The options for at-home hair removal are countless. Whether your goal is smooth legs, underarms, or a full-on Brazilian, there are trimmers, razors, depilatory creams, and waxing kits for the job. Unfortunately, though, these solutions are all temporary, meaning your hair will grow back as soon as a few days later.
If you're on the hunt for more permanent results, try using an at-home laser hair removal machine. Though admittedly a bit intimidating, Debra Jaliman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, says there are pros to this DIY option. For starters, they are less expensive than in-office treatments and can be done on your own time. "Though you'll get better results with a professional hair removal laser machine at a physician’s office, at-home devices definitely get the job done, though most folks will need to go over the areas several times," says Jaliman. They may also require follow-up maintenance if some stray strands return, she explains.
Not everyone should jump to buy an at-home laser hair removal machine, though. "The device is best suited for patients with dark hair and lighter skin tones," says Stacy Chimento, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Miami. "Tanned or dark skin runs the risk of hypo- or hyperpigmentation, because the hair laser can mistake the darker skin pigment as the target—the hair follicle."
It's always wise to do a spot test before going full steam ahead, particularly if you have darker skin, says Chimento. And never treat freshly tanned (even self-tanner!) or sunburned skin, she says. It's also important to exercise extreme caution with any potential skin irritants, such as retinoids, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid, before and after treatments.
Think you're ready to take on the task? Dermatologists say these machines offer impressive before and afters, effectively leaving your skin silky, smooth, and, of course, hair-free.