It's safe to say that getting rid of body hair is no easy feat. Waxing and shaving can become tedious, and those laser hair sessions at your local aesthetician are far from budget-friendly.
Lucky for us, laser hair removal is no longer reserved for fancy treatment centres and spas - now, thanks to at-home laser devices, you can zing off your stubborn body hair from the comfort of your sofa.
Having said that, choosing a laser hair removal device can be tricky. The device best suited to you will depend on multiple factors including your skin tone, which parts of your body you're looking to laser, whether you're a beginner and more.
To help you out, we've created a list of the best laser hair removal and IPL devices on the market according to price, efficiency and real reviews. Before delving into the list, we've answered some important questions for you to read, before embarking on your at-home laser hair removal journey.
What is laser hair removal?
In a few words, laser hair removal uses light energy to damage individual hair follicles by targeting melanin, thereby preventing regrowth.
It's important to complete laser treatments over multiple sessions and over differing hair cycle growths, to ensure that all hairs are targeted.
What is the difference between IPL and Laser Hair Removal?
When shopping around for a laser hair removal device, you'll see both laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) devices available, therefore it's important to know the difference between the two.
Dr Ross Perry, Medical Director of Cosmedics skin clinics explains: "The key difference between laser and IPL is the type of light they produce. IPL is a broadband pulsed light source to heat hair follicles and prevent regrowth, whereas laser is a monochromatic coherent light source."
So, what does that mean in terms of effectiveness between the two treatments? Dr Perry says "IPL is not actually classed as a laser as it’s much weaker because it uses a broad spectrum of light with different wave lengths, so it’s less focussed than Laser treatments. Typically, IPL technology will require more treatments and may produce less effective hair reduction."
"IPL is also hugely popular with men as it can be used on a variety of areas of the face or body and is suitable for all skin/hair types."
Are at-home laser hair removal devices safe?
According to Dr Perry, at-home hair removal devices can be regarded as safe, due to lower levels of energy - but this will also impact the outcome.
"At home devices emit less power so most are safe to use, but with less power you’re not going to end up permanently hair free, only reducing the amount of hair and thinning it."
What steps should I take to ensure safe at-home laser?
First and foremost, it's important to always wear protective eyewear when performing laser hair removal given that the laser can cause permanent damage to your eyes.
A patch test is another important step to take prior to lasering a larger area, so to avoid blistering, irritation, or any other side effects caused by the use of the laser.
If you are going into your first at-home laser session, we also recommend avoiding sensitive areas such as your face until you've got to grips with your machine.
How to use an at-home laser hair removal device?
1. Start by exfoliating the area that you are planning on lasering. This will help remove all the excess dirt and oil from your skin, and help you get the best results.
2. Shave the area thoroughly, preferably with a brand new razor.
3. Perform a patch test by starting with a small area and waiting for a few weeks to ensure there is no adverse reaction.
4. Off you go. Make sure to start with a low energy setting and work your way up. Remember, laser hair removal is a process, so don't expect immediate results.
The best laser hair removal devices
Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Cordless Hair Removal Device
The best of the best
This highly-rated IPL device by Phillips ticks all the boxes when it comes to at-home laser hair removal. Offering six months of hair-free smoothness, the device comes with three attachments for body, face and precision and is also equipped with a savvy SmartSkin Sensor that will indicate the most comfortable setting for your skin tone. It promises up to 92 per cent of hair reduction after just three treatments, and easy to use for beginners.
Three curved attachments included
Corded and cordless functionality
Suitable for dark blonde, brown and black hair
Suitable for every skin tone
92 per cent reduction in three treatment
"So far I’m extremely impressed. Yes it is time-consuming, yes it’s not a quick job but oh my gosh... I’ve tried waxing, epilating and shaving. Been left with BADLY ingrowing hair or had to shave every second day and been left with red spots due to too often shaving. It does the job, hair grows back slower and less every time. It’s one of those products you want to leave the review because it’s so worth it. Don’t hesitate and get yourself this lifesaver. Now I will be able to enjoy summer while wearing shorts and dresses because of soft legs!!"
Braun IPL Silk Expert Pro 5 PL5137 Generation IPL
The best for whole body
Bring the beauty salon straight to your home with Braun's Silk Expert IPL device. Clinically tested and dermatologically accredited, this device reads your skin tone and adapts each flash accordingly, to provide the safest, most effective hair removal. Ideal for every region of your body, the Braun Pro will leave you hair-free within just four weeks.
