IPL for Unwanted Hair
IPL or, intense pulsed light, targets the melanin in hair in contrast to the melanin in skin, much like laser hair removal. IPL utilizes high-energy light to achieve long-term hair reduction. By applying gentle pulses of light to heat the hair follicle, in a series of sessions IPL will progressively reduce the re-growth of hair.
IPL for Unwanted Hair
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
During an IPL treatment, a hand-held device delivers a visible, broad-spectrum pulse of light, generally in the visible spectral range of 400 to 1200 nm. This light targets the difference in melanin from the hair shaft and the skin complexion, making IPL an ideal treatment for individuals with a high contrast in hair and skin color. As the light is absorbed, the bulb and most of the hair shaft is heated, which causes the hair-producing papilla to be destroyed. Number and duration of IPL treatments for hair removal will vary based on the individual and size of the area being treated. IPL shares some similarities with laser hair removal treatments in that they both use light to heat and destroy components of the unwanted hair. IPL is not able to heat the hair as much as laser energy and will typically take more treatments than laser to produce similar results. Since IPL produces a variety of light wavelengths, the strength of IPL is more diffused and less powerful than laser energy. However, if waxing isn't providing you with long enough results and electrolysis is too expensive, IPL treatments may be right for you.
The goal of IPL is to slow down and reduce hair growth on the face and body.
What to Expect
IPL or, intense pulsed light, targets the melanin in hair in contrast to the melanin in skin to progressively reduce the regrowth of hair. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after IPL treatments for unwanted hair.
- Shave the night before treatment
- No waxing, tweezing, or other forms of hair removal
- Topical anesthetic
- Hand-held device delivers a visible, broad-spectrum pulse of light
- As the light is absorbed, the hair-producing papilla is destroyed
- Number and duration of treatments will vary
After an IPL session, skin might be temporarily red or swollen which can be alleviated with ice packs. Makeup can be used to cover up redness or swollen areas. Normal activities may be resumed immediately however avoid intense exercise for 1 day. It is recommended to avoid unprotected sun exposure for one year to prevent irregular pigmentation.
The ideal candidate for IPL has unwanted hair on their face and body, and has a light complexion with darker hair color.
Not Recommended For
IPL for unwanted hair is not recommended for use on darker skin tones due to risk of hypopigmentation, light-colored hair or fine hair of any color.
Side effects from IPL may include blistering, changes in the skin's pigmentation (including areas of darker or lighter skin), redness, and bruising. These side effects are not common and will typically fade in 2 weeks after treatment if they occur.