My Comprehensive Review of At Home LHR Products

Nobody likes shaving, especially during the summer. Even worse, unwanted body hair can hamper self-esteem in both men and women. Many have turned to laser hair removal (LHR) as an alternative to epilation and shaving. Although LHR isn’t for everyone, it can be a godsend for people with dark hair and fair skin. If you have dark skin and/or light hair, forget about it (don’t worry, there are other options).

Laser hair removal has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially with the introduction of personal devices. Not only are you able use them in the comfort and privacy of your own home, but they will also save you money. For example, a professional charges about $400 per visit to treat armpits and a whopping $2,400 (6 treatments) for a full treatment of the bikini area.

How does LHR work?

Simply put, the flash of a laser is the release of stored-up energy. When an electron falls back to its normal state after having been pushed up to a higher energy level, it releases energy as photons of light. When one photon collides with another photon, more photons are released. When trillions of photons stored in a small container are released, you have a laser flash. Click here for a video on laser fundamentals.

A laser’s target absorbs light energy and converts it to heat, which in this case destroys hair follicles. The lasers used in LHR target the brown pigment in hair (this is why dark hair works best with LHR). To protect your skin from absorbing the laser, your skin is cooled by a blast of cold air just before the laser flashes. When your hair follicle absorbs the laser’s energy, it explodes. This is why LHR is painful – most people compare the feeling to the sting of a rubber band snapping against your skin.

Ideally, you want to zap your hair follicles during the active growth stage. Since not all hairs on your body grow at the same time, LHR takes many treatments. In addition, hormones cause the growth of new hairs; so remember that LHR does not remove all hair permanently. The biggest risks associated with LHR are burns. Other possible side effects include discomfort, swelling, and redness; less likely to occur are blistering, cold sores, infections, and scarring.

Do not use a home device on tan, dark, or tattooed skin or if you have light hair.

 

Review of Remington’s IPL Series

Remington Products is known worldwide for their high-quality hair removal machines. Remington has been producing products like electric razors for men and women since the 1930s. One of their newest products is the intense pulsed light (IPL) device for at-home hair removal. Women and men looking to get rid of unwanted body hair often don’t know which Remington product to choose – especially considering all 5 models look almost identical!

That’s why we’ve reviewed the top 3 for you! The iLight models Quartz, Pro Plus, and Pro all feature ProPulse, Remington’s special IPL  technology designed to emit energy at the perfect wavelength to effectively disable hair growth by targeting hair follicles. Light energy travels deep into the skin to reach the hair at its source. Pain during treatment is mild.

Remington IPL6000 iLight Pro Plus Quartz

Reveal beautiful skin with the newest IPL device by Remington. At $400, this is a high-quality system that boasts 30,000 flashes per bulb. Developed by a dermatologist, the system has a sensor to detect if you skin is compatible with the machine and will not operate otherwise. The Quartz is similar to a professional hair removal device and will save you loads of money. With an ultra-fast flash rate, you will be able to treat areas like your bikini line and underarms in just a few minutes. Visible results should appear within 3 weeks of your first treatment.

legsA little more about the Quartz:

  • Permanent results after only 3 treatments!
  • ProPulse technology
  • 30,000 flashes per bulb
  • FDA-cleared
  • 5 intensity levels
  • User-friendly
  • Skin-tone sensor
  • Power cord (no charging necessary)
  • 3.9 pounds
  • Package includes DVD/manual, one bulb, and a cleaning cloth

What do customers think?

Shaving is tedious! One man reports, after much frustration with shaving and waxing, purchasing the Quartz based on the claim that one bulb contains 30,000 flashes. He suggests patience. After 4 treatments, he noticed slower-growing, thinner hair. Soon after, coarse hairs began to fall right out. He is now happily experiencing a 60% reduction in body hair and continuing treatment.

All users agree that visible results take time. This is true for all hair removal devices. Another customer says she noticed results after 3 treatments, just like Remington promised. She also says the potential for user error is high. Read all instructions carefully and don’t rush. A third customer comments that the machine is easy to hold. In addition, the long cord is convenient when you’re treating hard-to-reach areas. She saw close to 70% hair reduction after 6 weeks.

User tip: Don’t throw away your razor. You must shave as close as possible before each treatment.

Remington IPL6000P iLight Pro Plus

Similar to the previous model but with less flashes per bulb, this model utilizes the same technology but is a little less expensive ($300). Studies showed 66% hair reduction after 3 treatments (results lasted for a year+).

