Having struggled, like really any other woman, with unwanted body hair, I was always interested in laser hair treatments, ever since I heard about them. Unfortunately, I’ve never had a few spare thousands of dollars in my smooth skin budget to afford them. When I started hearing about the readily available consumer devices that promised the same thing, for far less money, I naturally wanted to know, “Does home laser hair removal really work?”
The Same Science Made Affordable
Laser hair treatments actually work the same way whether you’re getting expensive treatments from a professional at a spa or doing it yourself with one of the home laser products currently on the market. Basically, a laser is shined on your skin, and it kills the hair. Forever.
Dark absorbs light, so the dark pigment of the hair (melanin) actually causes the hair to absorb the laser, bypassing your skin. The light is converted to heat as it travels down the shaft into the root of the hair, giving it a good zap that ultimately, over the course of the treatments, destroys the hair so it can never come back.
Because the laser targets the hair and not the skin, these treatments are painless and carry no risk of skin damage, though some users have some mild, short-lasting redness. The home lasers currently available have adjustable intensity levels, so even those with sensitive skin need not worry, though even the highest intensities feel like not much more than a snap from a warm elastic band.
Hair Growth Cycles And Hair Removal
Body hair has three growth cycles- anagen (growth), catagen (involution), and telogen (rest). It’s actually only during the anagen stage that laser hair removal is effective.
Since only about a third of your hair is in this phase at any given moment, the treatment schedules are optimized to catch as many hairs in the anagen phase as possible. Typically, you’ll start with a couple treatments a month, decreasing until you’re only doing it about once a month, and then never again.
Depending on how thick your hair is, it typically takes 5-8 months to be totally hair-free, with 80 percent of users reporting dramatic, visible results within just a few months. Most users report up to 80 percent hair removal in about half a year.
(In case you’re wondering, “Why just 80 percent?”, it’s important to make a distinction between androgenic hair and vellus hair. Vellus hair is the incredibly fine, barely noticeable that grows on basically your entire body starting when you’re a baby. It’s the androgenic hair, or body hair as you probably know it, that these lasers target and destroy.)
Does It Work For Everybody?
While laser hair removal works for almost everybody, it unfortunately does not work if you have very dark skin, or very light hair. (The products currently available all perform skin tests before each use; if it’s not going to work, the laser simply will not function.)
Remember when I mentioned how the melanin helps the hair absorb the energy of the laser? Well, melanin is the same pigment in skin, which means those with dark skin may run into trouble. On the other end of the spectrum, a lack of melanin in the hair means the hair may not be able to absorb the light.
If you check out the website for The Tria, which is the leading home hair laser and the one I used, they offer a section where you can select your skin tone and hair color and it will let you know if their product will work for you.
My Own Results
I actually looked intro home electrolysis first, but it turned out this was way easier, involving pretty much just holding it against each patch of skin for just a split second at a time, typically while watching TV. It took me about 6 months total to treat my legs until the hair stopped coming back.
Six months later, I’m still silky smooth 🙂
So, does home laser hair removal really work? My results speak louder than any review I’ve read, and there are a ton of happy customers! It’s easy, doesn’t hurt, and best of all, the results last a lifetime!