What's the difference between laser and IPL hair removal?
Laser hair removal and IPL hair removal both use light energy to heat up the hair follicles to weaken them over time. However, the underlying technology used to deliver the light is not the same.
How does laser hair removal work?
Laser treatments use precise pulses of light to target the melanin in the hair follicles. Laser light is more expensive to generate, and is therefore more expensive than IPL when done at salons.
How does IPL hair removal work?
IPL technology, or intense pulsed light technology, uses a broad spectrum of light with multiple wavelengths, also targeting the melanin in the hair follicles. IPL is weaker than laser, making it more gentle and ideal for people with sensitive skin. Since IPL technology uses less concentrated light, it is safe to use at-home on your own.
For the purposes of hair removal, both laser light and IPL light work the same way:
- The light enters the skin and is absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle
- This absorption of light will cause the hair follicle to heat up
- When the correct amount of light energy is used, the hair follicle reaches a critical temperature resulting in an interruption of the hair growth cycle
- Over a series of treatments, a person can see a temporary or permanent stop in hair growth
Which one is better for me?
To summarize, IPL technology uses less concentrated light than laser. This means that you will need more treatments, but it also means that the light pulses will be more gentle on you. For people with sensitive skin, IPL is the ideal choice.
Here at DermaTech, we have an IPL Hair Removal Kit so we might be a little but biased, but if you're looking convenience and affordability, IPL is the route for you.