Gillette must have finally realized just how much women hate shaving. Seeing the rising trend of women (and men) opting to have permanent laser hair removal treatments done by salons on various areas of their bodies, Gillette and Palomar Medical Technologies are spearheading research that will bring an at-home laser hair removal treatment device to the market soon. Palomar, which already develops professional laser equipment for salons, has been given the go-ahead by the FDA to market their device to the general public.
So, why is this such a big deal? After all, there are already several devices on the market that claim to enable consumers to remove hair by laser at home. The difference between those devices and the new one by Palomar, which spent three years working on the device, is that the other devices have never been approved by the FDA.
While the device will only be released in limited test runs over this year, those in the beauty industry wonder if the device will eventually impact sales of popular over-the-counter products such as razors and cream-based depilatories. The answer to this question will ultimately depend on the product’s success at effectively removing hair and just how difficult and time consuming the process is.
Currently, salon laser hair removal treatments range in prices from $400 to $1000 per treatment, depending on the area to be treated and where in the U.S. the salon is located. In order for the laser to successfully remove the hair permanently, a patient may need three or more treatments. These numbers have made the process cost prohibitive to many who would want nothing more than to permanently rid themselves of unsightly hair.
However, enabling consumers to buy an over-the-counter device will not only lessen the price of the treatment as there will be no need for technicians, but it will also allow those who are a bit more timid about stripping down to their skivvies in a salon to complete the procedure in the privacy of their home.
Of course, like at-home waxing, many who can afford salon treatment will continue to go with trained professionals in order to save themselves the work that the device will no doubt involve. After all, some areas are definitely harder to reach than others, making it easier for a second party to treat those areas.
Palomar is also in talks with Johnson & Johnson to use this new at-home laser technology to target wrinkles and cellulite. As for the hair removal device, however, there’s no word on when the device will have its official launch date.