Top 6 Best Home Laser & IPL Hair Removal: Esthetician’s Choice

After testing & intensively reviewing the latest devices, these are our Esthetician’s Choice for the safest & most effective at-home IPL laser hair removal.

the best at home laser hair removal

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FDA-Approved & Scientifically-Proven Home IPL & Laser to Give Safe & Effective Results

On the quest to be permanently (and gloriously) hair-free, we’ve assessed over 35 of the most reputable and best-selling at-home laser hair removal and IPL devices in the market today.

Our in-house estheticians and laser technicians have chosen the top 5 based on performance, build, specifications, value for money, and our hands-on experience.

This guide includes a detailed product comparison chart, video reviews, user guides, FAQs, and safety reminders–everything you need to know to help you choose the most compatible device to suit you.

If you’ve spent countless hours on hair removal, an at-home laser device is one of the best investments you can buy. One study has shown that up to 95% of patients have noted hair reduction.[1]

cost of laser hair removal
Figure 1.0. Average cost per session and per body area of professional laser hair removal for women. Source: Laser Hair Removal Cost & Prices (National Statistics Report)

With the right machine, you can get permanent hair reduction at just a fraction of the price (vs. in-clinic visits).

This expert guide has a first-rate selection of devices that can give you the best results and value for your money.

Ask the Expert: Are At-Home IPL Laser Devices Worth it? Do They Work?

by Samantha Welch, Esthetician

ANSWER: YES, but only if you use a high-quality device compatible with your skin tone & hair color.

You must also use the proper energy settings and be consistent with your scheduled treatments. Home IPL will only work for you if you have the time and patience for DIY.

If you have skin & hair conditions like hirsutism or hypertrichosis, be aware that these medical conditions require advice and treatment from a healthcare professional.

You can use laser or IPL to improve your cosmetic appearance, but results can vary depending on the presence of underlying medical conditions.


If you ask a dermatologist or esthetician if at-home hair removal devices work, you'll likely get an ambiguous answer that stirs towards a dubious “it depends on the device and the patient.”

This statement isn't surprising at all because we're exposed to marketing materials from laser equipment suppliers that actively encourage skincare professionals to dissuade clients from DIY devices.

I won't say that competition isn't a motivating influence, as there are legitimate concerns here as well—primarily patient safety and product efficacy.

There is less room for error with a professional at the helm of your treatment compared to trying it on your own.

However, other factors are considered just as important, like cost, convenience, and patient capacity.

Most of these home devices use the same IPL and laser technology as some clinics, albeit on a smaller scale. 

And while there is no device that's a one-size-fits-all, these are FDA-approved and scientifically proven to work.[1]

They are intuitively designed and straightforward to use with safety checks on hand.

Ask the Expert: How Do You Get Safe & Effective Results at Home?


ANSWER: Approach your permanent hair removal journey with commitment. Perform due diligence and be a well-informed consumer.

Below is a quick checklist to serve as your guide:

Buy a device that's compatible with your skin type, hair color, and skin sensitivity. 
Take note of the treatment program and see if it's something you can fit into your lifestyle. The schedule has to be followed on the dot for your hair removal to be effective. The timetable will also give you an idea of when to expect results.
Use the highest power setting your skin can tolerate consistently and on schedule. This strategy can give you faster and more effective results. You can only know what power level you're comfortable with through trial and error. Most of our patients build tolerance over time, so don't fret even if you start at low power!
Follow best practices and the enclosed safety protocols to avoid any accidents and maximize your treatments.
  1. Is At-Home Laser Hair Removal Safe? The Complete Safety Checklist for IPL Devices
  2. A Comprehensive Study on the Safety & Efficacy of At-Home IPL Hair Removal Devices

Buying Cheat Sheet: The Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices

Our team of estheticians have operated and tested over 35 professional laser hair removal machines over the years. These FDA-approved devices are our current choices for the best at-home laser hair removal in the market today.

ViQure EpiPro for Salon & Home Use
BEST AT-HOME LASER HAIR REMOVAL DEVICE (OVERALL inc. DARK SKIN / BLONDE HAIR / FACE / BRAZILIAN)

Combines a high-energy 808nm diode laser with TEC cooling, making this more effective than any IPL device. 

This unique hybrid machine is from a brand that caters to Medspas. This allows you to get virtually unlimited treatments from the same tech professionals use.

