but these sensitivities will usually go away in later treatments.

You can use calming or numbing creams if you have low pain tolerance or sensitive skin.

Some users also have mild redness in certain areas. These usually go away within 24 hours. If there is pain still after the first treatment and it’s proving too intense for you, stop using the device and check with your doctor before trying again.

Before: Before staring your treatment, you’ll have to take note of the below list of skin conditions.

 

At Home Laser Hair Removal Safety Reminders

These are the basic precautions across all at-home laser hair removal treatments. For a definite list, please refer to the enclosed leaflet in your machine.

Do not use if you have:

  • Sensitivity to light (photosensitivity)
  • Damaged or irritated skin
  • Had skin peeling, plucking, epilating, or waxing in the last 6-8 weeks.
  • Have tanned or sunburned skin. Wait for the skin to go back to normal before proceeding.
  • Are breastfeeding or pregnant
  • History of pre-cancer or skin cancer
  • Anywhere near water in case of electric shock

Do not use on:

  • Eyebrows or areas above the cheek line as the laser light can cause eye damage. It’s highly recommended to use UV glasses as a precaution.
  • Areas of the body with tattoos, dark brown or black spots (dark moles, large freckles, birthmarks, or warts)
  • Areas with skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, herpes, active infections, or wounds
  • Skin tones or hair colors outside the advised coverage
  • Ears, nipples, genitals (bikini line is okay), or anus

Don’t use this on areas where you may want to grow your hair back. Long term usage may be irreversible or permanent.

Always follow safety precautions for electrical devices. Most of us will do this in the bathroom, so be careful to not get the machine or the charger damp or wet. To avoid accidents, don’t put it next to the tub or sink. Keep the cord away from heated surfaces like towel rails to avoid electric shocks.

 

And that’s it! Thanks for dropping by. I hope this guide can help you with your at-home hair removal journey. If you have any further questions, feel free to drop me a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Here’s to a flawless and hair-free future! 😉

xo,
Samantha

Resources:

Cold, F. (2016). Ingrown Hair: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Infections.

Dierickx, C. (2016). Laser Hair Removal: Scientific Principles and Practical Aspects. Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, Harvard Medical School.

Emedicine.medscape.com. (2016). Laser Hair Removal: Background, History of the Procedure, Problem.

Haedersdal, M., Beerwerth, F. and Nash, J. (2011). Laser and intense pulsed light hair removal technologies: from professional to home use. British Journal of Dermatology, 165, pp.31-36.

Klein, A., Steinert, S., Baeumler, W., Landthaler, M. and Babilas, P. (2013). Photoepilation with a diode laser vs. intense pulsed light: a randomized, intrapatient left-to-right trial. British Journal of Dermatology, 168(6), pp.1287-1293.

Realself.com. (2016). 

Remington Products. (2017). Remington Men’s and Women’s Hair Care, Shave, Groom, Parts | Remington Products.

Thacker P, Kumar P. Near Infrared Pulsed Light for Permanent Hair Reduction in Fitzpatrick Skin Types IV and V. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. 2016;9(4):249-253. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.197078.

Tria Beauty. (2017). Laser Hair Removal, Anti-Aging Skincare & Blue Light Therapy from Tria Beauty.

Braun US. (2017). Braun offers high performance hair removal products for men and women.

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