Whether it’s a last-minute, pre-holiday wax or a regular laser appointment, so many of us call on a salon when it comes to hair removal. However, innovation in the at-home arena means that DIY hair removal options are plentiful – and now is a good time to get to grips with the device of your choice.
If you’re feeling at a loose end right now, you aren’t alone. In fact, online retailer CurrentBody has seen a 56 per cent rise in sales of home hair-removal devices in recent weeks – and sales are still on the up.
“As people cannot get to the salon for their regular waxing and threading appointments, or even for laser hair removal, they are searching for alternatives that don’t mean shaving every day,” explains Emily Buckwell, Product Expert at CurrentBody.
However, with the retailer also reporting a 91 per cent rise in questions surrounding hair-removal technology, it’s clear we’re not quite sure what the best hair removal method really is. With options spanning laser hair removal, epilating, shaving and waxing, it’s hardly surprising.
Here, we break down the best at-home hair removal devices, including the skin types they’ll suit, the permanence of the results and, crucially, exactly how to use them.
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Best Laser Hair Removal Device: Bare+ Ultrafast IPL Hair Removal Device
Working by killing the hair follicle, IPL is the most permanent way to remove unwanted hair. It works by emitting light that is absorbed by the melanin in the hair, where it is converted to heat. This damages the bulb, inhibiting – or in some cases, altogether stopping – the growth of new hair from that follicle.
IPL works in a similar way to an in-salon laser treatment. “Laser uses a single spectrum of concentrated light in one single colour and wavelength, whereas IPL uses a much broader spectrum of light in various colours & wavelengths,” explains Buckwell. “Both methods target the melanin in the hair follicle, and can provide long-lasting results.
There are now several good at-home IPL devices to try. According to Buckwell, the practical Smoothskin device is a bestseller. “It’s a British-made device, produced in Swansea and its makers, Cyden, were the originators of home IPL, launching the first device back in 2009. They offer the fastest device on the market (Smoothskin Bare) and the strongest (Smoothskin Muse).”
However, before you buy, consider that IPL devices are not suitable for all skin types and tones. “Darker skin tones towards the end of the Fitzpatrick scale should not try IPL,” says Buckwell. Shop here.
Best Epilator: Silk-épil 9 Skinspa Wet and Dry Epilator and Exfoliator
Unlike lasers, epilating devices work by physically removing each hair. Where a razor cuts off the hair from the surface of the skin, an epilator grabs and removes each one right from the root, meaning you get smoother, longer lasting results – and no shaving rash.
“Epilators pull hairs directly out of the follicle, just like tweezing or threading,” explains Buckwell, who says you can expect the results to last as long as your salon wax, which works in the same way.
Braun’s practical epilator can be used wet or dry (so you can epilate your legs in the bath) and comes with a host of welcome attachments. Use the exfoliating brush head for a thorough scrub, or use the facial attachment to remove unwanted fuzz. Shop here.
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Best Epilator For Face: FaceSpa Pro 912 Face Epilator
Braun’s most advanced facial epilator to date is designed to be used on your forehead, chin and upper lip without leading to redness or sensitivity. The extra-slim head and precision openings can grab and pluck the finest of hairs, while the pore-cleansing brush attachment keeps skin clear and balanced. There’s even a vibrational micro-toning head to increase the absorption of your serums and creams. Shop here.
Best At-home Wax Kit: Total Body Waxing Hair Removal Kit
This is one of the most convenient and complete waxing kits available for at-home use. From a salon-style wax heater to both hard and soft wax options – soft adheres more strongly to the skin, so is good for large areas – removal lotion and even two spatulas, it contains everything you could possibly need for a professional result. Shop here.
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Best Razor: Friction Free Shaving Subscription
If there’s one beauty subscription box really worth signing up to, it’s Friction Free Shaving. Order your sustainably made, reusable metal handle, and each month the brand will pop a top-up of your razor heads, shave cream and extras – the manuka honey pre-shave scrub is brilliant – through your letterbox.
The brand’s razor heads are some of the sharpest, most precise around, too. Each one boasts six diamond-coated blades, a precision trimmer, flexible head and aloe-based lubrication strip. Shop here.
Best Hair Removal Cream: Hair No More Hair Removal System Pack
A far cry from the depilatory creams of old, this two-step kit works to remove existing hair as well as slowing the rate of regrowth. First, apply the protein-dissolving cream to melt away hair and stubble, then use the inhibiting spray to prevent rapid regrowth. A brilliant, pain-free choice for fine, fair or downy hairs. Shop here.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.