Hair Removal with Lasers vs. IPL

January 22, 2016

Today, we’re lucky to have more options for removing unwanted body hair than ever before. Some of us choose to do so by ourselves at home, and some of us have it quickly and effectively taken care of by professionals. Most at-home hair removal techniques have the same overall result – the hair keeps growing back. We have to continue to spend time and money removing unwanted body hair, which can become quite expensive and frustrating overtime. It’s no wonder that more and more people are seeking permanent and long-term hair removal solutions. Two popular options for a more permanent solution are intense pulse light (IPL) treatments and Toronto laser hair removal treatments. Both techniques remove hair by damaging the hair follicle through heat, so over time and after a few sessions, the hair is usually completely gone. IPL works by creating heat through light energy similar to a light bulb, while hair removal with lasers creates heat through laser light. While both technologies sound similar, there are actually several differences to consider before deciding which is best for you.

Since IPL works by emitting scattered light waves at varying lengths, the result is a less powerful light source that is usually only effective at destroying darker hair follicles on fairer skin tones. IPL is less effective on thicker hair as it lacks the light energy required to effectively destroy the follicle. Hair removal treatments with lasers on the other hand, create more heat and light energy by employing lasers, which can be adjusted to target a specific hair colour and skin pigment. This means laser is a more effective hair removal treatment for different skin tones, like medium to darker skin tones, and are more precise when they target coarse or dark hairs without causing damage to the surrounding skin. Lasers are also more effective than IPL on larger areas, as each laser pulse can destroy several hair follicles in a fraction of a second.

In terms of the cost to a client, IPL is often a cheaper alternative to laser, given the lower cost of the equipment to the specialist using it to complete the procedure. However, since IPL is not as effective as a laser type of hair removal, it requires more sessions to have the same effect that lasering would have on a given area. Overtime, these repeated sessions result in a higher cost to the client overall, than laser would.

A common concern for people considering IPL or laser treatments is whether there are any associated side effects, discomfort or pain involved with the procedure. Since IPL works by producing heat using a broad range of light wavelengths, producing too much heat can result in a burn for the client. This tends to be most common for clients with darker skin, as darker skin absorbs more light energy than lighter skin tones do. As a result, not only does the hair get burned, but the skin may too. Operators of IPL equipment need to be careful not to apply too much light energy for clients with darker skin tones, but may mistakenly do so, since not applying enough light energy fails to produce quality results. Lasers are safer for all skin tones, since they can be programmed for various skin and hair colours, resulting in a safer procedure without burning or pigmentation. This is due to the fact that the surrounding skin, even dark-toned skin, is absorbing less heat than it would for IPL treatments. While some laser treatments may result in temporary redness or scaling of the skin immediately after the procedure, these are temporary and will fade with time.

There are several various factors to consider when comparing IPL and laser treatments. Laser is most often considered the best option, given its higher efficiency, overall value in terms of cost and lower side effects. IGBeauty Studio, located in Toronto, offers laser treatments using the LightSheer Duet, a highly effective and comfortable laser system. Contact IGBeauty Studio for a consultation by calling (647) 764-7490 or (416) 484-4884. We can also be reached by email at Check out our website for more information on laser treatments, including pricing, photos and FAQs.

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