Interested in using laser hair removal at home, but not sure where to start? No worries. We’ll show you why laser hair removal at home is worth the investment, the best hair removers, and how to use them effectively.
The Beginner’s Guide to Laser Hair Removal At Home
Unwanted body hair is so frustrating to deal with. Shaving, tweezing, waxing, and epilating are never-ending chores that many of us feel we can’t escape from unless we shell out big bucks for expensive laser hair removal procedures.
But as technology gets better and new products enter the market, laser hair removal at home is becoming the new norm. Today’s best laser hair removal devices can be purchased online for a fraction of the price of a single professional laser hair removal session.
These at-home laser hair removal devices make it possible to take care of your unwanted body hair without ever stepping foot in a derm’s office or pricey clinic. It’s all done in the security, privacy, and comfort of your own home.
If you’re a complete beginner when it comes to laser hair removal, you’re in the right place. We’re going to explore the ins and outs of laser hair removal from top to bottom in this guide.
From how laser hair removal works to how much hair it’ll actually remove, you’ll find answers to your most burning questions about laser hair removal here, including:
- What is laser hair removal?
- How does laser hair removal at home work?
- Who’s a good candidate for laser hair removal?
- Does at-home laser hair removal leave you smooth?
- Does laser hair removal hurt?
- What’s the best at-home laser hair removal device?
- How to try laser hair removal at home
Keep reading to become a laser hair removal expert – and get one step closer to never, ever shaving again.
Read Next: Should I Get Laser Hair Removal?
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is the process of removing hair by exposing hair follicles to flashes of extremely bright laser light that disable hair growth from the targeted follicles over time.
It might sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but this safe and effective method of hair removal has been around since the early 90’s. Laser hair removal is an alternative to other hair removal techniques and methods like shaving, waxing, tweezing, and epilation.
While users report there being some level of discomfort or pain during the procedure, it’s much less painful than waxing or plucking hair with tweezers.
Many say the experience is totally painless, but others report it feels like warm, tingly pulsing or a rubber band gently snapping against the skin.
Laser hair removal was once limited to in-office treatment by professionals offering the procedure in dermatology offices, plastic surgery offices, and medical spas (medspas).
The in-office procedure was expensive, sometimes painful, took several sessions or treatments to get results, and limited the areas and number of treatment sessions patients could get.
As the technology became better and cheaper to produce, companies started making user-friendly laser hair removal devices and IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal devices designed for painless, at-home use.
Tria Beauty, one of the forefront companies in the industry, was the first to offer an at-home laser hair removal device back in 2005.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal At Home
Today, laser hair removal is often done at home instead of in a professional or clinical setting. There are several reasons why so many women are turning to laser hair removal at home. Here’s a look at the benefits of DIY laser hair removal.
More Affordable Than Professional Laser Hair Removal
At-home laser hair removal is always the most affordable option. Devices for at-home use range in price from as low as $40 for the weakest to $500+ for the most powerful devices.
Compare that to the average cost of in-office laser hair removal and the difference is staggering, especially when you consider the number of sessions required to render a given area hairless.
The average price for a professional laser hair removal session is $389 and the average person requires about 6 sessions for total hair removal in each treated area.
That’s an average of $2,334 just to remove hair from one area, like your legs or bikini line. People love at-home laser hair removal devices because they can get professional results for a fraction of the price.
If you take care of laser hair removal at home, you get to choose when, where, and how you do it. Want to squeeze in a hair removal sesh at 2am? Go off! Prefer not showing your lady bits to an esthetician you met 10 minutes ago?
You don’t have to! Want to treat your legs, bikini zone, arms, and face – all in one session, without paying thousands of dollars to do it? You got it, sis. Everything’s on your terms when you handle your own laser hair removal at home. It’s the most convenient way to remove hair.
Less Painful Than Waxing and Plucking
You might be worried about laser hair removal being painful, but if you’ve ever waxed or tweezed errant hairs, you’ll probably find at-home laser hair removal a walk in the park by comparison.
Users liken the feeling as similar to snapping a rubber band against the skin, and some report that they experience absolutely zero pain or discomfort from laser hair removal.
