Spend just a short amount of time research hair removal online and you’ll more than likely hear the term laser hair removal and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). These are definitely the two most commonly used therapies chosen by people keen to say goodbye to unwanted hair…but how exactly are they different and is any one method of hair removal better than the other?
The best way to answer these questions is to have a look at exactly what laser hair removal is and what IPL is.
Medical Grade Lasers and IPL
Medical grade lasers are highly technological pieces of machinery that must be operated by trained and qualified technicians. The way the lasers work is that they generate their own light which is then focused onto a specific area – even a specific hair follicle. They have a single wavelength, providing a targeted treatment for hair removal.
On the other hand, IPL, although using light to remove hair, emits a varying wavelength of light. This means the intensity of light varies across the area the light source focuses on. It will be more powerful in some areas, and not necessarily in the areas where the unwanted hair is.
So what does that mean for hair removal?
Because of the single wavelength emitted by the medical grade laser, the laser can be focused on a specific area for powerful hair removal. Unfortunately for IPL, it cannot do this, even though the light it emits covers a wider area. The light emitted by the IPL cannot focus on a specific area, and people who choose IPL for hair removal will be exposed to radiation generated by the device which won’t necessarily be effective in removing hair, simply because it cannot specifically target the unwanted hair. This also exposes the client to heat and discomfort which can be avoided with medical grade lasers for hair removal.
Although medical grade lasers provide a reasonably comfortable hair removal solution, there is still the sensation of a snapping rubber band on your skin when you undergo laser hair removal treatment. The benefit with the medical grade laser though is that it concentrates that minimal discomfort to the area where the unwanted hair actually is.