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Home Laser Hair Removal vs. Clinic Laser Hair Removal

If you have unwanted body hair, you wonder about the best way to get rid of it. Many of us have considered home laser hair removal vs. clinic laser hair removal, trying to evaluate which one is right for our situation. In this hair removal guide, we take a comprehensive look at both sides of the debate. The information you find here will help you consider your options and choose the one that makes the most sense for you.

How Laser Hair Removal Works

The key to laser hair removal is the melanin within the hair – the color, basically – and the light produced by the laser. The melanin, being dark, readily absorbs the light which is transformed into heat energy. The heat destroys the hair and follicle, leading to its removal. The technical name for the process is selective photothermolysis. You’ll recognize the root words “photo” which means light and “therm” which means heat.

In a hair removal clinic, the laser hair removal is done with the use of a handheld laser. The laser is typically a corded device. Home hair removal using light is done with handheld devices as well, sometimes corded and sometimes rechargeable.

With home hair removal devices, you have options. Here are some of the most popular:

Tria Laser Hair Removal: This pulsed-laser device is the closest available to the tools used in hair removal clinics. The Tria hair removal tool is a cordless device approved by the FDA.

Silk’n SensEpil: Not technically a laser, this cordless device uses Home Pulsed Light technology, or HPL, to remove hair permanently. The light is absorbed by the melanin in the hair, heating the hair and producing the same results achieved in a clinic.

Both clinical laser hair removal and these home hair removal tools can cause mild discomfort or slight pain. Your personal pain threshold will have much to do with it. The thing to keep in mind is that the discomfort level is about the same, however you choose to pursue hair removal.

How Long Hair Removal Takes: Home vs. Clinic

How long does it take to get rid of hair at home?  What about by going to a professional clinic?  Let’s look at this 2 different ways. First, how long does each session take and secondly, how many treatments are required to achieve permanent hair removal results?

When you use the Tria or Silk’n SensEpil at home, you can decide on the length of time you want to commit to each session.  If you’ve got 10 minutes to do under your arms, that’s great.  If you’ve got 30-45 minutes to do your legs, that works too.  You are in control of the schedule and you can choose times that are convenient for you.

If you decide to go to a laser clinic, you have to fit into their schedule.  Plus, you need to take the time to drive there and back, and wait for your appointment.  The time wasted apart from the session is often greater than the length of the session itself.  In professional clinics, treatments usually last from 15-90 minutes, depending on the area(s) being treated.

Now let’s look at the total length of treatment needed to complete the process. For clinical hair removal treatment, it typically takes 4-8 laser treatments to work, and they are usually scheduled 4 weeks apart. That works out to 12 to 28 weeks from the time you have your first treatment.

Using Tria or Silk’n SensEpil, most users find that 6-8 treatments are needed, separated by 2-4 weeks.  This schedule means that from the first session, it will require 10-28 weeks to fully accomplish the goal of permanent hair removal.  This time frame is almost exactly the same as with clinical hair removal.

Effectiveness of Clinical Laser Treatment and Home Hair Removal

Both treatment in a laser clinic and home hair removal products can produce long-lasting and possibly permanent hair removal in most people. Some hair is permanently removed with only one treatment. More stubborn hair can be permanently eradicated with consistent treatments over a period of 6-9 months. Lighter hair doesn’t absorb the light energy as well, but it also is usually not as tough as dark hair. Still, for both clinical laser treatment and home laser/light treatment, the best results are achieved on darker hair. Neither type of treatment can be used on those with dark skin, since the skin would absorb the energy and become hot.

Safety of Home Laser Treatment vs. Clinic Laser Treatment for Hair Removal

The lasers used in clinics and home hair removal tools are both safe when used on lighter skin. Following manufacturer directions that come with the Tria Laser removal tool and the Silk’n SensEpil HPL tool will allow you to safely use them. The safety issues arise more from the conditions you may find in a clinic versus those you’ll find at home. There can be definite concerns about whether or not the conditions in a clinic are sanitary.

Because multiple people are being treated each day on the same table, while partially disrobed in most cases, strict care must be taken to keep patients safe. If these precautions are not taken, bacteria, viruses, parasites and more can be passed from one person to the next. It should be noted that while some states place clear restrictions on who may perform laser hair removal, in other states laser clinics are not regulated as to the training and experience of the laser treatment provider.

With home hair removal tools, you control the environment and can be assured of a clean, safe place in which to practice hair removal.

The Cost of Clinic Laser Treatment and Home Laser Hair Removal

This is one of the largest differences between having hair removed in a laser clinic and with the purchase of a tool you can use at home. Starting with treatment in a hair removal laser clinic, you can expect to pay $225-$750 per visit. That single visit might treat just your legs, your bikini area, just your back or perhaps your face. If you have multiple areas of your body that you want treated, the cost can easily be $1,500 – $2,000 or more.

In comparison, here are the current costs of the home hair removal tools that we’ve discussed in this article

Tria Laser Hair Removal: $395-$495, depending on whether or not special pricing is available at the time. For your money, you get everything you need for laser hair removal at home. This includes the Tria laser tool, a recharger, complete instructions and more. You buy the Tria Home Laser kit once and there is never anything else to buy.

Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal: $499 for the device, $599 for the device and 4 Home Pulsed Light cartridges. For most people, each cartridge contains enough pulses to treat your entire body. Some people achieve the level of hair removal they want without ever having to buy more cartridges; other users do need to buy a second set to completely finish treatment.

As you can see, having hair removed in a laser clinic can cost 3-4 times as much as purchasing the Tria home laser tool or the Silk’n SensEpil system. Once you purchase the kits, they are yours to keep. Both come with money-back guarantees too. That’s something you won’t get from a laser hair removal clinic.


One of the major reasons that more people are choosing home hair removal tools is the level of privacy they give them. You don’t have to walk into a clinic, sit in a waiting room with other clients, partially disrobe in front of the person who provides the treatment, etc. With home hair removal tools it is done in the privacy of your own home; nobody has to know.


The top concern for most people is how effective the treatment is. Laser clinic hair removal and home hair removal tools both offer potentially permanent results. Whether you go to a clinic or do it at home, outstanding results can be achieved with persistent treatment over 6-12 months. It is the other factors that are making home hair removal tools so popular these days. The price of the tools, the privacy they give you, and the safety and comfort of doing it at home mean that more people are choosing tools like the Tria Laser Hair Removal tool and the Silk’n SensEpil System to achieve permanent hair removal.

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