How Does IPL Work?
IPL targets the dark pigment surrounding the hair follicle to damage it sufficiently to cause hair loss and hinder re-growth.
Melanin is the pigment that gives hair and skin their colour, and it originates from melanin.
Melanin is concentrated in the hair root’s base to make it easier to target with the IPL equipment’s strong pulses of light.
When the light is absorbed by melanin, it generates heat energy, which causes damage. The developing hair will fall out between one and two weeks after therapy has begun.
Risks and Negative Effects
So, if you’ve read the above and are still feeling afraid or hesitant, don’t worry!
The fact is that, while there are some typical side effects, they are generally both moderate and passing.
However, there are certain precautions to be followed, and IPL is not right for everyone.
Common Side Effects
You may also notice a little pigment change (either darker or lighter spots), which will fade in a few weeks.
Risks When IPL Isn’t Suitable
IPL hair removal is typically best for people with light skin and black or brown hair, although there have been significant technological improvements to broaden the application of IPL.
This is due to a significant disparity between the skin’s melanin and the hair follicle that must be destroyed. If the skin tone is darker, there’s a risk of light being absorbed by the melanin in the skin as well as the follicle, resulting in burns, blistering, and scarring in severe cases.
The Fitzpatrick scale is a numerically ordered table that classifies skin tones based on their response to UV radiation (1-6). If you fall between 1 and 4, IPL would be ideal for you.
If you want to get professional treatments at a salon, the therapist will advise you.
If you’re buying a device to use at home, make sure it includes an inbuilt skin tone sensor so you can use it before each treatment. If the device detects an unsuitable, hazardous skin tone, it will automatically cease functioning.
You must also consider the colour of your hair in addition to your skin tone. Anyone with blonde, white, grey or red hair is not eligible to receive IPL treatments.
IPL for hair removal is not recommended in the following situations:
- If you have sensitive skin, or if your skin is photoallergic and you are being treated for any chronic skin condition, talk to your dermatologist first.
- Tanned skin – You should not use IPL on tanned or sunburted skin, since the tan will take several weeks to fade completely. This also applies to imitation tans.
- Pregnancy – It’s not advised to have IPL while pregnant or while breastfeeding.
- Tattoos – IPL should not be used on tattooed skin.
- Moles – IPL is not suitable at removing mole hair.
The preceding list is not comprehensive; read the manufacturer’s safety instructions before using any home IPL device, and get expert medical advice if you have any concerns.
Bear in mind that, while you’ll be able to use any hair removal technique that doesn’t pull the hair out at its root, such as waxing, tweezing, epilating, or IPL treatments, you won’t be able to do so during IPL therapy.
Shaving, on the other hand, will assist you in keeping unsightly growth under control.
Benefits of IPL for Hair Removal
IPL is a popular hair removal treatment because it has several advantages over other methods:
- IPL devices are simple to use and quick to treat large regions of the body. Because IPL devices have a huge treatment window and can cover vast regions fast, they’re ideal for covering big areas quickly (compared to laser or electrolysis). It’s common for a complete leg to take around 10-15 minutes.
- You won’t have to worry about unsightly regrowth with IPL, because the hair does not have to grow for IPL to work.
- IPL eliminates the danger of ingrown hairs caused by other techniques such as waxing and shaving.
- There is little or no risk involved with this form of laser therapy. You can also expect to see results that are long-lasting and permanent if you continue treatments. The number of treatments needed will go down, and the intervals between them will grow.
- Lighter re-growth – hair that grows back will be less visible, and it will become lighter and finer.