What are the differences between waxing vs threading and which is better?
In this article:
What is waxing?
Waxing is the removal of hair using a resin or a wax to grab the hairs and pull them out entirely, from the root.
There are 2 kinds of wax – soft wax and hard wax. They both have different consistencies. Soft wax is more gooey, so you apply it and then remove it using wax strips. Hard wax, also called stripless wax is less gooey. With hard wax, you apply the wax, let it cool slightly and then remove it by gripping the edge of the wax and pulling away from the skin to remove the hair from the root.
Waxing is the most popular form of semi permanent hair removal in the world. Sugaring, epilating, and threading are all less popular but growing in demand and equally effective methods for removing hair semi permanently, from the root but without killing the follicle like laser hair removal.
Threading uses a doubled up cotton or polyester thread to quickly tweeze and remove hair from the root. A tweezer removes a hair at a time, but threading can remove sections of hair with each pass of the thread. The doubled up thread is rolled over your skin, catches the hair, and pulls the hair out entirely.
The practice of threading originated in India and today is used all over the world primarily to remove facial hair or to shape eyebrows. People with sensitive skin prefer threading hair removal over waxing. Threading also allows for more precision with eyebrow shaping, especially you are looking for a more natural looking final result.
You can get your hair threaded by a professional at a salon. There are hair removal salons that are specialize in threading, and many brow shaping businesses offer at least one professional trained in threading.
You can also learn how to thread at home. There are two ways to threading – the traditional method of using a doubled up thread or via a threading machine that helps hold the the thread in the proper position. The machine is easier to use as a beginner, but the traditional method can also be learned easily.
Compare – Which lasts longer: waxing or threading?
Both waxing and threading are known as “semi permanent” hair removal. So what does that mean? Basically, it means it last longer than shaving but is not permanent like laser hair removal. Because each method removes hair from the root but does not kill the root, the hair will grow back.
So how long does waxing or threading last? On average, either method will last 2 weeks but it really depends on how fast your hair grows in general. Some people don’t see results for longer than 1 week, while others can go up to 3 weeks.
Another thing to remember that is that both waxing and threading need hairs to be a certain length before you can do a second hair removal session. So perhaps, you would know how long before you have to wax or thread again. Again it depends on how fast your hair
grows back in. But we can also look at the required lengths needed to wax or thread again:
To get good results with waxing, new hair should be about 1/ 4 of an inch. With threading, you need hairs to be between 1/ 8” and 1/ 4” before you can thread them successfully.
So theoretically, you could thread new hairs faster than you could wax them. But in reality, it’s hard to determine when your hair is only 1/ 8 instead of 1/ 4. However, if you were pressed for time and maybe needed to get your eyebrows cleaned up before an event or photographs, threading could be a better way to remove very short hairs.
Winner: No clear winner
Both threading and waxing remove hair from the root but use different methods. New hairs will grow back at your normal hair growth rate in a similar manner after removing with either method. Both will last the same amount of time before you have to do it again – about 2 weeks.
Compare – Cost
So is threading cheaper than waxing?
First, let’s take a look at the costs if you were getting a wax or threading at a professional salon.
For example, in California, it costs an average of $30 for an eyebrow wax. This can be a little more depending on your tip which is normally expected, but for this comparison we will just use this average.
To thread the same eyebrows, it would cost an average of $25 with an expected tip. So threading is a little cheaper than waxing when it comes to paying someone else to do for you.
Now let’s compare how much it would cost if you were going to do it yourself at home.
If you were using an 8oz container of Gigi wax which costs about $8 and can be used for up to 6-10 full body waxes, you might be spending pennies instead of dollars per eyebrow wax. Let’s average the number of full body waxes per container of Gigi wax to 8 total. So that is $1 per total body wax, and about $0.10 per eyebrow wax.
There is certainly no doubt waxing at home is cheaper than waxing at a salon. What about threading?
If you choose to thread at home using a spool of cotton thread which costs $5, you’ll be using maybe 2 feet of thread total. A spool of thread has 400 yards which equals 1200 feet. So doing the math, that means you could get 600 threadings sessions out of a spool and each threading at home would cost you $0.0083. Wow!
Alright, so maybe you have trouble holding the string properly for threading and need to use a threading machine. A threading machine will have a 1 time cost of about $20-30 and that is it! When you run out of thread, you can get a new spool like you would if you just used thread in our example above. So that is a 1 time cost of about $20, followed by $5 spool of thread that will last 600 uses! The per use cost would still end up being less than a penny!
Threading is definitely even cheaper than waxing, both if you got it done by a professional and if you did it at home. Threading at home will cost less than a penny per threading session!
Compare – Pain
When you remove hair with wax, you can apply wax in an area several inches wide and remove it in all at once with a wax removing strip or by using the hard wax method of gripping the edge of the wax to remove the wax and the hair.
This means, you experience whatever pain there is of removing many hairs, up to 30-40 hairs all at one time. You apply wax, and remove. It hurts but it hurts only once.
With threading, you are still removing more hairs than tweezing. Compared to waxing that removes hairs in patches, threading removes hairs in rows. Because threading removes hairs by trapping them in the twists of a thread and removing them, and because the direction of the thread determines which hairs are removed, the process lends itself to removing hairs in rows or lines. The lines are back and forth direction of how the thread is moved on the skin.