Turns out, directing flashes of bright light at your skin hurts a lot less than ripping off molten wax or yanking individual hairs out by the root. Now that you think about it, it makes sense that laser hair removal really isn’t all that painful.
Long-Lasting or Permanent Results
When you try laser hair removal at home, you can achieve long-lasting results – even permanent results in some cases. Your laser hair removal results may be total and permanent, removing every hair in the treatment area(s) after a few sessions.
This isn’t always the case, however. Some users’ results aren’t permanent, but drastically reduce the amount of hair in the treatment area and make any regrowth come in finer and lighter.
That’s one of the reasons it’s smart to opt for at-home laser treatments – you can always treat again if you haven’t yet achieved total and permanent results!
Hair removal is a personal and private thing. It can be embarrassing and provoke anxiety to entrust the process to someone you don’t know – no matter what their qualifications may be.
If you’re not particularly keen on exposing your most private areas to a relative stranger in a medspa, you can handle your business in private by purchasing a device designed for laser hair removal at home.
The enhanced privacy of lasering unwanted hair at home is one of the main reasons so many women are flocking to this method of hair removal now.
How Laser Hair Removal At Home Works
Laser hair removal is more intimidating when you’re not really sure how the process works.
If you’re imagining a high-powered laser straight out of a sci-fi novel that instantly destroys unwanted body hair on contact, the reality of at-home laser hair removal might be a little boring (but a lot safer) by comparison.
Laser hair removal, whether it’s done in the comfort of your own home or by a professional, always works the same way. Essentially, laser hair removal involves overwhelming hair follicles with intense flashes of targeted light energy.
Laser hair removal devices emit ultra-bright pulses of light to a small, targeted area. There’s a lot of energy in the intense light these devices emit! That light energy targets dark pigment in body hair like a heat-seeking missile when you direct it at the area you’re treating.
When you hold your at-home laser device over the treatment area and push the button, this high-energy laser light flashes quickly to deliver a powerful burst of energy down into the hair follicles in the area.
Imagine a bolt of lightning striking a tree, then moving down into the roots deep underground. That’s essentially how laser hair removal works.
After absorbing so much light and energy, the hair follicles in the treatment area are significantly weakened. The hair growing from laser-targeted follicles gets weaker and begins to fall out.
After a series of treatments in the area (usually 3-6), those follicles become disabled and no longer grow hair. This leaves the laser-treated area smooth and free from coarse, dark hair for anywhere from a few months to permanently.
Even if you don’t achieve permanent results, you should notice fewer hairs overall in the treatment area and finer, lighter hairs replacing thick, coarse ones.
Who Should Try Laser Hair Removal At Home?
Think you want to try laser hair removal? You’re definitely not alone. About 60% of people in one survey from Collins Cosmetic Clinic said the idea of laser hair removal appeals to them.
But this form of hair removal doesn’t work for everyone. Who’s a good fit for laser hair removal and who should opt for a different hair removal method?
In general, those with a light skin tone and dark, coarse hair in the treatment area will get the best results from laser hair removal. Take a look below to see if you’re a good candidate.
Generally, people with a light skin tone are the best candidates for laser hair removal. It’s all about the way laser technology works. Since the laser specifically targets dark pigment, it’s much harder for a laser device to accurately zap hair follicles on darker skin tones.
Some devices work better than others on darker skin tones.
But in general, the lighter your skin, the better fit you are for laser hair removal at home or by a professional. If you have dark skin, you risk burning your skin instead of your hair follicles when you use a laser hair removal device.
Hair Color and Thickness
While light skin tones are the best fit for laser hair removal at home, the ideal hair color for this type of procedure is very dark and coarse. Dark, thick hair is just a better target for the device’s laser to zero in on than thin, wispy, blonde hair.
The darker the hair is, the more light energy the follicle will absorb in each treatment – and the faster you’ll get the hairless results you want. The ideal candidate for at-home laser hair removal has light skin with dark, coarse hair in the treatment area.
The high-contrast difference between the light-colored skin and dark-colored hair makes it easiest for the laser to target and penetrate hair follicles without burning the skin in the process.
