Male hair reduction, how are new home IPL devices?

I’m a guy who is above average hairy, and I want to reduce the amount on my neck/shoulders/back 80-90%, and stomach/chest around 50% if not more. I would like a slight reduction on arms and legs as well.

My skin type is II/III. I’m mid 30’s. My hairs are mainly dark brown (not completely black but dark).

I had 6 treatments with laser on shoulders/back (Lightsheer Diode if I remember correctly) spread over three years 2004-2006 which only resulted in a very slight reduction.

Is home IPL a good alternative? Even the cost of the highest priced devices are nothing compared to the cost of professional laser. I’ve read mixed opinions here on HT, but it seems that IPL at least has some permanent effect.

I’ve read through the product descriptions on several models, and it does seem to me that recent models have more features, more safety, and promise better results. But that is of course from the promotional info.

There is not much technical info on the sites except from lamp hours etc. So it’s hard to tell how strong the light is (or whatever spec will indicate the most effect).

I’ve been looking at these two models:

Philips Lumea SC2008/11:
Remington IPL6500:

Both references studies that show reduction, but without knowing the exact studies and at what time reduction was checked (permanent or not) it is hard to judge.

Does anyone have expertise to shine some light on these devices, or any input on my situation in general?

What´s up.

I am using and experimenting since 2 Years with IPL´s and have bought my 3rd Lumea.

The Legends are true, they work and you can expect an permanent hair reduction after 2 Year of 50% if you use it regular.

But, they work as described best on thick dark hair on white skin. The negative Aspect is that some hair won´t fall out until you do it by yourself.

Overall, big thumps up for this technology and products, worth every cent and definitely superior to electrolysis on some areas, despite what the professional Electrolist might say.

Hi, thanks for the reply. Reduction is what I want so that sounds promising.

I’m curious about the extent of the reduction, I’ve seen a couple of reviews but they fail to specify how long since they last used it when the judge the reduction. I mean, if someone uses it for months or years and never let it grow for an extended period, how can they tell? People who want the hair gone likely won’t give it time to grow at least that’s what I figure. Did you let it grow without shaving/treating for several months?

If you let it grow all out is your hair now uneven or patchy or does it look completely natural just thinner?

Is there a reason you bought your third one? Did you use up all the capacity or did it fail for other reasons?

This is really hard info to find so I hope you can answer. Thanks!

I did get the Lumea and its now almost two weeks since I did my first treatment of several areas.

The hairs that I zapped are still growing or at least coming out, and it seems less “powerful” than my earlier laser treatments in that regard. But I’m just going to have to give this some time.

I will try and keep a schedule of doing this every two weeks for a while and see what happens. The manual says every two weeks, which is very different from laser guidelines (6 weeks from what i remember?). I have no idea about the science behind this so we’ll just have to see… every two weeks is a lot of work for large areas.

I’m still very curious about people who have received permanent reduction with this method, is your hair “even” or is it patchy?


I wrote you my phone number for all your questions last week.

The periods of 4 week are recommended to let old hairs enough time to fall out.

Bought the third Lumea because wanted to upgrade my old 2003 to 2008/11. So I use two devises to skip the charge times.

Overall it’s clearly different from the results, a mix of thinner hairs and a good reduction. Some areas are now patchy other just still even. Yeah I think experimenting on your self is the best way to get accurate answers because the results dependent from person to person.

Thanks! I have not been paying attention to my messages at all, sorry about that. I prefer to communicate in text, I’m just not that comfortable on the phone nor in a second language.

I’ll take any reduction really but your results do sound promising. And if any doubters are reading this, I just want to say that I bought it knowing that it was a gamble. I can handle the cost if it turns out not to work.

I will certainly experiment some if it starts to show results. Right now though I’m prepared to just treat all the areas until the results do start to show.

I have not yet seen hair falling out and those I’ve “checked” with tweezers seem to still be very attached. I used the maximum power setting for everything. I guess this just takes more time, if those hairs did get enough power to actually die in the first place.

The plan was to do this every two weeks, but I don’t know enough about growing cycles and all of that to find out what gives the best results in killing hairs. I must admit that 4 weeks sounds like much less work… I’ll do whatever is proven to give the best effect.

joheu, please keep us up to date!! I’m an 18 year old male who really wants to inhibit facial hair growth, and I’d enjoy following your progress. Which model did you get?

Hi there! Sorry for not updating.

