Does DIY laser hair removal really work?

In the current “stay at home” climate, many of us have been embracing all kinds of DIY beauty options, covering all sorts of bases. We thought we’d take a look at one particular example, DIY laser hair removal, and whether it’s worth it.

How do lasers work to remove hair?

Firstly, let’s take a little look at how lasers work their magic to remove hair. Laser hair removal devices kill hair follicles but as hair grows in cycles, it takes multiple treatments to stop hair from re-growing completely – laser hair removal only damages follicles during an active hair growth cycle.

Laser hair removal at home

During the 90s and 2000s, companies began to develop hair removal machines for safe home use. Like the professional treatment, home lasers and IPL hair removal devices harness the power of concentrated light to slow the growth of hair – the machines are smaller, less powerful and have simple controls, making them easy for the layman to use.

Market-leading brands make them, including Panasonic, Braun and Remington.

Home lasers and IPLs use the mechanics as those used in clinics – a process known as selective photothermolysis. Sounds a bit wordy right?!

But in short, the melanin in your hair follicle (the bit under the skin surface) absorbs a pulse of light. This is converted to heat and damages the follicle, stopping hair growth. But where does the “selectivity” part comes in? The melanin “selectivity” absorbs the laser’s energy, leaving the surrounding tissues intact.

Laser hair removal: DIY vs Clinic

The main risk with laser hair removal at home is the fact that many people may not be suited to treatment because of their skin shade.

Make sure you consult a dermatologist, who can advise if this is the type of treatment you should be doing at home or even in a clinic.

DIY lasers are not as effective as the clinic experience, as the designs aren’t as sophisticated, even if they do use the same mechanics. It takes much longer to yield results with DIY devices such as these.

Some safety tips for home

If you’re going to use DIY laser hair removal solutions, make sure you do not use the lasers:

  •  Near your eyes
  • Over tattoos or pigmented areas such as moles
  • Around your genital area – bikini line only

Make sure you have your skin tone checked before you start using an at-home device, as certain skin types are more susceptible to damage.

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