Fine, lighter-colored hair isn’t a great candidate for this type of hair removal, but with consistent treatments over time, you can still get results.
Determining whether you’re a good candidate for laser hair removal also means thinking about the areas you want to treat. Some areas are easier to treat with this procedure than others due to the color, thickness, and density of hair.
Take a look at the easiest areas to treat and see how it aligns with your hair removal goals.
- Legs: Leg hair tends to be thicker and darker, making it an excellent area to treat at home with a laser hair removal device. Legs usually require fewer treatments on average than other areas.
- Face: If you have coarse, dark facial hair to remove, it’s an ideal area to treat and it’s very easy for beginners to target facial hair. Lighter, thinner facial hair can be a good candidate for laser hair removal, but it does take more sessions to get lasting results.
- Bikini area: The pubic area tends to have dark, coarse hair that is perfect for laser hair removal. You can target the entire bikini area or stick to the bikini line if you prefer – both should give you excellent results.
- Underarms: Underarm hair is typically thick and dark, making it an ideal area to target with your at-home laser hair removal device. The area responds very well to this type of treatment. It can even lighten up darkened skin in your underarms after a few sessions!
These are some of the treatment areas you’ll see the fastest and most effective results from with laser hair removal, but anywhere you have thick, dark hair can be treated with great results.
Even areas with lighter, fine hair can successfully be lasered – just know that it’ll take a few more sessions to get the results you want.
The 5 Best At-Home Laser Hair Removers in 2022
If you know what to look for, there are laser hair removal devices for at-home use that are incredibly easy, efficient, and safe – even for complete beginners.
When you choose the right type of laser hair removal device, the results are comparable to what you’d get from professional laser hair removal. But how do you know you’re choosing the right one? We’ve checked out all the most popular and highly-rated devices to find the top 5.
Below, you’ll see our top picks for painless, efficient, and safe laser hair removal at home. Which one seems like the best fit for you?
1. Best Professional Quality: Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X
The best at-home laser hair remover. Period.
- First FDA-cleared at-home laser hair removal device
- Incredible, professional-level results at home
- Use just once every 2 weeks for best results
- 70% less hair after 2 treatments
- Cordless for easy, convenient use
- Hurts more than weaker devices
- Higher price point than some devices
- Reduced battery life on highest setting
The Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X is the device to get if you’re looking for professional-level laser hair removal. Tria Beauty was the first company to make at-home laser hair removal devices with full FDA clearance, and this powerful cordless model is their most popular.
Get permanently smooth results with this device, which uses the same diode laser technology you’ll find in professional laser hair removal tools.
This model is called the 4X because it delivers 4 times the laser power as similar at-home laser hair removal tools. And you’ll notice how effective it is with just once use! This one is so good that Tria recommends using it just once every 2 weeks for optimal results.
After your second treatment, you should notice up to 70% less hair in the treatment area. It works best on the light skin/dark hair combination, but users with medium skin tones and lighter hair have seen success using the Tria Beauty 4X.
Reviewers rate it best for being easy to use, easy to hold, and maneuverable for easy access in hard-to-reach areas.
Battery life suffers a bit when you use the highest hair removal setting – you’ll get about 40 minutes of use on level 5. Users recommend using the highest setting anyway because that’s how you’ll get professional-level results.
With more than 1,500 reviews online, the Tria Beauty 4X is the device to get if you want the best results from laser hair removal at home with fewer sessions – the only tradeoff is that it won’t be painless. Invest in a jar of numbing cream or gel and you’ll be set!
2. Best Painless Laser Hair Removal: Silk’N Flash & Go Express
- 300,000 flashes for almost unlimited use
- 5 power settings for custom hair removal
- As few as 8 treatments for smooth results
- Plug-in device with no need to charge
- Weaker than other Silk’n laser hair removal devices
- Reliability issues
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use, ergonomic laser hair removal system, check out the Silk’n Flash & Go Express. This unit is highly rated for being comfortable to hold and use and delivers painless (or close to it) laser treatments to help you achieve smoothness anywhere you want.