71sCIAGj4eL._SL1500_A little more about the Pro Plus:

  • Permanent results after only 3 treatments!
  • ProPulse technology
  • 1,500 flashes per bulb
  • FDA-cleared
  • 5 intensity levels
  • User-friendly
  • Skin-tone sensor
  • Power cord (no charging necessary)
  • 5 pounds
  • Package includes DVD/manual, one bulb, and a cleaning cloth

What do customers think?

Consumers agree that the system does just what it says, something that Remington products are known for. The system is easy to set up. One woman purchased this system in her quest to be rid of all stubble. After 4 weeks, her bikini area hair was thinner and wasn’t growing as fast. Her underarms were almost bare. She noticed 50%-70% less hair on her legs. The hair continuing to grow is thin and results have lasted for over 1 month. She notes that although the bulbs do need replacing, she was able to do 5 treatments of bikini area, legs, and underarms with one bulb.

Customers suggest using the highest tolerable level to see results. If using levels 1-3, results won’t appear until you’ve done 5 or more treatments. And make sure to follow all instructions – if you use the device too often, you might experience burns. A few customers complained that the bulb included in the package is faulty. Others say they only get 50 flashes per bulb. Replacement bulbs cost about $25.

User tip: Treating areas that have been waxed/epilated in the past won’t be as painful as treating areas that have only been shaved.

 Remington IPL6000USA iLight Pro

The cheapest ($200) and simplest of the Remington trio utilizes the same technology as its more sophisticated cousins and is designed for results lasting up to 6 months. Each cartridge ($25) should be enough to for 2-3 full body treatments.

A little more about the Pro:

  • ProPulse technology
  • 1,500 flashes per bulb
  • FDA-cleared
  • 5 intensity levels
  • User-friendly
  • Skin-tone sensor
  • Power cord (no charging necessary)
  • 4.7 pounds
  • Package includes DVD/manual, one bulb, and a cleaning cloth

What do customers think?

After 3 treatments, customers report slower growth and thinner hair. The Pro was not designed for face treatments. However, those who decided to go ahead and use it on the face anyway recommend using level 3 and wearing eye protection. Level 5 is suitable for all other body areas.

Users report that a bulb lasts a little less than 3 treatments. One full-body treatment takes about 1 hour. It is easy to burn yourself if you try to rush and/or don’t completely follow directions. Some customers reported faulty bulbs. Although the manufacturer does not endorse use on the “Brazilian” area, many consumers have been successful when breaking the rules.

The biggest downside of this machine is the fact that hair loss is temporary. Expect hair to grow back in less than 6 months, for some as soon as 3 weeks.

User tip: Home LHR is a great option for women with beards.  

Verdict

When choosing a Remington hair removal system, you’ll notice that they are much the same. If you have the budget, there’s really no reason not to purchase the newest model. With one bulb included, you’ll already have 30,000 flashes when you open the box. In addition, the Quartz is lighter and easier to handle than the Pro Plus. If you can’t afford the most expensive model, the Pro Plus will do – but remember you’ll have to purchase replacement bulbs and the quality won’t be quite as great. The basic model is not recommended unless you are on a very tight budget and aren’t really looking for permanent results. Click here to learn more about the difference between IPL and lasers.

Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X

Tria launched its first LHR device in Japan in 2005. After becoming the first home LHR machine cleared by the FDA, it was launched in the US in 2008. At $449.00, the newest Tria product is a little pricey. However, you won’t have to worry about any maintenance costs and it’s still a money-saver compared to professional hair removal. Tria boasts that with the “Tria difference,” you will see results quickly, sometimes after only 2 treatments. In just 3 months, you can enjoy freedom from shaving.

A little more about the 4X:

  • Professional-grade pulsed diode laser
  • 5 comfort settings
  • Can be used on face and body
  • User-friendly digital display
  • 4 pounds
  • Cordless
  • FDA-cleared
  • Pulse counter
  • Built for permanent results
  • Dermatologist recommended

What do customers say about the 4X?

The streamlined head makes it easy to see exactly which area you are treating. With its rechargeable battery, the 4X can run for 30-40 minutes at a time. This gives you enough time to treat your underarms, bikini area, or one lower leg. After 400 charges, the 4X will stop working. The company claims this is more than enough time to fully treat one person. Tria does not sell replacement batteries. Because the 4X uses an actual laser (as opposed to IPL), there are no bulbs to replace.

Users report the process is painful and recommend the use of pain-killers (before treatment) or numbing cream. Those with lots of ingrown hairs and those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) find the Tria to be a lifesaver. Some customers think the head isn’t quite big enough for convenient leg treatment.

