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Laser Hair Removal at Home vs. Professional: Which is Better?

By Viktoria
March 25, 2023
7 minutes

Are you here after trying countless methods of hair removal both at a salon and at home ranging from waxing to threading to epilation? However, all methods disappointed you one way or the other. Thus, it left you with no choice but to try out laser hair removal.

However, are you afraid of lasers as well? Whether laser hair removal is safe for the skin in long term? Will the laser surgeon be gentle? Or will the laser hair removal at a clinic be embarrassing? Similarly, does hearing about laser hair at home also raise concerns about its safety, efficacy, accuracy, and effects?

Relax! Because we are here with the solution to all your concerns. Laser hair removal at home or at a professional clinic works effectively to help you eradicate unwelcomed hair without the difficulties you face with other methods. However, laser hair removal comes with its cons as well.

So, let us know about the different dimensions of laser hair removal.

Can You Perform Laser Hair Removal at Home Safely?

At-home laser hair removal devices actually use low-intensity intense pulse light instead of high-intensity laser light used at professional clinics making the process safe to be done by anyone in his/her privacy. The relatively less power of at-home laser devices only requires a few more sessions to get the desired results.

The maximum side effects of at-home laser devices are mild skin redness or tingling sensation while performing the session. Moreover, some devices like the Ulike Sapphire AIR3 IPL hair removal handset comes with technology that prevents those side effects as well. So, you are good to do laser hair removal at your convenience without being concerned about its side effects.

Laser Hair Removal at Home vs. Professional

Now let us see what makes laser hair removal at home different from professional laser hair removal.

1. Power and Intensity of Light Used: Winner – Professional

Laser clinic 1 The most distinguishing feature of laser hair removal done by yourself or a professional is the power and intensity of light used. The laser used by professionals has an energy output/power of about 40 J/cm2. This light is applied at a specific intensity which is set beforehand.

On the other hand, at-home laser hair removal devices provide a power output of 3-6 J/cm2 and it reaches a maximum of 10 J/cm2. Moreover, most IPL devices come with variable intensity levels that can be changed according to skin tolerance.

Additionally, Ulike has introduced a hair removal device Ulike Sapphire AIR3 IPL that has more than twice the power of regular IPL devices. However, its 21 J/cm2 power is still less compared to a professional laser.

2. Technology and Working Principles: Winner – At-Home

Both laser hair removal procedures work on the principle of difference between the pigmentation of the skin and the hair. This means that the more pigment the hair has and the less pigment the skin has, the better will be the results of laser hair removal.

Light is absorbed by dark hair having more pigment. So, the difference lies in their technology. The professional laser uses a highly-focused strong beam of light that targets a specific area harshly to kill hair roots. On the other hand, IPL devices use a relatively less strong broad-spectrum light that destroys the hair follicle without being too harsh on the skin.

Moreover, with less energy level, IPL technology is relatively easy on your body and face as compared to professional lasers.

3. Privacy: Winner – At-Home

Ulike 1

One of the major factors making you go for an at-home laser hair removal device is privacy concerns. No matter how professional the doctor is and how confident you are, showing your skin with detestable hair takes courage and is a source of embarrassment. So, you either turn off your emotions or choose an at-home laser device.

With IPL devices, it is just you removing your own hair within your bathroom with no privacy concerns. Moreover, you know better which hair you do not want and which you would like to keep saving you from the hassle of explaining such things to a doctor.

4. Time Consumption During One Session: Winner – At-Home

As professional laser hair removal devices give out a light beam with a small surface area to destroy hair follicles individually or in small numbers, it takes a long time to complete a procedure. In most cases, it takes about 5-10 minutes for the face, 5-10 minutes for the underarms, and 30 minutes for the legs. Thus, you need more than 1 hour to complete one full body hair removal session at a clinic.

However, at home laser hair removal devices have broad windows to destroy several hair follicles at once. Thus, they take less than half of the time as compared to professional lasers. Moreover, if you want to spend even less time per session, Ulike AIR3 IPL device , it takes less than 10 minutes for full body sessions with its fast 0.7s flashes and auto glide mode.

