The 11 Best Laser Hair Removal Devices That Come Expert- and Editor-Approved

You've got time and hair. We've got expert-vetted suggestions.

a collage of the 11 best laser hair removal devices in front of a backdrop
(Image credit: Ulike; Braun; Nood)

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.

Before we go any further: 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, or want to save money but are a little freaked about the idea of doing laser hair removal at home, we've got you covered. 

An Overview of the Best Laser Hair Removal Devices

How We Chose the Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices

There are a few key aspects to keep in mind when choosing an at-home laser hair removal device: price point; the number of flashes each device uses; whether a device has FDA clearance; and whether or not a device will work for all skin types or tones. Ahead, I broke down exactly what the Marie Claire beauty team—specifically, Marie Claire Beauty Director Deena Campbell, Beauty Editor Samantha Holender, and Fashion Commerce Editor Julia Marzovilla (a.k.a. me!)—looked for when reviewing and testing hair removal devices for this list. 

We also talked with Dr. Joshua Zeicher, the Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital's Department of Dermatology; Dr. Howard Sobel, M.D., NYC dermatologist and founder of Sobel Skin; Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D., dermatologist and medical director of Ingleton Dermatology; Dr. Rachel Nazarian, M.D., dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group; 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.

  • Skin Type and Skin Tone

Because laser hair removal devices work by identifying each hair’s pigment in relation to your skin, the process doesn't work for everyone. Many of the devices below are marked as not suitable for those with deep or dark skin and darkly colored hair, as well as those with fair skin and gray, very blond, silver, or red hair. 

Dr. Zeichner says that while the “best hair and skin combination for laser hair removal in general is dark hair and light skin,” there have been advancements that allow them to work on a wider range of tones. “Unfortunately, no matter what device you are using, we cannot use lasers to get rid of light blonde or white hair because the lasers need the pigment in the hair itself to act as a target,” Dr. Zeichner adds.

  • Number of Flashes

"The number of flashes a device emits really depends on the device itself,” Dr. Zeichner says. “Some devices offer a single flash, while others multiple.” He also makes clear that “different devices use varying wavelengths of light, so it is hard to make generalizations.” However, it’s important to make one single pass over a specific area to avoid burns.

  • Price

The items on this list are investments for a reason. Laser hair removal can be tricky to do at home, and using any of these devices comes with their own set of risks. With that in mind, many come with a stamp of approval from one or more dermatologists. If you’re not willing to invest in an at-home device at this point, we recommend speaking to your dermatologist directly or paying a visit to a doctor’s office to find the best laser hair removal solution for you.

  • FDA Clearance

All of the devices on our list, below, have been cleared by the FDA.

The Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices

Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

The short answer is yes, laser hair removal does work. However, it comes with a few caveats. "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." The bottom line? Using your device consistently is the key to complete hair removal. 

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Dr. Zeichner 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, as with most pricey beauty treatments, it's best to stay patient when waiting for your results. 

IPL vs. Lasers

You'll see the acronym “IPL” on some of the devices on this list. While sometimes used together, IPL devices work a little differently from lasers. “IPL stands for intense pulsed light,” says Dr. Zeichner. “This technically is not a laser since it emits multiple wavelengths of light. A laser, on the other hand, emits only a single wavelength.” 

Why the distinction? Since there are several ways to remove hair at the follicle, different devices (and light wavelengths) are used. “One is not necessarily better than another, and it really just depends on what type of technology a company chooses to use,” Dr. Zeichner says. Another type of laser commonly found in at-home devices is called a diode. Diodes are great because they can often be used on a broader set of skin tones. They use a single wavelength of life, similar to what is used in a professional's office.

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?

It varies. Some devices promise weeks or even months of a hair-free look. However, it's important to stay consistent. "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." 

Safety Tips From A Dermatologist

  • Be Careful Where You Use Your Device: While yes, you technically can perform laser hair removal anywhere on the body, it’s important that you choose a device that’s approved for the specific areas you’re looking to treat. Some of the devices on this list are fine to use on the face or in the bikini line, for instance, while others are not. With that in mind, you should also not perform at-home laser hair removal anywhere where your skin or hair is light, as the devices target the pigment in the hair itself. “It’s important to be cautious in lasering sensitive areas like the genitals, which commonly have more pigment than other areas of the body,” says Dr. Zeichner. 
  • Avoid Damaged, Burnt, or Cracked Skin: If you find that you have irritation or cuts anywhere on your body, avoid performing laser hair removal in that area. “I do not recommend using a hair removal device on parts of the body, where the skin is irritated or broken,” says Dr. Zeichner. “Lasering open or raw skin can lead to significant inflammation, and possibly put the skin at risk for an infection if the laser device itself is contaminated.” 