If you have the budget to invest, the ViQure EpiPro is the best at-home laser hair removal money can buy.

Ulike Sapphire Air3
BEST IPL DEVICE

Vogue's Best Laser Hair Removal Device of 2023 is incredibly fast, portable, and pain-free with its Sapphire Ice-Cooling Technology.

And with a whopping 1 million flashes & 30 international safety certifications, the extremely popular Ulike Sapphire Air3 reigns supreme among all IPL devices.

The Beam IPL
BEST BUDGET LASER HAIR REMOVAL

A great affordable alternative to high-end devices.

Boasts premium features like Smart Skin-Sensing, a digital display, contact sensors, and 600,000 flashes worth 20 years of treatments.

The Beam IPL is beginner-friendly & has unbelievable value for money.

Silk'n Infinity Review by Gabrielle Sterin/Healthybeautiful.com
Silk’n Infinity
BEST IPL DEVICE FOR DARK SKIN

If you're looking for a budget-friendly IPL for dark skin, the Silk'n Infinity is your best bet.

It’s exclusive eHPL™ technology overcomes the limitations of traditional IPL, offering safe & effective results without side effects.

JOVS Venus Pro
MOST INNOVATIVE IPL

Known as “The Dyson of Laser Hair Removal,” the award-winning JOVS Venus Pro is known for its exceptional design & build quality. 

This futuristic IPL + Skin Rejuvenation device delivers painless treatments using cutting-edge OPT Sapphire ICE technology

It also features an ergonomic 330° Rotation Head that matches any curvature and 6 Body + 6 Level Modes that offer full-body treatments.

tria 4x laser hair removal review
Tria 4x
MOST POWERFUL AT-HOME LASER HAIR REMOVAL

InStyle's 2020 & 2021 Best Beauty Buys Award is the first FDA-cleared diode laser hair removal device.

It has the highest energy power of any home use device at 7-22 J/cm² vs. the normal rate of 4-8 J/cm²

This means fewer sessions and a very high rate of achieving permanent results.

Product Comparison Table:
Home IPL & Laser Hair Removal Systems

Esthetician Tip: Save time by process of elimination. Check if the device is compatible with your skin & hair color first, then compare by technology, power, safety, and other features.

BEST IN: Power, COVERAGE, SAFETY, Innovation, & Function

ViQure EpiProUlike Sapphire Air3The Beam IPLSilk’n InfinityJOVS Venus ProTria 4x
tria 4x laser hair removal review
Verdict:Most Effective for All Skin Tones & Body AreasBest IPL DeviceBest Budget IPLBest IPL Device for Dark Skin or Light HairMost Innovative IPLMost Powerful Laser Hair Removal
Technology:Diode LaserIPL (Intense Pulsed Light)IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)eHPL™ technology (IPL + Galvanic Current)Advanced Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT) + (MFCPT) + Skin RejuvenationDiode Laser
Energy Fluence / Power:Max 20 J/cm²6.3 J/cm² (Max 21 J)2.45 ~ 5 J/cm²2.5-4 J/cm² + 70-400 microampere (µA) Galvanic Current1 – 6 J/cm²7 – 22 J/cm²
Flashes:5,000,000 pulses1 Million built-in flashes600,000 flashes“Unlimited” flashes“Unlimited” flashes (500,000+)90,000
Safety Mechanism:Cooling System: Semiconductor + Wind (0°C~5°C), FREE glasses & goggles, Cooling gel (sold seperately) Sapphire Ice-Cooling Technology, Automatic skin sensor, FREE IPL glassesSkin contact sensors, Skin tone sensors, UV filter, FREE UV glasses, FREE mini-shaverAutomatic skin tone + contact sensorSapphire Skin-Cooling System + Contact sensors. Custom modes for each body part. Recessed flash window. FREE IPL glasses + Razor.Automatic skin tone detector, Contact sensor
Skin Tone Coverage:fitzpatrick scale I-VIfitzpatrick scale I-VI
Hair Color Coverage:human hair color spectrumhuman hair color spectrum
BUY NOWBUY NOWBUY NOWBUY NOWBUY NOWBUY NOW
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

Esthetician's Choice:
The Best At-Home IPL & Laser Hair Removal Devices

Our estheticians and laser technicians have tested and reviewed the best-selling at-home laser hair removal devices on the market today.