Threading still is a fairly quick process, but because the process involves removing hairs in rows instead of large patches, you’ll feel more hairs being pulling.
Waxing removes more hair with each pass of wax than threading removes with each pass of the thread. You feel more hairs being pulled with threading, so waxing can feel less painful than threading.
So does threading take longer than waxing? Yes, it can.
Because threading removes hair in rows or lines instead of large rectangular patches like waxing, threading a larger area can take longer than waxing. For example, a full face threading will take 15-20 minutes longer than a full face wax.
On the other hand, you can look at how long each method takes in a smaller area. For example, we can compare how long it might take to thread your eyebrows with how long it will take to wax your eyebrows. In a smaller area where you have to be careful about only removing certain hairs to create an eyebrow shape, threading and waxing can take very close to the same amount of time.
Now if we were thread vs wax a larger like your legs, waxing would clearly be faster than threading. A full leg is simply too large of an area to thread quickly to remove hair. You are definitely better off waxing your leg than attempting to thread the hair off.
Side note: We disregarded any prep that you might need for threading or waxing, like cleaning your skin of lotions and makeup or warming up your wax.
In a smaller area, waxing and threading will take the same amount of time, but as you get into larger areas, waxing is a much faster hair removal option than threading.
Compare – Skill needed
Is threading harder to learn? Is there a big learning curve to waxing? These are common questions.
Both waxing and threading remove hair in very different ways but with a similar end result – both get rid of the hair from the root.
There is certainly some practice needed to learn how to wax properly and actually pull the hair out instead of pulling halfway and breaking it. When you first learn how to wax, your first try or two might be awkward and you may end up breaking some hairs instead of pulling them out.
Threading also requires some practice to do well but there are less risks for mistakes because you are targeting less hairs with each pass of the thread than with wax. Wax is also somewhat difficult to get off if you apply it on the wrong place. Especially if you are threading in the traditional method with just a thread (instead of a threading machine), it takes some practice to learn how to hold the thread.
A threading machine can take some of the guesswork out of the learning process because it stretches out the thread so that you only have to pass it over your skin to the catch the hairs. You don’t have to worry about getting the angle and twists on the threads right.
Winner: No clear winner
Both threading and waxing take some practice to get right, and each have their pros and cons.
Compare – Convenience
Waxing involves a bit more prep and cleanup work than threading.
Because wax won’t grab your hair if your skin has makeup or lotions, you may need to clean your skin before you wax. You can do the same for threading but you do not have to. It is a good idea, though, to clean your skin before you thread because some people note that they break out if they do not remove makeup or skincare before they thread off hair.
You also will need to use a post wax treatment, from professionally formulated wax residue removers to a simple oil like jojoba to remove wax residue. With threading, you do not have this issue and once you have removed hair, you can carry on with your life.
Threading has less prep and post hair removal work than waxing and so may be a more convenient way to remove hair.
Summary – Waxing or threading?
There is no clear winner between waxing or threading, as they each can work better for you depending on your lifestyle or skincare needs and wants.
Threading is certainly a simpler process but requires some detail, skill, and practice to do well.
Waxing can remove more hair at a time and so is a faster process for larger areas. You may also find waxing easier to learn than threading.
Both are great options to pick from or you can use different methods for different parts of your body.
Which hair removal method can work better for you – waxing or shaving?
In this article:
Waxing is a method of hair removal where warm wax is applied to your skin and hair and removed quickly to remove hair. Waxing removes the entire hair, from the root or follicle.
Waxing for hair removal comes in two consistencies – hard wax and soft wax. Hard wax can be applied and removed by gripping the edge of the wax. Soft wax is applied in the same way as hard wax but requires wax removal strips that are smoothed over the applied wax and then pull away to remove the wax from the skin’s surface and to remove the hair from its root.
Like shaving, waxing also exfoliates the skin while the hair is removed from it. When the wax is applied, it is applied to the skin and hair with the intention that it will remove the hair only. However, waxing also pulls off the topmost layers of skin along with the hair. Compared to shaving, waxing exfoliates more of your skin. Unless you have particularly sensitive skin, waxing will give you very smooth skin because it will remove hair and dead skin.
Shaving is a method of hair removal in which you use a blade, usually in the form of a razor, to cut the hair shaft to where it exits the skin. Shaving does not remove the whole hair from the root, but cuts very close to the skin’s surface.
Shaving with a good blade or razer removes hair in a way that it is no longer visible at the skin’s surface. Shaving is the one of the common ways to remove hair, far surpassing any other longer lasting hair. Men remove their facial hair using blades or razors and women can use the razor to remove hair all over their body.
Shaving also lightly exfoliates the topmost layers of your skin. When the razor passes over your skin to cut the hair, it can also pick up shedding skin and remove it.
Compare – How often do I have to shave or how often do I have to wax?
Shaving is a nonpermanent hair removal method because it only cuts the hair off at the skin surface. So depending on how fast your hair grows, you may find yourself needing to shave again in anywhere between 2 to 4 days.
However, the upside to shaving is that you can shave at any time, no matter how much hair has grown back in.
