7 At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices That Actually Work
Plus, advice from dermatologists on how to use them most effectively.
Finding the right hair removal method can be a process. If you find waxing too painful and shaving too time-consuming, laser hair removal might be just what you are looking for. Not only does the treatment take little effort, but it’s also the only hair removal process that will give you permanent results.
Getting laser hair removal done professionally can be quite costly and may not be an option for many of us, but there are several at-home devices that are more affordable and still effective for zapping off hair. The thought of lasering your face or body may sound scary, so we talked to two dermatologists to get the scoop on everything you need to know about at-home laser hair removal devices.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
“Laser hair removal is a procedure in which a beam of light is used to destroy the root of the hair follicle to permanently prevent the hair from growing back.” said NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. “The beam of light is selectively absorbed by the pigment cells within the hair follicle.”
While these treatments are much less painful than waxing, there can be some discomfort involved. “It feels like a snapping rubber band,” said dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman. “The more powerful the machine the more discomfort you will feel. Some areas are more painful than others. However, it’s nothing you need pain killers for.” If you do feel irritation or pain, she suggests applying a cold pack to the area right after your treatment.
Keep in mind that laser hair removal doesn’t work the same for everyone. “The lasers are best in treating people who have dark hair and light skin. Unfortunately, the lasers are not effective in treating gray, white, or light hair,” said Dr. Zeichner. “Be aware that at-home laser hair removals are not recommended for all skin tones. Check with the company before you purchase it,” added Dr. Jaliman.
Is At-Home Laser Hair Removal Safe?
“At-home laser hair removal devices are not as potent as in-office ones and you will not get the same results. [But] they are safe if used properly and instructions are followed,” said Dr. Jaliman. Like with any new skincare treatment, it's recommended to patch-test a small area of skin and wait to see if any complications arise. “Don’t just start zapping your device when you take it out the box,” she added. “This puts you at risk of injury or even burning yourself. Treat one area at a time and don’t over-treat the same area repeatedly!”
When it comes to choosing a device, Dr. Zeichner suggests sticking to “trusted companies who have ideally published results of clinical evaluations of the devices themselves,” while Dr. Jaliman recommends selecting an option that has FDA approval and good customer reviews. “Don’t look for a bargain or try to skimp on price because what you pay for is what you get. A more expensive device will give better results. You want one with enough power/energy and as close to an in-office laser hair removal machine as you can get,” she said.
How to Use These Devices Effectively
As for how to use these handy gadgets most efficiently, Dr. Zeichner said, “do not wax or pluck the hair, as you need the root in place as a target for the laser. Make sure that the skin is fully washed, removing any creams or cosmetics before using the laser.”
“Don’t laser the skin if you are tan,” he added. “Extra pigment in the skin can confuse the laser beam targeting it to the skin rather than the hair follicle. This can result in inflammation, dark spots, or light spots in the skin.”
Ready to try one for yourself? With these dermatologist guidelines in mind, we found seven top-rated devices available to buy online that customers say really work.
These are the best at-home laser hair removal devices to shop now:
- Best Overall: Remington iLight Ultra Face & Body At-Home IPL Hair Removal System
- Best Professional-Grade Option: BoSidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal System
- Best for Coarse Hair:Silk’n Flash & Go Express Hair Removal Device
- Best for Body:Braun Silk Expert Pro3 Permanent Hair Removal System
- Best Dermatologist Pick: LumaRX Full Body Hair Removal System
- Best for Face: LumaRX Hair Removal Device
- Best Affordable Option: Imene Laser Hair Remover
Best Overall: Remington iLight Ultra Face & Body At-Home IPL Hair Removal System
This Remington laser hair removal system has hundreds of positive reviews for a reason. Not only does the brand promise that you will see up to 94 percent hair reduction in as little as three treatments, but it also comes with two different-sized treatment caps for both the body and the face — so you can remove hair from head to toe with the same machine. It even comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. “I have been super impressed with how well this works,” wrote one shopper. “I started seeing my hair think after one use. I'm SO excited to not have to worry about my bikini line this summer! Recommend for sure.”
