Intense pulsed light energy, more commonly known as IPL, is one of the most popular at-home treatments for hair removal.
Its appeal is clear: it’s faster than laser treatments in a clinic, not to mention a lot cheaper; it’s mostly painless, unlike waxing; and it can provide the long-term silky-smooth results that shaving cannot.
It’s no wonder then that the hair-removal market is flooded with IPL devices, each with its own bold performance claims.
If you’re new to IPL, there are a few things to consider. First is preparation – in order for it to be effective, your skin has to be as smooth as possible, so make sure you have shaved before use.
Secondly, consistency is king. IPL isn’t an overnight fix or a one-time treatment, and most machines require weekly or fortnightly use for up to 12 weeks, then top-ups if needed, which is dependent on how fast your hair grows naturally.
Keeping these facts in mind, we tried the Bondi laser @ home hair removal handset (£198, Bondilaser.com) to see if it could give results at a budget price.
How we tested
Over the course of a few weeks, we put this machine to the test, closely considering how easy it was to use, how painful or painless it was and the results we saw.
We also looked at the density and thickness of hair regrowth over the course of regular treatment. As this is one of the more budget-friendly IPL devices, we were also keen to see if the lower price impacted the quality.
Bondi laser @ home
Buy now £198, Bondilaser.com
Bondi @ home is the brainchild of Trish Coulton, who has 20 years of professional depilatory – that is, hair removal – experience, and has poured her knowledge into creating this handset.
Ease of use
The handset is designed to target light brown, medium brown, dark brown and black hair, and is supposedly safe to use even on sensitive skin. It delivers 300,000 flashes and Bondi promises a lamp life of 10 years.
Despite being one of the less pricey models on the market, it comes with protective sunglasses, which is a helpful touch considering that the flashes emitted by IPL machines can often be overwhelmingly bright.
There are eight intensity settings – more than on any other IPL device we’ve used. Once plugged in, you simply need to switch it on, pick your level, and get zapping by pressing down the black button as you move it over your skin.
There’s a barely noticeable warmth on the skin, but no discomfort, so if you have a low pain threshold, or are nervous about using an IPL device for the first time, this couldn’t be better.
While it’s safe to use on the face, we found it uncomfortable to endure the bright flashes so close to our eyes, but that was our only gripe.
For legs and underarms, you need to use the gadget once to twice a week for 12 weeks, and, for the rest of your body, you need to use it once a week for 12 weeks. Twice a week is more than most IPL devices require, but results are supposed to be visible after four treatments.
We started to see thinner and sparser hair after three weeks. Perhaps this is down to how frequently it can be used, but either way, it’s the speediest results we’ve seen with an IPL device.
After using the Bondi laser @ home, there was no longer that prickly feeling of hair regrowth a couple of days after shaving, on both our underarms and our legs.
It took almost a week for that length of hair to grow back, and even when it did, there was less of it, and eventually, we only gave limbs a quick once over with the razor before using this device.
It feels like there’s a subtle change to the hair and then, all of a sudden, you stop thinking about it as the regrowth is so minimal.
The verdict: Bondi laser @ home
For a machine that’s much smaller and more affordable than most of its competitors, it works a lot quicker. So if you’re eager to see results without having to wait three months, the Bondi laser @ home is definitely worth the reasonable investment.
We also felt there was very little difference between this device and the more high-end options available, so it’s great value for money.
Buy now £198.00, Bondilaser.com
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