When it comes to modern and most trusted hair removal methods, laser and intense pulse light stand out. Gone are the days when people opted for painful and time-consuming methods like waxing, threading, shaving and plucking, etc.
Both laser and IPL are light-based protocols responsible for heating hair follicles and stopping unwanted growth for a long time.
Although both methods sound similar and most people consider them the same, the technology used in both is quite different.
The main factor that differentiates the two is the light source used in them. If you want to learn the difference and know which is suitable for you, just stay put.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser treatment is known as the most effective method for hair removal. The laser affects hair in its anagen stage or, in simple words, the active growth phase. In this method, the melanin or hair pigment absorbs controlled energy pulses customised by the practitioner according to the expected results and skin type.
The pulses of energy affect the hair follicles found under the superficial layers of the skin. They work by heating the hair till it’s root and hence destroy the root without disturbing surrounding skin or tissues.
In medical terminology, experts also call it photothermal destruction.
“For best results, we recommend 6-8 sessions of laser hair removal. After a complete course, you will feel that unsightly hairs are no more. Your skin will be even and a lot smoother than before”, says Sara Dhada, CEO and top aesthetician at Expert Centre.
What is IPL hair removal?
IPL is the short form for intense pulse light, and technically saying, this treatment method doesn’t actually involve laser. When compared to laser, the IPL method uses a broad spectrum of light based on multiple wavelengths.
By multiple wavelengths, we mean that IPL, compared to laser, has more unfocused energy around the hair and skin.
Simply saying, the laser method for hair removal uses a single spectrum of light which is more effective.
Its light is dense, with the entire focus on one beam of light or energy wavelength.
On the other hand, multiple spectrum light energy is used in intense pulse light treatment, which is weak and scattered.
Spectrum lights involved in IPL are measured as wavelength, and its unit is nanometre. For instance, practitioners use a wavelength of 755nm to penetrate deep into the skin as this wavelength is ideal for melanin absorption. And according to laser hair removal experts, this wavelength is commonly used for hair removal.
“To get rid of hair completely in any area, the client has to undergo 6-8 sessions of IPL. However, factors like hair colour, the thickness of hair, and skin colour, can also play a part which may see the number of sessions decreasing or increasing”, says Sara while talking about the number of sessions for ideal results.
Laser or IPL: Which one to go for?
The latest laser technologies used in Expert clinics are deemed more effective, quick and produce ideal results. Although many people still choose IPL over laser, it is considered less effective than laser and clients may have to undergo more treatments to achieve hair reduction.
Also, the use of laser technology is painless as it comes with integrated cooling systems.
Moreover, the laser hair removal method has the edge over other methods as it can be used for a wider range of skin and hair types.
While IPL, considered not as effective for hair removal, is commonly used for enhancing skin conditions and treating problems like rosacea, acne and facial flushing.
In case people want to eradicate excess hair from their body, the laser becomes the automatic choice.
However, if the treatment is administered by a qualified laser specialist, both treatments will show fruitful results.
“During the consultation, clients must discuss whatever concerns they have and what exactly do they want”, says Sara. They must also take into consideration their skin and hair type. This way, the practitioner will be better able to advise the best option and devise a bespoke treatment for the best possible results.
Best laser for hair removal
At Expert Centre, we are quite careful when it comes to the latest technology and always adopt state-of-the-art laser machines to deliver optimum results for all our clients.
“Currently, Candela is the most trusted laser technology supplier going around”, says Sara. “We use both Nd: YAG and Alexandrite, known for treating dark and light skin, respectively.”
To safely treat all hair colours and skin types on the Fitzpatrick scale, selecting the right laser equipment holds immense significance.
“For this exact reason, everyone has to go for a patch test and a consultation, before the treatment, with the practitioner to discuss the possibilities and what type of laser will do the job for them”, emphasises Sara.
What does laser hair removal involve?
As we use state-of-the-art laser equipment like alexandrite and Nd:YAG, it takes a complete course of 6-8 sessions for our clients to experience hair-free, smooth and soft skin.
Some patients notice visible results even after a couple of sessions, but we ask them to complete the sessions spaced at 4-8 weeks apart for a permanent reduction of unsightly hair.
One session takes around 15-30 minutes for smaller body parts. The time can vary depending on the body part, as full legs take about 75 minutes. Laser energy in this process will only damage the hair in the anagen stage or active cycle.
While explaining the process, Sara says, “we recommend patients to shave the hair from the specific body part for which they want treatment as short hairs mean effective results and comfortable treatment.” After marking out the area, we target the body part with the laser device which comes with an integrated cooling system to lower the pain and reduce the sensitivity”.
At Expert Centre, a session of laser hair removal is concluded with an application of Aloe Vera Gel to cool the skin and sun protection to protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. Sara stresses all her clients lower their sun exposure after the session of laser hair removal.
Who is the perfect candidate for Laser and IPL treatments?
Although, Laser and IPL are considered suitable for both genders over the age of 18, however, the physicians need to go through the medical conditions and medical history of the client before the treatment.
If the practitioner thinks there is any contradiction posing a potential side effect, they will advise the client not to go for the treatment.
“Some conditions do come in the way of Laser or IPL treatments, and patients suffering from them must not go for light-based technologies”, adds Sara. Some medications sometimes cause light sensitivity. Pregnant and lactating women are not the ideal candidates for these treatments.
Come to Expert Centre
Welcome summers with amazingly smooth and hair-free skin and enjoy your body to the max. We have assembled a team of highly experienced and professional people who will be serving you with a great deal of proficiency.