Shop now: $384 (Originally $470); amazon.com
Best Professional-Grade Option: BoSidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal System
If you’re looking for a professional-grade option, consider the BoSidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal System. The handheld device is designed with medical-grade materials to help deliver salon-quality removal at home. Customers rave that it targets hair follicles painlessly and efficiently, and they like that it comes with a pair of protective glasses to wear during treatments. One shopper wrote, “Definitely works, and is comparable to in-office treatments… I have been using it for months now. Mainly on my legs. It has decreased the hair dramatically. I still do touch-ups and all the hair is not gone but it’s way better. This is portable and made well so I find it well worth the money.”
Shop now: $260; amazon.com
Best for Coarse Hair: Silk’n Flash & Go Express Hair Removal Device
Nordstrom shoppers love this handheld option from Silk’n. The device’s powerful lasers target the root of the hair follicles to prevent them from growing back. The easy-to-use laser system has five intensity settings and leaves your skin smooth and bump-free quickly. “After my first treatment, I noticed less hair growth. It does take a few treatments to see full results, but it's worth it,” said one reviewer. “After 3-4 treatments I noticed SIGNIFICANT results. The process is super easy and painless. It's nice that the flash covers a large area compared to other similar products. So it doesn't take as long. Also, it's much less painful and costly compared to waxing!”
Shop now: $299; nordstrom.com
Best for Body: Braun Silk Expert Pro3 Permanent Hair Removal System
The Braun Silk Expert System uses intense pulsed light (IPL) that has been clinically tested to be a safe and efficient at-home hair removal treatment. Not only does the device work quickly (you can treat both legs in just nine minutes), but it also comes equipped with over 300,000 flashes, which equals out to an average of 16 years worth of treatments. “It's only been a few weeks and already my body hair is getting more sparse,” wrote one shopper. “It doesn't hurt at all and the laser knows when it's already been over an area so you don't go over it again. I absolutely love this product!”
Shop now: $250; target.com
Best Professional-Grade Option: LumaRX Full Body Hair Removal System
This LumaRX system also uses IPL technology to target hair and prevent future growth. Dr. Zeichner likes it because “the broad handpiece makes it useful in treating large areas like the legs.” The brand says you should see a significant reduction in hair in just three treatments. “I’ve been using the LumaRX hair removal for over a month now and I am blown away by the results,” said one reviewer. “The equipment itself is so user friendly and so professional, I instantly felt like a pro when I used it the first time. I especially like the match skin tone safety feature — I feel confident that I am not going to do anything to damage my skin. Highly recommended for anyone looking to cut down on laser treatment costs!!”
Shop now: $449; amazon.com
Best for Face: LumaRX Mini Hair Removal Device
While the LumaRX can technically work on both facial and body hair, its compact laser cap lets you target hair follicles more precisely on smaller areas like your face. A clinical study showed that in just three treatments, some users saw a decrease of up to 94 percent hairs in the treated areas. The device is FDA-approved and comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. “I use it mainly on a few spots on my chin and upper lip. Those stubborn hairs have stopped growing since I flashed them,” wrote one customer. “This is the first time I used IPL on my face. I like the size of the window and there was little/no pain for me. It is cordless and light. It fits nicely in my hands and allows for precise treatments.”
Shop now: $251 (Originally $380); amazon.com
Best Affordable Option: Imene Laser Hair Remover
Most options on this list cost upwards of $300, so if you are looking for a slightly more affordable option, consider the Imene Laser Hair Remover. Besides boasting an IPL system that is equipped with 500,000 flashes, the handheld device also has a built-in ice compress plate that helps calm your skin and reduce redness during treatments. “I’ve recently purchased this product and let’s just say I’m not disappointed,” said one shopper. “It was very goof-proof and soothing to use. It’s really nice because it doesn’t hurt. I definitely recommend this product to anyone who doesn’t want to shave every week. I saw a difference in the first day of using it, my hairs were not as thick and were growing slower. I truly believe this product is the best in the market and is priced for a reasonable amount considering how great it works.”
Shop now: $200; amazon.com