Technology : What makes these IPL hair removal treatments different is that they use a spectrum of light, rather than a single targeted beam, like a laser. These at-home pulsed light hair removal treatments deliver a pulse of broad-spectrum light energy below the skin’s surface, targeting the melanin that gives hair follicles their pigment. In the follicle, light energy transfers to thermal energy, damaging the follicle structure and preventing future hair growth. Because these pulsed light devices target melanin using a broad spectrum, they risk damage to the skin surrounding the hair follicle for those with darker or tanned skin tones. In other words, these treatments work best for those with paler skin and darker hair.

Based on technology alone, professional diode laser treatments utilize a more powerful laser component for more accurate targeting of the hair follicle and lower risk of skin damage.

Cost:  T-home pulsed hair removal devices may come at a lower cost but are not always the most economical option. In many cases, a larger up-front investment with a professional diode laser treatment plan can mean fewer costs long-term.

Efficiency: Having a device on hand to complete treatments at home may be useful for treating some areas, but having a professional with a more powerful device can improve comfort and deliver much more efficient and effective treatments on larger areas.

Safety: When it comes to safety, experience trumps cost. While those with lighter skin, darker hair, and zero pigmentation may opt for an at-home device if the proper safety precautions are taken and you start with a test patch, seeking treatment from a certified professional is a much safer option for most patients.

The Bottom Line

There are a variety of factors at play in determining which hair removal option may be best for you and your aesthetic goals, from simple at-home pulsed light devices to an in-clinic customized diode laser hair removal treatment plan. While one option may be best for some, others may find the combination of an initial professional treatment plan followed by maintenance treatments utilizing an at-home device to be the best course for them.