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IPL vs Laser Hair Removal: Which One is Better for You? 2023

Having to constantly shave, pluck, or wax away unsightly hair is a tiresome and unpleasant process. All three are time-consuming and can provide disappointing outcomes (and fast regrowth). For a...

Having to constantly shave, pluck, or wax away unsightly hair is a tiresome and unpleasant process. All three are time-consuming and can provide disappointing outcomes (and fast regrowth).

For a long time, permanent hair reduction has been achieved by the use of lasers or intense pulsed light (IPL). With today's cutting-edge technology, laser and IPL treatments provide the simplest path to permanent improvement.

But, basically, is laser hair removal with IPL the same?

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is often mistaken for laser hair removal. The IPL is not a laser. The only similarity is that they both make use of light. Intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser hair removal are both widely used, but few people understand their differences. Similarities between these two are often made. However, there are several distinctions between laser and IPL hair removal. To assist you in understanding it better, we have compiled the following contents.

Laser Hair Removal

Selective photothermolysis (SPTL) is what happens during laser hair removal. The process of matching certain wavelengths of light and pulse duration to the hair target is one of the most important aspects of laser hair removal. The melanin that is located in the hair follicles is the goal for the hair. Melanin is a pigment that occurs naturally in our skin and hair and is linked to the process of coloration. Melanin is responsible for determining hair color. The laser energy is concentrated and absorbed just into the follicle, so avoiding the surrounding skin tissue region. This is an important feature that contributes to the patient's safety and comfort.

IPL Hair Removal

Intense pulsed light, often known as IPL technology, is not a laser therapy despite its other name, intense pulsed light technology. In contrast to laser depilatory treatments, this method employs a wide spectrum of light with a number of different wavelengths. This indicates that there is a greater amount of scattered energy around the region of the skin and hair. The light is comparable to the flash of a camera, which illuminates a wide area, in contrast to the laser light, which emits a concentrated beam of light.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal makes advantage of the capabilities of light energy to heat the hairs and destroy the follicles in order to remove unwanted hair. However, it is a little bit different from IPL in the sense that it makes use of the particular features that lasers have. Because of the high degree of control that can be exercised over laser light, it is possible to concentrate it in a small region, send it across a great distance, and prevent it from dispersing as would typically happen with light. 

They are also capable of producing beams of light that solely comprise a single hue. Therefore, these properties of lasers may be employed for the advantage of laser hair removal, which is an increasingly popular method. As a result of the laser's ability to penetrate deeper into the pore and provide a more concentrated beam of light to the hair follicle, the therapy it administers is able to be more targeted.

Melanin is a chromophore that can be specifically targeted by lasers because of its use of a single wavelength. Because of this, the beam may go farther into the target without being absorbed by the surrounding chromophores. When employed correctly, lasers are able to kill their intended targets while leaving unharmed any surrounding tissue. The lasers used for hair removal are calibrated to emit the precise wavelength needed for the procedure.

A laser is monochromatic, which means that the light it emits has just one wavelength (color). Ordinary white light, on the other hand, is a blend of several various wavelengths (colors). Laser light is coherent, which means it is completely reinforcing and does not cancel itself out. A laser's coherent light varies from regular light in that it is composed of waves all of the same wavelength and all in phase (i.e., in step with each other) while conventional light comprises many various wavelengths and phase relationships. The light waves of a laser are "collimated," which means they are parallel. This makes laser light very potent, since about 100% of the light may be used to treat hair removal.

How Does IPL Hair Removal Work?

The term "Intense Pulsed Light" refers to this treatment, which makes use of a source of visible light with a wide spectrum. This light has undergone specialized control in order to exclude shorter wavelengths and was designed to focus on a certain structure. In the process of hair removal, it is intended to target the melanin pigment that is found in the hair, while in other applications, such as the treatment of spider veins, it is meant to target the hemoglobin that is found in the blood. Because the light energy is absorbed, it is converted into heat energy and sent to the hair, where it heats the follicle and causes damage to it.

IPL devices, like light bulbs, provide a wide range of wavelengths and cannot be focused to create a concentrated beam. Because various wavelengths are diffused at different depths, only some of them are efficiently absorbed by the hair follicle, resulting in subpar outcomes and an increased risk of burns.

IPL is not monochromatic, which means that it contains many various colors, only a small fraction of which are beneficial in the therapy of hair reduction. IPL is not consistent and does not reinforce, making it less useful for hair removal therapy. IPL is not collimated and hence spreads out quickly, making it less useful in the therapy of hair removal.

