Hair removal has been a common aesthetic practice. People spend time and money on it, but there is hardly any treatment or device that makes a permanent fix.
These days, IPL or laser devices are available to remove hair at home. However, it’s all temporary and hyped. It’s true that these devices deliver a painless experience and above that, you don’t have to spend time and money every two weeks for waxing or tweezing your unwanted hair in salons. Nor do you feel any unpleasant sensation of being burnt or pulled hair.
But, do at-home hair removal devices really work?
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It’s a big question that you also want to know about. This post will respond to all burning questions that you have regarding at-home laser hair removal treatments.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal requires light energy. It is focused on the target area to damage hair follicles, which reduces hair regrowth. This concept was discovered in the 1970s. At that time, the researchers found a way to remove hair permanently. The idea was drawn with the fact that light therapy was used to heal permanent hair reduction in clinics. Over time, this technology got evolved and now, it’s available in over-the-counter shops (IPL devices).
Since the 1990s, laser technology has been used for beauty enhancement. It became highlighted and really popular with the public.
IPL Hair Removal
IPL expands for “intense pulsed light”. However, it does not exactly replicate laser hair removal. The common thing is that both, laser hair removal and IPL technology use light technology to hamper the cycle of hair regrowth.
Unlike professional laser treatment for hair removal, IPL concentrates on a broad spectrum of light with multiple wavelengths. The quantum of focus of this beam is relatively less, which makes it a gentler and safe option to use at home.
In addition, it is capable of filtering and targeting specific pigments. This attribute makes it effective in healing pigmentation, which generally occurs because of superficially broken capillaries, rosacea, and facial flushing.
For being gentler, IPL treatment requires more sessions than laser treatments. Also, you see less reduction in hair. Although it’s getting better over time, the need is to realise that permanent hair removal rarely happens.
How does laser technology work on hair?
Laser therapy and IPL devices use light energy. It is focused on the area where hair removal is required. It is attracted to the melanin in our hair. Hair follicles absorb the laser beam in nanoseconds, which converts to heat. It damages the hair follicles, reducing the regrowth of hair.
How In-Clinic Laser Hair Removal Differs from At-Home IPL Hair Removal?
Professional laser treatment provides more advanced technology to remove unwanted hair on different skin and hair. With an older version of this technology, it was difficult to ensure a hair-free look for skin tone that contains a low level of melanin. It used to require high levels of melanin. And over time, a few machines were developed that can separately determine skin cells and hair follicles.
If professional laser machines are considered, they are more powerful than that at-home devices. They can do the job in half-hour mostly. On the flip side, non-professional devices require more treatments over a period of time.
In terms of benefits, professional treatments provide long-lasting results after just one treatment. And this result lasts longer. A few cases require no touch-ups after it. On the contrary, at-home devices often require regular touch-ups for long-lasting results.
In-clinic hair removal treatment requires six to eight sessions at the interval of six weeks in between sessions. Each time, new hair follicles are targeted. For home treatments, four to twelve sessions at the interval of two weeks are must-haves with touch-ups.
As far as the results are concerned, professional treatments come up with far better results. They don’t require re-treatment for up to nine to twelve months afterward. At-home devices show the difference after twelve months.
How Safe These Treatments Are
This technology could be risky, but mostly, it’s hyped. There are rumours of its connection with cancer or infertility. Studies have shown that hair removal devices have no link to them.
If you talk about at-home devices, they have lower intensities than professional treatments. These devices come up with a selection of intensity levels for different skin tones. Besides, other safety measures should also be taken into account. There are built-in UV filters in IPL devices, which shield your skin. Also, they are fitted with sensors, which secure them from accidental laser flashes. These flashes may cause loss of vision. They recognise skin tone automatically to ensure the right intensity of light to be penetrated.
So, it’s always recommended to deeply research any such devices before investing in them. Once bought, follow all safety measures that are recommended to minimise its side effects. If you see these signs, consult with a skin specialist.
Lighter or darker patches of skin
Bonus Tips: Avoid any tanning product before a week of getting this treatment. If you mix them, the laser machine will not be able to detect pigmentation in hair follicles. Also, it can increase the possibility of minimal or poor results. So, protect your skin from sun exposure or tanning procedures, even if you prefer (IPL) at-home hair removal.
Prepare for At-Home Hair Removal
Follow these tips to avoid any side effects during hair removal at home:
Go for a patch test
You must perform a patch test to ensure that the device is completely safe for your skin. It avoids the chances of any side effects.
Prefer shaving right before each session to get the best results. A close shave ensures the laser is absorbed by the cells in follicles and targets only them. It’s absolutely ok if you shave in-between hair removal sessions, but waxing and epilating are not recommended before treatments.
Choose a comfortable position
You should find out which position is comfortable for you during this treatment. The professional clinics provide support to ensure painless treatment while removing hair from any hard-to-reach spot. You should have a mirror with you and a little privacy where this removal procedure is going on.
Avoid sensitive areas
Do consult with your doctor before undergoing this procedure. He can tell you the right way to protect your eyes or areas where tattoos, moles, or lesions are.
Are at-home devices worth investing in them?
For those who have optimal skin and hair tone, it’s absolutely fine to invest in such devices. But, these devices are a little expensive & may cost between $200 and $500. In addition, you should be able to use it as per the directions given in the manual. Also, fix a schedule for hair removal, which should be in every two weeks, and touch-ups if you use at-home laser devices.
Laser hair removal treatments with at-home devices and in clinics differ. Professional clinics provide long-lasting results without any pain and risks. On the flip side, at-home IPL devices should be used carefully. They provide results after 12 months. And, you should be regular with it every two weeks.