There is no other hair removal method that gives you the kind of impressive, long term results that laser hair removal does. Combine that with the fact that at home laser hair removal devices are now available for any budget it seems like the logical choice. If you are still wondering “How often can I do at home laser hair removal?” to achieve optimal results, keep reading to find out.
The Hair Growth Cycle Explained
In order to understand how often to use ipl at home, we first need to explain how your hair grows.
There are three distinct phases of hair growth and every cell goes through them in sequence but at different times. That is why the question “How often can I do at home laser hair removal?” has a more nuanced answer.
Here are the different phases in the hair growth cycle and their length:
- Phase 1: Anagen – the cells are filled with melanin and the protein keratin. How long this phase lasts can vary wildly depending on the person’s genetics, which will dictate how often to do IPL at home. Around 85% of individual hairs are in this stage at any moment.
- Phase 2: Catagen – in the second phase, no further growth happens for around two weeks. Only around 5% of hairs are in the catagen phase at any moment.
- Phase 3: Telogen – the hair slowly becomes damaged and eventually sheds from the scalp. On average, it takes 100 days to complete this phase but only some 10% of all hairs are in this phase at any time.
Since laser hair removal targets the pigment melanin, the best time to zap your unwanted hair is during its anagen or growth phase. At any given point, approximately 85% of the hairs on your body are in their growth phase. During your first laser hair removal treatment you are targeting these active hairs. Every following treatment is designed to treat the hairs that were not in the growth phase during the first session.
We can now go over how this all relates to finding the best laser hair removal schedule for yourself.
How often can I do at home laser hair removal?
Here are a few simple rules.
Since hair on the face grows and sheds faster, use the following schedule:
- Use your at home IPL device every 2 weeks;
- Once there has been a significant reduction in hair, schedule treatments every 3 to 4 weeks;
- Repeat the process for a total of 6 to 8 treatments;
- After the first round of treatments, you will only need one treatment every 2 months for maintenance;
Body hair tends to grow slower so use the following schedule:
- Perform one at home laser hair removal treatment every 4 weeks;
- When the targeted area shows a significant reduction in hair, move treatments to every 6 weeks;
- Repeat for another 8 to 12 treatments to ensure you get all the hairs;
- After the first 12 weeks, you will need to perform maintenance treatments once every 2 or 3 months.
The initial treatment phase usually lasts about 3 to 4 months for facial hair and 6 to 8 months for body hair. It takes a bit of time to ensure all your hairs have gone through the anagen phase, when the laser is most effective at removing them.
It is important to note that darker skin tones may require additional treatments or IPL devices for dark skin.
Can I use IPL every week?
You can use it once per week for a few sessions if you have darker skin or more stubborn hair. However, most people do not need to use it more than once every two to four weeks. Use it every two weeks initially and after the first couple of months of regular at home laser hair removal, you will see smoother skin with very few stray hairs.
After a full cycle of 6 to 8 months of full body treatments, you can achieve that silky smooth skin that will last for weeks on end. At that point, it is all about maintenance. You can have a single hair removal session every two months or so, depending on your hair’s growth rate.
We hope you are no longer wondering “How often can I do at home laser hair removal?”. As you can see, not only is at home laser hair removal the most efficient and completely painless method but it also doesn’t take that long to see excellent results.