IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and Laser Hair Removal are often confused by those who aren’t familiar with the finer points of the treatments. While both treatments can disrupt the growth of hair with no effect to surrounding tissues, IPL is not the best treatment for hair removal as it is not as precise or as powerful in general.
How Lasers Work
Laser hair Removal machines work by producing one single wavelength of light in an extremely concentrated beam; this beam is able to precisely target the melanin within the hair and then destroy the follicle.
Depending upon your skin and hair colour, the tunings of the machine will be adjusted to be the perfect strength for your requirements…the wavelengths must be correct to accurately destroy the follicle without causing damage to the surrounding skin and tissue.
The heat of the laser is only absorbed by the follicle and not by the surrounding tissue so there is no pain…but the treatment is highly effective.
How IPL Works
IPL works in a very different way to laser though the treatment is still light-based. The light produced in IPL is broad spectrum…like a light bulb but more powerful…and it’s excellent for the treatment of pigmentation or broken blood vessels but because it cannot be concentrated into a fine, direct beam like lasers can, it isn’t so successful in the treatment of excess hair.
IPL also penetrates on a much shallower level….making deeply set hair impossible to reach and for this reason in addition to its lack of concentrated energy it’s not suitable for hair removal.
In general laser treatment is more costly than IPL but this is due to the fact that the equipment used is much more specialist and the training necessary is more in-depth; that’s not to say that just anyone can operate IPL equipment…this also requires a high level of training for its various uses. Both treatments are excellent in different ways and for different issues…but for hair removal, true laser hair removal is the clear winner in terms of effectiveness and safety.