How To Prepare for At-Home 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.
  • Don't use self-tanning products for at least two weeks before you start. 
  • Dr. Frieling says 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 At-Home Laser Hair Removal?

  • Dr. Mansouri says to avoid exercising (or sweating, for that matter) for up to two days because  the heat can cause "irritation on freshly treated skin after a session is completed." 
  • Stay out of the sun for up to two weeks. 
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes after you finish to keep skin cool. 
  • She says to "avoid topicals, including makeup, except for aloe vera gel or calming and soothing creams,” to allow your skin to heal correctly.
  • Hydrate the skin “After laser hair removal, it is important to apply moisturizer to the skin to hydrate and repair the skin barrier,” says Dr. Zeichner, who recommends Eucerin’s Original Healing Rich Lotion.  “If any areas of the skin are particularly dry, or irritated, opt for an ointment to form a protective seal over the skin,” he continues, siting Vaseline’s petroleum jelly as a good option.

Meet the Experts

Dr. Joshua Zeichner
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD

As the Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital's Department of Dermatology, Dr. Zeichner has a broad interest in medical and cosmetic dermatology as well as clinical research. His specialty is the treatment of acne, as well as the cosmetic rejuvenation of the aging face. Dr. Zeichner treats general skin conditions, including eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and skin cancer. In addition, he is well-versed in the use of Botox and dermal fillers, as well as lasers and chemical peels.

Dr. Howard Sobel
Dr Howard Sobel, M.D.,

Dr. Howard Sobel, MD, operates Sobel Skin, a private practice for dermatology, cosmetic surgery, and aesthetic medicine in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. Sobel Skin was a part of the early stages of the medspa / medi-spa evolution in the United States. Dr. Sobel has been a pioneer of the union between dermatology & cosmetic surgery. Over the years, Dr. Sobel has not only been known for his expertise in all aesthetic treatments, but as one of the best botox and fillers doctors in New York City. His ability to provide an exceptional outcome never fails, and patients are not only thrilled with their results, but also feel younger and rejuvenated after treatment. Dr. Sobel combines modern technology with over thirty years of experience. His unique practice provides the latest advances in dermatology, dermatologic cosmetic surgery and progressive face and body treatments all in one luxurious Park Avenue facility. Dr. Sobel’s focus within dermatology is to further the total well-being and health of his patients and those who use the products he formulated and created.

Rosemarie Y Ingleton, MD
Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D.

Dr. Ingleton is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. She received a BA in Psychobiology from New York University and her medical degree from the University of Maryland. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and her Dermatology residency at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons, the Dermatology Society of New York and the National Medical Association.

Rachel Nazarian, M.D., F.A.A.D.
Rachel Nazarian, M.D., F.A.A.D.

Dr. Rachel Nazarian joins Schweiger Dermatology after years of practicing various aspects of dermatology, including cosmetic treatments, skin cancer, general dermatology and dermatologic surgery.Dr. Nazarian has written many published articles in medical journals as well as widely respected dermatology textbooks, such as Treatment of Skin Disease.Dr. Nazarian serves as a faculty member at Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Department of Dermatology, where she completed her dermatology residency. While completing her medical degree at Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. Nazarian was awarded a grant from the Women’s Dermatology Society. Dr. Nazarian is a board-certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dr. Gretchen W. Frieling, MD
Dr. Gretchen W. Frieling

Dr. Frieling. “Dr. G,” is a medical doctor with over 13 years of experience as a leader in the Aesthetic, Dermatology and Pathology fields. Her background is notable for intensive training in ballet, which includes attending the Juilliard School in New York City. She combines her artistic eye, perfectionistic qualities, and medical expertise, to give her patients impeccable results. When it comes to cosmetic procedures, specifically injectables, Dr. G has mastered the art of re-vitalizing the face by softening fine lines and wrinkles, re-establishing volume, and optimizing overall appearance and beauty. She will listen to your requests and concerns. Dr. G will explain the available procedures that would be optimal for your unique situation. She also performs select body procedures, including fat dissolving, buttock lifting/gentle reshaping, and skin tightening.

dr anahita mansouri
Dr Anahita Mansouri

Dr. Ana is a UK-qualified Aesthetic Doctor with a wide range of medical & surgical training experience as well as a background in GP training. She graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery from Newcastle University in 2014 and has since then completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dermatology from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr Ana is passionate about all things Aesthetic Medicine & Cosmetic Dermatology.