Permanent hair removal: devices for home use

IPL hair removal, laser hair removal or permanent hair removal. Everyone is talking about it. Beauty institutes hit you with promotions for various treatments. However, due to the high costs, these beauty institutes are not an option for everyone. Good news: there are now devices that allow you to permanently remove hair at home. But is that really possible? The answer is: yes. The question is: is it efficient (and safe)?
Below is an overview of the different methods, with their advantages and disadvantages and an overview of some existing devices for home use.

Permanent hair removal:

Permanent hair removal is defined as: a method of hair removal in which the hair root is removed down to the hair follicles.
Yet it is important to know something about hair growth if you are considering permanent hair removal. Hairs are in different growth phases :

  • the active growth phase: there is contact between hair and hair root
  • the transition phase: the hairs come loose from the hair root
  • resting phase: the hairs are separated from the root, fall out and a new hair will start to grow

Permanent hair removal techniques are always aimed at destroying the hair root so that new hairs cannot grow back. The hair root can only be destroyed when there is contact between the hair and the root, i.e. only in the active growth phase. This also means that you can never permanently remove hair from a body part in one go. Several (read: about 8) sessions are always needed, several weeks apart. Because some hairs only return to the active growth phase after a number of months or longer, you will still have to maintain the permanent treatment annually. One may wonder how permanent permanent hair removal is?

Methods

Laser hair removal

With laser hair removal, the laser beam is aimed at the hair root so that it is burned and the hair can no longer grow back.

  • Advantage: the hair root is destroyed efficiently
  • Disadvantage: laser beams can also destroy pigment in the skin, causing spots or scars. The method is only suitable for people with dark body hair and a light skin color.

 

IPL, VPL, UPL, CPL, FPL

In addition to laser treatment, there are PL treatments, where PL stands for Pulsed Light or flash of light. The letters preceding it mean Intense, Variable, Ultra, Controlled or Fluorescent. A whole series of treatments based on flashes of light aimed at the skin. The difference between the methods is in the energy value per cm² that the device in question offers. It can be said that the higher the energy value per cm², the more efficient the device and the fewer treatments you need.

  • Advantage: suitable for different skin types
  • Disadvantage: not all devices are equally efficient, which means you sometimes need many treatments. The device must be able to deliver at least 25 to 30 J/cm2 to be effective.

 

Which device to choose?

It is impossible to say which device is best for beauty salons, dermatology clinics or for home use. Everything depends on your skin type and color of body hair. You can assume that new devices that come onto the market will become increasingly efficient and safer.

Hair removal at home?

Nowadays you can also buy devices that allow you to permanently remove hair at home. These are devices that work via IPL or light flashes.

Advantages:

  • You can remove hair at the times that suit you best
  • The devices are small and easy to use
  • You don’t have to travel to a beauty institute
  • It is cheaper than a treatment in a beauty institute

 

Cons:

  • Hair removal at home is very time-consuming because the devices are small. As a result, you can only treat a small area per flash of light
  • The energy value per cm² is much smaller in these devices. This means that you have to perform many more treatment sessions to achieve the same result.
  • In most cases the end result will be less good than in a beauty salon.

 

Unknown factors:

  • Little is known about the possible damage that these devices can cause to the skin
  • Little is also known about the durability of the devices: how long do they last? How often do you need to replace flash bulbs and how expensive are they? Will the flash bulbs of a certain device still be available within x number of years or will your device already be so outdated that you will have to purchase a new one?

 

Existing devices:

Below are some devices for home use with their approximate prices. We ignore the efficiency of the devices because it varies too much from person to person. Every device has users with positive but also negative experiences.

Device

Price in (approximate)

Number of light flashes per lamp

Philips Lumea

499

1 lamp / 40,000 flashes

Remington I-light

299

3 lamps / 1,500 flashes per lamp

HPL Babyliss

499

750 flashes

E-one

1395 or 499 in promotion

3,000 flashes

CW-808 from Epilskin

169

No information

Salon Laser Hair Removal (TV shopping)

199

No information

TRIA Laser Hair Removal

1000

No information

 

Conclusion:

Dermatologists are already shouting bloody murder that beauty institutes offer permanent hair removal. So you can imagine what they think about hair removal at home. Of course they are not wrong. Incorrect use of IPL devices can lead to permanent damage to the skin. So make sure you check whether the beauty salon employs enough specialized staff before you start a treatment.
Do you still want a device for home use? It is everyone’s choice whether they want to take this risk. As already said: a lot depends on your skin type and hair color. There are results known from people who are very enthusiastic about the existing devices. But there are just as many people with negative experiences.
In summary, you can say that you are best served in terms of end result at a decent beauty institute or with a dermatologist, but that you pay a certain price for this. Don’t be misled here either: if the price for a requested treatment is low, there is a good chance that the device used is less efficient, meaning that more sessions are needed and you will ultimately pay a lot. Inform yourself well before starting treatment.
If a beauty salon is not an option for you for financial reasons, you can buy a device for home use, but without guarantee of an efficient end result and with the risk of possible skin damage.

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