IPL hair removal machines are designed to remove hair on all parts of the body. As results vary from case to case, manufacturers are not able to claim permanent hair removal but rather permanent hair reduction.
Like lasers, hair reduction is achieved by damaging the hair follicle. Unlike lasers, IPL systems deliver hundreds of wavelengths (of colours) in one burst of light. These flashes of light, filtered for precision, are attracted to the melanin in the hair follicle.
IPL laser hair removal: Am I suitable?
The ideal candidate for IPL laser hair removal is someone with dark hair and light skin as this contrast allows maximum absorption of light into the hair follicle. It is very hard to treat blonde or white hair and Mediterranean, Middle and Far Eastern skin types may need to be treated with care as their skin will absorb the light as well as the hair follicles. Similarly, if a patient has a recent sun tan they should wait until the tan fades.
IPL laser hair removal: What do I have to do to prepare?
You will be advised not to expose the target area to the sun or use sun beds for at least four weeks prior to treatment as the IPL laser is attracted to melanin.
IPL laser hair removal: What’s the treatment like?
A small hand piece is run over the treatment area. There may be a slight burning or tingling sensation. Procedure times vary depending on what size of area is being treated.
IPL laser hair removal: What about after?
There might be a small amount of redness or swelling but it should be possible to return to work straight after treatment. Your practitioner can apply cooling packs or gel to the treatment area to minimise this and you can apply aloe vera gel to soothe the affected area.
Six to eight sessions of IPL laser hair removal (with a gap of about four weeks) are usually recommended. This is because at any given time some of the follicles won’t be in the growth phase.
It is crucial that you apply a sunscreen to exposed treated areas for at least four weeks post treatment and not sunbathe or use sun beds.
IPL laser hair removal: Are there any risks or side effects?
Sometimes there can be an increase or loss of pigmentation and in a small number of cases the skin’s texture may change slightly. IPL very rarely causes scarring.
IPL laser hair removal: What will it cost me?
Prices vary depending on the treatment area from approximately £35 to £400 per session.