10 Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices for a Smooth 2024 | Glamour

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10 Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices for a Smooth 2024 | Glamour

By Deanna Pai and Neha Tandon

If you’re looking for smooth, stubble-free skin, the best at-home laser hair removal devices can actually deliver some promising results. Maybe you’re thinking of the painful devices of the past (you know, the ones that take forever to work), well, good news: These devices have come a long way. For starters, there are more options than ever. Not sure where to start? We spoke with real-life testers and dermatologists to learn more about laser hair removal. Trust us: You'll retire your razor after using these devices.

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You've likely seen this laser hair removal device all over your social feeds, and for good reason. For starters, “it’s quick and easy to use with three sensitivity modes—normal, gentle, or extra gentle—so it’s less painful than other products on the market,” says Gloria Lin, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Glamour contributor Brigitt Earley, couldn't agree more. In just 10 to 15 minutes, she tackled her armpits, legs, and bikini line. “It didn't hurt at all,” she says. “Maybe a tiny zing here and there, but nothing even remotely significant. And there's only one big button to press. If you hold it down, it'll even deliver continuous flashes, so you can complete large areas like legs in, well, a flash.”

Braun promises results in as little as four weeks, and this time frame was spot-on in Earley's testing. “After weekly treatments for four weeks, 99% of my hair had stopped growing completely,” she says. Also nice: It comes with a precision head attachment for the bikini area, a Venus razor to aid with pre-laser-hair-removal, and a storage pouch.

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Since IPL works by heating up the hair, says Dr. Woolery Lloyd, things can get hot fast. This sleek little device uses cooling technology to lower the temperature to 50°F where it meets your skin, minimizing any pain from heat. It has unlimited flashes as well as a generously sized flash window, which gives you the ability to treat a larger area in a shorter amount of time. And, for easy use, each of the five intensity levels corresponds to a difference area of the body—so you don't have to figure it out yourself.

“This was the first at-home hair removal device I ever used, and I was really impressed by it,” says Earley. “The cooling feature was a nice touch that made me more comfortable, since I was nervous it would hurt. Spoiler alert: It did not. I started to see results in a little over a month. Overall, this one provides a really great value.”

This hand-size device is easy to hold, thanks to its ergonomic design, and has a relatively large light window that allows for faster treatments. You can use it anywhere on the body without pain too. The intensity is low enough that you can even do multiple passes in the same area without sacrificing results—this is a great way to ensure you don't miss any hair follicles along the way. It's one of the lower-priced options on this list and lasts for an impressive 500,000 lifetime flashes.

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“In many cases, at-home ‘laser’ hair removal is actually not a laser but something called IPL, or intense pulsed light,” says Heather Woolery Lloyd, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Miami, who explains that it targets the dark pigment in hair. This FDA-approved IPL device has three intensity levels, including a more gentle one to suit sensitive skin. But if you opt for the higher setting, the IPL device will deliver up to 130 flashes per minute—one of the more impressive on the list. It also can sense your skin tone and adjust the energy output accordingly. We like that it comes with a precision head attachment that can reach small, tight areas like the upper lip and bikini line.

What sets this laser apart? “It's one of the most powerful and effective at-home laser hair removal devices available,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. In fact, it’s the same laser technology used in dermatology practices versus the usual IPL. Plus, “the screen makes it very easy to use, even for beginners.” Another bonus? “It features five different energy levels that you can customize to target stubborn hair growth as you grow acclimated to the device,” says Geeta Yadav, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Toronto. “It's cordless, which can be very convenient when treating hard-to-reach areas.” And it really does work, agrees Dr. Lin. It offers five energy levels, measures the number of pulses to ensure you don't miss a spot, and works in as little as eight treatments. Keep in mind that “this can be used on dark and light hair but not white hair or darker skin tones,” says Dr. Yadav.

While this is more of an investment, it also lasts longer than most other at-home IPLs. Most IPLs have lifetime flash limits somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000, but “the hair cartridge on the Iluminage Touch has unlimited pulses, so you can use it for years and years without needing to replace it,” says Deanne Robinson, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Westport, Connecticut, who also appreciates that it comes with a hair reduction head, a shaver head for trimming treatments areas, and a precision adapter for smaller spots.

Dr. Robinson and Dr. Yadav agree that it's great for deeper skin tones. “This product uses the FDA-cleared technology of Syneron Candela, a company that creates professional, in-office devices used by medical providers,” says Dr. Yadav. “It combines IPL and radiofrequency technology to permanently reduce hair growth.”

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Here's another option that regularly pops up on social feeds, and Dr. Robinson is a fan. She particularly likes the larger handset. “I would recommend this for larger areas of the body that don’t require as much precision—legs, arms, underarms versus face and bikini,” she says, adding that it’s a great option for maintaining professional laser hair removal results.

