After experiencing the many pitfalls of shaving (ingrown hairs, redness, irritation, and speedy re-growth), we're contemplating alternative hair removal methods this season. Since professional laser hair removal isn't the most budget-friendly option (initial sessions can cost upwards of $600), we're looking at the next best thing: the best at-home laser hair removal devices.
We need to reassert, before we go any further, that body hair is a completely natural, normal thing, and you should absolutely not feel compelled to remove it if you don't want to—it's a personal choice. (If you're a body hair, don't care kind of person, more power to you!) But if you're into the idea of laser hair removal, are over trying to find the best razors, waxing kits, or epilators, want to save some money, but are a little freaked about the idea of doing laser hair removal at home, we've got you covered.
Best Cyber Monday Deals on Laser Hair Removal Devices
Why you can trust Marie Claire Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Braun IPL Hair Removal Pro 5 | Amazon
$350 $297 (opens in new tab)
Considered one of our top picks, below, the latest iteration of Braun's laser hair removal device—a device so good, we have two versions of it on our list (!)—is more than $50 off for Cyber Monday.
MiSMON Hair Removal Device | Amazon
$193 $135 (opens in new tab)
This simple laser hair removal device is a little more basic than the bells-and-whistles devices on this list, but works just as well—and is perfect for beginners. It's 30% off for Black Friday weekend.
How does laser hair removal work?
New York-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD explains: "Laser hair removal is a treatment where a laser is used to permanently destroy the hair follicle and remove the hair. A laser is a beam of light of a single wavelength that is absorbed by a specific target in the skin. In the case of hair removal, the light is absorbed by pigment within the hair follicle itself. As the laser destroys the follicle, it will not grow back, giving a permanent effect. This is true whether you are getting a professional or an at-home treatment."
How long does laser hair removal last?
"The term laser hair removal is a bit misleading, as it really should be called laser hair reduction," notes Dr. Zeichner. "In some cases it may be difficult to fully remove hair completely." He also says that "the lasers definitely decrease the density of hair and the thickness of each individual hair," and that "it takes multiple treatments to give the results most people are looking for"—so like most pricey beauty treatments, its best to stay patient when waiting for your results.
"Each treatment will partially destroy the follicle, so repeated treatments are often needed for the full effects," he explains. "The difference between at-home and professional strength treatments is the energy level of the laser. At-home devices have much lower energy levels to make sure they are safe to use at home, unsupervised. As a result, these treatments are slower to work and require more sessions to give noticeable improvements."
Are at-home laser hair removal devices safe?
Dr. Zeichner considers at-home lasers a safe alternative to in-office treatments. "At-home devices work similarly to professional treatments, but use lower energy levels. They are more time-consuming to use, but can help. They are also a great option to maintain improvements between professional treatments."
Along with Dr. Zeichner, we chatted with Dr. Howard Sobel, M.D., NYC dermatologist and founder of Sobel Skin; Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D., dermatologist and medical director of Ingleton Dermatology; and Dr. Rachel Nazarian, M.D., dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group, to tell us the best laser hair removal devices that really, truly work. Dr. Gretchen W. Frieling, a Boston-based triple-board-certified dermatopathologist, and Dr. Anahita Mansouri, a cosmetic doctor at Kat & Co Aesthetics in the UK, about the very best at-home laser hair removal devices that you can use at home.
- Most Affordable: Ellesilk Laser Hair Removal Device (opens in new tab)
- Fastest-Acting: SmoothSkin Pure IPL Hair Removal Device (opens in new tab)
- Best Editor Tried-and-Tested: MiSMON Hair Removal Device (opens in new tab)
- Best for All Skin Tones: mē Sleek Permanent Hair Reduction Device (opens in new tab)
- Most Dermatologist Recommended: Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X
The Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices
Best Compact At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
This FDA-cleared laser hair removal device is a compact-sized tool that packs a powerful punch when it comes to removing hair—fast. It glides over your skin accompanied by its 150,000 pulses per minute. Holding it down to target one hairy spot is super-easy. "This new compact version uses light-based technology, which is FDA-cleared for permanent hair reduction for the entire face and body," Dr. Sobel explains. "I like that it features a new high-tech applicator that allows you to properly target and zone in on smaller areas such as the upper lip, arms, or bikini area." For long-lasting results, employ this device every other week for two months. "This device is ideal if you have dark hair and can be used both on the face and on the body," Dr. Zeichner adds. However, this is not recommended for those with dark or tanned skin, as the laser won’t be able to detect the difference between hair and skin.
Pros: FDA-cleared; Dermatologist–recommended; Small size, Great for targeted hair removal.
Cons: Not recommended for dark or tanned skin.
