Laser hair removal devices emit a focused laser beam onto the skin. The beam passes into the hair follicle and specifically into the melanin pigment of the hair during the active growth phase. The heat directly damages the growing hair, and it eventually sheds. The damage caused inhibits new hair growth in the affected follicle. However, laser hair removal devices do not damage skin cells.
However, regardless of where you have unwanted hair, you must remember that each hair has its own growth, dormant and shedding cycle. One laser treatment will not damage all of the hairs at the same time. Multiple treatments are necessary to target the hairs, which are actively growing. You may need up to 12 treatments before noticing results Periodic maintenance may also be necessary. Hormonal changes in the body may also affect hair growth. If hormone levels increase during or after pregnancy for example, new hair growth may occur in previously treated areas.
As the pigment is the part of the hair absorbing the laser heat, the devices are not effective for individuals having lighter hair. The devices are also not recommended for people having darker complexions, as heavily pigmented skin competes with hair pigments for light beam absorption.
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About Laser Hair Treatments
In-home devices are safe for men and women. Women may use the devices to eliminate hair from the facial cheeks down to the toes. Men on the other hand can only use laser removal systems from the neck down due to the density of follicles in the beard region. Before undergoing treatment, the skin should be clean and the affected areas shaved. Otherwise, the light singes hair above the skin line, which might also burn the skin. The light additionally will not effectively penetrate into the follicle as needed.
Each device varies in terms of the size of the area treated at one time. So, the time needed to treat different areas of the body varies with each device. Each laser pulse requires only a fraction of a second to treat one zone before you move onto the next. However, devices vary in terms of the time lapse between pulses.
The sensation created by the laser beam is comparable to being lightly snapped with a rubber band. The level of the sensation also increases or decreases with the intensity level of the beam emitted. The more often you treat follicles, the less sensitive skin becomes to the laser sensation.
Treated skin commonly appears similar to being sunburned. The effect typically fades within a day or two. However, you must avoid going over the same area twice in order to avoid excessive burning or blistering of your skin.
Sensica SensiLight Mini100
The FDA-cleared SensiLight Mini 100 is compact and comparable in size to an electric razor. The SensiLight is a corded system. The device is easy to use. Simply insert the adapter into the bottom of the Mini 100 and the other end into a standard outlet. Once plugged in, a green power light illuminates to let you know the device is receiving electricity.
The back of the device has a button for selecting one of three light intensity levels. The top of the unit features the large light emitting button, which enables you to press once for manual light emissions. You can also continually depress the button to engage the automatic mode for treating larger areas.
The unit also comes equipped with a skin tone sensor, which senses variations in skin color and adjusts the intensity of the light as needed. The Sensica SensiLigth Mini 100 is appropriate for use on skin tones in the 1 to 4 range on the Fitzpatrick Scale and on dark blond to black hair.
- Delivers up to 100,000 flashes
- 60-day money back guarantee and 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
Braun Gillette Venus Silk
The device is appropriate for anyone having skin coloration which correlates with 1 to 5 on the Fitzpatrick skin tone scale and for dark blond to black hair. As skin tone often varies on different body regions, the Venus Silk automatically adapts the light energy to the level of melanin in the skin being treated. Sensors detect coloration up to 80 times per second.
The device has three light intensity settings ranging normal to extra gentle mode. The normal mode emits the most power and the extra gentle function is ideal for beginners, delicate areas and periodic maintenance.
The Braun model is designed to emit a flash of light once every 0.9 to 1.9 seconds. Comparable models emit flashes once every 2.0 to 3.5 seconds. Which means you cover larger areas quicker and more efficiently. Treating the hair on an arm or leg takes a mere 8 minutes using a continuous gliding motion.
The device also comes equipped with a trigger mode for spot removal.
- Delivers up to 160,000 flashes
- Comes with your choice of a Gillette Venus razor or a Braun exfoliating facial brush
- No risk 100-day money back guarantee and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty
Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X
Unlike other devices, the Tria 4X is battery-operated, which makes the unit more convenient to use anywhere without needing an electrical outlet except for charging. The battery installed in the Tria 4X device is designed to provide longer life over previous versions.
The device delivers 20 joules per square centimeter of actual laser light compared to the 4 to 6 joules per square centimeter of intense pulsed light provided by competitive models. However, the treatment area is also much smaller and measures little more than the diameter of your little finger.
On the top of the unit is a digital display and the on/off power button. The display features battery life, the selected power intensity level and the number of pulses emitted. The display area also has a skin detector illustration, which locks on/off depending on the skin tone contacted.
The laser flash is not visible. To make using the device effective, the Tria 4X beeps when it is time to move onto the next area needing treatment. The unit buzzes if not applied to the skin properly or if it senses the wrong skin tone.
- 5 adjustable intensity settings
- Delivers up to 90,000 pulses
- Recharges up to 300 times
- Available in six colors
- 90-day money back guarantee
- Live customer support
Remington iLIGHT Ultra
The Remington model hair removal system comes with the hand-held unit, the power base, an electric power cord and an additional head for treating smaller facial areas. The wand attaches to the base via a power cable. The base also provides a place to safely store the hair removal unit.
The front of the base features the power cable port and the on/off switch. The top of the base has a built-in skin sensor, which requires you to scan the skin on the area you wish to treat. Next to the scanner is a light bulb icon, which displays the life of the internal bulb. Replacement bulbs are available. On the other side of the light bulb icon is the power intensity scale, which adjusts by pushing a single button.
The wand has an atypical rectangular treatment window and remains tethered to the base unit, which some may find inconvenient. On either side of the window are sensor buttons designed to detect when the treatment head is properly positioned on the skin. When placed properly, the device beeps and enables you to push the button to emit a beam of light. The light power button may be depressed intermittently or held down continually depending on the size of the area you wish to treat.
- Appropriate for skin tones 1 to 4 and dark blond to black hair
- 5 intensity settings
- Delivers up to 65,000 flashes
- 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
Philips Lumea Comfort
The Philips Lumea Comfort hair removal tool is one of the more affordable products on the market. With fewer control settings, the device is also quite user friendly. The unit is corded. However, the power cord is especially long, which allows for a little more freedom.
On the back of the unit is the on/off button, which also serves to adjust the five different power settings. The top of the Lumea has a large oval button designed to initiate the intense pulse light. You simply plug in the device, apply the treatment head to your skin, wait for the ready light to flash and press the button to receive a light pulse. The IPL button can be depressed intermittently in step and flash mode or held down continually in slide and flash mode to glide the device over your skin to treat larger areas.
A skin color sensor lies beneath the treatment window, which detects skin tone. If skin in certain body areas is deemed too dark, the unit will not emit a flash. The unit is appropriate for skin tones 1 to 4 and on dark blond to black hair. The Philips Lumea is appropriate to use on any body region from the underarms downward.
- Delivers up to 100,000 flashes
- Comes with a 180-day money back guarantee trial period
- 2-year manufacturer’s warranty