Advantages of Laser Hair Removal

Due to the characteristics of lasers, equipment for laser hair removal are able to concentrate light into the pores of the skin, allowing them to reach closer to the follicle in order to treat it and, as a result, prevent the hair from growing back. Because individual hairs are burned to temperatures that are destructive to them more quickly using lasers, it is possible that laser hair removal may accomplish effects considerably more quickly than IPL. Therefore, you may only need a smaller number of sessions of laser hair removal in order to accomplish the same level of effectiveness. 

Because of this, persons with darker skin tones may find that they are better candidates for laser hair removal if the procedure is made more targeted. This is because darker skin has a greater quantity of the pigment melanin, which causes it to absorb more light than lighter skin does. 

This is similar to how darker hair absorbs more light than lighter hair does. Because of this, there is a possibility that the darker skin may get overheated. Because lasers are able to produce more concentrated and smaller patches of light, they are more suited to treating individuals who have darker skin. This is because the danger of burning is drastically reduced in comparison to the risk that is posed by IPL. Having said that, there are still certain IPL systems that can be utilized on darker skin tones successfully.

Advantages of IPL Hair Removal

IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal devices provide better coverage than laser hair removal devices because broad-spectrum light naturally spreads out in all directions. Since of this, it is possible that treatment times may be reduced because greater regions will be able to be treated at the same time. In addition to shorter treatment timeframes, these procedures may also be much less expensive; yet, you may discover that you need a greater number of sessions to obtain the same effects.

IPL makes use of a wide spectrum of light, which enables it to perform a variety of functions. It is particularly effective in treating a wide range of various skin disorders when administered in the appropriate manner. Within a given treatment type, it is also able to be tailored especially to meet the needs of a variety of skin and hair types. 

A modification of IPL known as VPL, which stands for variable pulsed light, has been created, for instance. The user of a VPL device is given the ability to adjust the parameters of the light pulses so that they are in line with the skin and hair that they want to treat. Because various skin tones have varied needs for light-based hair removal equipment, this is the case. In addition, the makers realize that thick, course bikini line hair will require a different treatment than thinner arm hair.

The Technology

The technology that is utilized to create light in both laser and IPL hair removal systems is fundamentally distinct from one another, as are the physical characteristics of the light that is produced by each system.

After four to eight sessions, the vast majority of patients get the ideal outcomes of permanent hair removal, which is defined as an elimination of 80% or more of the hair follicles or more. Laser technology is simply far more effective and provides much better results than IPL.

IPL devices do, however, have a significant role to play in the treatment of skin conditions. IPL is an effective method for treating skin conditions such as redness, capillaries, and superficial pigmentation, however it is not ideal for the removal of hair. In addition, those with darker skin tones should not use these gadgets.

The Result

IPL and laser hair removal methods don't provide quick results. You won't exit the treatment session with absolutely smooth, hair-free skin, unlike with waxing and threading. Instead, the hairs will fall out when they expire over the next several weeks, and those that were unaffected because of the growth cycle stage they were in during the initial treatment will need another appointment (or more). However, because there are no grow-out periods required, you may shave in between sessions.

The advantage of IPL and laser hair removal over waxing and threading, however, is that you will eventually experience a permanent slowing of hair growth. You won't need to shave as often since the hairs that do grow will do so more slowly. They'll probably also regrow less course and leaner. They could even get paler, making them less noticeable.

In most cases, it takes between one and ten treatments—on average, six—to provide satisfactory outcomes in terms of permanent hair loss from treated regions. You could sometimes need a top-up treatment every few months or a year, depending on the approach you pick, but you'll probably see a significant difference in the decrease of hair growth.

Pain Level

Technically speaking, you may feel a light more strongly the more concentrated it is. IPL devices may thus seem to be less painful. The customer experience is prioritized in the design of contemporary laser equipment. They have a built-in cooling system that continuously sprays cold air into the skin while the laser is processing it. So the intensity of the discomfort is greatly reduced. Wet wipes are often used by professionals to clean the region. The cooling air works considerably more effectively when your skin is damper.

Safety for the Skin

The surrounding tissue absorbs the light when IPL employs dispersed light. Although the light is not as concentrated as a laser, IPL has to utilize more energy in order to heat deeper areas. The tissue in the area also absorbs this energy. Additionally, it may cause skin damage including blistering, burning, discoloration, and scarring. Deeper penetration happens when a laser is utilized, since it only uses one specific wavelength. The surrounding skin is untouched because the energy only affects the hair follicle and is not absorbed by other chromophores in the beam's path.

Which One is the Best for You?

To answer this, it’s basically your whole right to decide the best one. Nevertheless, always consult with the expert before deciding to take the treatment. This is mainly to avoid any side effects which may emerge because of the treatment you take.

So, there you have it, the rich explanation of the difference between Laser Hair Removal with IPL Hair Removal. We hope you get the insights about this topic and got enlightened that the two treatments are different and has its own advantages.

To get more articles about beauty and body care treatment, you can visit our page at See you there!


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