Users say it works in as little as 20 days for noticeable hair removal, but most said they had good results by the 3-month mark.
Like other Silk’n laser hair removal tools, this one is recommended for use once every 2 weeks, then just once a month after the 4th treatment. With many laser hair removal systems, you want to start with the lowest setting and slowly work your way up to the most powerful setting.
Reviewers indicated that this painless device is weak at the lowest settings, so you might want to bump up to level 2-3 for your first use to get the best results.
A few people who own this unit mentioned the reliability can be finicky. Sometimes the laser flash goes off and sometimes it skips a flash. This wasn’t a problem for most users, but it’s definitely worth noting.
Since this is a continuous-use model (no need to press a button for each flash), it automatically flashes every few seconds so you can glide it to the next treatment spot and let it do all the work.
Plus, the treatment window is large so you can zap more hairs with each flash and get great results!
3. Best Precision Laser Hair Removal: Tria Beauty Precision Laser
- More affordable than Tria Beauty 4X with the same technology
- Professional-level results
- Precision targeting for smaller areas
- Up to 70% less hair after 2 treatments
- 15-minute battery life limits session length
- Precision head makes treatment area smaller
- 90,000 lifetime pulses limits treatments
If you’ve got smaller areas to target, you need a precision tool like the Tria Beauty Precision Diode Hair Removal Laser. This handy unit is small and easy to hold for comfortable use, but it packs a powerful punch.
It uses the same laser diode technology as the Tria Beauty 4X, but it’s smaller with a precision treatment window to help you target small areas. If you love the idea of the 4X but not the price, this is the device to try.
It’s basically the 4X but with less battery life and a smaller, more ergonomic size. Speaking of battery life, it’s the worst thing about this unit with only 15 minutes of runtime on a full charge.
This limits the size and number of areas you can treat in a single session, but it’s so powerful, that may not matter much. You’ll get 90,000 flashes out of this thing before it dies, but most people never get anywhere close to that number before getting the results they want.
Users are getting smooth results with this unit in as little as 6 weeks of use. Many said it’s not as painful as other devices they’ve tried, but it’s a powerful unit, so there’s going to be a little discomfort at the higher power settings.
Use it between the eyebrows, for sensitive bikini zone treatments, or even on stubborn chin hairs thanks to the small, precision treatment window.
You can still use this tiny powerhouse unit on larger treatment areas (like arms and legs), but you may need to split larger areas into 2 sessions to avoid running out of battery.
At a lower price point (about $130 less than the 4X) with an equally-powerful laser, we think this is the best at-home laser hair removal system you can get for precision treatments and fast results.
4. Best 2-in-1 Laser Hair Removal: Silk’n Infinity Laser Hair Removal
- Infinite flashes and no refills needed
- Laser power + galvanic energy for more hair reduction
- 5 adjustable power settings
- Works on darker skin tones
- Connect to the app to track progress
- Doesn’t work for everyone
- Highest power settings can be painful
- “Infinite” flashes really means 400,000
The Silk’n Infinity Laser Hair Removal Device is a great system for permanent hair removal, and it’s even effective on darker skin tones that may not have success using other laser hair removal systems.
It combines powerful laser light energy with galvanic energy – weak electrical current known to stimulate and help rejuvenate skin. Silk’n claims that the galvanic energy helps open up pores for more effective hair removal and skin benefits, all in one.
Users rate it highest for being ergonomic and easy to hold and use. This is a device that fits right into your hand with a comfortable grip that keeps you in control of each treatment session.
It’s marketed and branded as the “Infinity” because the company claims it has infinite flashes for lifetime use. However, it’s preloaded with 400,000 flashes – not infinite.
It’s more than enough for complete treatments and touch-ups, but the infinite claim feels a little misleading. We noted user reviews from dark-skinned women who had excellent results with this device, which is promising.
If you have a darker skin tone and other laser hair removal systems don’t work for you, this could be a great option. One of our favorite things about this unit is that there’s an app to help you track your treatment sessions and progress.
Download the app after purchasing to ensure you never miss a treatment and keep tabs on the progress you’re making! Some users saw totally smooth results in treatment areas after just 5 treatments.
