If you're tired of the endless cycle of shaving or the discomfort of waxing and inevitable in-growers, then at-home IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) or laser machines could be a more effective long-term hair-removal solution to invest in.

At-home devices have improved in efficacy over the years, now promising salon-worthy results that after an initial dedicated treatment period can either eradicate unwanted hairs altogether, or at the very least drastically reduce hair growth frequency, strength and volume. But what should you look for when choosing a device, and how do they compare to professional treatments?

When deciding on the right bit of kit for you, consider the following credentials before investing. Prices vary wildly, mainly due to these factors:

Skin Tone And Hair Colour Compatibility

IPL devices work best on light to medium skin tones with dark hair. Many modern devices now come with sensors that automatically adjust the light intensity based on your skin tone, ensuring safety and effectiveness.

Intensity Levels

Look for machines with multiple intensity settings. This allows you to adjust the strength of the pulses depending on the area being treated and your comfort level.

Treatment Window Size

A larger treatment window means faster coverage of larger areas like legs or arms. However, a smaller window can be more precise for areas like the face or bikini line. Look for devices with interchangeable heads for maximum flexibility.

Lamp Lifespan

Check the number of flashes the lamp can produce. Higher-end models often boast around 300,000 to 500,000 flashes, translating to several years of use.

Corded vs. Cordless

Cordless models offer more flexibility and ease of use, but they might need frequent recharging. Corded devices provide continuous power, making them ideal for longer sessions.

At-home vs. In-Salon Results

While at-home IPL machines have indeed advanced significantly, it's important to manage expectations. Most users start to see a reduction in hair growth after 3-4 sessions, with optimal results typically achieved after 12 weeks of consistent use. Remember, maintenance treatments are necessary to sustain smooth, hair-free skin. Whilst more cost-effective than a block of in-salon sessions, efficacy can be reduced with at-home solutions as they are less powerful than their professional counterparts.

That said, with an at-home device, the long-term investment means you are in control of future top-ups, or maintenance sessions meaning regrowth can be kept to a minimum. With flexibility and convenience in their favour, they can make long-term hair removal as easy as a swipe with the razor.