Home Vs. Professional Laser Hair Removal: Which is Better?

Laser Hair Removal
Dr. Phillip Chang

Dr. Phillip Chang

Board Certified By The American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
Voted Top Plastic Surgeon in Loudoun, Virginia
Offices in Leesburg, Virginia.

Best of Loudoun 2019
real self top doctor virginia

If you’re tired of constantly shaving, or enduring painful waxing and tweezing to remove unwanted hair, you’ve probably considered laser hair removal. Among the most common cosmetic procedures in the U.S., laser treatments can offer long-lasting hairlessness and a reduction in unwanted hair overall. The procedure is quick and offers only relatively minor discomfort.

If you’re tired of constantly shaving, or enduring painful waxing and tweezing to remove unwanted hair, you’ve probably considered laser hair removal. Among the most common cosmetic procedures in the U.S., laser treatments can offer long-lasting hairlessness and a reduction in unwanted hair overall. The procedure is quick and offers only relatively minor discomfort.

With new home laser hair removal systems entering the market making aggressive claims about their effectiveness, many people are wondering about the pros and cons of getting professional laser treatments versus investing in a home machine. Home laser removal brands such as Tria, Boots, E-One, and No No all promise hair-free results. Are these machines really worth the big investment?

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

In order to evaluate whether professional laser treatments will work better for you than a home removal system, we first need to explore the science behind the procedure. Laser hair removal works by beaming a highly concentrated light into your hair follicles. The pigment in the follicles absorb the light and the hair is destroyed at the root. Useful for removing hair from the face, legs, arms, underarms, bikini line and other areas, laser treatments can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.

Pros and Cons of Professional Vs. Home Laser Hair Removal

Experienced Professionals: A professional who is trained in laser hair removal will be able to assess your skin and hair type and will tell you if this treatment is appropriate. A trained clinician will also be able to administer the treatment without the risk of damage or unwanted side effects. Depending on where you want the hair to be removed, laser treatments may require more precision and training than you’ll get using a home system.

Accuracy: A professional administering the treatment will be sure not to miss spots, and brings skill and expertise to the procedure to ensure accuracy. At home, you’ll need to be very careful to pulse the entire area, and might want to have another person with you to make sure you don’t miss anything, or you’ll have irregularly shaped hairy patches growing back.

Longer-lasting Results: Although home laser systems work much the same way as professional ones, they use a lower intensity with less effectiveness. Many people find that the hair grows back faster and the treatments are less permanent than professional hair removal.

Faster Results: Because the intensity of at-home machines are not nearly as high as those found in professional salons, it takes a long time to do even a small area. While professional laser treatments also require multiple sessions, more hair removal is accomplished per visit and fewer treatments are needed. Home hair removal systems average about 10 or more at-home treatments to accomplish what three professional treatments can do.

Targets More Areas: Many at-home systems are not FDA-approved to remove facial hair, and also warn that their product is not appropriate for people with certain hair colors or skin types. Some machines will also ask you to select your skin type before using. Incorrect use can result in permanent damage such as pigment changes or scarring. Professional laser machines target more areas and an experienced aesthetician can consult with you beforehand to be sure you are a candidate for the procedure.

Pain:  With at-home machines, you can control the intensity so that your pain level is tolerable. The downside is that if the intensity is too low, you’ll need many more treatments to achieve your desired results. Many clinicians who perform professional laser hair removal treatments will use a topical anesthetic to reduce your discomfort, so you can get the best results from your sessions.

At-home laser hair removal can be a reasonable option for some people; however, many men and women find that professional laser hair removal offers more advantages. If you want to get the same or better results with fewer treatments, be sure it’s done with a high degree of accuracy, and have someone else perform the treatment while you sit back and relax, professional laser hair removal is the best choice.


Most frequent questions and answers

Acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S. affecting nearly 50 million Americans at any time. Acne is caused when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. It can often be persistent and unsightly.

The Acne Clear BBL is a cutting-edge acne treatment that uses the power of light to comfortably and effectively clear acne without expensive creams or toxic medicines…

Brown sun and age spots are some of the first signs of aging and sun damage.

Treatment options include

  1. Creams such as hydroquinone and retin A.  Hydroquinone is a bleaching agent while Retin A increases cellular turnover.  Over-the-counter creams will generally not have high enough concentrations to be effective.
  2. Forever Young BBL – Cutting edge technology providing the most powerful and effective IPL option.

The Forever Young BBL uses Broad Band Light to alter skin melanin and rejuvenate cellular DNA.  Instead of spending time and money on ineffective skin care products many of our patients have turned to the Forever Young BBL to make their skin more vibrant and youthful; reducing brown and red pigmentation problems, promoting collagen, and rejuvenating cellular DNA. It is the most popular laser treatment in our clinic.

What to expect from the Forever Young BBL:

  • Treatments take 20-30 minutes
  • Up to 80% improvement after a single treatment.
  • Most patients will benefit from adding a Micro Laser Peel and a Profractional Laser Peel ( Triple Laser Package )
  • Fine facial lines and wrinkles are a result of UV sun damage, the breakdown of collagen, and a decrease in skin hydration. The Micro Laser Peel and the Profractional Laser are ablative lasers designed to reverse these changes.

    • The Micro Laser Peel precisely ablates the surface skin in order to remove UV damaged skin
    • The Profractional Laser ablates deep columns of skin that can reach to the deep dermis. This allows for skin contraction but it also encourages new cell grown and organizes new collagen

    Results depend on the depth of treatment. Recovery from a maintenance treatment can be as little as a day; but recovery from aggressive treatments can be as much as 7 days. Many patients will benefit from the addition of the Forever Young BBL ( Triple Laser Package ).

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