The decision of removing any wanted Hair permanently brings with it many questions about the treatment that should be opted for. The plethora of advertisements seen in newspapers and on billboards across cities can, at times, create confusion. In this article, we will be comparing the two most popular methods for permanent Hair Removal, namely IPL and Laser Treatment.
What Is IPL?
Intense Pulsed Light or IPL technology is used in the cosmetic dermatology industry for aesthetic purposes such as hair removal and skin rejuvenation. As the name suggests, an intense beam of light is used to target pigment containing components (chromophores) and other specific structures in the skin to bring about the desired aesthetic changes.
How Does An IPL Device Work For Hair Removal?
An IPL device targets the chromophores (melanin) in the hair follicles present in the skin using a visible, broad spectrum, and intense light beam. This light is absorbed by the melanin in the hair roots and converts to heat energy here. This heat energy causes the destruction of the hair bulb. Thus, IPL technology causes a drastic reduction in hair growth. Dark and coarse hair is best treated with this.
The consultation process for Ipl Hair Removal usually involves –
- An initial consultation happens with a technician at the salon or spa that offers IPL hair removal.
- The technician will assess your skin and hair type so that the parameters for the IPL machine can be adjusted accordingly.
- He/she may suggest some pre-care advice such as not to use depilatory creams or not waxing the area to be treated before the IPL session.
- Your first IPL session is scheduled based on the appointment availability and your convenience.
Things To Expect
On the day of the session, the technician adjusts the IPL machine according to the parameters that were determined during the initial consultation. The skin area to be treated is shaved, and the IPL device is then moved on the skin by the technician.
The entire session can take anywhere between five minutes to one hour depending on the size of the area to be treated. This area can develop redness and swelling, and almost look like it’s sunburnt. The technician or therapist may apply cold compresses after the session to give you some relief from these symptoms.
IPL Hair Removal Before And After Results
Unwanted hair on different body parts such as underarms, back, legs, arms, etc. is often treated with IPL hair removal. After a few sessions, you will notice the hair becoming thinner, and then eventually, new hair will stop growing from the hair follicles. Some hair may grow back as IPL does not guarantee 100% permanent results.
Cost Of IPL Hair Removal In India
In India, the cost for one session of IPL hair removal starts around Rs.1,200 and can go up to Rs.2,500. Most salons and clinics that offer this service have packages available as best results are seen with multiple sessions only. The price per session usually becomes more economical when such a package is opted for. The factors that can further affect this cost are –
- The size of the clinic
- The city you are getting the service in
- The IPL equipment used
- Your hair type, and
- Your skin type
IPL Vs. Laser Hair Removal (Pro & Cons)
Before making your choice between IPL and laser hair removal, it is best if you know the advantages and disadvantages of each of these treatments. A compilation of these is given below –
IPL Hair Removal
- Offers considerable reduction in hair growth.
- Less painful when compared to other methods like epilation and waxing.
- Gap between sessions is relatively less as hair regrowth is not a criterion for successive sessions.
- Works really well on dark, coarse hair on light skin.
- It is an economical treatment for hair growth reduction.
- Results take long to become evident as the broad spectrum light gets reflected more than being absorbed by the melanin in the hair. Multiple sessions are necessary.
- Needs top-up sessions to maintain the appearance of smooth, hairless skin.
- Does not work on fine hair or light hair.
- Does not work on darker skin types as it can easily cause burns when used on such skin.
- Cannot be used for sensitive skin type.
- Redness and swelling develop after the session, making the skin look sunburnt.
Laser Hair Removal
- Offers a permanent solution for hair removal, without the need for any top-up sessions in most cases.
- Lasers precisely target the melanin in the hair roots and destroy the stem cells responsible for producing hair.
- The procedure is almost painless as many machines have in-built cooling systems. For the other machines, a numbing cream is applied to the treatment area so that no pain is felt during the session.
- Produces great results for all types of hair types and skin types as different laser machines can be used based on the requirement. The latest equipment in the laser hair removal world, Soprano ICE, can be used on all skin and hair types for effective hair removal.
- Can be carried out in sensitive areas such as the bikini line and face.
- A number of sessions are required to see results. However, this number is way lower than what is required for IPL hair removal.
- The entire course of the treatment can be slightly expensive, but the results are long-lasting.
- Mild redness and swelling may develop, but this is only temporary and goes away in a few hours.
- Minimum chances of burns and scarring.
Why Is Laser Hair Removal Better Than IPL?
The extensive list of pros and cons given above for both laser hair removal and IPL has made it quite evident that laser hair removal is better than IPL. It is a technology that offers permanent results irrespective of your skin and hair type. Any unwanted hair from any part of the body can be successively gotten rid of as the laser specifically targets the melanin in the hair and causes the destruction of the hair bulbs.
With minimum chances of burning and scarring, laser hair removal does not come with any unwarranted side effects. In the long term, permanent hair reduction is seen which is not possible with IPL as maintenance sessions are compulsory with it.
Frequently Asked Questions About IPL Hair Removal
(1) Is IPL Hair Removal Method Safe To Use?
IPL hair removal is safe to use for dark hair on light skin. When used with the right settings, adequate results may be seen.
(2) Does IPL Give Permanent Hair Removal?
No, IPL technology does not offer permanent hair removal. Some hair may grow back after some time.
(3) Does IPL Hair Removal Hurt?
Yes, IPL hair removal is a painful procedure, but it is not as painful as epilation.
(4) Who Can Use IPL – Men/Women?
Both men and women can use IPL technology for hair reduction.
(5) Where Can You Get IPL Removal Done?
In India, many beauty salons, spas, and some skin clinics offer IPL hair removal.
(6) How Long Does The IPL Process Take?
The duration of each session of IPL hair removal depends on the size of the area being treated. It can take from five minutes to even an hour for the process.
(7) Who Is Suitable For IPL Hair Removal?
If you have dark hair and possess a light skin color, you are suitable for IPL hair removal.
(8) Are There Any Skin Types Suitable For IPL Removal?
According to the Fitzpatrick scale, skin types III and IV are suitable for IPL as they have light skin which is usually not sensitive.
(9) Are There Any Medical Conditions Not Suitable For IPL?
People with these medical conditions are not suitable for IPL –
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Keloidal tendency
Also, women who are pregnant and breastfeeding are not advised to undergo IPL hair removal treatment.
(10) What Are The Risks And Side Effects Of IPL Hair Removal?
Commonly seen side effects include redness, swelling, and soreness at the site of treatment after the session. The skin can appear like it is sunburnt but these side effects are transient. A change in pigmentation (lighter or darker than the surrounding skin) may also be seen in some cases. While these side effects are not so serious, if the equipment is not handled correctly, serious complications like burning and scarring can occur.
(11) How Does IPL Improve Appearance Of Your Facial Skin?
Apart from being used for hair reduction, IPL technology is also often used to rejuvenate the skin. It can help to lighten spots, marks, and tan while improving skin texture and firmness.
Removing unnecessary hair from the body can be a task. We always want a quick, easy, and long-lasting solution for this hair problem. While IPL is widely available treatment, laser hair removal definitely triumphs over it with its varied advantages and minimum disadvantages.
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