Laser hair removal is the only method that can permanently remove unwanted hair, and it is also one of the most popular treatments. Millions of people worldwide have chosen to get laser hair removal treatment over other alternatives like waxing or shaving because they want a permanent solution for their problem. In addition, these hair removal options can pose a lot of troubles like itching, ingrown hairs, and inflammation.
But how does laser hair removal work? What are its benefits? Is it safe? And what are the best laser hair removal machines on the market today? We will answer all these questions and more.
What is a laser hair removal machine?
A laser hair removal machine is used to remove unwanted hair from the body and face. The laser light or diode used in the system destroys the root of the hair present on the skin’s surface without causing any damage to tissues.
Most commonly, intense pulsed light (IPL) devices are used in home hair removal therapy. IPL delivers very gentle light pulses to the hair root. This leads to the fact that the follicles go into a resting phase: hair falls out, and the growth of new ones slows down. Legs, armpits, upper lip, chin, and bikini line are usually treated. However, you can get rid of unwanted hair in almost any area other than the eyelid or surrounding area of the eye.
📌 Skin with tattoos should not be treated. Tattoo ink contains metal particles (they give the tattoo “constancy”) that react to light from laser hair removal devices. They attract light energy to themselves, thereby heating the surrounding skin cells. This can lead to scarring, redness, and other side effects.
Hair color and skin type affect the success of laser removal. The basic principle is that the pigment in the hair, not the skin, should absorb light. The laser should only damage the hair follicle while avoiding harm to the skin. Thus, the contrast between hair and skin color — dark hair and fair skin — gives the best results.
However, a range of skin colors and tones will not work with this laser. These include blonde, red, and gray hair. And also very dark skin color. White and gray hair does not contain enough melanin to absorb light energy. Red hair contains a different type of melanin that does not respond to IPL. Therefore, to remove these hair shades needs to try the aesthetic type of the laser.
Types of machines for laser hair removal
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
IPL is a technology that uses pulsed light to damage the hair follicle, preventing future growth. The pulsed light is emitted from the device and absorbed by the melanin in the hair shaft, heating it and destroying cells responsible for hair growth.
💡IPL is a good choice for those who have dark hair and light skin. IPL is not suitable for people who have blonde, red or gray hair because the device does not emit enough energy to destroy the melanin in these colors of hair.
- Aesthetic lasers
Aesthetic lasers for removing hair are a large group of different laser types used to remove unwanted hair. This type includes the Q-switched ruby laser, the Q-switched alexandrite or neodymium: YAG (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) lasers.
The difference between aesthetic lasers and IPL lasers is the frequency of light applied. IPL lasers have a lower frequency. The dark pigment of the skin (melanin) causes shatter into small particles that are then removed from the skin through your lymphatic system for about 3 weeks.
Aesthetic lasers have a higher frequency and penetrate deeper into the skin. The pigment where it shatters into tiny particles instantly and can be removed through your lymphatic system in a few days.
💡It’s good for removing light, gray and red hair because this type (especially, ruby laser) is more efficient on the melanin found in different types of hair. However, it can also be used to remove dark brown or black hairs.
- RF (Radio Frequency)
RF uses radiofrequency to heat the hair follicle and destroy it. This is done without heating the surrounding skin, due to a principle called selective thermal stimulation which isolates specific tissue for treatment. RF energy heats the dermal collagen inside the hair strand which causes irreversible damage, preventing future growth.
💡RF is effective on all skin types (also darker ones), including the most sensitive and delicate areas such as the bikini line and underarms. But it is not suitable for red, blonde, and gray hairs. Because these types, which do not absorb the properties of RF.
- IPL+RF combined technologies
Combining the two technologies results in faster treatment with fewer sessions. The heat from IPL makes it easier for RF to reach its target, while RF provides better penetration so that all hair is reached during each session.
💡This option, as in single sessions (separately IPL and RF), is not suitable for blonde, gray and red hair. However, this type can be used for both light and dark skin tones.
How do laser hair removal machines work?
Laser hair removal machines use concentrated pulses of light to target dark pigment in your hair follicles. By focusing on the pigment, the laser can pass through your skin and destroy the hair. To do this, you need to reach a temperature of about 70° C (158° F).
The darker and thicker the hair, the more pigment it retains and the more light it absorbs. This is why it is important not to wax or pluck the hair before the procedure because if there is no hair on the skin, the laser beam will not be able to process this hair follicle.
Also, the darker the skin tone, the more difficult it is to reach a high temperature. Light skin can be treated safely with lasers with wavelengths between 700 and 1000 nanometers because it absorbs all this wavelength of light. On the other hand, dark skin needs long-wave lasers between 1064 nm and around 1300 nm.
Are laser hair removal machines effective? Based on scientific research
The use of intense pulsed light (IPL) for hair removal has been around for over 15 years.
Since the industry, including well-known laser companies, began to develop laser hair removal machines at home, there was a need to study them for effectiveness in comparison with professional devices as well as safety.
