What is the difference between IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and laser hair removal?
The light is used to warm the hair follicle and prevent regrowth in both laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) procedures. The method of delivery, on the other hand, is rather different – with one important distinction being the sort of light utilized.
Lasers, in essence, generate a very particular sort of light with one wavelength or colour of light travelling in only one direction, similar to a laser pointer. IPL devices produce a variety of wavelengths of light that create a single white flash. This is more akin to natural light and can be observed as an orange/red glow when the device is flashed against the skin, much like a camera flash.
OK, but how does it work?
The mechanism by which laser light and IPL treatments remove hair is the same: They both create plasma.
The light (laser or IPL) is absorbed by the melanin (pigment) in the hair shaft after it penetrates the skin.
The light that is absorbed by the hair shaft and follicle causes them to heat up.
When the correct amount of light energy is applied, the hair follicle cells are heated to a critical temperature, which stops the hair growth cycle.
The impact can be both irreversible or temporary, depending on a variety of factors.
One of the primary aims of using laser or IPL light to remove hair is to achieve this critical temperature in the hair follicle without heating up the surrounding skin. This is accomplished by carefully regulating the amount of light released.
What does this mean in terms of the actual treatment?
The above factors determine whether laser or IPL treatments are the most effective for each individual:
Time required for treatment: Because laser treatments employ a beam of light that is extremely targeted, laser devices have a small treatment window. In comparison to the laser, IPL devices have a larger treatment window and can therefore treat a larger area at once, resulting in a faster treatment time than with the laser.
Pain rating: The sensation of severe pain while receiving a laser treatment is typically reported to be worse than that caused by IPL.
Cost: While IPL does not require any light to be used, laser light is costly to produce and so, in salons especially, laser treatment generally has a higher price.
Longevity of results: The typical cost of laser treatment is more expensive than the traditional procedure, but it may result in fewer top-ups between treatments. Although like any type of light-based hair reduction, you’ll always need to apply top-ups to prevent hairs from growing back.
Safety: Lasers are a unique kind of light that has destructive properties. They’re also incredibly dangerous. As a consequence, laser hair removal equipment at home uses significantly less power than their pricey salon versions. IPL therapy’s advantage is that it’s much safer to utilize because the light is dispersed and can be used at home without risking permanent results.
So, which one is better for me?
To finish, IPL treatments can provide the same good outcomes as laser treatments if you follow the instructions carefully and get recurring treatments. In return for your perseverance, you may time, money, and a lot of trips to the salon. You may complete your procedures in the comfort of your own home thanks to your commitment. What’s not to like?