Differences Between Laser and IPL Hair Removal

Unwanted hair removal procedures have been around for centuries. Laser and IPL hair removal are the modern methods that offer an almost permanent hair removal effect. Both of these procedures follow the same principle of hair removal. They either slow down the regrowth process or reduce the hair thickness. In some cases, the clients experience hairless skin on the treated areas for years before they experience any regrowth. If you are looking for a procedure to get rid of unwanted hair, you can choose either of them for similarly long-lasting results. But before committing to a procedure, you should know the differences to select which one will best serve you.

What is the difference between IPL and laser hair removal?

IPL Hair Removal

  • Intense Pulsed Light utilizes broad-spectrum visible light. The light is designed to target specific structures. It utilizes shorter wavelengths of light. The light energy absorbed by the skin is converted to heat energy, which in turn damages the hair follicle. In addition to targeting melanin pigment in the hair, it can also be used to target hemoglobin in the blood for the treatment of spider veins.
  • As it utilizes a broad spectrum, the light can be widely dispersed. It gives more coverage for hair removal than laser hair removal devices. Larger areas can be treated in a shorter amount of time than would be possible with laser hair removal. 
  • The treatment time per session will subsequently be less than laser as it gets more coverage area, but it will also be less effective and less precise than laser hair removal. This means you will end up needing more sessions than you would with laser hair removal.
  • It can be used for the treatment of a variety of skin conditions. The procedure can be altered to suit different hair and skin type, including skin conditions. It is easier to treat people with varying tones of skin and hair texture with IPL hair removal.

Laser Hair Removal

  • Laser hair removal also utilizes light energy to damage hair follicles, and it uses specific properties that differentiate it from IPL. It can be extremely focused and used in small areas. It can travel a long distance without spreading out in the way that normal light does. Laser light is used to produce beams of single-color light rays. These characteristics make it unique and different from IPL. The laser can penetrate deeper into the pores, giving a more effective and targeted result.
  • The laser hair treatment focuses light down into the pores. The action is very close to the follicle, and the damage is stronger. Due to the damage, the regrowth either stops or slows down drastically. You will need fewer appointments in comparison to IPL to achieve the same results.
  • As laser hair removal is more specific, it is effective for a more limited demographic. It is more effective on people with lighter skin and dark hair. Darker hair will absorb more light, and hence the procedure will be more effective. People with dark skin and dark hair or pale skin with light hair may not see satisfactory results with this procedure. Since the melanin in skin can also absorb the light, people with darker skin run a risk of getting burnt. However, some IPL devices are suitable for people with dark skin.

Neither laser hair removal treatment nor IPL hair removal will grant you with smooth skin immediately after the procedure. The treated hairs will drop out as they die within the subsequent weeks. The hairs that were not exposed to the treatment due to their stage in the growth cycle at the time of treatment will need more sessions. The most significant advantage of both the procedures is you don't have to shave, thread, or wax your unwanted hair anymore. Hair will grow thinner, slower, and less coarse, so you don't have to worry about unwanted hair showing anymore. There are many at-home laser and IPL hair removal devices in the market that you can choose from as well.