IPL VS Laser
The terms IPL and laser hair removal are often used interchangeably. Intense pulse light (IPL) has been a go-to method for permanent hair removal since the 1990s, but with the advance of technology, laser hair treatments have been on the rise. Here, we look at the difference between IPL and laser technology to help you decide which is right for you.
Are IPL and laser the same?
Contrary to popular belief IPL and laser are not the same. Although both use light, IPL is not a laser treatment. It uses a broader spectrum of light than laser hair removal, with multiple wavelengths. As such, the energy around the hair and skin area is unfocused – much like the flash from a camera spreads over a larger area.
On the other hand, permanent laser hair removal is selective. It matches specific wavelengths of light and pulse duration to the melanin (pigment) found in the hair follicle. The laser provides a much more focused treatment and is absorbed only into the hair follicle, leaving the surrounding skin untouched.
While both IPL and laser destroy the hair follicle to prevent further growth, the kind of light and technology used are different. As such, treatments, processes and results differ.
Are IPL and laser both safe treatments?
Both IPL and laser are safe treatments and can produce lasting results. However, with IPL, the scattered nature of the light pulses means that some of the surrounding tissue absorbs the light. Additionally, the light is less focused than a laser, so a higher level of energy is required to heat deeper targets. As such, you need to ensure the clinic you use is highly reputable, or you could be at risk of mild burning or hyperpigmentation.
With a laser hair removal package only one targeted wavelength is used, which provides a more focused pulse of light. This means it is not absorbed by the surrounding skin. It also results in deeper penetration of the hair follicle, destroying it more effectively. As such, you typically need fewer sessions in order to get lasting results.
Are IPL and laser painful?
IPL and laser are two of the least painful options when it comes to hair removal. Due to the less concentrated nature of the light, IPL is considered slightly less painful than laser. However, there is no cooling mechanism, meaning the skin can feel hot and uncomfortable during and after treatment. Although the laser light is more focused, the machines have a built-in cooling system that ensures the skin stays comfortable during treatment. Clients that feel any sensations during treatment report something similar to an elastic band snapping against the skin, which fades quickly.
If you’re looking for laser hair removal treatments in Hampshire, contact Smooth Laser Clinic today. Our laser hair removal specialist, Leanne, has years of experience with treating all skin and hair types, and is covered by the relevant certifications and insurance. We’ll provide a tailored package to suit your needs, leaving your skin smooth and hair-free.