Our top 5 are the ones that are cut above the rest in terms of technology used, product quality, performance, ease of use, value for money, and our personal experience with using the device. To see all the devices we've reviewed, click here.

ViQure EpiPro

BEST AT-HOME LASER HAIR REMOVAL DEVICE (OVERALL inc. DARK SKIN / BLONDE HAIR / FACE / BRAZILIAN)

The Bottom Line:

Unlike most at-home devices, the ViQure EpiPro operates with a diode laser instead of IPL.

Diode is one of the only four lasers used by physicians in professional laser hair removal. (The other lasers are Ruby, Alexandrite, and Nd:YAG. No portable versions of these other lasers are available at this time. IPL is not a laser; it is light technology.)

The use of a medical-grade diode laser over IPL already makes the ViQure EpiPro inherently superior to almost all at-home devices.[2]

Add to that, this device was built for commercial use.

That means it brings all the advantages of a commercial machine like power, durability, flexibility, and efficacy to a device that's portable and simple to use.

It also surpasses all IPL limitations on skin tone, hair color, and body parts.

As an added bonus, it also doubles as a skin rejuvenation device, which is one of the benefits of diode lasers.

The only downside is that while it's an affordable laser machine for salons, it's quite high priced for individual use.

Not as expensive as professional services but still an investment compared to regular IPL machines.

However, if you want the highest chance of permanent results at home, the ViQure EpiPro is hands down your best bet.

Ideal for: All skin types, All body areas including between the eyebrows & Brazilian (No IPL device is FDA-approved safe for treating above the cheekbones & beyond bikini); Stubborn hair prone to re-growth with IPL, Multi-function device: Permanent Hair Reduction + Skin Rejuvenation

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Ulike Sapphire Air3

BEST IPL HAIR REMOVAL DEVICE

Winner: Vogue's Best Laser Hair Removal Device of 2023

The Bottom Line:

Our team reviewed this device for a month, one week more than the advertised duration, for testing.

We're happy to report that this Tiktok-famous IPL delivered and lived up to the hype.

Our tester saw results in a month, with only a few strands left on her axilla (underarm).

The Ulike Sapphire Air3 made the hair removal process quick and virtually pain-free, with undeniable results in just a few weeks. 

These are some of its key advantages over other home IPL devices:

  • Over 30 international safety certifications
  • 1 Million built-in flashes, one of the highest in IPLs
  • An industry-leading 0.7 second flash speed for quick treatments
  • A large spot size of 3.2 cm2 allows it to cover more skin per flash 
  • Proprietary Sapphire ICE Cooling System for painless treatments
  • FREE razor and IPL glasses

That said, it's not perfect, and there are still drawbacks to note:

  • Subject to the limitations of IPL devices, where it's only effective on light to medium skin tones and dark hair.
  • Our tester found the flashes too bright, even with the glasses.
  • Its auto flashes can be inconsistent when used for long periods

We have more details in our expert’s in-depth review, if you’re keen on delving into more of the details.

But our verdict overall: if you're looking for an effective, portable, pain-free IPL device, the Ulike Sapphire Air3 is hands down one of the best money can buy.

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The Beam IPL

BEST BUDGET IPL HAIR REMOVAL DEVICE

The Bottom Line:

The Beam IPL is a beginner-friendly device boasting technical specs that rival high-end brands.

It has a digital display for easy operations and a counter that tracks your flashes. This is something rare, even in expensive flagship devices.

The Beam IPL also has 600,000 flashes, equivalent to 20 years of treatments, and comes with UV sunglasses and a shaver at no extra cost. 

Most impressive of all is its premium safety mechanisms. 

It has skin contact sensors and a skin-sensing feature reminiscent of Braun's “SensoAdapt” and SmoothSkin's “Smart Skin.”

It's not an exact replica of the proprietary tech, as it scans and flashes a lot slower, but it's a decent compromise, given its price point.

We delve into these comparisons in more detail in our review if you're interested. 

Overall, the Beam IPL is a very impressive device that delivers results and value for money without compromising safety and efficacy.

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silkn infinity review

Silk’n Infinity Hair Removal Device

BEST IPL DEVICE FOR DARK SKIN

The Bottom Line:

If you’ve been shopping for at-home IPLs, you’ll notice that almost all of them limit skin coverage to medium skin tones and naturally dark hair.

