All laser and IPL devices work on black, dark brown, brown and light brown / dark blonde hair. If that’s you simply check out the best buys to see which you prefer.
But what if you have fair hair that’s light blonde, red, white or grey?
Unfortunately, there’s just one home laser and it’s NOT effective on fair hair. And most IPL devices won’t work either.
Red hair has a type of melanin called pheomelanin. It won’t absorb IPL and laser energy.
Light blonde hair has a small amount of eumelanin and pheomelanin, it won’t absorb IPL and laser energy.
Grey and white hair don’t have any of the melanin types and so won’t absorb the light energy.
Based on brand information, there are 2 home IPL machines you could try. BUT there are no guarantees they’ll work. And if they do work it’s likely you’ll need several more treatments on fair hair to see results. So, be patient and extra committed!
#1 The Smoothskin Muse – may work on light blonde hair too. Try it risk-free with a 90-day money back guarantee.
#2 Silk’n Infinity – you may see results on light blonde, red and grey or white hair. However, the info from Silk’n is super-flaky. Learn why I’m not convinced below.
Looking for the Elos and Iluminage IPL & RF devices for fair hair? Keep reading to the end and see why these are no longer recommended devices for fair hair.
Let’s start with the Muse for light blonde hair.
The Smoothskin Muse
Buy from CurrentBody | £250 to £399
- May work on light blonde hair
- Try it risk-free for 90 days
Smoothskin advise you may see results on light blonde hair. That’s bacause it may have enough eumelanin pigment. This excludes blonde hair that’s virtually white.
NOTE: There’s no clinical test data or proof to support the Muse works on lighter blonde hair. It may take several more sessions to see results on blonde and light blonde hair than with darker hair. You may need more frequent top-ups too. Consider the extra committment in your decision.
However, Smoothskin offer a 90-day money back guarantee. This means you can treat your light blonde hair for the full guarantee period and, if you aren’t happy with the results, return it for a refund.
The chart below comes from the Smoothskin website. You can see it here.
As seen above, Smoothskin suggest you can try treating blonde hair during the 90-day guarantee period. If you don’t see the results you want, organise a return within 90 days of the purchase date. CurrentBody.com also off a 90-day money back guarantee.
The Smoothskin Muse is a fantastic device too. A top choice and a recommended best buy, because it’s sexy, powerful, with endless flashes and it’s fast. You can learn more about the Muse here.
The Silk’n Infinity
Maybe buy from CurrentBody.com | £140 to £220
- May work on light blonde, red, grey & white hair
- Try risk-free for 60 days in the US & Canada
- No explanation or support from Silk’n, despite a direct request
- No risk-free money back gurantee in the UK & europe
On the Silk’n EU website they say “From now on, it’s possible to remove blond, grey and red hairs effectively with Infinity, provided the skin tone is light enough.”
It’s not quite so committal on Silkn.com in the US where they say “Our patented HPL technology is best suited for lighter skin tones and darker hair… and may work on blonde, grey or red hair if there is enough pigment.”
However, both Silkn.eu and Silkn.com use the same skin tone and hair colour chart to show the safe and effective skin and hair colour combinations.
So, does it work on fair hair or not?
It’s confusing and unclear. So I asked Silk’n for more information. I’d like to know how it works on hair without dark melanin – is it effective because of the IPL & Galvanic energy combination? And what regimen should you follow to get results?
I asked these questions back in May ’19. And, after a couple of polite nudges, I’m still waiting for a helpful reply.
So, here’s what we do know:
Neither Silk’n website shares any information on how the Infinity is effective on fair hair. As such, there’s no clinical test data or proof to support the Infinity works on lighter blonde, red, grey or white hair.
The Silk’n Infinity does not have FDA-clearance specifically noting it works on fair hair
At this stage, without more proof and support from Silk’n, I can’t recommend the Infinity is effective on fair hair. Plus, there’s no money back gaurantee available in the UK and Europe. So, it’s risky to invest only to potentially be disappointed.
However, Silkn.com in the US and Canada do give a 60-day money back guarantee. If you live there, it’s extra peace of mind if you want to try it. Hopefully it’s enough time to use it and see results. If not, return it for a refund.
Compare the Muse and Infinity in the table below. And do read the full in-depth reviews to learn all the pros and cons.
|Smoothskin Muse||Silk'n Infinity 400,000|
|Price||£250 to £399||£140 to £220|
|Type||IPL||IPL & Galvanic energies|
Safe for skin tones I to V
|Safe for ALL skin tones|
Black to dark blonde, may work on light blonde.
|Black to dark blonde, may work on lighter hair|
|Skin tone sensor||Protects too dark skin & selects the best intensity for your skin tone||Skin tone sensor activates safe intensities for your skin tone|
|Operation||Mains-power, 200 cm cord||Mains-power, 180 cm cord|
|Attachments||x1 multi-use flash window||x1 multi-use flash window|
|Lifespan / Total body area:||Unlimited||
|For fair hair||It's possible to see results on light blonde hair with more sessions. Try with the 90-day money back guarantee||Shave first, fair hair on darker tones will not work|
|Proven?||Clinically proven, FDA-cleared (but not for light blonde hair)||Clinically proven (but not for fair hair)|
|Speed per leg||
|Warranty||2 years||2 year (UK & Europe)|
|Money back guarantee||90-day guarantee||in UK & Europe 60-day guarantee in US|
|Full review||Learn more||Learn more|
What about the Iluminage Touch and Precise Touch?
You may have heard of these.
These devices from Iluminage Beauty Ltd and Iluminage Beauty Inc are both clinically proven and FDA-cleared effective on fair hair. They use a combination of IPL and Radio Frequency. But unfortunately, Iluminage Beauty ceased trading in 2018.
You may find final stock available through some retailers. However, before buying you should check if the retailer honours the manufacturer warranty. If anything breaks or fails during the warranty period it’ll be peace of mind as the retailer can either replace it or give a refund. Otherwise you’ll there’s no one to help if anything goes wrong.
Another question I’m sometimes asked it would it work on fair hair to follow the Iluminage Touch treatment protocol with the Infinity?
The Treatment Protocol for the Touch devices on fair hair is to remove hair at the root (wax or epilate) and then treat with the device. The tiny bit of blood left in the follicle (after pulling out the hair) is what absorbs the IPL and RF energy. You’ll need around 14 weekly sessions to see good results. And it may take a while for results to become noticeable.
So, would this work?
It’s impossible to say because Silk’n have not tested the Infinity with this protocol or even with waxing or epilating before use. They advise only shaving beforehand.
So, it’s difficult to say and an experiment at your own risk.
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