Waxing is considered to be a semipermanent hair removal method because it removes the hair from the root. This allows you to be hair free for longer than shaving, but it can again vary with how quickly your hair grows. You could be hairless between 1 to 2 weeks before new hair growth comes in.
However, you’ll need to wait for the new hairs to be about 1 / 4 inch long before you can wax again. This is because wax does not grab hairs that are shorter than this and it is hard to get good results.
Winner: No clear winner.
If you are able to wear longer clothes while your hair grows to a 1/4 inch to wax again, then waxing is a clear winner because you can go so much longer in between sessions. But if you can’t wait for hair to grow to a certain length before hair removal, then shaving is a better option.
Cost – Is waxing more expensive than shaving?
A good value razer like the Venus Gillette or the Schick Hydro cost about $20 to $30 for 6 disposable heads total. If you are changing out your razor every 4 weeks like you should, then you end up spending between $40-60 on razors per year.
To wax at home, you need a few tools to get started like wax, a wax warmer or wax applicator sticks and these initial tools can run you an average of $30-40. If you’re waxing your whole body, a can of 8 oz Gigi wax will last about 5 sessions. So let’s say you’re waxing every two weeks, then a can of wax will last you 2 and a half months before you need to spend another $10 for a wax refill. For your first year of waxing at home, with the initial tools, you’ll spend about $80 a year waxing at home. In subsequent years, you’ll only spend $50 a year because you don’t need to rebuy a wax warmer, only wax refills (or to stock up on cheaper tools like wax applicators or wax strips that you can buy in bulk).
If you’re getting a professional full body wax, then you’re spending $300-400 per session. If you’re getting this done every two weeks, you’ll be spending several thousands of dollars a year on hair removal. At this rate, you might look into laser hair removal instead.
Winner: Waxing at home
Waxing is a clear winner when you consider that waxing every two weeks for only a few dollars more saves you a lot of time in life. We think time is money. Waxing definitely saves you a lot more time than shaving, so waxing is definitely a better deal.
Since shaving only cuts the hair at the skin’s surface, the actual shaving is not very painful. If you’re clumsy, you might end up nicking or cutting yourself in areas that are awkward to shave. Some people also suffer from excessive goosebumps, which can make it difficult to get a close shave and smooth skin.
Overall, shaving is a painless process.
Waxing rips out your hairs from the root or follicle, and it definitely hurts more than shaving. How much more? That depends on your pain tolerance. For some people, the pain of the wax removal is about the same as a sting, and for others, it is much more painful. It definitely hurts more the first time you get your hair waxed because you’re not mentally prepared for how much or how little it can hurt – you don’t know what to expect. This is a natural psychological response.
If you’ve only shaved your hair and then you get your hair waxed, it will hurt more the first time. This is because when you shave your hair over a period of time, the shafts and follicles of each get quite strong and are thicker beneath the surface of your skin. Ripping out these hairs by their follicles can be a little more painful than ripping out hair with young follicles. Waxing pulls out hair entirely and it will grow back finer.
This actually contributes to a myth that waxing reduces your hair. In reality your hair just grows back finer AND in phases. So immediately after waxing, all of your new hair will not grown back at once. Rather hair grows in different phases that activate at different times, so in say, 2 weeks, you may only be seeing hair that was activated into its growing phase.
With shaving, because you’re just slicing the hair somewhere along its shaft, the fully developed hair just at your skin surface continues to push up and so it seems like you have more hair regrow after shaving.
Waxing hurts much more than shaving, which is a painless process.
Compare – How long does each hair removal method take?
Normally, people shave during their shower. A full body shave can take about 10 to 15 minutes. However, shaved hair grows back quickly and so you may be spending those 10 to 15 minutes every other or third day. If you wax every 3 days, the in the course of a month, you wax 10 times. So in 1 month, you spend 100 (1 hour and 40 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hour and 30 minutes) total shaving your hair.
You can’t wax while you’re showering. Waxing also requires some prep time to warm the wax, which take about 5 minutes. But if your wax is ready to go, a full body wax takes about 30-40 minutes. It can take longer if you’re just starting out and haven’t gotten the handle on waxing.
The average for waxing is every two weeks. That is to say that most people wax twice a month. So if you use waxing as your primary method of hair removal, you’ll spend 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes a month total waxing off all of your body hair.
At first glance, it seems that shaving takes less time but you have to shave more often. If you look at how time you spend over a period of time, waxing takes less time because it lasts longer.
Skills needed to shave or wax
Between shaving or waxing, shaving is easier to learn. Gone are the days where you shaved with only a blade. Now razors come fitted, angled, and attached to a handle that makes it much harder to cut yourself and even have built in lotion strips that help condition your skin while you shave. Sure you can still cut yourself in awkward areas, but shaving is a fairly straight process that is easy to learn.
Waxing is no child’s game, but it’s also not rocket science. It does take a little bit of practice but it’s all worth it for 1-2 weeks of no hair. Waxing incorrectly can lead to ingrown hairs but there are preventative measures you can take to avoid them. If you’ve never gotten a wax before at a professional salon and you want to start waxing yourself at home, it could be worth it to get professionally waxed once to see good technique and care. Otherwise, youtube has countless videos that can help, and hopefully you are not the type to get discouraged quickly.