Others noted that more treatments were required to achieve total hair loss, and some didn’t experience hair loss at all – though that could be user error.
Overall, it’s a great option for effective hair removal in fewer treatments and the added bonus of galvanic energy transfer can give you unexpected skin benefits!
5. Most Affordable Laser Hair Removal: Silk’n Jewel Hair Removal Device
- Best price on our list at under $200
- Only 8 treatments for smooth results
- Less painful than similar devices
- Plug-in device with no need to charge
- Slightly weaker than similar devices
- Not recommended for bikini zone
The Silk’n Jewel Hair Removal Device is the most affordable option on our list. It’s actually a great little device that gives you reliable hair removal with minimal pain and discomfort.
It plugs into the wall so you’ll never have to worry about charging it before use or monitor battery life. Get completely smooth results with only 8 treatments with the Silk’n Jewel. Each treatment should be spaced out by 2 weeks when you start your laser hair removal treatments at home.
By the 5th treatment, you only need one treatment per month due to the drastically reduced hair growth. This very effective device is priced much lower than most others.
If you’re wondering what the catch is, users say that while it works, this device is slightly weaker than others they’ve tried. It may take more sessions to get completely smooth results in areas with dense hair.
Don’t forget to shave the treatment area before using the Silk’n Jewel to avoid painful burns! If you plan to use yours to treat your bikini area, be mindful of where exactly you use it.
The company says this device is 100% safe to use on the bikini line, but they advise against using it for full Brazilian pubic hair removal (though some users did so with no problems).
Reviewers rate it best for being easy to use and offering excellent value for the money.
It promises 100,000 laser flashes with the included cartridge, which is much more than needed to get results. At under $200, this affordable at-home laser hair removal device makes it possible to permanently get rid of unwanted hair relatively pain-free!
How to Do Laser Hair Removal At Home
Zapping unwanted body hair in the comfort and privacy of your own home might be the epitome of self-care. But it can be a little scary to try it out for the first time!
Making the process painless and effective starts with a little preparation and using the right techniques. Read through these steps to see how the process works before you use your new device!
Make Sure You’re a Good Candidate
Before you try laser hair removal on yourself, make sure you’re a good candidate for this method. The best candidates for safe, effective laser hair removal will have these traits:
- Light to medium skin tone
- Medium to dark hair color in treatment area
In addition to these traits, you’ll want to ensure you’ve taken care of the following before you try laser hair removal at home.
- Shave the treatment area: Make sure your skin is clean and shave the area you plan to treat within 24 hours before your session. Shave as closely as possible to prevent burns, since the laser will target any dark hair above the skin level if you don’t shave closely enough.
- Cleanse the treatment area: Before you use your laser, thoroughly cleanse the treatment area to remove any oil, dirt, makeup, sunscreen, or deodorant. Any type of barrier to the laser will make your treatment less effective.
- No tanning for a while: You should avoid excessive sun exposure and self-tanner before and during your laser treatment sessions. Any tan you get – fake or real – will make the treatments less effective because they darken the skin. If you’ve already been tanning or using self-tanner, wait until your tan fades to try laser hair removal.
Numb the Area If Needed
If you’re worried about the process being painful, you can apply a numbing cream before you start.
Topical analgesics can help keep the process pain-free and some can make laser hair removal even more effective by concentrating and conducting the device’s light flashes further into the hair follicles.
Target the Treatment Area
Once you’re freshly shaved, cleansed, and numbed (optional) in the treatment area, it’s time to use your laser hair removal device! We recommend starting with a small treatment area like the underarms for your first session.
This will help you get the hang of how the device works and determine which power level or setting is best for you. Turn your device on and choose the lowest power setting to begin.
Your device may have come with safety goggles that look like sunglasses. These are excellent for eye protection during use.
Important: Whether you use eye protection or not, never look directly at the laser while in use. It can cause blindness!
To get the best results and reduce pain, position the device’s treatment window (a clear window on the device where the light will emit from) directly onto your skin at the edge of the area you’re treating.
