6 Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices, According to Experts

Salty skin, SPF spritzes, shimmering body oils—summer skin care is something to always look forward to. One not as much? The fact that body hair grows extra fast. In-office treatments aren’t anything new, but innovations in at-home hair removal devices make the process far less intimidating and costly for those seeking longer-term results beyond what an electric shaver can provide.

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From intense pulsed light (IPL) to actual lasers, these over-the-counter devices might not be as potent as professional-grade ones, but what they may lack in power they make up for in efficiency and remarkable ease-of-use—provided you handle them with care and follow the appropriate guidelines, of course.

There are naturally a few things to consider before picking up just any one of the supposed best at-home hair removal devices, including versatility in treating various skin tones and hair colors, as well as user-friendly features and whether or not the device is FDA-approved. Keep reading for six of the best at-home laser hair removal devices, along with expert answers to burning questions like: does it hurt, and what should you look for when shopping?

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Best Laser Hair Removal Device: CurrentBody Skin Skin Laser Hair Removal Device

CurrentBody Skin

Skin Laser Hair Removal Device

  • Why we like it: Of all the hair removal devices on this list, this one gets esthetician Kristin Gunn’s vote. Unlike the other options that use IPL technology with a diffused light effect, this one uses an 810nm diode laser—essentially a focused laser beam. “This penetrates deeper into the hair follicle, where it really needs to be, to stop hair growth,” she says. In layman’s terms, with the hair follicle destroyed, hair cannot grow. While it’s an investment, it’s still cheaper than visiting a med spa or clinic for hair removal.
  • FDA Approved: Yes
  • Laser Type: Diode Laser
  • Intensity levels: 6 intensity levels
  • How to Use It: Perform a patch test 24 hours before the first treatment. Shave the treatment area four hours beforehand, ensuring it is clean and dry. Plug in the device and hold the power button for two seconds to start. Press the treatment window against your skin and use a ‘stamp and release’ motion.

Best IPL Device: Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL Hair Removal System


Pro 5 IPL Hair Removal System

  • Why we like it: Choosing the right setting for at-home hair removal can be tricky, but Braun simplifies this by automatically adjusting to the correct setting based on your skin tone. It uses IPL to target melanin in hair follicles, providing permanent hair reduction. With various comfort settings, it’s quite painless even at the highest setting. Gunn notes its generous 400,000 flashes can last for years, with patients seeing a reduction in four to five treatments.
  • FDA Approved: Yes
  • Laser Type: IPL
  • Intensity levels: 3 (Standard, Gentle, Extra Gentle)
  • How to Use It: Remove all visible hair with the included razor and pat your skin dry. Select the appropriate treatment head: standard gold for underarms, precision for bikini, chin, and upper lip, and wide for larger areas. Plug in, turn on, and choose a sensitivity mode. Ensure the nozzle fully contacts your skin; a white light indicates proper contact. For large areas, hold the treatment button and glide; for smaller areas, press and release.

Best For Sensitive Skin: JOVS Venus Pro II Hair Remover


Venus Pro II Hair Remover

  • Why we like it: This hair removal device uses IPL for hair reduction, but what dermatologist Dr. Alexandra Bowles likes best is its sapphire ice coolant, which helps minimize heat damage, burns, and hyperpigmentation. Be sure to shave 24 hours before treatment, ensure the area is clean and dry, and avoid direct sunlight after use.
  • FDA Approved: Yes
  • Laser Type: IPL
  • Intensity levels: 6 intensity levels
  • How to Use It: Shave the area you wish to treat. Plug in and turn on the device, then select your energy level. The cooling mode starts automatically; adjust as needed. Wear goggles, place the device vertically on your skin, and press the button. After treatment, switch to SR mode and use the SR head to restore skin smoothness.

Best For Travel: NOOD The Flasher 2.0

  • Why we like it: In all honesty, this laser can feel intense, especially for coarse hair or thicker areas, but it certainly gets the job done. Gunn is a fan, subscribing to the philosophy that “if it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t work,” similar to the reaction you’d expect with a professional laser. “I’ve found this one quite effective at slowing hair regrowth,” she adds. It’s also conveniently sized for travel, making quick touch-ups a breeze. Since everyone’s experience varies, it’s worth trying on your own; plus, the brand has a 12-week money-back guarantee.
  • FDA Approved: Yes
  • Laser Type: IPL
  • Intensity levels: 3 (Extra Sensitive, Sensitive, Normal)
  • How to Use It: You can use the Flasher 2.0 everywhere that hair grows, including your bikini, Brazilian, underarms, legs, arms, and face.

