Everything You Need To Know About Laser Hair Removal While You're Stuck At home (2024)

We've all nicked ourselves shaving, or had a bad waxing experience and vowed to look into permanent hair reduction, right?

But the idea of it - the cost, the pain, the effectiveness - can be off-putting. Laser hair removal of the past was very painful, not always terribly effective, and couldn't get right into some of your nooks and crannies... if you get our drift.

Laser hair removal of 2021, however, is your friend. Still an investment, yes, but for a life free of razors and waxing? Worth it.

Everything You Need To Know About Laser Hair Removal

What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a long-lasting, if not permanent form of hair removal using lasers to target and essentially destroy hair follicles, meaning nothing can grow from there anymore.

How does laser hair removal work?

'The laser targets multiple hair follicles in about a fraction of a second,' says cosmetologist and skin specialist Leyla Yusupova, who uses the Fibra DFA Laser at her clinic in Chelsea. 'The laser ensures the hair follicles are permanently destroyed so the hair growth reduces and, eventually, does not grow again.'

The machine she uses (and any other you want near your sensitive bits) has a specially designed cooling tip, meaning as the intense heat hits your skin you it's counteracted by the cold as it moves around your skin.

Machines of old were unable to treat beyond your knicker line, meaning a more thorough brazilian (or beyond) wasn't possible, but this machine can treat the more sensitive areas too.

You need to shave the area pre treatment, and not wax between sessions. A course of 6-10 sessions is usually recommended, but it really depends on your hair type and how it takes. For most people, five sessions is deemed sufficient.

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What are the benefits of laser hair removal?

When it comes to laser hair removal, the advantages are tenfold when compared to other methods, especially for those of us whose routines err on the side of, well, laziness.

For starters, it's less pain and more gain (in the long run), and only a small investment of your time. 'Other hair removal methods such as shaving and waxing will commonly leave you with hair regrowth the day after or a few weeks later requiring constant maintenance. Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to achieve lasting results,' says senior technician at Pulse Light Clinic Joanna Wyszynska.

'It's also an investment as you'll see yourself saving money. An average woman in 10 years will spend over £4000 waxing their underarms and bikini line, whereas laser hair removal is only on average £600 over 10 years.'

While you probably didn't expect the word eco-friendly to pop up here, laser hair removal is actually a much more sustainable hair removal option for those looking to minimise their plastic and single-use waste (cough, disposable razors).

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A round of treatment will also neutralise the chances of irritated skin, bumps and rashes, as well as painful ingrown hairs. 'Laser hair removal goes to the root of the problem, literally. By targeting the root of the hair follicle, it will slowly reduce the number of hairs and therefore lessen the chances of ingrown hairs forming,' says Wyszynska.

Can any hair and skin type have laser hair removal?

Ye oldy machines couldn't treat very light hair or very dark skin, but this one can target unwanted hairs without damaging pigment in the skin, so can treat darker skin tones. However sadly if you have grey or light blond hairs you want removed, it won't be the treatment for you: 'because there is no pigment in the hair, the machine simply can't detect it to target it,' says Leyla.

Does laser hair removal hurt?

If you'd asked us 10 years ago, yes. The burning heat sensation around your bikini line and the sensitivity that follows for days afterwards wasn't exactly appealing.

But, with the newest machine, we honestly hardly felt a thing. Leyla ramps up the intensity and you might flinch once or twice at a feeling like a little 'ping' from an elastic band. But there shouldn't be any burning or bruising, even in the much more sensitive areas.

It's also quick. Consider your underarms done in about eight minutes, your bikini line in ten.

ELLE Edit: At-home Laser Hair Removal

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Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X - £375


Is it just us or does this look kind of cute? More than just a pretty face, this cordless device claims to have 3x more hair eliminating energy than its competitors and can reduce up to 70% of hair growth after two treatments. If we started now, that's the majority of our legs de-fuzzed by the time summer arrives...

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Silk'n Infinity Premium Smooth 500K Laser Hair Removal - £329


Is this an extra from Star Wars? No, but its technology would give any droid a run for its money. Designed by physicians, this clever device features a skin colour sensor which will detect if your skin tone matches up to the correct energy settings and stop emitting light pulses if it's too strong to avoid damage. You can also link your laser to the Silk'n App where you can set up a hair removal plan and schedule your next zapping session. Welcome to the future people!

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Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal Device - £439


It might be an investment piece, but trust us when we say that it is worth its weight in gold. There are five different settings (1 is mild, 5 is the most intense) and four separate attachments to make it easier for you to treat certain areas such as your face, bikini line, and underarms. Unlike some other devices, this one adapts itself to your skin colour to deliver the perfect intensity. Savvy, right?

