Convenience plays a very important role in shaping how our time and money are spent in today’s fast paced life. People look for ways to do things at home, in their own comfort and as and when they please. DIY (do it yourself) products are thus becoming very popular, especially for grooming purposes. Men and women alike are now concerned about how they look and are now spending large sums of money on their physical appearances and on their grooming. Most women spend exorbitant amounts of money every month in getting their hair removed by either waxing, shaving or going to salons for laser treatments; all of which are not only time consuming, but also quite expensive.

The perfect answer to such a dilemma of frequent sessions of hair removal can be strenuous, stressful as well as expensive and time consuming. In such circumstances, the idea of a home based permanent hair reduction tool seems like a dream come true. Such hair removing devices are widely available in the market as well as online which are home based laser machines or those which use the IPL technology.

Hair Removal through Lasers/IPL Technology

Light based hair removal, including IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and laser use specific wavelengths of light that are absorbed by the pigment in your hair. The light travels down the hair shaft until it reaches the root, where the buildup of heat kills the cells in the roots. While IPL scatters the light rays and is less predictable, lasers provide an intense beam of light and are thought to be more effective in their results. Like other light based treatments, IPL works by emitting waves into the skin, which targets the pigment in the skin, in the case of hair removal. The pigment in the hair absorbs the light. It quickly turns to heat, which then kills the growing cells that make the hair. Darker skin types have to be treated carefully as the pigment in the skin may absorb too much of the energy and cause skin damage.

There are various home-based IPL and Laser-based hair reduction products available in the market. So how do you choose which is the right product for you? When you start searching for such products, there are so many options, giving the best features and offering great deals. But do you even know if the product will even work for you or whether it is safe to use or not?

Below are certain pointers that can be useful to consider when buying a laser based or an IPL hair removal device for you.

ModelTechnologyTreatment Areas / Spot sizeSkin tone & Hair colorSkin Tone SensorBulb lifespanMax optical outputPrice
Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X
Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X
LaserFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

0.8 cm2
I - IV
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
non-replacable 90,000 flashes22 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
Philips Lumea Comfort
Philips Lumea Comfort
IPLFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

2.7 cm2
I - IV
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
200,000 flashes4 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
Silkn flash and go
Silk'n Flash & Go
IPLFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

4 cm2 precision cartridge, 2.5 cm2 standard cartridge
I - V
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
5,000 flashes precision cartridge

120,000 long life standard cartridge
4 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
iluminage Touch
iluminage Touch
IPL + RFFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

5.25 cm2
All skin tones I - VI
Fitzpatrick scale

All hair colors
No need since it covers all skin tones120,000 flashes9 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
Remington iLIGHT Ultra
Remington iLIGHT Ultra
IPLFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

3 cm2 for Body Cap & 2 cm2 for Facial Cap
I - IV
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
65,000 flashes8 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
Remington iLIGHT Pro Plus Quartz
Remington iLIGHT Pro Plus Quartz
IPLFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

2 cm2
I - IV
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
30,000 flashes8 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
LumaRx Full Body IPL
LumaRx Full Body IPL
IPLFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

3 cm2
I - IV
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
65,000 flashes8 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
Tria Beauty Precision
Tria Beauty Precision
LaserFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

n/a
I - IV
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
165,000 flasher20 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 5001
Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 5001
IPLFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

3 cm2
I - V
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
300,000 flashes6 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
Remington iLIGHT Pro
Remington iLIGHT Pro
IPLFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

2 cm2
I - IV
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
1,500 flashes7-8 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
Braun Silk-expert IPL BD5009
Braun Silk-expert IPL BD5009
IPLFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

3 cm2
I - V
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
300,000 flashes6 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
LumaRx IPL - Mini
LumaRx IPL - Mini
IPLFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

1.4 cm2
I - IV
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
6,000 flashes8 j/cm2Read more
Check priceCheck price
MLAY M3 Home IPL
MLAY M3 Home IPL
IPLFemale/Male Body below neck and Female face

3.9 cm2
I - IV
Fitzpatrick scale

Darker hair
Yes
120,000 flashesn/aRead more
Check priceCheck price

What is your skin tone and hair color?

When choosing to buy a device, this is the first and the most important question to answer. You are an ideal candidate if you have light skin and darker hair and all devices will work for you.

Most at-home IPL hair removal systems are not suitable for darker skin tones and can cause pain or damage your skin if not suitable. If you have light skin that’s very freckled, some devices may also be unsuitable for you.

IPL is not effective on lighter hair (blonde, red or grey) because it lacks the type of melanin needed for IPL to work. Most IPL machines have skin sensors which will not work on the darker skin and the device will automatically lock itself.

Most user manuals use the Fitzpatrick skin tone scale as a common reference point to help you confirm if your skin tone type is suitable for home IPL. Some devices have user handbooks or manuals that advise which level of energy to use on your face or body, based on your skin color, through the skin chart given in their leaflets.

One should always follow the guidance and instructions on the user manual to perform a skin sensitivity test before treatments. User manuals are available online which ever website the products are sold, so you can easily read them online before purchasing the device.

Safety considerations: Is the device FDA Approved?

The first thing to be aware of is that any hair laser hair removal device, be it professional or for use at home, should be FDA approved as safe and effective for permanent hair reduction.

At-home devices are required by the FDA to operate at lower levels than the powerful lasers used by medically trained professionals. All home devices should include in-built safety features which will not allow the light beam to fire unless the handset is held properly against the skin, with full contact. This is to protect your eyes against damage from the powerful light. Some devices also include special, filtered safety glasses.​

Generally most devices that sold by well known brand names are fully FDA approved for sale direct to consumers, and it would not be advisable to purchase any device which does not have this endorsement, without thorough research.

