When it comes to permanent hair reduction, there are two popular options: Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, and laser hair removal. But which option is best for you in terms of effectiveness and cost, IPL or laser? The answer lies in understanding the basics of these hair removal technologies: what they do, for whom they’re effective, and how long the results last. Once you have a handle on the basics of these two different methods, you can confidently pick the one that’s right for you and look forward to long-term smooth skin results!
How Do Intensive Pulse Light and Laser Therapies Remove Hair?
First off, how do laser and IPL therapies work? The main principle behind these technologies is SPTL, or selective photothermolysis, whereby a specific wavelength and pulse duration of light is used on a targeted area without damaging the surrounding skin. The targeted area is generally determined by the presence of melanin – the pigment found in the hair and skin that gives them their specific colour. The melanin in the hair follicles absorbs the light, which in turn damages the follicle and prevents hair regrowth. Effectiveness is determined by 4 things: wavelength, energy level, spot size and pulse duration. Wavelength measured in nanometers, energy level in joules, it is essentially the intensity of the light. Spot size, which refers to the depth of penetration into the skin. Pulse duration is related to the amount of damage achieved in the hair follicle because a sufficient temperature has to be maintained on the target area to ensure enough damage is done to it.
What Is The Difference Between IPL And Laser Therapy?
So what’s the difference between IPL and laser hair removal? For starters, IPL is not technically a laser because there’s no laser involved. Instead, a flash lamp that emits full spectrum light is used. Because this method’s intensive pulse light energy is less focused than a laser, it can treat slightly larger areas at once, yet lacks the level of precision that can be achieved with a laser. Treatment times may be quicker and per session costs might be a bit cheaper, but you may find that it takes more sessions to achieve the same results as the laser option. Also, using an IPL may increase
potential side effects like skin discoloration due to its less focused light energy.
With laser hair removal, the key is in the laser’s high-energy blast that can penetrate the skin, and the laser’s precision that can focus on the hair follicle target without causing skin discoloration or burning on the surrounding tissue area. This precision means that hairs can be heated to damaging temperatures more quickly, often allowing for less hair removal sessions to achieve the same results as IPL, and it’s safer for individuals with darker skin. Remember, Intensive Pulse light and laser therapies target melanin, the pigment found in hair and skin. The best-case scenario, then, are people with lighter skin and darker hair because the light energy is absorbed into the melanin-rich hair without damaging the lighter skin. With IPL, there’s a risk of burning darker, melanin-rich skin due to its less discerning light blasts. The accuracy of a laser can better target hair follicles and differentiate them from surrounding tissue. In addition, laser therapy is also complemented by different types of cooling technologies. While beneficial and soothing for anyone getting laser hair removal therapy, this is especially helpful for clients with darker skin so that skin tissue can be cooled during the process while hair follicles can be heated and critically damaged.
Remember, several treatments are typically needed for the desired result, but the end result is a significant reduction and often complete elimination of the amount of hair in the treated area. Shaving is a tedious, daily and skin-irritating chore and waxing can be messy and inconsistent, and hair grows back in a matter of weeks. While IPL is certainly an option for permanent hair removal, it’s best suited for people with lighter skin and darker hair, more sessions may be required to achieve your desired results, and the less focused light energy blasts make the chances of affecting surrounding skin tissue a risk. For these reasons, many people have made the switch from IPL to laser therapy and been happy with the results!
Laser At IGBeauty
Laser hair removal is considered to be the gold standard by many professionals, including our team at IGBeauty – the Toronto leader in cosmetology and laser aesthetic. Our LightSheer Duet and GentleMax Pro systems include three wavelength 810nm diode, 755nm Alexandrite and 1064 ND:Yag with a larger spot size for greater depth of penetration, can easily be used on any part of the body, and includes dedicated cooling technology for patient comfort. The high-speed hand piece makes for faster treatments without sacrificing precision and performance. At IGBeauty, we know that our clients want to feel confident, beautiful and ready for anything without having to worry about pesky, unwanted hair. Our team of professionals is here to inform you and guide you through the process every step of the way. Get ready to put your razors and wax away for good and experience lastingly smooth skin. Contact us for more information or to make an appointment with one of our diode laser hair removal experts.