Today, there are many options for at-home hair removal—from tried-and-true ones, like razor shaving and waxing, to more innovative ones, like advanced epilators and even home lasers.
Like other hair removal methods, at-home laser hair removal devices can be used almost anywhere, including large areas like the legs and armpits, smaller areas like the chin, and more intimate areas like the bikini line.
But do they really work? As a busy professional and mom of four, I can’t wait to see if months of at-home treatments will save me from having to shave my legs and armpits every few days — or splurge on expensive in-office laser hair to delete the session. (Prices range from $199 to $599 for a lesson.)
What exactly is a laser hair removal device?
Before using lasers on any part of my body, I want to understand exactly what these devices are — and how they work. Most at-home laser hair removal devices use IPL (intense pulsed light), which destroys hair follicles at the root, preventing regrowth, says dermatologist Dr. Bertha Baum.
It does take some time to see results, though. It depends on the specific equipment you use, but most people will need weekly laser treatments for 4 to 12 weeks.
Are home laser hair removal devices safe for anyone to use?
Perhaps more important than patience is safety. At-home laser hair removal devices are not suitable for all skin types. People with sensitive or pigmented skin should not use at-home lasers because most at-home devices can’t tell the difference between dark skin and dark hair—which can lead to hyperpigmentation problems, says dermatologist Corey L. Hartman, MD. (Good news: lots of office therapy today Do Works on darker skin, so see a dermatologist if you have any concerns. )
With all of this in mind, I’m sure that using an at-home laser hair removal device is safe for me, and I’m ready to get started.
I use Ulike sapphire AIR+ dark green IPL hair removal mobile phone
TikTokers are raving about this laser hair removal device. Some are calling it “the newest obsession” because it’s allegedly completely painless. Still, it delivers smooth, hair-free skin in less than 4 weeks—a 100 percent guarantee from the company.
Other than that, the device looks super refined. It’s dark green with copper accents and has a fully digital display that’s easily operated by touch.
First, you have to prep your skin
Getting started is easy. First, I read the instructions from cover to cover to make sure I did everything correctly. Step 1: Remove all make-up, lotion or cream, then use the included razor to shave any visible hair from the treated area.
Then, you do a skin test
This particular at-home laser is suitable for light fair to medium brown skin, but the manufacturer still recommends doing a skin test before use to see if you experience any adverse reactions.
To do this, you don protective sunglasses (surprisingly stylish aviator type!) and use the laser once on a low setting. If it feels comfortable, you can increase your energy level and try again in another location. Then, you wait two hours to monitor for any adverse reactions.
If all goes well, you can finish treating the area
After the two hours were up and I was sure my skin could handle the laser, I started working on my armpits. The laser isn’t too heavy and has a nice, smooth shape, so it’s easy to hold even with my non-dominant hand. And the light-emitting window is wide and flat, so it easily sits flush with the skin—even the curved skin under the arm.
The hardest part was assessing if I could effectively go through each area under the arms. I’m wondering if I’m repeating small areas (no-no) or missing spots (also unfortunate).
Does it hurt?
I have to admit: I was really nervous about my first flash. I figured it must have hurt in some way – I’d expect a slight burning sensation, maybe even a pinch. So I put the laser on my skin and get it ready. But I didn’t even flinch. It’s really painless. (I would describe my pain threshold as moderate.)
The device has “Sapphire Ice Cooling Technology,” which basically counteracts any burning sensation you might feel from the laser. It sounds and feels like there is a fan working at the same time as the laser. Because of this, I was able to use the device without issue even on the highest settings.
Is there recovery time?
Not at all! While the directions do suggest using a lotion or cooling gel afterwards, I found it unnecessary. I didn’t experience any burning or discomfort at all.
However, it is important to note that you do need to wait at least 7 days after your treatment to allow your skin to be exposed to direct sunlight. So don’t rush to get your home laser treatment done before your next beach vacation.
So are at-home laser hair removal devices worth the hype?
I can’t say for sure right now because I’ve only completed two of the 12 recommended courses. But I will say that I will definitely continue through the entire treatment program. It’s quick, easy, and best of all, completely painless, so it’s definitely worth exploring further. Especially considering how much cheaper it is than a series of in-office meetings.
Brigitt is a writer, editor and craft designer with nearly 15 years experience. She specializes in creating SEO and eCommerce content covering a range of lifestyle topics including family, health, parenting, beauty, style, food, entertainment, travel and weddings. She also has extensive experience in creating local and branded content.