As a result of the various problems that might arise from shaving, such as ingrown hairs, redness, irritation, and rapid hair regrowth, we are thinking of switching to a different form of hair removal for this season. Because professional laser hair removal isn't the most cost-effective choice (first sessions may cost as much as $600), we're going to look at the next best thing: the finest at-home laser hair removal devices that are currently available on the market.
Before we go any further, we feel the need to emphasize that having hair on your body is an entirely normal and natural phenomenon, and that you in no way need to feel pressured to remove it if you don't want to; this is a decision that should be made on an individual basis. (Whether you're the kind of person that doesn't care if you have body hair or not, more power to you!) But if you are interested in the concept of laser hair removal, are tired of searching for the finest razors, waxing kits, or epilators available on the market, want to save some money, but are a bit scared out with the thought of doing laser hair removal at home, we've got you covered.
Joshua Zeichner, MD, a dermatologist who practices in New York, explains: "A laser is utilized in the process of laser hair removal, which is a therapy that removes hair by permanently destroying the hair follicle where the hair grows. A laser is a concentrated beam of light with a single wavelength that is directed at a particular area of the skin in order to ablate it. The pigment contained inside the hair follicle itself is responsible for the absorption of light during the hair removal process. As a result of the follicle being destroyed by the laser, the effect will be long-lasting and cannot be reversed. This is true regardless of whether you are treating yourself at home or going to a professional."
"The phrase laser hair removal is a little deceptive, as it actually should be termed laser hair reduction," observes Dr. Zeichner. "Laser hair reduction" is a more accurate description of what happens during the procedure. It may be challenging to totally eliminate all traces of hair in some circumstances. Additionally, he claims that "the lasers definitely decrease the density of hair as well as the thickness of each individual hair" and that "it takes multiple treatments to give the results that most people are looking for." As is the case with the majority of costly beauty treatments, it is best to exercise patience while waiting for the desired results.
He notes that while each treatment will only kill a portion of the follicle, several treatments are often required in order to get the desired results. "The amount of energy that the laser emits is what differentiates treatments that may be done at home from those that are performed by professionals. In order to ensure that they are safe to use at home without supervision, equipment designed for the house have much lower energy levels. As a direct consequence of this, the effectiveness of these therapies is less immediate, and more therapy sessions are required before any discernible progress can be made."
Dr. Zeichner believes that using lasers at home is a more prudent choice than undergoing treatments in the clinic. "Devices used in the comfort of one's own home provide functions analogous to those of those administered in a medical setting, but with less intensity. They need more effort and time to use, but ultimately provide benefits. In addition, they are an excellent choice for maintaining gains made by expert therapies in the interim."
In addition to Dr. Zeichner, we also spoke with Dr. Howard Sobel, M.D., founder of Sobel Skin and a dermatologist in New York City; Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D., dermatologist and medical director of Ingleton Dermatology; and Dr. Rachel Nazarian, M.D., dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group, to learn more about the most effective laser hair removal devices. In this podcast, we speak with Dr. Gretchen W. Frieling, a triple-board-certified dermatopathologist based in Boston, and Dr. Anahita Mansouri, a cosmetic doctor at Kat & Co Aesthetics in the United Kingdom, about the very best at-home laser hair removal devices that you can use in the comfort of your own home.