Sometimes you can save a lot of money by doing things yourself. Making dinner at home versus going to restaurants will save you hundreds of dollars every week, and doing a ‘massage-swap’ with your partner is much cheaper (and more fun!) than going to a therapist weekly. However, just because something is cheaper doesn’t make it better! Since laser hair removal technology has progressed to a point where it is considered a very safe, very effective method for permanent hair reduction, a whole host of imitator devices that are billed as being for ‘home use’ have sprung up. So, do they work? Will a home laser hair removal device mean several hundred dollars saved, or several hundred dollars wasted? We find out.
How professional laser hair removal works
A professional laser hair removal machine works by applying a precisely controlled pulse of energy to the hair follicle itself, damaging the follicle to prevent it growing in the future.
A professional laser hair removal treatment:
• Is quite quick – a session on the underarms or face will take around 10 minutes
• Is personalized – your skin type, body chemistry and hair colour are taken into account
• Is permanent after the initial course of treatments has been completed
• Works best on patients with fair skin and dark hair
The better models of professional laser hair removal machine will also include a cooling feature. The discomfort often stops many people getting optimal results with lower-quality machines (and especially with at-home machines), since the procedure has to be repeated for good results.
How home laser/IPL hair removal works
Many home ‘laser’ hair removal units actually use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to get rid of the hairs. The potential for unskilled use means that these units aren’t built to be as powerful as salon devices; the lower output means that they often simply burn the hair (and sometimes a small patch of skin), without touching the follicle. The hair simply grows back after a couple of days.
In many cases, the makers of at-home ‘laser’ hair removal devices are reluctant to give any details about how the unit actually works, to help you in evaluating its efficacy.
You’ll often see a comparison of the pricing of at-home systems versus professional treatment, and the write-ups are usually heavily skewed in the direction of the at-home kits.
Of course, if the at-home kits were actually effective in permanently reducing hair, this comparison would be fair. However, you are actually comparing the cost of a treatment that doesn’t work a majority of the time, versus a treatment that has been proven to work.
Any money spent on home laser hair removal that ultimately grows back was a waste – you may as well have waxed or shaved your hair. By contrast, when you pay for professional laser hair removal, if you complete your course of treatments you are guaranteed permanent hair reduction, with the potential of permanent complete removal.
We would always recommend that you undergo professional laser hair removal treatment, at a clinic that is happy to explain all the details, potential and risks to you. Check out the seasonal specials, and pre-pay your treatments to make your laser hair removal much more affordable … and you’ll have truly silky smooth skin and be able to spend all those shaving or waxing hours doing something much more fun!