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Laser Hair Removal at a Derm’s Office or At-home Devices: Which to Choose?

By Dr. Sanober Doctor
October 23, 2023
5 minutes

A ubiquitous question I am often asked is whether it is better to come in for laser hair removal sessions at the office or if it is alright to invest in a device that can be used at home. Are they the same devices being used? Is one method better than the other? What should you opt for? I’ll try answering these questions and a few more, and hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to make an informed decision for yourself.

Gone are the days when the laser hair removal procedure was only available at the dermatologist’s office. Today, there are several handheld devices you can choose from to zap away your hair yourself.

But you might find it relatively expensive if you compare laser hair removal to traditional hair removal methods such as waxing and shaving. The device’s price is no comparison to a razor or wax strip. But the results achieved in the long run make it an option worth considering.

Once you have made up your mind to opt for laser hair removal, the next dilemma you are faced with is whether to opt for an at-home device or visit your dermatologist. Both aspects have pros and cons, and it is worth spending time discussing either.

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The Machine

Undoubtedly, the device used for hair reduction/removal at your derm’s office is more powerful than the at-home devices available. The device in your dermatologist’s office will likely have a combination of 2-3 targeted laser wavelengths. In contrast, the at-home devices available are most commonly IPL devices, which stands for Intense Pulsed Light. Since these are not laser beams, the efficacy and strength of the overall treatment are very different and a little less powerful than what you would achieve by going to the office. Having made this clear, there is no doubt that at-home devices today, like Ulike’s Sapphire Air3, can deliver similar, if not equal, results within the comforts of your home.

Cost and Accessibility 

Nothing beats the fact that your skincare professional can give you the flawless skin you wish to achieve, and all you need to do is lie down and relax. But cost is one of the critical determinants when it comes to choosing either option. I am not speaking about the appointment costs of going to the office, but the travel expense, the recurring expense at every visit (because you know you won’t just end up going for the hair removal session!), and the time taken to schedule and physically go for the appointment are some of the factors to consider. 

On the other hand, having an at-home device gives you the advantage of a one-time investment, with you having the luxury to choose whenever you wish to get the work done at your convenience. This could be after putting the baby to sleep, while listening to a podcast, or even between 2 meetings if you are working virtually from home! The convenience and affordability are not comparable to very honest. 

Safety

There is no doubt about safety when getting it done from your healthcare professional, so let’s look at the at-home devices. Commercial IPL devices available at home are easy to use and require basic know-how. However, what makes DIY difficult is if you skip some areas, the potential of burns, or if you don’t use a device from a reputable brand that specializes in the same. There is always a chance that you are stressed out because you added one more thing to your to-do list and are afraid that something could go wrong. 

You don’t have to worry about the latter since you know you always have me or your healthcare provider to answer any doubts. We are always here to guide you through every step of the way and wish you the best. And if you invest in a reputable device that does what it is supposed to do, like Ulike’s Sapphire Air3, then you needn’t worry about any risks as long as you follow the basic instructions. 

Ultimately, there are merits of doing laser hair removal on your own or getting it done at your dermatologist’s office. It all comes down to what is more important and feasible for you. Remember, there is no right or wrong way. I always want you to make informed decisions best suited for you because nobody knows your body and its requirements better than you do. 

As always, continue to glow, thrive, and shine. Until next time!

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Dr. Sanober Pezad Doctor, MD

Sanober Pezad Doctor is a double-board certified dermatologist, & a leading expert in Integrative and holistic Dermatology. She is the face behind the popular YouTube channelHealthy Aging with Dr. Doctor. She is also the founder & creator of ‘AGEnesis™The Holistic Aging Blueprint’ & ‘Baby SkinWise™– the World’s 1st Audiovisual Skincare Guide for Parents’. 

A Gold Medalist from medical school, Sanober holds multiple national and international awards, scholarships, research studies, and recognition for novel therapies to her credit. She is a proactive, compassionate medical practitioner with a thorough understanding of overall mind-body-spiritual wellness. She is also a simple mommy to the core and strongly believes that prevention is better than cure. Her ultimate goal is to help everyone be the healthiest version of themselves. Join the tribe and get a copy of her coveted Glow from Within’ Guide to help you nourish and glow from the inside out.

Dr. Sanober Doctor
Sanober Pezad Doctor is a double-board certified dermatologist, & a leading expert in Integrative and holistic Dermatology. She is the face behind the popular YouTube channel- Healthy Aging with Dr. Doctor. She is also the founder & creator of ‘AGEnesis™- The Holistic Aging Blueprint’ & ‘Baby SkinWise™- the World's 1st Audiovisual Skincare Guide for Parents‘.
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