It seems like lately, the market for at-home hair removal systems with light, laser, pulsed thermicon or IPL technology have increased dramatically.
A few years ago you could only have this type of hair removal done in a clinic or doctor’s office.
Technology has really changed, and if you are looking for a way to ditch razors, wax, salons, clinics, and epilators, these at home ways might be worth looking into.
Now that you have the option of using these technologies at home, all you have to do is decide which technology makes the best hair removal products, right?
To help you we have sorted the products based on the TECHNOLOGY they use, so you can compare apples to apples. Well, sort of. Read on and you can decide for yourself.
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- Technology: IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
- Technology: Diode Laser
- Technology: Pulsed Thermicon
- Technology: Micro Oscillation
- Technology: Chemical Hair Removal
- Technology: Herbal or Plant-Based
Technology: IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
Intense Pulsed Light or IPL works by sending out a pulse of intense light in the range of 400 to 1200 nm. Filters can be applied to the light, depending on the treatment. The UV light is usually filtered out.
The light left after filtering targets melanin in hair, heating and destroying it. It works similar to the diode laser, except the light is broad spectrum, not targeted to one wavelength like the diode.
IPL, like the diode laser, targets the melanin-rich root of the hair. This means it can only be used with darker hair.
Since it targets melanin, it can not be used on darker skin, which is melanin-rich.
Technology: Diode Laser
Diode lasers act by way of “selective photothermolysis” which targets melanin, damaging the area around the melanin, including the root and hair shaft. The laser disrupts the growing process of the hair and slows it down, reducing the amount of hair that grows back.
Because it targets melanin, diode lasers cannot be used on people who have dark skin. Technically speaking, there are 6 skin pigmentation levels.
1 being the lightest or having the least melanin. 6 is the darkest or has the most melanin.
Diode lasers are only appropriate for levels 1,2, 3 and 4.
As for the hair color, since diode lasers target melanin, the pigment that colors hair, these lasers only work on hair that has color, or significant color, meaning only brown or black hair.
The diode laser is not effective on blonde, gray, or red hair.
Technology: Pulsed Thermicon
Thermicon technology is a patented technology used by Radiancy, the makers of the no! no! hair removal system. Pulsed Thermicon technology works by sending a gentle pulse of heat down the hair shaft, to the follicle or root of the hair.
This heat pulse does three things to the hair and root:
- When the blade touches the hair it singes or burns it, basically.
- The heat that was sent down to the root crystallizes the hair near the skin’s surface, turning the hair to ash. The hair is not burnt all the way down to the root, only the upper part, just beneath the skin’s surface is crystallized. You may notice stubble from this crystallized hair.
- The heat signal travels all the way to the root and interrupts communication in the hair follicle that leads to hair growth and the result is that the hair is slow to grow back. This disruption, if practiced often enough, lengthens the time it takes the hair to re-grow.
Pulsed Thermicon takes patience and Consistent use to work. But Why?
The first reason you need to use the system for a long time to see results is that disrupting the signal once will not always significantly reduce the time it takes to re-grow.
Repeated disruption is needed to see long-term results and some hair follicles are more persistent and faster at generating re-growth than others.
The second reason the process takes time is due to the nature of the hair life cycle. Did you know there is a time in the life of a hair that it just hangs out in the follicle, not connected to the root?
In the phases of Catagen and Telogen, the hair is not actively growing and is not connected to the root.
If the hair is not connected to the root, pulsed Thermicon can only burn and crystallize the hair, but the disruption signal has nothing to disrupt since the hair is not connected to the root.
Pulsed Thermicon can only disrupt the signal for hair growth during the active growing stage of the hair, called Anagen.
Each individual hair you have has its own cycle. They do not cycle at the same time. So the pulsed Thermicon ‘works’ on all hair, but only disrupts the signal on hairs in the Anagen phase.
Pulsed Thermicon technology is safe for all skin colors and pigmentation levels. Thermicon technology also works with blonde and grey hair, which is in contrast to light or laser systems that work better with dark hair and can’t be used on darker skin.
Technology: Micro Oscillation
Maybe you have never heard of ‘micro-oscillation”- I hadn’t. It was hard to dig up information on this so-called Micro-oscillation technology.
There are only a few hair removal devices I found that use this technology, and the Yes! Hair remover by Finishing touch seems to be the most prominent manufacturer.
I investigated the Yes! by finishing Touch website to see if I could find more information on how micro-oscillation works.
The website is not specific on how it works, but it does say “a finely engineered oscillating blade moves against a second stationary blade to trim hair.” Which leads me to believe it acts as an electric razor.
Micro = Small. Oscillation = turning or spinning. The company says when the oscillating blade spins and meets the stationary blade, the hair is trimmed.
That is how an electric razor works, so it seems this micro-oscillation is a style of electric razor.
Technology: Chemical Hair Removal
Chemical hair removers, commonly known as depilatory creams, use calcium thioglycolate and potassium thioglycolate. These chemicals break down the bonds in the keratin structure of the hair turning the hairs to soft gelatin-like strings.
Once the hair is soft, you wipe the cream and the hair with it off with a wet washcloth. Then you wash and rinse the area treated.
It is a basic, but proven technology that effectively removes hair right below the skin surface. The hair will grow back in 2 to 4 days.
Chemical removal usually lasts longer than shaving, but not as long as removing hair from the root. It is painless and easy and makes skin so smooth many women believe it is the best at home hair removal product.
Some good options…
Technology: Herbal or Plant-Based
Since women have this awesome feature called “intuition” you should just pick the one that spoke to you the most as the best hair removal product and you’ll be good to go.