Hair removal treatments are becoming increasingly popular and many clinics offer different technologies for the purpose of reducing or removing unwanted hair. This makes it hard to know what the differences between each treatment are and what the positives and negatives are for each one.
Often, IPL (intense pulsed light) and Laser Hair Removal cause some confusion as many people do not know the difference between the two. Below we look at both Laser Hair Removal and IPL treatments, their advantages and disadvantages and finally which treatment is more effective at removing or reducing hair.
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What is Laser Hair Removal?
The laser used in LHR treatments produce concentrated light beams. These light beams work by targeting the pigment in the hair follicles. LHR is considered to be significantly less painful than other treatments on the market and the majority of people that have tried LHR experience a long-lasting hair reduction. Each pulse of the laser only takes a fraction of a second to target multiple follicles at a time, meaning this form of treatment is very effective in treating large areas like the back or legs. The laser can also be adjusted to suit specific skin types, reducing the risk of hyperpigmentation and burns.
On the downside, LHR is FDA approved for permanent hair reduction and not removal so maintenance sessions will be required. Some people will find their skin reacts to the laser, leaving redness, itching or swelling, however, these should subside quickly. As LHR works by targeting the pigment in the follicle, therefore, those with darker hair and lighter skin will find the treatment more successful than those with light hair follicles.
What is IPL treatment?
So what is IPL hair removal? Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL machine, is not a laser. It produces different ranges of wavelengths similar to the way a light bulb does. These broad-spectrum pulses aren’t focused beams like the laser used in LHR, but as they deliver a broad range of varying wavelengths a certain number of IPL wavelengths can be effective at reducing hair growth.
There are serval disadvantages with IPL to consider before you begin treatment. The major downfall is the fact that it is not a concentrated beam, meaning it is overall less effective at removing hair which is the purpose of the treatment.
When it comes to IPL versus laser hair removal, it is easy to see that laser is more effective at removing and reducing hair growth. The targeted beams focus on the follicles to permanently reduce hair growth in fewer sessions and as the laser targets multiple follicles at once, the treatment is quick and easy. Follow up sessions will be required to maintain the hair loss reduction; however, this will not be often, usually once or twice a year. Because laser is adjustable, it means that it is an overall safer treatment as well and is effective on all skin types. Different skin tones will require the laser to be set at different strengths, this is important as incorrect strengths can lead to burns or hyperpigmentation. Laser is a very affordable treatment, making it accessible for most people.
So if the question is IPL or laser, it would have to be laser every time!
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