Shaving is easier than waxing, and requires little skill to do well. Waxing is not difficult but takes a little bit of practice to do well.
So which is more convenient – Shaving or waxing?
Sure shaving is easier and doesn’t hurt at all, but waxing saves so much more time and lasts longer than waxing. Waxing is only slightly more expensive than shaving if you are waxing yourself. That makes waxing a clear choice between the two with having shaving as a backup for a night out when you can’t wait for hair to grow back to the necessary length required for waxing (1/ 4 “).
For years, laser hair removal was inconveniently expensive. Laser hair removal used to be an option only available at dermatology or licensed offices, costing hundreds of dollars per treatment.
However, in the last few years, there are now an increasing number of at-home laser hair removal options. These at-home laser hair removal systems are now another DIY hair removal method like at home waxing or shaving, and last longer. While initially, these systems only worked for dark hair on light skin, now there are options for a wider range of skin and hair colors available.
Many of these laser hair removal systems for home use are reasonably priced and highly effective, and a great solution for anyone looking for long term hair removal. We’re written this guide to help determine if at home laser hair removal can work for you and reviewed the best systems available today. To skip ahead in this guide, please expand the table of contents below.
In this guide:
Reviews for 5 of the best at-home laser hair removal devices
We have been using various at home laser hair removal devices for several years now, starting with a Remington system, then a Silk’n, and later a Tria. There have been so many advancements especially in the last 3-4 years and the systems available today are easier to use and more efficient than ever. Let us take a look at the best 5 laser hair removal systems available for at home use today.
The Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X beats other at home laser hair removal systems and devices on more than one front, easily taking the top spot. Let’s break it down.
Only FDA approved laser hair removal system
No replacement cartridges needed
Same technology as dermatologists (Advanced Diode laser)
High precision design
Can be used on face
The Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X is a laser hair removal not an IPL hair removal system. Not sure what the difference is? Backtrack to learn more.
This means the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4x uses the same technology as dermatologists, specifically an Advanced Diode Laser. The Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X was the first true laser hair removal system approved by the FDA. And it is still the ONLY laser hair removal system approved by the FDA for at home use. The other systems we review later are IPL laser hair removal systems. So if you have done your research, or want to try a laser hair removal system not an IPL system, this is the best and only option aside from visiting a dermatologist.
Every other at home laser hair removal system requires cartridge replacements after a certain number of laser flashes. The Tria Laser 4x is the only machine on the market that requires no cartridge replacement. What this means is that the Tria Laser 4x has no recurring costs. The initial cost is the only investment and after that there is $0 in ongoing costs for life. There are cheaper at home laser hair removal systems available but if you plan on using your system or device for a long time, then the initially pricey Tria Laser hair removal 4x averages out to a similar dollar investment.
So how does it avoid new cartridges? It is a cordless handheld at home laser hair removal system that uses a recharging station. Each session with the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X lasts 40 minutes and then you recharge it for your next session.
The Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X comes with an LED display that shows you battery levels and how many pulses you have used during your session. It also comes with a Skin Sensor that unlocks the Tria for use, if you have the correct skin tone, and relocks the system after you are done with your hair removal session.
We and countless other users have found that the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X is more effective on facial hair than any other at home laser hair removal device on the market. This is in part due to the technology and in part due to the design of the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X. The handle and the applicator allow for precision while emitting a large amount of laser energy. This make the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X a top choice for best at home laser hair removal for brazilians, face, underarms or another smaller area with lots of hair that needs a great attention to detail.
To read more customer verified Tria 4X reviews, click here.
Note: Many of the other great at home laser hair removal devices cannot be used on the face. You can use the Tria anywhere on your body, not just in high density hair areas or small areas. But the portability of this device makes it great for areas where you need to very careful (like your eyes… keep away!), making the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X the best at home laser hair removal for face and body.
This device will not successfully treat dark skin or very light hair, like blonde, grey, or white hair. We have reviewed at home laser hair removal devices that work on dark skin – skip ahead to the Tanda Me or Illuminage at home laser hair systems if you have dark skin.
It cames in a variety of colors, like turquoise, graphite, fuschia, and more. And compared to some at home laser hair systems, it is minimal in size. You can charge it and even take it along during travel.
To read more about Tria 4X product specifications, click here.
Despite the initial cost, the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X comes out ahead when you factor in its other features. And it uses the same laser used during costlier dermatology sessions. So if you’re looking for a professional grade hair removal system for at home use (especially for facial hair), there isn’t a better option available on the market than the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X.
Remington was one of the first to introduce a laser treatment system for home use to the public. Despite the competition, the Remington iLight Pro is still one of the most reviewed and dependable hair removal system available.
FDA approved IPL
Permanent hair reduction after 3 treatments
Long lasting cartridges
Replacement cartridges reasonably priced
Large flash applicator face makes this great for large areas
The Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System is an IPL hair removal system and was one of the first of its kind on the market. Since it’s debut, Remington has introduced several iterations of the iLight Pro and we will cover some of them too.
The Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System that shows a reduction in hair in only 3 treatments. The cartridge has 6000 flashes, which is enough for 10 full body treatments. And there is one replacement cartridges included, so there are 20 treatments in the Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System total. Need more? Replacement cartridges for this system are highly affordable, usually $30-40 per cartridge.
There is a skin sensor on the iLight that is touch sensitive and detects your skin color. It only operates if you have it pressed up against your skin and your skin is in range for this machine. If you are not yet holding it against your skin or your skin is too dark, then it will not flash.
This is a great safety precaution because the flashes can affect your eyes, and even cause long term blindness. So you only want the machine flashing if it is pressed on skin and not near your eyes. If your skin is out of range for this machine you can end up with skin burns, so the machine will refuse to operate so you do not end up with accidental burns on your skin.
iLight is corded and needs to be plugged in to use, which makes this system bulky. So it is not as travel friendly as certain other more compact options.
The larger applicator face of this device makes this a great choice for larger areas like legs, arms, and bikini hair removal. IPL technology also helps target more hairs with each flash because IPL uses diffused light. So you will notice that that applicator screens on most IPL machines are larger.
Will this at home laser hair removal system treat dark skin? No. (skip ahead to the Tanda Me and Illuminage reviews) It also will not work on grey, white, or blonde hair.
To read more about Remington iLight Pro product specifications, click here.
However, for this reason, do not use the Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System on your face or anywhere near your eyes! The diffused light targets a larger area and even if your eyes are closed, it can hurt your eyes. If you need facial hair removal, use a device with a more controlled liked the Tria Laser Removal 4X reviewed above or the Tria Hair Removal Precision reviewed below. Do not use this on your face! Use the Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System anywhere, except on or near your face and eyes.
To read more customer verified Remington iLight Pro reviews, click here.
Amongst at-home laser hair removal systems, this is our favorite for whole body laser treatment. While the Tria products use a different kind of technology and travel friendly, each flash only treats a small area. The Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System has a larger treatment area with each flash and is a more convenient option for treating bigger areas like full arms or full legs. So if your primary goal with laser hair removal is removing hair from your body and not your face, the Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System should be your first choice.
Silk’n is another veteran maker of at home laser hair removal devices, and there are variety of models available to purchase. Many of them are similar to the Remington review ed above with bulky recharge stations. However, the Silk’n Flash & Go is a at home hair removal system that is not bulky and can be used on both face AND body at home hair removal.
Can be used on both face and body
Large flash applicator face makes this great for large areas
FDA approved IPL
No replacement cartridges needed
The Silk’n Flash & Go is a versatile at home laser hair removal system. Unlike the Tria’s small flash face or Remington’s limitation to using it only on the face, the Silk’n Flash & Go can be used for both body and face at home laser hair removal. If you want to removal hair from all over your body, this may be the best of both worlds for you.
Like the Tria, the Silk’n Flash & Go is also cordless. There is a corded charging station, which is also small and easily packable. This makes the Silk’n Flash & Go a good system for those of us on the go, who need a system that can be charged and used from anywhere, and minimal in size.
Also like the Tria, the Silk’n Flash & Go needs no cartridges or refills for the IPL flashes. So there is no recurring cost after the initial purchase.
Many laser hair removal systems have a short delay between each flash, varying from 1 to 5 seconds. This means that after each flash, you need to wait a short interval before you can push the flash button again. The Remington machine has this delay, as does the Silk’n Flash & Go.
However, the Silk’n Flash & Go has upgraded it’s technology to minimize this delay to less than a second. This makes this a faster machine to use. But its flash applicator face is a bit smaller than Remington. So, if you are covering a large expansive area, you may find that it takes about the same time to treat with either the Remington or the Silk’n Flash & Go. However, the Silk’n Flash & Go will definitely treat a smaller area much faster due to it’s shorter interval between flashes.
Does it treat dark or tanned skin, or grey and blonde hair? No.
To read more about Silk’n Flash & Go product specifications, click here.
So why isn’t it our number one? The flash applicator face is still smaller than the Remington device. If this had a larger head that could cover larger areas faster, this would easily head the pack. Still, for at home laser hair removal of brazilians and bikini or underarms, the Silk’n Flash & Go offers the speediest treatment.
The Silk’n Flash & Go is a great “medium” for at home laser hair removal that can treat both face and body. However, if you’re looking for the most effective and well designed at home laser hair removal device for face or for body, we’d recommend going for a Remington or a Tria instead. If cost is the main driving factor, then the Silk’n Flash & Go is worth a try before you go for a more expensive machine.
To read more customer verified Silk’n Flash & Go reviews, click here.
The Silk’n Flash & Go has Tria’s efficiency and good design, and the Remington’s ability to treat larger areas on your body. Combined, this is a good at home laser hair removal product for face AND body treatment. With no added costs, improved technology, this IPL at home hair removal system is a contender for the top spot in this list. But if you intend to treat your face or your body, investing in the pricier Tria or a Remington might pay off more in the long term.
The Tria Hair Removal Precision is the Tria 4X boiled down into an even more compact and lightweight design. Need to travel light? You can easily pack this in your toiletries bag or luggage. Need a smaller at home laser hair removal device for a small treatment area? The Tria Hair Removal Precision fits the bill.