This is because the mechanism of laser hair removal itself called selective photothermolysis is very high risk for dark skin and ineffective at all for light hair.

IPL targets melanin and causes damage to it with continuous application.

Every hair removal machine's goal is to ensure that its heat energy is localized to just the melanin in the root of your hair, not the surrounding skin.

Unfortunately, no IPL or laser equipment outside of professional Nd:YAG machines and long-pulse diode can do this with dark skin tones without some degree of complications like burns.

Most devices can’t differentiate between melanin in the hair and the skin.

What makes Silk’n Infinity unique, however, is it doesn’t just use IPL but a combination of it with galvanic current.

Galvanic current opens your pores and gives the IPL more straightforward access to your hair follicle.

This process amplifies the device’s hair-eliminating ability and reduces the need for dangerously high energy fluences to achieve the same results.

This unique hair removal system is their proprietary eHPL™ (enhanced home pulse light).[5]

With its fool-proof automatic skin sensor, temporary pressure markings, longer wavelength, and low energy fluence—you'll have to really try for anything to go wrong using this device.

I've been using this at max level 5, and it only feels like a tiny, minute zap. It’s a great, relatively painless, and very safe option for sensitive skin, light hair, and skin tones up to Fitzpatrick VI.

Silk’n Infinity is one of the only 3 IPL devices we've found to be up to standard in safely and effectively treating dark skin.

The galvanic energy also gives you extra skin rejuvenation, a very nice addition, especially since EMS (electro-muscle stimulation or electrotherapy) treatments like this are very expensive. I wouldn’t mind a free 2-in-1 body rejuvenation!

That said, its superior safety measures seem to come at the expense of time and effort.

The estimated time to see results are within 5-6 months of recommended use. Quite a leap in comparison to other devices that averages 3-4 months.

This is also probably one of the reasons I’ve seen a good number of negative feedback.

If you’ve been conditioned by regular devices to see results in 12 weeks, you would be expecting the same here.

It’s important to remember, though, that ultimately, other IPL devices aren’t close to capable of treating light hair and dark skin.

This has been scientifically proven to work if you do it right[6]—it just might take ages.

If you manage your timeframe and expectations, Silk’n can deliver where other devices can’t.

Ideal for: Light to dark skin (Fitzpatrick I-VI), Sensitive Skin, Low pain tolerance, and people with time and patience.

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JOVS Venus Pro

MOST INNOVATIVE IPL HAIR REMOVAL

Winner: Red Dot Design Award 2020

The Bottom Line:

With its award-winning build & stylish product design, the JOVS Venus Pro is dubbed “The Dyson of Laser Hair Removal”.

This device has been clinically tested with over 11 internationally recognized safety certifications, making this one of the safest hair removal devices on the global market.

The JOVS Venus Pro has a laundry list of features that may be overwhelming at first glance, all unique for an at-home hair removal device.

  1. Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT™) stabilizes scattered IPL light to deliver a more focused and controlled light energy. This means each flash using OPT™ will be more effective than plain IPL using the same energy level.
  2. Multi-Frequency Continuous Pulse Technology (MFCPT) – has a high energy repetition rate that reduces the risk for sensitive skin & low pain tolerance while keeping clinical efficacy.
  3. SR Technology – red optical filter is for skin rejuvenation to improve wrinkles, pigmentation, vascular lesions, and skin laxity.

It also has a built-in Sapphire Skin-Cooling System that maintains a 5° C temperature, ensuring completely painless treatments.

The JOVS Venus Pro has 6 Energy levels + 6 Modes that ensures precise settings for different body parts.

Jovs Venus Pro Treatment Areas

The 330-degree Rotating Head and 0.7 second flash (level 1) gives you comfortable, fast, and easy treatments.

It also has an extended product lifespan compared to most devices, carrying one of the highest flash count at 500,000+ flashes.

Your package will come with FREE IPL glasses and a shaving razor, saving you the extra cost.

Ideal for: Full body treatments; Fast, easy, and pain-free treatments especially for those with low pain tolerance

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$599.99
as of May 18, 2024 6:28 am
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tria 4x laser hair removal review
tria 4x laser hair removal review

Tria 4x

MOST POWERFUL AT-HOME LASER HAIR REMOVAL

Winner: InStyle's 2020 & 2021 Best Beauty Buys Award

The Bottom Line:

This device is the closest you can get to medical-grade in terms of power and technology. 

