Does laser hair removal at home work — or should you use a clinic?

woman with smooth armpits
Hair Laser Removal

Permanent laser hair removal

If you’re reading this, you are probably fed up with shaving, waxing, plucking or whatever other temporary hair removal methods you use. It isn’t surprising that laser hair removal is the most popular form of permanent hair removal and one of the most booked treatments in clinics. But with more and more laser hair removal machines available for home use, you may wonder if it is still worth going to a clinic for professional laser hair removal

In all honesty, this will depend on your priorities and pain threshold. We hope this post will help you decide whether to try permanent laser hair removal at home or if you prefer to go to a clinic.

We know that doing laser hair removal at home is tempting, not just because it will save you money, but because it will save you time travelling to a clinic. But when you consider that professional laser hair removal machines used by clinics cost thousands of pounds, are home laser hair removal machines costing just a few hundred pounds effective?

The simple answer is yes; there is no question that the laser hair removal machines you can buy for permanent hair removal at home are effective. But before you rush out to buy one, keep reading, as there are many reasons why you might prefer to go to a clinic for laser hair removal.

The hair growth cycle

First of all, we need to get technical. To understand how laser hair removal works, we will start with hair structure

The hair you can see above the skin is the hair shaft and the hair beneath the skin is the hair follicle. At the bottom of the follicle is the hair bulb — the living part of the hair, fed by the blood supply. Laser hair removal machines work by emitting a laser beam in pulses that is converted into heat to destroy the hair follicle and prevent new hair growth. 

To better understand the laser hair removal process, it helps to know more about the three stages of hair growth:

  1. Anagen phase — the active growth stage when the hair follicle is connected to a blood supply.
  2. Catagen phase — hair detaches from the blood supply and is effectively “dead”; this hair is referred to as “club hair”.
  3. Telogen phase — the club hair rests in the follicle and new hair starts to grow. This new hair pushes the club hair up and it eventually falls out to make room for the new hair growth. 

Laser hair removal is most effective when hair is in the anagen phase. At any one time, some of the hair in an area will be in this phase, while other hair will be in the catagen or telogen phase. This is why it is necessary to have multiple laser hair removal sessions over several months to target all of the hairs in an area at the various growth phases. 

Which laser hair removal machine is the best?

Not all laser hair removal machines are equal. The newer generation of machines used in clinics combines multiple laser wavelengths, meaning they are safe for use on darker skin types. Professional machines cost thousands of pounds because they cost more to make than home laser machines. Home use laser machines are actually IPL devices and not actually lasers.

In the aesthetic industry, there is one professional laser hair removal machine that is widely considered the most advanced, the Soprano ICE Platinum. After launching onto the UK market, the Soprano ICE Platinum received the coveted Best New Treatment of the Year 2019-2020 MyFaceMyBody award and is one of the best-selling laser hair removal machines for professional use. 

The Soprano ICE Platinum uses medical-grade lasers that target hair follicles at different depths in the skin. They are safe for darker skin types and effective at treating coarse hair in areas like the bikini line and armpits.  

The top 4 benefits of laser hair removal in a clinic

Here are our top four reasons why professional treatment in a clinic is preferable to hair removal at home:

1. It’s less time-consuming — Using a laser hair removal machine effectively and efficiently is a skill, which is why practitioners need to take courses to train them on how to perform laser hair removal. And let’s not trivialise the pain — you will probably need a break after a few pulses in one area.

This can mean instead of it taking 20 minutes at a clinic, it could easily take an hour to treat an underarm yourself at home.

One of the main reasons our clients give up on using a home laser hair removal machine is because they end up with patches of hair in areas they have treated multiple times. Home laser machines are also less powerful than those used in clinics, meaning you will need more treatments over a much longer period before you have hair-free skin. 

2. It is less likely to hurt — The top professional laser machines come with advanced cooling technology, significantly reducing any discomfort. It is also easier to bear uncomfortable sensations if you are not administering the treatment. Home laser hair removal machines normally hurt a lot more, making it difficult to give the area you’re treating sufficient laser pulses for an effective treatment. 

3. Skin is less likely to be damaged  — Laser hair removal can burn the skin, causing permanent scars. When using a laser hair removal machine at home, it can be difficult to know where you have applied the laser, and you are more likely to apply it more than once to the same area of the skin, which can result in burns. This is even more likely when treating larger areas or after having a break because you can’t bear the pain. 

4. You deserve the best treatment— You may be considering buying a home laser hair removal machine because you feel guilty about spending money on professional laser hair removal at a clinic. We get it; many things in life seem more important than your own needs. But we want you to know you are important and deserve to love your skin. 

Shumaila’s aesthetic and laser clinics in London and Essex provide the most advanced laser hair removal, suitable for almost all skin types. Book your FREE consultation today to find out if you are suitable for permanent laser hair removal


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