HOW OUR REVIEWS WORK. Reviews of one persons opinion can be inaccurate, we aggregate all of the reviews out there from the big sites (Amazon & Amazon UK, Sephora, Ulta). This cuts out variation and useless reviews, giving a more accurate picture. We attempt to factually state the features and general consensus of the devices based on evidence. Updated for 2017.
Still need some convincing? Check out the below article as to why you should get laser hair removal.
- 5 Reasons Home Laser Hair Removal is Amazing – Why you should buy a home device.
What is the best device? By best we mean we mean best performance in terms of permanent hair reduction. It doesn’t take into account cost.
Looking at a wide range of reviews customers report that the Tria 4X provided the best long term results. It’s often descried as the most painful system too which could indicate to more damage being done to the hair follicle and therefore a reduction in hair growth. To read our Tria review click here.
Another worthy mention is the LumaRx – a device which is actually used in salons. In terms of raw performance you can’t separate these two devices, and which is best for you probably will come down to if you want a hand held rechargeable device, or one which is mains powered.
Best Value Device
In terms of best value we look at performance vs cost as well some of the other factors such as features. Another major factor in deciding which device is the best value is the amount of flashes it provides. A device may seem inexpensive, but it may run out of flashes after a few months. Replacement cartridges can cost $30, if you need to buy 6 over the course of the devices lifetime that’s $180.
So that’s why we’ve picked the Philips Lumea Comfort IPL – it lasts for absolutely ages. You shouldn’t need to buy any replacement cartridges and it still provides a good level of permanent hair reduction.
However at this price it’s unfair to compare it to the performance of the Tria. Check out the review here.
However technology is always changing and improving so we’ll keep you up to date with the latest developments. For example a new device may be released, or an old device may get an update (this has actually recently happened with the Tria 4x recently).
Our Adjusted Reviews
At the top of each article we look at reviews that are given from different sites. Every once in a while you get a review which just says “Didn’t work”. There isn’t any extra information and these reviews just seem to be left out of frustration, because immediate results weren’t seen. They didn’t use the product as directed and read the instructions.
We often don’t bother reading instructions (or only tried the device once), but with complex medical devices it’s important. You also get quite a lot of negative reviews left which weren’t verified (so for example, someone just left a review without buying the product). There are more negative than positive reviews of this type.
We could speculate why this is – salon owners wanting to discredit home devices, competitors of other devices, or just someone who heard it didn’t work (if you read some of the 1 star reviews the reviewer actually admits they never owned or tested the device). You also get the “mistake” reviews too, where someone says “works great” but still gives 1 star.
But we also look at some of the 5 star reviews too. If the customer has been given a free product to review then they’re more likely to review it higher. There are also one or two “fishy” reviews which are overly positive and potentially fake.
So we’ve looked at this data and given less weight to some of the extreme positive / negative reviews. Typically this results in a higher score than the typical score you’d see on Amazon.com, but we believe its more of an accurate reflection of the device.
The Devices In Ranking Order Based on Adjusted Reviews
Using the above method of adjusting the reviews over several different sites we have come to this list of best to worst. However it doesn’t tell the whole story so please check out the reviews.
I see A Brand Name I Don’t Recognise Which Isn’t Reviewed Here?
If you see a system which isn’t reviewed here but looks very similar to other units then there’s a good chance it’s a rebrand. A rebrand is where a company who wants to sell a laser hair removal device, but doesn’t want to do all the R&D work gets an existing manufacturer to simply print their logo on their device. An example of this is Veet who sell a rebranded version of the Silk’n Flash and Go. Obviously there’s no point in us reviewing two identical systems.
Remember – if a device looks very similar to another device, it probably is.
Choosing the Best System
So how do you know which system to choose? Here are some key points you should keep in mind:
- The cost – Some systems do cost more than others. However you do pay for quality? The more expensive devices do tend to perform better. There is more about the costs below.
- The area to be treated – Some devices like the Tria and the Flash and Go are better at doing smaller areas like the upper lip or bikini area. The other devices are better at doing large areas like the legs.
- Removal v Reduction – Certain devices are great at removing hair. But they don’t permanently reduce hair growth. Rather they freeze growth. We make this clear in our reviews.
- Pain – Certain devices hurt less than others. Typically the Flash and Go hurts the least out of all the devices.
- Flashes – How long will the device last until it needs a new flash cartridge.
The devices aren’t too dissimilar when it comes to features. They all have a display which lets you choose the intensity. So an intensity of 1 wouldn’t hurt much, but wouldn’t remove much hair. An intensity of 5 hurts the most but removes the most hair. They also all scan the skin to make sure that the device is safe to use on your skin type.
This most likely is a legal requirement – they don’t want to get sued if someone with the wrong skin type uses the system and suffers burns.
Then you just put the device over the area you want to treat, pull the trigger, and away you go!
The Cost of At-Home Devices
There is around $250 of difference between the most and least expensive home laser hair removal systems. We see the Tria and the LumaRx are the most expensive around the $450 mark. While the mē Smooth and Silk’n Flash and Go are roughly $150. There is a difference quality, the same rule goes as for everything in life. Buy the most expensive version you can afford as it’ll nearly always provide better results.
Saving You Money? Salon Treatment vs Home Treatment
Laser hair removal devices can actually save money over the long term. Especially if you regularly get treatment. However if you just want a small area doing (like your upper lip) then it might be cheaper to get the work done in a clinic. A small area like that won’t cost much, and you should only need about 3 treatments. This would only cost around $180.
But remember – you can potentially treat your entire body with one home device. Think of how much this would cost in a clinic. You’ll probably need top up sessions too. If you actually own the device then this isn’t a problem.
In terms of overall quality a salon based treatment administered by professionals and with industrial strength equipment (which isn’t possible for members of the public to buy), will usually be better. But not necessarily by enough to justify the increased cost. It all depends on how much hair removal you want doing.
All devices do work as described. But results differ between individuals. So keep that in mind. Dark hair with lighter skin provides the best results. Look at our article on how laser hair removal works to see if your skin type is suitable. There’s not THAT much difference between laser hair removal at a clinic, and an at home laser hair removal device, in terms of the way they work. The home devices just use smaller (and less powerful) technology.
It’s advised to stay away from buying second hand devices. Remember that these devices only have a limited number of flashes so any device you buy may need a new cartridge which can add quite a bit onto the cost. Also these devices are very complex pieces of equipment, and since you’ll probably be using it heavily initially, it could be too much for the device. Who knows how heavily it was used before? Buying new means you have all the warranty and customer support available to you. With these devices, that’s essential. So unless you find a crazy second hand bargain, we’d strongly advise against buying used.
Why Do People Say it Doesn’t Work?
One of the biggest problems people seem to have with laser hair removal is misunderstanding 1. what exactly it does and 2. how exactly to use the devices. So make sure you properly do your research before buying and when you have the device you must read the instructions. Most devices come with an instructional DVD so there’s no excuses! If you don’t follow the instructions properly you just won’t get the most out of the devices.
It’s this that causes people to claim that the device doesn’t work in their reviews. They don’t use them properly. They’re not as simple as they sound.
Any questions feel free to drop us a comment and ask!