IPL hair removal is a new tool that allows permanent hair removal from the body. Just think, no more waxing, plucking or shaving! Read on to learn more.
IPL stands for “intense pulsed light”. It is a light therapy and not a traditional laser therapy. It is different to laser in that it uses a spectrum of multiple wavelengths of light energy and thus can target, heat destroy, and stimulate a number of different skin structures at the same time. Therefore, as long as the IPL has the necessary power output, the correct light filters, efficient surface skin cooling, and a wide pulse-width, it is able to permanently destroy hair follicles as well as treating skin pigmentation, regenerating collagen, and treating blood vessel destruction.
All areas of the face and body can be treated with IPL. It is fantastic for both men and women. All skin types and hair colours can be treated using IPL but the lighter the skin colour and the darker the hair colour, the more permanent hair follicle destruction is possible. This is because IPL targets the increased concentration of melanin pigment deep down in the base of the hair follicle, more than just the hair shaft. The darker the hair root, the more melanin is there, meaning that more heat-thermal energy is delivered by the IPL, resulting in permanent destruction. A darker skin colour means that there is more melanin in the superficial layers of the skin and this same melanin absorbs a lot of the energy of the IPL, meaning that some of the energy going to heat destroy the hair is blocked by the skin. Lighter hair on darker skin can be treated but more sessions will be required.
There are three phases of hair growth, and it is during the active growing phase that there is enough melanin in the hair bulb to permanently destroy the hair follicle. Therefore, only about a third of the hair follicles are ever in the active growing phase at any one time and thus able to be targeted by IPL. This is why multiple treatments are required. A minimum of four to six treatments are required. Darker skin colour and lighter coloured hair will require more treatments, as there is less melanin in the hair roots and the machine cannot be operated at full capacity. Having said that, long term hair reduction or removal is available for everyone.
Be aware that there is no such thing as completely permanent hair removal with any type of hair removal treatment for most people. However, IPL offers the most advanced and permanent reduction of hair growth of all the treatments currently on the market. It is great at permanently destroying most of the targeted hair follicles.
Most people will get effective hair reduction with each treatment, with very little regrowth after the course of treatments is done. Some will get complete hair reduction with no regrowth, while others will require a yearly maintenance treatment. Any regrowth of hair will be weak, thin, and lighter in colour, due to the damaged hair follicles.
It is normal to experience some redness of the skin and some very mild swelling. This is not burning or blistering and should not cause alarm. In some cases, the redness may last for a few days and there could be some scabbing which subsides over a short time. Most clients will tolerate IPL with minimal discomfort, but on sensitive areas and for people with low pain thresholds, a topical anaesthetic and ice packs can be applied. Most people can immediately return to normal activities.