Don’t expect results after 1 or 2 treatments. Most customers see slower-growing, thinner, sparser hair after 9 treatments (once per week on level 5). Many women are overjoyed that they no longer have a “5 o’clock shadow” in their armpits.

User Tip: Laser hair removal is more painful during menstruation.

 Tria Hair Removal Laser Precision

Smaller and cheaper than the 4X, Tria’s Precision was designed for small, sensitive areas. The Precision is less than 2 pounds and is designed to fit easily in your hand. The device is cordless with a battery life of about 15 minutes – enough to quickly treat small areas like your upper lip, bikini line, or underarms. The Precision utilizes the same laser as the 4X, so results should be the same.

A little more about the Precision:

  • Professional-grade pulsed diode laser
  • 5 comfort settings
  • Can be used on face and body
  • User-friendly digital display
  • 1.8 pounds
  • Cordless
  • FDA-cleared
  • Built for permanent results
  • Dermatologist recommended

What do customers say about the Precision?

With once-per-week treatments, one woman happily reports no new hair growth on her upper lip. All customers love the ergonomic design and light weight of the product. Unfortunately, the battery doesn’t last nearly as long as its heavier cousin, the 4X. This is a great product for small areas only. The battery is the biggest complaint about this system followed by problems with customer service. Recharging the battery takes a full 2 hours. Several customers purchased the BellaLite for hair removal  in large areas and then purchased the Precision to zap the small patches of hair that remained.

User tip: Shave – do not pluck – for 6 weeks before using the laser.

BellaLite by Silk’n

For women on a budget, the $195 BellaLite by Silk’n might be a better option than the 4X. However, this machine is an IPL, not an actual laser. IPL stands for intense pulsed light (also called home pulsed light). With an IPL device, you’re only looking at temporary results.

A little more about the BellaLite:

  • Includes 3 lamp cartridges (750 pulses each)
  • DVD manual
  • Large treatment size
  • 3 lbs
  • Lighted control panel
  • Adjustable treatment level
  • Power cord (no recharging)

This FDA-cleared IPL device was designed for both men and women. With 750 pulses, each lamp cartridge will give you coverage of both arms, underarms, bikini area, and both legs. A noise will alert you when your cartridge reaches 10% life.  You won’t have to worry about the battery dying (like the Tria products), but you will have to purchase replacement cartridges ($40 each).

The BellaLite was judged as safe by dermatologists. Studies showed over 70% hair reduction after 3 months of treatment. Although this device was designed for body hair, you can also use it on your face from the cheek line downwards.

User tip: Use lotion after treatment to soothe affected skin. 

What do customers say about the BellaLite?

After 6 months of using the BellaLite once per week, one woman reports that she is on her 6th cartridge and has lost 90% of her facial hair, about half her leg and underarm hair, and about a quarter of her bikini area hair. The hair growing back is fine and grows slower. Another woman reports a 75% decrease of hair in all treated areas after 1 year.

All users agree that hair loss with an IPL machine is not permanent. However, if you stick with regular treatments the BellaLite can be an easy solution for unwanted  body hair at a much better price than seeing an MD.

A male user reports a moderate stinging sensation during treatment. He was surprised to learn that treatment areas need to be clean-shaven. He is not thrilled about having to shave most of his body every two weeks or so. After 2 months of treatment (once every other month), he is frustrated with all the shaving, a process which caused him to suffer ingrown hairs and a rash. Level 5 really seems to hurt and he has experienced burns on his forearms and calves. Hair loss is patchy. He also thinks that the replacement cartridges are too expensive. After stopping treatments for a month, he experienced full, normal hair growth; no change from before he started treatment.

Verdict

Patience is key with home-based laser hair removal products. You must follow all instructions completely or you will not achieve the results you desire. Even worse, you could end up with burns. Lasers and IPL systems effect each person differently. While one individual may experience almost complete hair loss, another may experience nothing. And remember, if you have dark skin and/or light hair, a home device will not work for you. It’s a good idea to speak with a doctor and do your research if you have an hesitancy or questions regarding LHR.

If you think home laser hair removal is right for you, consider your goals and your budget. If you are looking to treat large areas, the 4X is the best quality home device out there. If you can’t afford the 4X, the BellaLite is a good option (but don’t forget that you will have to purchase replacement cartridges). Choose the Precision only if you want to treat small areas.

Once you’ve achieved hair-free skin, click here for tips on anti-aging and general skin care.

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