Warnings:

  • Do not use anywhere on the male face, head or neck.
  • Do not use laser/IPL devices on eyes, eyelashes or eyebrows. Doing so can cause serious and permanent eye injury.
  • Do not use laser/IPL devices on tattoos, dark brown or black spots (such as dark freckles, birthmarks, moles or warts). Tattoos or dark spots may absorb too much light energy, which could cause skin swelling, temporary blisters or could change the color of your skin.
  • Do not use on damaged skin, including open wounds, cold sores, sunburns, or areas where you have had a skin peel.
  • Read safety information before use laser/IPL hair removal device

What areas of the body you want to treat?

Maybe you crave silky smooth skin in just a few areas, or perhaps you want a completely hair-free body! Find out where you want to be hair-free and then find out which machine works well with that area. You can look for these features in a device depending on the treatment area.

  • A device which has a lot of flashes and a large treatment window, especially if treating larger body areas. This means you can cover more body area and so get more treatments from the device.
  • This total coverage and the cost of the device combined tell us what we call ‘lifetime value’.
  • If you’re looking to treat precise body areas, look for devices which have additional attachments like a bikini or precision attachment. These have a smaller treatment window and are easier to position and get precise coverage in more fiddly areas.
  • If you don’t care about extra attachments, a device with just a single body attachment could be cheaper option for you.

Do you want to use it on your body & face?

Some machines not suitable for facial hair, while some work for the entirely body areas while some have different treatment caps to cater to different parts of the body. So you need to decide which area you want to be hair free from. Face is a sensitive area and a device which is primarily for the body should never be used on the face, unless it specifies.

Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 5001

If you want to treat your face too you should look for devices that:

  • Are suitable for use on facial areas. This means from the cheeks down (and just for women, sorry chaps!) The treatment windows are designed to be gentler on sensitive facial areas.
  • Have a suitably sized attachment that makes facial treatments possible, on small areas like the upper lip. Some devices come with a precision attachment that is suitable for facial use and on tricky and fiddly areas like the bikini line.

Is it a one-time cost or is it on going?

Most IPL devices require replacement light cartridges, each containing a certain number of flashes. The cost can vary considerably, and it is well worth checking these out prior to purchase.

It may well be that the initial cost is low in comparison to other models on the market, but if the number of flashes in the cartridge is lower and the cost of replacement higher​, it could turn out to be a more expensive deal.

Safety from the UV Light/Rays

We have already mentioned that the device should be fully FDA approved for consumer use. All home devices should include in-built safety features which will not allow the light beam to fire unless the handset is held properly against the skin, with full contact​. This is to protect the eyes against damage from the powerful light.

Some devices also include special filtered safety glasses.​

Some have the additional feature of security codes, which have to be entered each time before it can be used. This may be an attractive point if children are in the household.​

Does the device have Power Levels/Settings?

The efficiency and speed at which desired results can be achieved will be affected by the power level of the device. Having a range of settings is useful because different parts of the body are more or less sensitive.

Given that some degree of pain will be experienced​, it gives the opportunity to start at the lowest level as a test, for each area, and then increase as desired to the maximum level that you are comfortable with.

What is your budget?

This is, of course, the most important point to consider. You might find the perfect device with all the features but you might not be able to afford it. The cost of at-home IPL hair reduction systems ranges from around $100 up to $500.

Those with the higher price tag tend to be the latest devices, those with improvements such as a higher number of flashes or a special and unique feature such as being suitable for all skin tones. Nothing to worry about, however, if you have a smaller budget. Some lower priced devices offer all the safety and treatment features the more expensive devices have and still offer great value.

So before you start to look for the product, analyse your finances and come up with a budget which you can splurge on the device.

What is your gender?

Certain hair removal devices clearly state that only female facial hair removal. So before you decide to buy a device make sure it will work for you.

Pros and Cons Compared to Professional Laser Hair Removal

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

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 with the best home laser hair removal device, there are areas on the body as well as on the face where only trained professionals are allowed to use laser to remove unwanted hair because of the safety concerns. This includes in between the eyebrows, the genital area, and other potentially problematic areas. At home, you’ll have to learn how to use the device properly and under what circumstances it can be used.

Conclusion

Choosing which product to buy can be time consuming, given the amount of options, which are available to choose from. On the other hand, if you buy on impulse you might end up getting a wrong product and then regret it later.

The above buying guide will help you work out what is most important to you and what exactly is your requirement for hair removal and then go on with that.

There are a lot of product reviews available online to consider, but each individual is different and carries a unique opinion. What works for one may not work for another person, so reviews are based on individual preferences.

To find out what will suit you the most, answer the questions above mentioned in the buying guide so you can confidently choose your new at-home IPL/Laser hair reduction system which give you the maximum benefit. Happy shopping!


Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X is easily the most powerful at-home hair removal device currently available in the market, boasting a hair-eliminating energy density of 20 J/cm2 which is 3 times more powerful than any other at-home hair removing device. Despite being a very powerful device, the battery will last you a good 30 minutes per charge, which is more than enough to use it on most of the parts where you want to remove your unwanted body hair.


Phillips is a world-renowned brand name which is highly trusted and is considered reliable in household products as well as for electronic devices. This hand held device is easy and convenient to use and comes with a rechargeable battery. It is a cheaper alternative to other permanent hair removal methods, like laser technology and saves time from salon visits. With this DIY device, the treatment is done at one’s own comfort and convenience.


The device also has five adjustable levels of energy, so the user can choose whatever intensity level of the machine they want to use. The higher levels of energy are obviously more efficient and faster, but the medium to low levels would be more comfortable. It varies from user to user and individual pain threshold. It also depends upon which area you want to treat. The users might want to use low intensity levels for sensitive areas like the face or the bikini line.