FDA approved laser hair removal system
No replacement cartridges needed
Same technology as dermatologists (Advanced Diode laser)
Can be used on face
The Tria Hair Removal Precision is essentially the same at home laser hair removal device as the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X condensed into a smaller size.
Tria intended for the Tria Hair Removal Precision to be used in areas that harder to reach with the larger flash screen of the Tria 4X. Remember, the flash applicator of whatever at home laser hair removal system you decide to try, must be completely flat against the surface of the skin to treat the hair follicles. So in certain areas with curves and bends, like your groin or your breast, it may be difficult to get the entire flash applicator face flat on your skin. In these areas, you may find that a smaller at home laser hair device like the Tria Hair Removal Precision helps treat more effectively.
Like the Tria 4X, this device does not treat dark skin or very light hair.
Another potential benefit of the Tria Hair Removal Precision is its minimal size. It can fit in your toiletries kit or a purse, as it is about the size of an electronic toothbrush. So if you travel often and travel light, the Tria Hair Removal Precision’s size could be a huge benefit.
To read more customer verified Tria Hair Removal Precision reviews, click here.
Otherwise, if you do not need a smaller flash applicator or can work with the slightly bigger size of the other devices we have reviewed, we recommend going with the Tria 4X, the Remington, or the Silk’n Flash & Go first. Then if you find that you are still missing patches of hair in curvy areas, then you can try to treat those sections with this handy Tria Hair Removal Precision.
The Tanda Me Smooth, also called Elos Professional, is the first of the two best at home laser hair removal systems for dark skin that we reviewed for you. Laser hair removal for dark skin is still a very novel industry, as historically if you had dark skin, you were immediately disqualified from this particular method of hair removal.
The Tanda Me Smooth also works on lighter hair, like blonde hair. And it is the only at home laser hair removal system for blonde and red hair that is effective. It does not work on white hair.
However, with new research advancements in laser technology, at home laser hair removal systems for dark skin and light hair hitting the market, with the Tanda Me Smooth currently leading in effectiveness and good design.
Can be used on olive to dark skin
Can be used on blonde and red hair
Reasonably priced replacement cartridges
Can be used on face
FDA approved IPL hair removal system
The Tanda Me Smooth (Elos Professional) was one of the first at home laser hair removal devices that had a wide enough range of acceptable skin and hair colors to include dark skin and light hair. It effectively treats hair that light like blonde as well as skin tones that range from olive to dark. These normally fall outside of the range for the other laser and IPL systems that we have reviewed.
The Tanda Me Smooth (Elos Professional) is a corded system that needs to be plugged in to use. It has 5 different intensity levels for the IPL laser light, and you can tailor your treatment to use any of the 5 levels or build up from the lowest level.
This system also requires replacement cartridges. However, each cartridge lasts for 100,000 flashes, or several full body treatments before you need a new one. The replacement cartridges are also very reasonably priced, ranging from $30-40 each.
The Tanda Me Smooth (Elos Professional) can be used on both face and body. It is also very efficient system that allows you to treat a full leg in 10 minutes and full body including face, in only 20 minutes.
To read more customer verified (Elos Professional) Tanda Me Smooth reviews, click here.
For anyone looking for an at home laser hair removal system for blonde hair or red hair, the Tanda Me Smooth Elos Professional is the only machine available today that shows results. The Tanda Me Smooth is also one of two machines available for use on darker skin tones that were previously disqualified from laser hair removal. It is the best at home laser hair removal system for indian skin, african skin, or anyone else with olive to dark skin.
We only intended to review the top 5 at home laser hair removal systems, but the introduction of the Illuminage Touch as another best at home laser hair removal system for dark skin made it a convincing addition to our must review list.
Prior to these systems debuting on the market, there was little option for anyone looking for best at home laser hair removal system for african skin or another type of olive or darker skin. But with the Tanda Me and the Illuminage Touch, the at home laser hair removal market has become more democratic in terms of skin color.
Can be used on olive to dark skin
Can be used on blonde and red hair
FDA approved IPL hair removal system
Can be used on face
Like the Tanda Me Smooth, the Illuminage Touch works for the normal ranges of skin and hair color. It also is a second option for at home laser hair removal device for blonde hair, red hair, and olive to dark skin…. all of which are normally are outside the capacities of many of the popular laser hair removal systems.
The Illuminage Touch is a corded machine, so you need an outlet to use this machine to treat your skin. It uses IPL laser to permanently reduce your hair by 94% in 7 weeks, if you treat once each week.
Like some of the other at home laser hair removal system we have reviewed, here, the Illuminage Touch also requires replacement cartridges for long term use. But unlike the other devices we have reviewed, the cartridges for the Illuminage Touch seem to be quite expensive, ranging $110-140. For more Illuminage Touch product specifications, click here.
Note: Normally, this price would disqualify this system from this list. But given the scarcity of at home laser hair removal devices that treat dark skin, we still wanted to include the Illuminage Touch as a bonus review. For many systems, you may find that you never end up needing a second cartridge. So if this system meets your needs in all of its other features, it may still be a good investment until that first included cartridge is used up.
To read more customer verified Illuminage Touch reviews, click here.