Best Derm-Appoved At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
Just short of $450, the Tria 4X will cost you a pretty penny—but it was the first FDA-cleared laser for at-home use, and has become a favorite among dermatologists and patients for legit, professional-level results. “I’m a fan of this device because it has high energy levels and it’s super easy to use,” says Nazarian. Dr. Zeichner is a fan of the Tria. "This can be used both on dark and light hair, although it will not work on white hair," Zeichner explains. "It is a true laser as opposed to other devices that use a broad spectrum of light." Dr. Sobel suggests trying the Tria laser as well. "The technology safely delivers over three times more hair-eliminating energy than other at-home hair removal devices, making it the most powerful at-home hair removal device," Dr. Sobel explains.
Pros: Dermatologist-recommended; FDA-cleared; Can be used on dark and light hair; Wireless design; More effective than others on the market.
Cons: Costs over $300; Not suitable for deep skintones; Not suitable for dark skintones; Not suitable for blonde, gray, or red hair.
Best Affordable At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
For a quarter of the price of other devices, you'll get the very same IPL technology, but fewer bells and whistles. (No countdown clock telling you how many pulses are left, no cordless option.) But if the reviews are any indication, it works just as effectively, especially on small areas like your forearms or upper lip. However, some users did note that you have to use the highest heat setting for the best results.
Pros: Costs under $300; Comes in 3 colors, Small size; Can be used on the face.
Cons: Has a cord; Device gets hot during use.
Best Editor's Pick At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
Here, loyal readers, is an editor's pick that wouldn't be right not to include. Honesty moment: I'm really hairy and I've tried a lot of "hair removal" tactics that have failed me tremendously. This shiny rose gold device, on the other hand, did not and is worth giving a glowing review. First off, it's inexpensive compared to its counterparts. Secondly, thanks to the LCD screen, you're able to monitor the number of flashes on the skin so you'll never go overboard, which is best for a beginner like me.
Pros: Costs under $300; Comes with protective glasses; Has an LED screen for precise use.
Cons: Large size; Not recommended for use on the face.
Best Editor-Approved At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
My mother gifted me with laser hair removal as a high school graduation present. It wasn't your average gift, but my father gave me his Cuban hair genes, and, well—you know where this story is going. So I set off on my hair-free mission and quickly became addicted. So it's only fitting that my mother gifted me this tool for my college graduation so I could come full circle in my journey to become stubble-free. The Braun Silk Expert System uses intense pulsed light (IPL) that quickly treats my legs in under 10 minutes. It's also equipped with over 300,000 flashes, equalling around 16 years of treatments. I'm hooked.
Pros: Costs under $300; Has SensoAdaptTM technology that adapts the light intensity for your skin; Fast-acting; Good for use on the face.
Cons: Not suitable for deep and dark skintones; Not suitable for red, gray, or light blonde hair.
Best On-The-Go Laser Hair Removal Device
Dr. Gretchen W. Frieling recommends the Sensica device. “I love this!” she says. “It has an automatic and manual mode and is best for on-the-go hair removal. It comes with two different heads for large and small areas. The charge will last for approximately 600 flashes.”
Pros: Dermatologist-recommended; Good for use on the face, has two light windows—one for use on the body and another, smaller one for the face; Cordless design.
Cons: Costs over $300.
Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device for All Skin Tones
“The Silk’n Infinity uses IPL light, but it’s safe for all skin colors,” says Dr. Ingleton. The petite, circular design allows for easy, all-over treatments, and it’s also equipped with five energy-level settings for a genuinely customizable experience. If the steep price tag turns you off, Dr. Ingleton adds that the Silk’n Infinity’s lifespan makes it worth the investment to her. “It stores 400,000 pulses before it dies, so it’s going to last significantly longer than most devices,” she explains. Zeichner is also a proponent of this device. "This laser emits a broad spectrum of light, rather than a single wavelength. The technology, known as intense pulsed light, can be used across a variety of skin types, even those with an olive complexion."
Pros: Dermatologist-recommended; FDA-cleared; Has five energy settings; Uses 400,000 pulses per charge; Can be used on all skin tones.
Cons: Costs over $300; Takes a long time to see results.
Best Painless At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
Because laser hair removal is elective, sometimes brands and derms alike downplay the discomfort associated with zapping your skin with high-frequency light. This device comes equipped with an ice compress plate that cools the skin, reducing redness, swelling and inflammation as you go. The light is strong and effective enough for 500,000 flashes, which is said to be enough to remove unwanted hair head-to-toe on nine to 11 individuals. Translation: Your bikini line doesn't stand a chance. However, this device is not suitable for use on dark or tan skin.
Pros: Costs under $300; Cools the skin during use; Can be used on the face.
Cons: Not suitable for dark or tan skin: Not suitable for light blonde, white, or red hair.
Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device for Hard-to-Reach Areas
This handheld device has a pointed applicator to reduce hair in harder-to-get-to areas. "Because of its small size, this device is a good option to treat areas of the skin that have contours, like the upper lip," Dr. Zeichner confirms. Dr. Sobel agrees: "This is a great option for smaller areas on the face or neck since it uses diode technology, which is similar to in-office technology for laser hair removal. Most other home devices typically use IPL technology, which does not always target the hair follicle as specifically as the diode wavelength." So if there's one spot bugging you, employ this guy. However, this device is not suitable for dark and deep skintones
Pros: Small size; Good for precise use; Dermatologist-recommended; FDA-cleared.
