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Best laser hair removal machine 2022: Banish unwanted hairs forever

Jade Vincent Adrienne Wyper
13 Apr 2022

A no-fuss IPL or laser hair removal machine will reduce hairs for good

Ditch the razor and cancel your next waxing appointment. With a laser hair removal machine, you can painlessly rid your body and face of unwanted hairs in a flash at home, without a clinic or professional in sight. It’s not nearly as daunting as it sounds.

Until now, laser hair removal machines have been reserved for reality stars and models, but with the latest technological advances, everyone can enjoy a fur-free finish without breaking the bank. That’s not to say a quality laser hair removal machine won’t set you back a tidy sum, but if you’re tired of dealing with unwelcome hairs, it’s an investment you won’t regret.

So here’s our pick of the best laser hair removal machines. Check them out, along with our buying guide, which will steer you in the right direction.

Best laser hair removal machine: At a glance

How to buy the best laser hair removal machine

How does a laser hair removal machine work?

Both intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser hair removal machines manipulate light to weaken hair follicles until they can’t grow back. The light is absorbed by dark pigments found in hair follicles, called melanin, where it’s converted into heat. This damages the hair follicle to permanently stop regrowth.

What is the difference between IPL and laser hair removal machines?

A laser hair removal machine emits a single burst of red light to remove the hair follicle. IPL machines use a spectrum of colours and wavelengths to gradually weaken and damage the hair. With an IPL hair removal machine, you will have to treat the area several times and will experience slight regrowth.

Do laser hair removal machines hurt?

Yes, using a laser hair removal machine can hurt but that all depends on your pain threshold and the level of intensity you set on the machine. Some compare laser removal to a rubber band snapping against their skin, while others experience slight discomfort. The same patch of skin will never be lasered twice, but it can be a lengthy process.

Are laser hair removal machines suitable for everyone?

Since the light is absorbed by melanin (dark pigments found in hair), laser hair removal machines tend to work better with medium to dark hair. However, there are some machines particularly suited for fairer hair.

It can be dangerous to use laser hair removal machines on dark skin, as they can cause discolouration and hyperpigmentation. This isn’t something you need to worry about, though, as the machine will lock if it thinks your skin is too dark or your hair too fair.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Don’t wax before treatment, as the follicle needs to sit above the skin. For best results, most people advise that you use the laser hair removal machine just after shaving. Also, be careful not to use the machine on intimate areas or the upper lip as the skin is too delicate.

READ NEXT: Our selection of the best epilators

The best laser hair removal machines to buy

1. Silk’n Infinity: The best budget IPL hair removal machine

Price: £205 | Buy now from Amazon

While shaving may get the job done quickly and cheaply, you’ll often be left with ingrown hairs, painful red bumps, and fast regrowth. A laser hair removal machine will rid your body of unwanted hairs permanently and quickly, and this is the best price you’ll find for a quality device.

Unlike other hair removal machines, the Silk'n Infinity uses eHPL technology. This combines galvanic and optical energy to penetrate deep into pores for better access to hair follicles. It can even be used on darker skin tones too. Just test it first.

Other than its budget price point, what sold us on the Silk’n Infinity was its dinky size. It’s ergonomically designed to fit snugly in the palm of your hand and is perfect for use away from home, as it also comes with a handy travel case and adaptor.

Key specs – Type: IPL; Corded or cordless: Corded; Attachments: No; Intensity options: 5.

Buy now from Amazon

2. Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 PL5014: The best IPL hair removal machine with multiple intensity settings

Price: £285 | Buy now from Argos

Braun has amped up its latest Silk Expert Pro 5 to 400,000 flashes, the equivalent to nearly 28 years' worth of full-body laser treatments. But that's not the only feature to benefit from a makeover. Other than the fact the IPL hair removal machine's ten intensity settings allow you to custom-treat each area of the body according to hair thickness, it's been upgraded to a compact, lightweight design that makes it easier to hold during use.

Trust the device to get the job done quickly and safely as it'll treat both legs in under five minutes and automatically adjust each flash to your skin tone. The corded machine might not come with wireless technology, but its generous 9ft cable is long enough to comfortably target unwanted hairs.

The hair removal machine works best if used once a week for the first four to 12 weeks, followed by a once-monthly treatment to maintain results.

Key specs – Type: IPL; Corded or cordless: Corded; Attachments: No; Intensity options: 10.

Buy now from Amazon

3. Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X: The best laser hair removal machine

Price: £249 | Buy now from Amazon

Tria Hair Removal is the only laser device that’s FDA approved for safe use at home. Designed to deliver permanent hair removal, not reduction, the Tria uses a diode laser that’s more effective than IPL machines. This laser has a wavelength that penetrates deep into the hair follicle, causing irreparable damage.

The Tria comes equipped with five intensity settings, so choose a lower level for your first couple of treatments. To make it a little easier, the Tria comes with a cooling gel, which you can apply before the laser. Although it’s not essential, this can make the treatment a little more comfortable.

Our thoughts? Impressively, the Tria delivered noticeable results after the second treatment. Most unwanted hairs were removed with any remaining hairs growing back a lot thinner. The hair removal machine was perfect for using on the face thanks to its small laser head but we thought a larger attachment would have been better suited to use on larger parts of the body.

Key specs - Type: Laser; Corded or cordless: Cordless; Attachments: No; Intensity options: 5.

Buy now from Amazon

4. Iluminage Touch: The best IPL hair removal machine for all skin and hair colours

Price: £375 | Buy now from Look Fantastic

Finally! A hair removal machine that can eradicate hairs whatever your skin tone and hair colour. Using a clever dual-wave technology that combines IPL and radio frequency (RF), the Iluminage Touch delivers smooth and pain-free hair reduction.

It has three intensity settings and comes with a precision adaptor that’s designed to target hairs in tricky areas, such as on the upper lip or around moles and tattoos. But what really sets the Iluminage Touch apart from other devices is its speed. It can treat the whole body in less than 30 minutes, with legs taking ten and underarms taking just one.

It’s ideal if you plan on splitting the cost with a friend and sharing the machine, as the Iluminage Touch can also be used to remove hairs on multiple bodies. It delivers 300,000 pulses of light, which should be enough for several users, but if you need more you can purchase replacement Elos Quartz cartridges.

Key specs - Type: IPL and RF; Corded or cordless: Corded; Attachments: No; Intensity options: 3.

Buy now from Look Fantastic

5. Philips Lumea 9000: The best IPL hair removal machine for total control

Price: £459 | Buy now from John Lewis

Cordless operation is a game-changer here, freeing you from having to be next to an electric socket, so you can tackle unwanted hairs in privacy. And as with most things, there’s also an app. Download the Philips Lumea IPL app and it will check your skin tone, ensure you’ve done a patch test and help you work out how many ‘clicks’ you need. It will also devise a treatment schedule and send reminders for your next session, which saves you having to put it in your diary.

Its four curved attachments, for body, face, bikini and underarms, are simple to swap, and no matter how contorted your position (with no cord to get tangled in), the ‘ready’ light stretches across the whole machine head, making it easy to see.

The machine’s skin tone sensor does what it says and selects the right skin tone setting during use, as this can vary within an area.

Key specs – Type: IPL; Corded or cordless: Both; Attachments: 4; Intensity options: 5

Buy now from John Lewis

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