The following are studies that cover these questions.In this study , 37 patients received treatment with the Epilight hair removal system every week for a month. Further as needed. The results showed that hair loss occurred during the 12-week study period. Approximately 60% of hair removal was noted after these weeks.
This study  was involving 23 patients with Fitzpatrick skin types I-III (light skin) using a single IPL therapy for three months. Also, 48 Fitzpatrick skin type IV (more dark skin) patients have randomly enrolled in two treatments one month apart and followed up for six months. Treatment results: 64% of hair loss was achieved immediately after the second treatment. By week 8, the reduction was 42%. After 6 months, the number of hairs decreased by 33%.
The next study  aimed to compare comparatively the hair removal performed with the diode laser used in beauty centers and the home IPL device.
21 women were selected for 6 sessions with a diode laser in one armpit and IPL in the other, 30 days apart, and followed up 6 months after the last session. As a result, the number of hair shafts has been significantly reduced with diode laser and IPL. The diode laser has proven to be more effective, albeit more painful, than IPL. No serious, adverse or permanent effects were observed with both technologies.
The following study  compares the effectiveness of hair removal with three methods: intense pulsed light (IPL), a combination of IPL and radio frequency (RF), and diode laser (810 nm).
40 participants used different lasers to treat three areas of their legs. Each place was treated twice with an interval of 4-6 weeks. As a result, the average hair reduction achieved with IPL, diode laser, and IPL + RF was 49.90%, 39.16%, and 47.15%, respectively. This study showed no serious side effects. The least pain was observed with the IPL laser.
Top-7 laser hair removal machines
SmoothSkin laser hair removal machine is the latest and most advanced home IPL hair removal system. It works to remove unwanted body hair for both women and men.Use on bikini lines, face, legs, buttocks, arms, and more. It will even work on coarse black Asian hair and also to remove dark underarms.
SmoothSkin is FDA-cleared and it uses long pulse technology to prevent skin damage. The device is cordless, compact, and easy to use. There are three flash energy settings that you can choose from, depending on the area of the body you’re treating.
Use the device once a week for up to 10 minutes a month. Then every 4-8 weeks. In just 3 months, you will see 96% less hair. This is the best result of hair removal when compared to other devices.
SmoothSkin Bare+ Laser Hair Removal Machine is the professional home laser hair removal machine on the market. The device can remove hair quickly by targeting the base of the root itself. Regardless of your skin type or tone, you can use this device safely and without damaging your skin or causing pain.
The device has been specifically designed to cover a large area of skin. It fires 100 flashes per minute, making it the fastest IPL device on the market. This is why it can be used on the legs, underarms, and bikini line in a few minutes.
The SmoothSkin Bare+ can be used on the following hair types: coarse hair, fine hair, light hair, and dark hair. It can also be used to treat areas with unwanted hair that are up to 12mm long. However, as in the previous device, you cannot use it on white, gray, or red hair.
Use the device for up to 10 minutes once a week for a month. Then the machine is used once for 4-8 weeks. After 12 weeks, you will see 95% less hair.
XSOUL Laser Hair Removal Machine is known for its high performance when it comes to removing unwanted facial/body hair. It works by safely and effectively targeting the melanin in your skin, which is responsible for your hair growth. It’s used both by men and women with great results.
The device uses the same pulsed light technology as professional hair removal devices to disable hair follicles, preventing them from producing new hairs. It has a dual handpiece that emits both pulses of light and heat energy so you can control the level of body hair you want to remove, making it a more comfortable experience.
XSOUL IPL Hair Remover is suitable for all skin types including tanned or dark skin since it has a high safety margin. It’s also suitable for use on the face, even with dark hair, as well as all parts of your body including legs, arms, and bikini line.
The device for removing hair is recommended to use once a week for a month. And then every 4-6 weeks. After 3 procedures, the average hair growth decrease will be 94%.
Braun Laser Hair Removal Machine is one of the most popular products in the world. It uses intense pulsed light to remove body hair by targeting the melanin, or black pigment, in the hair follicles of your skin.
Braun recommends using only on body hair. Use of the device on the face requires the user to carefully follow the instructions. For example, you should start with high energy and low pulse width setting, then adjust as necessary if there is too much discomfort for your skin type after 2-3 pulses.
The device comes with a non-slip ergonomic grip handle for easier gripping, and two batteries (one with the device itself and one separate).
It is recommended to use the device for up to 5 minutes several times a month. Manufacturers argue that the constant reduction of hair will be after 4 weeks later.
JOVS Venus Pro Laser Hair Removal Machine is a nice light device that allows removing hair from every part of the body quickly and easily. This device is also used for anti-aging treatments. The machine is equipped with 60 high-frequency probes, where each probe works independently (they can be turned on and off separately).
It also has two speeds: slow and fast. On the front panel, there are one button to turn on/off the device and a display to show the progress of treatment. Use once a week to see less hair in 6 weeks. Then tweak as needed.
