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IPL Hair Removal vs. Laser Hair Removal 

 December 11, 2020

By  Axel Lillsunde

Which is better for hair removal, IPL or Laser?

When discussing the efficacy of hair removal treatments, the most important factors to first consider are skin type, area, and size. The decision between IPL and Laser based removal is actually quite minor. That being said, both IPL and Lasers use light to heat hair follicles up.


Once the follicles become hot enough, they are permanently damaged and stop hair from regrowing without affecting the surrounding layers of skin too much. 


Although IPL and Lasers achieve the same results, they use very different technologies to do so. 


What is IPL Laser Hair Removal? 

IPL technology, or ‘intense pulsed light’ technology, is a technique where different wavelengths are combined to create a large spectrum of light. This results in more unfocused energy circulating around around a specific area, allowing it to scatter and be much more gentle than a laser beam. So, unlike laser treatments which operate on a single wavelength, IPL uses a combination to cause light to scatter. 


Does IPL hair removal work? 

The most important factors when determining the efficacy of IPL hair removal usually first come from the person's skin and hair type as well as the area being treated. However, most people undergoing hair removal treatments will and can expect 6 to 8 treatments for complete hair removal. 


Is IPL Safe? 

IPL hair removal is a gentle and effective treatment. It can also be used to treat facial flushing and rosacea very well.


Is IPL Permanent? 

Most patients will need to experience between six to eight sessions of IPL removal before they see permanent hair removal. However, once the treatment plan is fully completed, patients can expect to have drastically reduced hair mass and smooth skin once again. 


Laser hair removal explained


What is Laser hair removal?

The process of laser hair removal is quite simple, a very short pulse of laser energy is emitted and absorbed by hair follicles in the skin. This causes the hair follicles to be permanently damaged, and stops hair growth from occurring.


This effectively feels like a pinch, rather than some sort of torture device. Darker hair types actually absorb the laser energy even better, which means it’s even less painful! 


Does laser hair removal work? 

 

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to just zap all of your hair at once and never worry about it again. There are a couple of reasons why you need to visit a specialist more than once. 

Laser hair removal works by damaging hair follicles in the active growth phase, through a beam made up of precisely controlled pulses of energy.


The energy is absorbed by the melanin or pigment in the hair, destroying the follicles that lie beneath the skin. However, not all hair follicles are active at the same time, which means for the laser to work there has to be hair; and because there is not always hair in each and every follicle, the laser will miss some. 


The cycle takes a month to complete on average, which means laser treatments are usually spaced out by a month


Is Laser hair removal Safe?

To be able to operate a laser on a person, significant training must first be done. At Miami Skin Spa, each of our nurses is first trained for laser safety, and then trained by Cutera to optimally operate their laser hair removal machines. 


However, Laser hair removal is a permanent and serious procedure. All permanent procedures have risks associated with them. These risks are thoroughly discussed during the consultation, and at worst involves blistering. The machine used determines the safety of laser hair removal.

 


Does laser hair removal Hurt? 

Most patients tolerate the treatment very well. Laser hair removal doesn't really hurt, it feels more like a rubber band being flicked against your skin repetitively. However, as a general rule of thumb, the darker and coarser the hair is, the more discomfort will be felt.


This is because darker and coarser hair can absorb more energy at a time. This is not something that can be controlled unfortunately. On the positive side, patients with darker and coarser hair see results much faster and require less treatments.


Is laser hair removal Permanent?

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to just zap all of your hair at once and never worry about it again. Even though laser hair removal is effective There are a couple of reasons why you need to visit a specialist more than once. 


First, not all hair follicles are active at the same time. For the laser to work there has to be hair, and because there is not always hair in each and every follicle, the laser will miss some.

 

The cycle takes a month to complete on average, which means laser treatments are usually spaced out by a month.



Which treatment should I choose for hair removal?


Energy, frequency and hair color are all determining factors in the efficacy of the treatment. A professional will be able to determine which mode of light treatment is optimal for each patient.


However, because lasers are much more direct and precise than IPL methods of delivery, the overall exposure to these wavelengths is much lower than IPL. 


If you want more comparisons and information on hair removal check out our blog on Laser Hair Removal vs. Shaving!


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