5. Pain-free Experience: Winner – At-Home

As stated earlier, professional hair removal uses a highly-focus and strongly-powered ray of light. This light is too intense to be tolerated by the skin without any pain or irritation. And most of the time that pain is almost unbearable. So, anesthetic gels are used before the procedure to prevent the skin from feeling pain.

However, once the effect of anesthesia ends, you will still feel mild to moderate skin burning, pain, or stinging. On the contrary, IPL devices are relatively nearly painless and only give a fluctuating amount of discomfort.

Moreover, if you want no pain at all along with no discomfort. Get yourself a Ulike IPL device as it has innovative built-in technology to make your hair removal procedure completely pain-free, comfortable, and relaxing.

6. The Convenience of Repeating the Treatment: Winner – At-Home

Ulike 2 Laser hair removal, whether done at a clinic or in your bathroom, is never long-lasting. Hair follicles tend to regenerate and hair begins to regrow after a certain period of time. This period is more than 6 months in the case of IPL hair removal while it is up to 2 years in the case of professional hair removal.

After that, you either go back to traditional hair removal methods or repeat your treatment. With a professional hair removal laser, you have to book the consultations again and go through all those sessions. However, here IPL provides convenience by being available at hand. All you need is to shave unwanted hair and do a few-minutes hair removal session.

Additionally, IPL handsets like Ulike AIR3 purple provide unlimited flashes to help you repeat the treatment as many times as you want.

7. Treatment Time: Winner – At-Home

Professional laser hair removal is a long-term procedure. You have to get your session done every 4/6 weeks and it requires about 6-12 sessions to complete the full treatment. It means you need regular sessions for 1 whole year.

On the other hand, at-home laser hair removal is a simpler process. It also takes the same number of sessions to remove the hair completely, but because these sessions are scheduled at 15 or alternate days, you only need a few months to complete the treatment. Especially, in the case of the Ulike sapphire purple handset , only 9 sessions within 3 weeks are needed to reduce hair by 90%.

8. Skin Tone Compatibility: Winner – Professional

laser clinic 2 Laser normally works well on dark hair colors like black, brown, and dark blonde with no effects on ginger, gray, white, or light blonde hair. Similarly, light skin tones are compatible with laser. This is exactly the case with at-home hair removal devices. So, you must check skin tone compatibility before buying one.

On the other hand, the latest professional laser hair removal technology is compatible with people having dark skin tones and light hair colors. However, it still does not work on the white of very light blonde hair.

9. Cost: Winner – At-Home

Lastly, the cost of professional hair removal is ridiculously high. It ranges from $1500 for the face to more than $15000 for the full body. However, at-home laser hair removal devices range from $300-600 making them pocket-friendly.

For example, Ulike sapphire AIR3 purple IPL Handset is only $379 and it lasts for 50+ years, if not more.

Comparison Table

Let us take a look at the comparison table of both at-home and professional laser hair removal to know the pros and cons of both sides by side.

Professional Laser Hair Removal

At-Home Laser Hair Removal

Pros

  • Accurate treatment

  • Longer-lasting results

  • Almost 90% of hair reduction

  • Can also be done on all skin tones

  • Precise hair removal from hidden areas

  • Safe procedure

  • An expert surgeon performs the session

  • Maintenance of privacy

  • Relatively inexpensive

  • Results within 1-month

  • Ease of doing your own touch-ups

  • FDA-cleared and safe procedure

  • Perfect for small to large areas

  • Saving the cost of traveling

  • Quick 10-minute sessions

  • Less pain and other side effects

Cons

  • Very Expensive

  • Ineffective for people with hormonal issues like PCOS

  • Risk of developing skin blisters, redness, scarring, or hyperpigmentation

  • Could take up to a year for complete hair removal

  • Hassle of traveling

  • Risk of forgetting your session

  • About 70-80% of hair reduction

  • Need of regular touch-ups

  • Hairless skin only lasts for 6 months

  • Some areas can be missed

  • No options for black or very dark skin tones

Conclusion

Professional laser hair removal is a highly efficient process done by an expert and it reduces unwanted hair by 90%. However, not everyone can afford it. And it is also harsh on the skin and may not work for everyone either. In contrast, although at-home laser hair removal is also effective and it reduces hair by 80-90%, it is affordable, gentle, convenient, and safe for everyone as well.

Viktoria
Viktoria
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