Budget IPL laser devices: any good?

  • Creator
  • #136993

    A couple of trans women tell me that they have had some success using these devices on the darker hairs of their faces and arms. I see that these machines are available from about £30 up to hundreds. Has anyone here used one, how useful was it, and what differences are there between cheaper and pricier ones?

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  • Author
    • #138109

      Hi Rebecca,

      I have a Lumilla that I bought on sale for about $150 and yes, it does work within the limitations that come with a small hand held device. It took a month before I saw the first results and it is still providing those results several months later albeit on a smaller number of hairs on my face.

      My beard is almost entirely gray now so I need other methods and I tried shaving, waxing and needle epilation. The latter was by far the most painful with the least observable results given the relatively high cost of treatments.

      Given a change in financial circumstances I changed my approach to one that is now working more effectively than anything else. I am at week 15 and I plucked fewer than two dozen hairs off my face this morning. The stubble is soft and mostly along the chin and jaw line but even there it is getting finer and softer.

      In essence I combining epilation, laser and topical HRT and while I still have facial hair I have reduced it by 90% in just over 3 months. The end result is a substitution of beard hairs with those that more closely resemble vellus hair found on the faces of ciswomen.

      My advice as far as IPL is concerned is do your research and carefully read the reviews of those who have purchased them. Cheap ones are a waste of money in my opinion. You need one that enables you to change the intensity setting and you need to be patient because it is small and takes time to cover the area you are trying to clear.

      Good luck, Rowena 👩‍🦳

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    • #137008
      Emily Alt

      I bought a Philips Lumea Prestige IPL unit when the pandemic forced my dermatologist to close after my 4th laser session.  It’s not nearly as fast as the professional lasers found in clinics, but it is effective on body hair.  Or at least it worked for me.  It’s also less expensive than a single laser session.  I paid about $400 on sale from a UK retailer (Philips IPL units aren’t sold in the US).  When I bought it, the Philips unit was the most powerful consumer IPL you could buy.  It’s powerful enough to work.  None of the cheaper models I looked at came close.  I think that’s why they have a bad reputation.  Be forewarned about facial hair.  It’s more difficult to get rid of than body hair.  My Philips unit isn’t as effective on my face.  I plan to get laser and then electrolysis there.


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    • #137002

      I bought an home laser gun in a desperate attempt mainly to reduce facial hair. I paid somewhere in the region of 200€ for it about 4-5 years ago.  I cannot report that it actually help in any meaningful way. I went on to book sessions at a laser clinic which did actually begin to help. That was until I sustained burns on the left and right of my neck through bad practice and ceased treatment from that day. Skin burns through treatment is more common that you would like to believe!

      By this time most of the remaining beard had turned grey and impossible for laser treatment at another clinic of value.

      The only remaing method of removal of unwanted hair was epilation at a specialist clinic, which I discovered are sparse and scattered across France and generallly in cities Treatment began BC (before covid) and continues with a 2 hour session every 3 months. I am happy to report that there is now a small amount that remains and imagine that a few more sessions will eliminate the remaing hairs that remain. They did also have a laser treatment that was used one time only. It was much more painful than I recalled, the laser gun also blew cold air onto the skin where it flased to reduce pain. I would not have wished to undego that without the cold air function – Ouch!!

      A final note: taking estrogen may have slowed down beard grwoth but will not stop it.

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    • #137001

      Oh No No,  just say no.

      most just burn the hair off at the skin. Others jerk it out. Nothing cheap kills hair dead. Nothing I’ve ever seen. I epilate my arms, legs and chest. My epilator comes with an attachment for eyebrows and moustache areas, but I’m not that brave of a girl to try it. With the epilator, I only have to do them every two to three weeks.

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