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The Real Difference Between IPL and Laser Hair Removal

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The Real Difference Between IPL and Laser Hair Removal

Finally, after long tiring years with shaving and waxing, you’ve finally decided to upgrade your hair removal method. But now, your struggle is picking which treatment is better: IPL or Laser?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Laser are both safe and effective hair removal method. They are light-based treatments that are often mistaken for each other, but the fact is that they use different technologies. In hair removal, Laser machines are commonly used in reputable clinics while IPL can easily be done at your own privacy – at home. IPL devices become a convenient at-home solution because they are user-friendly and side effects are less common.

But to determine which treatment works better, let’s take a closer look at their differences.


IPL vs. Laser Hair Removal Treatment


  •   IPL

Once and for all, Intense Pulsed Light is not a laser. Its technology uses a broad spectrum of wavelengths and cannot be focused to a concentrated beam. Since it uses broad and different wavelengths, the light is easily absorbed to varying depths of your skin. It can treat a wider area of coverage compared to laser. This makes quicker sessions possible. Also, IPL targets the hair and not skin. 

IPL specifically affects particular skin types. This includes darker skin types. People with darker shades of skin are often advised to avoid IPL because it may not be suitable for them. It comes from the idea that dark colors naturally absorb more light. 

Now let’s talk about its advantages. IPL is a good choice for those who have low pain tolerance because it is reported to be less painful. There is also a lower risk of skin damage or infection compared to other existing hair removal methods. It is most recommended and more efficient in treating larger areas including your chest and back. And the most important fact, IPL is cost effective. As of now, many FDA-cleared IPL devices are available for home use.


  •   Laser

Laser hair removal treatments use machines with concentrated light energy. It targets the hair follicles precisely that give a sensation of being flicked by a rubber band on your skin. People with darker skin may opt for this option because darker skin absorbs more light than light tones.

It is true that laser treatment is one of the best options if you want to see visible hair removal results. However, you can feel slight discomfort during the procedure. It can cause more serious side effects such as hyperpigmentation, scarring, and changes in the color of the skin pigment. It can also be more expensive than IPL hair removal treatment especially when larger areas are to be treated.


The Final Verdict


So here’s a summary to help guide in choosing the better hair removal method (IPL or Laser);

  •   Both treatments are safe and effective
  •   IPL is a more affordable option. Many FDA-cleared IPL devices are now available and are safe for home use.
  •   IPL is less painful and does not take much time
  •   IPL is more affordable
  •   Laser treatment can be more suited for dark skin
  •   Laser treatments can be costly

One thing to keep in mind is that the term ‘permanent hair removal’ shouldn’t be taken literally. Whether you choose IPL or Laser hair removal method, you should not expect that you will be hair-free forever. You will still experience hair re-growth after some years. You heard it right: “years.” You will enjoy several years of hair free body through these treatments. And once the hair re-grows, it is thinner and smoother than before. You can finally wave goodbye to your razors.

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  • Princess Marasigan
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