I love taking a girls trip with my friends, not just for the bonding and general good time, but because I get the scoop on exactly all the beauty products everyone is using. I recently took a trip with six of my girlfriends to the Hamptons, and while sharing an Airbnb, the bathroom was filled with everyone’s go-to face washes, moisturizers and makeup products. And during a lively conversation about waxing, one friend revealed that she’s been doing her own laser hair removal at home and that it actually works.
I actually have a few friends who get laser hair removal done by a professional, but it’s pretty expensive — like thousands of dollars. So when this friend shared that she’s been using the Braun IPL Long-Lasting Hair Removal Device, and she got it on Amazon for about $345, I had a lot of questions.
1. How often do you have to use it?
She told me that per the instructions, she used it weekly for eight to 12 weeks, and now she uses it one to two times per month to keep up the results. However, she said she noticed a significant difference in hair growth after the first four weeks of using it.
2. Does it hurt?
Of course, I had to ask if the treatments hurt, and she said no. The device has three sensitive skin modes: standard, gentle and extra gentle. There are also 10 intensity levels if you want to kick things up a notch. But it’s gentle enough to use on your bikini line, armpits and other sensitive areas. Treatment is fast, too. It only takes about five minutes or less at the lowest energy level to do both of your legs.
3. What is IPL, and will it work on my hair?
And finally, I had to look more into how the device actually works. According to the product description, it uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal technology. This technology works below the skin’s surface to target melanin, the pigment in your hair follicles and helps break the cycle of hair re-growth. Essentially, the light damages the root of the hair, and after a few treatments, it will prevent the root from being able to grow new hair. After continued use, treatments prevent hair from reaching the skin’s surface.
Like a lot of laser hair treatments and services, it works best on those with dark hair and light skin or anyone who has a high contrast between their hair and skin tone. According to the product’s description, the technology targets the pigment deep in your hair follicles. However, your hair color and skin tone can vary across your entire body, so even if you’re a natural blonde, you may be able to use it in some areas. For reference, the friend who told me about this device has naturally thick, dark hair and has used it all over.
4. How do you use it?
The Braun IPL Long-Lasting Hair Removal Device also comes with a Venus Swirl Razor and two head sizes, a standard one and a prevision one. To use it, you’ll first shave the area you want to treat, then choose the head best suited for the area and plug in the device. Then, put the nozzle directly on your skin, and if the light flashes white, you’re good to go. If it doesn’t flash white, it may be that the device can’t detect your hair, and it’s not going to work on this area, or you may not have the nozzle positioned correctly. That said, once you get the flashing white light, you’ll choose your mode — glide or press and release — and start the treatment. Glide is generally used for larger areas like your legs, while the press and release mode is for smaller areas like your face.
In addition to my friend, the Braun IPL Long-Lasting Hair Removal Device has over 4,000 five-star ratings on Amazon.
“I took the plunge and decided to try this,” wrote one Amazon reviewer. “I have light/medium skin tone (tan easily) and dark hair in the areas that I treated. It totally works, is easy to use and while pricey, is still way less than a series of laser hair removal. I used this on my armpits and bikini line. I found less hair midway through the process and now nothing. It does say that you will probably have to do a yearly touch up but so do the expensive laser clinics.”
If you think laser hair removal will work on your hair type, or you at least want to give it a try, the Braun IPL Long-Lasting Hair Removal Device is worth a shot. It’s not cheap, but it’s much less expensive than paying for professional treatments. And according to my friend, the fact that you can do it from the comfort and privacy of your own home makes the process so much better.
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