The Illuminage Touch is a second effective option for at home laser hair removal for dark skin (olive to dark) and light hair (red, blonde). The price of the replacement cartridges make this less accessible than the other systems we have reviewed, but still keep this whole unit less than the cost of laser hair removal treatments from a dermatologist. We recommend trying the Tanda Me Smooth system first, but we wanted to offer this as an option for those of us with darker skin.
Types of at-home laser hair removal
There are two types of light based hair removal – IPL and laser hair removal. Usually both are referred to as laser hair removal but there are some differences.
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. Sometimes you hear IPL referred to as IPL laser treatment, but that is a misnomer. IPL is not a laser, but rather a wide spectrum of diffused light. This diffused light does not go very deep into the skin.
Dark hair absorbs many of the wavelengths of the Intense Pulsed Light, which disrupts the growth of the hair and the follicle. IPL hair removal needs some contrast between skin color and hair color so that the darker of the two, the hair, can absorb the light. So for example, IPL works well on dark haired and light skinned people and not so well on people with light skin and blonde hair or those with dark skin and dark hair.
Laser hair removal involves a single and concentrated wavelength of light that also disrupts hair follicles. Specifically, the laser treatment targets melanin in hair follicle to differentiate between skin and hair. Because this is concentrated light, it penetrates the skin much more than IPL. This type of light is much much effective for very coarse or thick hair follicles.
Both are effective for hair in different stages of growth and thickness. So which one to use? It may depend on your skin color and hair.
Skin color and Hair color
There was a time when laser hair removal was only available for people with very light skin and very dark hair. However, now there are options for people who do not have as much contrast between your skin color and hair color. Still, because this type of hair removal targets pigment or melanin, it works better for certain phenotypes. Will it work for you? Let’s take a look.
The first question is what color is your hair?
Laser hair removal targets the root of each hair so look at the color that is closest to the root to determine the color of your hair. Is your hair color is one of the following colors or is in between the following colors?
If your hair is between light brown to black, then you are probably a good candidate for laser hair removal.
Is your hair color one of the following shades or in between one of the following hair colors?
If your hair is blonde or a true red, or in between, you can still use laser hair removal. However, it may be less effective or take more treatments for you to see a difference. This is especially true if you are tanned.
Many people with red or blonde hair have lighter tips and darker roots. If your blonde or red hair is a darker “dirty blonde” or deeper red at your roots, hair removal by laser is still a great option because it will be able to detect the dark hair follicles.
Do you have grey or white hair?
Grey or white hair makes it very hard for the light in laser hair systems to hone in the hair follicle. If your hair color is grey or white, laser hair removal will not be effective for you.
Usually people have grey or white roots, but you may have a mix of white and darker hair. In this case, the laser hair removal systems will detect and kill the darker hair follicles. So while you may not be able to disrupt all of the hair follicles, you will see a reduction in hair as the darker hair follicles are eliminated.
The second important question to ask is what is your skin color?
The lighter your skin color, the easier it is for the light wavelengths to zone in on your hair follicles. Light skin colors include:
If your skin color is pale white to light brown or light olive, then you are a great candidate for laser hair removal.
Just like very light hair makes it hard for the laser hair removal light to differentiate between hair and skin, darker skin also makes it harder to differentiate between hair and skin.
If you have dark skin like any of the above, then most laser hair removal systems may not work very well for you. As of a year ago, there were no options for darker skinned people. Now there is 1 system on the market that shows a great reduction in hair for a wider range of skin colors, including dark skin – the Tanda Me Smooth and Iluminage Touch.
There are a few facts and realities to keep in mind before you start using an IPL or laser hair removal system. Usually, you do not see this kind of section in a product guide. But understanding the limitations of laser hair removal will help you make a better choice in your hair removal journey.
Many IPL and laser hair removal systems have been cleared by the FDA for home use. A key term you may see in the marketing language of many of these systems is “permanent reduction” in hair. Notice that it does not say permanent removal.
This applies to both the systems approved for home use and those used in licensed medical offices. Neither can be marketed as permanent hair removal solutions. Be wary of laser hair removal providers that promise permanent hair removal. Many of these providers even offer extra sessions if you do not get permanent results, which could be a great insurance plan. However, please know that none of these options are cleared by the FDA as permanent hair removal solutions because they did not find that IPL or laser hair removal systems could accomplish that for every user.
This is because each of these systems show varying results in various people. Some people are able to use them with great results like permanent hair removal. Others notice a permanent reduction in the hair that regrows after a few sessions.
So you may also get varying results with these systems. Normally, people with high contrast skin and hair – light skin and dark hair – see tremendous results with these machines with either an almost or a total permanent hair loss in the treated areas. You may also get varying results on various parts of your body, with finer hair disappearing faster.
Even if you do not quickly accomplish total hair removal, you may be interested in extending the times between how often you have to remove hair. Many people find that way less hair grows in the treated areas, and they only need to use the laser hair removal system or another method of hair removal a few times a year. Cutting back how much time you spend on removing hair may make laser hair systems a worthy investment. With both IPL and laser hair removal, users notice increasingly positive results with each use. However, the number many treatments needed to see the results will vary person to person.
So is there an FDA approved total hair removal system? Yes, electrolysis.
