The difference between Laser and IPL
The differences between treatments can be confusing, especially when you are trying to decide what’s right for you. Laser, Intense Pulsed light therapy are all light-based technologies, so what’s the difference and whats best?
What is LASER?
During laser hair removal, a laser emits a light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the tube-shaped sacs within the skin (hair follicles) that produce hairs. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.
Is it permanent?
In short, no. Laser hair removal works by heating the hair follicles to stop new hairs from growing. This puts the hair follicles in a state of dormancy for a long period of time — much longer than with shaving and waxing. When the hairs do grow back, they'll be lighter, finer, and fewer in number. Over time with maintenance visits Hair can basically disappear.
What is IPL?
IPL stands for intense pulsed light, and it is a form of light therapy, used for various dermatological procedures including hair removal.
Unlike laser treatments, which have just one specific wavelength emitted from the diode depending on what you're targeting, IPL has multiple wavelengths.
As with all light based treatments, IPL works by emitting a wavelength into the skin, which in the case of hair removal targets pigment. It works in the same way black clothing absorbs heat on a hot day, versus white clothing that reflects it. The light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair. It quickly turns to heat which then kills the growing cells that make the hair.
For both Laser and IPL Hair has to be living for it to work. This means it has to be attached to the bulb of growing cells Identified by when you pull out a hair and it has bulb around it.
Fun Fact if it has that bulb its one of the 20 to 40 per cent of living hair on you body. If you pull it out and it doesn't, it's a dead hair which can stay on your skin for up to three weeks. That's why you need to have up to 12 treatments of hair removal to catch all hairs in their living cycle.
Laser technology is simply much more effective, and achieves substantially better results than IPL with most clients achieving optimal results of permanent hair removal of 80% or greater after four to eight treatments. However, IPL machines do have an important place in the treatment of the skin and various conditions.