IPL Or Laser Hair Removal, Which Is Best?
Laser hair removal, also known as permanent hair reduction was the first treatment which promised the prospect of being hair free forever. It was however, slow, not to mention expensive when it first came out. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) was devised as a quicker and less expensive method for removing hair.Both laser and IPL use high energy beams of light to kill hair follicles, but laser uses one wavelength of light, IPL uses white light which is made up of many different wavelengths. However, it has often been claimed that IPL is not as effective as laser when it comes to permanent hair reduction.The truth is that both laser and IPL treatments will vary in effectiveness and there are several reasons for this, and several reasons why IPL may not be as effective in some cases. 1. The IPL or laser system used:The quality of equipment varies enormously. From medically graded machines with a proven treatment efficacy and thorough training of operatives to cheap Chinese imports with no training and everything in between. It is possible for a salon to purchase an IPL machine for much less than a laser which gave rise to many salons purchasing a cheap system and offering inferior quality IPL treatments.2. The skill and training of the technician performing your treatment:If the machine is not set up correctly for your skin type, at best you will receive a treatment that does not reduce the hair, at worst you could end up with severe burns. This is true of both IPL and laser hair removal.3. Variation in skin colour due to sun exposure:Skin type is assessed via the Fitzpatrick scale from 1 being very fair skin which burns easily to 5 being black skin. If you get a tan between treatments or use fake tan, this can affect the results. This is because the light energy used in the treatment is attracted to pigment. If there is more pigment in your skin because you got a tan then the light energy will be diverted into the epidermis and not delivered via the pigment in the hair shaft to the hair follicle. This will result in the treatment being ineffective and may also cause a burn. The best advice when deciding whether to opt for laser hair removal or IPL is to choose a clinic with medically graded laser or IPL equipment and highly trained operatives. The latter will usually be the case if the clinic or salon has invested in a good quality machine. If you do that you will find both laser and IPL are just as effective. That said, only laser will treat black (type 5) skin effectively.