Find Out if IPL or Laser Hair Removal Is for You

It’s no secret that everyone yearns for soft and radiant skin that they can proudly flaunt anywhere they choose. Unwanted hair does not discriminate, male or female. We all have some in one area or another, and after years of shaving, waxing, dealing with itchy stubble, and suffering from ingrown hair, it’s normal to be over the hassle!

Luckily, we live in an age where our biggest problem will be deciding between treatments after deciding it’s time to turn to the professionals. It’s time to get hair permanently removed and you’re wondering which option is the best for you. Between Intense Pulsated Light (IPL), and Laser hair removal, it all depends on what your priorities are and what area you are treating. There are many benefits of both, so you’ll want to decide the best option based on your body.

IPL vs Laser Hair Removal: Know the Basics

Both laser hair removal and IPL treatment options are similar in how they’re done but differ in results, how painful the treatment is, cost, number of treatments, and time per session. Although each one can be used for hair removal there isn’t any data out there to say definitively which one is better. One thing we do know is that fall is the perfect time to start the process, so, let’s get to the facts!

IPL and laser hair removal are performed by either a technician or Doctor in-office using a handheld device. IPL uses a broad-spectrum light that covers wide areas and more hairs at once while the laser uses a targeted wavelength of light. Each one targets the melanin in the hair follicle to damage it which causes the follicle to weaken and the hair to fall out. After multiple sessions, the follicle will eventually stop growing hairs and whither away.

IPL uses broad-spectrum light, also known as the “photo facial” which was originally used for medical and cosmetic treatments to improve skin condition but a wonderful side effect was hair removal! Later it was approved for hair removal treatment in the ’90s. Obviously, technology has improved in the last three decades and the machines can now block the harmful light waves and have cooling features on the machines to ease any discomfort.

Laser hair removal uses one light wavelength targeting the melanin in the hair growing from the hair follicle.

Is My Skin Type Suitable for IPL or Laser Hair Removal?

If you’re looking at what is best for your skin tone, IPL is generally best for lighter to medium skin tones and the laser is good for all skin tones including dark skin tones. Yes, that is a myth, any skin tone can get laser hair removal! Although, you may not be a candidate if you have very blonde or white hair.

IPL vs. Laser Hair Removal: Which Is More Painful?

The level of pain experienced during any hair removal technique greatly depends on the person and their pain tolerance. Some people describe it as getting a tattoo and others describe it like the snap of a rubber band. There will be discomfort but not at all unbearable. You know what they say, beauty is pain.

IPL machines typically have built-in cooling systems so when the light hits, it instantly starts cooling your skin. Also, both machines have different intensity levels so if you have a really low pain tolerance it can be adjusted to suit your needs. The effectiveness at lower intensities will be altered so you may just need more sessions at lower intensities to handle the discomfort. On the flip side if you have a really high pain tolerance you may be able to get fewer treatments at a higher intensity with the same results.

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IPL vs. Laser Hair Removal: Which Is Safer?

Both options are known to be safe without any long-term side effects. Some people may have light pigmentation changes or a small amount of scarring, but these side effects are incredibly rare. Therefore it is important to go to a credible professional who will give you an extensive consultation to decide what method is best for you.

IPL vs. Laser Hair Removal: Which Is Most Effective?

Both options can provide you with optimal results but just different timelines.

IPL targets larger areas at a time so you are in and out of the office faster than laser but the trade-off is more sessions to get the best results. Experts recommend 8 to 10 sessions of IPL to reach optimal results.

Laser hair removal targets smaller areas and specific hair follicles so your appointments may take longer than IPL but get to your ideal hairless skin faster. Experts recommend 4 to 6 sessions to reach your best results.

Are At-Home Hair Removal Treatments as Effective as Professional Ones?

The world is changing, and technology is advancing, so there are more options out there for at-home permanent laser hair removal and IPL machines that can be shipped right to your door. This may sound enticing but think again. These machines are less powerful than what the professionals use and still cost a pretty penny. Thank goodness they aren’t selling the full power lasers to anyone who would buy them because, well, danger! But also, they won’t work as effectively. You may spend $800 on a whole machine that cannot guarantee you to be hair-free.

These devices are also a lot smaller than professional devices so, for large areas of the body like legs or back, you could end up growing back patchy, which seems worse than being hairy. These machines are only ideal for people with high contrast between their skin and hair color. Because the lasers target melanin in the hair, darker skin tones may end up with burns and some devices have a block on them where they won’t even work on dark skin.

I don’t know about you, but I would never trust an inexperienced laser technician, let alone myself with a high-powered laser. It would just be setting myself up for disaster. Ultimately the choice of IPL or laser hair removal is up to you and your provider to find which one is the best option. Regardless of which one you both decide on, get a thorough consultation with a professional and you will not regret the decision to remove all your unwanted hair.

Hair Removal from the St. Louis Laser Liposuction Center

There has never been a better time to get rid of unwanted hair. Let the trusted hands at the St. Louis Laser Liposuction Center help you get rid of unwanted hair today with laser hair removal or IPL. Call today for your free consultation and see what option is the best for you!