Laser hair removal and IPL (intense pulsed light) are both popular methods for removing unwanted hair. But how do they work, and what are the key differences between the two? Although both methods use light to heat hair follicles and prevent regrowth, the technology being used is quite different and the varying factor lies in the light source generated.
To understand which hair removal method is best for you, we need to take a closer look at how each one works.
Laser hair removal uses a laser beam that is directed at the hair follicle. The laser light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle, which then destroys the follicle. This method can be quite precise, and is often used for small areas such as the chin, upper lip or bikini line. For clients undertaking laser hair removal, success is usually achieved after six to nine sessions where it becomes apparent the treated area is seen to have a significant reduction in hair or evidence of permanent hair removal.
IPL, on the other hand, uses a broad-spectrum light that is less focused than laser light. IPL targets both the hair follicle and the surrounding skin. The light energy is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle and converted to heat. This heat then destroys the follicle. IPL generally requires six to nine weeks of treatment to see complete removal of hair in an area.
Is it better to use Laser or IPL?
Generally, the use of IPL for hair removal will require more sessions than laser hair removal to achieve the same results. IPL is not as focused as laser light, so it can’t target the hair follicle as precisely. This means that the surrounding skin can also be damaged, which can cause side effects such as redness, swelling and blistering. Laser hair removal being more precise can target key areas making it more comfortable, in addition new laser technologies are equipped with integrated cooling systems to further reduce discomfort. The top of the line laser machines used in the clinic have been imported from leading manufacturers in New Zealand with the help of trusted moving companies. For many people who want to remove excess hair, laser is undeniably the superior option, however it is important to speak to your qualified laser practitioner to discuss your requirements and skin type as both methods – laser and IPL are effective forms of hair removal.