There are a number of hair removal solutions available on the market but not all of them offer long-lasting results. The most popular procedures for unwanted hair or permanent hair removal are Laser treatments and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) systems. Laser hair removal treatments are more published and penetrate the hairs deeply and accurately with focused lasers that deliver energy where they are required while IPL is not as focused. Although both treatments are often confused with one another as they provide similar results through the penetration of light, the treatments are quite different.
We recommend having a good understanding of each procedure before you go ahead to choose between IPL or laser hair removal.
Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation which refers to visible light and electromagnetic radiation of any frequency used. This essentially means that the medical-grade device laser emits light and pulse at a specific wavelength to target different points of melanin, which is present in the hair follicle. The light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair and avoids any contact with the surrounding skin by targeting the hair shaft. This process works to destroy the hair at the root and prevent blood flow to the follicle which stops hair growth on a long-term basis.
Laser hair removal can be used on most parts of the body where hair is present including the:
For optimal results, we recommend having 6 to 10 treatments every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the area you are having treated as well as the thickness of your hair. This will allow your skin to properly recover from the procedure and the dead hairs to fall out naturally. Between treatments, you will be advised to shave the treatment area as you will not be able to pluck, wax or thread your hair. You will find the hairs shed by falling out themselves with rapid hair growth in the first few days of your treatment but this only means that the laser is working effectively. By the end of your series, you may want to have a top-up treatment once a year upon completion of your series to target any remaining hairs.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments work in a similar way to laser in that it emits pulses of light to penetrate the melanin in the hair follicles which are absorbed and destroyed by the hair at the root. The difference is that IPL treatments use broad-spectrum light of varying wavelengths to penetrate the skin while a laser uses single-spectrum light. Essentially, an IPL treatment is less targeted, less powerful and spreads out more.
The procedure does not penetrate as deeply as the laser does as it emits scattered light which covers larger areas. This means that fewer hair follicles are destroyed during each session in comparison to laser with a risk of skin damage to the surrounding skin through burning, hyperpigmentation, blistering and even scarring. IPL treatments can provide you with long-lasting results but they will take longer to notice.
Although both IPL and laser hair removal treatments can successfully remove hair from the root to cause them to shed, they are very different in how they do so and the results they can offer as well as their risks.
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that should only be performed by a dermatologist or licensed professional whereas an IPL machine can be found in a salon or even purchased for at-home use. A laser hair removal procedure will accurately target hair follicles and remove up to 95% of the hair in the treatment area which can last a minimum of 2 years, without any top-up treatments but an IPL treatment will only target 75% of the hair. This is because IPL is not targeted specifically to the hair follicle and emits light to a larger surface area.
IPL treatments can be completed within 15 minutes due to the size of the device used but they are not as accurate as laser treatments as they emit scattered light to target hair follicles. This means that you are at higher risk of damaging your skin while a 30-minute targeted laser treatment provides less risk and minimal discomfort with more accurate and long-term results.
With a combination of other treatments, the laser is safe to use on dark skin and can even target lighter hairs but an IPL machine remains sensitive to darker skin color and light hairs. If you have darker skin, we highly recommend that you avoid using IPL and opt for a laser treatment.
If you are unsure of whether IPL or laser is right for you, book a consultation with us today to find out more.
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18140 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL, 33160, United States