Beauty and Anti Aging

Are At-Home Hair Removal Kits Effective?

Are At-Home Hair Removal Kits Effective?

Key Takeaways

  • There are different options when it comes to removing hair at home on your own. 
  • Some of the most known and commonly used at home hair removal kits include electric shavers, shaving creams, waxing strips, etc. 
  • Not everyone feels comfortable enough to get their hair removal done at a salon, so at-home hair removal kits are a great option. 

Hair removal is big business nowadays, with most spas and salons offering waxing services on the side. Despite the growing industry, people will always be conscious of their privacy, and hair removal is very private business for some people. Now there are at-home hair removal kits, which come in various forms and don’t require the help of a professional. However, how effective are these at-home hair removal kits compared to the professional service? Well, it all comes down to the type of hair removal technology.

Intense pulsed light (IPL)

This is an alternative to the more common laser hair removal you will find at your salon. Also, unlike the typical hair removal which has one specific wavelength, IPL produces several wavelengths between 500 – 1,200 nanometres. These wavelengths of light are then absorbed by the pigment in the hair, and that turns to heat, which then kills the cells responsible for the hair’s growth.

There are only a few companies that produce IPL devices at the moment, because it’s a fairly new market, but the ones available are quite effective. Of course, it would take several rounds of IPL treatment to completely stop the hair growth, but they are generally effective at hair removal.

However, they only work well on light-colored skin and dark hair. Darker tones absorb heat, while lighter tones reflect, so the contrast between light skin and dark hair must be present for the device to work properly. If there is little to no contrast, the light may be absorbed by the skin cells, causing scarring rather than hair removal.

How safe is IPL?

While there are a few companies that produce IPL devices, even fewer are approved by the authorities. To be safe, it’s better to go with that which has been approved by the relevant authorities, because they have several safety features. For example, the IPL device will warn you if it detects darker skin or brightly colored hair, thereby avoiding scarring.

Depilatory creams

Hair removal creams have been around for some time, and they are also very effective for removing hair. The only downside to these creams is that they do not remove hair from the root, so hair is likely to grow back quickly, prompting you to use the cream again quickly.

These creams are generally safe, though, except for some few reactions. To avoid that, try applying the cream on a small patch of skin, and see if your skin reacts to the cream. If the skin has a poor reaction, such as burning, becoming red, itchy, or swollen, remove the cream immediately and thoroughly. Rashes and welts may also occur. If these side effects are present, do not continue using the cream. 

Waxing strips

If you have a fairly high threshold for pain, then waxing is the way to go. Waxing is very effective, because it removes hair from the root, so it would take time for hair to grow back. Plus, it creates a smooth skin surface.

Waxing is typically safe for most people. However, some professionals recommend getting waxing done by a person that is experienced with the process. Waxing can be difficult without help, due to the odd pulling motion needed to remove the strips. Additionally, some at-home kits may damage the skin. The wax may be too hot, causing burns. If performed incorrectly, damage to the skin is likely, due to the strength of the wax. Top layers of skin may become torn or damaged, which also increases the likelihood of an infection. Additionally, waxing should not be performed on certain areas of the body, such as the face and chin. While professionals may remove hair from these areas, it is important not to do this at home. Blood vessels can be damaged, because certain areas are sensitive.

Electrical shavers

These, too, are generally effective, depending on the area you are shaving. Most shavers have a flat head, because they are meant to shave hairs off a flat surface, such as the face or legs, which would render such a shaver ineffective for the underarms. Therefore, you may require a different shaver for that, if you want to achieve a clean shave. In addition, these shavers suffer from the same downside as the depilatory creams – they only cut the top part of hair follicles, and hair grows back quickly.

Despite being effective, shavers have medical downsides, as well. It is important to keep the shaver clean, because it is possible to get infections with a shaver. Also, while somewhat difficult, it is possible to get tiny cuts from a shaver. Shavers also require maintenance, so it is important to read the manual that comes with the shaver.

Epilators

While epilators are not new, many women are unaware of this hair removal option. An epilator is a device that plucks the hair being removed. Epilators often look similar to a shaver at first; however, if you look closely, the head is very different when compared to a shaver. Rather than blades that are covered by a foil, an epilator has a large number of tweezers. These tweezers are aligned in rows, and the rows alternate when the devices is turned on. Some epilators can be used both wet or dry, so it is possible to epilate in the shower or wherever else. An epilator aims to remove the hair from the root, so this method may provide longer lasting results. Sometimes, the epilator ends up breaking the hair off, so the root is not removed, but this is atypical. An epilator will require multiple sessions before smooth hairless skin is achieved.

While an epilator may be a fantastic option for at-home hair removal, there are a few downsides. As mentioned, the results are not immediate. Very often, multiple sessions are needed to remove the hair effectively. Additionally, an epilator may damage the skin. The tweezers of an epilator are fairly strong, and sometimes they will pinch and damage the skin. The skin may become sore after an epilator is used. This damage may make the skin more prone to infection, as is common with most hair removal methods. Like a shaver, an epilator also requires cleaning and maintenance. The worst part of using an epilator may be the pain involved. A device that plucks individual hairs from the root is likely to be uncomfortable, and epilators are often used to remove hair from large surfaces, such as the legs. Therefore, the pain tolerance required to use an epilator may be too much for some people. 

There are many options for at-home hair removal. However, it is important to determine which hair removal method is best for you. Many hair removal options are painful, so it is important to consider your pain tolerance before choosing a method. Additionally, many hair removal methods have associated risks, so you must determine if these risks are worth the smooth, hairless skin you desire. It is also important to determine whether or not a certain method will be safe and effective, depending on the location of the hair you would like removed, as well as other factors.