Best for Thin Hair: Silk’n Flash&Go Express

  • Why we like it: Dr. Bowles approves of this device as it offers a more affordable option for hair reduction utilizing IPL technology. While IPL treatment may feel akin to a rubber band snapping against the skin, this includes a built-in skin color sensor to prevent burns and pigmentation issues. Gunn also endorses this device, advising that those with thick or coarse hair may experience more of a reduction in hair thickness rather than complete removal. “People with thinner hair and more fair skin seem to have the best results.”
  • FDA Approved: Yes
  • Laser Type: IPL
  • Intensity levels: 5 energy levels
  • How to Use It: To use, aim at the treatment area and press and hold the pulse button. The device will emit flashes to disable the hair follicles.

Best For Most Skin Tones: Iluminage Touch Permanent Hair Reduction System


Touch Permanent Hair Reduction System

  • Why we like it: This device is not as strong as some of the other devices on this list, but it can safely treat dark skin as well as blonde, red, gray, or white hair. The key is to use it weekly for a few weeks (some reviewers claim that the magic number is 14 weeks) to notice results. It might be time-consuming, but it’s definitely worth it and can be done from the comfort of your own home. It’s a relatively small device, so you can easily use it on your underarms or other small or hard-to-reach areas for precise treatment.
  • FDA Approved: Yes
  • Laser Type: IPL and Radio Frequency
  • Intensity levels: 3 (High, Medium, Low)
  • How to Use It: Turn on the device and select your elos level (low, medium, or high). Glide the device over the treatment area. Use once a week for seven treatments over six weeks. Periodic touch-up treatments are recommended as needed.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

“Laser hair removal is often marketed as a permanent solution to unwanted hair, but in reality, it generally results in long-term hair reduction rather than permanent removal,” explains Dr. Bowles. While this might not be music to the ears, it’s important to understand the facts. Many individuals experience significant hair reduction after a series of treatments. Treated hair may become finer, lighter, and grow slower, but it may not be completely removed. The FDA classifies laser hair removal devices as providing “permanent hair reduction,” not “permanent hair removal.” This means that while treated hair follicles may not regenerate, new ones can develop due to hormonal changes or other factors. “Results can vary widely among individuals, with some achieving nearly complete and long-lasting hair removal, while others may experience regrowth over time.”

Does laser hair removal hurt?

The sensation during laser hair removal varies among individuals, but it’s often described as uncomfortable rather than painful. “Some of our patients compare it to a rubber band snapping against the skin or a quick, sharp sting followed by warmth,” says Dr. Bowles. Discomfort levels depend on pain tolerance, treatment area, and laser type. Areas with thinner skin or more nerve endings, like the upper lip and bikini line, are more sensitive than others, like the legs and back. Hair and skin type also play a role; dark, coarse hair absorbs more laser energy, intensifying treatment, while lighter hair may cause less discomfort due to lower energy absorption.

Is laser hair removal safe?

Laser hair removal is typically safe when administered by a trained and licensed professional. However, like any cosmetic procedure, it carries potential risks and side effects. For instance, Dr. Bowles explains that common side effects for at-home and in-office treatments, such as redness and swelling usually diminish within a few hours, along with temporary discomfort in the treated area. Less common or rare side effects may include pigment changes, skin irritation, and scarring if the skin is not properly treated.

How does laser hair removal work?

Here’s a quick explainer from Dr. Bowles: Laser hair removal uses concentrated light energy to target and destroy hair follicles, preventing future hair growth. The laser emits a beam of light absorbed by the hair pigment (melanin). This absorbed energy converts into heat, targeting the hair follicle, particularly the bulb and bulge responsible for hair growth. By breaking down these structures, the laser impedes or delays future hair growth.

Is laser hair removal safe for all skin types?

“Laser hair removal is generally safe and effective for all skin types, provided that the laser and settings used are suitable for the individual’s skin,” says Dr. Bowles. However, the effectiveness and risk of side effects can vary depending on skin tone and hair color. Therefore, it’s important for patients to undergo a thorough consultation with a licensed professional experienced in treating their specific skin type. Qualified practitioners typically conduct a spot test to assess how the skin reacts to the laser and to select the appropriate settings. We’d recommend anyone looking to test these at-home laser hair removal devices to perform a spot test first, and check with your trusted healthcare provider.

What to look for in an at-home laser hair removal device?

When selecting an at-home laser hair removal device, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure safety, effectiveness, and convenience. Dr. Bowles advises checking for FDA clearance, indicating the device has undergone safety and efficacy testing. “Ensure the device is suitable for your skin tone; some may not be effective or safe for darker skin tones,” she adds. Additionally, verify if the device is effective for your hair color; certain devices may not work well on lighter hair colors like gray or blonde. Decide whether you prefer a laser or IPL device; IPL emits broad-spectrum light pulses, while lasers use specific wavelengths and are generally more effective for permanent hair reduction. Look for devices with adjustable energy levels and settings to customize treatments based on your skin sensitivity and hair thickness. Dr. Bowles also recommends using proper eye protection when using these devices at home since light may cause sensitivity.

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