As long as there have been beauty regimens, there have been alternatives that you can attempt at home instead. Home kits for chemical peels, waxing and now even laser hair removal are all available for consumers to buy and try out privately on their own, and at a lower price tag than medical spas can offer for the same treatments. While the joint benefits of reduced cost and greater convenience are a strong motivator for home kits, is practicing laser hair removal at home really in anyone’s best interests?
How Laser Hair Removal Works
Laser hair removal works by directing a targeted beam of laser energy directly at the hair follicle. The pigmentation of the hair absorbs the laser; for this reason, results are most impressive on those with lighter skin and darker hair. With the energy absorption, the follicle dies off and regrowth is prevented. However, since hair can only be effectively treated during its growth phase, repeated sessions are essential in order to treat a full area with lasting results.
The Home Disadvantage
Home laser hair removal kits work essentially according to the same theory as laser treatments from a medical spa. The handheld device delivers a powerful laser pulse to the treatment area, which damages the follicle enough to prevent future regrowth. However, there are some definitive drawbacks to attempting laser hair removal at home that are certainly worth mentioning.
First of all, while lasers are essentially light energy, administering a laser treatment on yourself is more complicated than just focusing a beam of light where you want less hair. For one thing, the home kits are reportedly quite painful; whether this is due to the type of technology being used or the inexperience of the user is impossible to say.
Additionally, the majority of those who purchase home hair removal devices are unaware of the general precautions associated with laser hair removal. For example, it’s important to avoid the sun after treatment sessions, because the skin is far more sensitive and sun exposure could results in hyperpigmentation. A certified laser technician will always caution patients about proper before and after care for their sessions, but the average consumer won’t be aware of the precautions they need to take when administering their own treatments.
Meeting Your Goals
It’s also important to note that many laser hair removal kits offer only temporary results. These may last quite a bit longer than other home hair removal methods, up to six months in some cases, but they’re still not permanent. Ongoing treatment sessions are necessary to maintain the results.
For the hair removal kits that do advertise permanent results and use a true laser energy rather than just focused light pulses, there is a certain level of risk involved. Lasers are complex and require the right level of know-how in order to get the desired results. For example, holding the laser too close to your skin could cause a skin rash or even surface burns, while holding the device too far won’t be effective enough.
Results You Can Trust
Although a home device may seem more convenient at first, that doesn’t necessarily equate to being the better option. Results are often inconsistent and unpredictable, and may require continued treatment sessions over the long-term that never do quite deliver on the promise of permanently eliminating unwanted hair growth. For a lasting solution to unwanted hair growth, visiting a certified laser technician at a medical spa is definitely the safer, more reliable choice.
Caroll Delo is a board certified laser technician at Simply Smooth Laser Center in Tampa, a niche practice that focuses specifically on laser treatments. Simply Smooth Laser Center offers the most advanced options in laser hair removal, laser skin rejuvenation and laser tattoo removal.