IPL - A revolution in hair removal technology
We no longer have to rely on the past's painful and repetitive hair removal methods. For example, shaving trims hair on the skin's surface but does not extract the root, which causes rapid regrowth, ingrown hair and nicks, and cuts from the razor you use.
Waxing is a painful hair procedure. This procedure strips the skin from hair by ripping the whole follicle out of the skin. The treatment can hurt quite a bit and lasts about 2-6 weeks before it needs to repeat once again.
Light therapy is the latest and most effective way to remove unwanted hair. This technology, called intense pulsed light (IPL), performs various skin treatments, including hair removal. However, like laser hair removal, it offers a much more permanent solution.
How does intense pulsed light hair removal work?
Broad-spectrum light is applied to the surface of the skin, targeting melanin. This light travels through the skin until it strikes the hair root, where the highest concentration of melanin resides. As the light is absorbed, the bulb and most hair shafts are heated, destroying the papilla that produces hair.
What is the difference between IPL and laser treatments?Although lasers and IPL systems work on similar principles, there are some differences.
IPL is a technology used to perform various therapeutic procedures, including hair removal, treating hyperpigmentation, acne, sun damage, and thread veins. In addition, ophthalmologists are increasingly using IPL technology to treat dry eye conditions.
Intense pulsed light uses bursts of non-coherent light over a range of wavelengths. The device can produce high intensity, broad-spectrum light between 500 nm and 1200 nm.
The Bareskin has an internal cooling system to protect the skin from exposure to heat. In addition, the IPL hair removal system usually has a more extensive treatment head, allowing for better coverage and quicker.
In contrast, laser hair removal uses coherent, monochromatic laser light. Lasers use one specific wavelength to target melanin. Laser hair removal can be more painful than IPL, as the smaller handpiece used for laser hair removal makes treating more extensive areas, like the legs.
Who can use an IPL hair removal handset?
IPL is a suitable solution for those with fair skin and dark hair. However, extreme blonde, red, white or grey hair is not ideal for laser hair removal. The reason for this is that this kind of hair doesn't contain much melanin.
How many treatments will I need?
Generally, an average of 8–10 treatments are required to remove most hair permanently. However, results may vary depending on the area of skin you are treating, the equipment used, and the user's skin type.
How long do IPL treatments take?
IPL hair removal treatments are quick and virtually painless. Smaller areas take under 30 minutes, and you should be able to finish off more significant regions within an hour.
Can I be treated with IPL if I had a suntan?
Because the IPL can target the melanin produced by a tan, you will need to wait at least two weeks before treatment to avoid unintended pigmentation changes if you have a recent suntan.
What are the side effects of IPL hair removal treatments?
Immediately following IPL treatment, patients may experience redness in the treated area. However, this typically fades quickly.
Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Walters MD (Dermatologist)