The Tria is one of only two consumer devices able to use a diode laser and one of the only four lasers used by physicians in professional laser hair removal. (The other lasers are Ruby, Alexandrite, and Nd:YAG. No portable versions of these are available as of this year. IPL is not laser; it is light technology.)

If you want the highest chance of getting permanent results at home, the diode laser is far ahead of the pack.[2]

The Tria 4x, however, is only safe to use on light skin and dark hair.

And, unlike the ViQure EpiPro, it doesn’t have cooling. This means it can be very painful to use. 

Another issue is its tiny flash window. This feature makes it great for the face but time-consuming in large areas like the legsand arms.

In the end, if you want the strongest at-home laser hair removal device, nothing compares to the Tria. However, it’s lagging in terms of comfort and efficiency.

We’ve explored the pros and cons in detail in our extensive review if you’re interested in a deep dive.

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Buyer's Guide:
How to Choose the Best At Home Laser & IPL Hair Removal Devices

While there are countless features common and unique to each machine, some are more important than others. These are the most crucial features to remember when buying a laser hair removal device because they will determine how effective your treatments will be.

01

Check if Your Hair Color is Covered

The darker the hair, the more effective the laser.
human hair color spectrum
Figure 6.1. Natural Hair Colors

Hair removal lasers work by their ability to target melanin, ie. the pigment that gives skin, hair, and eyes its color. Since the ultimate target is the root of your hair, the more melanin it has ie. the darker the hair, the more effective the laser will be. If your hair has little to no pigment, lasers will have difficulty targeting the root under the skin. (Dyes won’t work as it doesn’t reach the root.)

Make sure that your natural hair color is covered by your chosen device.

02

Check if Your Skin Tone is Covered

The higher the color contrast between the skin and hair, the more effective the laser device.
fitzpatrick scale I-VI
Figure 6.2. The Fitzpatrick Scale Skin Types.

There are 6 types of skin tones under what’s known as the Fitzpatrick scale, I-VI from lightest to darkest. As opposed to hair color, you want the laser to ignore your skin and pass through it. This is to avoid epidermal injury. So, the less melanin you have, the more it can focus on its target—the root of your hair.

Because of the limitations of lasers and IPL in both the depth of penetration under the skin and its capability of targeting melanin, most types of laser technology can only work with light skin tones. Only the Nd: YAG has been proven to be effective up to V-VI. This technology, however, isn’t available for home use as of yet.

Check if your skin tone is within the scope of the device’s range.

03

Find out What Laser or Light Technology is Used

Lasers are more effective than light (IPL) in removing hair.
Figure 3.1. Lasers generate a single wavelength that is extremely concentrated and efficiently absorbed by the pigment in the hair. IPL creates a wide spectrum of light where only some wavelengths are absorbed by the pigment in the hair and some by the skin.
Figure 6.3. Lasers generate a single wavelength that is extremely concentrated and efficiently absorbed by the pigment in the hair. IPL creates a wide spectrum of light where only some wavelengths are absorbed by the pigment in the hair and some by the skin.

Lasers and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) have been proven highly effective for permanent hair reduction. There are different types of lasers used in hair removal, but only one type (diode) has been patented for home devices. IPL is by far more widely used because of its affordability and ease of access.

Clinical studies, however, show that diode laser is more effective and gives faster results than IPL. Diode is also one of the laser technologies preferred by physicians for professional hair removal.

04

Compare Energy Fluence/Power Ranges

The higher the Joules per flash or J/cm², the more effective it is in removing hair. and the higher the risk of side-effects occuring.
Figure 4.1. Example of a device with 5 levels of IPL intensity. Courtesy of IMENE Beauty.
Figure 6.4. Example of a device with 5 levels of IPL intensity. Courtesy of IMENE Beauty.

This is the strength of the laser or light that targets the hair pigment, all the way to the root, to disable its growth. In clinical studies, higher energy has been found to be 2-3 times more effective than devices with lower energy. This also coincides with the depth of laser penetration, or how deep into the skin it can go to reach the hair root.

Each device have different ranges and a good indicator of how high it goes is pricing.

On the other side of the coin, a higher amount of heat dispersed means a higher risk for adverse effects. This includes discomfort, pain, redness, swelling, burns, and pigmentary changes.

