The best at-home laser hair removal devices

COVID-19 means we’ve had to skip in-salon appointments, but thankfully there’s a selection of at-home alternatives to help you stay on top of your hair removal maintenance. 

By now you’re probably seeing the effects of having to miss your regular laser hair removal appointment. Those stray, pesky strands are beginning to crop up in weird patchy clumps and shaving them isn’t doing the trick.

At this stage, we don’t know when salons will be able to open again, so it’s likely you’re in the market for a more permanent solution than your razor – and luckily there’s a tonne of at-home devices that offer similar results.

Whether you have regular professional appointments or are new to the whole idea, this permanent approach to removing unwanted hair is a long term investment for both your body and your wallet.

If you’re after a quick refresher on how laser hair removal works and when to expect results, read our guide here.

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A note on at-home tools

These devices are designed with lower levels of energy to ensure they’re safe for at-home use and in the hands of hair removal rookies. The majority of these zappy gadgets don’t actually use lasers; instead they work with intense pulsed light (IPL) which works similarly to lasers and targets the hair follicle via its pigment and destroys it with heat.

As with any home gadget, the results aren’t going to be as good as the professional stuff so it’s likely you’ll need to increase the frequency of use.

Every device is different so always read the instructions before using. It’s also important to note that these tools aren’t one-size-fits all. You’ll need to check if it suits your skin tone and hair shade, especially if you have darker skin or lighter hair. This is imperative to avoid burning the skin or causing dark spots.

Laser hair removal both at-home and in-salon works best when hair has been shaved. If you’ve waxed, the follicle is likely to have been pulled out so there’s nowhere for the heat to get to.

Wait, does it hurt?

If you’re looking for an at-home solution to maintaining in-salon results than you’ll know the pain level and sensation is similar to a rubber band flicking on your skin. But the good news is most at-home devices hurt less than the professional tools.

Delicate spots like your bikini line, face or areas where skin is thinner and around bone (like your ankles) tend to be more painful than fleshy areas like the thighs.

Happy Skin Co Gen. 2 ($238, at Happy Skin Co)

An upgrade to their original at-home device, this handset can zap an area of skin 20 per cent larger, has supercharged technology and is said to be quieter than the classic model. Made with clinical grade technology adapted for use at home, it promises results after three to four treatments.

Remington i-Light Pro+ Face & Body IPL Hair Removal System ($679.15, at Myer)

This device is a great investment if you regularly remove hair from both your face and body. It comes with two interchangeable attachments that are safe for delicate, smaller areas like above the lip and larger areas like the thighs.

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser X4 ($499, at Current Body)

The beauty of this device extends further than its ergonomic handle, and it’s a favourite of dermatologists thanks to its professional-level results. Instead of IPL, this devices uses Diode Laser technology that works by emitting a wavelength suitable for most skin tones while targeting the hair follicle for permanent results.

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal System ($799, at Philips)

Developed with dermatologists to ensure safety on all skin types including those with sensitivity. This device is expensive, but with four contoured attachments to fit snugly onto the curves of your armpits, body, face and bikini line, you won’t miss any spots. It also comes with an inbuilt SmartSkin sensor that detects the best setting based on your skin tone.

SmoothSkin 200K IPL Long Term Hair Removal Device ($699, at Shaver Shop)

If you’re looking to target large areas in a flash, this could be your best bet – on its fastest setting the time between flashes is less than a minute. But it’s not just speedy; its technology is great, too. A unique Detect and Set feature tailors each sessions to suit your skin tone all over your face and body. Plus, the dual modes mean you can glide for larger spots like your legs, or stamp for delicate areas like your bikini line or face.

Silk’n Infinity G 500K ($275, at Silk’n)

The most impressive feature about this handy device isn’t its compact size. Thanks to its impressive technology that combines galvanic and optical energy to reach further into the dermis and alter the hair follicle, it can be used on all skin tones and almost all hair colours, including blonde, grey and red.