Recommended by Skin Health Alliance
Smart IPL with SensoAdaptTM skin sensor
10 intensity levels
Suitable for men and women
Results in four weeks
Suitable for light to medium skin tones
Suitable for natural blonde to dark brown or black hair
"I am SOOOOOO in love with this product. I have really dark hair and this product helped me so much with building my confidence up, showing my legs more or being able to walk around not feeling like they're going to grow back the next day. I've literally tried everything in the books that you can think of but this laser hair removal is probably the best product I have ever used.
So ladies if you have dark hair like me and you've tried every possible solution then you have to try this, it has honestly changed my LIFE. It took me a while to get used to it but I've managed to figure it out and I can honestly say it's the BEST!"
Related: The best body groomers for men
Silk'n Permanent Hair Remover for Light to Dark Skin
The best for all skin tones
Hairlessness is within reach, with the Silk'n hair removal device. Ergonomically designed and easy to handle, the HPL technology provides five power settings for differing pulse frequency. The up to date technology promises a painless experience and 92 per cent hair removal when sessions are complete. The complementary Silk'n app can also help you create your own treatment program, as well as schedule and keep track of your treatments, just as a beauty salon would.
Suitable for all skin tones and most hair tones
Five energy levels
Suitable for body and face
Pulsing and gliding method
Includes free app to schedule treatments
"I was a little sceptical before buying it because it sounds too good to be true, but I’ve been using this for about a month, and it does what it says, the hair simply dies and my skin is completely smooth. I wish I had taken some before pictures. With 400,000 lights flashes, I am not going to run out anytime soon :D One thing to keep in mind is patience, you have to give it a month or two and you will see results!"
BoSidin IPL Hair Removal Device
The best for painless laser hair removal
Another greatly reviewed laser hair removal device, which strikes follicles at the root and can remove even the most stubborn of hairs. Along with a hair removal setting, the BoSidin device also includes a skin rejuvenation mode which reduces wrinkles and restores the skin's elasticity. The cooling function is also a great bonus and can reduce any stinging or other pain associated with the laser.
2-in-1 hair removal and skin rejuvenation
Six hair removal modes for whole body including face
Dynamic cooling-care function
180-degree rotatable precision head
"I’m in love with BoSidin Permanent Hair Removal Laser! I used to go to the clinics to get the laser treatments for the bikini zone, it did cost a lot of money, became a very long and exhausting process... Now I can simply do it at home! I believe it will speed up the process because you can do it once a week and that slows down the growth of the hair. The laser is very elegant, lightweight, easy to use and adjust. It can be rotated to reach any spot on your body. The razor for shaving and goggles come in very handy in order to start using it immediately. Used it once so far and I am very excited!"
YUNPUTER Painless Hair Remover
The best affordable option
If you're looking for at-home laser removal that won't break the bank, this is by far the best option. Surprisingly sophisticated for the price tag, this device produces 999,999 flashes and comes with an LCD display to show your flash type, treatment level and flash counter. With two switchable modes depending on your needs, you can laser your legs, bikini and underarm with absolutely no hassle. Significant results to be expected after eight weeks.
999k flashes and LCD display
Five energy levels
Auto and manual mode for use with sensitive areas
Results after eight weeks
"I am so happy with this product and its glorious results. It’s the only hair removal product that has really worked for me. I’m just about to do my 3rd laser treatment and purposely didn’t shave my legs in between the sessions to see how much regrowth I was getting. I have silky legs! Usually, if I shave in the evening, my hair starts growing the next morning and I cannot even wear a skirt. I see the results after 3 weeks of using this product and its amazing. I use the highest setting (5) for all areas. The laser doesn’t hurt me at all and in certain places I don’t feel anything. I do get a slight pinging feeling on more sensitive skin. I would definitely recommend this product."
MiSMON IPL Hair Removal System
This MiSMON IPL device is user friendly, clinically tested and suitable for all body parts. It promises a staggering 90 per cent reduction after three months of use and comes with a one-year warranty if you're not happy with your results. You can change the energy levels according to your preference, and the expert safety skin sensors will only activate the device if your skin tone is suitable.
Five energy levels
Suitable for upper lip, arm, armpit, leg, back and bikini
"This was my first IPL purchase, I was looking for a use at-home product that was not too expensive, as I was sceptical about its success. So far I am very pleasantly surprised. I have used the device 3 or 4 times, waiting a week in between, and the difference in hair growth is already very noticeable. I have dark brown hair especially on my lower legs and light to very light skin tone. Daily shaving was getting me down as without it the hair growth was really obvious. Already I am going longer between shaving and my legs are a lot smoother... For the price compared to other brands, I would recommend this device."
What to read next
Marina Avraam is a Commercial Content Writer for WhatsTheBest, and also writes for Mother&Baby, Heat and Closer. She has a passion for psychology, reading and fashion writing.
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