The most efficient way to is to balance efficacy with your safety and skin sensitivity. This means setting your device to the highest energy level your skin can tolerate. Best practice is to start with level 1 and work your way up.

Additional Safety Tools & Reminders

While we all want results, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your safety. There are horror stories about lasers out there that could have been 100% preventable had they just taken enough precautions. Even the best photo epilators can turn awry in the wrong hands.

01

UV Resistant Glasses (Optional but encouraged)

These devices emit flashes of light that direct exposure may potentially be harmful to the eyes. It’s actually recommended on most manuals 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.

Recommended: LaserPair IPL Glasses, OPT Safety Glasses 200-1400 nm Eye Protection Goggles

02

Pre-Treatment Cooling Gels (Optional for very sensitive skin)

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 very sensitive skin or low pain tolerance, a calming pre-treatment gel might be needed to reduce any stinging or redness caused by the treatment. (This is compulsory in our practice but in-clinic lasers are also 4x-6x more powerful than at-home lasers.)

Also, note that not all home devices can be used in conjunction with a pre-treatment cooling gel. The Tria for instance specifically prohibits any lotions or gels to come in between the skin and the device window. We’ve checked and added this precaution in our review, so make sure to thoroughly check the specs before buying one.

If you have sensitive skin but the device you’ve chosen can’t be used with a pre-treatment gel, use a post-treatment healing gel instead (up next!).

Recommended: The Best Cooling Gels for Laser Hair Removal

03

Post-Treatment Healing Gels (Optional but encouraged)

These post-procedure gels promote skin recovery. It provides moisturization, alleviates redness, and gives a cooling sensation after treatments.

Recommended: The Best Cooling Gels for Laser Hair Removal

04

Contraindications or When You Can’t Get Laser

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. They should be similar to the list below as the general guidelines are the same across the board.

Do not proceed 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
05

Areas You Can’t Use Them On or Where You Can’t Get Laser

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, and other sensitive areas
  • Don’t use this in areas where you may want to grow your hair back. Long-term usage may be irreversible or permanent. Always be vigilant in removing hair safely.

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.

How to Use IPL & Laser Hair Removal at Home: Step-by-Step

Esthetician Tip #1: Perform at night so any lingering redness would disappear by morning. You can also shave in between your schedule when the killed off hair under the skin starts to push itself out, but avoid waxing or plucking. You need that root intact for this to work.

Esthetician Tip #2: I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping to your schedule in the early stages of your treatment. There is a small window in between treatments where your hair is in its growth period. This is when laser treatment is at its most effective. If you let too much time lapse before permanently disabling your hair follicle, you’re running the risk of your hair repairing itself. Healthy hair is more resilient than you think!

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Total Time Needed :

45

Minutes

Required Tools:

– Shaver
– At-home laser hair removal device with IPL window attached (if applicable)
– UV glasses (optional)
– Scheduler of choice

Things Needed?

– Post-treatment gel or lotion

General Steps:

Step 1

Prep your skin. Cleanse and dry the treatment area before your laser session.

Step 2

Shave the area thoroughly. Your hair will be heated in the process, and any protruding strand left that comes in contact with your skin during the laser treatment can be painful. Just think of your hair getting toasted on top of your skin. It’s going to hurt and give off a burning smell too!

DO NOT PLUCK OR WAX. You need the root intact and in contact with the surrounding area of your follicle for the laser to destroy. Remember, the laser will look for the melanin in your hair so if it’s missing, your treatment will be rendered useless.

If you have sensitive skin, apply a pre-treatment cooling gel. Just make sure that your device allows the use of gels or soothing lotions, as some explicitly forbid anything to come in between your skin and the device. (Refer to the Key Specs of each device above, we’ve checked this for you.)

fitzpatrick scale I-VI

Step 3

Check the target area's skin tone compatibility with your device. This process differs with every model but there should be a mechanical method to check whether your skin tone is within their range of coverage.

Some devices have a separate skin tone checker. For others, this comes as an automatic safety feature where it checks your skin tone before every flash. If a particular area of your body is out of range, the device won't flash at all. This is very convenient since different parts of the body have different skin tones, and is especially useful for people with darker skin types.

Figure 4.1. Example of a device with 5 levels of IPL intensity. Courtesy of IMENE Beauty.

