If you watch TV during the evening and early morning hours, you have definitely seen commercials for the NoNoPro and other home hair removal systems. This article reviews some of the recent literature surrounding this and other similar devices.
How do these devices work?
These devices are not actually lasers, but intense pulsed light (IPL). They utilize a spectrum of visible light wavelengths that correspond with melanin, the pigment found in hair. Upon quick pulses of this light using various energies, the hair absorbs the energy, transferring heat into the follicle and arresting the growth of hair.
Do these devices actually work?
The first device studied for facial hair removal was published in July 2015. In a study of 17 female subjects with darker skin types (Fitzpatrick skin type III and IV), facial hair reduction was calculated based on mean number of terminal hairs reduced after six treatments spaced two weeks apart. The baseline number of hairs in a square centimeter prior to treatment was 22.7. After treatment, the mean hair count decreased to 4.4. The results were statistically significant. Even after three months, the mean hair count was 5.4. There were no adverse events among any patients.
Prior devices, which were reviewed in an article called “Are home-use intense pulsed light (IPL)devices safe?” published in Lasers in Medical Science in 2010 found that many home laser hair removal systems don’t have the power output as described in their labeling, which makes them less effective.
The bottom line is that these devices should be effective, as well as safe. Many of the new products on the market are effective, and have been proven in clinical studies.