What is better - IPL Laser VS Laser Hair Removal?

If you are wondering what is better – IPL Laser or Laser Hair Removal then this content may answer your questions.

Laser Hair Removal and IPL are successful skin and hair procedures usually performed long term to reduce the growth of hair.  Both these methods are recognised to be very effective and highly recommended by doctors, dermatologists and skin health professionals.

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These treatments not only prevent new hair growth but at the same time also reduces the growth speed and thickness of the remaining strands of hair. In most cases, people using these hair removal methods are really happy with the results.  However, you must understand the difference between IPL and laser hair removal process to select the best method suitable for your skin and hair condition.

IPL Hair Removal and Laser Hair Removal

Both the IPL hair removal method and laser hair removal methods perform by emitting powerful light energy onto your skin. The heat generated from the lasers heats and damages the hair follicles, which results in slowing or preventing the regrowth of hair.

How is the IPL hair removal method performed?

The term “IPL” refers to Intense Pulsed Light that utilizes the lights emitted from a broad range spectrum. This light source is attracted to the pigmentation of melanin in your hair. The IPL laser heats the hair and penetrates deep into the layer of skin causing damage to the hair follicle.

In recent times a new improved version of the IPL laser treatment known as VPL meaning Variable Pulsed Light has been introduced. Every hair and body type possesses different capabilities and requirements. The VP laser allows the user to easily adjust the settings for the light source to be suitable for your skin and hair type.

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How is the Laser Hair Removal method performed?

Similar to the IPL hair removal technique, the laser hair removal method also uses light energy rays to penetrate deep into your skin and heats the hair follicles. The difference between IPL and laser hair removal process is that the lasers used in this technique are enriched with specific structures of properties, which can be more effective.

The laser hair removal process helps in controlling the light energy emitted and allows it to focus on a particular area even if it is smaller in size. Lasers can penetrate deep for a longer distance and does not spread. Also, the Laser produces single light colour beams. These properties can be used for effective hair removal. Since the laser beam is designed to penetrate deep to the pore and damage the hair follicle on a specific area focused.

According to Dr. Walters, the biggest difference between an IPL laser and a normal laser, IPL works based on scattered wavelengths of light while a normal laser emits a specific wavelength.  IPL is known to be much gentler and has been known to be used by those suffering from facial flushing or rosacea.

Tips to select the best hair removal method for your needs

Choosing the perfect hair removal method is a personal choice. It should consider the fact that the colour of your hair and the skin texture can play an important part in achieving optimal results.

  • Therefore, you need to analyse and find out which is suitable for your skin type to accomplish the best results. The basic important things that need to be focused on while selecting is:
  • Type of body and skin you possess.
  • The approximate amount you are willing to spend for laser hair removal treatment.
  • The amount of time you willing to spend to obtain positive results.

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Advantages of IPL Hair Removal

  • IPL hair removal utilises a beam of light that is broad and can easily spread.
  • It covers larger areas than other laser hair removal methods.
  • Since the time taken is very low it is considered to be a cheaper option.
  • The broad beam of the light spectrum can be utilized for multiple purposes.
  • The IPL laser treatment can be used for treating diverse skin types without any complications
  • It can also be easily altered especially for matching different types of hair and skin.

Advantages of Laser Hair Removal method

  • The characteristics of the laser beam used in the Laser Hair removal method is an improved version.
  • The laser is designed to penetrate deep down reaching into the follicle and hair follicles respectively.
  • Treats the roots of hair growth for permanent prevention of regrowth of hair.
  • Since in this method every hair follicle is heated and damaged, it can help you in achieving faster results.
  • You might require to attend fewer sessions of treatments and still enjoy better results.

The best option for facial hair removal

The IPL and laser hair removal can be successfully utilized for removing facial hair. However, you need to avoid using lasers for removing hairs from your eyebrows or the scalp eventually.  You can safely use both Laser Hair Removal and IPL methods for treating chin or upper lip hair. But it is advised to avoid using on areas closer to eyes because the sharp light beams from the lasers can damage your eyesight.

Therefore, you must take utmost care and precautions to protect your eyes while performing laser treatments on your face. Avoid looking directly at the source of light while treatment procedures are implemented. 

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Side effects of the IPL and laser hair removal treatments

Both Laser Hair Removal and IPL methods might cause some mild irritation to your skin. You might experience irritation, swelling, redness, tender feeling, and itchiness. Usually, these side effects will last for a short period. Soothe your skin irritation by keeping your skin moisturized and well-nourished.

After the treatment sessions of both the Laser Hair Removal and IPL technique, your skin becomes very sensitive and so avoid scratching or touching. Avoid exposure of your skin to direct sunlight even after the treatment is completed. Wash purely and keep your skin crystal clear and fresh for the best results.


Both these methods take time to grant the preferred results and might require multiple sessions. However, the regrowth of hair is reduced permanently and slower than threading or waxing methods of hair removal after successful laser hair removal treatment sessions.

Choose the best method suitable for your skin and hair type and enjoy the smooth skin results. Good luck!

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Walters MD (Dermatologist)