Step 4

Do a patch test to determine the optimum power level you should use for each session. This isn't necessarily the highest setting your machine can go, but the highest possible level your skin can tolerate. Remember the higher the power, the more effective your treatments will be. However, this also means a higher risk for side effects like pain, redness, or burns. You need to find the right balance of safe and effective for a successful treatment.

Don your UV glasses for safety, and do a patch test. Pick a random part from the different areas you want to treat and work your way up from the lowest to the highest setting. Stop immediately if you feel pain. Observe the area for about 10-15 minutes and check for any side effects.

As you continue your treatment, you can try to gradually increase your power level as you build a tolerance to the laser and as the hair gets thinner and thinner. This is standard procedure in our clinic and with all professional laser hair removal.

Step 5

Treatment proper. Move in a grid-like pattern to avoid patchy results.

Avoid flashing in succession at the same spot. You can pass over areas once or twice if indicated by your device. (Some allow it, others discourage the practice.)

Step 6

Apply post-treatment healing gel or lotion to the area to soothe the skin and facilitate healing. At most, it should feel like a mild sunburn. Any redness should fade within a few hours.

Avoid getting the area wet for at least 24 hours. If you're going under the sun, apply an SPF of at least 30+.

Step 7

Schedule the next treatment according to instructions given on your chosen device. If you want to have continuous hair loss, you have to systematically injure your hair follicle over and over until it reaches a point where it's either unable to re-grow hair or minimize its growth from terminal or thick hair, to vellus or fine hairs. Going too long without treatment, especially in the earlier stages, will give your hair follicle a chance to heal itself.

It's critical to strike during the anagen phase when the hair starts to repair itself and melanin is in abundance at the dermal papilla, where the growth factors are. This cycle occurs in just a few weeks during the start of your treatment, and will gradually extend to months or years once cumulative damage to your hair follicle occurs.

Strictly keeping to a schedule is crucial to permanent hair removal. There’s usually an app that comes with each brand to help you keep track. Even easier, log every schedule in advance on your calendar so you won't miss a session.


Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most common questions new users have regarding laser hair removal:


References:

  1. Gold, Michael H et al. “Low-energy intense pulsed light for hair removal at home.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 3,2 (2010): 48-53.
  2. Klein, A., Steinert, S., Baeumler, W., Landthaler, M., & Babilas, P. (2013). Photoepilation with a diode laser vs. intense pulsed light: a randomized, intrapatient left‐to‐right trial. British Journal of Dermatology168(6), 1287-1293.
  3. Ormiga P, Ishida CE, Boechat A, Ramos-E-Silva M. Comparison of the effect of diode laser versus intense pulsed light in axillary hair removal. Dermatol Surg. 2014 Oct;40(10):1061-9. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000138. PMID: 25229781.
  4. Klein A, Steinert S, Baeumler W, Landthaler M, Babilas P. Photoepilation with a diode laser vs. intense pulsed light: a randomized, intrapatient left-to-right trial. Br J Dermatol. 2013 Jun;168(6):1287-93. doi: 10.1111/bjd.12182. Epub 2013 Apr 2. PMID: 23278132.
  5. Gold, Michael & Goren, Hela. (2015). The Effect of Novel Low Energy Pulsed Light Combined with Galvanic Energy for Home-Use Hair Removal of Dark Skin. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications. 05. 283-290. 10.4236/jcdsa.2015.54034.
  6. R. Stephen Mulholland (2009) Silk'n™ – A novel device using Home Pulsed Light™ for hair removal at home, Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 11:2, 106-109, DOI: 10.1080/14764170902902806

The Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices

Expert on-hand reviews from estheticians on the best at-home laser hair removal devices that deliver professional results.

Samantha Welch

the best at home laser hair removal
ViQure EpiPro
Ulike Sapphire Air3
The Beam IPL
Silk’n Infinity
JOVS Venus Pro
Tria 4x

Summary

Among 35 devices we've reviewed, we've selected the best that stood out based on performance, build, specifications, value for money, and our hands-on experience.

4.2

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Samantha Welch
Samantha Welch is an esthetician and professional makeup artist. She co-founded Healthy Beautiful to create a space where she can share her experiences and channel her love for all things beauty. Samantha believes that through education and resources, everyone can make informed choices that can change their lives.