For an anti-aging effect, use the skin rejuvenation attachment to smooth wrinkles, firm skin, and build collagen in 10 minutes once or two times per week.
KENZZI Laser Hair Removal Machine is an FDA-cleared at-home skincare device that uses the medical-grade technology of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to remove unwanted hair.
The Kenzzi uses the same kind of technology that dermatologists for simple, painless, and fast processes. It is an option for women or men who want to remove hair from the body in a home environment.
The device has 5 different power settings that you can customize to suit your skin tone or sensitivity. It also has a cooling technology that contributes to reducing the discomfort if any occurs.
Kenzzi IPL is designed to get results in a month when used once a week.
Huieter Laser Hair Removal Machine is a compact device with a simple design, capable of removing hair in various parts of the body.
The device is very easy to handle and its ergonomic design ensures maximum comfort. It has a range of up to 40 cm which allows treatment of different areas in one session without any inconvenience to you.
Huieter IPL Hair Removal Device is equipped with a cooling system that ensures maximum comfort during treatment, avoiding all types of discomfort or pain. The system also helps to protect the epidermis and hair bulbs from damage during extreme sessions where the device can be set to maximum power and pulse frequency.
It is recommended to use the device for 5 to 15 minutes once a week. The gradual hair reduction will occur after 4 weeks.
How to use these devices effectively
- The first step to laser hair removal is determining which type of laser should be used on you.
This will depend on your skin pigment, hair color, skin color, and other factors that are important to creating the best possible outcome.
- After learning which laser is right, you will map out the area of unwanted hair.
The treatment area might be just one part of your body or it might be multiple areas. If you have an extensive amount of hair in the area that needs treatment, more than one session may be necessary. Also, it is important to note that most people require four to eight sessions for significant hair loss.
- The next step is the laser treatment itself.
When using a device make sure you are not in a hurry. You will not see results overnight and it can take some time to learn how to use the device properly.
The laser might feel like snapping rubber bands against your skin or it may feel like tiny tweezer-like snaps of heat on the surface of your skin. After this initial treatment, your hair follicles will begin to go into resting mode. At this point, they’re easier to remove and you can have another session during which will aim the laser at the undamaged hairs that are trying to grow in. This will destroy their root structures so that they eventually fall out.
- Your final sessions should take place around four weeks after your hair has gone into resting mode.
If you need to shave or wax during the treatment process, do so at least 24 hours before your next appointment so that the laser can target new, unshaved hairs.
It is not a secret that shaving makes hair reappear back. But with laser hair removal machines this will not happen. It is a great option for people who have problems with unwanted hair growth.
Laser hair removal is used for removing hair growth that usually appears on the face or body. It is done with lasers that are target dark pigment in your hair follicles. By focusing on the pigment, the laser can pass through your skin and destroy it.
Laser hair removal equipment can be used with ease at home due to its simple operation and safety. Nowadays it is one of the best and most effective to remove unwanted hair where there is no need for constant shaving or waxing.
🧐 Is laser hair removal permanent?
No, but it is a long-lasting hair removal solution. Typical results will last from 1 to 5 years depending on the treated area and skin type. If you have dark coarse hair and light-sensitive skin you can expect to get better results than someone with blonde fine hair and thick tough skin.
🔍 How soon will I see results after laser hair removal?
You should start seeing results from your first session. However, the full result will be after 6-8 treatments.
📌 How many treatments are required?
Laser hair removal is a progressive treatment that requires 6-8 treatments at least to get the full result of permanent hair reduction. Some people can require 12 or more sessions. Generally, you will need 4-6 weeks in between each session.
🤔 Am I too old for laser hair removal?
No, laser hair removal is used for all ages. The only exception is the use of being over 18 years old to use laser devices. This is due to the risk of scarring.
⏳ How long does the laser hair removal treatment take?
The length of time required to remove unwanted body or facial hair depends on the area being treated. For example, on average, the procedure for removing hair from the legs lasts about 20 minutes.
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- R. A. Weiss, M. A. Weiss, S. Marwaha, A. C. Harrington. Hair removal with a non-coherent filtered flashlamp intense pulsed light source. – Lasers Surg Med. 1999;24(2):128-32. DOI: 10.1002/1096-9101 (1999).
- Patricia Ormiga, Cleide Eiko Ishida, Alvaro Boechat, Marcia Ramos-E-Silva. Comparison of the effect of diode laser versus intense pulsed light in axillary hair removal. – Dermatol Surg. 2014 Oct;40(10):1061-9. DOI: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000138.
- Martin Sochor, Andrea Kovacikova Curkova, Zuzana Schwarczova, Ruzena Sochorova, Maria Simaljakova, Jozef Buchvald. Comparison of hair reduction with three lasers and light sources: prospective, blinded, and controlled study. – J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2011 Oct;13(5):210-5. DOI: 10.3109/14764172.2011.586422.