With so many different hair removal options out there, it can be a bit difficult to discern the differences between them and choose the one that is best for you. If you’re looking for something a little more permanent than at-home remedies, laser hair removal and IPL are probably the two major players in most of your research. Though the two methods are often confused due to the fact that they each use light, the similarities between them stop there. When considering your options, keep in mind that a variety of factors determine the duration of treatment that will be needed to produce your final results, regardless of which method you choose. But understanding the different ways that each works to remove hair can help you make an informed decision.
IPL, which stands for Intense Pulsed Light, is not a laser, though it does use light wavelengths that are similar to those of a light bulb. The main technical difference between it and laser hair removal is the fact that IPL releases a wide range of wavelengths, whereas LHR uses only a single wavelength of pure, mono-colored light. Thus, the effect of IPL is a shallower and more scattered pulse of light than the deeper, more direct laser ray.
Although the cost of IPL may be slightly lower than that of LHR, this major difference in their technical applications makes LHR a more effective option. Neither IPL nor LHR can deliver complete results in only one appointment, but many experts assert that LHR is actually much less time-consuming because it will require significantly less treatments. Even though the multiple wavelengths used in IPL procedures cover a larger area of skin at one time, these are not as effective at permanently removing hair because they aren’t as precise as the single laser ray, which can target individual follicles.
Another major difference between the two hair removal methods lies in their initial development. IPL was first developed to treat skin conditions like acne, sun damage and atypical pigmenting. As a side effect, people noticed that it also helped to remove hair. On the other hand, LHR was developed for the sole purpose of removing hair, which gives it a leg up on IPL. Keep in mind that IPL can be a highly effective treatment for skin rejuvenating purposes, but you may want to consider LHR for your hair removal needs.
While both IPL and LHR work best on dark hair follicles, new laser technology is making huge strides in the treatment of light hair and dark skin. Because of this advancement in technology, LHR can now be an option for many people who would have not been candidates for the treatment in the past. In comparison, even with technological advancements, IPL may result in negative side effects that can cause damage to darker skin.
Finding the Right Technician
Ultimately, whether you decide to go with IPL or LHR is your choice, but it’s important that you do your research before committing to either one. If you still feel that you need more information before you make a decision, you can make an appointment for a consultation with a certified technician. He or she will be able to guide you through each process and help you determine which method will best suit your needs. The most important thing to remember is that you work with an accredited, certified technician for either procedure.
Caroll Delo is a board certified laser technician at Simply Smooth Laser Center in Tampa, a niche practice that focuses specifically on laser treatments. Simply Smooth Laser Center offers the most advanced options in laser hair removal, laser skin rejuvenation and laser tattoo removal.