Cons: Costs over $300; Has a 15-minute battery life; Not suitable for dark or deep skin tones.
Best Versatile At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
Not only is this the only device of its caliber that's FDA-cleared for every hair color and skin tone, but its midrange size means it can as readily flash away hairs on your upper lip as on your partner's back and thighs. Use once a week for seven weeks, and expect smoother skin for way longer than a razor can offer.
Pros: FDA-cleared; Good for all skin tones.
Cons: Costs $300; Takes a long time to see results.
Best Fast-Acting At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
This sleek unit makes use of a broader range of light wavelengths to cover larger stretches of skin more quickly. Plus, it has unlimited flashes. The downside? Hair grows back a bit more quickly, so you'll have to be more diligent with touch-ups. It's also, unfortunately, not safe for dark skin tones.
Pros: Covers a large amount of space each time; Has unlimited flashes per use; Works quickly.
Cons: Costs over $300; Hair grows back quickly after each use; Not suitable for dark skin tones.
Best Cooling At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
There are a few handy features in this emerald stunner. First: A cooling plate automatically kicks in when temperatures on the skin's surface climb uncomfortably high. Also, some find the handle easier to maneuver in hard-to-reach places like the backs of thighs or deep bikini zones. But most impressively, this device won't kick on unless it's in contact with your skin, meaning no unseemly (and damaging) flashes to your eyes.
Pros: Costs under $300; Cools the skin during use; Easy to use on the bikini line; Laser only works when it’s in contact with the skin; Good for use on the face.
Cons: Not suitable for deep and dark skin tones; Not suitable for use on gray, light blonde, or red hair.
Best Do-It-All At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
The Illuminage Touch offers high-power IPL technology, 120,000 pulses, and the ability to target blonde and red hair follicles, making it a force to be reckoned with. For ultimate results, this gadget should be used only once a week for six to seven weeks. “Consistency is important—you will only see results if you continue to use these products regularly and as directed,” says Dr. Nazarian. “Even though progress is slow, you will see results.” Zeichner adds that this device uses intense pulse light to treat unwanted hair across a variety of skin types and hair colors. On that note, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly on whichever device you choose. Every device is a little different, but if you follow the directions, you'll quickly get hooked on your smooth-as-hell skin.
Pros: FDA-cleared; Suitable for all hair colors; Larger size.
Cons: Costs over $300; Not suitable for use on the face.
The Best 2-in-1 At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
A common theme among various laser hair removal devices is that the head of the device is so small that it sometimes can take extra time for a removal session. This device speaks for itself. The big selling point: The 330-degree rotating head that's detachable! No matter where you're looking to treat (face, arms, legs, bikini lines, etc), there's a setting that's going to work for you. The six modes let you remove hair from any part of your body with accuracy, and the cooling screen (made from ultra-thin sapphire!) keeps your skin at a constant five degrees Celsius throughout the process.
Pros: Has a 330-degree rotating head; Good for use on the face; Cools skin down during use; Has unlimited flashes.
Cons: Costs over $300; Not suitable for deep skin tones; Not suitable for gray, light blonde, or red hair.
Best Adjustable At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
This lesser-known device caught our eye thanks to the five power settings, which means you can adjust based on your skin tone, the color of your hair, and let's be real: your pain tolerance levels. As with all these devices, compliance is key, so do follow the manual instructions and expect results within five weeks of diligent usage.
Pros: Costs under $300; FDA-cleared; Small design; Suitable for use on the face; Has five levels of intensity.
Cons: Not suitable for deep skintones; Not suitable for dark skintones.
Best Efficient At-Home Laser Hair Removal Device
The latest edition of Braun's best-selling, FDA-cleared, and dermatologist-endorsed IPL hair-removal system, this smaller, lighter device is outfitted with a skin sensor that actually recognizes your skin tone and adjusts the flash intensity as you use it. It also promises that both of your legs will be done in under five minutes, so say hello to smooth legs in a pinch.
Pros: FDA-cleared; Works for all skin tones; Fast-acting.
Cons: Costs over $300.
How should you prepare for laser hair removal?
Dr.Frieling says that you should actually shave a day ahead of when you plan to use your laser hair removal device. Similarly, she recommends staying clear of self-tanners and spray tans at least two weeks before, too. Finally, she says it’s important to “avoid potentially irritating products such as retinoids, retinal, or retinoic acids" prior to your treatment, as well as “brightening ingredients and acidic cleansers."
What should you do after laser hair removal?
Dr. Mansouri says to avoid exercising (or sweating, for that matter) for up to two days. Both sweating and heat can cause “irritation on freshly treated skin after a session is completed,” she says.
It’s also important to stay out of the sun for two weeks. To be extra careful, Mansouri says to wear loose-fitting clothing, and keep your skin cool. Furthermore, you should “avoid topicals, including makeup, except for aloe vera gel or calming and soothing creams,” to allow your skin to heal correctly.