When it comes to removing unwanted hair, waxing, plucking, and shaving are tiring and painful. They do work but they offer unimpressive results and quick regrowth. Fortunately, there are less painful alternatives. They are intense pulsed light (IPL) and lasers. So, it is very interesting to compare IPL vs laser for hair removal.
What Are IPL and Laser Hair Removal?
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IPL treatment is a method of removing unwanted body hair and treating pigment or vascular lesions. With a broad spectrum of light, IPL hair removal is able to target dark hair. Besides that, IPL has one main benefit over hair removal methods like plucking or waxing: the result is permanent. In fact, any living hair follicle which is treated is destroyed completely and will not grow back.
For your information, IPL for permanent hair reduction works very well on dark hair. However, it may not be too effective on lighter hair. Once IPL treatment is done, the unwanted hair is reduced for good. When it comes to cost, IPL treatment may cost between 85 to 400 dollars per treatment. It takes about 8 treatments to reduce up to 70% of hair. However, the cost can be lower if you consider at-home IPL hair removal.
On the other hand, laser hair removal emits a single wavelength of light focusing on a target area. Then, this light is absorbed by the hair pigment and does not make contact with other kinds of tissue in the treatment area or the surrounding skin.
Lasers heat up the hair shaft and the hair follicle, which stops the hair growth cycle and stops hair from growing. You can also use laser hair removal on the bikini line, feet, hands, back, chest, legs, underarms, and face, among other places. You should also know that laser hair removal works best on hair that is darker. Like IPL, it might not work as well on light-colored hair. Up to 94% less unwanted hair can grow back after 8 treatments.
What Are the Differences between IPL and Laser Hair Removal?
Now, let's focus on talking about IPL vs laser for hair removal! Actually, both of them use light to heat hair follicles. This doesn’t only remove unwanted hair but also prevents regrowth. Mainly, the difference between them is that IPL has higher levels of discomfort. On the other hand, laser hair removal is completely pain-free. Despite this, both of them are effective.
The difference also relates to the tech which delivers the light. What I mean is the type of light used. You have to know that lasers deliver a type of light for hair removal treatment with one wavelength of light going in only one direction.
On the other hand, IPL provides a wider range of light wavelengths appearing as a single white flash. Its type of light is similar to natural light. It may have a light orange glow when you flash it against the skin.
Talking about hair removal, both IPL and laser exactly work in the same way. Here, the light enters the skin and is absorbed by the pigment and the hair follicle.
One of the major objectives of both IPL and laser hair removal is to hit the right temperature in the hair follicle as well as avoid heating up skin. In fact, heating up skin can cause damage and result in a blister. Besides that, heating up skin can also cause undesired pigment changes.
How to Choose the Better One, IPL vs Laser Hair Removal
To know which one is better between IPL and laser hair removal, you will need to consider a few factors so that you can compare them.
1. Source of Light
IPL hair removal uses a wide range of light to target the hair's melanin pigment. Also, the light heats up the hair, which hurts the hair follicles.
Laser hair removal, on the other hand, uses light to heat up the hair and damage the follicles. It targets a smaller area and goes into the pore. Also, the light is focused more closely on the area where hair is being removed to make it work better and reduce the risk of side effects.
2. Follow-up Treatment
IPL doesn’t focus on hair. Therefore, you may need more treatments to stop hair regrowth. On the other hand, laser hair removal is more aggressive as it penetrates into the pores deeper to provide better results. It means you will need fewer treatments.
3. Treatment Time
IPL is slow enough because this tedious treatment is performed in pulses. Meanwhile, laser is fast as it is performed in motion.
4. Time Savings
When it comes to IPL vs laser for hair removal, we cannot forget talking about the time savings. Both IPL & laser treatments offer time savings for removing unwanted hair. Even more, they also improve life quality.
5. Pain Rating
Typically, IPL has higher amounts of discomfort. On the other hand, laser hair removal is free of pain.
In conclusion, IPL and laser hair removal have their own advantages and disadvantages. So, it depends on your needs to decide the better one. Even though laser is pain-free and offers quicker results, at-home IPL hair removal is more affordable and both of them work effectively.
FAQ About IPL vs Laser Hair Removal
1. Which Is Better IPL or Laser Hair Removal?
Laser is more specific to a target compared to IPL, making it more effective. However, IPL is still effective and offers cheaper cost when it comes to at-home hair removal treatment.
2. Is IPL Same as Laser Hair Removal?
The key difference is the type of light. IPL is a broadband pulsed light source. Meanwhile, a laser is a monochromatic coherent light source. Anyway, both target the melanin in the follicle and deliver permanent results.
3. Is IPL Weaker Than Laser?
IPL gives off weaker, less targeted, and more dispersed light energy. However, it doesn’t mean that IPL is not effective for hair removal. So, you have to compare IPL vs laser hair removal by paying attention to light source, follow-up treatment, treatment time, time savings, and pain rating.