I’m soon done with my 2nd treatment. Its basically the full body treatment now, so it takes a lot of time. I figure I won’t be able to do this more often than once every month.

I have no idea how effective this will be, but I think I might do one more lower arm treatment and one more chest treatment, and then skip those areas for 4months+ in case it works very well (it probably doesn’t work that well given my what I’ve read though).

I can’t reach my back so I’m not doing that. Also I’m not doing my hands because I’m scared of people knowing me noticing obvious stubble or me being perfectly smooth… not ready to deal with that… haha.

I think the hair is growing back a bit slower… my chest has these funny “stripes” of hair now so it looks kind of funny. I’m going to have to read up on growth cycles now.

I have the SC2006. I thought I’d gotten the SC2008 but it says 2006. Supposedly this one is 140k flashes while the latest one (2009) has 250k according to the Philips home page. Nothing much to do about that now… I intend to use it until it breaks anyway.

Update, done my 3rd body treatment.

The regrowth is definitely heavily reduced, particularly on my arms and legs. Less so on stomach, chest, shoulders, and butt, but it has an effect there too.

I have no illusions that any of this is permanent yet but I am going to take a longer break now to judge some of the effect. I will continue treatment on upper arms, stomach, shoulders, and butt. And also the areas of my back that I can reach.

The temporary reduction in regrowth is very nice. I hated having visible stubble after shaving before, but now my skin looks a lot smoother since the growth clearly has stopped at least temporarily.

As a side note, I’ve seen that IPL is supposed to help with Keratosis Pilaris. Not for me at least. I have it pretty bad on arms and legs and to some extent on much of the rest of my body, and repeated IPL has not helped it at all.

It’s been almost two months since I last treated myself. It has grown back around 60% with the exception of my legs where it is still quite sparse. I treated myself for almost 4 months total.

I’m going to wait it out for 1-2 more months just as an experiment to see if anything is long term or permanent. After that I’ll probably look into electrolysis, I don’t really know at the moment.

Update after 3.5 months of not treating myself. All the hair is back, except a very slight reduction on legs still. But even that has grown a lot lately so I don’t expect any results there either. I’m guessing leg hairs have really long cycles anyway.

I’m not going to try to conclude anything about home IPL just based on my personal experience. Had I treated myself for a longer period, there might have been changes… or maybe not. But for me, it looks like no changes (as long as there isn’t stimulated growth I’ll discover later).

I will be looking into electrolysis, when I can work out my schedule, find a practitioner I trust, and various practical matters.

These home units do not work simply because they are not powerful enough. To add to that, even professional grade IPL is usually unable to permanently remove hair.

Yep, lesson learned I guess. And this doesn’t really encourage me to try laser again either, even though it is probably more effective than IPL.

I’ll update in a few months about my legs, since there might be some permanent reduction on part of one leg. Not much to brag about and it says nothing for uniformity or predictability.

For anyone wondering, the reduction effect that I thought I saw on my leg, has pretty much disappeared now.

Conclusion: No permanent results after 4 months of rather aggressive self treatment.

Yes, this device can reduce and inhibit hair growth temporarily, meaning that the visible stubble will be less than if you only shaved. Is it worth the time and the labor of maintaining it on anything else than very tiny areas? No.

Update with a slight backtrack:

As more of the hair on my legs has grown back (I thought it had all come back last time but it was hard to judge) I do today still have some reduction on the back and outer mid portion of my lower legs. (A rather small area).

I’ve compared older pics and this is not due to induced hair growth on the rest of my legs. Amount elsewhere seem pretty much what it was before.

No difference and no reduction on other parts of my body. I still stand by my conclusion, but there’s surprisingly signs of some lasting effect. Whether its permanent is too early to tell.

Just thought I’d inform you all in case there’s any interest in my anecdotal experience. Maybe this is the most receptive area for this kind of weak treatment.

FYI I haven’t used it for almost a year now and I don’t plan to start again.

Another note: If anyone else have any long term information to report, I’d absolutely love to hear it.

I can google for IPL and find tons of forums discussion all over the webs… but there’s no one chiming in with results after 1year+. And those who do are usually the people who are still using it frequently which makes any judgement they do about effectiveness completely irrelevant. (You can’t tell me its permanent if you are still zapping the area every two weeks!!!)

Anyways, that was my little rant but even though I’m probably long done with IPL I’m still very eager to find out the truth and the science about it…