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Braun Silk-expert Pro 5 - £300


Compact and housed in a chic bag, you might think this is style over substance, but you'd be wrong. The device automatically and continuously adapts to your skin tone to ensure optimal balance between efficacy and safety, and claims to be the fastest IPL on the market, giving you the ability to treat both lower legs in less than five minutes.

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Iluminage TOUCH Permanent Hair Remover - £375


The curved design of this UFO-looking device makes it easy to reach all kinds of areas (especially the under arms) and promises a huge 94% hair reduction after just seven weeks, so if you're off somewhere hot this summer, snap it up stat. It uses IPL as well as Radio Frequency to distribute the laser efficiently and painlessly and it isn't heavy or clunky.

Is there any downtime after laser hair removal?

None at all. You should avoid intense sunlight if possible but only for a fortnight. As hair regrows, the strands in the killed follicles will just fall out, so you might notice a bit of 'shedding'.

How much does laser hair removal cost?

It varies from clinic to clinic: bikini is usually around £110 per session, underarms £90. A lot of Groupon deals are available, but do your research as not all machines are created equal. The machine used by Leyla (the Fibra DFA) is used in clinics across the country.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

While laser hair removal has pretty high success rates for banishing unwanted wisps, the longevity will fluctuate between clients due to hormonal differences. 'Most clients will get up to 80% hair reduction with the recommended course,' advises Wyszynska.

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'If you become pregnant after your course of laser hair removal you may notice new growth.'

Your best chance at keeping hairs gone for good is to go for top-up treatments when your beauty therapist recommends it.

The dos and don'ts of laser hair removal:

- DO shave in between treatments. This is the best way to quickly remove hair without damaging the root. Your beauty therapist will shave anything you've missed before applying the laser to your skin, anyway, as any visible hair will only get singed otherwise!

- DON'T apply heavy make-up or products for 24 hours after your laser treatment to avoid clogging the skin and causing breakouts.

- DO avoid sun exposure for a while after the treatment.

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- DON'T wax, epilate or pluck your hair in between treatments as it removes the hair from the root. Lasers work because they are attracted to the hair's pigment underneath the skin and if it is completely gone, there won't be anything there for the laser to zap. If this is the case, you might have to wait up to another four weeks for the root to re-form until you can be treated again.

- DO wear a high factor SPF. After treatments, skin becomes more sensitive to UV rays, so always slather it in a high factor sunscreen to protect it from things like hyper pigmentation and sensitivity.

- DO exfoliate the area gently as it encourages the dead roots to fall out after every treatment and will make your skin look less bumpy and shadowy.

12 Body Products For Super Smooth Summer-Ready Legs

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Everything You Need To Know About Laser Hair Removal While You're Stuck At home (2024)


What do I need to know about laser hair removal at-home? ›

Also, keep in mind that while long-lasting, at-home laser hair removal treatments aren't considered to be permanent. “The results can last anywhere from a few months to a few years,” says Perez-Nakamura. “You will likely need additional treatments later on to maintain your results.”

How can I be successful with laser hair removal at-home? ›

Expert Tips for At-Home Laser Hair Removal
  1. Consider Your Skin Tone & Hair Color. Lighter skin with dark hair performs best for laser hair removal. ...
  2. Don't Forget a Patch Test. As a best practice, Dr. ...
  3. Never Pluck or Wax. ...
  4. Start With Clean Skin. ...
  5. Take Your Time. ...
  6. Prepare for Some Discomfort. ...
  7. Maintenance Is Key. ...
  8. Avoid These Areas.
Aug 18, 2020

What are the risks of at-home laser hair removal? ›

Downsides of At-Home Laser Hair Removal Treatment

Although the FDA clears most at-home laser hair removal devices, there's still some risk of side effects such as injuries, burns, and skin irritation. The risk is especially high if you use a machine that's incompatible with your hair color and skin tone.

What are the don'ts of laser hair removal? ›

Here's what to avoid:
  • Avoid exposing skin to UV light (sunlight or sunbeds) or self-tan for at least 2 weeks after treatment. ...
  • Avoid heat treatments such as spas, steam rooms and saunas for 7 days.
  • Avoid excessive scrubbing or applying pressure to the skin for 4-5 days.

How often do I use my at home laser hair removal? ›

How Often Can I Try the Home Use Laser Hair Removal Treatment? Most experts recommend using the device 3 times per week to reap maximum results. On the other hand, you can also use your IPL machine at home once every two weeks and still remove hair effectively. But, don't exceed the recommended use range.


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