Push the button until the flash of light emits – you may feel a slight pinch or snapping feeling when this happens, which is totally normal. After you’ve fired off the first flash, lift and reposition the device so that you’re overlapping the first treatment area and targeting some new skin, too.
Push the button to emit another flash, then repeat. Each time, try to barely move the device and keep each zone overlapped to ensure complete coverage of the treatment area.
Soothe Treated Areas
After you’ve completed the first session and have fully covered the treatment area, you can repeat the process in a new treatment area (your other underarm, for example) or call it a day.
After you’re finished lasering, follow up with a soothing, calming gel. Apply some sunscreen if you’ll be heading outside anytime soon since the treated area will be very sensitive to sunlight. You’re done with your first at-home laser treatment – congrats!
Repeat the process with another treatment session when you’re ready – you should be able to repeat treatments 2-3 times per week until you’re getting the results you want.
At-Home Laser Hair Removal FAQs
Still got a few questions? We can help. Learn the answers to the most common questions we get about laser hair removal at home!
Does laser hair removal at home work?
Yes, laser hair removal at home can be very effective as long as you’re using a high-quality device that emits enough energy to actually disable and damage hair follicles.
Any of the devices on our list will be excellent for long-term to permanent hair removal. In terms of comparison, the laser hair removal devices sold for at-home use are usually a little weaker than professional devices.
But with consistent and proper use, a quality laser hair removal device designed for at-home use can give you results comparable to what you’d get from a professional.
Plus, you get the added benefit of doing each session in the comfort and privacy of your own home and can re-treat target areas anytime it’s convenient to get faster results.
Can you use at-home laser hair removal on pubic hair?
Pubic hair is one of the main areas women groom on a regular basis, so it makes sense that it’s one of the most popular treatment areas for laser hair removal. You can absolutely remove pubic hair with an at-home laser hair removal device.
Just ensure you’ve shaved the treatment area first to avoid burns, start on the lowest power setting, and use numbing cream if you find it painful to treat this area.
How many times a week can I do laser hair removal at home?
Most experts recommend using your at-home laser hair removal device up to 3 times per week to effectively remove hair.
You can use your laser hair removal device as little as once every 2 weeks and still see results, but most manufacturers recommend using your device more often to get the best results.
Don’t exceed 3 treatment sessions in a week. Once you’re seeing the results you want, you can drop to a lower number of treatments for maintenance – about one treatment every month may be all you need for upkeep.
What happens if you don’t shave before laser hair removal?
Since at-home laser hair removal devices target the dark pigment in hair, starting with freshly shaved hair is key to avoiding burns.
If you leave the treatment area unshaven, the intense light energy from your device will be wasted by targeting the longer hairs – and when this happens, it can literally burn your skin and hair.
With effective at-home laser hair removal, you want to concentrate all of the light energy down into your hair follicle to get long-term results.
If you’re wasting the laser energy on the hair sprouting out of follicles, the laser can’t target deep down into the follicle to give you the lasting results you want. So make sure you shave before using your laser hair removal device!
How long do results take?
About 90% of people who opt for laser hair removal see permanent results within 3-6 sessions of treatment.
This means you can start seeing significantly reduced amounts of hair in the treatment area as soon as 1 week into treatment. The level of results you’ll see will vary.
Most people have a 10% to 25% decrease in hair in the treatment area after a single treatment. You’ll notice less and less hair in the treated area with every session, and you can expect to achieve full results within a month or two of use.
Is At-Home Laser Hair Removal Right for You?
We hope this guide has answered your questions about laser hair removal at home. We’ve looked at everything you need to know to start doing laser hair removal treatments right from the comfort and privacy of your own home.
And now you’ve seen the top 5 at-home laser hair removal systems that can make your smooth-skin dreams a reality! Every unit has its pros and cons, but proper and consistent use is a big part of getting results.
Whatever laser hair removal system you decide on, make sure to use it as directed and track every treatment session so you never miss one. If you follow the directions and use your device consistently, you should start seeing results within your first 2-3 sessions.
By taking the time to learn about doing at-home laser hair removal the right way, you’re already one step closer to permanently silky-smooth skin!