Thanks to the wide window on the handset, it’s also convenient. The laser covers more area in less time, and Dr. Graf also likes it, calling it pain-free and appreciating that it works in just 10 minutes. The device also has five different intensity levels for more flexibility in treatment.

This FDA-cleared, tricked-out device “has a detachable, 330-degree rotating head, along with six modes of varying intensity levels that allow it to be used on different body areas,” says Dr. Lin. It's easy to toggle between modes, and illuminated graphics make it clear which setting you're on.

On top of that, “the cooling screen keeps your skin at a constant 5°C throughout the process,” says Ariel Ostad, MD, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon in New York City. This is a worthy feature for those who are apprehensive about the potential for any pain, and a great addition for those with sensitive skin.

The device also has unlimited flashes, so it can run for a longer time than other devices, and can work in as quickly as seven minutes for the whole body. However, she warns, it’s not a good option for those with darker skin tones or lighter hair.

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This IPL device is a fraction of the price of others but is among a select few that require only four treatments. Just carve out plenty of time if you're targeting your whole body—each full-body session will take about 45 minutes. It's one of the more adjustable and versatile hair removal devices too. “This device allows you to choose from five levels, is pain-free, and can be used on any part of your body,” says Jeannette Graf, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Adding to the bang for your buck, it also offers enough flashes to last you 12 initial sessions and more than 10 years of maintenance.

As with the Tria, this device has an LCD screen that lets you keep track of flashes and easily read the energy level. (There are five levels, although only one through three are recommended for medium skin tones or darker.) It’s easy for beginners to use too, thanks to a built-in skin sensor that detects and clears your skin tone before use. The device also comes with goggles to protect the eyes. The flash window isn't very large, making it ideal for tight areas like the upper lip or small areas like the armpits. You can, of course, use the IPL device on larger areas like the legs, just be sure to budget a little extra time into your routine.

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At-home laser hair removal is a great option for people who want to manage unwanted hair and are looking for an alternative to other at-home hair removal methods like shaving, waxing, or epilating, says Dr. Engelman. It's convenient and cheaper than in-office treatments, and lasts longer, he adds. Most at-home laser devices use IPL (intense pulsed light), which is a light that works to destroy hair follicles at the root, preventing regrowth, says Bertha Baum, MD, DO, a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles.

“Laser hair removal, both at home and physician office, uses light or laser technology to target hair follicles for destruction,” says Dr. Deborah Yu, a physician at The Plastic Surgery Center in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. “The laser light is used to create heat within the follicle to cauterize the hair lining and effectively kill the follicle for good,” says Rachel Lee Lozina, a licensed esthetician, laser technician, and founder of Blue Water Spa in Oyster Bay, New York.

Other at-home laser hair removal devices are considered diodes. These lasers use a single wavelength of light that more closely mimics what's used in in-office treatments. Unlike IPL, diode lasers can be used on a wider range of skin tones.

Our testers were overwhelmingly surprised by how pain-free their experience with at-home laser removal was when trying them. Some reported that they experienced a slight “zing” here and there, but it couldn't actually be described as painful. That said, skin can be more sensitive than usual after treatment, says Dr. Graf. “That’s why it’s best to stay away from shaving, direct sun exposure, and active treatments that increase sensitivity for a few days after using a device.” (Translation: Stock up on sunscreen!)

Laser hair removal with a trained and experienced medical provider is generally safer, especially for patients with darker skin tones. “This is because laser hair removal works by targeting melanin pigments, so a stronger contrast between the color of the skin and hair will yield the best results with minimal risk,” says Dr. Engleman. (It’s the same case for in-office hair removal treatments, which is why those with darker skin require extra consideration.)

“Since dark pigment is the target, there is an increased risk of heating up the dark pigment in the skin, and therefore it’s risky in darker skin types,” Heather Woolery Lloyd, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Miami, tells Glamour. On the line? You could risk discoloration, hyperpigmentation, and potential scarring, says New York City dermatologist Gloria Lin, MD. “Any area that is darker on the body—for example, groin and armpits—should be lasered with caution, as the laser needs to be able to detect the difference between the skin and the hair color,” she says. (So avoid tanning before you do it.)

“Some at-home laser hair removal devices have been FDA-cleared, meaning they've passed the FDA requirements and are presumably safer,” add Dr. Yu.

Bottom line: Laser hair removal is generally regarded as safe and effective for those with light to medium skin tones and dark hair, but be cautious if you have a deeper skin tone.

10 Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices for a Smooth 2024 | Glamour

Multimode Fiber Laser “Laser hair removal is not permanent,” says Dr. Yu. “Hairs will grow back after treatment, but after multiple treatments, the hair will grow back at a much slower rate and thinner. Typically, you won't need to shave regularly, but will likely require one or more touch-ups per year.