IPL vs. Laser Hair Removal

Hair removal is one of the most frequently requested services at laser spas.  For an individual trying to understand the differences between laser and IPL (Intense Pulse Light) for hair removal, it can be very confusing due to the lack of available information. I’ve put together some advantages and disadvantages as well as the difference between the two. 

 

Both Laser and IPL work on removing unwanted hair in essentially the same way, both convert light energy into heat energy.  The heat energy sufficiently damages the hair follicle to stop new growth.  They both require that the area to be treated is shaved prior to the treatment and the hair be in the Anagen Phase (active growth stage). However, this is where the similarities end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main difference between Laser and IPL is the process by which the light is produced, the type of light (wavelength) and how well it is absorbed by the different hair and skin types.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An IPL machine creates a wide spectrum of light wavelengths, which means it is more diffused and less powerful. This allows only some of the wavelengths to penetrate and effectively remove the hair.  Whereas laser produces one single and precise wavelength, which means it’s an extremely concentrated beam that has a specific target.  This exact wavelength leads to a more effective treatment than IPL hair removal and therefore fewer treatments in the long term.

 

The only advantage to the laser spa for using an IPL for hair removal is that they are much cheaper to buy.   The downside is less hair reduction, almost double the amount of treatments, and because it effects the pigment in your skin it can NOT be used safely on dark skin types.   

 

Unlike IPL, laser is a little more expensive.  However, in this case you pay for what you get.  

 

Laser offers: 

 

-Precision: Targets dark, course hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.  

-Speed: Treats many hairs at the same time in an area approximately the size of a quarter, every second.  

-Efficacy: For all skin types. 

 

The conclusion is that laser outperforms IPL for hair removal every time when comparing satisfaction level, safety, and effectiveness.  

 

At Austin Laser Solutions using the Candela GentleMax laser allows me to customize your laser hair removal treatments by your skin type and hair color to ensure all treatments get the best results.  Without compromising the integrity of your skin.  


 

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