IPL vs. Laser Hair Removal
If you're considering laser hair removal, it pays to do some research and to ask the right questions.
We know it's easy to be lured in by the promise of a stubble-free life: no more ingrown hair and all the pro’s that come with it, but it is very important to familiarize yourself with the type of treatment you are receiving & the possible side effects.
Ask the right questions before deciding on which treatment to opt for.
What Methods of Hair Removal are available?
When looking at hair removal treatments, the 2 main methods of removal that will most likely come up are IPL or Laser hair removal.
In a nutshell and to not get too technical: both methods convert light energy into heat energy, which destroys the hair follicle.
Both heat energies are absorbed by the melanin or the pigment of the hair. Essentially, the energy heats the hair right down to the bottom of the root, safely destroying it without damaging surrounding tissue or skin.
IPL uses scattered light, of which some of the energy will have an effect on the hair follicles.
Laser focuses the light into a concentrated beam to have the desired effect on the hair follicle.
Typically IPL will require more treatments because it makes use of scattered light energy, rather than focused light energy.
It is the scattered light specifically, why the IPL can be used for more than just hair removal purposes.
The main reason why most skin care clinics will invest in an IPL.
IPL devices are great to treat sun spots, small spider veins or rosacea and skin rejuvenation in lighter skin types.
It is also the scattered light that poses a possible concern for darker skin types. If used incorrectly, the IPL can cause serious hyperpigmentation on dark skin types.
It is important to discuss your specific concerns with your aesthetician and take into consideration your skin type so that they can advise you on the best course of action
Which is better for hair removal, IPL or laser?
IPL technology will require more treatments and will have less effective hair reduction.
A true laser will have a stronger effect in reducing hair growth in fewer sessions.
What is the best laser for hair removal?
An alexandrite laser is great for treating lighter skin types, and an Ng:YAG is ideal and safe for treating darker skin types. Ask your skin care clinic which techno logy they make use of!
What does laser hair removal entail?
Client’s will need to come for a treatment every 4-8 weeks, in which only the hair in the active growth phase will successfully be treated. Hence 6-12 treatments are required. Not all hairs will be in the same growth phase at the same time.
In between treatments clients can shave which encourages the damaged follicle to shed. This will not stimulate stronger hair growth.
It is important to refrain from having the treated area exposed to any sunlight, and as part of your daily routine, to keep the area protected with a SPF 50
Who can and can’t receive IPL and laser treatments?
Laser hair removal treatments are suitable for most male and females. Medical conditions are always discussed during your consultation and therefore any contraindications which may compromise the treatment will be presented.
There are certain conditions which prevent clients from being treated, often these are related to medications that cause light (photo) sensitivity, or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How much does laser hair removal and IPL cost?
Prices can vary greatly depending on location or technologies used. IPL will typically be cheaper than laser given that the results are less effective and in the long run would require a lot more treatments.