Electrolysis is approved by the FDA as a permanent hair removal solution. It treats 1 hair at a time, and so can be a time consuming process. For this reason, it is also a costly option at dermatologists and hair removal salons. For much larger areas like arms or legs, it can cost thousands of dollars.
Ultimately, laser hair removal systems are an accessible and easy way to remove hair for long periods of time, if not forever. If you find yourself shaving or waxing frequently, laser hair removal will greatly reduce how often you have to remove hair. With continued treatments, less and finer hair will regrow and with less frequency until there is little to no hair left to remove.
So if you’re looking for a hair removal method that is more permanent and long lasting than shaving, sugaring, waxing or epilating, laser hair removal is an excellent option to try. There are countless laser hair removal systems available now. Many of them cost about the same as a good wax kit or an epilator, so there is no reason to not try a laser hair removal system if you don’t already wax or use an epilator. Imagine not having to wax, shave, or epilate for weeks instead of only days!
Features of at-home laser hair removal
There are several laser and IPL systems available in the at home laser hair removal systems. Some of the best options use the same technology as those in professional settings, and others use different laser technology that works equally well.
But since these laser hair removal systems have entered the consumer market, there have been many advancements in technology. A good laser hair removal system should be equipped with an up to date laser technology.
Added Cost of Cartridges
Many at home laser hair removal systems require cartridges to work and come with a set number of cartridges to use as you need. These cartridges hold a certain number of flashes that disrupt the hair follicle and kill the hair before they need replacement.
If you plan on purchasing an at home laser hair removal system with the intention of removing as much hair all over our body and face as tolerable, you will need more cartridges at some point. So it is important to take note of how much surface area a cartridge might cover and if replacement cartridges are easily available. Replacement cartridges are an added cost.
Of course, if you only plan on using your at home laser hair removal system for a small area like underarms or the upper lip, then you may never need to look for replacement cartridges.
Battery or Corded
Some at home laser hair removal systems are battery operated or rechargeable. Others are corded and can only be used when they are plugged in.
Depending on where you plan on using this device, or your lifestyle needs, this feature may be another key to making a decision.
The laser removal systems that require an outlet or are corded tend to be bulkier and would be hard to take along while traveling. You’ll also need to use them near an outlet.
Rechargable at home laser hair removal systems are usually lightweight, easy to handle, and you can use them easily at home or while traveling. You may find that it is hard to do a full treatment of a large area, like both legs, with a rechargeable device. But if you want a more accessible device that you can take with you anywhere to touch up your face or underarms, then a rechargeable or battery operated device is more ideal than a bulky corded machine.
Color of skin and hair
The range of skin color and hair colors for each laser hair removal device is probably the most important feature to note. A good at home laser hair removal system will work on a wider range of skin and hair colors. Skin color can change from body part to body part and even over the course of the seasons if you tan easily, so even the traditionally ideal candidate – light skin and dark hair – can benefit from a wider range.
If you have less contrast between your skin and hair, this feature is especially important. Blonde or red hair and light skin, or dark hair and dark brown skin, make the hair follicles harder to detect for the laser hair removal system. Make sure to pick a laser hair removal system you choose has a wide range of acceptable skin and hair colors.
What about pain?
Or a better question: What is the highest level of pain you can experience during laser hair removal at home or at a professional office? If you have a low tolerance to pain and very sensitive skin, you can compare it to the pain of snapping a rubber band against your skin.
Personally, we do not find it nearly as painful. For someone with average sensitivity, it may feel more like a light pinch and a warm sensation. Everyone also has various areas of the body with less or more sensitivity. Some people find that less sensitive areas register no pain at all.
Compared to other methods of hair removal, laser hair removal is less painful than both epilating and waxing, and more painful than just shaving.
How to prepare for a laser hair removal session
1. Shave the area you are going to treat of any hairs that might be present
You have to shave before every laser hair removal session. Laser works best if the hair has been cut down so that it can treat as close to the hair root as possible, and kill the root.
2. Pat the area dry
Helpful Tip: For IPL hair removal systems, we recommend wearing a pair of laser protection eye glasses. Because IPL is diffused light, there is greater risk of laser hitting sensitive areas like eyes and resulting in irreversible damage.
3. Begin laser hair removal
Helpful Tip: For larger areas, use a white eyeliner pencil to create a grid so that you know exactly where you have treated and can cover the whole skin surface without leaving untreated patches.
Remember to use a white eyeliner pencil because the laser hair removal system will pick up a darker color as a hair follicle where there is none, and that can lead to a skin burn.
4. Wash area again to remove singed hair smell (if present) and white pencil marks. Apply a noncomedogenic lotion.
Helpful Tip: Some may smell singed hair after treatment in certain areas of your body. We have found that coarser hair tends to lead to this singed hair smell. It is nothing to be concerned about. To get rid of the smell, just wash the newly treated area and carry on your skincare routine.
Below is a concise side by side comparison of 7 of the most popular epilators and their features. We specifically look at features such number of tweezers, whether or not it can be used in the shower or bath (wet/dry), if the epilator is cordless, if the epilator has a built in light, epilator accessories, epilator price, and the best uses for each device.