Did you know that on average, a woman spends around 72 days of their life shaving? That’s almost two months of our lives!
To top it off, we spend an estimated $10,000 on hair removal products. (How are we paid less when we spend so much? Boggles the mind.)
Good thing technology has come a long way. And while there are medical procedures like laser hair removal available to us now, it still costs a pretty penny to have it done at the doctor’s clinic.
In comes revolutionary products like at-home laser hair removal. There are hundreds of them out there currently, and one of the problems we face is knowing how and what to choose.
So in my journey to choose one for myself, I’ve compiled all the conditions, do’s and dont’s, and everything in between that you need to know when choosing an at-home laser hair removal device.
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to choose the most suited and best at-home laser hair removal machine for you.
What you need to know before buying an at-home laser hair removal machine
Similar to when you go to a clinic, you have to do a self-assessment on your skin and hair to make sure that you’re suitable for treatment.
Having all the relevant information allows you to make an informed decision on what kind of device is right for you (or if you’re even qualified for it.)
1. Determine your skin color
The Fitzpatrick scale is the official way of knowing your official skin type. Take note once you know, because certain devices can only work on certain skin types.
2. Determine your Natural Hair Color
The ideal candidate for laser hair removal is pale skin and dark hair. If you have this combination, you’ll find that almost every at-home hair removal device will work for you. If not, you’ll have to look at more models that can accommodate your skin-hair type combination.
3. Know what areas of your body you want to treat
This will determine what size of device “window” you should get. This is the area on the device where the laser shoots out. If you’re going to use this on large areas like the legs, choose a device with a large window. If you’re going to use it on areas like the underarm or the bikini areas, use a smaller, more precise device so you can get into the nook and crannies.
There are devices like the LumaRx and Philip’s Lumea that have interchangeable windows so you can use it in all areas.
4. Do you have skin conditions?
Lasers can exacerbate certain skin conditions like damaged skin (sunburned or tanned skin, open wounds), irritated skin (redness or peeling), or skin diseases (eczema, acne, psoriasis).
You also can’t use the device on tattooed skin, or areas with large doses or freckles, warts, moles, and dark birthmarks.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?
There are marketing materials out there that claim laser hair removal is permanent, but IT IS NOT.
Hair REDUCTION is permanent, but it’s almost impossible to achieve 100% removal of every single follicle in certain areas.
Over the course of your treatment, the amount and thickness of your hair will change dramatically.
What starts off as coarse, rough hair will eventually become soft, thin, and light.
You will have some areas where hair will completely disappear while in some areas, sporadic light hairs will stay.
If you’re regular with your maintenance, that’s when you’ll be hair-free.
If it’s not permanent, what’s the point of laser hair removal vs. regular hair removal?
The initial treatments are around once for every 1-2 weeks average, then top-ups should be around once every 3 months or until necessary.
That’s less of your life dedicated to this mundane task and more time in the morning or evening for yourself and your loved ones.
Secondly, less pain.
Just imagining my last waxing session makes me cringe. Shaving gives me ingrown hairs like nobody’s business, and don’t even let me get started on epilating.
Laser hair removal is a quick zap and you’re done. (Unless you’re super sensitive, then you might need a numbing gel. You can use those used for tattoos or lasers.)
Finally and most importantly, you’ll avoid the long-term effects physical hair removal does on your skin: loss of elasticity, skin darkening, cuts, scars, and so forth.
This is skin damage you’ll be spending an arm and leg to correct.
Prevention is key and laser hair removal is just the best way to get rid of unwanted hair this day and age.
How does laser hair removal work exactly?
Knowing how the laser works and the science behind it can also help you set your expectations with the results you get. (If this bit doesn’t interest you though, feel free to skip ahead. This can be boring as hell and I’m the one writing.)