How Effective Is Home Laser Hair Removal?

Angela Farrer
Angela Farrer
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Home laser hair removal can have different rates of effectiveness than laser hair removal done in a clinical setting such as physician's office or a medical spa. The reason is that lasers available for home use vary more widely in strength and type of laser technology needed to remove the maximum amount of hair. The average DIY laser hair removal kit reduces about 50% to 70% of hair growth over a course of several treatments, as opposed to the average professional laser procedure, which removes between 70% and 100% of hair over the same number of treatment sessions.

One of the benefits of laser hair removal at home is an economical one. The cost of a home laser hair removal device can be significantly lower than a series of visits to a dermatologist for multiple treatments. This option for laser hair removal is also more convenient because it can be done on the user's own time without the need to plan and schedule professional appointments days or weeks in advance.

Laser hair removal uses one of two technologies to disable the follicle of each hair, eventually preventing regrowth. Some home laser hair removal devices use the same concentrated laser light technology as those in physicians' offices. Other devices use an alternative, lower-power technology that delivers the laser in a series of pulses rather than one constant light beam. The first of these methods of laser hair removal has been shown to remove more hair in less time. One brand of device may also have different strength settings than another.

Just as in a professional setting, the effectiveness of home laser hair removal also depends on the user's specific skin and hair type. Light-skinned individuals with dark and coarse hair are the best candidates for this procedure because the dark hair follicles against light skin are the easiest for the laser beam to find. Regardless of whether DIY hair removal devices use pulsed light or direct light beams, some risks of laser hair removal still exist. These usually include skin rashes, burns, or blisters. Users should always perform a skin patch test of any home laser hair removal kit to make sure they do not have any of these adverse reactions.

Using a DIY device for partial or full body laser hair removal can have similar results to those in a clinical setting, though users generally should not expect the effectiveness to be precisely the same. Home laser hair removal may take more applications over a longer time frame. Patience, consistency, and carefully following all instructions are additional factors of effective laser hair removal at home.

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