What are the Different Types of Hair Removal Devices?

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  • Written By: Brittany Golledge
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2019
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Consumers can choose from a variety of hair removal devices to eliminate unwanted hair growth. Some hair removal systems are better suited for facial hair removal, while others are intended to remove large sections of unwanted hair on the legs, arms and back. The most effective hair removal devices are designed for professional use only; however, there are also numerous at-home hair removal products that can reduce the appearance of facial and body hair. The different types of hair removal devices available for professional and at-home use include electric razors, epilators, electrolysis machines, intense pulsed light (IPL) devices and laser hair removal devices.

Shaving remains a popular method of hair removal, and one of the most widely used hair removal devices is the electric razor. An electric razor is a small handheld device with an oscillating blade that is used to remove hair on any part of the body. Electric razors cut hair at the surface of the skin, producing only temporary hair removal results.

Another common type of electric hair removal device is an epilator. Epilation is a hair removal process that is similar to waxing in that unwanted hair is pulled out from the root. An epilator device removes hair by grasping and pulling unwanted hair directly from the follicle. Results last longer than hair removal via shaving but unwanted hair will eventually grow back.


Electrolysis is a hair removal method that involves using an electric current to destroy hair follicles. Electrolysis treatment causes unwanted hair to fall out permanently. Professional beauticians operate most electrolysis devices, but there are also home electrolysis machines available for purchase. Electrolysis machines target just one hair follicle at a time, so the devices are primarily used to remove small amounts of hair from the face.

IPL hair removal devices remove unwanted hair by delivering pulses of light that pass through the skin and disable hair follicles. IPL machines can be used to remove hair on virtually any area of the body, but they are not recommended for use on sensitive areas of the face. Most IPL machines are sold for professional use at medical spas and dermatology offices.

Laser hair removal is considered the most effective type of hair removal method available, because it can be used to permanently remove large quantities of unwanted hair. Laser hair removal devices rely on heat energy to damage hair follicles, preventing future hair growth. Most laser hair removal devices are designed for professional use, but there are also a few home laser hair removal products available to those who do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on professional treatment.


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